Listening task 1: What’s the invention?

A Listen. What are the people talking about? Number the pictures from 1 to 6. (There are two extra pictures.)

Answer & Audioscripts

1 badminton   4 ice cream cone

2 potato chips   5 paper cup

3 elevator   6 calculator

Audioscripts in B below

B Listen again. Circle the reasons for the inventions.

1  a. It was a children’s game.

    b. It was a fortune-telling game.

2  a. They were a joke.

    b. A customer wanted fast food.

3  a. It was made for tall buildings.

    b. It was made for a king.

4  a. There were no more cups.

    b. People wanted to eat while they walked.

5  a. People wanted to take drinks home.

    b. A rich man didn’t want to get sick.

6  a. The inventor wanted to work faster.

    b. The inventor wanted to help his father.

Answer & Audioscripts

1 b   2 a   3 b   4 a   5 b   6 b



Woman:   This is a game played by two people. You can play it inside or outside. The game was first played in ancient Iraq. It was a kind of fortune-telling game, a way to predict the future. Two people hit a small object like a ball back and forth for as long as they could. Why? Because if they hit the object back and forth for a long time, it meant that they would live a long time.


Man:   These were first made in the summer of eighteen fifty-three in New York. A customer ordered fried potatoes in a restaurant, but he didn’t like the potatoes the cook made for him because they were too thick. He wanted thinner potatoes. The cook decided to play a joke on the customer, so he made the customer more potatoes, but he made them very, very thin. But to the cook’s surprise, the customer loved them! And so did other people! They became the specialty of the restaurant.


Woman:   The first one of these wasn’t made for tall buildings, and it wasn’t electric. It was made for the king of France in the seventeen fifties. It went up one floor, from the first floor to the second. People called it the Flying Chair. The Flying Chair was on the outside of the building. Men pulled it up and down when the king wanted to change floors.


Man:   It was a very hot summer in nineteen oh four when the first one of these was invented. At a fair, a salesman didn’t have any more cups for his ice-cold treats. He asked all the other salespeople if they had any extra cups, but nobody did. Then, he saw a stand with a kind of cookie. He bought all the cookies and put his ice cream into them. Today they are still made of thin cookies.


Woman:   The first one was made only about a hundred years ago. In those days, everybody drank water from the same place, so when people were sick, other people got sick, too. A rich man didn’t want to get sick, so he had an inventor make one of these. Today, you can find these everywhere – we use them to drink water, coffee, and soft drinks.


Man:   The first one was made over three hundred and fifty years ago in France. A young man made it to help his father, who was a store clerk and had to work with numbers all day. He needed to add and subtract numbers quickly, so his son made a wooden box with sixteen dials. By turning the dials, his father could add and subtract quickly.

Listening task 2: What’s it for?

A Listen. What are these things used for? Circle the correct information.

People use these to block the sun / insects.

People use this to eat / cook spaghetti.

Cats use these to clean the floor / exercise.

People use this to exercise / sit on the train.

People use this to seal / open letters.

People use this to cover / hold their cameras.

Answer & Audioscripts

 People use these to block insects.

 People use this to eat spaghetti.

 Cats use these to clean the floor.

 People use this to sit on the train.

 People use this to open letters.

 People use this to hold their cameras.

Audioscripts in B below

B Listen again. Will the people buy the products? Check (✓) yes or no.










Answer & Audioscripts

1 no   2 no   3 yes   4 yes   5 no   6 yes



Store clerk:   Good afternoon. May I help you?

Woman:   Yes, I’m going camping and I need something to keep the insects away.

Store clerk:   How about these? They’re new. They’re insect guards.

Woman:   Really? I’ve never seen anything like them before.

Store clerk:   You can use them to keep insects off you – flies, mosquitoes, any insect.

Woman:    These will keep insects off me? How?

Store clerk:   They cover you, you know, like a net. They’re very light and easy to use. You put one on each hand, each foot, and over your head. The insects can’t bite you.

Woman:   Right. Actually, I think I just want some bug spray.


Man:   What’s this?

Woman:   It’s an electric spaghetti fork.

Man:   An electric spaghetti fork?

Woman:   Yes, you use it to eat spaghetti. You just put it in the spaghetti. Then you turn it on. [motor buzzes]

Woman:   See how the fork moves in a circle. It pulls the spaghetti around the fork.

Man:   Does this really help you eat spaghetti?

Woman:   Yes, it does. And it’s fun. You should buy one.

Man:   Well, thanks anyway, but I don’t think I need any help eating spaghetti.


Store clerk:   OK. You’ve got cat food and a brush. Anything else for your cat?

Man:   I don’t think so.

Store clerk:   Have you seen our new cat mop?

Man:   Uh … no.

Store clerk:   Oh, it’s the cutest thing. You can use it to have your cat clean the floor.

Man:   I don’t think my cat wants to clean the floor.

Store clerk:   Oh, he has no choice. You put these shoes on the cat. On the bottom of each one, there’s a little mop. As the cat runs, he cleans the floor.

Man:   Well, I could use some help. Why not?


Woman:   Look at what I bought!

Man:   It looks like a child’s swing. What’s it for?

Woman:   You know how crowded the train is in the morning?

Man:   Sure.

Woman:   Well, you use this to sit on the train.

Man:   Use it to sit on the train? How?

Woman:   When you can’t find a seat, you just hang it on those luggage bars above the seats. It’s made of cloth so it’s easy to carry.

Man:   I don’t get it.

Woman:   When there are no seats on the train, you can sit on this. Put the hooks over the luggage bars. It makes a little scat.

Man:   Ah, I get it! Hey, that sounds great. Where did you buy it?


Man:   Do you want to see something?

Woman:   Sure. What?

Man:   Look at this.

Woman:   What is it?

Man:   It’s an electric letter opener. I can use it to open letters!

Woman:   What?

Man:   An electric letter opener. Watch. [motor buzzes] It only takes two seconds.

Woman:   Well, how long does it take you with a knife?

Man:   Yeah, but this is electric.

Woman:   Hmm … I think I’ll keep using a regular knife.


Man:   Excuse me, do you have umbrellas?

Store clerk:   It’s started to rain, hasn’t it?

Man:   Yes, it’s really pouring out there.

Store clerk:   How about this model? It’s not just an umbrella. It also holds your camera so you can take pictures.

Man:   Holds my camera?

Store clerk:   Yes, you open the umbrella and put it on the ground. It has a special place that holds your camera, you know, so you can take your own picture, or be in pictures with friends.

Man:   Wow, that’s cool. I take lots of pictures. What a great idea!

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