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Gift Cards
Gift Cards

Learn English with this gift cards English lesson

Date: Feb 10 2020

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.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





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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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 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I love to recieve Post Cards when my students give me Post Cards in teacher`s day(written Happy Teacher`s Day or somebody give me one in my birthday(for example drawing aflower and written happy your birth day) it makes me very happy and Gift Cards on teacher`s day from headmisteress is good.I think the washing machine I gave to my mom was the most useful and the best gift I have ever given to her.

07:14 AM Feb 03 2014 |




Omg! Gifts cards are an amazing way to save your life for a ” it’s pretty but you know I would like it in other color” ( with an uncomfortable face) hahah and sure if u don’t know the real size of that person u want to make a gift. I admit is cute when someone make u a gift or a gift card…. Mmmm why not both? Hahha

02:25 AM Feb 03 2014 |

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