LOUISE: Hey, Julia … Look at those desserts! How about baking some cookies today?
JULIA: Hmm … Yeah, that’s a great idea! While we’re here, let’s pick up the ingredients.
JULIA: OK, what do we need?
LOUISE: The recipe calls for flour, sugar and butter. Oh, and we also need eggs and chocolate chips.
JULIA: Why don’t you get the dairy ingredients? You’ll find those in the refrigerated section in the back of the store. I’ll get the dry ingredients — they’re in aisle 10.
LOUISE: Great! Let’s meet at the checkout.
JULIA: OK. See you there.
How about is a casual way to suggest doing an activity. Notice that “how about” is followed by an “-ing” verb.
Hmm … Notice that Julia pauses for a moment. “Hmm” is an expression used to think about something first before speaking.
That’s a great idea! Notice the emphasis on “great.” Julia has thought about it and then decided that she really does want to bake cookies.
The recipe calls for is a way of saying “the recipe says we need.” The phrase “call for” can also be used to talk about the weather forecast. (They’re calling for rain.)
… flour, sugar and butter. Notice that this is a list, so there are short pauses between each item. Notice also that each ingredient is stressed because this information is important.
Why don’t you … This expression is used to ask someone to do something. It can also be used to give advice — but in this case two friends are deciding on who does which task.
Aisle Notice the silent “s” in aisle. An aisle is an orderly lane in a supermarket, with shelved products on both sides. Each aisle has a number, so that it is easy to find what you need.