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Lesson Transcript

Sadia: Hi, from New York. This is Sadia.
Keith: Hey, and I’m Keith. “The Most Important Place in America”
Sadia: In the last lesson, Lesson 8 - “Get What You Want Using English,” we explored the infinitive form of the verb, go...
Keith: And you learned how to ask about train and bus times and about when to use the conjunction, "or."
Sadia: In this lesson you will learn about shopping at a convenience store.
Keith: And this conversation takes place on a Thursday evening, in a convenience store.
Sadia: The conversation is between the main character, Zo, and the store cashier.
Keith: Alright, well let’s listen in to the conversation.
Clerk #1: Good evening, sir!
Zo: Hello. [Places items on the counter]
Store clerk: Okay—so that’s 3 bottles of water, 1 bottle of orange juice, 1 can of soda, a sandwich, a box of crackers, and a pack of gum. Is that all?
Zo: What is that?
Clerk #1: Oh—that’s carrot cake. It's delicious!
Zo: Oh, yeah? One, please!
Clerk #1: That'll be $23.
Zo: Here's a fifty.
Clerk #1: All right. $27 is your change. Thank you. Come again!
Zo: Thank you.
Keith: One more time, slowly.
Clerk #1: Good evening, sir!
Zo: Hello. [Places items on the counter]
Store clerk: Okay—so that’s 3 bottles of water, 1 bottle of orange juice, 1 can of soda, a sandwich, a box of crackers, and a pack of gum. Is that all?
Zo: What is that?
Clerk #1: Oh—that’s carrot cake. It's delicious!
Zo: Oh, yeah? One, please!
Clerk #1: That'll be $23.
Zo: Here's a fifty.
Clerk #1: All right. $27 is your change. Thank you. Come again!
Zo: Thank you.
Sadia: Okay. So Zo is shopping in a convenience store. I think it's probably safe to say that there are convenience stores in every, I don’t know, in every corner of the world, perhaps.
Keith: Yeah. Everywhere you go, there’s a convenience store. But Sadia, what is a convenience store?
Sadia: Well, a convenience store is so named because it’s very convenient. It’s easy to go in and buy, kind of, things that you need for every day.
Keith: You can buy toothbrushes. You can buy food. You can buy drinks. You can buy deodorant, soap, whatever you need, almost everything. They’re going to have it. They have books too sometimes.
Sadia: Yeah, yeah. Magazines, my personal, uh, addiction.
Keith: And I think maybe if we give a couple of global convenience stores, like 7-11. But I think 7-11 is big in America. I know know where else 7-11 is big.
Sadia: I read that Japan has the highest number of 7-11s.
Keith: More than America? That’s very, very interesting.
Sadia: Yeah.
Keith: You know, I’m sure that every country and every city has their own brand, or their own
convenience stores.
Sadia: Yeah, I’m sure they all kind of have their own flavor, their own feel. I mean, in, in, New York, it seems to me, I could be wrong, I’m a Jersey girl. But it seems to me that there are two main types of convenience stores.
Keith: Yeah, the first one is not really a convenience store.
Sadia: Yeah, that’s true.
Keith: If you’ve ever heard of places called CVS
Sadia: Mm-hm.
Keith: Or Duane-Reade, Rite-Aid. These places are actually pharmacies. Pharmacies are places where you get medicine, but they kind of turned into convenience stores now, right?
Sadia: That’s true. A lot of them, I mean, you can go in and buy food, which you wouldn’t expect to find like, canned soup, or gallons of milk in a pharmacy, but.
Keith: Exactly.
Sadia: You can.
Keith: Someone I know just came to America and she was so surprised by the pharmacies because it’s like a supermarket. I can go there and buy spices if I need for cooking.
Sadia: Mm-hm.
Keith: Anything she wanted she could find at the pharmacy.
Sadia: That’s the first type of convenience store you can find in New York City. The second type are like smaller, kind of, independently owned stores, right?
Keith: Yeah, really, really small stores, and sometimes they’re called "bodega".
Sadia: Ah, bodega. That’s a Spanish word but I can’t really remember what it means.
Keith: I.. Don’t look at me. I forgot my high school Spanish. I don’t remember what “bodega” means. But in English, when you say, “bodega,” that means a small store. That’s like a convenience store, you can buy food, you can buy laundry detergent, soap, toothbrushes, anything that you may need. It might not have everything, but almost everything.
Sadia: I would say so. I mean, they don’t have.. The pharmacies have this huge range of products. Now I think the bodegas, they don’t have as many things to choose from, but they do have your basics.
