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Céline: Bonjour je m’appelle Céline!
Sylvain: Et moi c’est Sylvain.
Sam: Sam here! How Much Money Can You Afford to Throw Away? In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask for prices, understand numbers and form qualificative adjectives.
Céline: The conversation is between Bruno and a cashier in a souvenir store.
Sam: Speakers never meet before, therefore, they’ll be speaking formally.
Cheapo Bruno: Excusez-moi, combien ça coûte ?
Vendeuse: C’est un euro.
Cheapo Bruno: Et ça, c’est combien ?
Vendeuse: C’est aussi un euro.
Cheapo Bruno: Wow ! Un euro ! Ce n’est pas cher !
Vendeuse: Monsieur, c’est le rayon à un euro !
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Female: Ok c’est parti, plus lentement.
Cheapo Bruno: Excusez-moi, combien ça coûte ?
Vendeuse: C’est un euro.
Cheapo Bruno: Et ça, c’est combien ?
Vendeuse: C’est aussi un euro.
Cheapo Bruno: Woaw ! Un euro ! Ce n’est pas cher !
Vendeuse: Monsieur, c’est le rayon à un euro !
English Host: One more time with the English.
Cheapo Bruno : Excusez-moi, combien ça coûte? “Excuse me, how much is this?”
Vendeuse: C’est un euro. “(It's) one Euro.”
Cheapo Bruno: Et ça, c’est combien ? “And this, how much is it?”
Vendeuse: C’est aussi un euro. “That's also one Euro.”
Cheapo Bruno: Wow ! Un euro ! Ce n’est pas cher! “Wow! One Euro! How inexpensive!”
Vendeuse: Monsieur, c’est le rayon à un euro! “Sir, this is the one euro shelf.”
Céline: So Sam…
Sam: Yes?
Céline: …you know in France, we have cheap stores.
Sam: Like how cheap?
Céline: Like really cheap.
Sam: How cheap is really cheap? Maybe my really cheap and your really cheap are different.
Céline: You have antiquaires?
Sam: Antique shop?
Céline: Antique shop.
Sam: Like a second-hand or third shop?
Céline: Yeah, second hand. marché aux puces.
Sylvain: les antiquaires c’est pas les…
Sam: If you say antique, I think of like furniture or old jewelry.
Sylvain: I mean sometimes it’s really expensive.
Céline: Sometimes, yeah. But what about marchés aux puces?
Sylvain: marchés aux puces, you can find everything.
Céline: marchés aux puces?
Sam: Kind of a like Walmart or something like that?
Sylvain: No, no, no, no.
Céline: Oh, no, no. It’s a flea market.
Sam: Flea market. Ah!
Sylvain: les clients courent. But take care faites attention.
Sam: Be careful?
Céline: Be careful.
Sylvain: About the pickpocket.
Sam: Oh, really?
Céline: Yes.
Sylvain: In France, it’s a job – respected job. Take care about the pick pocket.
Céline: Exactly. And I think we’ve talked about that in our lesson word jobs.
Sylvain: I’m always repeating the same thing. I am sorry.
Céline: No. No. No, no. You’re right. And also in France, we have sales twice a year.
Sam: Like a big sale?
Céline: Big sale.
Sylvain: for sure. Printemps, tout ça…
Céline: Yeah.
Sam: Well, like, super cheap prices.
Céline: Yeah, cheap prices.
Sam: Like 80% off?
Sylvain: Sometimes.
Céline: Sometimes. But sometimes they’re cheating, right?
Sam: How?
Sylvain: I don’t know.
Céline: But it’s the rule. It’s just twice a year.
Sam: Like summer and winter.
Céline: Yeah, summer and winter.
Sam: Okay.
Sylvain: With those girls, in the normal season they go to the shop, they look at what they want, and they wait for the sales.
Sam: They wait for the sales. That’s a good strategy.
Céline: Exactly. Or sometimes…I think in America, it’s the same. It depends on the shop. I mean, in the boutiques, you have like one day before but you need an invitation card. And this is half price. Everything is half priced.
Sam: I’ve never heard of that.
Céline: Yeah. But it’s only brands that do that.
Sam: Brands. Oh. Kind of like for the preferred customers.
