Today, in our English vocabulary explanation lesson, we’re going to look at some English words and phrases which will help you with conversations that involve travel and leisure. We give you lots of examples and a quick quiz to make sure you’ve understood. So, whether you’re planning a meeting, or just like to holiday–this is the perfect info for you!
This type of listen and learn lesson will help you with expanding your English vocabulary. You will not only learn some unfamiliar words and phrases, you will learn how to use them in your own words. You will learn the correct pronunciation, tone and context when you use them. There is a lot of English language learning in just one podcast lesson.
If you’re planning for an English test, then this type of English listening lesson is the best way to prepare is to practise using the language in everyday conversation. We’ve listed some English vocabulary and phrases for travel and leisure, so you will have working examples of exactly what to say.
It's very variety, subtlety, and utterly irrational, idiomatic complexity makes it possible to say things in English which simply cannot be said in any other language.
⭐ Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
We have lots more English vocabulary lessons using everyday words and phrases from the English language here. Subscribe to our free English language podcasts and you will improve your English language skills. Start speaking English more confidently today with Adept English.
Understood Interchangeably Unfamiliar Treatments Travelling Booths Appointment Recognition Reservation Windscreen
Is travel part of your reason for learning English? Or do you need to talk about travel and leisure activities in order to pass an English language test? We’ve given some attention to idioms in the work place recently for our podcasts. But many of you are learning English because you want to travel. And not necessarily to English speaking countries - many people who learn English do so because it’s useful for communicating with other non-native English speakers, especially when travelling.
I always like to remember that there are more people in the world who speak English as a second language, than speak it as a native language. So today, what about some vocabulary explanations of some words, which will help you with travel and leisure - with enjoyable activities in other words? And yes, don’t forget - if you’ve got an English language test to pass, this kind of vocabulary really helps that conversation.
Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.
How about we start with a test. I’m going to give you four words. For each word, try to explain to me - in English - what the word means and when you would use it. There are four words here - and they’re all nouns that you’ll use when travelling or doing leisure or pleasure related activities. But there are subtle differences in the meaning. See if you know what they are. For each of the following words, see if you can give me an explanation in English - I’ll give you a space to do that.
- Appointment - that’s APPOINTMENT - appointment
- Reservation - that one is RESERVATION - reservation
- Booking - that’s BOOKING - booking
- Ticket - that’s TICKET - ticket
OK. Did that get you thinking? And what are the differences between those words? Can you use them interchangeably - that means can you substitute one word for another? If not, what are the differences? When might you use each of these words? Let’s go through it.
1 An appointment. Generally speaking you ‘make an appointment’ with a person. So an appointment is a meeting. You reserve time with someone, an expert usually - or someone who is doing you a personal service. So if you wanted a massage, that’s MASSAGE, you might book an appointment.
A photo of a young lady booking and appointment online. A core set of English vocabulary and phrases is important when travelling. Vacations aren’t vacations without vocabulary lessons.
If you wanted beauty treatments that were done by a person, you would ‘make or book an appointment’ with them. And you would say ‘My appointment is for 3 o’clock’. So this can be used for pleasure and leisure activities. But it’s also for medical appointments too, where you might meet your doctor. Or for dental appointments - where you go and get your teeth looked at by your dentist.
So an appointment is usually associated with a particular time and date and a person, whom you’re going to see. And at the beautician, the masseuse, the dentist or the doctor’s end, they will usually allocate a set amount of time in their diary for your appointment.
2 What about a ‘reservation’? Well, this one is much more associated with ‘leisure and tourism’. You can reserve a table in a restaurant. You can make a reservation for a particular box at the theatre. So the idea here is usually that if you ‘reserve’ something or you ‘make a reservation’, where there are a limited number of places or spaces - that’s either tables in the restaurant or boxes at the theatre or booths, that’s BOOTHS in a night club.
There are a limited number of these physical spaces at a given time, on a given evening. So you reserve a place for yourself and your friends perhaps. During the pandemic in the UK, it’s become customary for people to want to eat outside more - even though it’s been winter time, when they go to pubs and restaurants. So you might ‘reserve a pod’ - that’s POD.
So basically that’s a table outside that has some kind of shelter or bubble around it and if you’re lucky a heater - so that you can eat outside, in January or February just with your friends, so limiting your chance of catching the virus.
3 What about the word ‘booking’? Well, this word really refers to the idea that there is a record of your reservation or your appointment or your ticket. 95% likely that your booking is on a computer system somewhere. So essentially, a ‘booking’ is a record of you, your name, your details, your payment details probably and the time that you’re booked in for - and what it is that you’ve paid for.
