Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to Talk about Money

You have a one dollar bill and you have a car and you need to put money into the parking meter. The meter takes quarters, dimes, and nickles.

You see somebody nearby and show this person your one-dollar bill and, pointing to the parking meter, you say, "Do you have.....    " and the words to complete your request aren't there.  You feel embarrassed!  You can ask this in your native language so easily, just not in English!  You hope this person will get the message. What is the question you need, what are the words you are trying to get out?


Let's talk about talking about money. Let's talk about the money that you have, the money that you have in your pocket, or in your hand,or the money you'd like to have in your hand!

This is one dollar.

And this is one dollar:

What's the difference? 

This is "one dollar in change"...


...while this... "a one-dollar bill".

So then, what is this, below?

If you answered, "This is something I'd like to have", that's correct, but you can't have it.  If you answered, This is a twenty-dollar bill, you're also correct! This is a picture of my twenty-dollar bill.

So let's get back to our problem:  When you have this...

...and you want this, such as our friend who is at the parking meter,...

...then what do you ask? You ask "Do you have change for a dollar?"

Let's repeat:  "Do you have change for a dollar?"

Let's review today's vocabulary:

a bill (a one-dollar bill, a five-dollar bill, a ten-dollar bill, etc.)
change (Please notice that this is a non-count noun.)
money (Please notice that this too is a non-count noun.)

Tomorrow we will continue our discussion about MONEY and HOW TO TALK ABOUT IT.

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