Eikaiwa · Intermediate

中級英会話 レッスン2

Additional Notes from Lesson 1
① That
What does the “that” in “It’s not that good” mean?

It’s not that + (adjective)

The “that” used in this sentence refers to a level or degree that is normal, imagined, or expected.

Take a look at the following examples:
It’s not that good.
It’s not as good as you think/say.

It’s not that bad.
It’s not as bad as you think/say.

It’s not that far.
It’s not as far as you think/say.

It’s not that difficult.
It’s not as difficult as you think/say.

A lot of people want to go to the first Starbucks, but it’s not that special.
The Expectation: The first Starbucks is special.

This means that a lot of people think it would be amazing to go to the first Starbucks and that because it’s the first Starbucks, it’s going to be very special and a great experience. But it’s not as special as a lot of people think. You have to wait in a long line of tourists, and the coffee tastes exactly the same as every other Starbucks. It’s not that special.

My friend told me the pancakes here are the best in the world, but they’re not that good.
The Expectation: The pancakes here are the best in the world.

My friend thinks the pancakes at this restaurant taste better than pancakes at any other restaurant. I tried these pancakes, but these are not the best pancakes in the world. They’re not that good.

A: Do you want the rest of this cake?
B: I’m not that hungry. I’ll just take a slice.
The Expectation: Person B is hungry enough to eat the rest of the cake.

Person A is offering the rest of a cake to Person B, but Person B isn’t hungry enough to eat the rest of the cake, but they are hungry enough to eat a slice of cake.

② ~ if you don’t mind me asking.
I’m not comfortable answering that. / I’d rather not say. (I would rather not say)

People who don’t want to give their personal information to others are not necessarily suspicious. They might just not be comfortable sharing details of their life with others.


Vocabulary

server: A waiter or waitress. (Definition 4)

box: A box or container used to take home leftover food. It’s also sometimes called a doggy bag, but doggy bag is not used much these days.

check: A receipt with the items you ordered and the amount you need to pay.

Additional Restaurant Vocabulary


Dialogue

Dialogue 1
Server:
Hi, how are you doing tonight?
Customer 1: Pretty good, thanks.
Server: Can I get you started with something to drink?
Customer 1: Sure, I’ll have a water.
Customer 2: Iced tea for me, please.
Server: Alright, I’ll be right back with those drinks for you.

Dialogue 2
Server:
Thanks for waiting. Here’s your drinks.
Customer 1: Thanks.
Server: Are you ready to order or do you need a few more minutes?
Customer 2: I think we’re ready to order. I’ll have the Seafood Medley, please.
Server: Okay, and how about you?
Customer 1: I’ll go with the Salmon Caesar Salad, please.
Server: Sure. A Seafood Medley and a Salmon Caesar. Thanks, I’ll be back with your food.

Dialogue 3
Server: How is everything tasting?
Customer 1: It’s really good, thanks.
Customer 2: This is delicious!
Server: I’m glad to hear that! Would either of you like a box for the rest of your food?
Customer 1: I’m okay, thanks.
Customer 2: I’d like a box, please.
Server: Okay. Here’s your check, but please take your time. I’ll be back with that box for you.


Activity
You’re at a restaurant with your friends. Talk with your friends while you wait for the server to come around and take your order.

While you are waiting, talk about:

  • Small talk. (Weather, how you’ve been, upcoming plans, events of last week)
  • Menu items. (What are you going to get? This looks good. I wonder what this is. Do you know what this is?)
  • Talk about anything! Current events, sports, politics, etc.

Try to use as much English as possible, but it’s okay if you need to use some Japanese, look up words in a dictionary, or look up words online.

The server will come around 3 times.
1回目: Order drinks
2回目: Order food
3回目: Get your check

There are sample dialogues below to help you if you are stuck.

Dialogue 1:
Server:
Hi, how are you doing tonight?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Can I get you started with some drinks? / Can I get you started with something to drink?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Alright, I’ll be right back with those drinks for you.

Dialogue 2:
Server:
Thanks for waiting. Here’s your drinks.
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Are you guys ready to order?
Customer: I think so. I’ll have the ___________________________, please.
Server: What kind of side would you like? / Soup or salad?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Okay, thanks. I’ll be back with your food.

Dialogue 3:
Server:
How is everything? / How is everything tasting?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Would you like a box for the rest of your food?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: ___________________. Here’s your check. Have a good rest of your night, and come back soon!


Notes
If you want to say the food tastes bad, you can say something like:
It’s okay. (Polite)
It tastes bad. (Direct, honest.)
It’s not that good. (Somewhat polite, honest.)
It’s a new taste for me. (Indirect, polite.)

If you say It’s a new taste for me, some people may ask if it’s a good taste or a bad taste. If you don’t know, or if you don’t want to be rude, you can say:
I don’t know.
I’m not sure yet.


Menu
This is the menu we used in class, but any menu will work with this activity.

Ivar’s Salmon House: Dinner Menu (pdf)
Ivar’s Salmon House Website

Eikaiwa · Intermediate · Uncategorized

中級英会話 レッスン1

Small Talk           中級英会話          Intermediate English Conversation: Lesson 1

Please keep in mind that this is about American English. I don’t know much about English used in other countries like New Zealand, Australia, or England, so I cannot speak for those countries.

