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Speak English Around Town Lesson 4 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

Speak English Around Town Lesson 4 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

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LESSON 4 – Buying a Service Plan


Tom is shopping for a new cell phone plan. It’s tricky because there are many options. Mike, a salesman at the cell phone store, helps him choose the right plan.

Tom: Hi, I’m in the market for a new cell phone plan.

Mike: Do you have a plan now?

Tom: Yes, with MobileOne. But it’s about to expire.

Mike: You’re not happy with them?

Tom: No, I’m not. Their service is terrible. My calls are always breaking up.

Mike: Cellular Star’s service is first rate. You’ll get great reception. What are you looking for in a plan?

Tom: I need 400 minutes a month for daytime calls. I’d like unlimited night and weekend calling.

Mike: What about call forwarding, voice mail, and text messaging?

Tom: I don’t need any of those bells and whistles.

Mike: The Choice 450 is our no-frills plan. That’ll run you $39.99 a month, plus tax.

Tom: That doesn’t include long-distance calls. does it?

Mike: Yes. it does.

Tom: So it’s $39.99 a month, plus tax.

Mike: Yes, and there’s a one-time fee of $35. That’s for setting up the account.

Tom: Any hidden fees?

Mike: No. Of course, you’ll want to read the fine print of your contract.

Tom: Right. I don’t want to get stuck with a plan that only lets me make long-distance calls between midnight and 3 a.m.

Mike: Did I mention that if you sign up for this plan by Friday, we’ll throw in a free phone?

Tom: I could use a new phone.

Mike: It’s a great offer, with no strings attachedAll set to sign up?

Tom: Before I sign on the dotted line, I’d better make sure I know what I’m getting into.


Language Lens: Negative Questions

Negative questions can be used to:

=> Confirm that something is true or has happened. You are assuming something is true and you are just checking.
Example: You didn’t tell Ted we think he’s a lousy boss, did you? (Expected answer: No, I didn’t).

=> Express surprise that something hasn’t happened
Example: Haven’t you mailed that letter yet? (Note that this can often express annoyance. The person asking the question is annoyed that the other person did not do something).

=> Offer a polite invitation
Examples: Won’t you come in? Wouldn’t you like some coffee?

Study these examples for ways to answer negative questions:

Didn’t you see the car coming?
– Yes, I did. (Do not just say “yes” in response to this type of question. Give a complete answer: “Yes, I did.”).
– No, I didn’t. (You may also say just “no” without “I didn’t.”)

Aren’t you hungry?
– Yes, I am. I Yes, I’m starving!
– No, I’m not. I No, I just had breakfast.

Won’t you sit down?
– Yes, thank you.
– No, I’ve only got a minute.

You’re not tired after your trip?
– Yes, I am tired. (Do not just say “yes.”)
– No, I’m not tired. (Note here that you’re saying “No … ” even though you are agreeing with the person who asked the question. You’re confirming that you’re not tired.)


  • all set to

 ready to (do something)

Example: The salesman at the Gap asked, “All set to check out?”

  • bells and whistles

 product features which are attractive, but not essential for the product to function

Example: I just want a reliable car. I’m not looking for a lot of bells and whistles.

  • (to) break up

 to lose a phone signal; to start losing a phone connection

Example: I can barely hear you. We’re breaking up.

  • could use

 need; have use for

Example: Your ties are all stained. You could use some new ones.

  • (the) fine print

 the part of a contract with special rules and limitations. These are often “hidden” in small print, which is why you’ll often hear: “Be sure to read the fine print.”

Example: Julie didn’t read the fine print of the fitness club contract carefully, and now she’s stuck with a lifetime membership.

  • first rate

 of the highest quality

Example: If you’re looking for a restaurant, I recommend the Mediterranean Grill. The food there is first rate.

NOTE: You will also hear the term “second rate” to describe something that is of inferior quality or not very good.

  • (to) get into

 to get involved with (often used in a negative sense, as when one has gotten involved with something that is now unpleasant or not wanted)

Example: My evening MBA program is more demanding than I thought it would be. What have I gotten into?

  • (to) get stuck with

to have something unwanted or undesirable that one cannot get rid of

Example: I’m in charge of cleaning the bathroom once a week at our dormitory. I don’t know how I got stuck with this task!

  • hidden fees

 extra charges that are not made clear from the beginning

Example: When you sign up for a new credit card, make sure there are no hidden fees.

  • in the market for

 shopping for; interested in buying

Example: We’re in the market for a flat-screen television.

  • no-frills

 a simple and basic service or product

Example: If you want to fly cheaply, try a no-frills airline like Ryanair.

NOTE: “frills” are extra features or benefits

  • no strings attached

 with no limits or special demands attached (to an offer)

Example: Kim got a full scholarship to Stanford, no strings attached.

  • one-time fee

 a charge that you only pay one time

Example: To join FitOne Gym, I had to pay a one-time fee of $199, then a monthly membership fee of $49.

  • (to) run you

 to cost you

Example: It’s going to run you $600 for a one-year membership to Club Five Fitness.

  • (to) set up

 to establish; to arrange; to put something new in place

Example: I set up direct deposit so that my paychecks are automatically deposited into my bank account.

  • (to) sign on the dotted line

 to agree to or sign up for something ( often by signing a contract or agreement)

Example: I’m interested in joining the gym but before I sign on the dotted line, can you please explain the cancellation policy?

  • (to) throw in

 to include for no additional fee

Example: If you sign up for a one-year gym membership today, we’ll throw in a free set of towels.

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