Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dialogue Workout 74

A: “Mission to Mars” wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen, and it wasn’t the worst.
B: I’ve seen better movies. The characters weren’t especially interesting.
A: The best thing about the movie was the coke and the popcorn.
B: I didn’t especially like the popcorn. It had too much butter on it.
A: The special effects were exciting. I really believed those people were in space.
B: I thought the story was unbelievable.
A: Could you tell me how to get to the movie theater from here?
B: I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m new here. I don’t know my way around the city.
A: Thank you anyway.
B: Why don’t you ask that young man over there? He looks like he’s been living here a while.
A: Which young man are you talking about?
B: That one with the red cap. I’m sure he’ll be able to help you.
A: Excuse me, can you tell me where “Mission to Mars” is showing?
B: I believe it’s showing at the Metro Cinema.
A: Do you happen to know when it starts?
B: I don’t know when it starts. But you can find out by looking in the Chronicle.
A: Yes, here it is. It’s in the Datebook Section.
B: This is yesterday’s paper. You can check today’s schedule by calling this number.
A: How did you like the movie?
B: Well, to tell the truth, I was a little disappointed.
A: Disappointed? Why? It got great reviews, didn’t it?
B: It wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be.
A: Really? All my friends told me it was the most exciting movie they’ve ever seen.
B: I really expected it to be a lot more interesting.
A: I prefer the movie “Mars Attacks”. In it, Jack Nicholson plays the President of the United States.
B: I saw it. I wasn’t as thrilled by it as you seem to be.
A: Really? Don’t you think the special effects were awesome?
5. (continued)
B: Actually, I thought the whole thing was rather ridiculous.
A: It was supposed to be funny. After all, it was a satire.
B: I hoped it would be more entertaining.
A: I think there’s too much violence on children’s cartoon programs.
B: I’m not sure I agree with you.
A: You’re not? But, don’t you think all that violence is harmful for children to see?
B: Not really. I don’t think most children are affected by it.
A: I don’t agree with you at all.
B: It seems to me that children know that cartoon violence isn’t real.
A: I think there’s too much sentimentality in afternoon soap operas.
B: I completely disagree with you. In my opinion, those shows are wonderful.
A: How can you say that? There’s nothing worse than those tear jerkers.
B: I believe the characters are completely realistic.
A: Realistic? No, they’re not. They’re totally phony.
B: It sounds to me like we have a difference of opinion.
A: What would you like to do after dinner?
B: I wouldn’t mind going to a movie.
A: That’s not a bad idea. We haven’t been to a movie in a long while.
B: Let’s check the paper to see if there’s anything interesting playing.
A: There’s an Elizabeth Taylor movie playing at the Castro. “Butterfield Eight.”
B: We’ve already seen it, remember? It was on Channel 9 last week.
A: It’s raining and the children are bored. Let’s take them to the movies.
B: Are there any children’s movies playing today?
A: As a matter of fact there is. The Walt Disney movie “Beauty and The Beast” is playing at the Castro.
B: Is there a matinee showing?
A: Yes, there is. It starts at 3:00 pm. Let’s go.
B: We’ll have to hurry. We have only a half hour. And we have to find a parking place.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dialogue Workout 75

A: How long have you been living in San Francisco?
B: For only six months. I like it. It’s a nice city.
A: It’s a lot colder and wetter than your country, isn’t it?
B: I don’t mind living in a colder climate.
A: There’s a lot of traffic on the freeways and streets.
B: Yes, but, if you avoid driving downtown, the traffic doesn’t bother you.
A: Were any relatives of yours living here when you arrived?
B: Yes, my brother had been living here for about six years.
A: Was he able to show you around a little?
B: Yes, he helped me a lot because I had never shopped in an American supermarket before.
A: Had you ever eaten American food before coming here?
B: No, I hadn’t. Since coming here, I’ve had a couple of hamburgers, but they’re nothing to write home about.
A: What are you planning do over the next six months?
B: Of course, I would like to learn more English.
A: Do you plan to take some courses at City College?
B: Yes, now that I’m settled and have an afternoon job, I’d like to take some courses in the morning.
A: Houses are very expensive here. Are you thinking of buying a house eventually?
B: That’s way in the future. I have to be able to make a living first.
A: Where were you living before you came to the US?
B: I lived in El Salvador for most of my life.
A: What do you remember most about El Salvador?
B: I remember the beautiful beaches, the green tropical trees, and the delicious food.
A: Do you have any plans to visit your country soon?
B: Yes, as a matter of fact, I’m thinking of going there in August, before Fall Semester.
A: How did you spend your first day in San Francisco?
B: We got in my brother’s car and took a tour of the city.
A: Did you see Golden Gate Park and Civic Center?
B: Yes, we did. Then, we went for a drive over the bridge and visited Sausalito.
A: Did you have any trouble finding your way around?
B: Not really. My brother is very familiar with the Bay Area, and he showed me everything.
A: Do you miss your family in Mexico?
B: Yes, I do. I haven’t seen them in about two years.
A: Do you talk with them on the phone?
B: Yes. I’ve been calling them about once a week since I got here.
A: What kind of work does your father do?
B: He drives a tractor. He’s been driving tractors since he was 25 years old.
A: Tell me about your life in San Francisco.
B: I like my current job better than the one I had before.
A: What kind of job did you have when you first came to this country?
B: I worked as a cook’s helper. I had to get up at 4:00 am every day.
A: Since you left that job, what have you been doing?
B: I’ve been working as a mechanic for a good service station.
A: What impressed you your first day here?
B: I was amazed to see the large buildings. I had never seen such large buildings before.
A: Yes, the buildings are large. Especially downtown.
B: I was frightened of the freeway. I had never seen a freeway before.
A: That’s right. The cars go very fast on it.
B: I was confused to see people without homes. I had never seen so many homeless people before.
A: What country is Sylvia from?
B: Nicaragua. She’s been here for one year.
A: Does she have a job or is she looking?
B: She has a job as a housekeeper. She’s had that job for about four months.
A: What does she do when she finishes work?
B: She eats dinner quickly then goes to school. She’s
on a very tight schedule.

Dialogue Workout 73

A: I was supposed to go to the dentist, but I forgot.
B: Did you miss your dental appointment?
A: It completely slipped my mind. I’ve had my yearly physical, but I haven’t had my dental exam yet.
B: You’d better call the dentist office now and make another appointment.
A: I’ve been brushing my teeth regularly and using floss.
B: I wouldn’t worry about your teeth if I were you.
A: Something came up. I can’t go to the movies with you.
B: Oh, that’s all right. We can do it another time.
A: My boss told me I have to work a double shift today.
B: We can take a rain check. No problem.
A: Next weekend, if you aren’t doing anything, we can go.
B: Yes, I think I’ll be free next weekend. I’ll give you a call.
A: I went to see “Mission to Mars” at the Metro Theater.
B: I wanted to see it too, but I was busy. How was it?
A: You didn’t miss much. The story wasn’t very interesting.
B: I went to the museum. The paintings were exciting.
A: I want to go there. I haven’t seen their current exhibit.
B: I think you’d enjoy it a lot.
A: If you take a keyboarding class, you’ll learn to type 25 words per minute.
B: When do they offer keyboarding?
A: In the morning, from 8:30 to 12:15. Gloria Bautista is the teacher.
B: I’m really interested in learning about computers.
A: This class is a very good introduction.
B: I know how to type, but I type very slowly.
A: Have you taken the books back to the library yet?
B: Not yet. I plan to drop them off this afternoon.
A: They should have been taken back yesterday.
B: You’re right. They were due yesterday, weren’t they?
A: That’s all right. The fine is only ten cents a book.
B: I borrowed eight books. I’ll have to pay 80 cents.
A: Last week, somebody parked in front of my driveway.
B: What did you do? Did you call the police?
A: Yes. I had to call them. I didn’t have any other choice.
B: Did you give them the license number ?
A: Yes, I did. The police came about an hour later. The car was towed away.
B: There aren’t enough parking spaces in this city.
A: There will be a neighborhood meeting tonight.
B: Oh, good. I’ll be there. What are we discussing?
A: We’re discussing some neighborhood problems
B: There have been quite a few problems lately.
A: Yes, there have. There’s been a lot of noise from construction.
B: Yes, and sometimes it lasts until late at night.
A: There are other problems in our neighborhood.
B: People drive too fast. It’s dangerous for children.
A: That’s right. They should put up more stop signs.
B: Last week, I saw an accident that could have been avoided.
A: It wouldn’t have happened if there had been a stop sign.
B: If the neighbors speak up, we can make some changes.
A: Did you go to the meeting last night?
B: Yes, I did. Most of the neighbors attended it.
A: I’m sorry I couldn’t go to it. I had to work late.
B: It was the best meeting we’ve had so far.
A: What problems did the neighbors discuss?
B: We discussed crime, parking, drugs, and noise.
A: We didn’t decide on a location for the next meeting.
B: You can hold the next meeting at my house.
A: That’s very generous of you. We’ll probably accept your offer.
B: How many do you think might show up to the meeting?
A: I would guess around twenty-five people. Is that too many?
B: No, it’s not. Since I wasn’t able to come last night, I want to contribute something.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dialogue Workout 65

