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English Conversation – Money

Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 06:11 PM
posted by Jo


This is the preparation material for an English conversation lesson about money - earning money, losing money and spending money! There is an audio discussion to listen to, common idioms relating to money and a list of conversation questions that we might use when discussing this important subject.

Audio discussion

Download audio discussion about money

Download transcript of audio discussion

* Audio courtesy of elllo.org


Borrow vs lend money


Use 'borrow' when taking money from someone, use 'lend' when giving money to someone.

Phrasal Verbs

  • pay back - to return money owed to someone
  • pay off - to finish paying all money that is owed
  • save up - to keep money for a large expense in the future
  • put aside - to save money for a specific purpose




  • Money doesn’t grow on trees – money doesn’t come easily
  • I’m not made of money – to not have a lot of money
  • Time is money – time is valuable so do not waste it
  • Beyond one’s means – more than one can afford
  • To cost an arm and a leg – to cost a lot of money
  • Flat broke – to have no money at all
  • Foot the bill – to pay for something

Conversation questions

  • Do you think money brings happiness?
  • What would you do if you were given $1 million?
  • In what ways do people’s lives revolve around money?
  • Do you agree with the expression “money is the root of all evil”?
  • Have you ever lost a lot of money?
  • Have you ever won a lot of money?
  • Do you think children should be given pocket money / an allowance?
  • How important do you think it is to save money?
  • Do you think people behave differently when they have a credit card compared to when they have cash?
  • Do you think that money can ever buy love?
  • Have you ever had money stolen from you?
  • What qualities must a person have to make big money?
  • Why do people often want more money, no matter how much they have got?
  • Why are poor people in many cases more generous than rich people?
  • What do you like spending money on?
  • Have you ever lent money to someone?
  • Have you ever found any money on the street? If so, what did you do with it?
  • When did you open your first bank account?
  • How old were you when you earned your first salary? What did you spend it on?
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3 Responses to “English Conversation – Money”

  1. Zainur Suhada says:

    Dear Jo,
    some said that everything is money and money is not everything. Of course for me money can give us happiness but in the right way. What if I were given $1million?? wow, unbelievable, this kind of thing never come across in my mind. But if I were given this number of money, i will spent this money for my benefit first ( of course). For sure, I will go for my dream holiday which is in New Zealand. That is!!
    With Love

    • Jo says:

      Hello Zainur,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I think money can help with happiness (because without money to feed our family or to have a home it is difficult to be happy!). Of course, happiness is deeper than money and I think even a poor person can be happy.

      I visited Vietnam about 15 years ago and I went to several areas which were very poor where some people were living in homes made from old wood and cardboard. They had very few possessions but they were very happy and peaceful.

      I think a lot depends on the attitude to our circumstances.

      Best wishes,


      • Zainur Suhada says:

        For sure money can’t buy us happiness (Maddie Jane said).. When i saw the documentary of Somalia or Africa about their poor, i am really glad to have a good life now although not quite enough,,
        With love,