Free English Lessons

Getting to Work – Listening Lesson (B1)

How do you get to work, and how long does it usually take you? Is it easy to walk or cycle in your city? In this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English, two people talk about using different forms of transport. You can learn some useful new English words and phrases to talk about getting around. This lesson is for intermediate learners.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Man: Hi! Sorry I’m late.
Woman: It’s half past! You were supposed to be here at nine o’clock!
Man: Sorry. I took the wrong bus, and then we got stuck in traffic.
Woman: How did you take the wrong bus?
Man: I don’t take the bus every day, and I just got confused and got on the wrong one.
Woman: But I thought you drove to work?
Man: No, normally I cycle, but my bike’s in the shop at the moment.
Woman: Why? What’s wrong with it?
Man: I got a flat tire the other day.
Woman: Well, don’t worry about it. These things happen!
Man: Thanks. It won’t happen again.
Woman: Actually, I was thinking of cycling to work. How long does it take you?
Man: Normally it takes about 20 minutes, but it depends on how fast you ride.
Woman: It’s a bit cold at the moment. Maybe I’ll wait a month or two…

Getting to Work – exercise 1
Listening skill: predicting the next word

When there’s one word you don’t hear, how well can you guess what it is? If you understand all the words just before it, it should be quite easy! Every time you say a word, the context and grammar create limits for what the next word could be. There’s often only one option!

Listen to five sentences from the dialogue. Each time the last word has been removed. Can you guess what it is?

Getting to Work – exercise 2
Comprehension: following the conversation

Many learners find listening difficult because they’re trying to remember the meaning of all the words, which requires a lot of concentration. The risk is that you forget to just listen and try to recognise the words. This exercise trains you to focus on the sound of the words, not the meaning.

Listen to the full dialogue and put the sentences from exercise 1 in the order they are used by the speakers.

Getting to Work – exercise 3
Grammar: verb tense review

The dialogue includes references to the past, present and future, so the speakers use a number of different verb tenses.

Would you know which verb tense to use in the same situation? Listen to the dialogue again and choose the verb tenses that you hear.

Getting to Work – exercise 4
Vocabulary: transport verbs

There are some very common verbs in this dialogue. Some are part of collocations – that is, common combinations of words that we say together in certain situations.

Read five sentences that are used in the conversation. An incorrect verb has been written each time. Find the correct verb in the recording and write it once in each answer space.

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