Free English Lessons

Buying Bus Tickets – Listening Lesson

by Oli Redman on September 15, 2014 , No comments

If you travel to an English-speaking country, you might want to travel by bus. Learn how to ask about bus times and different types of ticket in this free Oxford Online English listening lesson about buying bus tickets.

Woman: Er, excuse me?

Man: Yes? Can I help you?

Woman: I wanted to ask1 about buses to Manchester.

Man: Right. When are you going2?

Woman: Saturday, I think in the morning. How often do the buses leave?

Man: The first bus is at 8.30. After that, there’s one bus every two hours until 6.30.

Woman: And how long does the journey take?

Man: It depends on the traffic3, but normally about four hours.

Woman: Okay, I think I should leave earlier then. Can I buy a ticket in advance4?

Man: Yes, of course. Would you like to buy one now?

Woman: Yeah, okay. How much is it?

Man: Single or return?

Woman: Single.

Man: That’s £23.505.

Woman: Right… Just a minute… Okay, here you go.

Man: Thank you. Here’s your change, and your ticket.

Woman: Thanks for your help.

Man: Don’t forget your purse6!

Woman: Oh! Silly me7! Thanks!

1. Using the past tense makes the question more polite

  • I want to ask about… –> not very polite
  • I wanted to ask about… –> more polite

2. Here we use the present continuous (…are you going?) but with a future meaning

  • What time are we meeting? –> present tense, future meaning
  • Where are you going on Saturday? –> present tense, future meaning

3. It depends on the traffic. –> If there is more traffic, the journey will take longer.

4. Buy a ticket in advance. –> Buy a ticket one or more days before you travel.

5. You can say “twenty-three pounds fifty,” “twenty-three fifty,” or “twenty-three pounds fifty p.” ‘P’ is pronounced “pee” and means pence.

6. A purse is something women use to carry their money and cards. Men carry their money and cards in a wallet.

7. Silly me is something you can say when you have made a small mistake.

The same or different?

    1. When are you leaving?/When are you going to leave?
    2. How long does the journey take?/How long is the journey?
    3. Buy a ticket in advance/Buy a ticket on the day.
    4. Here you go/Take it.
    5. I should leave earlier/I must leave earlier.

True or False?

      1. There will be a bus to Manchester at 12.30 on Saturday.
      2. The journey never takes more than four hours.
      3. The woman does not want to arrive in Manchester very late.
      4. Tickets can only be bought from the bus driver.
      5. The woman will come back from Manchester on the bus.
        1. Same
        2. Same
        3. Different—if you buy a ticket on the day, you buy the ticket the same day that you leave.
        4. Different—both mean that I am giving you something, but saying take it is very direct and probably rude.
        5. Different—I should leave earlier = I think it’s a better idea to leave earlier. I must leave earlier = It’s necessary to leave earlier, so I have no choice.
        6. True—there will be buses at 8.30, 10.30, 12.30, 2.30…
        7. False—if there is heavy traffic, it could take longer.
        8. True—she says: “I think I should leave earlier.”
        9. False—she buys a ticket in advance.
        10. False—she buys a single ticket.
Oli RedmanBuying Bus Tickets – Listening Lesson