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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Russian Federation
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      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Nov 2014
    • Posts: 11
    #1

    Travel Survival English -- at the police

    Hello!

    During my last trip abroad, I had an incident. Two man approached me on a bike and grabbed my bag out of my hand. Long story short, I had to report and explain to the police what had happened. Because of the stress, I had a hard time explaining everything in English.

    Now my friends and I are trying to do a role-play for traveling situations. Of course, we hope never to have the need to use these phrases, but it's better to be ready. I checked a lot of sites on the internet but could not find much information (dialogs, useful phrases) for reporting a mugging / stolen / lost items. If anyone has any useful phrases, could you please share?

    For example, how to describe a camera. My camera is a Sony. So, is it okay to say "What make is your camera? It's a Sony." Or is there a different expression?

    Thank you for any assistance!

  1. Jill Dorchester's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Oct 2014
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    #2

    Re: Travel Survival English -- at the police

    Usually "make" is used in context with a vehicle, but you would be understood if you said "make of camera." It would be better to say "model" of your camera, or even "brand" or "type." However, if you start stating details like "it's a Sony CyberShot WX80", the person taking the report will understand what you're describing.

    If your purse or wallet is stolen, the police will ask you what was inside it. They mainly want to know how much money you had, and in what denominations (for example, if you had $500, was it five $100 bills, 10 $50 bills, etc). They also want to know what credit cards you had, and any other important documents that were contained inside the stolen item. (Be as specific as possible, and then when you're finished ask for a copy of the police report. You might need the report for insurance purposes when you return home.)
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 08-Nov-2014 at 20:46. Reason: Fixing minor typo

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Travel Survival English -- at the police

    Quote Originally Posted by minamax10 View Post
    Hello!

    During my last trip abroad, I had was involved in an incident. Two man men approached me on a bike (were you on the bike or were both the men on a bike?) and grabbed my bag out of my hand. To cut a long story short, I had to report it and explain to the police what had happened. Because of the stress, I had a hard time explaining everything in English.

    Now my friends and I are trying to do a role-play for traveling situations. Of course, we hope never to have the need to use these phrases, but it's better to be ready. I checked a lot of sites on the internet but could not find much information (dialogs, useful phrases) for reporting a mugging/stolen/lost items. If anyone has any useful phrases, could you please share?

    For example, how to describe a camera. My camera is a Sony. So, is it okay to say "What make is your camera? It's a Sony" or is there a different expression?

    Thank you for any assistance!
    Note my corrections to your post above. Generally, your English is very good but there were some very basic errors ("Two man" instead of "Two men", for example).
    We don't put a space either side of a "slash".

    Also note that there are some BrE vs AmE differences I didn't mark. For example, in BrE, we use "travelling" but in AmE it's "traveling". We write "dialogue" but in AmE it's "dialog".
    JillDorchester used the word "purse" for what we call a "handbag". A purse is much smaller and is more like a women's version of a wallet. It simply holds paper money (notes), coins and credit/debit cards. Some purses only hold coins.

    Otherwise, I agree with everything Jill said. Just make sure you describe everything in as much detail as you can. The police won't care about your grammar!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Nov 2014
    • Posts: 11
    #4

    Re: Travel Survival English -- at the police

    Dear Jill and emsr2d2, thank you both so very much for taking the time to answer my questions (and to correct my mistakes which is very helpful!).

    just to clarify , a purse (AmE) would be a handbag ( BrE)?
    Wallets can be carried by both men and women
    Out of curiosity, I just opened Coach official website (USA) and it has categories for Wallets and Bags (lots of different styles) but I didn't notice the words purses or handbags.

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