Getting Ready

What makes a good neighbor or a bad neighbor? Check (✓) your answers and compare them with a partner.




1   Borrows things and doesn’t return them

2   Always says “hello” when you see them

3   Often plays loud music

4   Knows what everyone in the neighborhood is doing

5   Likes to gossip about other neighbors

6   Other: ……………………..


your own answers

Listening 1

People are talking about their neighbors. Listen and circle each person’s opinion.

1   Bob thinks his neighbor is …………… .

     a   fun

     b   inconsiderate

2   Jin-suk thinks his neighbors are …………… .

     a   strange

     b   nice

3   Jennifer thinks her neighbor is …………… .

     a   unfriendly

     b   shy

4   Douglas thinks his neighbor is …………… .

     a   hardworking

     b   nosy

5   Susan thinks her neighbor is …………… .

     a   helpful

     b   lonely

6   Robert thinks his neighbors are …………… .

     a   responsible

     b   cheap

Answer & Transcript

1 b   2 b   3 a   4 a   5 a   6 b



I just got a new neighbor in the apartment upstairs from me. I haven’t met her yet. But I can hear her TV set every night because she turns the volume up really high. She should really be more considerate of her neighbors.


The house across the street from mine was sold last month, and a young family moved in. I think they’ll really fit in well here. They’ve already invited all their neighbors to a cook out at their house next week. They seem like really nice people.


The man who lives next to me is moving. I can’t say that I’m too upset about it. He’s lived next to me for almost five years, but I don’t think he’s spoken to me more than three or four times. Sometimes I’ll wave to him in the morning and he doesn’t even wave back


My neighbor Stacy is incredible. You wouldn’t believe all the things she manages to get done. She works at a big law firm downtown and works really long hours. She also volunteers on the weekends. To top it off, her house is always spotless! I honestly don’t know where she finds the time.


I’m really lucky to have Bob as a neighbor. He works in construction, and he’s always nice about giving me a hand whenever I have work to do around the house. He doesn’t really cook so I try to fix him a home-cooked meal every now and then to thank him.


I bought this house last year and I love it. My next door neighbors are the only problem. They have two young boys who like to play baseball in my yard. Last month they accidentally broke my window. The boys apologized, but their parents didn’t even offer to pay for the damages. Can you believe that?

Listening 2

Task 1

People are talking to their neighbors. Is each person making a request, an offer, or a complaint? Listen and check (✓) the correct answer.












1 Offer   2 Request   3 Complaint

4 Offer   5 Request   6 Complaint

Task 2

Listen again. circle the correct statement.

1   a   Mrs. Coleman normally carries her own bags.

     b   The delivery driver isn’t working today.

2   a   Today is Cindy’s birthday.

     b   The painting is a gift from Cindy’s brother.

3   a   Kyle needs to go to work.

     b   Mrs. Choi will ask her guests to move their cars.

4   a   Mark and Marissa have met before.

     b   Marissa’s brother is supposed to help her move.

5   a   Hillary and her husband are going away for business.

     b   Hillary and her husband will be away for two weeks.

6   a   Ken has already returned Diane’s punch bowl.

     b   Ken has borrowed other things that he hasn’t returned.

Answer & Transcript

1 b   2 a   3 b   4 b   5 b   6 b



A:   Excuse me, Mrs. Coleman? Can I help you with those bags? They look pretty heavy.

B:   Oh, thank you Brian. That’s very kind of you. If you could take this one… It has most of the heavy stuff. I can manage with this other one.

A:   Sure, no problem. I’m surprised you didn’t just have these delivered.

B:   Normally I do, but the driver for the supermarket was off today. I really appreciate the help. Carrying these bags up all those stairs would be hard at my age.

A:   My pleasure.


A:   Oh, Hi Cindy. Was my music too loud? I can turn it down.

B:   Oh, no. It’s fine. I just came over to ask if you have a hammer that I can borrow.

A:   A hammer?

B:   Yeah, my brother got me this beautiful painting for my birthday, and I want to hang it on my wall.

A:   It’s your birthday today?

B:   Uh, yesterday actually.

A:   Well, happy birthday anyway. Let me go get you that hammer.

B:   Thanks.


A:   Hello?

B:   Hello? Mrs. Choi?

A:   Yes?

B:   This is Kyle Rutherford from down the street. Are you by any chance having a party this evening?

A:   Yes, I am actually.

B:   I see. Well, some of your guests have parked in front of my house and their cars are actually blocking my driveway. I need to go downtown, but I can’t get my car out.

A:   I’m so sorry I’ll ask them to move their cars right away.

B:   Thank you.


A:   Excuse me. Hi. My name’s Jack.

B:   Hi Jack. I’m Marissa.

A:   Nice to meet you. So it looks like we’re going to be neighbors, huh?

B:   Yeah, I guess so.

A:   Are you moving in all by yourself?

B:   My brother is supposed to be helping me. But I’m not sure where he is. I’ve called him a couple of times, but I haven’t gotten an answer.

A:   Well, if you’d like, I can help you until he gets here.

B:   Oh, I couldn’t ask you to do that. We just met.

A:   It’s no problem, really. After all, what are neighbors for?


A:   Yes?

