Free English Lessons

Paying a Restaurant Bill – Listening Lesson (A2)

Have you ever eaten in a restaurant in an English-speaking country? When the bill came, did you split it equally between everyone or did each person pay for what they had? In this free listening lesson from Oxford Online English, you’ll listen to two customers deciding which of these things to do. You’ll review the language of eating out and practise exam-style listening skills. This is a lesson for pre-intermediate learners.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Waiter: Here’s your bill, madam.
Customer 1: Ah, thanks … shall we split it?
Customer 2: Um … I mean, really? I had quite a bit more than you. How much is the bill?
Customer 1: Um … It’s £65.15.
Customer 2: OK, well … I don’t think it’s a good idea, you … Look, you had the soup – that was, what? £6.50; and then the cheese salad, £8.25; and you only had one orange juice and I had the wines – I had the two glasses of wine.
Customer 1: True, but I did have a dessert and you didn’t.
Customer 2: Yeah but you couldn’t even … you couldn’t even finish the cheesecake and you gave half of it to me anyway! No, come on, let’s work it out. Yours was the soup, which was £6.50, plus cheese salad, £8.25, plus half the cheesecake.
Customer 1: Look, I’ll pay for the cheesecake.
Customer 2: Alright, alright, alright … OK, so that’s £6.75; um, the orange juice, £3.95 … that’s, um … what’s that? £25.45. So that leaves 40 quid which is all of my stuff.
Customer 1: Right.
Customer 2: Chicken salad for starter – see? Er, my chicken salad was more expensive than your cheese salad for the main course!
Customer 1: Yeah, OK.
Customer 2: So, er … so, mine’s £9.95 for the starter, £17.95 for the steak, two times £5.90 for the glasses of wine is £11.80 … er, that’s just under £40, so … so I’ll pay £40, OK?
Customer 1: OK, but is service included?
Customer 2: What’s that, sorry?
Customer 1: What about a tip?
Customer 2: Oh, oh yeah, er …
Customer 1: Look, tell you what, why don’t we round it up to £70? You pay that £40 and I’ll put down £30. Oh, look, here’s the waiter now – here you go, keep the change.
Waiter: Very kind madam, thank you.

Paying a Restaurant Bill – exercise 1
Vocabulary: restaurant words

The dialogue includes a lot of words related to paying for a meal at a restaurant. Read five sentences that contain these words.

Each sentence also contains a mistake – the five highlighted words have been mixed up and written in the wrong sentences. Listen carefully for the five sentences in the recording and complete the gaps with the words that the speakers use.

Paying a Restaurant Bill – exercise 2
Pronunciation: words that are hard to hear

When native speakers are talking to each other, they say unstressed words faster than stressed words. Some of the sounds change when words are joined together, too. The result is that some very common words that you know – and use all the time – can be difficult to hear.

Listen to five examples from the dialogue where common words are pronounced very fast. Use your knowledge of grammar to work out what the words are and write them in the gaps. There is one word missing from each gap.

Paying a Restaurant Bill – exercise 3
Comprehension: true, false or not given

‘True, false or not given?’ questions are common in English tests. ‘True’ means that the speakers say the same as the statement; ‘false’ means that the speakers say the opposite of the statement or something that indicates the statement is incorrect; ‘not given’ means that they do not mention anything related to the statement.

Listen to sections of the dialogue and decide which option is correct.

Paying a Restaurant Bill – exercise 4
Listening skill: multi-tasking

In some official English exams, there is an exercise where you have to do two tasks at the same time, and you only have two chances to listen.

On this occasion, you can listen as many times as you like, but try to do as much as you can the first and second time. You could concentrate on one task the first time and the other task the second time.

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