Free English Lessons

Ouch, My Head! – Listening Lesson (B1-B2)

This poor guy has hurt himself, and is complaining loudly! His girlfriend thinks it’s his fault, as usual. Learn some words and phrases to talk about a head injury, and injuries in general, along with pain in this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English. If you’re an intermediate learner, there are lots of new things to learn, while for upper intermediate learners, it’s a revision of vocabulary and grammar with some things you might not know about pronunciation.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Man: Argh! Ow1!
Woman: What’s wrong? Did you hurt yourself?
Man: I just banged2 my head.
Woman: Oh, are you okay? Is it bleeding3?
Man: I think it’s okay.
Woman: Let me check… No, I think … I don’t think you’ve cut yourself. How did you do it?
Man: I was getting something out of that cupboard and when I stood up I banged my head on the shelf, there.
WomanYou’re always doing4 stupid things and hurting yourself! Why can’t you be more careful?
ManNot now5, okay?
Woman: Maybe you should put some ice on it?
Man: Ice? Why?
Woman: To stop it swelling up6.
Man: It’ll be okay. I might have a little bump7, that’s all.
WomanYou’re impossible8! Why do I even bother?
Man: I thought I was the one who was hurt…

The answers to some of the exercises below can be found in these notes. If you would like to challenge yourself, you are recommended to try the exercises first and return to this section later if you need to.

1. Ow or ouch are words you can use to express that something hurts.
2. I banged my head = I hit my head on something, e.g. a table or a shelf.
3. Is it bleeding? = Is there blood coming out?
4. The continuous tense here shows that the woman thinks the man does stupid things very regularly, and that she finds it annoying.
5. Not now expresses impatience with the other person.
6. Swell up = to get bigger
7. A bump = a swelling on your head after you hit it, which looks a bit like an egg.
8. You’re impossible expresses her impatience and frustration with the man’s attitude.

Ouch, My Head! – exercise 1
Vocabulary: verbs for injuries

The recording is very short, but it includes a lot of vocabulary related to injuries. How many of the verbs do you know?

Listen to the full dialogue and complete five sentences from it. The sentences are exact transcriptions – you just need to add the missing verb each time.

Ouch, My Head! – exercise 2
Comprehension: checking your understanding

Listen again to the five sentences that contain the answers to exercise 1. If you got the words right, did you understand the exact meaning of the verbs?

For each clip, look at two possible ways to explain an injury. Which one means the same as what the speaker says?

Ouch, My Head! – exercise 3
Grammar: confusing verb tenses

The conversation features a number of verb tenses which learners find confusing. This is because they appear to break the ‘rules’, or more than one verb form is possible.

Listen to five excerpts from the dialogue and identify which verb forms are used. When you check your answers, you can read an explanation of why each one is used.

Ouch, My Head! – exercise 4
Pronunciation: elision of final /t/ and /d/

Do you do your best to pronounce every sound of every word very carefully? Native speakers don’t! Most speakers in most situations do not pronounce the /t/ or /d/ at the end of a word if the next word starts with a consonant. The final /t/ and /d/ also disappear if you add /s/ to make a 3rd person verb, a plural noun, or a contraction. This pronunciation phenomenon is called elision.

Listen to five examples of words ending in /t/, /d/ or /ts/. They are all situations where elision could occur. Do the speakers pronounce the sounds or not?

More English Lessons

English Listening Lessons

Send this to a friend