How to send a package

If you want to send a package through the mail, there are some things you should do.  First, get a box that is just a little bigger than your item.  If your item is heavy, then use a thicker box.  If you’re sending something that can easily break, then put newspaper, bubble wrap, or something soft around the item in the box.  Make sure the item can’t move when the box is closed.  Secondly, you should tape it up well.  Use packing tape to do this. Don’t use masking tape or duct tape, which may not be accepted by some companies. Never use string, which can come off during shipping.  Thirdly, put your address on the top of the box in the upper left corner, and the address you’re sending it to in the middle.  It’s a good idea to put clear tape over both addresses so the shipper can read them even if they get wet.  Fourthly, if your package is going to another country, you have to put a “Customs Declaration” sticker on it.  On the sticker you should write what is in the package, the value, and the weight.  The clerk will ask if you want the package to go by “air mail” or by “surface mail.”  Surface mail goes by truck, train, or boat, and is cheaper but slower.  Lastly, the clerk will measure and weigh the box and charge you for shipping.  You can also buy insurance if the item is expensive.

Click on the audio recording below to hear the above lesson.


item:  the thing you are sending
bubble wrap:  a packing material made of plastic air bubbles
masking tape:  a tape used for painting and other temporary jobs
duct tape:  a strong silver tape used for air ducts
value:  how much it cost
charge you:  get you to pay
shipping:  moving the package to the other person
insurance:  protection in case of loss or damage

Pronunciation Exercise:  Listen and repeat the vocabulary above on the audio file below.


Student:  I’d like to mail this package overseas, please.
Clerk:  Okay.  Let me weigh and measure it.  It weighs 765 grams, and measures 12 by 34 by 22 for a total of 68 centimeters.  Because it’s less than 2 kilograms and 90 centimeters, it is classed as a small packet, not a parcel.
Student:  What does that mean?
Clerk:  That‘s the cheapest rate.  Do you want to send it by surface mail or air mail?
Student:  I’d like it to get there by the weekend, so send it by air mail.  What’s the charge?
Clerk:  That’ll cost you $16.60 plus $1.00 GST.
Student:  That’s good.  Here’s a twenty.
Clerk:  Thanks.  Here’s your receipt and $2.40 change.  Fill out this customs declaration form, and I’ll stick it on the packet.  Do you want insurance on it?
Student:  No thanks.  It’s not very valuable.  There.  All finished.  Thank you for your help.
Clerk:  My pleasure.


overseas:  to another country
packet:  package under 2 kg
parcel:  package over 2 kg
rate:  the amount you have to pay
charge:  price
GST:  Goods and services tax (in Canada only)
receipt:  proof of payment
customs declaration:  a paper that says what’s inside a package
insurance:  a guarantee of getting your money back if it’s lost
valuable:  worth a lot of money

Pronunciation Exercise:  Listen and repeat the vocabulary above on the audio file below.

© 2013 Ambien Malecot


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