How I Learn English Speaking Conversation On Black Friday Ep 283

Woman looking in amazement at her shopping bags. English listening and speaking lesson using Black Friday as a discussion topic.

📝 Author: Hilary

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💬 1927 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 10 min

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How I learn English speaking

Looking at an object and hearing the new words used in your target language to describe it is the basis of listen and learn. So here at Adept English we try to always keep our lessons centered on things that will interest you, that you are already likely to be familiar with in your own language.

Keeping the vocabulary simple and the scope of the topic narrow (we try to stay on topic honest!). Will give you the best chance of learning new English grammar and vocabulary.

Tip: If you want to maximise the benefits of our approach of listen and learn, try to visualise the things we talk about as you listen.

So, for example, if we talk about shopping try to imagine shops, try to make the images detailed in your mind, or even look at images in a magazine or the internet. You're trying to combine the sounds your hearing with the words your brain is associating with these sounds and as a bonus your adding images to help solidify what your saving in your brains long term memory.

Most Unusual Words:


Most common 2 word phrases:

Black Friday27
English Speaking6
Cyber Monday5
The Day5
If You’Re4

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The mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.

Transcript: How I learn English Speaking Conversation On Black Friday

Hi and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. If you’re asking the question ‘How I learn English speaking?’, then the answer lies here with us, Adept English, helping you!

Well, November is over and it’s December now and we are in the run-up to Christmas. Now you may or may not celebrate Christmas, but you’re probably aware of it and of the traditions around Christmas. Apart from being a religious festival, Christmas is also a commercial thing. ‘Commercial’, C-O-M-M-E-R-C-I-A-L means to do with business. And you have perhaps heard the term ‘Black Friday’ in relation to this. So what do we mean by ‘Black Friday’ and where does this term come from? What are its origins?

What is ‘Black Friday’?

Well, first of all, what is ‘Black Friday’? This is a US tradition, an American phenomenon, which has become a bigger thing in the last few years. Certainly in recent years, we’ve adopted Black Friday in the UK as well. So Black Friday is the Friday after the American festival of Thanksgiving. So it comes at the end of November.

And if you’ve got Christmas shopping to do, especially if you’re shopping online for your Christmas presents, as most people do nowadays, then Black Friday is a good day to do this on. This is because on Black Friday, there are ‘deals’, there are discounts, ‘money off’ the usual prices. So this year on Black Friday, I did like many people – I bought quite a few Christmas presents for people online – and took advantage! 15% off here, 20% off there. It makes Christmas a little bit less expensive, a little bit more affordable. And it’s good for retailers too. ‘Retailers’ are businesses that sell things to us. It’s good for them because you make Black Friday a big thing, then people are more likely to buy more. So retailers make more money, despite giving discounts. A ‘discount’, D-I-S-C-O-U-N-T, which is a noun here, means ‘money off’, it’s a special price, it costs less than usual. So retailers give lots of discounts on Black Friday.


Why is it called Black Friday?

Why is it called Black Friday? Well, if you reasearch this online, it’s a bit like the origins of the word ‘posh’ the other week. There are , a number of different stories and noone quite knows which one is true.

Before we get on to that, just a word about our courses which you can buy online right now at If you would like to an answer to that question ‘How I learn English speaking?’, then look no further – our Course One: Activate Your Listening Courseanswers that question. This course is a listen and learn course, with over 5 hours of listening material on topic areas that you’ll find useful. If you want to learn everyday English for speaking, then this course helps you do that. The point of our course is not to help you pass written exams, (though it does help with that too!) but instead to learn English conversation. It helps you develop your ear for English and is a course to help you specifically learn spoken English. These English speaking lessons will be very valuable to you – and they give you English speaking practice as well. Exactly what you need!

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A logical sounding origin of Black Friday

Back to Black Friday. One story is that it’s called Black Friday because for some retailers, their profit, the money that makes their business worthwhile all comes in around Christmas. They don’t make much profit the rest of the year, but they sell so much more around Christmas time, that this makes up for the rest of the year when sales are slow. So a bit of slang around accounting first, around money management. If you’re ‘in the black’, it means that your bank account is in credit, you have money in the bank. Whereas if you’re ‘in the red’, it means that you aren’t in credit, you’ve got a ‘minus amount of money’, you owe the bank money, rather than having a healthy bank balance. So this explanation of Black Friday means that it’s the Friday in the year when the extra sales mean that the retailers bank accounts are ‘in the black. Their businesses are more successful.


A photograph of a woman hanging a Black Friday sign in store. An English lesson conversation topic.

©️ Adept English 2019

What’s probably the true origin of Black Friday

That’s a nice explanation, but it may not be the true one. In the 1950s, in the city of Philadelphia in the US, the police used the term ‘Black Friday’ to describe the chaos that happened on the day after Thanksgiving. So many people would come to the city to shop, and it was before the day a big football game was held on the Saturday. So the police officers couldn’t take the day off. They would have to work extra hours to manage the traffic and crowds, there were just so many people arriving. And the extra crowds meant opportunities for those who wanted to ‘shoplift’ as well. That means ‘to steal from the shops’, so the police had extra crime to deal with as well. So they called it ‘Black Friday’ because it was the worst working day of the year for them.

So Black Friday remained a term used only in Philadelphia until the late 1980s and it was a really negative name. That was however, until the end of the 1980s when retailers found a new purpose for the term Black Friday and tried to turn it into something positive. And they introduced the idea that the day after Thanksgiving marked the start of Christmas shopping and a day when you could get a good deal.

Black Friday is no long just one day – and Cyber Monday

Nowadays Black Friday isn’t really that any more – it’s changed into a week-long event in the run up to Black Friday. And of course we also have ‘Cyber Monday’. ‘Cyber Monday’ was originally so-called, because this was supposed to be the day that the online discount deals were available and the busiest Christmas shopping day online.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

It was thought up in 2005 to encourage us to shop online. Nowadays of course, it’s hardly like we need any encouragement to shop online. It’s not that we all go off to the shops on Black Friday, and we all buy online on Cyber Monday. It’s become….online has become the most popular way to shop anyway!


So there you have it – ‘How I learn English speaking?’ and even how to learn English speaking at home, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

PS: Be Careful On Black Friday & Cyber Monday

I know that people are always looking for a new way of attracting attention on the Internet; you see so many click bait headlines. But recently I’ve started to notice that sales, and discounts on Black Friday are not that much better than the deals before and after Black Friday.

"Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” author "Bo Derek"

Initially, I thought this was because Black Friday was actually Black Monday through to Friday, followed by Cyber Monday through to cyber Sunday, a whole two weeks plus of discounts so nothing looked special. But actually when I took the time to use a price checker I discovered actually some deals were actually not that great and prices have been lower.

I thought to myself Black Friday is a just a con and then I read the linked article and actually it appears many of the Black Friday discount are really not that great. So my intuition was correct.

So if your are looking at a deal it makes sense to check if it’s actually a real deal you can check if you are getting a deal or not using a price checker website and here is a price checker for Amazon. These websites stopped me from buying 2 Christmas gifts because actually the price had gone up on Black Friday!

Not exactly an English lesson, but handy information none the less :)



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