Postal problems

DAGMAR TAYLOR präsentier­t Dialoge und Sprachtipp­s, mit denen Sie spielend Ihr Alltagseng­lisch auffrische­n.



Phil has called his sister, Louise, in Germany to find out whether the parcel he sent his niece has arrived.

Phil: I’m so sorry Poppy’s present hasn’t arrived yet. I sent it ages ago!

Louise: I wonder where it’s got to. Have you tracked it?

Phil: Yeah, I finally found the receipt from the post office with the tracking number on it. There might be hope – it’s pending!

Louise: “Pending”? What does that mean?

Phil: It says: “The item is still being assessed by the destinatio­n customs authority. If any further informatio­n is required before release, they will contact the recipient directly.” Louise: Oh, so it’s stuck at customs?

What on earth have you sent? 2. GREAT EXPECTATIO­NS

Phil is on the phone, talking to Louise about Poppy’s missing parcel.

Phil: What did I send? You mean apart from the asbestos and the explosives?

Louise: (laughs) Yes, apart from those, Phil.

Phil: I got her a cuddly toy and some sweets.

Louise: Aw, cute!

Phil: (outraged) Do you know how much I paid to send it? £11.15! I think I can expect my parcel to arrive at its destinatio­n when it cost me that much to post it to you. I was thinking, next time, I might just chuck

Poppy’s present in the sea – it’ll probably have just as much chance of arriving! Louise: (laughs) It might be a bit soggy, though. Are you sure you filled out the customs declaratio­n form correctly? Mum once forgot to sign the form and the parcel was sent back to her a few weeks later. Phil: Ugh! Why is it so hard to send a parcel these days?

Louise: Next time, you should bring it over yourself and deliver it to her personally.


It’s a week later. Louise has phoned Phil to let him know that Poppy’s parcel has indeed arrived.

Phil: Oh, I’m so relieved to hear that Poppy’s parcel has finally arrived. And only a month too late! Did it arrive in one piece at least?

Louise: Yes, it wasn’t too bashed. But I think the packaging must have got damaged along the way – the parcel arrived sealed in a plastic bag.

Phil: That was probably my fault.

I just wrapped it in the brown paper bag I got from the shop. I should have put it in

a padded envelope. Anyway, does Poppy like her presents? Louise: She loves them! She’s called the cuddly toy Phil, in your honour.

Phil: That’s very nice of her. It’s probably not the first cuddly lobster called Phil.

Louise: (laughs) She’s also making you a thank-you card. What would you prefer? Should we send it to you by mail or simply stuff it into a bottle and throw it into the sea?


If something arrives in one piece, it gets to its destinatio­n undamaged, especially after a long journey or dangerous experience.

If something is bashed (ifml.), it has been hit hard and is damaged.

If you want to take responsibi­lity for something that has gone wrong, you can say it’s your fault.

If you do something in somebody’s

honour, you do it in order to show great respect for them.

If you stuff something into something, you push it quickly and carelessly into a small space.

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