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Gift Cards
Gift Cards

Learn English with this gift cards English lesson

Date: May 16 2018

Themes: Family

Grammar: Zero Conditional


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We all have them: those people in our family who are incredibly picky. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend looking for the perfect gift, they will never be happy with what you select. The shirt is the wrong color. The candle smells funny. Whatever you give them, it’s the wrong thing. So what do you do?

One way to avoid stress when shopping for picky people is to give them a gift card. That way they can shop for themselves and find something that suits their taste. With a gift card, Mom can never criticize the flowers you buy her, and Aunt Shelby can’t complain about the box of chocolate. Problem solved.

Of course, some people think gift cards are too easy. For them, it’s a cop out. They’d rather spend hours searching for the perfect gift, even if it turns out to be the wrong thing.

Rafael is looking for a present. Find out why he chooses a gift card in this English lesson.


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Rafael:  Hey, so how much money do you think I should put on this gift card? I’m getting it for my mom as a gift.

Marni:  Really? You’re getting your mother a gift card? Don’t you think that’s kind of a cop out?

Rafael:  Well, the thing about my mom is that she’s really picky. She always wants ten different options for what she can get herself for Christmas or New Year’s, so I just let her select her own gift and get her a gift card that can get her lots of different stuff.

Marni:  Well, I guess you have sound logic. I just think they’re so impersonal. I mean, it’s your mother. You know her taste, right? Couldn’t you go out and pick her out something that she would really like?

Rafael:  To be honest, usually when I do that, it ends up being the wrong thing.

Marni:  Well, it sounds like your mother is incredibly picky. You know gift cards are so easy, and people just give gift cards. I feel like nobody’s putting any thought into gift-giving anymore. Nobody really takes the time to consider the person and pick out something that’s really meaningful.

Rafael:  Maybe the bright way of looking at it would be to say, “Here’s this gift card. Now I can get myself a gift of choice.”

Marni:  I guess. I just feel like it’s a lost art: gift-giving.


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Rafael asks Marni how much money he should put on a gift card that he is getting for his mother. Marni is surprised that Rafael is not picking out a different kind of present. After all, it’s for his mom, and she thinks that he should be able to choose something special that she would like.

Rafael explains that his mother is very picky. He has never been able to find the perfect present for her, so he would rather give her the gift of choice. By getting her a gift card, he can let her select a present that she will definitely enjoy.

Marni doesn’t seem to think that gift cards make good presents because they are so impersonal. For her, gift-giving is an art, and she thinks it’s disappearing. However, she doesn’t have a better idea for Rafael’s mom, either. She can’t criticize his choice.

Do you like to give or receive gift cards? What is the best gift you have ever given someone?



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GWTASuper Member!


Yes, I like giving gift cards. I think it is the smartest way to give a present nowadays. Because a lot off people are picky. And they have nearly everything.

08:10 AM May 16 2018 |



Viet Nam

Personally, I would prefer to give or receive gift cards . A couple of times I received gift from somebody, it was not really what I like; and I think that it would be the same with other people who I might give them some presents that they don’t like, so gift cards are still the best option for me.

06:59 AM Sep 22 2014 |




I have received many gift cards, even I have won some in competitions, lol.

But I also love  to give them, especially if you don’t know what kind of gift the other person like.

04:14 PM Feb 19 2014 |




I have received gift cards specially for books.  I think it was a great idea since I love reading.  I felt the person wanted me to choose a book I didn’t have already or I get that book I always wanted to get and couldn’t.

When you don’t know the person closely I think gift cards are a good option.  However for a person I really love or is close to me I prefer to buy something special.  I think the best gift I have given is a dinner for my family.  I prepared stuffed turkey, salads, drinks then I gave everybody a handwritten card with my wishes for the new year.  I love giving gifts :D

have a nice day

09:47 PM Feb 09 2014 |




  • it must was a bad experiences that your sister gave you a gift and took it off in three days later. wu wu

09:58 AM Feb 07 2014 |



Very interesting to describe, but Iam a kind of person who gives and receives a lot of gifts during the year depends on celebrity.One of the best gift that i had gave to someone very special for me My Mather in law.I had bought three shape of hearts linked together wich was made of wood,and it coud hang on the wall,second one cartoline wich was hand made in the shape of flowerpot and at the top some small tiny flowers-inside it was the paper and message.She was very surprised and she did like a lot my presnt. As belong to the receiveinng  a gift,it was from my mum one necklace with  Queen Kleopatra Sign.