B:   Uh, Hi. It’s Mr. Whittemore, right? I’m Hillary Wilson. I live two doors down. We’ve passed each other a few times in the hallway.

A:   Oh yes, of course. Hello.

B:   I know we don’t know each other very well, but my husband and I are going on a trip for our anniversary… anyway, we were wondering if you could pick up our mail while we’re gone.

A:   Uh, sure. I guess. How long will you be away?

B:   For two weeks starting next Tuesday.

A:   OK. Well, just leave me your mailbox key before you leave.

B:   Great. Thanks so much.


A:   Hey, Diane. Good morning.

B:   Hi, Ken. Do you have a minute or two?

A:   Sure. What’s up?

B:   Do you remember about two weeks ago, you came over to borrow our punch bowl for your party?

A:   Oh my gosh! I still haven’t returned it.

B:   Right.

A:   I’m so sorry. I’ll bring it over this evening.

B:   Great. While you’re at it, do you remember that you still also have Ryan’s tool set?

A:   That’s right. I’ll bring that by, too.

B:   We don’t mind lending you things, but it would be nice to get them back.

Listening 3

Task 1

People are describing their neighbors. Is each statement true or false? Listen and check (✓) the correct answer.




1   a   She doesn’t like her neighbor now.

     b   Her neighbor is elderly.

2   a   He trusts his neighbor.

     b   His neighbor still watches his children.

3   a   Her neighbor is often impolite to her.

     b   She understands why her neighbor never accepts her invitations.

4   a   The man has always disliked his neighbor.

     b   The man has tried to speak to his neighbor about the problem.


1 False, True     2 False, False

3 False, True     4 False, True

Task 2

Listen again. What changed each person’s opinion about their neighbor? Circle the correct answer.

1   a   Her neighbor stopped a burglar from robbing her house.

     b   Her neighbor moved away while she was on vacation.

2   a   His neighbor refused to watch his children.

     b   His neighbor forgot to pick up his children from day care.

3   a   Her neighbor finally accepted one of her invitations.

     b   She learned that her neighbor volunteers in his free time.

4   a   His neighbor won’t mind his own business.

     b   His neighbor got a new and annoying hobby.

Answer & Transcript

1 a   2 b   3 b   4 b



So I have this neighbor, Mr. Cartwright. He’s an elderly man, retired. Anyway, I used to think he was really nosy because he sits on his porch all day and watches the people in the neighborhood. It used to really bother me. But then I went on vacation last year and someone tried to break in to my house while I was gone. Mr. Cartwright saw them and called the police right away. Now I’m glad to have someone like Mr. Cartwright in the neighborhood. It’s good to know that someone’s watching out, you know?


Nancy is my next door neighbor. She used to watch our children whenever my wife and I had to work late. I always thought she was someone you could really count on, and I never worried about leaving the kids with her… until last year. I had to work late and my wife was on a business trip. So I asked Nancy if she would mind picking up the kids from day care and she said okay. But later that day I got a call from the day care saying that the kids had been waiting there for two and a half hours! She completely forgot about them! Now I just don’t think I can trust her.


When Dr. Woo first moved into the neighborhood, I didn’t think very much of him. I invited him to a couple of neighborhood events – uh, barbecues, dinner parties, you know – but he would always decline. He was never rude about it, but he didn’t seem very interested in getting to know his neighbors. I just figured that he was kind of arrogant. Later, however, I found out that he spends all of his free time volunteering at a free health clinic downtown. That’s why he never comes to any neighborhood events. He just doesn’t have time.


I really can’t stand my neighbor Gary now. The funny thing is, that wasn’t always the case. I used to get along with him really well. He seemed like a quiet, polite guy. He was friendly but minded his business. Just generally a good neighbor, you know? But in the last year or so he’s gotten a new hobby – repairing and riding old motorcycles. And these things are so loud. He’ll get up around 6:30 or 7 a.m. on a Saturday and start working on one of his motorcycles… like fixing the engine and then testing it. He wakes up half the neighborhood. I’ve talked to him about it before, but he just won’t listen.

Conversation Corner: Neighborhood gossip

Task 1

Listen to the conversation. Write the missing words.

A:   Did you hear about the argument between Steve and Mr. Riley?

B:   An argument? But they’ve been friends for years. What happened?

A:   Steve was cutting some ……………… ……………… from that tree in his yard, and one fell on the roof of Mr. Riley’s car.

B:   Oh, no! You know that car is his ……………… ……………….

A:   Right. Well, Steve offered to take it to a ……………… ……………… and pay for the damages.

B:   That ……………… ……………….

A:   Yeah. But Mr. Riley was so angry that he won’t even talk to Steve anymore.

Task 2

Practice the conversation with a partner. Be sure to stress the correct syllable in each compound noun.

Answer & Transcript

A:   Did you hear about the argument between Steve and Mr. Riley?

B:   An argument? But they’ve been friends for years. What happened?

A:   Steve was cutting some tree branches from that tree in his yard, and one fell on the roof of Mr. Riley’s car.

B:   Oh, no! You know that car is his prize possession.

A:   Right. Well, Steve offered to take it to a repair shop and pay for the damages.

B:   That seems reasonable.

A:   Yeah. But Mr. Riley was so angry that he won’t even talk to Steve anymore.

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