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Lesson Transcript

Foreign Exchange in the UK
It’s likely that at some point during your trip to the UK, you’ll have to exchange money. But this isn’t a problem as currency exchange counters can be found at airports, banks, post offices and supermarkets in the UK. You can also withdraw money using international bank cards at cash machines. However, you may be charged by both the local bank, and your home bank when using cash machines in the UK, so it’s best to make one large withdrawal.
So let’s start this lesson by finding a place to exchange your money. Let’s first go back to a phrase we learnt in an earlier lesson: “Is there a pharmacy near here?”
Now, in this lesson we want to find a bank, so we just replace the word ‘pharmacy’ with ‘bank’. “Is there a bank near here?”
We start this phrase with the question form ‘is there’, then we have the place you are looking for, ‘a bank’, and finally the location, ‘near here’. You can also use this question when looking for a cash machine.
But for times when neither a bank nor a cash machine is close by, you can ask: “Where can I exchange money?” So we have the question starter, ‘where’, then the helping verb, the person, and the main verb, ‘can I exchange’, and finally the all-important item, ‘money’.
Exchanging money is pretty straightforward. First, you should tell the cashier which currency you want to exchange. They will then tell you the rate, and then you will have to fill out some simple forms.
If you are exchanging a large amount of money, it’s likely that you’ll be given big notes, such as £50 notes. Due to past forgery in the UK, £50 notes are often to be avoided, as not all shops and establishments will accept them for payment.
In a situation where you are given £50 notes by an exchange broker, you could ask: “Please could I have smaller notes?” We start this question with the polite request ‘please could I’, followed by what you need, ‘smaller notes’.
“Please could I have smaller notes?”
Another useful phrase for this scenario is: “Please could you change this for...?” So, for example, if you have a £20 or £50 note, you could use this phrase to get smaller notes by stating which notes you would like in exchange. Again, we start with the polite request, ‘please could you’, and then ‘change this for...’, which is a way of asking for smaller notes. “Please could you change this for...?”
Okay, to close out this lesson we’d like you to practice what you’ve just learned. I’ll provide you with the phrase, and you’re responsible for shouting it out loud. You have a few seconds before I give you the answer. So good luck!
- Is there a bank near here?
- Where can I exchange money?
- Please could I have smaller notes?
- Please could you change this for…?


Alright! That’s going to do it for this lesson. Bye!