A: Hello. I’m detective Robinson of the San Francisco Police Department.
B: Nice to meet you. I didn’t do anything wrong.
A: Someone was murdered in this neighborhood.
B: I’m sorry to hear that. How can I help you?
A: You might be able to help the investigation.
B: I’m happy to answer any questions you have.
A: Did you hear a gun shot around 8:00 this evening?
B: I heard a loud noise. But it sounded like a firecracker.
A: What were you doing when you heard that shot?
B: I was washing dishes, and my wife was writing a letter.
A: Were you walking on the street at any time this evening?
B: No, I don’t think so. Wait. I might have gone to the corner to buy a paper.
A: You might have gone to the corner to buy a paper?
B: Yes. In fact, I remember now, I went out around 7:45.
A: 7:45. That’s fifteen minutes before the murder occurred.
B: I suppose so. But I didn’t hear anything on the walk.
A: You said you heard something like a firecracker.
B: Yes, when I was washing dishes, I heard a firecracker.
A: And when were you washing dishes?
B: I was washing dishes around 8:00. Yes, I’m sure of it.
A: When did you return from the store with the paper?
B: I got back from the store at 8:10. I looked at my watch.
A: Now, just a moment. Let me get this straight. You left at 7:45 to get a newspaper.
B: That’s right. I like to read the paper after I wash the dishes.
A: And you got back from the store at 8:10. You looked at your watch.
B: Say, is this investigation going to take much longer?
A: Sorry to bother you. Give me another couple of minutes.
B: Because I have a lot of work to do tonight.
A: I understand. But solving this murder is important.
B: Also, my favorite TV program is on tonight. Last week it was canceled because of a wrestling match.
A: I enjoy watching wrestling matches. I look forward to that program every week.
B: I avoid watching wrestling. The violence upsets me.
A: You don’t like violence, however you own a gun.
B: I own a gun? What gave you that idea?
A: I did a little research before this visit. There is a gun registered to your name. Here’s a copy of the form.
B: Yes, as a matter of fact, I own a gun. However, I fire it rarely.
A: May I have a look at your firearm please?
B: Yes. It’s right here in my pocket. But I don’t know why you want to look at it.
A: It’s a little warm. Why is it warm? It feels warm to me.
B: I’ve been carrying it in my pocket, that’s why.
A: Are you trying to tell me that your pocket is warm?
B: Yes. Here’s my wallet. It’s warm too. I don’t know what you’re driving at.
A: I’m simply trying to get to the bottom of this murder.
B: Well, maybe you should take your investigation somewhere else. I’m getting bored.
A: Are you? I thought you enjoyed murder investigations.
B: I’m feeling nervous all of a sudden. All these questions.
A: How was it possible for you to wash dishes at 8:00?
B: It was very possible. I used dish soap and
a sponge.
A: But you clearly said that you were at the store between 7:45 pm and 8:10 pm.
B: Exactly. I went to the store to buy a paper. Why must I keep on repeating things?
A: And yet you were here washing dishes at 8:00 pm.
B: The very idea that I fired a shot and hit a young man in the back is absurd.
A: How did you know he was a young man?
B: Well, I ... I ....
A: And how did you know that he was shot in the back?
B: It’s obvious that you have chosen the wrong man to investigate. I did nothing wrong.
A: You have warm gun and you know certain facts.
B: I have eyes don’t I? I can see the street from here.
A: You were looking at the street when the shot was fired?
B: Absolutely not. Why would I? That’s ridiculous.

Dialogue Workout 64

A: The piano movers just called. They can’t come today.
B: Oh, no. We have to move the piano today.
A: We’ll have to move it to the other room ourselves.
B: We can’t move it ourselves. It’s much too heavy.
A: We’ll have to try. I know. We’ll put the rug under it.
B: Good idea. Then, we’ll slide it into the other room.
A: We were successful. We moved the piano.
B: Now, we have more space in the living room.
A: The problem is, we have less space in the dining room.
B: The dining room is a good place for the piano.
A: I’m not sure. The trouble is, the piano needs work.
B: That’s true. The piano is kind of out of tune, isn’t it?
A: There’s one other little problem. There’s a leak in the stove. I smell gas in the kitchen.
B: Then, we have to call P. G. and E. right away.
A: Will they come over and fix it?
B: Usually they fix gas leaks. I’m fairly certain.
A: I didn’t know that because we’ve never had a gas leak before.
B: Are there any other problems we need to discuss?
A: I don’t know about you, but I’m annoyed by the neighbors.
B: You mean the noise they are always making?
A: Yes. They play their stereo at two in the morning sometimes.
B: I think we should talk to them about it.
A: What should we say?
B: We should ask them politely to turn off their stereo after 10:00 pm.
A: I don’t know if we’ll ever solve all our problems.
B: What now?
A: Somebody parked their car in front of our house.
B: Oh, you’re talking about the blue car. It’s been there at least a month.
A: That’s right. And it’s very dirty and messy.
B: I’m sure that someone has abandoned that car
A: That’s what I think. What should we do about it?
B: We should report the car to the police.
A: What will the police do about it?
B: First, they’ll put a warning notice on the car with a deadline for removing it.
A: And if the owners don’t remove it, the police will tow it away?
B: Yes, and we need to get rid of it soon.
A: We have too many books and CD’s and no place to put them.
B: I know, I’ll build some book shelves. It’s not hard.
A: Here’s a design for a nice bookshelf. It’s in Sunset Magazine.
B: Our bookshelf needs to be larger than that one.
A: You’re right. We need a place to store all these magazines.
B: We need to take a trip to the lumber yard and the hardware store.
A: Didn’t you say you were going to build a bookshelf?
B: Yes, I remember thinking about it last weekend.
A: You haven’t built it yet.
B: I know. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I will.
A: When do you think you might do it?
B: I just haven’t had the time. I’ve been at work too much. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted.
A: After we build the shelves, it would be nice to plant flowers.
B: Where would we plant flowers? The front yard is concrete.
A: But there’s dirt under the concrete. We just have to break the concrete.
B: That’s really difficult. I don’t have the energy to do it.
A: It’s no problem, really. The concrete is probably thin.
B: Probably thin you say. But you don’t know for sure.
A: Isn’t it wonderful? We should celebrate.
B: Celebrate? I’m too wiped out to celebrate.
A: But look at all we’ve accomplished. We moved the
B: We got rid of the abandoned car in front of the house.
A: The neighbors are finally quiet after 10:00 pm.
B: And we have flowers in the front yard. Did I forget something?
A: You never built the bookshelf.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dialogue Workout 71

A: What kind of car are you planning to buy?
B: I haven’t decided. Something economical.
A: I heard Toyota Tercels are economical. They don’t use a lot of gas.
B: How do they handle on the highway? Do you know?
A: No, I don’t. I’ve never driven one.
B: Actually, I’m thinking about a VW Golf. I’d like to drive to LA and visit relatives.
A: Tercels are the most efficient car on the market.
B: My aunt and uncle have a Tercel, and they hate it.
A: Really? Why?
B: They said it doesn’t drive very smoothly.
They’re thinking of selling it and buying a Golf.
A: No kidding? Well, as I said, I’ve never driven a Tercel.
B: No, you might be right.
I’ll test drive a Tercel and see how it feels.
A: Guess what? I’m going to LA next week.
B: How are you getting there, by car or by plane?
A: That’s a tough choice. What do you think?
B: If I were you, I’d fly. You can always rent a car in LA.
A: Actually, I was thinking of driving. It would be cheaper.
B: You have a point. But it takes a lot longer to drive.
A: It’s not that much cheaper when you figure how much gas costs these days.
B: I know. Gas is really expensive.
A: And I heard it’s going to get even more expensive.
B: Still, I would save money driving instead of flying.
A: You’re probably right. Do you have a place to stay down there?
B: Yes, I’m staying in my aunt and uncle’s guest room.
A: Which freeway are you going to take?
B: I’m considering taking the coast route, Highway 101. What do you think?
A: Highway 5 is a lot faster. You save about two hours.
B: True. But 101 is much more scenic.
A: There’s a nice restaurant just off Highway 5. It’s called Harris Ranch.
B: I plan to drive the coast route and enjoy the scenery.
A: What’s your plan? Are you going to drive your new Golf down there?
B: Yes, and I’m very excited. I’ve never driven to LA before.
A: Are you driving to LA by yourself?
B: Yes. I asked Sally to go with me, but she’s too busy.
A: Be very careful. Don’t fall asleep at the wheel.
B: No. If I feel sleepy, I’ll pull off the road and take a nap.
A: If you get lost, you can look at your map.
B: I always take a map with me because sometimes I like to go on side trips.
A: Oh? What side trip are you going on this time?
B: I want to drive around Santa Barbara a little. I’ve never been to Santa Barbara.
A: The coast is nice and Santa Barbara is beautiful.
B: I might grab a meal in Santa Barbara before I go to LA.
A: Do you think I can get to LA on one tank of gas?
B: I doubt it. I’m sure you’ll have to stop at a gas station.
A: That’s okay. I’ll have to stop anyway to eat dinner.
B: Where are you thinking of eating dinner? Burger King or MacDonalds?
A: I refuse to stop at any of those fast food restaurants.
I want a nice meal if I’m going to drive for seven hours.
B: Good luck finding a decent restaurant off Highway 101.
A: How was your weekend in LA? Did you enjoy driving down there?
B: I took your suggestion and drove Highway 5. It was pretty fast.
A: Did you stop at the Harris Ranch?
B: Yes, I had a real nice dinner there.
A: You weren’t disappointed by the scenery?
B: I didn’t care for the scenery much,
but I brought some good music so I was entertained.
A: I drove back to San Francisco by the coast route.
B: It must have taken much longer.
A: Yes, it took a lot longer. But the scenery was very nice, especially the ocean.
B: Did you stop in Santa Barbara as you had planned?
A: Yes, I did. I drove around Santa Barbara and had a bite to eat there.
B: I’m glad you enjoyed your trip in spite of everything.

