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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Buying a Used Car 2


Have you ever sold a car? What do you think you would have to do?


In another lesson we talked about a basic used car advertisement written by a car dealer. This time we'll look at a "private party" ad. Notice how much more the seller tells you:

2002 Honda Accord EX 68,000 mi $11,998
Coupe, at, ac, ps, pw, pdl, tilt, cc, am/fm cass, multi cd, lthr, priv glss, alloys, xtra cln

The first line--make, model, mileage, price--is the same. (This is a fixed format from the listing service.) But then the seller wants you to know how wonderful his or her car is. The body style (coupe) is given, and then the accessories package is described in detail:
  • at: automatic transmission
  • ac: air-conditioning
  • ps: power steering
  • pw: power windows
  • pdl: power door locks
  • tilt: tilt steering wheel (you can move it when you get in and out)
  • cc: cruise control, a kind of "auto pilot" for maintaining speed on the highway
  • am/fm cass: the car has an am/fm radio and a cassette player
  • multi cd: the car has a multiple-disc cd player. This was probably "after market"--installed by the owner after he purchased the car.
  • lthr: the seats and other upholstered interior (dashboard, maybe door panels) are genuine leather
  • priv glss: "privacy glass." It means the windows are tinted so people can't see into the car.
  • alloys: As before, this is a special wheel, made from a metal alloy. People like them mainly because they look good.
  • xtra cln: "Extra clean," the car has been well taken care of, without a lot of visible wear.
Are you getting a picture of this car?


If you have a car, write an ad as if you were going to sell it. If you don't have a car, write an ad for your "dream car." Use the abbreviations at, and look at ads at for ideas, if you want.

This lesson is ©2012 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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