A Valentine’s Day Surprise – part 2
The story continues…
It’s two days after Valentine’s Day, you are waiting on the train station platform on your way home from work and the woman standing next to you is making a phone call. It is the same woman who had the big bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day. If you did not listen to the phone call this woman made on Valentine’s Day it is here.
Can you work out what the phone call is about? You can only hear one side of the phone call and there is background noise from the train station announcer as well.
Listen to the phone call. If it is hard to understand, write down everything that you can hear.
Remember – this is natural conversational speed English. It is fast. The sound quality is not great, the phone call is taking place whilst waiting for a train in a busy train station. You need to practice listening with background noises as everyday life is not usually silent in the background. You will not hear all the words, as I don’t say them all fully. This is informal speech, there are lots of ‘err’s and hesitation and repetition of words. The grammar is not always correct. This is natural speech not a textbook dialogue. What is important is to work out what the gist of the message is.
Did she throw the flowers away? What did Paul do? What is a “meal-deal”?
Write down all the words you can hear. After listening a few times, look at the transcript and work out which words you could not hear. Listen again with the transcript.
Hi Jane, I just want to tell you what happened when I got in from work on Valentine’s Day…oh i know, I know I forgot to phone you yesterday, sorry, it was a bit hectic….
anyway I kept the flowers, they were too gorgeous to throw away. I wasn’t going to waste them, I’ve never had flowers …..such fantastic flowers like that……….. yes.. well I had a plan…… I had a plan of what I was going to do.
….erm I thought that if Paul…. he’d either react in one of two ways when he saw the flowers..he’d either say “oh I see you’ve got the flowers I sent you ..do you like them?” but I never really thought they were from him…and so, well let me tell you what happened, come on, ….let me tell you ……
…so I walked in the door and I could smell this fantastic cooking smell and I thought…. “oh that’s a bit weird” …but Paul was, he was in the kitchen and he was bending down putting something in the oven.. and he had his back to me, but as was, as he was putting things in the oven he said
“Oh, Happy Valentine’s day erm I’ve cooked a lovely meal for us”, he said ..”sorry I did not get you any flowers but I thought you would rather have a lovely meal waiting for you when you got in..”
I know, I know, I know I’ve said he can’t cook, no it wasn’t proper cooking, he’d got all that stuff from the supermarket, you know those Valentine special offers they do those meal deals yea you know, you get a starter a main meal and a pudding and a bottle of wine or some chocolates..
…yea he had done that, but it was nice, it was really nice actually, it was nice of him…
so anyway he turned round and he said: “oh, oh you’ve got flowers!”
and I..so I ran over to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek, gave him the flowers and said: “Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!”
and so I got to keep the flowers and they smell lovely, they are in vases all around the living room, the smell fills the house.
So I got a lovely dinner, yea,.. we had er lamb shanks, oh what was the starter, er we had like these little salmon things as a starter and lamb shanks … and these nice chocolate err, heart pudding things and a lovely bottle of wine …… yea so it worked out really well I got the flowers and a meal…yea, ok right you tell me, ok my train’s here now and then go we go in the tunnel so I”ll call you back in 10 minutes bye
Listen again whilst reading the transcript and look out for the words that end in T.
In informal spoken English do we pronounce the T at the end of words?
Read this blog post about the missing T in spoken English.
Let me know in the comments which parts were difficult. To find out what happens next move onto part 3.