Paul's Blog

All about Money: U.S. Currency, money questions and idioms

Here we have an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

We are going to discuss U.S. Currency. So, while doing this, we can cover how to use it, the denominations and all the practical things about using American money, all while working on our American accent training and English pronunciation!

Let’s start with the basics: denominations.

In U.S. dollars we have our coin currency: pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollar coins; and then we have our paper money, which range in denomination and include $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The United States, at one point, printed $2, but has since stopped. Most $2 are out of circulation but some times you can some across them.

So, do you know what the value of each of the U.S. coins is?

Let’s go over them quickly. A penny is worth 1 cent ($.01), a nickel is worth five cents ($.05), a dime is worth ten cents ($.10) and a Quarter is worth twenty five cents ($.25).  A dollar coin is, obviously, worth a single dollar.


So now that you know about the denominations of the U.S. currency, let’s talk a little bit about how you can use money, spending, shopping, and topics like that in conversation.

Some questions you could ask, depending on the company and familiarity with the other parties participating in the conversation. Remember, it is taboo to talk to people to whom you aren’t very close about the amount of money they make.

Are you a conscious shopper?

Where do you shop for groceries?

Do you have credit cards?

Do your parents give you an allowance?

Have you ever played the lottery?

How much does a plane ticket to (insert location) cost?

How much do you pay for your haircut?

What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Should you split the check on a date?

What do you spend your extra money on?

Are you saving money for retirement?

How much does your car cost?

Do you gamble?

Do you like to shop at second hand stores?

How much is sales tax here?

How much money do you make?

What things do you do to see money?

What do you splurge on?


Here are some money idioms. Do you know what these mean?

A fool and his money are soon parted

Blood money

Folding money

Give a run for the money

Made of money

Marry into money

Money is no object

Not for love or money

Put your money where your mouth is

Throw money around

Seed money

Time is money

Money doesn’t grow on trees

Money pit

To shell out money

Spend money like water

See the color of money

Hush money

Having a license to print money

Money burning a hole in one’s pocket

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