Learn English – American money and how it works

Maria talks about paper money and coins, using slow English and lots of pictures:

Transcript – Episode 33 – all about money – 11 Apr 2019

Hey there. This is Maria from English without Fear. Today I’m going to talk to you about money. Yes, money, something that we all need. I’m going to tell you about American money, what we use here in the states. So sit back, relax, listen and just try to understand as much as you can. English,

Well, let’s talk about paper money first. In America, all our paper money is the same size. Look, this is a $1 bill and this is a $5 bill and they are exactly the same size and if you notice the same color green, some black, some cream color. So paper money in America is the same size and the same color. We are the only country to have paper money, the same size and the same color. That is a problem for blind people. People who cannot see, they can’t feel the difference. This is a $1 bill. This is a $5 bill. A blind person can’t see or feel the difference. 

Well, let’s talk about the dollar bill. Here you have, how much it’s worth. $1 here at the top is the official, the formal name of our country, the United States of America, and the picture. Who is that? That is our first president, George Washington. On the back you have one written in letters. You have the number one and you have some words. These words right here below my fingers say ‘In God, we trust’  In God……We trust. We don’t trust in money. We trust in God. So that’s the $1 bill. 

The $5 bill is pretty much the same, but the picture is different. This is another president. He was famous, Abraham Lincoln, president number 16. You know him, perhaps because he freed the slaves and there was a big civil war in the 19th century. Abraham Lincoln.

Yeah, here is a $10 bill. This man was not a president. This man, Alexander Hamilton, was the first Secretary of the Treasury. He was the first man in charge of all the money in America. That’s logical. Alexander Hamilton. Again ‘In God, we trust’. 

Paper money also comes in 20 days, 50s and $100 bills. I don’t have a hundred dollar bill. I don’t have a $50 bill here, on me. I think maybe Mike, my husband, might have a $20 bill in his wallet. I don’t know, but let’s talk about coins.

Coins do come in different sizes and different colors. This is a penny. It is worth one cents. It is copper color.

This is a dime about the same size. It is silver color. This is a penny – 1 cent. This is a 

dime –  10 cents. The penny is a bit larger. You can tell a little bit, but what makes the penny and dime good for blind people is…… the edge of the dime is rough. The edge of the penny is smooth. That helps the blind person. 

Two other common coins are the nickel, which is 5 cents and the quarter, which is 25 cents. The quarter is bigger than the nickel and the quarter is rough on the edge. The nickel is smooth on the edge, so blind people, people who can’t see, can feel the difference, the size and the edges. Well, how many pennies are in a dollar? There are 100 pennies or cents in a dollar. There are four quarters in a dollar,

There are 20 nickels in a dollar.  We call 5 cents a nickel.

And the dime, which is 10 cents, there are 10 dimes in a dollar. 

The American money is using what we call the decimal system. I think most money, including Euro’s and other currencies, use the decimal system. It makes it easier. So we use coins, sometimes called change or pocket change and we use paper money sometimes called bills, paper bills. And together paper money and coins are called cash. When you use paper and coins, you are using cash. If you don’t use cash paper and coins, you might use a paper check or you write out money from your bank account or you might use a credit card or a debit card or a bank card. But I think it’s good to have cash, paper and change always on your person or in your purse. 


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