Linguaphone   Lessons 33-41

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Lessons 33-41

Lesson thirty-three (33)
Thirty-third (33rd) lesson

The big stores

I went into one of the big London stores today and enjoyed myself very much,
just wandering from one department to another,
looking at the various articles on the counters.
I thought the assistents were very helpful.
There must have been some hundreds of salesmen and saleswomen
and dozens of different departments,
including china, haberdashery, confectionary, hardware and even provisions.

I went from one department to another
-from umbrellas to gloves, from fancy goods to lace-
up and down, in lifts and on escalators.
As I was going through the book department,
I was surprised to meet an old friend of mine,
whom I hadn't seen for years.
She's been living abroad
and she's just come back to England for a short holiday.
We went up to the restaurant and had lunch together.
Of course, we talked and talked.
She told me that she was married
and that she'd brought her eldest boy to England with her.
He was going to school here and would live with his grandmother, who's a widow.
His grandfather died quite recently.

We didn't finish lunch until half-past two.
Then we did some shopping together.
I helped her to buy some presents for her children.
I can't tell you how glad we were to see each other again.
We used to be very great friends before she went to live abroad.
I hadn't seen her for - let me see - ten or twelve years, at least.

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Lesson thirty-four (34)
Thirty-fourth (34th) lesson


Er - excuse me, how do I get to the glove department?
Over there on the left, madam, just pass the ribbon counter.
Is this the right counter for gloves?
Yes, madam. What sort of gloves do you require?
Kid, suède, chamois. ...?
Well, let me see some of each.
Certainly, madam. What size do you take?
Six and a quarter, I believe,
but you'd better measure my hand to make sure.
I think a six is your size.
How do you like these?
I can recommend them, they're very reliable.
How much are they?
Nineteen and eleven (19/11), madam.
Very well, I'll take them.
And now, how do I get to the shoe department?
Come this way, please, and I'll show you ...
just over there beyond the millinery department.
What kind of shoe did you want, madam?
Calf, glacé, suède. ...?
I want a strong walking-shoe with a low heel.
Perhaps calf would be best.
I like court shoes, but of course high heels aren't suitable for country wear.
... As you see, I have rather small feet.
Here's a pair about your size.
Try them on. ... How do they feel?
They're fairly comfortable, but they're a bit tight across the toes;
I suppose they'll give a little.
Yes, they'll stretch with wearing.
Very well, then . ...
Now, let's see, what else did I want?
Oh yes, some silk stockings, shoe-polish, a pair of scissors,
and some safety-pins.                                         

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Lesson thirty-five (35)
Thirty-fifth (35th) lesson

The tailor and the dressmaker

This morning I've been to my tailor's to order a new suit:
coat, waistcoat and trousers.
I should have liked to order a new overcoat as well,
as my old one is nearly worn out, but just now I can't afford it.
I shall have to wait till next year for that.
But I might get a raincoat later on.

My tailor always has an excellent stock of materials to choose from,
and I think I've chosen what'll be the most suitable for my purpose.
I've had my measurements taken
and I'm going again in a fortnight's time for the first fitting.
After I've tried the suit on,
the tailor will probably find it necessary to make a few alterations,
and he'll mark the places for pockets, buttons and buttonholes.
Then he'll ask me to return later on for a final fitting,
just to make sure that the suit fits really well.
When the suit's ready, I shall pay for it and get a receipt.

My wife has also been buying some new clothes this week.
She's bought herself a fur coat and a ready-made suit,
that's to say, a coat and skirt.
She's been trying to find a silk blouse to match, so far without success.
But when she went to the milliner's,
she did succeed in getting just the right hat,
in the very latest fashion, or so she says.
It would seem that the one she bought three weeks ago is already out of date.