Dialogue Workout 70

A: Tell me about yourself. How long have you lived in San Francisco?
B: I’ve lived here about four years. How about you?
A: I haven’t been here as long as you. I arrived two years ago.
B: A lot has changed in my neighborhood since I got here.
A: How long have you been attending classes at this school?
B: I’ve been studying English for the last two years.
A: I started studying English a week after I got here.
B: How do you feel about your progress?
A: I feel pretty good about it. I’ve learned a lot in the last six months.
B: I haven’t been able to come to class every day.
A: Neither have I. My work schedule changes every month.
B: I didn’t know a word of English when I first got here.
A: I had studied some English in High School before coming to the U.S.
B: My only English class has been at Mission Campus.
A: I’m not fluent yet. I need more reading and writing.
B: Have you studied other languages besides English?
A: No, I haven’t studied any other languages. It’s all brand new to me.
B: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I have two older brothers. They live in LA. I go down there and visit them every now and then.
B: I haven’t been able to visit my relatives in Canada.
A: It takes time and money to go on a trip.
B: Yes, it does. If you drive, it takes a lot of time. If you fly, it’s expensive.
A: You have to be able to afford the trip. It’s not easy.
B: We seldom get two consecutive days off.
A: My brother Ray is working in computers in LA.
B: Really? What kind of computer job does he have?
A: He’s been repairing computers for quite while. He’s gotten several promotions.
B: My sister‘s husband is an engineer.
He makes pretty good money too.
A: I’m considering studying computer repair here.
B: Oh, do they offer a program in repairing computers at Mission Campus?
A: Yes, they do. They have a certificate program.
B: Do they place graduates of the program in jobs?
A: Yes, they do. If you’re interested in electronics, you should check it out.
B: I haven’t had a chance to look into all the possibilities.
A: I was telling you about my family. My brother Bill is a teacher.
B: My sister is a teacher also. She teaches in grade school
A: How long has your sister been a teacher?
B: She hasn’t been a teacher for a long time. Only four years.
A: Yes, my brother has been a teacher for about that long.
B: My sister Anna hasn’t been teaching for a year.
She’s been taking care of her new baby.
A: Was she able to get a maternity leave?
B: Yes, she was. She’ll be able to return to her job in a year.
A: I might have to go down to LA next week.
My brother is moving and needs my help.
B: How long do you think you’ll be gone?
A: I might be gone for a couple of weeks.
B: Will your employer excuse you from your job?
A: Yes, he agreed to give me time off in exchange for extra hours.
B: I asked my boss for only a couple of days off, and she
said she’d think about it.
A: It’s a shame the boss is in such a bad mood.
B: I agree. I wish she were in a better mood.
A: Me too. I was hoping I could ask her for a couple of days off.
B: It looks like that’s out of the question.
A: I wanted to go to Sacramento. My niece is getting married there. I wanted to attend her wedding.
B: The boss is under a lot of stress right now.
A: Will you be able to go to your niece’s wedding?
B: Yes, the boss finally agreed to let me go.
A: That’s great. She really is a very fair person.
B: I know. It’s just that sometimes she’s stressed out.
A: Right. The best thing is not to take it personally.
B: I promised her that I’d do some work on the train.

Dialogue Workout 69

A: We are happy to have Elizabeth Taylor here today.
B: I’m very happy to be on your program, John.
A: Tell me, Elizabeth, where and when were you born?
B: I was born on February 27, l932, in London, England.
A: How old were you in your first movie?
B: I was nine years old in the movie, “There’s One Born Every Minute.”
A: You have acted with some famous performers.
B: Yes, I was in two movies with Lassie, the dog.
A: But your first big success was in “National Velvet.”
B: It was a horse movie. I won a horse race in it. I’ve always loved horses.
A: You weren’t just a child actress. You became a famous adult film star.
B: That’s right. I wanted to be a serious actress like my mother.
A: Many child actors don’t go on to be in movies as adults.
B: No, sometimes an actor can only get roles if she is young and cute.
A: You earned an Academy Award twice, didn’t you?
B: Yes, I did. The first time I won I was surprised. I didn’t like the movie I was in.
A: And the second time?
B: I played an unhappy wife of a professor. It was a good role.
A: May I ask you a couple of personal questions?
B: That depends on the questions, of course.
A: Have you ever been really in love?
B: Oh, what a question! Yes, of course, several times.
A: Exactly how many husbands have you had?
B: I’ve had eight, including my present husband.
A: Probably your most famous husband was the actor Richard Burton, am I right?
B: Yes. I met Richard when were playing in the movie “Cleopatra.”
A: Then, you and he were very often in the newspapers and magazines.
B: Like many famous people, we were always chased by reporters. We didn’t have much privacy.
A: It can be very difficult to avoid photographers.
B: Although I tried to be nice, I was often angry at them.
A: You’re 68 years old now. How do you feel?
B: I’ve had several health problems, but now I’m okay.
A: You have done a lot of work for AIDS, haven’t you?
B: Yes, I have. It’s a terrible epidemic. And we need to find a cure for it.
A: Do you still act in movies?
B: I haven’t been in a movie for a while, but I sometimes appear on TV shows.
A: Another of your famous husbands was Eddie Fisher.
B: Yes. Eddie and I were married for three years.
A: Did you and Eddie have any children?
B: Yes, we did. We had a daughter, Carrie. She became an actress also.
A: I remember seeing her in “Star Wars.” She was wonderful.
B: Yes, she was. I have several children and also grandchildren.
A: Your life hasn’t been free of problems, has it?
B: No, John. For several years, I had a drinking problem.
A: But, you successfully overcame that problem.
B: Yes, I did. I used to drink a lot with my husband, Richard.
A: He never got over his drinking problem, did he?
B: No, he didn’t. In fact, he died of alcoholism.
A: When you have a strong addiction, you can’t cure yourself. You need to get help.
B: So, you found help and now you’re better.
A: That’s right. I need all my energy for the things that are important to me.
B: For example, your fund raising for AIDS research.
A: That’s right. And also, my children and grandchildren.
B: You’ve certainly led a rich and exciting life.
A: Tell me, Elizabeth, what is your secret for remaining so beautiful?
B: Well, John, thank you for the compliment. I think beauty is inside a person.
A: Really? That’s an interesting idea.
B: Yes. If you are kind to people and if you have a good heart, it is easy to be beautiful.
A: Elizabeth Taylor, it has been a great pleasure to have you on my program.
B: I enjoyed talking to you and your audience, John

