Dealing with everyday problems

Now listen to the conversation (a-c) that follows each sound. Check that you correctly identified each problem.



















won’t start



won’t print anything


washing machine

won’t spin

2. Listen again. What does each person decide to do?

a   ……………………….

b   ……………………….


Answer & Transcript

a   This person decides to call the garage to have his car repaired.

b   This person decides to check the ink cartridge to make sure it hasn’t run out.

 This person decides to check whether the pump needs replacing.



A:     What’s the matter? I thought you’d have left by now.

B:     It’s the car. It won’t start.

A:     Oh dear. What a drag. Do you know what’s wrong with it?

B:     No. I have no idea. When I turn the key nothing happens.

A:     The battery may be dead.

B:     Hmm. That must be it. I suppose I’ll have to call the garage.

A:     You’d better call them quick. It’s getting late.

B:     Oh no. It’s nearly six o’clock.

A:     Yeah, I know. They might not be open.


A:     There’s something wrong with this printer.

B:     Really? You’ve only had it two months.

A:     I know, but it won’t print anything.

B:     It might have run out of paper, I suppose.

A:     No. It can’t be that. There’s plenty of paper. The problem is it just won’t print.

B:     It could be the cable. Is everything plugged in properly?

A:     Yes, I’ve checked.

B:     The cartridge might have run out.

A:     Oh yeah. That’s a point. I’ll have a look


A:     Hey, what’s all this washing doing here? It’s soaking wet.

B:     I think the washing machine might be broken.

A:     Oh no. What’s the matter with it?

B:     It won’t spin, and it’s full of water. Look

A:     Oh right. It looks like the pump may need replacing.

B:     Maybe. I think I’ll take a look inside and find out.

A:     You ought to call a plumber.

B:     No, no it’s not necessary. It won’t take five minutes …

Coping in an emergency

1. Listen and match each emergency (a-d) with a picture (1-4).

a ……      b ……      c ……      d ……


a 3   b 3   c 1   d 2

2. Listen again and find one mistake in each of the pictures (1-4) above

1   ……………………….

2   ……………………….

3   ……………………….

4   ……………………….

Answer & Transcript

1   The lock on the door is broken, suggesting that the burglar came in through the door, but the woman says the burglar had smashed a window and climbed through.

2   The smoke is coming through an open window but the man says it was coming from under the front door.

3   The handbag is on the back seat of the car but the woman says the thief had taken all my shopping bags and my handbag. Also, the back door of the car is open, but the woman just says the thief had smashed the back window.

4   There are two women in the car but the woman says she was all on my own.



Oh, the last emergency I had was last month, I’d been shopping and when I got back to my car I found that someone had smashed the back window and taken all my shopping bags and my handbag … you know, with all my credit cards and money!


I remember driving back from a friend’s house late one night. It must have been around 2 am, and er, they live in the middle of nowhere, so I was driving along this lonely, isolated road … all on my own, and, anyway, my car just stopped … the engine wouldn’t work. I was stuck on a lonely road in the middle of the night! And I didn’t have any breakdown cover or anything.


An emergency? Oh, yes. That’s easy. A couple of years ago I came back home and found I’d been burgled. Someone had smashed a window and climbed through. They’d wrecked the place, and taken just about everything of any value.


Oh, well a few years ago, I remember one day I saw this smoke coming from under the front door of my neighbours’ house. There was an old couple living next door, you see, and I thought they might have set fire to something by mistake … left the oven on, or whatever. I knocked but there was no answer …

3. Now listen to each person explain what they did. Write the name of each person next to the correct explanation (1-4).

1   ……………           ……………

3   ……………           ……………

Answer & Transcript

1   Jane

2   Karen

3   Owen

4   Helen



I called the police, of course. They came and told me to go through the house and make a list of everything that was missing. None of it was ever recovered, but I claimed on my household insurance so it wasn’t a complete disaster. It was very shocking, though.


I called the police on my mobile phone and waited for them to arrive. There wasn’t much they could do, of course. It was my fault. I should have put my bags in the boot, out of sight.


I tried to force open the front door but couldn’t. I called 999 and asked for the fire service. Luckily they arrived very quickly and smashed through the door. It turns out my neighbours weren’t in, but their TV had somehow caught fire and all the downstairs was covered in black smoke.


I called my friend and asked her to come and collect me. We left my car where it was, and the next day I phoned a garage to come and collect it. It cost a fortune, though!

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