Free English Lessons

Talking About Films – Listening Lesson (B1)

Do you like watching films and going to the cinema? Listen to two people discussing a film that they saw in this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English. You can learn and practise useful English vocabulary to describe a film. This is an intermediate lesson.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Man: So you went to see it? What did you make of it1?
Woman: I wasn’t sure at first, but in the end I really liked it.
Man: I’ve been thinking about going to see it, but some people say it’s overhyped2.
Woman: No, it’s worth seeing. I just think a lot of people find the story a bit too convoluted3.
Man: So what, is it hard to follow?
Woman: No, not really, there are just a lot of twists and turns4. I thought it was really interesting, and really well-acted as well.
Man: Who’s in it?
Woman: Jim Rodgers, Katherine Lamb, and a few other people.
Man: I don’t like Jim Rodgers. He always plays the same character, and he’s so wooden5.
Woman: I quite like him…
Man: Yeah, I wonder why. Must be his acting ability!
Woman: Oh, shut up! Anyway, definitely go see it.
Man: Is it still on6?
Woman: Oh, I don’t know, have a look online.

The vocabulary in these notes will give you many of the answers for exercises 1 and 2. You may prefer to try those exercises first, then come back to this section if you need to.

1. What did you make of it? = What did you think of it?
2. Overhyped = people have said a lot of good things about something, but it isn’t as good as everyone says.
3. Convoluted = Too complicated and confusing
4. Twists and turns = when something unexpected happens in a story, or a story changes direction suddenly.
5. Wooden = emotionless
6. Is it still on? = Are they still showing it?

Talking about Films – exercise 1
Listening skill: identifying the words you hear

This dialogue contains a lot of common words which many learners find confusing because they mean different things in different contexts – or the meaning changes when they’re used in certain combinations.

For each question, choose the sentence that you hear in the recording. Read the note about the meaning before you make your decision!

Talking about Films – exercise 2
Vocabulary: describing films

The dialogue contains adjectives that you can use to describe a film in general, the plot (= the storyline), the actors, and what other people think.

Read a review of the film, which the woman wrote after speaking to her friend in this dialogue. Write one word from the box in each gap.

Talking about Films – exercise 3
Grammar: ellipsis (words that are missed out)

In informal contexts, such as this conversation between two friends, it is possible to leave out words that would be necessary or expected if you wrote or said the same thing in a formal situation. The concept of missing out words from the grammar is called ellipsis.

Look at the full-form equivalents of sentences that are used in the dialogue, and tick all the words that are missed out by the speakers.

Talking about Films – exercise 4
Pronunciation: elision in the word ‘it’

How do you say the word ‘it’? Do you always pronounce it the same way? The speakers in this dialogue don’t! Like any word ending with the sound /t/, if the next word starts with a consonant, most speakers won’t pronounce the /t/. Dropping sounds is called elision, and it can even happen when a vowel is after the /t/, or when /t/ comes before a pause.

However, it’s not a rule that you have to drop /t/ in any situation – some speakers don’t if they are making an effort to speak clearly. Listen to five examples of the word ‘it’ from the dialogue and decide if the speaker pronounces /t/ or not.

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