Dialogue Workout 68

A: Look at this shopping list. Christmas is only a few weeks away.
B: You certainly have a lot of presents to buy.
A: I’d better go shopping today. If I wait until the last minute, I won’t find anything.
B: Why do have such a long list this year?
Last year your shopping list was a lot shorter.
A: My daughter married a divorced man.
He has six children from a previous marriage.
A: I wouldn’t buy presents for all those children.
B: I have to buy presents. I’m their only grandmother.
A: Do you know what the children want for Christmas?
B: I wrote a few things down in my notebook.
A: A dress, a dictionary, a wallet, a backpack.
These things could be expensive.
B: And you? Have you done your shopping yet?
A: I’ve decided I’m going to buy practical presents
for my children and grandchildren.
B: Practical presents?
A: Things they can use at school, at home, and at work.
B: Your shopping list is as long as mine.
A: I’m accustomed to buying a lot of presents at Christmas.
B: Could you give an example of a practical present?
A: My nephew wants a new shirt.
But, I’m going to get him a bicycle helmet instead.
B: What do you suggest I buy my grandson? He wants a toy train.
A: Buy him a pen and pencil set instead.
B: Of course, those things are practical. He will use them at school.
A: I’m buying sheets and pillowcases for my daughter and her husband.
B: They’re a lot cheaper than a new set of silverware.
A: Practical gifts are the cheapest presents you can buy.
B: Maybe we could pick up a bargain at a garage sale.
A: Don’t buy Christmas presents at a garage sale.
B: You’re right. I’ve never found anything at a garage sale I’ve really liked.
A: I think you should buy your granddaughter an umbrella and a raincoat.
B: That’s a good example of a useful present.
A: I haven’t gone Christmas shopping yet.
B: Why not? Do you realize that Christmas is only three weeks away?
A: I’m trying to think of practical gifts.
B: Do the children wash their hair and brush their teeth?
A: Have you heard of any one who doesn’t?
B: You should buy them toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner.
A: I need to buy some pillowcases and curtains. Do you have those items?
B: No. we don’t. You can find them in Household Furnishings on the Sixth Floor.
A: Could you tell me where I can buy CDs?
B: We don’t sell CDs. You’ll find them in Tower Records.
A: Is Tower Records near here?
B: Tower Records is right across the parking lot.
A: Christmas is only a week away. Haven’t you finished your shopping yet?
B: Not yet, but I’ve completed about half of my list.
A: I think your daughter will like the curtains. Your grandson will enjoy the CDs.
B: I’m having trouble finding a raincoat for my son in law.
A: A raincoat? That shouldn’t be difficult to find. Did you check the Men’s Department?
B: Yes, I did. The problem is my son in law is very short.
A: Excuse me, I’m looking for a raincoat for a short man.
B: Here are several short raincoats. This one is nice.
A: These are nice raincoats, but don’t you have any shorter ones?
B: No, I’m afraid not. These are shortest ones we have.
Do you want to try the Children’s Department?
A: Certainly not. My son in law is a grown up man.
B: I’m sorry we couldn’t help you.
Please come again when your son is a little taller.
A: I couldn’t find a raincoat for my son-in-law.
And I don’t want to buy him an umbrella.
B: What’s wrong with this raincoat? It’s on sale.
A: It’s too long. It would drag on ground if he wore it.
B: I suggest you get him a Macy’s gift card.
Then, he can buy his own clothes.
A: A Macy’s gift card? How much would it cost?
B: You can get a gift card for any amount you want.

Dialogue Workout 67

A: I have a problem. My aunt Sophie will be visiting me next month.
B: Why is that a problem? She’s your favorite aunt.
A: I don’t have any space in my apartment to put her up.
B: Why can’t she sleep in your guest room?
A: Have you seen my guest room lately? It’s full of junk.
B: You should have a garage sale to get rid of that junk.
A: Have you ever held a garage sale?
B: No, I’ve never held one. I don’t know how to do it.
A: For one thing, you have to advertise.
You can put an ad in The Chronicle or The Advertiser.
B: After I put an ad in the paper, then what do I do?
A: Make some posters and put them up on phone poles near your building.
B: Then a lot of people will come to my garage sale.
A: Exactly. People read those ads all the time
They are looking for garage sales.
B: Do you think people will really buy this junk?
A: You would be surprised. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.
B: All right, I’ll do it. I will hold a garage sale next Saturday.
A: Good. I’ll help you sell your junk. And I’ll bring some of my junk to sell too.
B: I’m looking forward to having this sale.
A: Don’t act so nervous. Let the people look over the items.
B: Shouldn’t I go up to them and ask if they need help?
A: No, don’t do that. This isn’t a store.
If they like what they see, they’ll buy it.
B: I’ve never seen so many people at a garage sale before.
A: You did a good job of advertising it. That’s why there are so many people.
B: I stayed up all night making colorful posters.
A: How much do you want for this VCR?
B: I’ve been thinking about how much I want to charge.
One hundred dollars, I guess.
A: One hundred dollars? That’s too much money. This is an old VCR.
B: It’s a few years old, but it works very well.
Although I haven’t used it for a while.
A: Can you please turn it on and put in a tape and prove to me it works?
B: I can’t do that. My TV is inside my apartment. I don’t want to bring it out.
A: If you can’t prove to me it works, why should I pay $100.00 for it?
B: I told you that it works. There’s nothing wrong with it.
A: I still don’t think I should have to pay $100.00 for it.
B: Why not?
A: What if I bring it home and it doesn’t work?
Then I will have spent $100.00 for nothing.
B: All right. Suppose I sell it for $50.00. Will that make you happy?
A: What if I take it home, put on a tape, and it destroys my tape?
B: That won’t happen. I promise you, that won’t happen.
A: But I can’t know for sure it won’t happen.
You refuse to demonstrate it.
B: All right. I have to take care of other customers.
Tell me a price you are comfortable with.
A: I’ll take it off your hands for $15.00. That’s all I have in my wallet at the moment.
B: Fine. It’s yours. I hope you’ll be happy with it.
A: What’s this?
B: It’s a lid for a sauce pan. But I sold the sauce pan.
A: Why didn’t you sell the sauce pan and the lid together?
B: I wasn’t thinking. I was so busy helping customers.
A: It might fit my sauce pan at home. How much do you want for the lid?
B: Take it. It’s free. I hope it fits your sauce pan.
A: How was your garage sale? Was it worth while?
B: Yes, I’m glad I held one. I made about two hundred dollars.
A: Great. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to help you. Something came up.
B: That’s okay. Actually, a couple of neighbors helped me out.
A: You said you made two hundred dollars? But a lot of stuff is left.
B: I know. I sold small items, mostly. I still have a lot of junk.

Dialogue Workout 66

A: Mother, I’m tired. I don’t feel like going to school today.
B: No wonder you’re tired. You stayed up until 2:00 am.
A: Can I sleep just a little longer? I’ll be on time for my 9:30 class.
B: But Joe, this is the fourth class you’ve missed so far.
A: I know, but I can catch up. Steve takes good notes.
B: You must not always rely on Steve or your other friends.
A: Why did you stay out so late last night?
B: There was a party at Steve’s house.
I didn’t want to leave. I was having too much fun.
A: Why did Steve have a party on a week night?
B: He wanted it because his parents weren’t home.
A: His parents weren’t home?
Were there any adults at this party?
B: No, there weren’t any adults there.
That’s why we had a good time.
A: I don’t want you to go to a party unless
adults are present. Did you drink anything?
B: I only had a couple of beers. And I had a little vodka.
A: Joe, you must not go to Steve’s house and
drink alcohol. Promise me you won’t do it again.
B: Before last night, I had never drunk so much alcohol.
A: Even though you have a hangover, you must get up and go to school.
B: All right. I apologize for staying out late and drinking. I’ll stay home tonight and study hard.
A: You told me you were going to Steve’s house to study English. You didn’t say anything about a party.
A: This is Washington High School. Is Joe ill?
B: What do you mean? Didn’t he come to school today?
A: He hasn’t arrived at school yet.
His first period teacher reported him absent.
B: There must be a mistake. He left for school a half hour
ago. He should be there by now.
A: Just one moment, I see his teacher now. I’ll ask him if Joe showed up.
B: Joe Adams. You’d better shape up fast or I’m going to be very upset.
A: It’s okay, Mrs. Adams. Joe is here. He was ten minutes late to class.
B: Ten minutes late? Why was he so late?
A: He would’ve been on time if he hadn’t missed the bus.
B: Why did he miss the bus today?
A: His teacher will mark him tardy, that’s all.
B: How many times has he been late for his first class?
A: Joe, we have to sit down and talk about this.
B: I don’t have time to talk right now. I have to go to Steve’s house.
A: Steve’s house? Is Steve having another party?
B: I’m going to Steve’s house to study English.
Steve is a good student. He said he would help me.
A: But that’s what you said the last time you went to Steve’s house.
B: I know. I wasn’t telling the truth. I admit it. I won’t drink anything except water or soda.
A: Before you go over there, listen to me a minute.
B: I don’t have much time to get ready.
A: You’ve been going to Steve’s a lot. You’ve been missing the bus and getting to school late.
B: All of that is going to change. I’ll do much better.
A: You haven’t been doing your English homework. You barely passed English last semester.
B: I know that. I’m working very hard. I read several pages everyday.
A: It is very important to do well in high school.
B: I have been listening to you for ten minutes.
A: You’ve been listening to me,
but you haven’t been doing the right thing.
B: Stop lecturing me. Can’t you leave me alone?
I want to be independent. I want to do what I want to do.
A: If you get bad grades, you will damage your future.
B: Oh, all right. I guess you’re right. I’ve decided I’m not going to Steve’s. I’ll stay home and study.
A: Hello, Mrs. Adams? This is Judy Wells. Do you remember me?
B: Of course, you’re Joe’s English teacher.
A: We met each other at the meeting we had last week.
B: Yes, I thought it was a very good meeting.
A: I’m happy to tell you that Joe got an ‘A’ in his last paper.
B: Well, I’m very pleased to hear that. Thank you for calling.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dialogue Workout 63

