Free English Lessons

Buying Bus Tickets – Listening Lesson (A1-A2)

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. This lesson is for elementary to pre-intermediate learners.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Woman: Er, excuse me?
Man: Yeah? Can I help you?
Woman: I wanted to ask1 about buses to Manchester.
Man: Right. When are you going?
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 traffic2, but normally about four hours.
Woman: Okay, I think I should leave earlier then. Can I buy a ticket in advance?
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 £23.503.
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 purse4!
Woman: Oh! Silly me5! 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. It depends on the traffic. –> If there is more traffic, the journey will take longer.
3. You can say “twenty-three pounds fifty,” “twenty-three fifty,” or “twenty-three pounds fifty p.” ‘P’ is pronounced “pee” and means pence.
4. A purse is something women use to carry their money and cards. Men carry their money and cards in a wallet.
5. Silly me is something you can say when you have made a small mistake.

Buying Bus Tickets – exercise 1
Listening comprehension: true or false?

Listen to the conversation and decide if the statements are true or false.

Buying Bus Tickets – exercise 2
Vocabulary: journeys and tickets

Read five sentences that have a similar meaning to those used in the recording.

Buying Bus Tickets – exercise 3
Grammar: word order in questions

Listen to the dialogue again and pay attention to the questions asked by both speakers.

Then, move the words into the correct order to create a question that you hear.

Buying Bus Tickets – exercise 4
Pronunciation: intonation

Intonation is the way your voice rises and falls, like music. It tells a listener additional information about what you are saying.

Listen to five clips from the dialogue and choose the correct statement each time.

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