Sample English Conversations for English Learners

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English Conversation 1: Two students talk about how to bargain for a lower price

Jerry: Fay, I heard that people have to bargain whenever they go shopping in China. Is that true?

Fay: Well, you don't have to bargain when you go to a department store or a supermarket, but in most other places, you can try to get a better price.

Jerry: We rarely do that in the States. I'm not really sure how to do it. Could you give me some pointers.



Fay: Sure, it's easy. Anybody can do it. The first thing you must do is some research. Ask around and find out what a fair price is for what you want to buy. When you know what a normal price is, you are ready to bargain.

Jerry: That makes sense. If I don't know what a fair price is, the seller can ask for any price, and I would probably pay it! So, now I'm ready to go to a market. What's next?

Fay: First, ask how much something is. In Chinese that's, "Duo xiao qian?". If the price is much higher than you're willing to pay, say so. In Chinese you would say "Tai guay le". Then you ask for a lower price. You should offer less than what you really want to pay.

Jerry: That way, I can bargain up to my price, right?

Fay: Right! The seller will make a counter-offer. If you think it's still too high, and the seller refuses to go any lower, just walk away. If the seller is really able to meet your price, he or she will call you back. In that case, don't give in. Keep trying to get your price.

Jerry: What if the seller doesn't call me back?

Fay: You can alway try again with the next vendor. If the seller's last price is not too high, you might accept it. Just be sure you don't pay too much!

Jerry: That seems pretty easy. Bargaining sounds like a lot of fun!

Fay: It is! And just like with learning a language, you'll get better at it the more you practice.


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