Céline: Yes.
Sylvain: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Céline: So if you can get invitation card, it’s really good.
Sam: If you don’t have an invitation card, you can’t go?
Céline: If you don’t have invitation card...
Sam: For sure.
Céline: …so you stay home and cry.
Sylvain: Oh, no.
Sam: Or shop on the internet.
Sylvain: Watching TV.
Céline: And watching fashion TV.
Sylvain: Show.
Sam: Like the E! Channel in America.
Céline: E! Channel. Yeah.
Sylvain: E! Channel.
Sam: With Jules Asner.
Sylvain: Jules Asner.
Sam: Yeah.
Sylvain: The listener really understand.
Céline: Yes, I think so.
Sam: I think so. Jules Asner. She’s famous.
Céline: I used to watch E! Channel.
Sam: It’s pretty fashionable.
Céline: Yeah, it is. Okay. So why don’t we jump into the vocab?
Sam: Okay. Let’s do vocab. First word?
Céline: Coûter [natural native speed].
Sam: To cost.
Céline: Coûter [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Coûter [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Sylvain: Un euro [natural native speed]
Sam: One euro
Sylvain: Un euro [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Un euro [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Céline: Aussi [natural native speed]
Sam: Too, also
Céline: Aussi [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Aussi [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Céline: Cher [natural native speed]
Sam: Expensive.
Sylvain: Cher [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Cher [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Sylvain: Rayon [natural native speed]
Sam: Display, section (in small shop), department (in big store)
Sylvain: Rayon [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Rayon [natural native speed].
Céline: So now, more practice and usage for some of the words and phrases. The first word we’ll look at is coûter.
Sylvain: “Cost.” For example, ça coûte deux euros.
Sam: “It cost two euros.” The next word?
Céline: Cher, means “expensive.”
Sam: L’Euro est cher. “Euro is expensive.”
Céline: Yes. If you need to buy some euros to go on vacation in France, it is expensive.
Sylvain: That’s right.
Sam: But in this lesson, we give you some tips on how to save. Be sure to check the PDF.
Sylvain: Oh, great. Maybe I can check also to have some tips.
Céline: Yes, me too. So then we have the word “aussi.”
Sam: “Too.” For example?
Sylvain: Bruno est radin et Robert aussi.
Sam: “Bruno is cheap, and so Robert.”
Sylvain: No, no, no, no. Let me correct you. Not cheap but frugal. financièrement prudent.
Céline: Oh, yes. You’re financially prudent.
Sam: That’s a nice way to put it but frugal does mean “cheap” I think.
Sylvain: No.
Sam: Maybe frugal is a nicer way to say cheap.
Céline: Yes, it’s a nicer way. Yeah. Maybe.
Sam: Okay.
Céline: Do you have frugal friends.
Sam: I’ve got lots of frugal friends and I’ve got lots of frugal family members. Very frugal. For example, with dish soap. When they’re washing the dishes, when it gets half full, you just add more water.
Sylvain: We do that also at home.
Sam: There you go. Frugal.
Céline: That means we are frugal? Or maybe that means that you forgot to buy.
Sam: Or you don’t want to spend the money on a new bottle.
Céline: Oh, no, no. Usually, when I do that, it means that I totally forgot the soap.
Sam: That’s funny. When I do, it’s because I didn’t want to buy the soap. I’m financially prudent.
Sylvain: I am financially extremely prudent with soap.
Céline: Really? I am not prudent at all.
Sam: But you can start from today.
Céline: I don’t want to do that. I want to enjoy my life.
Sam: Me too, but I want to save money.
Céline: Yes. Then try to save money.
Sylvain: Yeah.
Sam: So we can eat at McDo today.
Sylvain: No.
Céline: No way.
Sam: But that’s financially prudent.
Sylvain: No. It’s not the question of prudence or frugality, but I used to say if I say I eat McDo at Saint Michel, I am angry at Odéon.
Sam: Which means?
Sylvain: Céline, please explain.
Céline: It means that if you eat McDo at 2:00, you’ll be hungry at 4:00.
Sam: You can go again.
Céline: That’s not good for health.
Sylvain: I love you the way your eyes are.
Sam: Neither stress about money.
