Introduction:

When you visit a different country or city on a business trip or on holiday, what is the best way to know what you should and shouldn't do when staying there? Asking people who know or live in the place.

So, it is important to know the English vocabulary and phrases that are used for both asking people about what to do and see in a city/country (e.g. what museums to visit, what restaurants to eat in etc...) and what people will say when making recommendations to you. And this is what you will learn in this exercise.

In this online exercise, you will learn and remember English vocabulary that is used when both asking about things to do in a city or country and what people will say when giving recommendations and advice about what to do. You will also learn some phrases that are used to give an opinion about something.

You can also use this vocabulary and phrases when recommending people what to do when visiting your city or a place you know very well.

Click here to see more of our free online exercises on travel & hotel vocabulary


Exercise: Visiting a different country

Read the following conversation between Raul and Sally. Raul is visiting the London office of his company for work and is asking one of his colleagues, Sally, who works there for advice/recommendations on things he can do while he's in London.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Sally:'Where are you staying while you're here?'

Raul:'In the Churchill Hotel in Marble Arch. It's a nice hotel and I have views of Hyde Park. Sally, while I'm in London, what would you recommend to do? Do you have any suggestions?'

Sally:'London's a very big city with so much to see and do. What types of things are you interested in?'

Raul:'Lots of things. I like museums, restaurants, theatre.'

Sally:'A lot of people like the Natural History Museum, but I think it's overrated. It's not as good as people think. It's more for children than adults. For me, it's nothing special.'

Raul:'I'm more interested in human history than the history of plants and animals.'

Sally:'Well, you can't miss the British Museum then. It's one of the best museums in the world for human history.'

Raul:'I've heard about it. I'd love to see it. But I do have a question. How do I get to the British Museum. Can I walk there? Or is there a underground station close to it?'

Sally:'Yes, you can take the underground there. You need to get off at a station called Holborn and it's a 5 minute walk to the museum from there.'

Raul:'Are there any interesting plays on at the theatre at the moment. Would you recommend going to see a play called 'the mouse trap'?'

Sally:'It's all right. It's not very good, but it's also not bad. I saw a play two weeks ago called ‘temptation' about the financial crisis. It's an excellent play. If you get an opportunity you should go and see it.'

Raul:'I'll have to check it out. Which theatre is it on at?'

Sally:'It's on at the Old Vic theatre. Also, you should visit Windsor. It's an hour out of London, but there's a beautiful castle there.'

Raul:'I'm only here for two more days, so I doubt I'll have time to go there this time.'

Sally:'When you're next over you should go and visit it.'

Raul:'And the opera? Any recommendations?'

Sally:'I'm afraid that it isn't my cup of tea. I like rock music. So, I'm not the best person to ask. Sorry. We could go out for a few drinks tonight if you haven't already got any plans?'

Raul:'No, I haven't. I'd really like to do that.'


What next

Well done for reading the text and learning the meaning of each of the words/phrase in bold. If you don't want to forgot what they mean and want to be able to say them correctly, I'd like you to do one more thing which won't take you long.

Answer the questions in the below quiz with the vocabulary you've just learnt. Doing this will make sure that you both remember what they mean and that you'll use them in the future.



Quiz:

Below is a definition/description of each of the words in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. An adjective which gives somebody's opinion about something and means that it is between ok and good, is
         

All right:
(adjective) This is a commonly used and informal adjective and is always used with the verb 'to be', e.g. 'it's all right'. It is also spelt 'alright'. In this context, it is used to give an opinion about something (e.g. a film, city, restaurant etc...). It basically means that the thing is above 'ok' but below 'good'. It's like saying that something is sufficient, e.g. 'the restaurant was all right. Nice food and waiters'. It is very similar in meaning to 'ok'. 'all right' can also be used to give your opinion about people with a similar meaning, e.g. 'John's all right. Nice guy'. In Spanish: "bien".

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All right:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. A polite phrase where you say that you 'don't like' something, is
         

It isn't my cup of tea:
(phrase) 'it isn't my cup of tea' or 'it's not my cup of tea' is a polite way to tell somebody that you don't like something. It is often used as an answer when people are asking your opinion about something or to say no to an invitation to do something, e.g. 'do you want to see U2 in concert?' 'it's not my cup of tea'. This phrase is commonly used in Britain. In America, they commonly use 'it's not my thing' as a polite way to say they don't like something. Non-native speakers of English may not understand either phrase, so it's better to use 'I don't really like it' with them. In Spanish: "no es mi preferencia/estilo".

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It isn't my cup of tea:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3. A phrase/verb you use when you really want to do something, is
         

I'd love to:
(phrase) This verb/phrase means that you really want to do/see something. 'I'd love to' or 'I would love to' can be used to either tell somebody what you want to do/see (e.g. 'when I'm in London, I'd love to go to a football match') or when accepting an invitation/offer from somebody (e.g. 'do you want to play tennis tomorrow?' 'I'd love to'). This phrase is generally followed by the infinitive form of the verb (e.g. 'I'd love to play tennis'), but when accepting an invitation/offer it is very common just to use the phrase and nothing more (e.g. 'do you want to go to the cinema tonight?' 'I'd love to'). In Spanish: "me encantaría".

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I'd love to:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4. A phrase that you ask when you want to know how to travel to a place, is
         

How do I get to:
(phrase) This informal phrase is used when you want somebody to tell you how to travel to a place (what bus/metro/train/roads to take or how to walk there). You're asking for directions, e.g. 'how do I get to the Opera House?' 'take the metro to Puerto del Sol and then walk down Arenal Street'. This phrase is normally followed by either the name of the place you want to go to (e.g. 'how do I get to the station?') or by 'there' without the 'to' if you don't need to repeat the name of the place (e.g. 'you should visit Wembley Stadium' 'how do I get there?'). In Spanish: "cómo se llega a".