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Lesson thirty-six (36)
Thirty-sixth (36th) lesson

Ordering new clothes

Good morning, I should like to order a lounge-suit.
What have you got in the way of materials?
I want something for the autumn, not too heavy and not too light.
How do you like this pattern, sir?
It's much too light in color for the autumn.
I'd rather have something darker, and a bit heavier.
What about this then?
Yes, that's better. How much is it?
This is an exceptionally good quality cloth,
very soft, and guaranteed pure wool.
A suit of this will cost you twenty-five guineas.
I'm afraid that's really more than I wanted to pay.
I should have liked something cheaper, but still, I expect it's worth it.
Very good, sir. If you take off your coat, I'll take your measurements.
... That's all, thank you
Can you call in tomorrow fortnight for a fitting?
That'll be a Wednesday, won't it?
Yes, that'll suit me. I'll call in between two and three.

At the dress-shop

I should like to try on one of these dresses.
Please come with me to the fitting-room.
This is a model gown and quite the latest style.
I like the style but I don't care for the color,
and it's a bit large too.
What about this one?
We have this model in several sizes and colours, pale green, dark brown, black. ...
Let me see the black one in my size.
Yes, that's better, but isn't the skirt rather long?
Yes, we'll shorten that for you an inch or two,
and the waist will have to be taken in a little as well,
but you can leave all that to us.                               

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Lesson thirty-seven (37)
Thirty-seventh (37th) lesson

At the tobacconist's

If anybody were to ask me which shop windows I found the most interesting,
I should find it very hard to answer.
My wife, I know, would be all in favour of the draper's,
the milliner's and the jeweller's.
My eldest son would be all for the sports shops,
with their golf clubs, tennis rackets, cricket bats and footballs.
The children would vote for the toyshops,
and as for me, well, I must confess to a weakness for the tobacconist's window.

It's not that I smoke a lot,
but there's something fascinating
about the neat little piles of different coloured tobaccos,
the beautifully polished briar pipes,
the attractive boxes of cigars and cigarettes.
If you smoke a pipe, you have the choice of dozens of excellent brands of pipe-tobacco;
if you like cigars, then you can get them at any price you care to pay;
and if you prefer cigarettes, you can buy Virginia, Turkish, or Egyptian, whichever you like.
Virginia cigarettes are, of course, those made of American tobacco.

Matches are good and cheap, but most people nowadays use a lighter.
In the tobacconist's window you'll also find tobacco-pouches
and cigarette-cases, holders and all that sort of thing.
Many tobacconists are at the same time newsagents, stationers, and booksellers,
so that you can buy books, magazines, newspapers, picture postcards and other stationery,
such as writing-pads, notepaper, blotting-paper, envelopes, ink, fountain-pens, pencils and so on.
Very often you can buy sweets and chocolates there as well.

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Lesson thirty-eight (38)
Thirty-eighth (38th) lesson

Buying cigarettes

Good afternoon. I should like some cigarettes, please.
What kind would you like? Virginia, Egyptian, or Turkish?
Well, I think I should like to try some of each,
and then I can decide which I like best.
How many would you want?
I really don't know. Say, a packet of twenty Virginia,
and a box of twenty-five of each of the others.
Which brand do you recommend?
If I were you, I should try these.
They're not very expensive, and yet of quite good quality,
rather mild, and they won't hurt your throat.
All right, I'll take those.
And I'd like some matches too.
How many boxes?
Oh - half a dozen.
Certainly. What about some pipe tobacco?
You can have it by the ounce or in a tin.
No, thank you.
Well, may I suggest a good Havana cigar?
Well, I do enjoy a good cigar now and again,
but aren't they rather expensive?
We've got them at various prices.
This one, for instance, is quite good and costs only four and ninepence (4/9).
All right, I'll try it.
Let me have five, please.
Oh, I nearly forgot. I should like a few flints for my lighter.
And now, add it all up and tell me how much I owe you.
Let me see, that'll be thirty-nine and six (39/6) altogether.
Here you are. Would you mind wrapping them up? ... Thank you.

