Simplified Speech #014 – Gift cards

Choosing the right gift for someone can be hard! Gift cards are great last-minute gifts, but they can lack that personal touch. Do you have strong feelings about gift cards? Andrew and Suzanne sure do! Join them for today’s episode as they have a slower-paced, natural conversation all about giving and receiving gift cards.


Fun factgift-card

Before plastic gift cards, people used to give paper gift certificates. However, when colour printers and colour copiers became more widely available, it became easy to make fake gift certificates, and so gift cards were introduced in 1994.

Expressions included in the learning materials

  • Knock it out of the park
  • Rub (someone) the wrong way
  • Chilly
  • Personal touch
  • Last minute

Sample transcript

Andrew: Hey, Suzanne. How’s it going?

Suzanne: Hey, Andrew. It’s going well. It’s been a little chilly here in Montreal. And you know what that means, when it starts to get colder—it means the holidays are approaching.

Andrew: Ooo, the holidays, yeah. Are you one of those people that’s very organized and gets their holiday shopping done early? Or do you leave everything to the last minute?

Suzanne: Andrew …

Andrew: Do I even have to ask this question?

Suzanne: What do you think? Do you even have to ask that question? It doesn’t matter how much I prepare for the holiday season, I’m always scurrying around at the last possible moment.

Andrew: Yeah, I tend to leave everything until the last moment too. And something that people like us like to give these days are gift cards as presents.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s true.

Andrew: So today, that’s what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to talk about gift cards. And I have to give a shout-out to one of our listeners, Tahani, because she requested that we talk about gift cards. So here we are, a whole episode about gift cards.

Suzanne: Today we’re going to do a Simplified Speech episode, where we have a natural conversation using everyday English, but we speak at a slower speed than we normally do.

Andrew: That’s right. And so today we’re talking about gift cards. Yeah, I’m curious, Suzanne.

Suzanne: Yeah?

Andrew: Do you ever give gift cards as gifts?

Suzanne: That’s a good question. My mom gives gift cards quite often because our family lives all over the world. So I find that she tends to believe it’s easier to send in the mail or online. But I don’t really give gift cards to my friends that live nearby.
But, I find sometimes that they can be a little impersonal, maybe generic.

Andrew: Yeah, they don’t have that personal touch to them like some other gifts may have.


english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips, Photo: Shutterstock