elllo - English Listening Lesson Library Online
Views #1348 | Intermediate (B1)

Single's Day

Rory and Abidemi share their feelings about various holidays and why we celebrate them.

Rory: Have you heard about Singles Day in China?

Abidemi: No, I'm not really sure. Can you explain what that is about?

Rory: So this is a new holiday that has been created for single people.

Abidemi: Wow!

Rory: And so on this day people don't buy presents for somebody else. They buy presents for themselves. They are celebrating being single, and it's been a huge success. Like the Internet sales have gone through the roof. So I guess companies just look for a time of year where there is maybe no holiday at the moment and try to create a new holiday.

Abidemi: That's an interesting idea. It sounds like something you would do normally anyway, right. We always shop for ourselves, so but, wow!

Rory: I heard actually that Mother's Day -- this might be an urban myth -- but it was created by the Hallmark Card Company in America because there was a gap in the year that people weren't buying cards and so they created this Mother's Day. Everyone's got a mother.

Abidemi: That's true.

Rory: And if they create this Mother's Day, everyone's going to feel obliged to buy a card from them for their mother.

Abidemi: That's true.

Rory: And now it's ... I don't know if it's true.

Abidemi: But I say it's true because I think it's a huge hit in a lot of countries actually, and it's spreading more and more to different countries every year, so these companies are definitely on to something. They know what they're doing.

Rory: Right. So what should we do? I can't boycott Christmas cause I love Christmas too much, but maybe we could boycott some of these other days.

Abidemi: Maybe, or just celebrate it in a way that's less commercialized. I guess we don't always have to buy big things. What about quality time? Spending time with family, with friends and just appreciating them in different ways that we would just think of just shopping or gifts or presents.

Rory: Yeah.

Abidemi: Material things.

Rory: That's a nice idea.

Abidemi: Yeah. I think so. We'll save us some money, definitely, right?

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

go through the roof


Internet sales have gone through the roof.

When something goes through the roof, it does really well in terms of numbers. Notice the following:

  1. The price of gold has gone through the roof.
  2. The cost of living has gone through the roof.

urban myth


This might be an urban myth.

An urban myth is a legendary belief that probably is untrue. Notice the following:

  1. Alligators living in the sewers is an urban myth.
  2. Big Foot is a popular urban myth.

feel obliged


Everyone is going to feel obliged to buy a card.

When you feel obliged to do something, you do it because other people expect you to do it. Notice the following:

  1. I felt obliged to leave a tip.
  2. She felt obliged to compliment him on his job, even though he did poor work.


a huge hit


It's a huge hit.

When something is 'a huge hit', it is very popular. Notice the following:

  1. The movie was a huge hit.
  2. Her cake was a huge hit at the party.



I can't boycott Christmas cause I love Christmas too much.

When you boycott something, you refuse to buy it or use it to protest against something. Notice the following:

  1. Most countries boycott whale meat.
  2. The fans boycotted the game because they dislike the teams owner.

material things


We all want material things.

Material things are items you can buy, like clothes and toys. Notice the following:

  1. Material things do not bring happiness.
  2. He does not care about material things.

Vocabulary Quiz

through the roof • urban myth • obliged
huge hit • boycott • material
  1. I felt to join him.
  2. We plan to all meat products.
  3. The iPod was a in 2004.
  4. Monks do not care for things .
  5. Sales are going .
  6. The story of a secret city in the forest is an .

Related Lessons

1346 City Down Under
#1347 Commercial Xmas
Are holidays too commercial?
Video 840
What is your favorite holiday?

Other Lessons

1350 In the Club
#1350 In the Club
Aimee talks about working part-time.
1349 In the Tropics
#1349 In the Tropics
Paul talks about a job in the rainforest.
1346 City Down Under
#1346 City Down Under
Shirley talks about Melbourne.


Courses for Students and Teachers

One Minute English Videos

Views English Lessons

Mixer English Lessons

Learn Academic English with News Stories

About the Teacher / Creator

Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
Contact Me Here