Views #1493 | Intermediate (B2)

Throwing Things Out

Rachel and Todd discuss when they get rid of old items.

Todd: I'm here with Rachel. We were talking about expiration dates. You were saying that you throw out your clothes regularly.

Rachel: Fairly regularly.

Todd: Yeah. Do you donate them or just toss them?

Rachel: I put them in the recycling.

Todd: There you go.

Rachel: And hope they're going to be remade into something else.

Todd: Yeah, I guess, yeah I always take it out on the day that they'll say that they'll pick up clothes.

Rachel: Yeah. The reason for that is because I usually put, throw clothes out when they'll start to look a bit shabby, so I don't think anyone else wants to wear them.

Todd: Right.

Rachel: By that stage.

Todd: What about furniture? How often do you try to get new furniture?

Rachel: Almost never.

Todd: Yeah.

Rachel: That's something I don't ... Yeah, I'll put up with what I've got.

Todd: Yeah.

Rachel: It seems like such a waste to throw out such large things.

Todd: Yeah, but you never want to replace the couch or the chair?

Rachel: The couch has been replaced three or four times.

Todd: Right.

Rachel: That's a big one, but we've still got the same kitchen table. We had got to get some new chairs.

Todd: Yeah, I've never been a big furniture guy, but I just when I see something that's really cheap ... I would never buy new furniture. I'm always amazed like who buys new furniture? Because when you walk by a store and you see the furniture, it's so expensive. I'm gonna sound really cheap, but it's like I'm like, wow, why would you pay hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars for that when you can just buy one used or whatever for ten bucks or twenty bucks?

Rachel: I'm definitely a used furniture person now.

Todd: Yeah.

Rachel: When we moved into our house we did go to a furniture store and bought all new furniture. It's easy. It's done. Everything looks new. It's kind of nice, but I almost exclusively buy second hand furniture now. Depending on which store you go to, you can get some really good bargains on some beautiful old antique, that look really nice in your house, and cost a fraction of something new.

Todd: Yeah. That's why you like anything that's made with metal or wood because you usually think it's going to age well.

Rachel: Yes.

Todd: Plastic, not so much.

Rachel: No, no. I've definitely sworn off plastic. I think plastic's a fill in if you need something quickly.

Todd: Yeah.

Rachel: And cheaply, but definitely don't like to buy plastic now.

Todd: What about electronic goods, like getting a new TV, a new refrigerator, stuff like that? How often do you buy?

Rachel: We just wait until that breaks down. That's a pretty easy one.

Todd: What about the TV though? The TVs don't break down. They go on forever. How often do you think, oh I want a new TV, I want a new nicer TV?

Rachel: Our last TV broke.

Todd: It did?

Rachel: Well, we had lightening hit the house, and we lost several electronic items.

Todd: Wow.

Rachel: We lost a keyboard, and a computer. I think we lost two out of ... We had three hard disc DV players.

Todd: It was an electrical surge that fried all the circuits?

Rachel: It fried the house, yeah pretty much.

Todd: Wow. I did not know that could happen.

Rachel: Yeah.

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



They'll start to look a bit shabby.

Something that is shabby is in poor condition. Notice the following:

  1. You need a haircut. You are looking shabby.



I almost exclusively buy second hand furniture now.

Here, exclusively means only. It is the only option. Notice the following:

  1. This room is exclusively for teachers, not students.

put up with


Yeah, I'll put up with what I've got.

Here, to put up with something means to tolerate it or endure it. Notice the following:

  1. At his job he puts up with a lot of abuse.

cost a fraction


It cost a fraction of something new.

If something costs a fraction, then it is much cheaper than the alternative. Notice the following:

  1. Owning a bike costs a fraction of owning a car.

break down


We just wait until that breaks down.

When something breaks down, it no longer works properly or as well as it did before. Notice the following:

  1. As people age, their bodies start to break down.



It was an electrical surge that fried all the circuits.

A surge is a sudden and powerful movement of something that causes great force. Notice the following:

  1. A tsunami is a huge surge of water onto land.

Vocabulary Quiz

shabby • exclusively • put up with
cost a fraction • break down • surge
  1. This service is for paid members.
  2. My old car is starting to .
  3. Your hair is looking a bit .
  4. We saw a of applicants.
  5. I have to a lot at work.
  6. Bike repairs of car repairs.

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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.
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