Listen to a story about how I was denied a credit card by my bank!
You’ll also learn how to pronounce words that end in the syllable -AR, like “dollar” and “regular.”
Welcome to the English Teacher Melanie Podcast, a podcast for intermediate to advanced English learners who want to improve their English listening and speaking skills!
Each episode includes a story and a pronunciation tip. In the story, I use core vocabulary, the most common words in English, to tell a real world story. The pronunciation tip will help you understand natural spoken English.
You’ll hear the story twice. The first time, the story is a little slower than normal. It sounds funny because I used editing software to change the speed of the story and make it slower. After the pronunciation tip, you’ll hear the story again, but at a regular speed.
I applied for a US-dollar credit card at my bank last year because the expenses for my website are all in US dollars. The Canadian dollar was weakening against the US dollar and it was becoming more expensive to pay my bills with Canadian dollars. I thought it was going to be a simple process to get the card, but the bank denied my application without any explanation! Denied! I needed this card, so I had to figure out what went wrong.
Listen: My First Job | Episode 31
I called the bank right away. The customer service agent said it was an automated process and he couldn’t give me a definite answer. He said my credit score probably wasn’t high enough, and he told me to request my free credit report. The report contained my credit history from the last 7 years. There were no problems in my report. I didn’t miss any payments and I paid my bills on time. I still had no idea why my credit score may have been low or why my application was denied.
Listen: A Problem with my Cell Phone Bill | Episode 16
I called the company that prepared my credit report to ask if they had any insight. I had a department store credit card that I hadn’t used in 4 years. I thought that was a good thing. It showed that I could be trusted not to rack up debt. It turned out that this unused card was negatively affecting my credit score because it looked like I was wasting credit. I also had a regular Canadian-dollar credit card. This card had a balance greater than 50% of my credit limit, and that wasn’t good either.
To improve my credit score, I had to do two things. I had to cancel my department store credit card, and I had to pay down part of my regular credit card balance so that it was less than 50% of my limit. I waited a few months, then applied for the credit card again. This time, the bank approved my application and I got my US-dollar credit card.
Listen: I Forgot my Wallet! | Episode 14
HOW TO PRONOUNCE WORDS THAT END IN THE SYLLABLE -AR, LIKE “DOLLAR” AND “REGULAR”
This transcript uses IPA symbols to represent sounds and teach pronunciation. Learn more about the IPA here.
One of the biggest mistakes that English learners make with English pronunciation is that they try to pronounce the word the way it is written.
You can’t do that in English.
There are some pronunciation guidelines that you can follow that will help you figure out how to say a word, but the best thing to do is to hear the word first, and then imitate the sounds that you hear.
Did you notice my pronunciation of the word dollar d-o-l-l-a-r? I often hear English learners say /’doʊlɑr/ which is wrong.
In this word, the letter O is not pronounced O, it’s pronounced /ɑ/, so the first syallable is pronounced /dɑl/, like the word doll.
The letter A is not pronounced /ɑ/. The -AR at the end of the word is a separate syllable and it’s pronounced ER /ɚ/: /’dɑlɚ/
Here are some words that rhyme with dollar:
taller, caller/collar, smaller, holler, scholar
It’s important to get the pronunciation right the first time you try to say a new word. If you keep pronouncing the word incorrectly over and over, it becomes a habit and it becomes harder to change & improve your pronunciation.
In the story, I also used the word regular. It ends with the -AR syllable, so
remember to pronounce the last syllable -ER /ɚ/. This is also true for the word grammar.
- Do you have a credit card? How many credit cards do you have? Do you have any store credit cards?
- Have you ever been denied a credit card? If so, what did you do?
Leave me a comment below!
Hello Melanie, i have two credit cards although rarely i use one of them. I don’t have store credit cards. I have never being denied a credit card but as i am not a big spender- so to speak- , the bank denied me the Platinium credit card, which i don’t regret, i don’t like running into debts.
Excellent expression – “I am not a big spender!”
I don’t like running up debt either. I always keep my credit limit low so I’m not tempted. The bank would probably deny me a Platinum card, too! :)
Quick tip: “I don’t like to run up debt.” I used the phrasal verb rack up, but run up means the same thing. Run into is a different phrasal verb: “I ran into her at the mall! I hadn’t seen her in a while.”
Hi MElanie, thanks a lot. let’s not run up debt. Take care
Thank you Melenie. I really enjoy your lessons and your pronounciation.I’m Learning to improve my pronounciation.you are my favorite voice.
Orlando, you have made my day! Thank you so much! I am happy to hear that you enjoy my lessons & that they are helping you improve!
Thank you for sharing this story. It is very interesting. I used to have three credit cards. But I only used one of them. I cancelled the other two cards because I thought they were not useful. If you ask me why I applied for them in the first place. It is because I felt embarrassed to refuse the salesperson. But now I will politly tell them that I have credit cards already.
You write very well, Yifang!
I have learned to be more assertive with salespeople as I get older! I feel comfortable now saying “I’m not interested!” or “No, thank you!” I got the department store card because there was a special offer. I was buying something at the store, and the salesperson said I could get a discount on it if I signed up for the credit card! Also, I could collect points to use for future purchases.
hi melanie i have 2 credit cards i use both of them one of them is common between me and my brother i almost do all of my job by credit card
Do you have any problems sharing the card with your brother? How do you decide who will pay the bill?