10:29 AM Feb 06 2014 |




no, my mom doesnt want a card, she asks for a car.

09:58 AM Feb 05 2014 |




As me, I don’t prefer to overpay for gifts. If I want to be frank, I’ve given small numbers of gifts, unluckily. I prefer to take the gift cards in connection with that how much in the card is and whether it’s worth to give it or ask for another thing. Just joking. 

There is a well know proverb in Turkish that says u should not count gift horse’s teeth. It means whatever u have given as a gift is valuable no matter what it is. 

I think the best gift i’ve ever taken is some kind of shaver that is so usable and also i can’t pass by a leather wallet, too. It’s incredibly THE BEST THING SINCE SICED BREAD for me. 

09:12 AM Feb 05 2014 |




I think the disagreement between Rafael and Marni exists in the purpose of gift giving.  If the material benefits enjoyed by the gift recipient was focused as purpose, a gift card should be chosen.  But if psychological fulfillment, particularly that of the giver, matters a lot, the card option does not just cut it. So, how about this – if the gift giving is out of customary, such as wedding and Christmas, give gift cards or cash.  But when you feel like doing something nice to someone who is important to you, buy/make something by yourself with time and thoughts. After all, giving a present should not be a practice of social conformity or commercial exploitation.     

06:36 PM Feb 04 2014 |



I dont think gift cards are the best choice. It’s certainly a vertical present coz we can get what we really wanna get. But we could get the same things with our own money.

I’d rather love a gift full of feelings. It doesnt matter whether it’s practical or not.

02:06 PM Feb 04 2014 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

never look at a gift horse in the mouth. no matter what it is. giving and recieving present makes me happy.

07:55 PM Feb 03 2014 |

1 person likes this




Receiving a gift can make me happy,I don’t wanna care much about the gift is a gift card or presents,Both are good for me .It’s crule to let everthing to be perfect.Use gift to judge relationship sounds reasonable,but it’s hard to make it right in real life.

03:42 PM Feb 03 2014 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I’m crazy about gifts and suveniors!it doesn’t matter what it is,the important thing is that i’ll understand i’m important for that person!


01:31 PM Feb 03 2014 |




I’ve never complained about any gift I received, but there are some that I didn’t like that much. However, as I don’t like to hurt other people’s feelings, I just keep quiet and take it with a happy face to show gratitude. After all, the person remembered me, right? The intention is what really matters!

But if you ask me what my preference is, I’d say that I rather to get a giftcard… In my opinion this is NOT a cop out, but a way of showing that you want that specific person to fell completely happy with what you offering. And, besides, they’ll have no way of complaining about what they got later… hahaha

01:09 PM Feb 03 2014 |




It sounds logic that Rafael  would want to prefer to   buy a gift card for her mother .He knows so well that she will never be satisfied  with any gift no matter how expensive   that she receives from his son. It never ocurred to me to complain about a gift , i always look at the intention  of the giver not the money that   represent  the gift.  I have never received a gift card but some of my friends did ,the amount ? 25 dollars ,maybe 50 dollars. i like coffee  and my friends know it well, so as a present they might would want gifting   me with a Starbucks    card for 25 bucks , enjoy !! thanks buddies !! 

12:59 PM Feb 03 2014 |

2 people like this



I like to give gift cards and I like receiving gift cards.

11:44 AM Feb 03 2014 |




I like to get presents because it shows how much the person knows you, but when they give you gift cards they show that they do not know you very well. It depends who is the giver and who is the getter.

10:07 AM Feb 03 2014 |

munisa alimatova


mmmm. i consider @ it. LOL.

09:56 AM Feb 03 2014 |

munisa alimatova


i.m.o.,it’s really good idea. i bet, gift cards one of the incredibly way.WoW.).,

09:52 AM Feb 03 2014 |

1 person likes this



Gift cards really easy way to give gift to someone..people may feel theirselves impersonel and not special…i havent given a gift to anybody yet ))

08:57 AM Feb 03 2014 |

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