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 going to a supermarket.
Louise: Hey, Julia…Look at those desserts! How about baking some cookies today?
Julia: Hmm…Yeah, that’s a great idea! While we’re here, let’s pick up the ingredients.
Louise: OK, what do we need?
Julia: The recipe calls for flour, sugar and butter. Oh, and we also need eggs and chocolate chips.
Louise: Why don’t you get the dairy ingredients? You’ll find those in the refrigerated section in the back of the store. I’ll get the dry ingredients — they’re in aisle 10.
Julia: Great! Let’s meet at the checkout.
Louise: OK. See you there.
- How about is a casual way to suggest doing an activity. Notice that “how about” is followed by an “-ing” verb.
- Hmm…: Notice that Julia pauses for a moment. “Hmm” is an expression used to think about something first before speaking.
- That’s a great idea! Notice the emphasis on “great.” Julia has thought about it and then decided that she really does want to bake cookies.
- The recipe calls for is a way of saying “the recipe says we need.” The phrase “call for” can also be used to talk about the weather forecast. (“They’re calling for rain.”)
- …flour, sugar and butter. Notice that this is a list, so there are short pauses between each item. Notice also that each ingredient is stressed because this information is important.
- Why don’t you: This expression is used to ask someone to do something. It can also be used to give advice — but in this case two friends are deciding on who does which task.
- Aisle: Notice the silent “s” in “aisle.” An aisle is an orderly lane in a supermarket, with shelved products on both sides. Each aisle has a number, so that it is easy to find what you need.