Céline: Something is really important in French culture is that food is a big deal. And sometimes it’s better to spend more money on good food and then you feel happier. Don’t you think so?
Sam: Yeah. To save your stomach.
Céline: Yeah.
Sam: Spend a few more euros.
Céline: Yeah. If your stomach is happy…
Sylvain: That’s also communication time.
Sam: You can talk about daily life, et cetera.
Céline: Yeah. Usually lunch last one or two hours.
Sam: Two hours? Really?
Céline: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sylvain: Two hours? Yeah.
Sam: Two hours. Wow.
Céline: Yeah. The break time is one hour, two hours. And dinner is…
Sylvain: Everybody is late at the dinner with a date
Céline: Yeah.
Sylvain: We go to lunch at 12:00 and we finish work at 4:00.
Céline: Yeah.
Sam: So you like to enjoy not only the food but enjoy that quality time.
Céline: exactement, exactement.
Sam: That sounds pretty important. That’s a good idea.
Céline: Sometimes, with family I remember we used to have a meal for four hours or five hours.
Sylvain: I remember my family in Cognac, we begin to eat at 11:00 and we’d finish something like 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon.
Céline: Yeah.
Sylvain: And then two hours after, we begin the dinner.
Céline: Dinner.
Sam: Dinner.
Sylvain: Until 1:00 o’clock in the morning.
Sam: That sounds good.
Céline: Yeah. Yeah. That’s really good. But after that, you feel so sleepy. And so you take a nap, and after the nap, you’re hungry again.
Sam: You can eat again.
Céline: So it’s crazy.
Sam: You can get a snack.
Céline: Yeah.
Sylvain: Okay. Let’s concentrate…
Céline: I’m sorry. I just wanted to say something. In France, you tip to. You give tips.
Sam: Yes. Same thing in America.
Céline: But less than in America.
Sam: I think in America is 10 to 15%. I think around 10%.
Sylvain: It depends of service anyway.
Sam: It’s lunch time. Sorry!
Céline: No. In America, it’s from 10 to 25. You can give 25 if you want. I remember when I was…
Sam: Twenty five percent.
Céline: …in Chicago. Yeah, if the service is really, really good.
Sam: Wow. They’d be glad to have you back.
Céline: How about in France?
Sam: What? The service?
Céline: The tip, usually?
Sylvain: It depends on the way the garçon is helping you with the service. If he’s doing well his job, if he is cool…
Céline: And if the food is good, too….
Sam: The better the service, the better the food, the bigger the tip.
Sylvain: That’s right.
Céline: Exactly. Usually, it’s written on the bill.
Sylvain: Normally, the service is included always. The tip is something else.
Céline: Yeah, so five euros? No? It depends.
Sylvain: Les rançais sont radins. Five euros!
Céline: French people are frugal. Okay. Let’s check the grammar.

Lesson focus

Sam: That sounds good to me. If I buy something, how do I ask for the price?
Céline: combien ça coûte? ou combien ça fait?
Sam: What about combien d’argent?
Sylvain: No, no, no, no.
Sam: No?
Céline: No.
Sylvain: C’est mignon, mais ça marche pas.
Sam: Really?
Céline: It’s cute but it doesn’t work.
Sam: That’s cute. But I always learned combien d’argent. Is that strange?
Céline: Oh, yeah, it is.
Sam: “How much money?” combien d’argent?
Sylvain: No, no, no.
Céline: No, no, no.
Sylvain: It depends, combien d’argent vous avez? “how much money you have on you?” It will be okay.
Sam: In my textbooks, it always say combien d’argent, but maybe that’s a bit strange.
Céline: yeah, combien d’argent, it’s definitely not.
Sam: So combien ça coûte or combien ça fait?
Céline: Uh-hmm.
Sylvain: That’s right.
Sam: They both mean “how much is it?”
Céline: Yes. To vary a little and as with other open questions with the question word as quand “when” or où “where” or combien, the question word can be placed at the end.
Sam: For example?
Céline: ça fait combien?
Sam: Or?
Céline: ça coûte combien?
Sam: What are open questions?
Céline: You don’t have open questions in English? Sure you do.
Sam: Yeah. Maybe you’re right.
