Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language

Session 4

Formal and informal writing

Is language becoming more informal because of email and the internet? Read our article to find out if 'Dear…' is dying.

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

0 / 14

  • 0 / 6
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 5
    Activity 2
  • 0 / 3
    Activity 3
  • 0 / 0
    Activity 4

To tip or not to tip, that is the question

A pound coin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is tipping part of daily life in your country - or do you never leave a tip when you pay for a meal?

Listen to this week's News Report - you'll hear several examples of question forms in action. If you need extra help, there's a transcript to read while you listen - or if you're feeling brave, listen without the transcript.

After you've listened, why not practise your pronunciation by reading the transcript out loud?

Listen to the audio

Show transcript Hide transcript

Do you leave a tip when you pay for a meal? And how much do you tip?

Michael Lynn from Cornell University thinks that tipping is worth about $40bn each year. That's more than twice the budget of Nasa.

Indeed, many people say America is the most 'tip-friendly'country on earth. In New York, leaving a tip of around 20% in restaurants is normal. This compares to around 11% in London.

Why is it so much higher? Mainly because the wages of restaurant workers in the US are usually lower, so the tip is a very important part of their income.

But now some restaurants are trying something different. Sushi Yasuda restaurant in New York has banned tips because they say their staff are already well-paid, and because it makes the dining experience simpler for customers.

And which countries don't expect tips at all? In Singapore tipping is very rare, and in Fiji, Iceland and Japan, it can cause embarrassment and offence.

Download

You can download News Report from our Unit 1 downloads page. (size 2MB)

Vocabulary

tip
small amount of money that you give to a person who gives you a service

budget
the amount of money you can spend on something

wages
money you earn from working

income
money people receive, usually from working

banned
officially not allowed

dining
eating a meal

embarrassment
feeling shy

offence
feeling upset, hurt or annoyed

Related story

This report is based on an original BBC News Story.

 

End of Session 4

Well done. You have finished this session. Join us again in Session 5 where you will find out about two more new features in this course. Bye for now.

Session Vocabulary

  • tip
    small amount of money that you give to a person who gives you a service

    budget
    the amount of money you can spend on something

    wages
    money you earn from working

    income
    money people receive, usually from working

    banned
    officially not allowed

    dining
    eating a meal

    embarrassment
    feeling shy

    offence
    feeling upset, hurt or annoyed