English Listening Exercises for B1 – Past and present

1. Listen to six speakers. Match the verbs in column A to verbs in columns B and C. Four of the verbs in columns B and C are not needed.









stand up

put down



run out






fall out


run away

fall off



fall in

Show answers

1 cycle, run out, fall off

2 help, drop, fall out

3 travel, overturn, escape

4 play, kick, break

5 have, put down, take

6 stand up, hit, fall in


1 As I was cycling along a path near home, a big black dog ran out in front of me and I fell off bike and hurt arm.

2 We were in the supermarket car park. I was helping mum with the shopping, when I dropped one of the bags. Everything fell out of the bag. There were eggs, oranges and apples all over the car park.

3 While were travelling to Scotland, a lorry overturned in front of us. Luckily we weren’t going very fast. The lorry was full of sheep and they all escaped.

4 brother and I were playing football in the garden. brother kicked the ball very hard into the neighbour’s garden and it broke one of their windows. Our neighbour wasn’t very happy.

5 While we were having a picnic on the beach, I put down sandwich. A big bird flew down and took it.

6 We were in the park. We were in a boat on the lake there. friend, Al was standing up in the boat when another boat hit us. Al fell in the water. Luckily it wasn’t deep.

2. Listen to Mrs Jones. What does she think about life in the past? Choose the correct answers.

1 Mrs Jones thinks that some things in the past were

a more expensive.      b worse.      c better.

2 Children used to play

a in the street.      b indoors.      c in the park.

3 They can’t do that now because, there’s too much

a crime.       traffics      c pollution.

4 Most people didn’t use to lock their

a windows.      b doors.      c cars.

5 Which of these things does Mrs Jones say people didn’t use to have?

a televisions      d  digital cameras

b cars                  e  MP3 players

   c computers       f  mobile phones

6 How does she describe life in the past? Choose two.

a more difficult      d  safer

b slower                  e  simpler

     c  easier                    f   nicer

7 What does she think was the best thing about life when she was a girl?

a People didn’t use to travel much.

b Most people didn’t have a car.

 c  People used to spend more time together.

 d  People used to help each other more.

Show answers

123 b  4 b  5 c, f 6 b, e 7 c


When I talk about the time when I was a girl, young people always think that life used to be very hard. But it wasn’t bad really. It was just different and in many ways I think life was better in the past.

Children used to play in the street. They can’t do that now in most places, because everyone’s got a car so there’s too much traffic, and it’s dangerous. Today’s children spend all their free time indoors.

And when I was a girl most people didn’t use to lock their doors. We didn’t have anything to steal, so it wasn’t a problem.

Of course, we didn’t have a lot of the things that we have today, like computers and mobile phones. But life used to be slower and simpler. People didn’t use to rush around like they do today. The best thing about the time when I was young was that people used to spend more time together. Nowadays, people spend all their time in front of a computer screen or a television, or on their mobile phones. Yes, in some ways I think life was better when I was young.

3. Listen and complete the dialogue.

Do you like 1 __this jacket__?

No, I don’t want something 2 _______

Well, 3 _______ this one? It’s 4 _______

Yes, OK. I’ll 5 _______

6 _______?

It isn’t 7 _____ The sleeves are 8 _______

Maybe they’ve got it 9 _____ Yes, here you are. 10 _______


Does that 11 _______ OK?

Yes, 12 _____ I’ll 13 _____

Show answers

2   striped

3   what about

4   plain

5   try it on

6   How is it

7   big enough

8   too tight

9   in a larger size

10 Try this on

11 fit

12 this is fine

13 take it


A Do you like this jacket?

B No, I don’t want something striped.

A Well, what about this one? It’s plain.

B Yes, OK. I’ll try it on.

A How is it?

B It isn’t big enough. The sleeves are too tight.

A Maybe they’ve got it in a larger size. Yes, here you are. Try this on.

B Thanks.

A Does that fit OK?

B Yes, this is fine. I’ll take it.

4. Listen to four dialogues. Complete the chart.




a violin exam

She ________




Show answers

Carla : passed.

Ross : swimming competition, He came last.

Maxine : hockey match, They lost 5-1.

Jamie : Science test, He passed.



Carla I’ve got a violin exam tomorrow.

Boy Good luck. I hope you pass.

Carla Thanks.

Later .

Boy Hi Carla. How did it go?

Carla I passed.

Boy Congratulations. Well done.

Carla Thank you.


Ross I’m in a swimming competition at the weekend.

Girl Well, I’ll keep fingers crossed for you. I hope you do well.

Ross Thanks.

Later .

Girl Hello, Ross. How was your swimming competition? Did you win?

Ross No, I came last.

Girl Oh, that’s a pity. Better luck next time.

Ross Thank you.


Maxine We’ve got an important hockey match on Saturday.

Girl Well, I hope you win. Good luck.

Maxine Thank you.

Later .

Girl Hi Maxine. How did you get on in your hockey match?

Maxine We lost – 5-1.

Girl Oh dear. I’m sorry to hear that. Never mind.

Maxine Thanks.


Jamie We’ve got a Science test this afternoon.

Boy Good luck. I’ll keep fingers crossed for you.

Jamie Thanks.

Later .

Boy Hi Jamie. How did your Science test go?

Jamie It wasn’t too hard. I passed.

Boy I’m glad to hear that. Well done.

Jamie Thank you.

5. a   Listen and choose the correct item of clothing in column B for each person.




1   John

jumper / trousers / shirt

short-sleeved, striped, red and grey

2   Sally

dress / skirt / jeans

3   Dan

trainers / shorts / T-shirt

4   Bella

top / shoes / boots

b   Listen again. Describe the item.

Show answers


2 dress   3 shorts   4 boots


2 light blue, plain, loose, long-sleeved

3 baggy, checked, green and white

4 high-heeled, pointed


1 favourite item of clothing is a shirt. It’s short-sleeved and it’s striped. It’s got red and grey stripes.

2 favourite thing is a dress. It’s light blue and plain. It’s quite loose. It’s long-sleeved.

3 favourite type of clothing is a pair of shorts. They’re really baggy and they’re checked. They’re green and white.

4 favourite item of clothing is brown boots. They’re high-heeled and pointed. I think they’re really nice.