A: This is Mrs. Adams. I’m concerned about my son’s grades.
B: Would you like us to schedule a conference with his teachers?
A: Yes, that would be great.
B: We’ll go ahead and schedule the meeting.
A: Will you call me when it has been set up?
B: Yes, I’ll call you tomorrow and let you know what time.
A: I’m mostly worried about his English grade.
B: Well, I’ll make sure that
his English teacher is present.
A: He did rather well in math.
If his math teacher can’t make it, that’s okay.
B: I’ll try my best to notify all his teachers.
A: I can come to a meeting any day except Thursday.
B: All right. I won’t ask them to come on Thursday.
A: Hello, Mrs. Adams. I’m Tom Parker the school counselor.
B: Mr. Parker. I want to do what I can to help my son.
A: We’re all trying to help him. He’s having trouble with English.
B: I know that. I see him struggling with it.
A: His teacher tells me that Joe turns in homework late.
B: It’s very difficult for him to finish it on time.
A: I’m Judy Wells, Joe’s English teacher.
B: What can we do to bring up Joe’s grades?
A: For one thing, Joe should turn in all his homework.
B: Has he missed any assignments?
A: Yes, he has. Last week he failed to finish a book report.
B: Oh, dear. I didn’t know that.
A: Mrs. Wells, I would like to have a copy of the assignments.
B: Here’s a copy of all the assignments.
A: I wish I had this list earlier.
B: It’s not too late for Joe to improve his score.
A: What exactly is Joe’s problem in your class?
B: Joe makes a lot of effort, but English just isn’t easy for him.
A: Hello, Mrs. Adams. I’m Phyllis Jones, Joe’s math teacher.
B: Hello, Mrs. Jones. I’m pleased with Joe’s math grade.
A: So am I. I think your son has a lot of ability in math.
B: I’m mostly concerned with his English class right now.
A: Although you want to bring up his English, I think he could also improve in math. He should get an ‘A’.
B: I’d like to help him in math, but I’m not very good in math myself.
A: That’s all right, Mrs. Adams. I know he needs to improve in English.
B: I don’t want him to get behind in his English homework.
A: Certainly. But when he’s caught up, I’d like to give him extra credit work in math.
B: I’m sure he would enjoy that.
A: The extra credit work will help him with his final exam.
B: Joe gets a little nervous during exams.
A: How was the meeting with Joe’s teachers?
B: It went very well. It was important to get to know his teachers.
A: Did they suggest ways we can help Joe?
B: Yes, his English teacher recommended we hire a tutor.
A: That’s a good idea. But isn’t it expensive?
B: At the school they have a list of tutors that are reasonable.
A: Joe, you haven’t written your book report yet.
B: I’ll write it tomorrow, Mom.
A: But you and your friends are playing soccer tomorrow.
B: I’ll write the report tomorrow night.
A: But, Joe, you will be very tired tomorrow night.
B: All right. I’ll start writing it tonight. Will you help me?
A: Joe hasn’t done his math homework yet.
B: He usually leaves it to the last minute.
A: I’ve already spoken to him twice today about it.
B: All right, I’ll go talk to him. Maybe I can help him with his math.
A: His teacher said that if he gets stuck he can call.
B: I’ll try helping him first. If we can’t solve it, we’ll call his teacher.

Dialogue Workout 55

A: Last week, I went to Sacramento on business.
B: I figured you were out of town. I tried to call you a few times. I left a message on your machine.
A: I talked to a man named Charles Cooper. I had an appointment with him.
B: What did you discuss with him?
A: I was interested in possibly buying his grocery store.
B: That’s interesting. Why does he want to sell it?
A: Mr. Cooper made me a pretty good offer, but I turned it down.
B: What was your reason for turning it down? Doesn’t he have a good business?
A: The price was too high. The location wasn’t the best.
B: What bothered you about the location?
A: His store is ten blocks from the State Capitol Building.
B: That doesn’t sound like a bad location at all.
A: No. It’s a good location for Sacramento. The trouble is, it’s Sacramento. I’d rather open a business here.
B: But you have to admit, it’s a lot more expensive in San Francisco.
A: I prefer the weather here to the weather in Sacramento.
B: Oh, so you prefer cool weather to hot weather.
A: You got it. Sacramento is a lot hotter than San Francisco.
A: Why does Charles Cooper want to sell his store? I’m curious.
B: He’s tired of that business. He says it’s time for a change.
A: I can understand that. What’s he interested in?
B: He’d like to go back to school and study computer science.
A: There certainly is a future in computers. Maybe you should consider learning computers also.
B: But, actually, I prefer to deal with people.
A: I’m thinking of going on another business trip.
B: Really? Where are you going this time?
A: Back to Sacramento. Mr. Cooper just lowered his price.
B: So, now you’re very excited about buying it.
A: Well, it’s much more affordable than it was.
B: It must be expensive to keep making these trips.
A: Not really. I take Amtrak. It’s only $25.00 round trip.
B: That’s not bad. But I thought you got Amtrak in Oakland.
A: You can take an Amtrak bus from the Ferry Building.
B: How much does the Amtrak bus cost?
A: It’s free if you purchase a train ticket. The bus takes you to Emeryville where you catch the train.
B: How long does it take to get to Sacramento by train?
A: It only takes two hours and the view is terrific.
B: I would like to take the train to Sacramento sometime.
A: It’s easy to find your way around Sacramento.
B: It is? Is it easier than San Francisco?
A: It’s much easier. All the streets are either numbers or letters.
B: I always get lost in San Francisco. It’s frustrating.
A: When I move to Sacramento, you can visit me.
B: Thanks for the invitation. But is there anything to do there?
A: Certainly there is. Sacramento doesn’t have a lot of culture, but it has the Golden State Museum.
B: I’d like to visit the State Capitol. That would be interesting.
A: There are a number of fairly good restaurants.
B: I’m looking forward to going there by train.
A: Will you have to take out a loan to buy that store?
B: No, I have two wealthy uncles. I am borrowing from them.
A: Uncles? That’s fortunate. Are they charging you interest?
B: No, it’s an interest free loan because they are family.
A: Your uncles must have a lot of confidence in you.
B: Yes. They think this business is a good investment.
A: What about you? Are you thinking of opening a business?
B: Years ago, I thought about opening a restaurant.
A: You did? What happened to that idea?
B: I don’t know. I guess I got cold feet. I felt it was too risky.
A: Maybe. It depends on the location and the quality.
B: I like my job now. It’s not very exciting, but it’s secure.

Dialogue Workout 56

A: Do you know how to repair radios and TVs?
B: Yes, I do. I’ve been repairing them for a long time.
A: Could you tell me exactly how long?
B: I’ve been repairing them since 1996.
A: Well, you’ve had a lot of experience.
B: I enjoy working with electronic equipment.
A: Do you know how to operate a floor waxer?
B: Yes, I do. I’ve been operating one for quite a while.
A: And have you had other janitorial experience?
B: Yes, I’ve had several years experience as a janitor.
A: That sounds good. Could you please fill out this application?
B: I’d be glad to.
A: Are you familiar with our regulations?
B: No, I’m not. I haven’t worked at this hospital before.
A: Have you been attending a nurse’s training program?
B: Yes. I have been taking a nurse’s training course at City College.
A: Are you willing to work nights?
B: Yes, I am. I’ve worked nights in other jobs.
A: I’d like to apply for the driver job.
B: Well, we’re accepting applications now.
A: I haven’t had a lot of experience as a driver, but I can drive, and I have a valid California Driver’s License.
B: That’s okay. Previous experience isn’t necessary.
A: I have very good driving record
B: That’s good. And are you willing to work on
the weekend?
A: Have you taken care of the elderly before?
B: No, I haven’t taken care of elderly people, but I have experience with children.
A: Taking care of the elderly requires patience.
B: I believe I have a lot of patience and skill.
A: Are you familiar with first aid procedures?
B: Yes, I am. I’ve had training in first aid techniques.
A: We’re looking for a stock clerk.
B: I’m interested in applying for that job.
A: Have you worked as a stock clerk before?
B: No, I haven’t, but I’m sure I could learn quickly.
A: This job doesn’t require experience. But you have to be willing to learn new skills.
B: I’m very interested in learning new skills.
A: Here’s an application form. Have you filled one out before?
B: I haven’t filled one out before.
A: Well, you need to list your previous jobs. The most recent job is first.
B: I understand.
A: Here, you will list the schools you attended.
B: I see. What about references?
A: You can use teachers or landlords as references.
B: I understand.
A: Anybody who can vouch for your character.
B: What about my previous employers?
A:Yes, a previous employer would be an excellent reference.
B: I can ask her to write a letter of recommendation.
A: Are you currently employed?
B: Yes, I am. I work at Busvan Furniture Company.
A: What is your position there exactly?
B: I’m a salesman. I’m also a bookkeeper.
A: Have you been working there for a long time?
B: Yes, I’ve been working there for the past five years.
A: Are you currently employed?
B: No, not at the moment. My last job was at the Hartford Insurance Company.
A: What was your position there?
B: I was a receptionist. I worked there for five years.
A: What have you been doing since you left Hartford?
B: I’ve been attending City College and acquiring computer skills there.