I hope you get lots of points for using your credit card so much! In Canada, we have lots of rewards cards. For example, if you have an Aeroplan Visa card, for every dollar you spend, you get points that you can use to buy an airline ticket somewhere!
Hi MElanie, thanks a lot. let’s not run up debt. Take care
I really enjoy your lessons and it is very interesting. For your question, I don’t have a credit card I only pay in cash, and I think a credit card it is not useful for me.
This is very wise, Nicky! Paying in cash is a good idea.
Hello! Melanie. Thanks for this new lesson. I have only one credit card and it’s enough to all my needs today.
So true, Ferreira! One credit card is all we really need. Now I just have my Canadian-dollar credit card for everyday life, and my US-dollar credit card for my business expenses. That’s all I need!
hello Melanie. I was browsing on the internet and accidentally I saw your website.
I have read your articles and personally I think your advice are very useful for learners.
I wish you go on updating your website.
thank you very much :)
Thank you, Masood! I’m happy that you found my website! Welcome!
I can no longer downloa these podcasts,because I don’t get the download link.
Hi, Jeetendra! Go to the desktop site. You should find the download link there!
I went to the desktop site opening INTERNET EXPLORER and I searched throughout the page,but I couldn’t find the download link.But when I opened FIREFOX I got the download link and downloaded the file.Although I may have a bit of difficulty downloading these useful podcasts as mobile phones are always more comfortable than laptops(Speed of my laptop is too slow so it takes nearly five times longer than my mobile(samsung GT C-3312),yet I am happy that here I can listen to podcasts online without having to download and share with my friends on facebook as well.Thank you!Melanie now they will do a world of good to me.But still I wish I could download the podcasts on my phone!
You don’t need to search the page for the download link! The podcast player is directly underneath the photo. There is a down arrow. This arrow is the download link. If you don’t see it using Internet Explorer, check to see if you are using the latest version of IE. If you prefer to listen to the episode on your phone, you can find a podcast app in the Google Play store. Look for the English Teacher Melanie Podcast.
Good luck to you & all the best,
Thank you very much my so caring and kind teacher! I will always be thankful to you!
I can no longer download these podcasts,because I don’t get the download link.
Hi, Cathy! Are you on your phone? Visit the desktop site. You should see the download link there!
This is my first time to browse your website! And I read parts of your articles, I found it is interesting, I am English learner and my pronunciation is not good! I didn’t found the download link !
I didn’t have any credit card at all! Because I always forget the date of repayment and the interest is high if I didn’t run up debt on time!
So glad you found my website, Cathy! Welcome!
Tung Dang says
This is my first time of listening your episode and it makes my day because I found your helpful website. Thank you for sharing.
I hope there is a thumb up button to like and share it.
I’m happy that you found my website, Tung Dang! Welcome!
I have two credit cards and rarely use neither of them.. When I booked the flight ticket I use one of them. I pay the bill on time too!!! Always enjoy listening your podcast !!! My biggest problem is that end of d sound and end of t sound….when people pronounce I completely understand , but when I use it by myself I can’t do it right…!!! It’s gives me frustrate !!! Please help……
Hello again Suithliai!
The T & D sounds are very similar! They are the same mouth position. The only difference is that the T sound is voiceless/unvoiced (it’s only air coming out of your mouth) & the D sound is voiced (your vocal cords produce a sound).
Quick tip: “… and I rarely use either of them.”
Thank you for the quick tip!!???
Hi.my teacher. I have a littel time for study but i try for it.Have a good time.
Hi teacher melanie! your website is very helpful and interesting! it helps us study nglish in fun way! :) Thanks teacher! wish i could give you a kiss! :)
Thank you so much, Aliza! :) I am so happy to hear that you enjoy my lessons & that they are helpful to you!
I´m for first time on your website and I´m really pleased. It´s a great idea to use the text twice time. The article´s managing, pronounce tip, this is a good job. Thanks for sharing.
And what about my credit card? I have one but I use it just for getting cash for a few days and I pay in cash. Are you smiling? O.K. but I´m worried from using card, because of following my activities, hackers like money pirates and I can see how much money I have in my wallet. Then I spend less money.
Welcome, Martin! I’m so glad you’ve found my website! I’m happy to hear that you enjoy the lessons.
I am smiling! :) You are very responsible with your credit cards.
First of all your website is amazing, congrats.
I really dont want to go through personal issues but what are the advantages on using a american Cred. Card once you live in Canada? Dont you have to pay it in CAD anyway?
Hello Gilberto! Thank you for your kind words about this website! I have a US$ bank account & I get paid in US$. I can pay my US$ credit card with US$ from my US$ bank account. It’s so much easier! It is too expensive to pay my bills with CAD.
So wonderful your classes, and congratulations for your website! I don’t like credit card! I have one, but never used! I’m learning a lot from your classes! Thank you!
Thanks for your teaching. I am so happy that there are new lessons now.
For this episode, may I know if there is a difference between uk and us pronunciation please?
What specific word or phrase did you want know about? There are lots of differences between UK & US pronunciation.
Do you mean the pronunciation tip? British English speakers don’t pronounce the R after a vowel. It becomes the schwa sound /ə/ instead.
URSILENIS ALVARADO says
Hi, melanie, I have two credit cards, I don^t have a good record at the bank, because I don^t paid on time my bills, I have very bad memory.
Himanshu Verma says
Great story keep uploading this kind of stories.. it helped me a lot thank you very much……!!!!!