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How do I get to:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. A different way to say that 'I don't know anything about this subject', is
         

I'm not the best person to ask:
(phrase) This phrase in this context is used when you want to tell somebody that you know nothing or little about a subject (e.g. restaurants, opera, a current situation etc...). It is generally used as an answer to somebody's question about information on a subject (e.g. 'where can I buy tickets for the football match?'). This phrase is often followed by either 'I'm afraid' (e.g. 'I'm not the best person to ask, I'm afraid') or by a recommendation of somebody who knows something about the subject (e.g. 'I'm not the best person to ask. You should ask Steve about it'). In Spanish: "no soy la mejor persona a responderte".

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I'm not the best person to ask:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. A phrase that is used as a recommendation that means 'you must do/see' something, is
         

You can't miss:
(phrase) This phrase in this context is used when you want to recommend somebody to go to/see/do something. It basically means 'you must/have to go to/see/do' something that you think is excellent. This phrase is normally followed by either 'it' or the name of the place or activity you are recommending, e.g. 'you can't miss the Gaudi Cathedral when you're in Barcelona'. Be careful when using this phrase, because it can also mean that it is impossible not to find the place, e.g. 'you can't miss Big Ben, it's so tall and it's next to the river'. In Spanish: "no puedes perdértelo".

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You can't miss:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. An excuse that you say to somebody when you don't want to see/do a recommendation they have made, is
         

I doubt I'll have time:
(phrase) This is a polite phrase that is used when you don't want to see/do something that somebody has recommended/suggested that you see/do. Instead of telling somebody directly that you don't like this type of thing, it is politer to give the excuse that you don't have the time to see/do it, e.g. 'you should go and see the musical Mama Mia' 'I doubt I'll have time'. This phrase can also be used when you don't have the time to see/do something. In Spanish: "dudo que tendré el tiempo".

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I doubt I'll have time:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8. A phrase where you ask somebody's suggestions about things to see/do in a city, is
         

What would you recommend:
(phrase) This phrase is used when you want somebody's advice/suggestions on places/things to see/do when you're visiting a city/country. This phrase can be followed by either the infinitive (e.g. to see, to go, to eat etc...) or by the gerund (e.g. seeing, going, eating etc...). You can also replace 'what' with 'where', 'which' or 'when' depending on what suggestions you want, e.g. 'where would you recommend to eat Indian food?' or 'which would you recommend going to, the Tower of London or Windsor Castle?'. In Spanish: "qué recomendarías".

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What would you recommend:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9. An adjective that means that something that has a good reputation, isn't very good, is
         

Overrated:
(adjective) This adjective is used to give an opinion about something (e.g. a city, film, book, restaurant etc...) that has a reputation for being good. By saying something is 'overrated' means that in your opinion it isn't as good as other people say or think. It is used with the verb 'to be', e.g. 'it's overrated’. A phrase with a similar meaning is 'it's nothing special'. 'it's overrated' is often followed by some reasons why you think this, e.g. 'London is overrated. It's very expensive and the building are more beautiful in Paris'. Please note, 'overrated' doesn't mean that something is bad, it just means that it's not very good. In Spanish: "sobrevalorado".

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Overrated::

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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10. A different way to say 'I should go and see it', is
         

I'll have to check it out:
(phrase) This is an informal phrase that is used as an answer to a suggestion/recommendation that somebody has given you about a place or event (e.g. a restaurant, play, shop etc...). It basically means 'I should/have to go and see it', e.g. 'there's a good Indian restaurant in the centre called Mumtaz' 'I'll have to check it out'. This phrase means that you only have the intention to go and see it, not that you will. In Spanish: "tener que ir a ver qué tal es".

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I'll have to check it out:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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11. A phrase that means 'the next time you visit', is
         

When you're next over:
(phrase) This informal phrase means 'the next time you come/visit this place (country, city, office, house). The phrasal verb 'to be over' is commonly used when talking to somebody who is in a place that you are going to visit or return to visit in the future, e.g. 'when are you next coming to our office?' 'I have a meeting at your office on Tuesday, so I'll be over then'. When used as an answer, this phrasal verb is often followed by the preposition 'on' and the date or day you will be there, e.g. 'I'm next over on the 23rd of June'. In Spanish: "el próximo vez que vengas".

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When you're next over:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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12. Part of a question where you ask somebody what they 'like doing/seeing', is
         

Are you interested in:
(phrase) This phrase basically means 'like doing/seeing'. It is normally asked as a question to find out what type of things the person likes, so you can recommend good places/activities to do. This phrase follows either 'what' or 'what type/kind of things', e.g. 'what are you interested in?' or 'what kind of things are you interested in?'. You can use this phrase also as an answer to the above questions, but you must say what you like to do after the phrase (e.g. museums, drinking, theatre etc...). For example, 'I'm interested in football and sightseeing'. In Spanish: "te interesa".

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Are you interested in:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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13. A phrase where you suggest/offer to meet somebody later, is
         

Go out for a few drinks:
(phrase) This phrase is used when you offer to meet somebody later in a pub or bar. It is very commonly used in business when a colleague or customer from a different country or city is visiting/staying in your city for a few days. It is polite to offer to meet them after work. It is very common in the English-speaking world to suggest having drinks or beers. This phrase normally follows 'do you want to', and after the phrase you should say when (e.g. later, tonight, on Friday etc...). For example, 'do you want to go out for a few drinks later?'. In Spanish: "salir para tomar unos tragos/copas".

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Go out for a few drinks:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.