Free English Lessons

A Football Match – Listening Lesson (B2)

Have you ever been to a football match? Which team do you support? Listen to two people arguing about a football match they saw in this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English. You can also learn useful new words and phrases to talk about football and sport. This lesson is for upper intermediate learners.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Man: What a game! Five-nil1! That must be the most exciting match I’ve ever been to.
Woman: Exciting? That was ridiculous. There’s no way you deserved to score five goals.
Man: You’re just sore2. Your team got beaten, fair and square3.
Woman: Fair and square? Two of the goals were offside4!
Man: Offside? We were sitting in the same place, right? Okay, one of them was close, but…
Woman: Close? He was way offside. And we had that goal disallowed after seven minutes…
Man: Yeah, of course, cos5 your player fouled6 the keeper7
Woman: There wasn’t a foul. And if that goal had stood8, who knows what would have happened?
Man: Even if I agree with you, we totally outplayed9 you.
Woman: You didn’t outplay anyone. The ref10 had a terrible afternoon. There were so many bad decisions I lost count.
Man: Is someone a bad loser11?
Woman: Oh shut up. We’re still ahead of you in the league.
Man: Not for long, if you keep playing like that…
Woman: Well, enjoy your moment. It won’t happen every week!

The vocabulary in these notes will give you many of the answers for the exercises below. You may prefer to try those exercise first, then come back to this section if you need to.

1. Nil = zero. In many sports, including football, we use nil instead of zero
2. Sore literally means painful. Here it means that the woman is unhappy because her team lost.
3. Fair and square = completely fairly
4. Offside in football means that an attacking player is too far forwards when someone passes the ball.
5. Cos = because (conversational)
6. To foul = to break the rules when trying to take the ball from another player
7. Keeper = goalkeeper, the player in a football match who protects the goal
8. To stand here means to be counted
9. To outplay = to play much better than
10. Ref = referee (conversational)
11. A bad loser = someone who complains when they (or their team) lose

A Football Match – exercise 1
Vocabulary: football phrases

This dialogue contains vocabulary that you will hear in almost any conversation about what happened in a football match. How much of it do you know?

Before you listen to the full dialogue, listen to five excerpts and match the words in the recording with the definitions.

A Football Match – exercise 2
Listening skill: listening for words that fit a meaning

This is similar to the previous exercise, but this time you’re given the definition and you have to find words in the dialogue that mean the same.

Fill the gaps with the number of words shown, so that both sentences mean the same each time.

A Football Match – exercise 3
Grammar: past participles in different verb forms

Past participles are used in a number of different ways in the dialogue, including passive structures and hypothetical sentences about an imaginary past.

Listen to five excerpts including past participles and choose the reason the verb form is used.

A Football Match – exercise 4
Pronunciation: strong and weak forms of ‘you’

This exercise is designed to expose the fact that the same word can be pronounced in a number of different ways. There’s a ‘strong’ or ‘full’ form – the pure sound that’s used if you say the word very carefully – and a weak form, when the word is unstressed in a sentence and the vowel is the neutral sound /ə/.

Listen to the strong and weak forms of the word ‘you’:

Listen to five examples of ‘you’ from the dialogue and choose the pronunciation that the speaker uses each time.

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