Céline: It’s the question that answers vary according to the person or situation.
Sam: I got it. Open questions are the questions that the answers vary according to the person or situation.
Céline: Yeah.
Sam: They ask, for example, about the time with quand or place with où or how much is combien.
Céline: Yeah. And open question are the opposite of closed question, right?
Sylvain: Close question are answered oui with or non.
Céline: Exactly.
Sam: Close question is yes or no; open-ended question or open question has several different answers.
Sylvain: That’s right.
Sam: Okay. That’s going to be helpful when references are made in grammar books.
Céline: Exactly.
Sylvain: Yes.
Sam: I guess it’s a little technical but it gives you a step ahead for further study on your own.
Céline: exactement Sam. tout à fait. So let’s practice?
Sylvain: Yes.
Sam: Okay.
Céline: Bonjour.
Sam: Bonjour!
Céline: Combien ça coûte?
Sam: combien ça coûte? Hmm je sais pas. euh… trois euros.
Céline: trois euros?
Sam: oui c’est ça!
Céline: C’est cher!
Sylvain: C’est pas cher.
Sam: Oui je sais. Trois euros.
Sylvain: Très bien.
Céline: Okay.
Sylvain: Combien ça coûte?
Sam: C’est quatre euros.
Sylvain: pour ça?
Sam: oui.
Céline: C’est donné! It’s given.
Sylvain: mouais.
Sam: Plus ou moins. More or less.
Sylvain: Très bien. Bon, j’en prends un.
Céline: I take one.
Sam: Okay. l’argent s’il vous plaît.
Sylvain: tenez!
Sam: Merci. Voici la monnaie.
Sylvain: Merci. Bonne journée.
Sam: A plus merci beaucoup! Au revoi.
Céline: Okay, au revoir.
Céline: That was good. How about if something is really, really expensive? Let’s practice that.
Sam: Okay, let’s practice. I’ll be the shop staff member.
Céline: Yeah. Okay. And Sylvain?
Sylvain: the… the buyer.
Sam: The customer.
Sylvain: The customer.
Sam: Okay.
Sylvain: Bonjour Monsieur.
Sam: Bonjour Monsieur. Comment ça va?
Sylvain: ça va bien merci. Cette bouteille combien elle coûte?
Sam: cent euros.
Sylvain: Cent euros?
Sam: Oui.
Sylvain: Pour de l’eau?
Sam: Oui.
Sylvain: C’est trop cher!
Sam: oui je sais.
Sylvain: pourquoi vous la vendez alors?
Céline: Don’t be so hard. If you don’t wanna buy, you don’t buy. Okay. So that was a bottle of a water and it costs 100 euros.
Sylvain: A bit expensive.
Céline: Yeah.
Sam: A little bit expensive.
Sylvain: Maybe.
Céline: Yeah. It could be a bottle of wine.
Sylvain:That’s right.
Sam: Let’s try it with wine.
Céline: Okay.
Sylvain: Céline?
Céline: Oui! Bonjour monsieur!
Sam: Bonjour madame, comment ça va?
Céline: ça va bien merci. Cette bouteille, combien elle coûte?
Sam: là-bas?
Céline: oui exactement.
Sam: deux cent euros.
Céline: deux cent euros?
Sam: oui.
Céline: Mais c’est cher!
Sam: Non, pas trop cher à mon avis.
Céline: Ah bon? Est-ce qu’il est bon?
Sam: Peut-être.
Céline: Peut-être?
Céline: That was for wine and the wine costs 200 euros.
Sylvain: Two hundred euros.
Sam: Two hundred euros. How many American dollars would that be?
Céline: You tell us.
Sam: So one euro is about a dollar and sixty?
Sylvain: For now, yeah.
Céline: So 200 euros is…
Sam: Three hundred and two American dollars? That’s cheap for a nice bottle of wine.
Céline: Yes. But it was for the example.
Sam: That was the last one.
Céline: Okay.


Sam: That wraps up today’s lesson. Okay. See you again. Thank you, guys, for the lesson.
Céline: Merci Sam, merci Sylvain.
Sylvain: Good bye.
Sam: A bientôt!
Céline: A bientôt!
Sylvain: A bientôt!


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