Learning to speak English? Our Everyday Conversations help you practice. Click the audio link to hear a native speaker pronounce each word while you read. Key terms are explained, in your language, at the end of each conversation. Today’s conversation is about running errands.

Hotel receptionist: Hi, there. How can I help you?

Claire: Well, I’m in town visiting for a few days, and I need to get some things done while I’m here.

Hotel receptionist: Sure. What do you need?

Claire: I need to get my hair cut. I also need to have my new pants hemmed.

Hotel receptionist: OK. Here’s a map of the city. There’s a good hair salon here, which is just a block away. And there’s a tailor right here. Is there anything else?

Claire: Yes. I’ll need to have my car serviced before my long drive home!

Hotel receptionist: No problem. There’s a good mechanic a few blocks away.

Language notes

  • Hi, there. Notice the intonation in this greeting. It rises after “Hi” and falls after “there.”
  • Sure is a friendly expression to mean “OK.”
  • Get my hair cut / have my new pants hemmed / have my car serviced. Notice get/have + object + participle. This structure is used to describe actions that someone else does for us. “Get” and “have” are interchangeable here.
  • Is there anything else? here means “Do you need more information?”
  • Before my long drive home! Notice the emphasis and intonation on “home.” The speaker wants to show humor here. If she doesn’t get her car checked, she might not get home! She wants to be friendly and light with the receptionist.
  • No problem here means “Don’t worry.” Notice the stress on “No.” The receptionist laughs first, then puts emphasis on “No” by lengthening the word. This shows that she understands the car could break down if it doesn’t get serviced.
Ready to learn more English? Our materials can help. And the U.S. Department of State has great resources for English teachers and students of all levels.