Keith: And definitely they serve their community, not really serving the city, but the close areas around the bodega. They’re kind of selling their things to their neighbors. Actually, being in New York, another kind of convenience store is the deli. Delis are usually just for food. You know, you get sandwiches, or you get pizza. Whatever kind of food that you might want. But sometimes the delis, they sell toothbrushes. They sell soap, whatever else you need. It’s kind of a convenience store.
Sadia: Right, so many different types of convenience stores here in New York, I think.
Keith: How about you, Sadia? You’re from New Jersey, right next to New York. What types of convenience stores are there in New Jersey?
Sadia: I’d say it’s probably about the same. There are the pharmacies, which have kind of become these huge convenience stores. And then there are also smaller convenience stores that are like bodegas but I feel like they’re not as cool. Because they’re a little, they’re a little, too put together. They’re too cute.
Keith: Too nice.
Sadia: Yeah, exactly, exactly. The bodega has character.
Keith: Well, what does that mean? That the bodega has character?
Sadia: Bodegas, and I, correct me if I’m wrong, Keith. But I think they are a little more rough around the edges, which means that the lighting might be a little darker. It’s not quite as clean as you know, the CVS or the Duane-Reade.
Keith: Yeah, it’s not like a perfect store, but it’s nice because, you know, you’re friends with the guy sometimes.
Sadia: Mm-hm.
Keith: You, hey, how are you doing? How’s your kids? And you become friends with them. That’s kind of the charm behind the bodegas I think.
Sadia: Yeah, I agree.
Keith: Well, what about you, listeners-- what are the convenience
stores like where you live? Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Keith: The first word we shall see is...
Sadia: bottle [natural native speed]
Keith: a glass or plastic container that has a narrow neck and
usually has no handle
Sadia: bottle [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sadia: bottle [natural native speed]
water [natural native speed]
Keith: clear liquid; rain, ocean, lake, stream; H2O
water [slowly - broken down by syllable]
water [natural native speed]
Sadia: orange juice [natural native speed]
Keith: the juice of an orange
Sadia: orange juice [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sadia: orange juice [natural native speed]
soda [natural native speed]
Keith: soft drink, carbonated or bubbly drink
soda [slowly - broken down by syllable]
soda [natural native speed]
Sadia: change [natural native speed]
Keith: money returned when a payment exceeds the amount
Sadia: change [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sadia: change [natural native speed]
Sadia: cracker [natural native speed]
Keith: a dry, thin, crispy baked bread
Sadia: cracker [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sadia: cracker [natural native speed]
Keith: Let’s take a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Sadia: OK, so the first phrase we’ll look at is, “Is that all?”
Keith: After Zo places the items he is buying on the
counter top, the cashier asks, "Is that all?" Why?
What's that mean?
Sadia: "Is that all?" is short for, "Is that all you're buying?"
Keith: Or even, "Are these the only items you’re
Sadia: Mm-hm. What's the next phrase?
Keith: The next phrase is, "One, please!"
Sadia: So, Zo is interested in the food behind the counter. I think it’s carrot cake. He wants to buy a piece, so he says, "One, please!"
What’s THAT mean?
Keith: "One, please!" is short for, "I'd like to buy one,
please." What about "Here's a fifty?" What's that?
Sadia: Ah, so Zo hands the cashier a fifty-dollar bill, so he says,
"Here's a fifty." "A fifty" is short for a fifty-dollar bill.
Keith: Does that mean a 20 is short for a $20 bill?
Sadia: Exactly. A ten is a $10 bill. And a five is a $5 bill...
Keith: So we’re just shortening it. The next phrase is... "Here's your change."
Sadia: Zo's bill was $23. Zo gives the cashier a 50. When the cashier gives Zo the difference--
the $27 dollar difference-- he says, "Here's your change."
Keith: So when you give too much money, the change is the money the cashier has to give you back. What about, "It's delicious!"
Sadia: When Zo inquires about the food behind the counter, the carrot cake the cashier tells Zo, "it's delicious!"
Keith: That’s a phrase used to express pleasure with food you are eating, or food that you've eaten in the past.
Sadia: If you’ve eaten a food and you know that it tastes really good, you can tell someone, “Oh, it’s delicious.” Finally we have..
Keith: The last phrase is, "Thank you. Come again!"
Sadia: Very friendly cashier! So "Thank you. Come again!" is a parting phrase said
by shop owners and workers, and it means kind of what it sounds like it means. “Thank you. Come again!” means “Thank you for shopping here! Please visit again soon!”
Keith: "Thank you. Come again!"

Lesson focus

Keith: The focus points of this lesson are counters and
Sadia: The phrase, "What is that?"
Keith: Let's start with counters. What are counters?
Sadia: Counters are counting words. They’re words use to show
how many of something there are-- in this case,
how many things-- and what-- Zo is buying.
