English Listenign Lesson Lab Online
Views #454 | Low Intermediate 4


Ruth talks about her passion for bargains.
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I'm an English teacher in Japan and when I first came here I didn't really have very much money so I found things quite expensive and I went out looking for cheap bargains. I came across a shop and it called the 100 Yen shop. It's absolutely fantastic. 100 Yen is about 50 p, 50 pence that is. I think that's about 1 dollar, and you go in there and everything is 100 yen. You can buy all sorts of things in a 100 yen shop. You can buy food. You can buy things for your house, things for your bathroom, your kitchen. You can buy ornaments and stationary and things like shampoo.

I really, really like to get a bargain and when I go in and I know that I've found something and it's worth buying, I really, really get excited about it, and it sends shivers down my spine. We have a shop in Britain and it's quite similar to the 100 yen shop. It's called Pound Land and so everything in it is 1 pound. Not everything is a real bargain. Some things are really pretty rubbish but if you do find a bargain, it's great. It reminds me really of what we have in Britain called car boot sales. They are places where people go and they fill their cars full of things that they don't want anymore and they sell them and people look through other people's items and they find the things that they want to buy and they barter, so they try and get things for a cheap price. It's really good though when you get a bargain.

How do you feel about that?

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

cheap bargains

I didn't really have very much money, so I went out looking for cheap bargains.

If something is sold at a price which is lower than it should be, you can say it is a 'bargain.' Notice the following:

  1. All the stores are having sales now, so there's tons of cheap bargains.
  2. This is a place to find really cheap bargain, but you have to spend some time looking.


You can buy all sorts of things in a 100-yen shop, including ornaments.

An 'ornament' is something that is used to decorate. Notice the following:

  1. Let's take out the ornaments to decorate the house for the holidays.
  2. My grandparents' house is full of ornaments from their home country.

worth buying

When I know I've found something that's worth buying, I really get excited about it.

When the price for something is less than or equal to  what it will mean for you, then it is 'worth buying.'  If you think something is too expensive for what you will use it for or get out of it, than it is not worth buying.  'Worth' refers to the value of something.  Notice the following:

  1. None of this stuff is worth buying, because it just breaks right away.
  2. This area is so touristy that it's full of things that aren't worth buying.

shivers down my spine

It sends shivers down my spine when I get excited about something I like to buy.

When you are cold, nervous or excited you may feel a 'shiver down your spine.'  Your spine is the bone that goes down the middle of your back.  Sometimes when you are cold you feel a tremble or a shake in this bone.  Notice the following:

  1. Every time I hear this song it gives me shivers down my spine.
  2. That sound gives me shivers down my spine.


Some things are really pretty rubbish, but if you do find a bargain, it's great.

Something that is 'rubbish' is garbage or not useful in any way.  Notice the following:

  1. There is a lot of rubbish in the street here.
  2. I can't believe you keep this stuff.  It's just a bunch of rubbish.


People look through other people's items and if they find something they want, they barter.

When you 'barter' with a salesperson you negotiate a price that you feel comfortable paying and the salesperson feels comfortable accepting.  This is very common in many cultures, especially where prices are not listed.  Notice the following:

  1. All the salespeople start out with a high price, because they expect you to barter.
  2. I hate bartering.  If I feel like the price is too high, I just walk away.

Vocabulary Quiz

bargains • ornaments • worth
bartered • shivers • rubbish
  1. I for this dress and got it for a really good price.
  2. I'm trying to decide which of these things is keeping and which I should just throw away.
  3. I'm so cold right now that I literally have down my spine.
  4. This store is great for cheap , but the quality isn't always the best.
  5. All of the cooking supplies I own are . I need to buy some new stuff.
  6. Her house is always full of fun for the season.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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