Speaking (Shopping, Possessions)



My wife was at the mall all day. She shopped till she dropped.

I’m shopping around for a new guitar. Let me know if you hear of any good deals.

She’s a real shopaholic. She shops so much that she’s $3,000 in debt.

I had a rough week. I think I’ll go to the mall for some retail therapy this weekend.

It’s OK to go shopping if you don’t have any money. You can just go window shopping.

We’ll have to pay through the nose to get a new car, but it’s necessary.

The motorbike keeps breaking down. I think we bought a lemon.

He went broke trying to keep up with the Joneses.

This computer is worth more than gold to me. I don’t leave home without it.

My dad loves his car too much. He treats it like it’s his own child.

Idioms & Expressions: shop till you drop (to shop until you’re tired), shopping around (to compare prices at different stores for an item you want to buy), shopaholic (someone who shops too much), retail therapy (to go buy things in order to improve your mood), window shopping (to look at items without buying them), pay through the nose (to pay an extremely high price for something), buy a lemon (to buy a car or a motorbike of very low value, that is not worth what you paid for it), keeping up with the Joneses (buying items to fit in with everyone else), invaluable/irreplaceable (adjectives for possessions that have a lot of value to you), worth more than gold, can’t live without it/don’t leave home without it (ways to describe items that have a lot of value to you), I treat it like it’s my child (to take perfect care of one of your possessions).

Part 1: Spontaneous Speaking

  1. Do you like shopping?

Not especially. I only go shopping if I feel like I really have to. I’m too busy to spend any significant time shopping. That’s why I like having a roommate or someone to live with, so I can split up shopping duties with them.

  1. What types of things do you often buy?

Besides food (which I love!) I like to buy some formal wear for nice events. I like to buy pocket squares and ties. Everyone has something that they waste money, and this thing is mine. It’s too bad, though, that fashion changes so often, and you have to buy new things so often.

  1. Where do you often buy things, in the markets, small shops or supermarkets?

I do my grocery shopping at Big C, since the prices are pretty good. When I go shopping for clothes, I usually have to go to a tailor, since I’m tall and can’t really buy things off the rack that fit me well.

Part II: Pair Interviews & Individual Presentations

Describe one of your possessions which you couldn’t live without. You should say:

What it is

I can’t live without my running shoes. This is because I exercise almost every day, and I need sturdy shoes so I can do all my different types of workouts.

Why you first bought it or how you got it.

I bought the shoes in Korea, in the foreigner’s district. It was very hard to find a pair of shoes that fit me, since I have very large feet, but I eventually found a good pair. They are Nikes and they should last me for about a year. I had to buy new shoes since I’d been wearing my old ones for about a year and a half, and they were wearing out.

How often you use it

Six days out of the week. I try to take a day off for rest and recovery. I take them with me everywhere, even when I travel. I have to keep them outside of my apartment, since they smell so bad from all the sweat!

What would happen when you do not use that thing?

Exercise is extremely important for me, since I like to stay fit. And if I don’t exercise, then I start to get very anxious and depressed. When you work out, you receive a rush of endorphins, and your mood is elevated for the rest of the day. So if I lost my running shoes, I’d be in a pretty bad mood most of the time.

Part III: Pair Interviews & Class Discussion

  1. Do you think some people spend too much money on things they don’t need? What sort of things?


Because retail therapy can help people feel good, if only for a few days. When you buy something new, you feel good about your purchase for a little while. But if you don’t need the object and instead merely want it, then it’s not going to make you happy forever. People buy new clothes and shoes, usually.

  1. Is it worth trying to repair things which break rather than throwing them away?


I think it depends on your budget and time. If you have the time to try to have something repaired, then it’s probably a much better move for your budget to do so. I usually try to get something fixed, unless it would be too much of a hassle to do so, or if the item is so cheap that I could easily just buy a new one.

  1. Many people feel they must have lots of high-tech gadgets. What do you think of this trend?


I think it’s mostly ridiculous. A iPhone that came out five years should still work perfectly fine. But Apple, for instance, markets very well and makes you think that the new model is so superior that you should immediately buy the new one, and so people do, when they don’t need to. It’s people wanting to “keep up”, and they end up wasting their money.