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Lesson thirty-nine (39)
Thirty-ninth (39th) lesson

The barber and the hairdresser

The hairdresser's a most important member of the community.
Everybody, male and female, old and young, requires his attention regularly.
Men must have their hair cut.
If they have beards or moustaches, they must have them trimmed.
Those who don't shave themselves must be shaved by the barber.
Women must have their hair cut or waved.

Here you see the inside of a hairdresser's shop.
The proprietor's busy cutting somebody's hair;
someone else is being shaved.
There are several customers sitting on the settee, waiting their turn.
One of them's reading a newspaper;
another customer's just about to leave the shop.
He's just had a haircut and a shampoo as well.
An assistant is brushing his overcoat.
He will expect a tip, of course.

I always shave myself, with a safety-razor.
My brother shaves with an electric razor.
Most people shave every day,
but when we're lazy we only shave every other day.
I suppose you shave yourself too, don't you?
I always think a man ought to shave himself.
Personally, I don't like having my cheeks and chin covered with lather by somebody else -
besides, it's much more convenient and, incidentally, cheaper,
to shave oneself at home than to have to waste time going to the barber's.

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Lesson forty (40)
Fortieth (40th) lesson

I go to the barber's

Good afternoon, sir, what can I do for you?
Haircut and shave, please. I should also like a manicure.
Take a seat, please, you won't have to wait long.
... You're next, sir. A manicurist will soon be free.
In the meantime I'll cut your hair.
Do you want it short or just trimmed?
Er - not too short.
Very good, sir. Ah, here's the manicurist.
May I have your hand, please. Thank you.
... You've broken the nail on this finger rather badly.
Yes, I have, haven't I?
Be careful with my right thumb, it's a bit painful.
Certainly. ...
How's that, sir?
Just right, thank you.
Your hair's rather dry, sir, and it's getting a bit thin on top too.
A shampoo will do it a lot of good.
Er - very well.
And now for the shave.
Yes, but be careful, my skin's rather tender.
You needn't worry, sir! I've only once cut a customer.
He suddenly jerked his head and I cut his chin.
There was a little blood, but nothing to speak of.
I soon stopped the bleeding. ... There you are, sir, thank you.
Thank you. By the way, you have a ladies' department here, haven't you?
My wife wants a perm. Could I fix an appointment for her tomorrow, at three o'clock, say?
Just a minute, I'll find out. ...
Yes, that'll be quite all right.
And now, how much do I owe you?
That'll be six and six (6/6) altogether.
Here's seven and six (7/6). You can keep the change.
Thank you, sir.                                                         

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Lesson forty-one (41)
Forty-first (41st) lesson

The seasons

The year is divided into four seasons:
spring, summer, autumn and winter.
In spring, Nature awakens from her long winter sleep.
The trees are filled with new life, the earth is warmed by the rays of the sun,
and the weather gets gradually milder.
The fields and meadows are covered with fresh green grass.
The woods and forests are filled with the songs of the birds.
The sky is blue and cloudless.
At night, millions of stars shine in the darkness.

When summer comes, the weather gets warmer still and sometimes it's very hot.
It's the farmer's busy season -
he works in his fields from morning till night.
The grass must be cut and the hay must be made, while the dry weather lasts.
Sometimes the skies are overcast with heavy clouds.
There are storms with thunder, lightning and hail.

Autumn brings with it the harvest-time,
when the crops are gathered in and the fruit is picked in the orchards.
The days get shorter and the nights longer.
The woods turn yellow and brown,
leaves begin to fall from the trees, and the ground is covered with them.
The skies are grey, and very often it rains.

When winter comes, we're obliged to spend more time indoors
because out of doors it's cold.
We may get fog, sleet and frost.
Ponds, lakes, rivers and streams are frozen,
and the roads are sometimes covered with slippery ice or deep snow.
The trees are bare.
Bitter north winds have stripped them of all their leaves.

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