Views #1481 | Intermediate (B1)

Best and Worst Gifts

Jen and Todd talk about the best and worst gifts they have received.

Todd: Jen, we're talking about gifts. We were talking about giving gifts before. Now let's talk about receiving gifts. What is the best and worst gift you have received?

Jen: Why don't you go first.

Todd: Sure. Mine is easy. My step-father made a basketball hoop for me in our driveway. He made it for my birthday. It was pretty cool because, he put it up in one day. I had a car at that time, so I would have seen him making it, but I just came home one day, and there was a big basketball hoop with a big bow around it. It was on my birthday, and it was great. I used it every day and I had nieces and nephews. They used it. I had all my friends in the neighborhood come over. We had basketball tournaments. It was a really good gift.

Jen: That's really cool. It's so nice of him that he would go through all that, and give you such a special gift.

Todd: Yeah. The funny thing about it is, I think he really regretted it because, he wasn't thinking how loud a basketball would be when you bounce it. So when you would bounce the basketball, it made this really loud noise, echoing sound down the street. My dad was great. He was really cool.

Jen: That's really nice.

Todd: Yeah. It was nice. So how about you? Do you have a really special gift?

Jen: For me, my special gift would be, my mom once made a suit. A pair of socks for me. They were really cute with little flowers on the right side of the socks. I would wear them every day when I was a kid. I though that was really special. I still have them in my bag.

Todd: Oh really? Wow.

Jen: Yeah. Winter is coming. I'm going to use it again.

Todd: Socks wear out pretty easily. You've really kept them in good condition.

Jen: Yeah. She probably used really good wool because, it's still there, and I still wear it a lot.

Todd: That's great. What about a bad gift? Or a gift that you were not so crazy about.

Jen: I don't know if it's okay to say I have a bad gift or something. But, yeah, once I did get a very big teddy bear from a friend who loved toys, by the way. She thought that I would love it as much as she did. She gave me this big toy, and I didn't know what to do with it. I was so embarrassed by it that I would actually hide it in my closet so that other friends cannot see it. Yeah. Every time she came to my house I would take it out and put it on my bed, but I hated that teddy.

Todd: Oh no. Wow.

Jen: What about your worst gift?

Todd: Yeah. For me, a very close person to me, a good friend, bought me a shirt. It was lime green. It was so ugly. The texture also was really kind of rough. It had this ribbed texture. I knew the minute I saw it I would never wear it, ever. I felt bad because, this person would come over to my house, and you could see where I kept my clothes in my closet. It was a very small room. That lime green shirt was just always there.

Jen: That's so funny. What did you do with it? Did you wear it?

Todd: I was thinking of a million ways to get rid of it. I would wear it occasionally, if I knew my friend was going to come around and I wasn't going outside. I knew I had to wear it one or two times. Then, I used it to mop up some coffee once, and then I threw it out.

Jen: What?

Todd: I know.

Jen: That's so crazy.

Todd: I know. But, it wasn't quite so bad because, there was actually two shirts. My friend bought the shirts, two for one, I guess. I still have the white shirt. But the lime green one, I got rid of. Yeah.

Jen: You know what? You could have actually worn it during winter and put on a sweater on top of it, and then a coat or something. You didn't really have to do that. That's kind of mean.

Todd: It is actually. It is mean. I don't know why, but for some reason, I really did not like the color. I just don't like lime green. I don't like neon colors, and I would see that bright, neon color all the time.

Jen: I understand what you feel, but I do feel bad for your friend, though.

Todd: I know. So am I a bad person?

Jen: I don't know.

Todd: No comment?

Jen: No, you're not a bad person. Everyone has some problem with colors and stuff. I guess it's fine.

Todd: Have you ever had something that just rubbed you the wrong way? For some reason, you look at it and it was an eyesore. You just hated looking at it. Like a piece of clothing, or maybe something in your house.

Jen: Besides that toy I got, which I actually kind of like nowadays just because, it's with me and when I own something, after some time, I end up liking them because, they're mine, you know?

Todd: Yeah. It grows on you.

Jen: Exactly.

Todd: Actually, just thinking about that lime shirt, it is growing on me now, and now I really regret it. I wish I had kept it.

Jen: Too bad. You already spilled some coffee on it.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

wear out


Socks wear out pretty easily.

It something wears out, it no longer is good enough to use. Notice the following:

  1. I always wear out my shoes in about a month.
  2. I need new tires. These ones are worn out.

throw it out


I threw it out.

If you throw something out, you throw it away because you cannot use it anymore. Notice the following:

  1. The milk was old so I threw it out.
  2. Don't throw out those magazines. I'll read them.



That's kind of mean.

When you are mean, you not nice or polite. Notice the following:

  1. Their comments were mean.
  2. Don't be mean to me.

rub someone the wrong way


It rubbed you the wrong way.

If something rubs you the wrong way, you do not like it, and perhaps you cannot explain why you do not like it. Notice the following:

  1. His tweets rubs me the wrong way.
  2. I hate that group. They rub me the wrong way.



It was an eyesore.

When something is an eyesore, it is very ugly to look at. Notice the following:

  1. That shirt is an eyesore.
  2. This sweater is an eyesore.

It grows on you


Yeah. It grows on you.

When something grows on you, you do not like it at first, but like it more and more over time. Notice the following:

  1. At first I hated jazz, but after awhile it grew on me.
  2. I did not like sushi at first, but it grew on me.

Vocabulary Quiz

the wrong way • mean • grows on
throw out • eyesore • wear out
  1. Be nice. Don't be to me.
  2. This new meatless burger kind of you.
  3. That shirt is so ugly. What an !
  4. Please that old milk.
  5. Cheap socks fast.
  6. His comments just rub me .

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What is the best gift you have received?
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About the Teacher / Creator

Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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