This might be airline tickets for a particular flight, it might be tickets to a concert. It might be a hotel booking - for five days at the Grand Hotel in Scarborough in August - lovely! Or it could be the record of that medical or hair appointment that you booked - which is also in your diary too. It could be the record of your car being ‘booked into the garage’ because there’s a problem with the engine. So we use this word ‘booking’ more to refer to the fact that there’s a record that we booked something, we booked an appointment, a service, a table, a venue, a room or some tickets.
4 Finally the word ‘ticket’? Well, the older meaning of this noun ‘a ticket’ - it’s a piece of paper. So even now in 2022, for some things there are still tickets. So if you go to a car park, certainly in the UK - you may pay with your bank card for your parking ticket, but often what happens - the machine prints out a piece of paper, which you’ve then to display in your car windscreen.
This is your ticket. There are quite a lot of carparks in the UK which use ANPR - or Automatic Number Plate Recognition - which does away with the need for tickets. Sometimes it’s quite nice to have a paper ticket. There may even be artwork on the ticket and sometimes people keep tickets for sentimental reasons. You might talk about ‘getting tickets for a performance at the theatre’ or ‘buying tickets for the wildlife park’ or tickets to see one of your favourite bands play music. Or tickets to go on the train.
So the usual idea of a ticket is that it helps you ‘gain entry’ to somewhere - you can get in to the venue or you can get onto the train, or whatever the mode of transport. You haven’t necessarily reserved a particular place to sit or to be once you get inside, but you can get in or get on. All sporting fixtures are likely to have tickets.
But I said ‘the older meaning’ of the word ticket. So we still use the word ticket, but more often than, a ticket is something with a barcode on it, or a QR code - which either you print out or which you download to your phone. My last two times going through airports, in that little tiny bit of time last autumn when it was possible to do European travel, I spent my time at the airport, with my tickets - and my COVID pass - all on my phone.
Rather than trying to find different bits of paper in my bag. Or my ticket for parking my car was also a bar code. My flight ticket - or more correctly my ‘boarding pass’ - were all essentially bar codes on my phone. So the meaning of ‘ticket’ gets closer to the meaning of ‘booking’ as we use paper tickets less and less. But for music concerts, sporting matches, plays at the theatre and days out, we still talk about ‘tickets’.
OK, did that make sense? Are you clearer now on when you would use ‘appointment’, ‘reservation’, ‘booking’ or ‘ticket’? There are some places where these are interchangeable. You might talk about your airline tickets or your flight booking - that’s the same thing - you’re basically going on a plane. You would talk about tickets if you were going on the train - and if you bought them at the station, certainly in the UK, you would receive a cardboard ticket, with a barcode strip on the back. But if you are reserving a table or a hotel or a hire car - you would talk about ‘a booking’ or ‘a reservation’ here.
Shall we do another little quiz to see what you’ve learned? Just before we do that, a quick reminder that we have a special free course for English language learners. If you’ve only just found our podcast and you haven’t done The Seven Rules of Adept English, this course will quite possibly change the whole way you do your language learning.
There’s an easier way to to do it! So go to our website at adeptenglish.com and sign up for this free course today. Back to that quiz to find out how much you’ve learned in this podcast. I’ll give you four sentences and for each one, when you hear this sound, you decide which one of the four words we’ve covered fits best in that sentence.
- I’m really sorry sir, I’m looking on our system and I can’t find your ……
- I really want to get ……. to the match. Man United are playing Fulham.
- Good morning. I have an …… at 10 o’clock to get my legs waxed.
- Good evening. I have a …………. for a table for four for 8pm.
Hopefully that was a whole lot easier! The answers to this quiz are in the transcript - and you will that on our website at adeptenglish.com. So my hope here is that you’ve just learned some really useful differences between those four words, so that when it comes to using the right word in the right context, when you’re travelling and generally doing ‘leisure’ and tourism’ type activities, this podcast is helpful. It’s also useful for English language tests where you have to speak about travel, or leisure too.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com
- I’m really sorry sir, I’m looking on our system and I can’t find your BOOKING (or RESERVATION)
- I really want to get TICKETS to the match. Man United are playing Fulham.
- Good morning. I have an APPOINTMENT at 10 o’clock to get my legs waxed.
- Good evening. I have a RESERVATION for a table for four for 8pm.