Lesson text & audio:
Listen to the conversation, then read the explanation of the words and phrases.
Amanda: “I’m looking for a budget hotel in Orlando. Have you ever stayed at the Comfort Hotel?”
Joe: “Yes… I wouldn’t recommend it.”
Amanda: “Why not?”
Joe: “Granted, it’s cheap, but the place is filthy, the beds are uncomfortable, there’s no A/C, the breakfast is pretty skimpy… and the staff couldn’t care less about the guests.”
Amanda: “Oh. I guess you get what you pay for. How long did you stay there?”
Joe: “Just one night, when my flight was canceled due to bad weather. It’s bearable if you just need a place to crash, but you definitely don’t want to book a vacation there. Unless you enjoy sharing your room with cockroaches.”
Amanda: “Hmm, I’ll pass. Hopefully I can find a decent place that won’t cost a fortune.”
Amanda is looking for a budget hotel – this means a hotel that is inexpensive – it doesn’t cost very much money. When she asks Joe about the Comfort Hotel, Joe gives her a list of negative points about it.
Joe begins by saying “Granted, it’s cheap…” the word “granted” in this situation means “I acknowledge that” – you can use it to recognize a fact before presenting some counterpoints (facts on the opposite side).
Joe says the hotel is filthy – that means “extremely dirty and disgusting.” Also, the beds are uncomfortable and there’s no A/C – air conditioning. The breakfast is skimpy – that means there is less food than there should be; the quantity of food is inadequate. Finally, the hotel staff “couldn’t care less” about the guests – that means the people who work at the hotel don’t care at all about the people who are staying there.
Amanda uses the phrase “you get what you pay for.” This expression means “If you don’t pay much money for something, then it is probably of bad quality.” If you pay more, then you are more likely to get something that is high-quality.
Joe only spent one night at the Comfort Hotel due to a flight cancellation. He says it’s “bearable if you just need a place to crash” – this means, “you can tolerate the bad situation if you just need a place to stay the night temporarily” – the word “crash” is an informal word for finding a place to stay or to sleep.
However, Joe doesn’t recommend booking a vacation there. The word “book” used as a verb means to make an advance reservation for a plane ticket or hotel. He says you’ll only like the Comfort Hotel if you enjoy sharing your room with cockroaches – a type of insect.
Amanda says “I’ll pass” – this expression means, “I won’t take that opportunity.” She hopes she can find a decent hotel that won’t “cost a fortune” – this means “cost a lot of money.” Another idiom with the same meaning is “cost an arm and a leg.”