English Conversation- Audio Listening

Ellen: So, you finally got your car back! That must be a relief!

Gary: Yes, but guess how much it cost me to fix? Three hundred and eighty-four pounds (£384), including VAT. I nearly died!

Ellen: That sounds like an awful lot just to put in a new alternator.

Gary: You’re telling me! I mean, I don’t know much about engines so I may be wrong, but I thought that replacing an alternator was a relatively straightforward job. Anyway, there’s nothing I can do about it now I suppose. I’ll just have to shop around next time.

 

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Situation: Gary explains to Ellen that the repair to the car cost more than he thought it would and he feels that the garage has overcharged him.

Style: informal conversation

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Functions:

1. Opening a conversation: So you finally got your car back! ! (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

2. Making an assumption: That must be a relief! (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

3. Creating suspense: guess how much it cost me to fix? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

4. Expressing shock: I nearly died! (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

5. Very strong agreement: You’re telling me! (note: there is heavy stress on the word ‘me’.)

6. Expressing resignation: Anyway, there’s nothing I can do about it now I suppose. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

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Notes:

1. got your car back = received your car back (more formal)

2. That must be a relief! = I imagine that is a relief!

3. including VAT = this price includes VAT (note: VAT means Value Added Tax. It is currently 20% in the UK)

4. I nearly died! (idiom) = I was very, very shocked to hear this

5. an awful lot = a great deal (more formal)

6. to put in (phrasal verb) = to insert / to put in place

7. You’re telling me! (idiom) = Yes, I know, so you don’t need to tell me!

8. I may be wrong = it is possible that I am wrong

9. replacing an alternator = exchanging an old alternator for a new one

10. an alternator = an electrical part in the car’s engine

11. a relatively straightforward job = quite an easy task compared to other engine repair tasks

12. to shop around (phrasal verb) = to make a number of enquiries in order to find the best price

 

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