Are you travelling soon? In case you have to change your hotel reservations, listen to this episode to learn what to say.
Slow dialog: 1:19
Fast dialog: 17:58
Reservation agent: Hello, Milton Hotel reservations. How may I assist you?
Sally: Hi, I’m calling to make some changes to an existing reservation.
Reservation agent: Certainly. Do you have the reservation number?
Sally: Sure, it’s 234678.
Reservation agent: That’s a reservation for Sally Menkel. Is that right?
Sally: Yes, that’s right. I’d like to change the check-in date from September 15th to September 16th.
Reservation agent: Certainly. I can make that change for you. Is that the only change?
Sally: No, the check-out date will also change, from the 23rd to the 24th.
Reservation agent: No problem. We have you arriving on the 16th of September and departing the 24th of September. Will there be anything else?
Sally: Yes, there will be two people in my party, not just one.
Reservation agent: I’ve made that change. Anything else I can help you with?
Sally: Yes, instead of a courtyard room, I’d like a room with a view, preferably on an upper floor.
Reservation agent: I can certainly change that for you, although there will be a change in the room rate. The new rate is $189 per night.
Sally: On second thought, I’d prefer a suite that overlooks the pool. Is that possible?
Reservation agent: Certainly. The new rate is $249 per night.
Sally: Oh, that’s really expensive. I think I’d better to stick to my original room.
Reservation agent: All right. I’ve changed your reservation back to a courtyard room. Anything else?
Sally: Maybe I should shorten my stay. If I do that, I could afford a suite. Yes, let’s change the dates and the rooms again.
Reservation agent: Let me make a suggestion. Let’s cancel this reservation and make a whole new one. That way, we can make sure everything is correct.
Sally: Oh, that’s not too much trouble for you, is it? I’d hate to be a bother.
Reservation agent: No, no trouble at all.
Script by Dr. Lucy Tse
In this Business English Pod lesson, we’re going to learn how to introduce a presentation.
And if you think this topic sounds familiar, you’re right! This lesson is the start of a new series where we’ll take a fresh look at some of our older lessons. We’re going to keep the original dialog and record new explanations and practices with the aim of making these lessons more accessible to some of our lower level learners.
In the dialog you’re going to hear a presenter named Claude. Claude is presenting an “analysis” of sales data. When we talk about “analysis” or use the verb “analyze”, we’re talking about looking closely at something to understand it. So Claude is looking closely at sales information and explaining what he sees to a group of managers.
1. At the beginning of the presentation, what language does Claude use to sound friendly?
2. What is Claude’s job?
3. What does Claude “hope to” do?
4. What is the “final” part of the presentation going to be?
British PM David Cameron dropped everything last Wednesday to head to Scotland to stem the momentum of the "Yes" campaign for secession. For Alex Salmond, the Scot leading the charge for independence, the move means the Brits are panicked. "If I thought they were coming by bus, I'd send the bus fare," he told Reuters. Cameron's visit came a day after his impassioned Daily Mail piece, in which he promised Scots that a "no" vote wouldn't keep the status quo, but usher in more power over taxes, spending, and welfare. Read more >>
The cartoon by Paul Thomas from the Daily Express shows David Cameron and his wife Samantha in their kitchen. Cameron is reading a newspaper whose front page headline reads, "Cameron Woos Scots." Samantha, who is wearing a tartan skirt, sash, and tam o' shanter (hat), tells her husband, "I thought you'd take more notice of me dressed like this ..."
Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours traditionally associated with Scotland. By wearing tartan, Samantha hopes David will pay more attention to her, as he has suddenly become very keen on Scotland and things Scottish.
To woo is to try to persuade people to support you or to buy something from you, especially by saying and doing nice things. • Supermarkets are trying to woo customers by cutting prices. • The party is clearly trying to woo women voters.
Starbucks could be shaking up its employee dress code — including its strict policy on tattoos. "Starbucks baristas may soon be able to bare ink, show their tattoos." A Starbucks spokesperson told USA Today in an email Thursday the company is taking "a fresh look at how we create a more meaningful and relevant work experience for our partners," and that includes the ban on visible tattoos in the workplace. Full transcript >>
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The cartoon by Chappatte from The International New York Times shows a (stereo)typical English gentleman (note the bowler hat and umbrella) drinking a glass of Bow No More whisky, which has just been served to him by his manservant. The manservant is showing him the bottle, which features a picture of an angry Scotsman on the label. The Englishman comments, "Strong character!"
The cartoonist plays on the double meaning of 'strong character', which could refer to the taste of the whisky or to the Scotsman on the label. The cartoon can be seen as a metaphor for the surprised reaction of the English to the strength of the Scottish 'Yes' campaign. The name of the whisky is also a play on words and a nod to Bowmore, a well known Islay single malt. If you bow (down to) to someone, you show respect to someone who is more powerful than you (just like the manservant, in fact).