Difficult situations

Listen to the people discussing different problems and do the exercises to practise and improve your listening skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation exercise before you listen. Then do the other exercises to check your understanding.

Preparation

Do this exercise before you listen.

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Remote audio URL

Transcript

A
Boy: Mum?
Mother: Yes?
Boy: You know that Economics exam I had last week?
Mother: The one you didn’t revise for?
Boy: I did revise for it. I was working on it all weekend. Don’t you remember?
Mother: Oh, yes, I remember. Apart from going out until four in the morning, you mean?
Boy: Well, I have to relax a little, even if I’m revising. Anyway, I didn’t pass it.
Mother: You failed it! But wasn’t that an important one?
Boy: Yeah, I’m really sorry.
Mother: I’m really sorry too. What does that mean?
Boy: Well, I’ll probably have to retake the whole course.
Mother: Oh, Ryan! It’s a really expensive course. I’m not sure we can afford for you to take it again. Things are difficult enough as it is.
Boy: I know, Mum. I’m sorry. I’ll talk to the teacher again and see if I can retake it.

B
Girl 1: Hi, Megan. How are you?
Girl 2: Not feeling too good, actually.
Girl 1: Oh? Why’s that?
Girl 2: Well, something terrible happened this morning … (voice trembling)
Girl 1: What? Sorry, take your time, and tell me when you’re ready.
Girl 2: Well, I was playing with Bonzo in the garden with a ball, and the ball went over the hedge into the road, and …
Girl 1: Yes?
Girl 2: And Bonzo jumped over the hedge after it and he got hit by a car.
Girl 1: Oh, no! And is he … ?
Girl 2: Yes. We took him to the vet’s immediately, but there was nothing she could do.
Girl 1: Oh, poor Bonzo. And poor you. I know how much he meant to you.
Girl 2: We’d had him since he was a tiny puppy. He was like one of the family.
Girl 1: I’m really sorry. At least he had a happy life.
Girl 2: His life was too short!
Girl 1: Well, yes, OK. I’m sorry, that was a really insensitive thing to say. I’ll come round and see you later, OK?

C
Boy: Hi, Dad.
Father: Hi, how’s it going?
Boy: Did you have a good day at work?
Father: Same as usual, really. What about you? Good day at school?
Boy: Yeah, pretty good. Except for one little thing …
Father: Why do I have a sinking feeling in my stomach?
Boy: Do you remember you lent me your phone?
Father: Yes?
Boy: Well, I was standing just outside school, texting Jack, and somebody ran past and grabbed it.
Father: You let someone steal my phone?
Boy: I didn’t let them.
Father: No, I suppose not. But did you know that that might happen? Is that a dangerous spot?
Boy: Well, I had heard of that happening, but I’d forgotten. Anyway, I didn’t think it would happen to me.
Father: No, OK. Did you see who it was?
Boy: No. It was someone in a blue tracksuit, and there are loads of people who wear those. But there’s a CCTV camera on the entrance. It might have got a shot of the thief’s face.
Father: You reported it then?
Boy: Well, not yet, but I will tomorrow.
Father: All right. Don’t forget to report it tomorrow. I’ll have a look at the insurance and see if it’s covered.

Discussion

Have you been in any difficult situations recently? What happened?

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Comments

Submitted by ahgima099 on Wed, 10/19/2022 - 09:38

Yes. I had a difficult situation when my dad passed away.

Submitted by editor_rachael on Fri, 10/21/2022 - 11:51

Hi ahgima099,

 

We're very sorry to hear that. We hope that you have got lots of support from your family and friends.

 

Rachael
LearnEnglish Teens team

In reply to by ahgima099

Submitted by Wendy on Sat, 08/20/2022 - 13:21

My difficult situation is studying pressure. My parents are very strict and I also don't want to make them disappointed. Moreover, my school is one of the best schools in my province, so the students here always try as much as possible to have a good score, and also a good university in the future. This is the most stressful studying environment that I have ever met. However, luckily, I always have my best friends, who usually support and empathize with me. They help me reduce the stressful studying and give me a lot of happiness. I love my friends so much.

Submitted by ittsmezey on Tue, 08/02/2022 - 16:44

I really felt sorry for the girl that her dog died. If I were her, I couldn't move on my life that easily. :(
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Submitted by Freshka on Fri, 07/08/2022 - 13:49

I'm not under so much pressure, because my parents don't give me many reasons to feel like that. I'm studying because I want. The environment is putting pressure on me a bit. I like to compete, so it's great for me, but not too much. I considerably think no one should feel lots of pressure from their parents. It could distract plenty of dreams that young people have!