Dialogue Workout 57

A: Can you tell me a little more about the position?
B: Certainly. I’ll try to answer any questions you have.
A: I’d like to know the lab technician’s responsibilities.
B: The lab technician performs medical tests.
A: I see.
B: Also, you will have to take blood samples from patients.
A: Do you think you could handle those responsibilities?
B: Definitely. In my present job, I’ve been performing medical tests and taking blood samples from patients.
A: Have you worked in a hospital this large before?
B: No, I haven’t. Currently, I work in a small clinic.
A: You understand that your work schedule might change.
B: Yes, I understand that. It’s okay with me.
A: Could you explain a little more about what we’ll be doing?
B: Sure. We’ll be spending a lot of time with prep work.
A: Prep work? What does that mean?
B: Before we begin painting, we have to do a lot of sanding and spackling.
A: I see. Thank you for explaining that.
B: We’ll be spending a lot of time on the scaffold.
A: Do you think you can handle that kind of work?
B: Sure. I did a lot of prep work in my previous job.
A: But you said you didn’t know what prep work was.
B: In my previous job, I spoke my native language.
A: I see. You did prep work, but you have a different word for it in your language.
B: That’s right. I actually have quite a bit of experience doing that kind of work.
A: Could you tell me the responsibilities of the chef in this restaurant?
B: Yes, the chef has to supervise the kitchen staff.
A: You mean the chef is responsible for everything that happens in the kitchen.
B: That’s right. But I’m sure you’ll be able to handle it.
A: Yes, I’m sure too. Although I worked in a smaller restaurant, I had to manage the entire kitchen.
B: We’re very glad to have you on board.
A: I’m sorry to have to tell you, this factory is closing.
B: That’s bad news. I’ve worked here for six years.
A: Yes, and you’re one of our best workers.
B: Does this mean we will all be laid off?
A: That’s right. We are opening a new factory in Seattle.
B: I don’t know if I can get another factory job.
A: Would you be willing to relocate to Seattle?
B: I don’t know if I can do that. I have children in school here.
A: If you could move to Seattle, we would like you to work for us again.
B: This is a difficult decision. My wife works as a nurse.
A: I know it’s a difficult decision. I suggest you talk it over with your family.
B: All right, I’ll discuss it with them and I’ll talk to you again in a couple of days.
A: Did you talk it over with your family?
B: Yes, I did. The children don’t like the idea. They will have to leave their friends.
A: That’s true. It’s always difficult to move.
B: On the other hand, I have a good position with the company.
A: You have a lot of seniority and good benefits.
B: We decided to move to Seattle in spite of the difficulties.
A: I heard that Tom Wallace is moving to Seattle.
B: That’s right. He really didn’t have any choice.
A: I heard that his factory closed.
B: Yes, and anyone unwilling to move to Seattle got laid off.
A: I’ll miss Tom and I’ll miss his family.
B: We’ll have to keep in touch with him by email.
A: Tom, you’re relocating to Seattle. That’s a big move.
B: Yes, it is. And I’m a little nervous about it.
A: How come?
B: I’ve never been to Seattle, and no one in my family has been there either.
A: I hope you have a good raincoat and an umbrella, Tom.
B: I know. It rains a lot in Seattle. I’ll need to be prepared.

Dialogue Workout 58

A: Are you applying for a job as a stock clerk?
B: That’s right. I understand there’s some ordering involved. What are the other duties?
A: You’ll be taking inventory and also doing some billing.
B: About how much billing work is there?
A: About two hours a day. Sound interesting?
B: Yes, it does. What is the work schedule?
A: Monday through Friday, from 4:00 pm to midnight.
B: Is there any overtime work?
A: Yes, there is. About once or twice a month.
B: A little overtime is no problem for me. Could you tell me something about the fringe benefits?
A: Employees get one sick day a month and ten vacation days a year.
B: I’m really interested. May I have an application?
A: You’re interested in the shipping clerk job. Is that right?
B: That’s right. I’m presently working for Exxon as a service station attendant.
A: How long have you had that job?
B: About a year and a half. I got it when I moved to San Francisco.
A: What are your responsibilities there?
B: I have to pump gas, wash windshields, change oil,
and change tires.
A: Everyone who works in this factory must observe safety regulations.
B: What are the safety regulations here?
A: For one thing, you must wear an apron because you are working with chemicals.
B: I understand. What else?
A: You must wear ear protectors because the machines make loud noises.
B: That’s okay. I wore an apron and ear protectors in my last job.
A: I started work yesterday. Today, my ears hurt.
B: I know why. You didn’t wear your ear protectors.
A: You’re right. I should have worn my ear protectors.
B: Bob has been working here for a week. Today, his shirt has a hole in it.
A: He hasn’t been wearing his apron.
B: Exactly. He should have been wearing his apron.
A: Has anyone seen my safety glasses?
B: I haven’t seen them. Could you have left them by the coffee machine?
A: No, I looked there. I must have left them home.
B: That’s all right. I have an extra pair. You’re welcome to borrow them.
A: Thanks very much. I’ll return them to you after my shift.
B: That’s okay. I don’t need them today.
A: I shouldn’t have taken this job. The work is too dangerous.
B: Maybe you would be happier in an office job.
A: The working conditions in an office are better than here.
B: But do you have typing and filing skills?
A: I’ve never used a computer, but I’m sure I could learn how.
B: I suggest you take a computer class at Mission Campus.
A: I’m worried about Julio. He’s never this late to work.
B: That’s right. He must have missed the bus.
A: I can’t think of another explanation. If he were sick, he would notify us.
B: He might be sick and be unable to contact us.
A: That’s a possibility. I think we should call his home and
check up on him.
B: He’s a very reliable employee. I’m sure something has come up.
A: Julio just called to say he’s quitting.
B: That’s terrible news. He’s one of our best employees.
A: He says he can’t stand working here anymore.
B: I’m going to call him. Maybe I can talk him into staying.
A: I don’t think you can. I think he’s made up his mind.
B: I don’t know any factory that has better working conditions than this one.
A: Julio. You have been working here for six years.
B: I know. They were the worst six years of my life.
A: Why do you say that? I thought you loved this job.
B: It is the most dangerous factory in San Francisco.
A: It isn’t dangerous if you’re careful. And you’re always careful. You always observe safety regulations.
B: I’ve decided I need a change. This office job opening came up, and I jumped at the opportunity.

