Do you like shopping? I don’t. But one thing I
do like is saving money and getting a bargain or a deal when I have to go shopping and buy something.
What I’m going to teach you is how to talk about prices or how much something
costs or how much something was in English. It is difficult, I think, to say numbers or
listen to when people tell you how much something costs in English because we don’t say, “Ten
dollars and seventy-five cents, please.” What we do is we take the number, and we divide it.
So if I was going shopping, and I wanted to ask someone, I would say, “Hey, how much
is this?” If I held the thing in my hand and said, “Excuse me. How much is this?” People
would say — or the person that was trying to sell it to you would say, “It is ten seventy-five.”
You do not need to go through “ten dollars and seventy-five cents.” We just say the first
number, then the second number. So this number is “ten seventy-five”. Wherever the dot is
— or the decimal point — that’s where we divide the number. This one is “two fifty”.
This one would be “eighteen twenty-five”. Something quite expensive
would be “a hundred and eighty-seven forty-two”. Now, we do not — at least I don’t — buy
things that are in the thousands. But maybe you’re going shopping, and what you’re buying
is very expensive. If the number is over a hundred — it’s “one thousand eight hundred
and seven eighty-seven”. It’s the same rule. We say the first number, and the cents
we just say as a number together. Maybe in your country you use a very, very
high or big currency. Most of our purchases are not more than a thousand dollars, depending,
of course, on what you’re buying. But a typical grocery store or clothing store probably — maybe,
depends how much you eat or what you buy — it’s not going to be over a thousand. So you’re
not going to have to use “one thousand seven hundred and forty-two” a lot. The other
really, really easy thing is that if you don’t really understand when people speak
very quickly, like, “It’s ten seventy-five.” “What? Excuse me. How much is this?” “Three
eighty-five” “What?” “Three eighty-five.” “What?” “Three eighty-five.” What you can do
is when they type it into the cash register, you can look at the price. Or you can ask
them “Please write it down.” That way, you can actually see the numbers. Now, I’ve
told you that the person will say, “It is” — the price. Once you have bought it,
you can say to your friends, “Do you like my new shirt?” Your friend’s like, “Oh, I love it!
Oh, my God! How much was it?” And then you punch your friend for having friends
that talk like that. You’re going to say, “It was”. So after you have bought something,
“it was ten seventy-five.” “It was two fifty.” This is the only grammar, the only two tiny
words that you need to use. Yes. No. Don’t say this. Don’t say this, “The price is” or
“the price was”; “the cost is”; “I paid the money”. “Did you really pay money?” Of course,
you paid money. Do not use these expressions. They’re very unnatural. This one
is just strange and unnecessary. So the next time you go shopping, try and
listen; try and ask people questions; and listen to the price of things. Watch out for
the evilness called “tax”. People will always say, “Oh, that’s eighty-seven thirty-five
plus tax.” And in Canada, it’s not included in the price, so good luck shopping out there.
Until next time, goodbye.