Submitted by Edaa on Wed, 06/08/2022 - 05:51

I did not stay in this situation, but it is a very bad situation.

Submitted by 01Aras on Tue, 06/07/2022 - 10:47

Even though my grades are good, my parents are pressing me to get even higher grades

Submitted by lucalvesilva on Sat, 05/14/2022 - 10:43

Yes, I did. Recently I had an argument with one of my best friends, whose boyfriend was an awful person. She didn't like what I said but we've already made up. She broke with him in the end.

Submitted by Blixer on Tue, 04/05/2022 - 07:04

Difficult situation
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Submitted by Valeria_ on Fri, 08/13/2021 - 03:52

I had a difficult situation last week because I could not register for school and they did not answer my emails, but in the end everything was resolved and I was able to register

Submitted by moonborn on Tue, 08/10/2021 - 17:53

I haven't been in difficult situations lately.

Submitted by Dominicbeudean on Tue, 03/16/2021 - 06:39

Last year in summer I was going to see my grandparents. When we arrived, we prepared everything to make a campfire outside, I was going to cut the wood but the axe was pretty big and I hit myself in the hand, but it wasn't a big cut and I just used some bandages. It wasn't a big deal but I was very scared and unfortunately I couldn't help anymore

Submitted by Isabellabuzzetti on Tue, 01/05/2021 - 11:00

I had a difficult situation last week when my teacher told us the marks and I got a low one. I had to told my dad about it, it was terrible!
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Submitted by Xuka on Wed, 08/26/2020 - 17:05

Last December, I lost my gold charm bracelet when I went out with my friends. It's a beautiful gift from my grandmother. I didn't still understand how it disappeared because I wore it for 6 years. When I told my mum about that, I felt she was very sad also. But she comforted me to be more careful next time. And it was so amazing, my mum found and bought another bracelet the same as a lost one. I was happy and grateful for that.

Submitted by cookiepg on Tue, 08/25/2020 - 07:41

no

Submitted by Mamou1 on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 10:04

Recently i haven't been in a difficult situation gratefully. I alsa hope that evreryone doesn't have any difficult situation either.

Submitted by Athony on Thu, 05/14/2020 - 15:40

My parent always make me to have better grades although I am the best or second student in my class. I'm under so much pressure.

Submitted by Thu on Sun, 08/11/2019 - 08:46

It was a Maths time in my school, I didn't read all the thread and I was the first one rise hand. When the teacher called my name, I stood up and said the wrong answer. Then everyone looking at me, I was very surprised when the teacher said: "It's wrong!". I was very embarrassed, I sat down and didn't say any words with my tablemate. : >

Submitted by Tina on Tue, 07/02/2019 - 12:30

I had a difficult time in the last year at Secondary School. That time, I was one of the best student represented my school participated a contest. My family, teachers, friends believed in me a lot that I could get the prize and I also believed that at least I could get the second prize. However, in my school's festival, I heard the news about the result that I failed, there was no prize for me. The worst thing was I was the only person of my school didn't have any prize that time. I cried so much. Thankfully, I overcame that sorrow and achieved success in the next competition. I hope that failure will never emerge in my study life next time:(( *My English is not so good. If you read my comment, please help me correct my mistakes. Thanks!*
Profile picture for user JoModerator

Submitted by JoModerator on Wed, 07/03/2019 - 05:54

Hi Tina,

Thanks for your comment. Don't worry about making mistakes - the most important thing is to communicate in English!

 

Best wishes

Jo (LearnEnglish Teens team)

In reply to by Tina

Submitted by Tina on Wed, 07/03/2019 - 14:38

Thanks a lot!

In reply to by JoModerator

Submitted by FatimaH on Thu, 02/21/2019 - 18:03

I haven't been in any difficult situations recently . I wish everyone luck and calm life in near future.

Submitted by Ekzort on Sun, 11/11/2018 - 15:32

On the one day, two years ago, when i woke up and go to the yard i saw, that my dog wasn't there, later occurred that our dog was stolen.

Submitted by elinasala on Thu, 06/28/2018 - 15:59

The other day, I was in my room and I was playing games on my phone. Suddenly my mum opend the door and she shouted: "you've been glued to your phone for 5 hours!". After that, she forbade me to use my phone on weekdays.
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Submitted by Batgirl on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 15:58

Happily, I haven't been in any difficult situations recently, but reading all these comments I feel really san for all people who got in troubles. I wish them to be more lucky and I hope that their fails taught them something ;)

Submitted by anphuonglinh_155 on Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:07

yes, last summer I had a a bad mark in English. My teacher told my mother and she threw the book at me. TT
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