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“Gift Suggestions”



Pre-Listening Question

What kinds of gifts do people give in these situations?

  • a wedding
  • a college graduation
  • a birth
  • Mother’s Day

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

ideal (adjective): the best or most suitable type
– Giving money is often the ideal gift for some people.

household appliance (expression): a device, often electrical, that does a certain job in the home (examples include a vacuum cleaner, a dishwasher, or a rice cooker)
– A small household appliance like a rice cooker might be a nice gift for a new couple.

perceive (verb): be aware of, come to realize, notice, or understand
– Getting your boyfriend a tie for his birthday might be nice, I perceive one problem: I never see him wear one.

be thrilled (verb): be excited or very happy
– Our kids were thrilled with the idea of buying gifts for a family in need for Christmas.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video, Aubrey and I want to explore the topic of gift suggestions. A lot of times people are thinking about what is the ideal gift for different situations. And again, we can’t specifically say, well, in this culture, we do this and that because sometimes those are overgeneralizations. But let me give you a couple of situations and you let me know what you might personally give in these situations. So the first situation is a gift for a child. Let’s just say a family member.

Aubrey: Yeah. I don’t know if I’m the best person to answer this question ’cause my sister always gets upset with me when I give her child gifts ’cause I buy him too much stuff.

Randall: Okay.

Aubrey: Like for his birthday, I bought him a video game console.

Randall: Oh. And that . . . that could be somewhat problematic depending on how much she wants him to play it.

Aubrey: Yeah.

Randall: Okay. So that’s a particular situation. What would you get for a parent? Let’s just say for a birthday or for Christmas?

Aubrey: See, I would be like, Dad, what do you want for Christmas? And then you’re gonna say socks, and then I’m going to be like, okay, I guess I’ll actually get him socks. And then you’re gonna be sad ’cause I got you socks.

Randall: But when I’ve said I wanted socks, I’ve really wanted socks.

Aubrey: Oh, okay.

Randall: Okay so

Aubrey: (I) think I usually get you Snickers bars.

Randall: Yeah. Or something like that. Uh, Okay uh, The next one is what would you get for a partner?

Aubrey: That would depend on the partner

Randall: And let’s just say someone that you’ve been with for a year.

Aubrey: Yeah. I mean, it really is gonna depend on the person ’cause, like, if someone bought me jewelry, I would know they didn’t know me very well.

Randall: Okay,

Aubrey: ‘Cause I don’t want that.

Randall: So you’re saying right there you need to know the person and make sure you buy not what you perceive as what they want, but what they really need, not necessarily need, but want.

Aubrey: Yeah. Like for me, I’d be like, oh, a new video game would be cool. Or maybe even like a household appliance. Like I might be thrilled if you bought me a new vacuum.\

Randall: All right.

Aubrey: ‘Cause those are expensive.

Randall: They can be. I mean, a really good one, for sure.

Aubrey: Yeah, I want a Dyson.

Randall: Ah, right. Well, what about. Would you ever give a gift for a boss or a coworker?

Aubrey: Coworker? Yes, Boss? No.

Randall: Okay. And maybe for a coworker, what would be your, you know, guiding principle for that?

Aubrey: I mean, I guess it depends. Like, how many coworkers do I have? How many people am I giving gifts to? ‘Cause, you know, I might just give them a $10 gift card to somewhere um, or, you know, maybe if I was giving the whole office something, maybe just some treats.

Randall: Okay. For the entire office.

Aubrey: Yeah.

Randall: Okay. All right. Well, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on gift-giving.

Conversation Questions

What kind of gift would you give these people for their birthday? Explain if there is a reason why you wouldn’t give a gift.

  • to a parent
  • to a coworker
  • to a boss
  • to a sibling
  • to a partner

Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

The following activities are somewhat related gift-giving practices in different situations.

Try More Free Listening at