Exercise 1   

People are describing the cities where they live. What topic are they talking about? Circle the correct answer.

1.  a.  the economy

     b.  traffic

2.  a.  safety

     b.  shopping

3.  a.  parks

     b.  public transportation

4.  a.  the economy

     b.  cleanliness

5.  a.  safety

     b.  restaurants

6.  a.  noise

     b.  air quality

Answer & Transcript


It used to take me about an hour to get in from the airport, but now it takes me more than two hours. There’s so much traffic these days.


There used to be some really good stores downtown. But lots of them moved out to the mall. Now downtown looks pretty deserted.


The city council has done a great job in providing places for young people to go in their free time. There are lots of baseball fields and public parks in the city now.


There are more jobs for young people than there used to be. You see lots of companies advertising to train young, inexperienced workers.


I don’t eat out much anymore because there aren’t any interesting places near my apartment. They’ve all closed down. It’s really too bad.


They built the new highway over there a couple of years ago. We used to hear the cars and trucks all day and night. But then they planted trees along the side of the road to form a sound barrier. Now it’s nice and quiet. And pretty, too.

Exercise 2

Task 1

People are talking about how their cities have changed. What is each city like now? Listen and check the correct picture.

Task 2

Listen again. Are these statements true or false? Check the correct answer.

  True False

1.  They built a new road.

2.  The school looks worse now.

3.  They’re going to redevelop the site.

4.  The old supermarket was excellent.

5.  No one comes to town now.

6.  The disco used to be very popular.

Answer & Transcript


There are hardly any trees downtown now. They cut down a lot of trees when they built new stores. It’s not as green anymore.


My school still looks the same as ever. It’s hardly changed, except now there’s no fence around it. I think it looks nicer without it.


Remember that building with all the windows on King Street? They tore it down and they’re going to redevelop the site. It’s probably for the best.


We do all our shopping at the new outdoor market near our house. There used to be a supermarket there, but it wasn’t very good, so some people got together and started the outdoor market. Everyone loves it. In fact, it’s very crowded there on the weekends.


There never used to be industry in my hometown. People used to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Now no one comes because of all the factories and traffic.


The most popular place in town for kids used to be the disco. But that’s gone now. Now most of the kids just hang out on the corner.

Exercise 3

Task 1

People are talking about the cities where they live. What do they like about living there? What do they dislike? Listen and check the correct answers.




1.  shopping


2.  the mall


3.  cleanliness


4.  nightlife


5.  traffic

     the subway

6.  air quality

     the economy

Task 2

Listen again. What changes or improvements do the people suggest for each city? Write the correct letter.

1.  ….

2.  ….

3.  ….

4.  ….

5.  ….

6.  ….

a.  bring more businesses here

b.  build new highways

c.  open some clubs or discos

d.  build more parks downtown

e.  open a restaurant that serves seafood

f.  have a few cheap stores

Answer & Transcript


A:   I just love living here. The best thing is that I never have any trouble finding things to buy. There are some great bookstores around here, and I love just going there for an hour or so to see what’s on sale.

B:   Yeah. That’s nice.

A:   We do need some better restaurants, though. There are too many fast food places. They should open a place that serves really good seafood. I’d love that.

B:   Me, too.


A:   The only thing I don’t like about my city is the mall. Everything is too expensive there. They should have a few cheap stores, too.

B:   What about downtown? Is there anything to do there?

A:   Oh, sure. There are at least a dozen great places to eat downtown. There’s Chinese food, sushi, and even a Greek place.

B:   Wow, that’s great.


A:   I think the city council does a great jog of keeping the streets clean. There isn’t a lot of trash all over the place.

B:   That is nice.

A:   But we could use more green space. They should build a few more parks downtown.

B:   That’s a good idea.


A:   This city is so boring at night. Nothing ever happens. They should really open some clubs or discos.

B:   You’re right about that.

A:   On the other hand, I love that there’s almost no crime. You can walk anywhere, even at night, and feel completely safe.

B:   Yeah, I know what you mean.


A:   The traffic in this city is pretty bad. Some of the streets are just too narrow. They should definitely build some big, new highways.

B:   What about the public transportation?

A:   It’s great, actually. The subway trains are clean and fast, and they run all the time. I just wish I lived near a station!


A:   You know what makes this town so good? It’s such a healthy place to live. The air quality is good. I guess that’s because there are no factories around here.

B:   Yeah. You’re probably right.

A:   But, of course, no factories means no jobs. It can be very difficult to find work around here. They should bring more businesses here.

B:   That’s true.

Exercise 4

Paul is talking about how his hometown has changed. What was it like before? What is it like now? Listen and check the correct answer.




1.   clean and safe

2.   big parks

3.   bad air quality

4.   horrible traffic

5.   small and quiet

Answer & Transcript

1 Before   2 Before   3 Now   4 Now   5 Before


When I was a boy, my hometown was clean and safe. It was beautiful, too. There were big parks with trees and lakes, and a lot of animals and birds lived there. Now there are no trees, and the air is dirty and polluted. Instead of parks, there are tall, ugly buildings, and the traffic is horrible. It’s really noisy. I really miss the good old days, when this was a small, quiet town.

Exercise 5

People are talking about their cities. What change or improvement do the people suggest for each city? Listen and circle the correct answer.

1.   Glen Cove

a.   build more roads

b.   build more buildings

c.   build more parks

2.   Clinton Hill

a.   open a bookstore

b.   open a restaurant

c.   build more roads

3.   Mackinaw

a.   open a movie theater

b.   build more parks

c.   open a mall

4.   West Beach

a.   build a hotel

b.   open a restaurant

c.   clean up the beaches

5.   Belleville

a.   open a movie theater

b.   open a gym

c.   build more parks

Answer & Transcript

1 c   2 a   3 c   4 c   5 b



Glen Cove isn’t a very beautiful place. All we have are big buildings – and even bigger parking lots! It’s not very nice. I think they should build more parks and fewer buildings.


I remember how awful my hometown Clinton Hill used to be. There was garbage on every street corner, and there weren’t any stores anywhere. Now the streets are clean and a big supermarket opened on my street. They should open a good bookstore, too!


I love how exciting Mackinaw has become. Ten years ago, there was absolutely nothing to do. Now, there are clubs, restaurants, and discos. Next, they should open a mall. There’s still nowhere to shop!


West Beach used to be so popular. We had a big movie theater, fancy restaurants, and beautiful beaches. But over the years, the beaches became polluted. They should really clean up those beaches. If they did that, maybe more tourists would visit.


Belleville only has fast food restaurants and movie theaters. So people here just sit around all day, eat fast food, and watch movies. That’s why I think they should open a gym here. Maybe people would exercise more.

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