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Stinky Fruit – Listening Lesson (B1)

Have you ever tried durian, blue cheese, or other stinky foods? Why do people eat things which smell so bad? Listen to two people talking about this topic and learn new vocabulary to describe smells and tastes in this free English listening lesson. This is a lesson for intermediate learners.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Man: What is that smell?
Woman: It’s this fruit. It’s called durian.
Man: Oh, that stinks! It’s like a bag of wet garbage, you know, that’s been left in the heat in the sun! Why are you eating it?
Woman: Well, it tastes better than it smells. D’you wanna try it?
Man: No, no, no thanks. The smell makes me wanna throw up.
Woman: Well, you know, It is a delicacy in most Asian countries. They actually call it the “king of fruits.”
Man: No they don’t! You’re making that up!
Woman: I’m not. It’s true!
Man: Alright. What does it taste like, then?
Woman: I dunno, it’s a little bit hard to describe. It has a creamy texture and it’s kinda strange really; it’s not sweet, it’s not bitter… Just try it!
Man: No way, eugh! I just don’t know why people eat this stuff. You know, like, blue cheese—why eat something that smells so bad, you know what I mean?
Woman: I actually love blue cheese. You know, I think you should branch out a little bit more, try new things.
Man: New things … dunno. I’m not an adventurous eater, you know? I know what I like and I eat that.
Woman: Well, it takes some time to get into it, I agree. I didn’t like it the first time I tried it, but after a while, I got into it.
Man: Food should be nice, not work. Sounds like making an effort just for the sake of it. There’s loads of perfectly nice cheese which doesn’t stink like old socks.
Woman: Fine, be boring, then. This means there’s simply more delicious durian for me!
Man: Wahey for you! If there’s any left, by the way, just wrap it up well. I don’t wanna smell that again…

Stinky Fruit – exercise 1
Listening skill: listening for key words

The two speakers are talking about things they’ve eaten. This exercise reviews pre-intermediate language for how to describe food.

Listen to the dialogue and complete the summary using one word from the box in each gap. There are three that you do not need to use.

Stinky Fruit – exercise 2
Vocabulary: phrasal verbs

The dialogue contains a number of phrasal verbs. This is a common feature of neutral and informal speech, but they’re one of the hardest parts of vocabulary for students to learn.

Look at the five phrasal verbs below and listen for them in the full dialogue. From the context of the conversation, can you work out what they mean?

Stinky Fruit – exercise 3
Comprehension: correct the mistakes

Now that you have completed a summary of the conversation and studied some of the language, test how well you understand some of the other comments by the speakers.

Read five phrases from the dialogue. One word is written incorrectly each time. Your job is to identify the incorrect word, then write it correctly in the answer space.

Stinky Fruit – exercise 4
Pronunciation: abbreviations and informal speech

The dialogue is a conversation between two friends, so it includes examples of informal speech which would be considered incorrect in writing. These are pronounced very quickly and can be difficult to hear.

Listen to excerpts from the dialogue and identify the words pronounced with informal pronunciation.

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