Mailing a Package at the Post Office 在邮局寄包裹

Customer: I’d like to mail this package to Brazil. How much will it be, please?

Clerk:       Do you want to send it first class or parcel post?

Customer: How much is first class and how long does it take?

Clerk:       It’s a light package. (he weighs the package.) First class would cost $3.96. Since it’s going to a large city. I would guess that it will take about four or five days to arrive.

Customer: And parcel post?

Clerk:       Sending it parcel post would be cheaper, but it wouldn’t arrive for about three weeks. The rate for parcel post is $2.05.

Customer: Oh, I want it to arrive earlier than that. I’ll send it first class. Also, I’d like to insure it for $25.00.

Clerk:       (He fills out a form.) What’s in the package? I need to know in order to complete this form.

Customer: A pair of small glass earrings. They’re a gift for my sister who’s living in Rio. I packed them well, so I’m sure they won’t break, but I want to insure them just in case.

Clerk:       Do you want the package registered too? That way you would know that your sister received them. She would have to sign for the package, and then we would send you a receipt showing that your gift had been delivered.

Customer: No, I’m sure she’ll let me know as soon as they arrive. Are there any other forms I need to fill out because it’s going to a foreign country?

Clerk:       Yes, one more. It’s a customs declaration of which you declare what item or items are in the package and their value.

Customer: I understand that your rates have gone up on all postal items. Is that true?

Clerk:       Yes, unfortunately, it is. The rates never seem to go down, do they? Here is a copy of all our new rates. It lists the old rate next to the new, so you can see how much it has gone up. Notice, however, that the rate for sending a postcard has remained the same.

Customer: I think I read something about the size of postcards and envelopes. Would you explain that to me, please?

Clerk:       We used to accept postcards and envelopes of all sizes, but now that we are using automatic sorting and postmarking machines, we have to limit the size. You can still send a letter in a large envelope, but it can’t be any smaller than three and a half inches by five inches. Incidentally, you forgot to put a return address on this package. It’s not a post office regulation, but we strongly recommend that all cards, letters, and packages have a legible return address.

Customer: I’ll do it right now. I don’t remember my zip code. Can you tell by looking at this address what it is?

Clerk:       (He types the address into a small desk-top computer terminal.) Here it is: your zip code is 22031. You should make a note of it.

Customer: I will. Before I leave, I want to by some first-class stamps. Do you sell them in little packets?

Clerk:      Yes. This one has twenty first-class stamps. Let’s see. The package, the insurance, and the stamps, your total bill is $9.12.

Customer: One more question, I expect to be out of town next week. Can you hold my mail for me here? I could come by to pick it up when I get back.

Clerk:       Yes, we do that. You’d have to fill out one of these forms. You might also consider asking a neighbor to pick up your mail for you. It would be easier on you and on the letter carrier who sorts all the mail on your route.

Customer: Thanks. I’ll think it over and let you know.


Comprehension and conversation practice

1.            Where does this dialogue take place? What people take part in the dialogue?

2.            What does the customer want to do?

3.            What did the customer decide about sending the package? About the insurance? About the return receipt registry?

4.            What is the post office regulation regarding the size of cards and envelopes?

5.            What is a zip code? Why does the post office urge that everyone uses zip codes?

6.            What is the difference between first-class and parcel post? What is second-class mail? Third-class mail?

7.            Why did the customer have to fill out a customs declaration?

8.            How much does it cost to send a first-class letter? A postcard?

9.            Why is it always advisable to put a return address on a letter or package?

10.       What should a person do in order to have mail forwarded to a new address?

11.       What happens when a letter carrier tries to deliver a registered letter or package, but there is no one at home?

12.       How often is mail delivered? What are the normal hours that a post office is open?

13.       How does a postal clerk determine how much to charge for a package being mailed?

14.       What are more post office regulations regarding the wrapping of packages?

15.       How long does it take, approximately, for a letter to go from your home to new York? To California? To Beijing?







顾客: 哦,我要这个包裹早一点到。那我就按信件来寄吧。我还要$25.00的保险。















顾客: 好的,让我想想再说。想想!


1. 这个对话是发生在哪里?有谁在这个对话里?

2. 这个顾客要干什么?

3. 这个顾客决定对这个包裹怎么处理?保险、回条是不是要?

4.  邮局对明信片和信封有什么规定?

5.  邮政编码是什么?为什么邮局强调要使用邮政编码?

6.  寄信件和寄包裹有什么区别?什么是寄慢件?什么是海运?

7.  为什么这个顾客要填写报税单?

8.  寄一封信和就一张明信片要多少邮资?

9.  在信件上和包裹上填回邮地址有什么好处?

10. 要把邮件转寄到另外一个地址,人们应该怎么做?

11. 当邮递员把一份挂号邮件送去的时候,收件人不在,那怎么办?

12.  邮资是多少?邮局的营业时间是什么?

13.  在邮局里,他们是寄一个包裹要多少邮资?

14.  对如何包包裹,邮件有什么规定?

15.  从你家寄一封信到纽约要多少时间?寄到加州呢?寄到北京呢?