Free English Lessons

Arguing About Music – Listening Lesson (B1)

What kind of music do you like and dislike? Can you say why you like a piece of music? In this free Oxford Online English listening lesson, listen to two people with very different tastes arguing about what to listen to. You can learn some new words and phrases for talking about music in English. This lesson is for intermediate learners.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Woman: Argh! What’s this noise?
Man: It’s some new music I got.
Woman: It sounds like a hundred cats fighting. How can you listen to this crap?
Man: It just takes time to get into it. I didn’t like it at first, but it grew on me.
Woman: I’m not sure I have the time for that. Can’t we put something better on?
Man: Like what? You only listen to cheesy music. That sounds just as bad to me as this does to you.
Woman: I just like to listen to something I can sing along to. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Man: That stuff all sounds the same to me.
Woman: Well, I really can’t stand it any longer. Put something else on, or turn it off.
Man: Fine, I’ll use headphones.
Woman: Why don’t you just play something we both like? I liked that music you were playing last night. What was it? It sounded nice and summery.
Man: Oh yeah… I’ve forgotten. It was some sort of reggae. But anyway, I’m not in the mood for that right now. I’ll just listen with headphones.
Woman: But then we can’t talk to each other…
Man: Eurrrgh…

Arguing About Music – exercise 1
Vocabulary: describing music

There are a number of ways to describe music in the dialogue. Some are collocations (that is, common combinations of words) and others are grammatical patterns.

Move the sort elements to complete five sentences used by the speakers.

Arguing About Music – exercise 2
Grammar and listening skills: contractions

There are lots of contractions in the dialogue, because they are a common feature of informal speech. However, learners tend to under-use contractions and find them difficult to hear.

Listen to five excerpts from the dialogue and choose the contraction used.

Arguing About Music – exercise 3
Listening comprehension: positive and negative connotation

This exercise focuses on positive and negative language in the dialogue.

Listen again to the context and decide if the highlighted words are positive or negative.

Arguing About Music – exercise 4
Pronunciation: when to stress prepositions

Most prepositions are not stressed, because the nouns, verbs or adjectives before or after them are more important. However, when these little words are part of phrasal verbs, they are stressed, because they contribute to the meaning of the verb.

Listen to five excerpts from the dialogue and decide if the highlighted words are stressed or not.

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