Dialogue Workout 59

A: I see you don’t have any experience in word processing.
B: That’s true. But I’ve been taking computer classes for the past year.
A: Why do you want to leave your present job?
B: I feel that my present job is too dangerous. I don’t like the working conditions there.
A: I’d like to check your references. Do you mind if I call your supervisor?
B: Not at all. Her phone number is on my application.
A: You don’t have any experience in electronics.
B: True, but I’ve been taking electronics classes for two years.
A: Why are you interested in a career in electronics?
B: I’ve always wanted to get into electronics.
A: Because you lack experience, your starting salary will be low.
B: I understand that I will start at the bottom of the pay
A: I’m Sandra Thompson. I’m starting work here today.
B: I don’t have your name in my file. Who hired you?
A: Mr. Parsons interviewed me. He told me to report to work today.
B: The supervisor hasn’t arrived yet. Please have a seat.
A: Am I supposed to fill out any forms?
B: Yes, this is the company’s insurance policy. You will need to name a beneficiary. And this is the W2 form.
A: Ms. Thompson, have you written the letters yet?
B: Not yet. I’m writing them now. I’m just getting acquainted with your computer program.
A: Have you made the phone calls I asked you to make?
B: Not yet. I plan to make them later this afternoon.
A: That’s all right. This is your first day. Have you had a cup of coffee?
B: No, I haven’t had any coffee. I haven’t had any time.
A: Have the prices been marked on the items yet?
B: They haven’t been marked yet. I’m doing it now.
A: How about the shelves? Have they been stocked?
B: Yes, they have. I’ve already stocked all of the shelves
A: Have the floors been cleaned yet?
B: Yes, I’ve already cleaned and polished the floors.
A: I would like to apply for the computer technician job.
B: How much experience do you have in this field?
A: I haven’t finished the training program yet.
B: I’m sorry, I can’t help you. When you finish the training program, I’ll be able to offer you a job.
A: After I complete the training, I’ll come back.
B: When you come back, I’ll give you an application.
A: I’m interested in a job as a secretary.
B: Have you completed the clerical training program yet?
A: Yes, I’ve already completed the training.
B: Do you know how to use Word Perfect?
A: No, I didn’t learn how to use Word Perfect, but I can type 65 words per minute.
B: I can’t help you right now. If you knew how to use Word Perfect, I would send you for an interview.
A: You’ve been hired. How did you find your new job?
B: I went to the employment agency. I knew they had listings.
A: Did they contact the employer for you?
B: Yes, they did. They also faxed my resume to him.
A: That must have been very convenient for you.
B: It was very convenient. It saved me hours of work and lots of shoe leather.
A: I was interviewed for a good position yesterday.
B: You were? How did you hear about the position?
A: I heard about it at the job fair. I talked to the company’s representatives. They liked my resume.
B: Do you have a pretty good chance to land that job?
A: I think I have as good a chance as anyone applying.
B: I definitely think they should hire you. I know you’re very competent.
A: I was fired from my job yesterday, but that’s okay.
B: Why do you think you were fired?
A: I didn’t like my supervisor, and I made it clear to him.
B: Oh, I don’t think you should have done that.
A: I had to do something. He was mistreating some of the employees.
B: But don’t you think it would have been better to report his actions to the employer?
A: I don’t think that would have helped. The employer is the supervisor’s father.

Dialogue Workout 60

A: Hello, is this Joe’s Auto Repair Shop?
B: Yes, it is. How may I help you?
A: This is Mrs. Parker. I’m calling about my car. Has it been repaired yet?
B: Not yet. It’s being repaired right now.
A: How soon do you think it’ll be ready?
B: It should be ready by 4:00 pm. We’ll call you when it’s done.
A: Jack was able to repair the car very quickly.
B: He must have a lot of experience.
A: He does. He’s been a mechanic for eight years.
B: I’ll be sure and recommend him to my friends.
A: He looks tired. How many cars has he repaired today?
B: Believe it or not, he’s already repaired ten cars.
A: Your car isn’t ready yet. We’re still working on it.
B: I don’t understand why you’re still working on it. You’ve had it for three days.
A: To tell the truth, we can’t figure out
what’s wrong with it.
B: You can”t? But my friend Bob told me you were the best mechanic in the city.
A: I just don’t know how to fix your car, to be honest.
B: There must be something you can do for it.
A: The car is very poorly designed, for one thing.
B: Do you know how much I paid for that car?
A: I can understand your frustration, believe me. I’ve been in the same boat myself.
B: What are you saying? Are you saying I have purchased a lemon?
A: I’m afraid so. I would take it back to dealer and see if they can do anything.
B: I’ve already taken it there. They sent me to you.
A: I took my car to the mechanic and he couldn’t fix it.
B: Why wasn’t he able to fix your car?
A: He said I must have bought a lemon. I feel awful about it.
B: If I were you, I would get another opinion.
A: I love my car. I don’t want to get rid of it.
B: Of course, you don’t. You just need to consult a
different specialist.
A: I’ve given up trying to get my car fixed. It’s impossible.
B: Really? Are you going to buy another car?
A: I’m going to try to trade this one in and get a good used car in exchange.
B: Good idea. You’re making the best of a bad deal.
A: Exactly. I really don’t have any other options.
B: Don’t feel bad. It’s just a car.
A: I’m beginning to come around to that point of view.
A: Tom. I didn’t know you were coming to the DMV today.
B: Judy. I’m really glad I ran into you. Can you help me?
A: I’ll try. What do you need?
B: I’m applying for my learner’s permit today and I have to take the test.
A: Do you want me to ask you some questions so you can review?
B: Yes, I would appreciate it. Just one or two questions.
A: Are you allowed to cross a solid double line?
B: Definitely not. You can’t pass another car if there’s a double solid line.
A: When you see a sign that says “Yield”, what must you do?
B: You must give the right of way to the other driver.
A: Good again. Now, tell me if you see “Wrong Way Go Back,” what must you do?
B: You may keep going, but you have to be very careful.
A: No. “Wrong Way Go Back” means it’s a freeway exit, not a freeway entrance.
A: Thank you for helping me study for my test, Judy.
B: How did you do? Did you pass it?
A: Yes, I was lucky. I didn’t study for it very long.
B: You didn’t seem to know all the answers.
A: But, I knew the answers to most of the questions.
B: I haven’t applied for my Learner’s Permit yet. I’m here to get my ID card.
A: I have my Learner’s Permit, but I haven’t learned how to drive yet.
B: You should learn from a qualified instructor.
A: You’re right. But they cost money, don’t they?
B: They cost money, but they’re worth it.
A: Good advice. I’ll check out driving schools today.
B: I don’t think you’ll regret it. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

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Dialogue Workout 50

A: I have great news. Jose graduated.
B: Patricia finished college, too.
A: Jose and Patricia are getting married.
B: I know, isn’t that wonderful?
A: They’ve wanted to get married for a long time.
B: That’s right. I’m glad they waited.
A: Jose has very good training in computers.
B: I heard he had several job offers.
A: Patricia is getting her teaching credential.
B: When is their wedding going to be?
A: It will be in June. They’re planning a big one.
B: I’m very excited. And I’m sure they are, too.
A: Hello, Mrs. Sanchez? This is Yolanda Harris.
B: Yolanda. It’s nice to hear your voice.
A: I want to help with the wedding.
B: Oh, thank you, Yolanda. We sure need help.
A: I know. You’re planning to have a big one.
B: They have so many friends and relatives.
A: We could use help sending invitations.
B: I’d be glad to help send invitations.
A: Jose needs to choose a best man.
B: He hasn’t chosen one yet? I’ll talk to him.
A: Patty has already chosen her maids of honor.
B: Does she have the flower girls yet?
A: There are so many decisions to make.
B: Have you decided about the reception.
A: No, we haven’t. What’s your suggestion?
B: We should have it in the church basement.
A: Is the church basement suitable?
B: Yes, it is. It’s very large and very clean.
A: Hello, Yolanda? This is Eva Sanchez.
B: Eva, are you all right? You sound nervous.
A: I am nervous. The wedding is in two weeks!
B: Don’t worry. All the invitations have been sent.
A: Yes, but we need to have a rehearsal.
B: That’s true. We’d better schedule one.
A: This is it. The big day. I’m very nervous.
B: Don’t be nervous, Jose. There’s no reason.
A: No reason to be nervous? Are you crazy?
B: Jose, it’s only your wedding day.
A: I don’t want to get married. I’m too scared.
B: Don’t be scared, Jose. You love Patricia!
A: This is it, mother. I’m getting married.
B: Yes, but Patricia, you’re late. Hurry up.
A: I don’t want to hurry. I want to look just right.
B: Patricia, you combed your hair too much.
A: My fingernails look terrible. My lips are ugly.
B: Patricia, you look great. Now, will you hurry?
A: Jose, do you take Patricia to be your wife?
B: I do. And I’m very happy about it.
A: Do you have a token of your commitment?
B: Yes, I have a wedding ring somewhere.
A: You have a wedding ring somewhere?
B: Yes. But I lost it. No. Here it is. Here, Patty.
A: Oh, look. The groom and bride are kissing.
B: Yes, they are. Don’t cry, Eva.
A: My little girl isn’t little any more.
B: No. And my son is all grown up. Look at him.
A: Stop crying, Yolanda. The wedding is over.
B: Let’s go drink some champagne at the reception.