What is small talk?
Small talk is a conversation about a light-hearted topic. These conversations do not have a deep meaning, and you do not need to express strong opinions.

Small talk can be any of the following topics:
-The weather (“It’s really hot today.”)
-A recent sports game (“Did you see the game?”)
-Something you have in common (“You like dogs? Me too!”)
-Some personal questions (name, where you’re from, plans for the weekend, how you’re doing, where you work)

Be careful with personal questions. There are some people who are not comfortable with sharing details about their life, such as if they are married, if they have kids, their age, or where they live.

If you aren’t sure if it’s okay to ask a question, you can add, “if you don’t mind me asking” to the end of it. This lets the person you are talking to politely refuse to answer if they want.

A: Where do you live, if you don’t mind me asking?
B: Sorry, I’d rather not say.

Is small talk important?
Some people think it is, others think it isn’t. Whether or not you like small talk, it is used often in daily life, so it is important to understand what it is and how to use it. If you visit America, many people may try to make small talk with you.

When do we use small talk?
We use small talk when we are talking with people we don’t know, or with people we don’t know well. This might be strangers, co-workers, or people you just met.

 What do we use small talk for?
We use small talk to fill an awkward silence, to get to know someone better, or to be polite.

There are many people who don’t like small talk.
What do you think about small talk?
Do you think it’s pointless?
Do you think it’s useful?
When was the last time you had small talk?
Who was it with?


Dialogue 1:
A: Hi! Did you find everything okay?
B: Yep. Thanks.
A: Great! How is your day going?
B: Pretty good.
A: Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?
B: Not really.

Where is this conversation?
This conversation is at a store. It could be any store, such as a mall or a grocery store (スーパー). These conversations happen often at grocery stores.

What are A and B talking about?
Person A and Person B are talking about if B found what they needed at the store, how B’s day is, and if B has any plans for the weekend.

Do these people know each other?
These people might know each other a little bit, but they are not friends.

Who is A? Who is B?
Person A is a cashier and Person B is a customer.

Vocab:
Did you find everything okay? –  Did you find what you wanted to buy?

Yep – Yes/Yeah (Affirmative response). Informal.

Great – That’s good./I’m happy to hear that.

How is your day going? – How is today? Is today a good day or a bad day?

Pretty good – Good. “Pretty” in this context is used to soften “good.” It makes “good” sound less strong.

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? – Are you doing anything fun this weekend?/今週末、何か楽しい予定とかありますか?

Not really – No/Nothing important/Nothing special/Nothing in particular/特にありません。


Dialogue 2:
A: How is everything tasting?
B: It’s good. Thanks.
A: Where are you from?
B: I’m from Japan.
A: Cool! How long are you here for?
B: Two weeks.
A: Great! Have fun!

Where is this conversation?
This is at a restaurant.

What are A and B talking about?
Person A is asking Person B where they are from.

Do these people know each other?
These people do not know each other.

Who is A? Who is B?
Person A is a waiter. Person B is a customer.

Vocab:
How is everything tasting?
– Does your food taste good?/味はどうですか?

Where are you from? – Where do you live? (country, state, or city)/どこの出身ですか?/どこから来ましたか?

I’m from Japan. – I live in Japan / 日本から来ました。

Cool! – Great/Good/いいね!

How long are you here for? – When are you here until?/どのぐらいここにいますか。

Have fun! – Enjoy your time here!/楽しんでくださいね!


Dialogue 3:
A: Is this your first time visiting Seattle?
B: Yeah.
A: How do you like it so far?
B: It’s nice! The people here are very kind.
A: Yeah! I like it here.

Where is this conversation?
We don’t know. It could be anywhere, even a store or a restaurant.

What are A and B talking about?
Person A is asking Person B if this is their first time in Seattle.

Do these people know each other?
These people do not know each other.

Who is A? Who is B?
We don’t know who Person A is. They are probably someone who lives in Seattle, but they could be a tourist. Person B is from Japan.

Vocab:
Is this your first time visiting _____?
– Have you been here before? / ~に来るのは初めてですか?

How do you like it so far? – What do you think?/今までにどう思いますか?

It’s nice! – It’s good!/いいです!

The people here are very kind. – The people here are very nice./人がとても親切です。

I like it here. –  I like this town./この町が好きです。


Dialogue 4:
A: Where are you from?
B: I’m from Japan.
A: Cool! My friend is teaching English in Osaka right now.
B: I live near Osaka! Is your friend having fun?
A: Yeah, he is!
B: Great!

Where is this conversation?
This conversation could be anywhere, even a store or a restaurant.

What are A and B talking about?
Person A is asking where Person B is from. Person A has a friend in Osaka who is teaching English.

Do these people know each other?
No, these people just met.

Do these people seem friendly?
These people seem friendly.

Who is A? Who is B?
Person A and Person B are strangers. Person A could be anyone. Person B is visiting from Japan.

Vocab:
My friend is teaching English in Osaka right now.
– My friend is living in Osaka and teaching English./今、私の友人が大阪で英語の先生として働いています。

I live near Osaka! – My home is close to Osaka!/大阪の近くに住んでいます!

Is your friend having fun? – 友人は楽しんでいますか?


What do you think about cashiers making small talk with customers?

Some people like small talk with cashiers, but other people don’t like it. What do you think? Would you like small talk with cashiers? Why or why not?