Keith: When Zo places the items he is buying on
the counter in the store, the cashier takes stock-- what that means is he
counts-- all of Zo purchases.
Sadia: He says, "Okay—so that’s 3 bottles of water, 1 bottle of orange juice, a can of soda, a sandwich, a box of crackers, and a pack of gum." Counting nouns, especially foods in English is, in a sense, kind of easy, if you know the container that a food or drink is packaged in, is put in, or if you know the shape a particular food is cooked or served in. You may already have an idea of how to count that food or drink.
Keith: So you can imagine-- the list of counters, or "counting words," is nearly endless. There’s a lot of counting words.
Sadia: So let's take a look at the first three that appear in the dialogue - 3 bottles of water, 1 bottle of orange juice, 1 can of soda.
Keith: OK, so Zo is buying water that has been put in a bottle. The package is a bottle.
The orange juice is also in a bottle. So, 3 BOTTLES of water and 1 BOTTLE of orange
Sadia: He's also buying a can of soda-- the soda has been put into a can. The package is a can. So that's one CAN of soda.
Keith: And of course, there are other ways to package water, juice, and soda.
Sadia: That's true. For example, water in three jugs would be 3 jugs of water.
Keith: And orange juice in two cartons are 2 cartons of orange juice.
Sadia: Or maybe soda in a one bottle is a bottle of soda.
Keith: So, as you can see, the counter, or "counting word," you use for an object can change depending on the type of package.
Sadia: Notice though, that the number one can always be signified with the particle "a"--
Keith: Instead of 1 can of soda, you can just say “a can of soda”, 1 bottle of
water, you can say, a bottle of water--
Sadia: 1 carton of orange juice, A carton of orange juice. Zo also buys a sandwich, a box of crackers, and a pack of gum.
Keith: A sandwich that’s one sandwich; A box of crackers, that’s one box of crackers.
Sadia: And A pack of gum is one pack of gum. What are some other food and drink counters?
Keith: Well, we’re here in New York, New York, and what’s famous? Pizza! So to say pizza, you say “slices of pizza.”
Sadia: Another counter, glasses of wine, maybe.
Keith: Oh, you like that one, don’t you? In gum, there’s a pack of gum, so there’s several gum pieces in there. How do you say “gum” then?
Sadia: Usually gum is in a stick shape. So you can say, “a stick of gum.”
Keith: Yeah, but sometimes it’s not in a stick anymore, I see.
Sadia: Yeah, so you could just say “piece”, I think.
Keith: A piece of gum. So you can see, the list goes on and on! So how do you decide which counter to use?
Sadia: Well, you should look at the packaging or the SHAPE of a food or drink. That should help you every time.
Keith: And maybe we can give the listeners a generic counter, meaning a counter that can be used for a lot of things. How about, a “piece” of “something.
Sadia: A piece of gum, a piece of pie.
Keith: I think piece is usually used for food, not drinks.
Sadia: That’s true.
Keith. The next is, "What Is That?" Zo sees a strange food behind the counter in the convenience store. He doesn't know what it is, so he asks the cashier - “What is that?”
Sadia: The word, "that" is a demonstrative.
Keith: Demonstratives are adjectives and pronouns that identify which object or person the speaker is talking about.
Sadia: And in this case, "that" is a demonstrative PRONOUN. So he asks, “What is that?”
Keith: Demonstratives agree in number (that means singular or plural) with the objects or people being identified and the demonstratives change depending on how far they are from the speaker.
Sadia: Sounds crazy.
Keith: Well, it’s not too crazy. Let’s take a look at how some of it works. The proper demonstrative to use depends on whether the thing it refers to is singular or plural,
AND it also depends on whether the thing is near to or far from the speaker.
Sadia: So what if something-- ONE THING-- singular, is close to me?
Keith: You would use THIS.
Sadia: This pen, maybe. And what if the ONE THING is far away from me?
Keith: You would use THAT.
Sadia: So THAT is what Zo uses-- because the food he's
pointing to BEHIND the counter, is far away from him.
Sadia: ONE thing that is close is THIS.
Keith: And ONE thing that is far is THAT.
Sadia: OK, let’s move on. What about TWO OR MORE THINGS that are close? So now, plural.
Keith: TWO OR MORE THINGS that are close
you use the word THESE. What about TWO OR MORE THINGS that are FAR?
Sadia: Two or more things that are far-- THOSE. The DEMONSTRATIVES are THIS and THAT for singular-- This pen or that pen.
Keith: And THESE and THOSE for plural. These pencils or those pencils.


Keith: Thanks for listening. See you next time.
Sadia: Bye-bye.