Feed aggregator

1,034 - Making Changes to a Hotel Reservation

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
Explanations: 4:32
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

ratify

OALD Word Of The Day - 32 min 21 sec ago
ratify: to make an agreement officially valid...

Scotland's Independence Vote Is Too Close to Call

VOA Special English - 1 hour 3 min ago
The people of Scotland will vote Sept. 18 on whether to stay in the United Kingdom with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or whether to be an independent country.  Recent public opinion studies suggest that sides for and against independence have almost equal support. Scotland has been hosting political leaders from London who are urging the area not to vote for independence from Britain.  Last Wednesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron clearly urged the...

UNICEF: Violence Against Children Is Widespread

VOA Special English - 1 hour 12 min ago
The United Nations Children’s agency, UNICEF, says violence against children is widespread around the world. The UN agency says about 95,000 young people were murdered in 2012, and 120 million girls have experienced sexual violence. It also says the great majority of victims live in poor and middle-income countries. Violence against children exists, although we may not always see it. That is the message of a new UNICEF report called “Hidden in Plain Sight.” It examines violence...

Containing Ebola: Window of Opportunity Closing

VOA Special English - 1 hour 27 min ago
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report. A top health expert warns that the whole world needs to help deal with what he calls the “first Ebola epidemic the world has known.” Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, spoke to reporters at the C.D.C. headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.  He warns that the Ebola spread in West Africa will expand greatly over the next few weeks. He says a massive global effort is needed now to contain the...

In Kenya, Cities and Towns Are Growing Quickly

VOA Special English - 1 hour 29 min ago
Kenya’s towns and cities are growing quickly. Experts estimate at least 100,000 people move to the capital Nairobi every year from rural areas of the country. This has caused high demand for good housing. The Ministry of Housing estimates the city needs at least 200,000 new homes or apartments every year. That, they say, would meet the demand from new people and from those who are already in the city but live in poor conditions. In 2009, the government estimated more than 3 million...

escape

Spotlight - 3 hours 12 min ago
"How were these animals able to escape from the zoo?"

AWADmail 637

Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 14 September 2014 - 9:05pm
A Compendium of Feedback on the Words featured in A.Word.A.Day

BEP 101c – Introducing a Presentation

BusinessEnglishPod - 14 September 2014 - 1:06pm

Introducing a PresentationIn 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.

Listening Questions

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?

Premium Members: Study Notes | Online Practice | PhraseCast

samovar: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 14 September 2014 - 9:00am
samovar: a metal urn, used for heating water for making tea.

Cartoon: Cameron Woos Scots

The English Blog - 14 September 2014 - 7:26am

Cameron woos scots

BACKGROUND
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 >>

CARTOON
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 ..."

EXPLANATION
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.

VOCABULARY
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.

Related articles Cartoon: Scottish Independence Cartoon: The Scottish Marathon UK leader rushes to fend off Scottish independence British PM Woos Scots: 'We Want You to Stay' 'Please don't go': Cameron and Co. make desperate plea to Scots to stay in the Union

Newsy Video: Starbucks Rethinking Visible Tattoo Ban For Employees

The English Blog - 14 September 2014 - 7:01am

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 >>

Related articlesStarbucks may lift workers' visible tattoo banStarbucks rethinks tattoo ban for baristasStarbucks may let baristas bare their tattoosStarbucks Might Start Letting Its Employees Get TattoosInked: Starbucks rethinks no-tattoo policy for baristas

hurtle

OALD Word Of The Day - 14 September 2014 - 3:00am
hurtle: to move very fast...

Video Highlights Domestic Abuse Issue

VOA Special English - 14 September 2014 - 2:30am
Twenty-five percent of American women will experience domestic violence, that is, physical abuse by a partner.  Most cases are never reported to police. But recently such violence was captured on video tape.   The National Football League, or NFL, player Ray Rice was recorded hitting his girlfriend Janay Palmer, who is now his wife.  The NFL dismissed Rice after the full video was released to the public last week. The release has also led to public discussion about...

Groups Call for Law to Protect Internet Privacy

VOA Special English - 14 September 2014 - 2:10am
The Internet Governance Forum took place last week in Istanbul, Turkey. The United Nations provided support to the yearly conference. Delegates expressed concern about the growth of companies selling powerful Internet surveillance software. Some software programs can collect information about individuals around the world. Many of these people are private citizens. The surveillance software industry is worth billions of dollars. Yet some experts say making laws to govern the use of...

Israel Accused of Forcing Asylum Seekers Back to Africa

VOA Special English - 14 September 2014 - 2:05am
Human Rights Watch says once back home, asylum seekers could face time in prison and possible torture.

Are You Losing It?

VOA Special English - 14 September 2014 - 2:05am
I'm Susan Clark with the Special English program Words and Their Stories. Tom Smith is the best hitter on his company's baseball team. For weeks during the playing season, Tom hit a home run in every game the team played. But then suddenly he stopped hitting home runs. He could not hit the baseball at all. One day he struck out three times in one game. He said, "I am afraid I am losing it." Mary Jones bought a dress in a woman's clothing store. She felt...

revolve

Spotlight - 14 September 2014 - 12:17am
"Copernicus taught that the Earth revolves around the sun."

geep: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 13 September 2014 - 9:00am
geep: the hybrid offspring of a goat and a sheep.

Cartoon: Scotland's Voice

The English Blog - 13 September 2014 - 7:47am

Chappatte cartoon 13-9-14

BACKGROUND
The Scottish referendum takes place next week and will determine if Scotland is to remain part of the United Kingdom.

CARTOON
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!"

COMMENTARY
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).

Related articles Cartoon: Scottish Independence Cartoon: The Tortoise and the Hare Whisky makers scared of referendum Referendum business row intensifies Bowmore Whisky Goes on Sale at Record Price in Edinburgh Auction

Pages

Subscribe to EnglishOnline.info aggregator