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Cash Transactions

Cash Transactions


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Cash Transactions

Hello! In this lesson, we will practice the English and customs associated with cash transactions. Even though we have checks, ATM cards, and debit and credit cards, we still use cash to pay for many of our day-to-day expenses. We would usually pay cash for small purchases like a cup of coffee and a bagel or doughnut, a newspaper, or a magazine.

Canadian and U.S. currency is based on the "dollar". One-hundred "cents" make one "dollar".

In Canada, there are coins in the denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, one dollar, and 2 dollars. The 50 cent coin is not circulated very widely.

In the U.S., there are coins in the denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, and one dollar. There is no two-dollar coin in the U.S. In the U.S. the 50 cent coin and the dollar coin are not used very much.
In both countries, the coins have names of their own:

1 cent = a penny

5 cents = a nickel

10 cents = a dime

25 cents = a quarter

50 cents = a half dollar

And in Canada, the one-dollar coin is called a "loonie", and the two-dollar coin is called a "toonie".

There are also "bills". The U.S. still uses a one-dollar bill, but Canada has switched completely to the dollar coin.

In Canada and the U.S. there are bills in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. There are also larger bills, but most cash transactions are done with the smaller bills. People sometimes spend Canadian money in the U.S. and U.S. money in Canada.

The federal government assesses taxes on almost every purchase, and the state or provincial government also assesses taxes, which leaves varying percentages of taxes, depending on where you are, or where you are buying things from. The odd amounts of taxes often make for totals that are slightly over a dollar amount.

In this scenario, David goes to a little coffee shop/bakery and is ordering at the counter.

Clerk: Good morning, how can I help you this morning?

David: I'd like a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll, please.

Clerk: Regular or Decaf?

David: Regular. Dark roast, please.

Clerk: For here or to go?

David: To go, please.

Clerk: Okay, that comes to four-oh-seven.

(David starts getting his money out.)

Clerk: Do you want a couple forks with that?

David: No, just a napkin or two. (David is paying with a five-dollar bill)

Clerk: Do you have a nickel and a couple of pennies?

David: Uh, no, that's okay.

Clerk: Oh, thank you sir. Have a nice day. (handing over cup and sack with roll)

David: Thank you. (gets sack and cup)

In this scenario, the clerk greets David by saying "How can I help you this morning?" . He might have said "Can I help you?", or "What'll it be?".

David orders by saying "I'd like a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll, please.". What are some other things he could have ordered? He might have said "I'd like a cup of tea and a scone, please." or "I'd like a café latte and a croissant." or "I'll have a glass of milk and a chocolate chip cookie, please.".

The clerk asks "Regular or decaf?". The clerk wants to know whether David wants caffeinated coffee or decaffeinated coffee. If David had ordered tea, the clerk might have asked "What kind of tea?" or "What kind?". If David had order café latte, the clerk might have asked "Do you want whole or skim milk with that?". Some clerks might ask "Do you want a regular or a skinny latte?". The clerk might also ask "Do you want soy milk with that?".

David answers "Regular. Dark roast, please.". He could have answered "Decaf.". If he ordered tea, he might give the name, type, or flavor of the tea he would like. He might have said "Black tea, please.".
The clerk asks "For here or to go?". The clerk wants to know if David intends to consume the coffee and roll in the restaurant or if he should put the coffee in a disposable cup and the cinnamon roll in a paper sack. He might have asked "Do you need a to-go cup?". Some clerks ask "To-go or ceramic?". This question is asking whether you want a disposable cup or a ceramic cup which you will use on the premises.

David says "To go, please.". He might have said "I'll take it with me.". If he wanted to stay on the premises, he could say "For here." or "Here." or "I'm staying here.".

The clerk says "Okay, that comes to four-oh-seven.". He could have said "The total is four dollars and seven cents." or "That will be four-oh-seven." or "That'll be four dollars and seven cents.".

While David is getting his money out, the clerk asks "Do you want a couple of forks with that?". Since David is taking the cinnamon roll away in a sack, the clerk is offering to put some plastic forks into the sack. There is generally no additional charge for extras like napkins and plastic forks.

The clerk might have asked "Do you need extra sugar and a spoon with that?" or "Do you want some creamer with that?" or "Do you use sugar?".

In some coffee shops and bakeries, there is a little area where customers can get some extra sugar, cream, plastic silverware, and napkins.

David says "No, just a napkin or two.". David wants the clerk to add one or two napkins to the bag. He might have said "A couple of sugars and a spoon for the coffee." or "Would you have a plastic knife?".

When David hands the clerk a five-dollar bill, the clerk asks "Do you have a nickel and a couple of pennies?". The clerk asks this question because he wants to give David one dollar back in change, rather than count out 93 cents. He might have asked "Do you have seven cents?" or "Would you have seven cents?". Some coffee shops and bakeries have a little dish with pennies in it. When people's bill requires one or two pennies, they may freely take pennies from the little dish.

Sometimes the clerk takes pennies from the little dish to settle a bill which requires one or two cents. Sometimes the little dish has a sign which says "Pennies". Customers sometimes leave their small change (pennies and nickels) for other customers to use in payment. If you use the spare change in a place often, it is customary to leave some small change for the next person. Sometimes there is a "tip jar" where customers can leave tips for the staff. In coffeehouses and little bakeries, people sometimes leave their change in the tip jar – so David might have left 93 cents in the tip jar, or 90 cents in the tip jar and 3 cents in the penny dish.

David says "Uh no, that's okay.". His statement could have two meanings. It could mean that he doesn't have seven additional cents, and that the clerk should give him 93 cents in change. It could also mean that he doesn't have 7 additional cents, and that the clerk may keep the change. In the context of the conversation, the clerk says "Oh, thank you, sir.". The clerk will keep the change. David could have said "I don’t need any change." or "You can keep the change." or "Keep the change." Or "The change is for you.".

The clerk tells David "Have a nice day.". He could also say "Enjoy your day." or "Have a good one." or
"Have a good day.". He could also say "Thank you for coming in." or "Thanks for your business.".

David closes the conversation by saying "Thank you.". He might have said "Thank you. Bye.".

Fantastic work! Now you know the English associated with a cash transaction. "Have a nice day!".