Practice Listening English Exercises for B1 – Successful Businesses

Getting Ready

What do you think makes a business successful? Number the items in each list from 1 (the most important) to 5 (the least important). Compare your answer with a partner.

A restaurant

A language school

A hotel

__ location

__ prices

__ service

__ atmosphere

__ other: ________

__ location

__ staff

__ courses

__ popularity

__ other: ________

__ price

__ rooms

__ location

__ facilities

__ other: ________

Show answers

your own answers

Listening 1

People are talking about different businesses. What do they dislike about each place? Listen and circle the correct letter.

1   a  the food

b the service

2   a  the location

b the prices

3   a  the popularity

b the prices

4   a  the service

b the location

5   a  the prices

b the service

6   a  the clothes

b the service

Show answers & Transcript

1 b   2 b   3 a   4 b   5 b   6 b

Transcript

1

A:  What’s the new Indian restaurant on Sixth Street like?

B:  Well, everyone said it was very good, but I wasn’t too satisfied when I went there the other night.

A:  Why not?

B:  The food was good, but it took too long to arrive. We had to wait for nearly an hour before we got anything to eat.

A: Oh! That’s terrible service.

2

A: I’m going to get the textbook for our biology class at the campus bookstore. Do you want to come?

B: No, I don’t think so.

A: Why not? Don’t you think it’s convenient having a bookstore right on campus?

B: Yes, it is. But have you compared their prices with other bookstores? That store in the mall is usually about 10% cheaper. And you save about 20% buying your books online.

A: Oh. I didn’t know that.

3

A: Do you belong to a health club?

B:  Not right now. I used to go to the Metropolitan Health Club on Third Street. I thought it was great because it was so cheap, but then I stopped going.

A:  Really? I heard it was pretty popular.

B:  That was the problem. It was too popular. It was always full of people. Sometimes I had to wait a long time to use the machines.

4

A:  So how was the hotel in Honolulu?

B:  It was pretty good. The staff was really nice – very friendly and helpful. There was one problem with it, though.

A: What was that?

B: The location. It was too far from the restaurants and clubs. Next time, I think I’ll stay much closer to the downtown.

5

A:  Do you want to try Italian food tonight?

B:   Sure. Where would you like to go?

A:  How about Little Roma – you know, that Italian restaurant across from the movie theater? I heard the prices are cheap.

B: That’s true. But the service is pretty bad. The waiters are really slow, and they’re not very friendly either.

A: Oh, I didn’t know that. Let’s try another place.

6

A: I heard there’s a sale at Brenda’s Boutique. Do you want to check it out? They have some really good clothes.

B:   I know, but the service is terrible. The people who work there are so rude.

A:  I know what you mean.

Listening 2

Task 1

People are talking about different businesses. Listen and number the pictures.

img

Show answers

A 3   B 2   C 5   D 1   E 6   F 4

Task 2

Listen again. What do the people like about each business? Circle the correct letter.

1   a  the location

b the service

     c   the atmosphere

2   a  the prices

b the facilities

     c   the teachers

3   a  the staff

b the speed

     c   the prices

4   a  the atmosphere

b the staff

     c   the prices

5   a  the location

b the prices

     c   the size

6   a  the prices

b the quality

     c   the displays

Show answers & Transcript

1 c   2 b   3 a   4 a   5 b   6 b

Transcript

1

I really enjoy going there with friends after work. There’s always something interesting on the menu. I also love the atmosphere. It’s very cool and they have really comfortable sofas.

2

I’m glad I decided to study there. Spanish is much better now. It’s pretty expensive, but the facilities are very good. They have a great computer lab, and there’s free wifi all over campus. It’s much better than the school I was going to last year.

3

I’ve been going there for over a year. I just love the way they make hair look. The stylists are really good at their work. The atmosphere makes you feel at home, too, with coffee and snacks, plus really good music. Sure, it’s expensive, but I only go there every two months or so.

4

It’s a great place to stay. The atmosphere is so glamorous and exciting. There are bright lights at the front door, and people always arrive in really expensive cars. The rooms are really beautiful, too. Of course, it’s not the cheapest hotel in Miami, but it’s definitely the best.

5

I always take mine to a garage on Market Street. It takes a long time to get there from house, but it’s worth the trip. It’s the best repair shop in the city. The mechanics do great work, and they never try to charge you too much. In fact, the prices are great – about half the cost of some other places in town.

6

I get most of shirts there. You’ll love the store. All of their stuff looks great and fits perfectly. It’s really good quality, too. They also have lots of different styles and colors to choose from. The window displays are a problem, though. They aren’t well-lit, so it’s hard to see what they have from outside the store.

Listening 3

Task 1

People are talking about businesses they own. What does each person think is most important? Listen and circle the correct letter.

img

1 a the fish

b the chefs

    c the service

img

2 a the website

b a good value

    c the speed

img

3 a the speed

b the prices

    c the quality

img

4 a the displays

b the quality

    c the prices

Show answers

1 c   2 b   3 a   4 a

Task 2

Listen again. What other important things do the people mention? Write the correct letter.

1 __

2 __

3 __

4 __

a the convenience

b the food

the prices

d the quality

Show answers & Transcript

1 b   2 a   3 d   4 c

Transcript

1

I think the most important thing is service. If customers feel like they are treated poorly, then they probably won’t come back. That’s why I train all of workers to give excellent service. They greet customers politely, show them to a table right away, and explain the items on the menu. Of course, the food is important, too. The fish has to be as fresh as possible, and you have to find talented chefs to prepare it.

2

The Internet has totally changed this business. In the old days, people had to come to a travel agency to get tickets. Now they go online and get their tickets by themselves. When they come to me, I know they’re looking for a good value. That’s really the most important thing. Of course, our travel agency provides convenience for some clients who don’t have the time to plan their own trips.

3

These days, nothing is more important than speed. Time is money. People want a job done well, but they want it done quickly. And they’re usually prepared to pay a little more if you can promise it will get done fast. And, of course, quality is important, too. We’re building people’s homes, so we want them to enjoy living there for a long time.

4

It’s so important to have the right kind of displays. Creating effective clothing displays is an art. You want people to see the items right away, pick them up, touch them, and then go try the clothes on. And you want them to buy something, too! Good prices are also important, but the display is really the number one thing.

Conversation Corner: Making complaints

Task 1

Listen to the conversation. Write the missing words.

A: Do you want to go to the Century Fashions sale on Saturday?

B: I’d like to, but the salespeople there ________. ________. ________. professional.

A: I know what you mean. They’re not very friendly, either.

B: Yeah, and some of the clothes are nice, but some of them are ________. ________. quality.

A: That’s true. I bought a sweater there last winter, and it ________. ________. after I wore it twice.

B: Also, it ________. ________. ________. pay for things. The lines are always really long.

A: Then again, I did get ________. ________. there!

Task 2

Practice the conversation with a partner. Be sure to stress the correct words.

Show answers & Transcript

A: Do you want to go to the Century Fashions sale on Saturday?

B: I’d like to, but the salespeople there are not very professional.

A: I know what you mean. They’re not very friendly, either.

B: Yeah, and some of the clothes are nice, but some of them are really bad quality.

A: That’s true. I bought a sweater there last winter, and it fell apart after I wore it twice.

B: Also, it takes hours to pay for things. The lines are always really long.

A: Then again, I did get favorite jeans there!