Dialogue Workout 49

A: What’s the work schedule?
B: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
A: I heard there was night work also.
B: That’s right. There’s night work 3 or 4 times a month. Is that okay?
A: Yes. Some night work is no problem for me.
B: Good. I’ll see you on Monday.
A: How much overtime work is there?
B: You’ll work overtime about once a month.
A: Good. A little overtime isn’t a problem for me.
B: Do you know about the fringe benefits?
A: No, I don’t. Please tell me about them.
B: Employees get one sick day per month.
A: That’s very fair. How about paid holidays?
B: Yes. We have paid holidays as well.
A: How many paid holidays do we get per year?
B: You will get ten paid holidays per year.
A: I would like to know about the health plan.
B: All employees have health coverage.
A: What shift do you work? Day or night?
B: I have been working days recently.
A: Oh? Did you use to work nights?
B: That’s right. I worked nights until last month.
A: How did you get changed to the day shift?
B: I put in a request with my supervisor.
A: Are you still working as a stunt man?
B: Yes, but I’m thinking of quitting.
A: You are? I didn’t know that. Why?
B: The work is too dangerous. I might get hurt.
A: Is that the only reason?
B: No. I want a job with better working conditions.
A: Could you help me with this form?
B: I’ll try. What’s your question?
A: I left my last job because my mother was ill.
B: I suggest you write “family illness.”
A: Where it says “reason for leaving your job?”
B: That’s right. That’s my advice.
A: I’ll try to answer your question. What is it?
B: I left my last job because I hurt my back.
A: I suggest you simply write “injury”.
B: Just write “injury?” Nothing else?
A: Yes. But tell them you’re okay now.
B: Okay, I will. Thanks very much for your advice.
A: You look tired. Is the job getting to you?
B: I’m afraid so. The hours are too long.
A: You should look for a job with shorter hours.
B: Yes, I think I should. I agree with you.
A: I also think you can find a higher salary.
B: Do you think so? I’ll try. Thanks for the advice.
A: Maria, hi. How do you like your new job?
B: I like it, but I’m afraid I will lose it.
A: Lose It? Why? I thought your work was good.
B: They like my work. But I have to quit.
A: Maria, you can’t quit. You’re a good worker.
B: I have to quit. I didn’t tell you. I’m pregnant.
A: Maria, you can request maternity leave.
B: Maternity leave? What’s that?
A: You have three months off with pay.
B: You mean I can have my baby and my job?
A: That’s right. It’s the company policy.
B: I’m so happy. I love my job. But, I want to be
a good mother, too.

Dialogue Workout 48

A: Could you help me fill out this form?
B: Sure. I’ll be glad to. What’s your question?
A: Should I list my most recent job first?
B: That’s right. List your most recent job first.
A: What about “reason for leaving?”
B: You can say the salary wasn’t high enough.
A: Yolanda found a good job last week.
B: What kind of job did she find?
A: She found a job as a waitress. It’s the job she was looking for.
B: How did she find it?
A: She looked in the newspaper every day.
B: Did she find the job through the paper?
A: No. She went to an employment agency.
B: Oh, really? What employment agency?
A: Acme Employment Agency. They have job listings.
B: Did they send Yolanda for an interview?
A: Yes, they did. She called and made an appointment for an interview.
A: The interviewer asked her many questions.
B: Did he ask her about her experience?
A: Yes. She told him she was a waitress before.
B: Did she want a part-time or a full-time job?
A: She told him she wanted a full time job.
B: She probably made a good impression.
A: She made a very good impression.
B: How did she impress the interviewer?
A: She typed her application form neatly.
B: That was a smart thing for Yolanda to do.
A: She also dressed very neatly on that day.
B: Now, she works in a good restaurant.
A: How much money does she make?
B: She makes ten dollars an hour plus tips.
A: That’s not bad. Is she off on weekends?
B: No, she works on weekends.
A: That’s right. Weekends are the busiest time.
B: Her days off are Wednesday and Thursday.
A: I need a job, but I don’t have any skills.
B: You can get vocational training at City College.
A: Oh, really? I thought they only had English.
B: That’s not all. You can learn many job skills.
A: I want to learn to be a mechanic.
B: They have classes in car repair.
A: Sylvio is working as a mechanic now.
B: How did he find that job?
A: He found it in the want ad section of the paper.
B: I didn’t know Sylvio was a mechanic.
A: He learned that job skill at City College.
B: I’m interested in learning computers.
A: Mission Campus has computer classes.
B: Do they have job training also?
A: Yes, you can learn word processing.
B: How will that help me find a job?
A: All companies use computers now.
B: A secretary has to know how to use one.
A: Hello, personnel department.
B: Hello, this is John Robinson.
A: Yes, Mr. Robinson, how can I help you?
B: I’m looking for a teaching job. Do have any openings?
A: Sorry, Mr. Robinson. There are none now.
B: Okay. Thanks. I’ll call back next month.

Dialogue Workout 47

A: When did you leave your country?
B: I left my country two years ago.
A: How did you feel when you arrived here?
B: I was sad for the first three months.
A: I think I know why you were sad.
B: I missed my family and friends.
A: How do you like San Francisco?
B: I enjoy being here. It’s a nice place.
A: Really? Don’t you think it’s too cold?
B: I don’t complain about the weather.
A: What about public transportation?
B: The bus system isn’t bad. It’s convenient.
A: Why did you come to The United States?
B: I came here to attend school.
A: What classes are you taking at Mission Campus?
B: I am enrolled in the G.E.D. program.
A: Oh? Tell me about the G.E.D. program.
B: I can get a high school diploma if I pass the test.
A: What will you do when you finish G.E.D.?
B: I will enroll in City College for two courses.
A: Are you going to get a certificate?
B: Yes. After two years, I will get a certificate.
A: Do you sometimes go back to your country?
B: Yes. I like to visit my country sometimes.
A: I want a job teaching sports to children.
B: Do you have experience in that area?
A: Yes. I volunteered at Saint Mary’s playground.
B: What kind of sport do you like to coach?
A: I enjoying coaching softball. I play it a lot.
B: I think you’re probably an excellent coach.
A: Tell me about your childhood.
B: They were the happiest years of my life.
A: Did you have a lot of friends?
B: No, I didn’t. We lived in the country.
A: Did you ride horses and feed chickens?
B: Yes, I rode horses and fed all the animals.
A: Tell me about your childhood.
B: I didn’t have a happy childhood.
A: Why not? Didn’t your parents love you?
B: Yes, but my country was in a civil war.
A: Then, it was a very dangerous time.
B: Yes, it was. I had to leave to save my life.
A: I miss my hometown. It is Merida, Mexico.
B: Yesterday you started to tell me about the Orange Festival. Please, continue.
A: We hold a special Orange Festival in October.
B: How do you celebrate that festival?
A: Everyone makes special decorations.
B: What kind of decorations do they make?
A: They make airplanes, flags, and flowers.
B: How long does the Orange Festival last?
A: It lasts for one week. The tourists love it.
B: Are you going to visit your hometown?
A: Yes, I want to see my family. I miss them.
B: You’ll probably go back there in October.
A: What city are you from?
B: I’m from Guang Zhou, China. It’s in the south.
A: Do you remember your childhood?
B: Yes, I lived in a big, extended family.
A: What languages do you speak?
B: I speak Cantonese and Mandarin.
A: Is Mandarin the national language of China?
B: Yes, it is. I learned it in school.

Dialogue Workout 46

A: What country is Sylvia from?
B: Nicaragua. She’s been here for one year.
A: Does she have a job or is she looking?
B: She has a job as a housekeeper.
A: What does she do when she finishes work?
B: She eats dinner quickly then goes to school.
A: What does Sylvia want to do?
B: Get a better job, but she needs English.
A: What kind of work is she interested in?
B: She would like to be a secretary.
A: She will need to take word processing.
B: Yes. She hopes to enroll in a computer class.
A: Sylvia was a secretary in her country.
B: Then, she has a lot of experience and skills.
A: Yes, she is very qualified for that work.
B: The only thing holding her back is English.
A: But, she’s intelligent. She will learn quickly.
B: I agree with you. I’m sure she can do it.
A: I had a difficult time when I moved here.
B: Why was your life so difficult?
A: I had three children when I moved here.
B: What about your husband? Did he come too?
A: I’m a widow. I had to raise the children myself.
B: You had to support them in a new country?
A: I don’t know how we survived.
B: You worked very hard to support them.
A: Yes, I did. I worked long hours.
B: Are your children all grown up now?
A: Yes, they are. Two of them are married.
B: That’s wonderful. Are you a grandmother?
A: I’m a grandmother now. I have two grandchildren.
B: After all your struggle, you can relax.
A: Yes, I can. I often visit my family.
B: And your English is much better than before.
A: My English? You should hear my children.
B: Don’t tell me. They talk just like natives.
A: It’s difficult to move to another country.
B: What is the most difficult thing?
A: The hardest thing is the language.
B: You’re right. You don’t have many opportunities.
A: If you don’t speak English, your pay is low.
B: After I studied English, things got better for me.
A: My first job here was as a baby sitter.
B: Did you work full time or part time?
A: I was a full time baby sitter. I had a lot responsibilities.
B: Tell me about your employer. Was she nice?
A: She was very nice. She helped me a lot.
B: I’m glad your first job was a good experience.
A: I have a good friend at the restaurant, Erik.
B: It helps to have a good friend at work.
A: He’s the chef. He explains how to make special foods.
B: How long have you known Erik?
A: I’ve known him for three years. We like to talk.
B: I ate at your restaurant last week. It was great.
A: I want to put my paycheck in savings.
B: That’s a good idea. You should save money.
A: But, I have a lot of bills to pay.
B: Then, you’d better put in checking.
A: I have been in this country for one year.
B: After you work for a while, you’ll be able to save.