Getting Ready

What cities are famous for these things? Write your answers in the chart and compare them with a partner.



















other: ……………….



your own answers

Listening 1

People are talking about different cities. What do they like about each city? Listen and circle the correct answer.

1   a   prices

     b   beaches

2   a   architecture

     b   weather

3   a   weather

     b   nightlife

4   a   culture

     b   architecture

5   a   nightlife

     b   safety

6   a   traffic

     b   sightseeing

Answer & Transcript

1 b   2 a   3 b   4 a   5 a   6 b



When I went to Hawaii, I spent the first few days in Honolulu. Everything was really expensive there, especially in the restaurants. Four dollars for a soda! But the beaches were wonderful. The sand was so soft and the water was so clean.


Sydney is one of my favorite cities in Australia. There are some great buildings there, like the famous opera house. The only problem is the weather. Spring and fall are okay, but the summer is too hot for me.


Vancouver is a nice city to visit, but don’t go in the winter. It’s much too cold! The rest of the year is great, though. And there are plenty of clubs, restaurants, and other places to go at night.


One of my favorite cities is New York. There’s so much culture there. I spent two weeks there last summer, and every day I went to a different museum, play, musical performance, or poetry reading. The only thing I don’t like about New York is the traffic noise. You can hear cars driving and honking all night long.


I think Rio de Janeiro is one of the most interesting cities in South American. The nightlife is great. They have great musicians, so there’s always good music in the cafes. Crime is a problem, though, so you have to be careful.


In Los Angeles, you have to drive everywhere, and sometimes the traffic is terrible. But that’s the only bad part. There are a lot of fun things to see, like Hollywood, Disneyland, museums, and movie studios.

Listening 2

Task 1

Dave is asking his friend about Quebec province in Canada. Are these statements about Quebec City or Montreal? Listen and check (✓) the correct answer.


Quebec City


1   It’s the biggest city in Quebec province.

2   It’s the capital of the province.

3   The St. Lawrence River runs through it.

4   It’s the third-largest French-speaking city in the world.

5   Many of the buildings are very old.


1 Montreal   2 Quebec City   3 Montreal

4 Montreal   5 Quebec City

Task 2

Listen again. Circle the correct answer.

1   Why is Dave going to Montreal?

     a   to get married

     b   for a friend’s wedding

     c   for a job

2   How long will he be in Montreal?

     a   a week

     b   two days

     c   four days

3   How is Dave’s French?

     a   perfect

     b   okay, but not great

     c   very bad

4   Who is Dave going to visit in Quebec City?

     a   a friend from college

     b   his uncle

     c   his teacher

Answer & Transcript

1 b   2 c   3 b   4 a


A:   Hey, Paul, guess what? I’m going to visit Quebec next summer. I have to go to a friend’s wedding, but I also plan to stay a while and do some sightseeing.

B:   That’s great, Dave, you’re going to love it. But do you mean the province of Quebec or Quebec City?

A:   I guess I mean the province. The wedding is in Montreal, so I’m going there first. I’ll be there for about four days. Montreal is the capital of the province, right?

B:   People often think it is because it’s the biggest city in the province, but it’s not actually the capital. Quebec City is the capital. But Montreal is great. The St. Lawrence River runs right through the middle of the city. It’s beautiful in the winter.

A:   Wow. And how about the language? My French is okay, but not great. I know most people there speak French, but can I get by with English?

B:   Well, people speak both French and English there, but you’ll hear French most of the time, and all of the street signs are in French. In fact, Montreal’s the third largest French-speaking city in the world. So you’d better practice your French before you go.

A:   Okay, I’ll do that. Now, what about Quebec City? I’m going to visit a friend from college who lives there now. What’s it like?

B:   It’s a beautiful city. Very old. A lot of the buildings have been nicely restored. Some of them were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. You’ll love it there.

A:   Great! I can’t wait to go!

Listening 3

Task 1

People are talking about good experiences they had in different cities. What happened to each person? Listen and circle the correct answer.

1   a   She went snorkeling.

     b   She ate some fantastic fish.

2   a   The taxi driver gave her a free ride.

     b   The taxi driver returned her wallet.

3   a   He met a Greek family on the boat.

     b   He stayed in a great hotel.

4   a   She didn’t have to speak any Spanish.

     b   She spoke Spanish every day.

5   a   He saw a famous actor in a restaurant.

     b   He went to the theater often.

6   a   She went to Tokyo Disneyland.

     b   The weather was great.


1 a   2 b   3 a   4 b   5 b   6 a

Task 2

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




1   She got a great suntan.

2   She got food poisoning from seafood.

3   He had to sleep at the bus station.

4   Someone stole her lunch.

5   He spent more money than he had planned to.

6   She brought too much warm clothing.

Answer & Transcript

1 False   2 True   3 True

4 False   5 True   6 False



My trip to Cancun this summer was great. The thing I liked most was going snorkeling at the beach. The water was crystal clear and full of the most beautiful tropical fish I’ve ever seen. I’ll never forget it. Unfortunately, though, I spent too much time in the sun and I got the worst sunburn of my life. I had to go to the doctor to get a cream for it. Next time I go, I’ll use sunscreen every day.


You wouldn’t believe what happened on my vacation to Bangkok. I lost my wallet in the taxi! I thought I would never see it again. But that evening, the taxi driver came to my hotel and gave my wallet back to me. I was so relieved! The last day I was there, though, I got food poisoning from some fish I had at a restaurant near my hotel. Next time, I’ll eat at a different seafood restaurant.


While I was in Athens last summer, I met a really nice Greek family on the boat to the island of Corfu. They invited me to spend a few days with them at their beach house there. What a great house! Anyway, I also went down to Crete. I arrived without a hotel reservation and every place I tried was full, so I had to sleep at the bus station for the first two nights. It was awful. Next time, I’ll make reservations before I go.


I went to Mexico City for the first time last summer, and I managed to use my Spanish every day. I mean, I still had to look up words a lot, but I was really proud of myself. The only bad experience I had there was when someone stole my purse while I was having lunch in a restaurant. Next time, I’ll watch my purse more carefully.


I really enjoyed my visit to London. I wish I could have stayed there for a month instead of just for a week. The thing I really enjoyed most was the British theater. I went almost every night and saw some really famous actors. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how expensive London can be. I spent twice as much money as I had planned to.


I just came back from a vacation in Tokyo. I did just about everything a person could do there – I even went to Tokyo Disneyland. In fact, I had such a good time there that I went back again the next day. One thing I didn’t realize, however, was how cold Tokyo can be in the winter. I didn’t take enough warm clothing with me, so I had to buy a coat, a hat, and gloves so I wouldn’t freeze.

Conversation Corner: Talking about a vacation

Task 1

Listen to the conversation. Write the missing words.

A:   How was your trip to Paris?

B:   It was so much fun! But the airline lost my luggage on the way there.

A:   Oh no! Did you …………. …………. …………. new clothes?

B:   I had to buy a toothbrush for that night, but they found my suitcase the next day. And they delivered it to my hotel so I …………. …………. …………. go pick it up.

A:   That’s great! Did you rent a car?

B:   No, you really …………. …………. …………. drive there. You can take the Metro everywhere. That’s what the subway is called in Paris.

Task 2

Practice the conversation with a partner. Be sure to reduce have to, got to, and had to.

Answer & Transcript

A:   How was your trip to Paris?

B:   It was so much fun! But the airline lost my luggage on the way there.

A:   Oh no! Did you have to buy new clothes?

B:   I had to buy a toothbrush for that night, but they found my suitcase the next day. And they delivered it to my hotel so I didn’t have to go pick it up.

A:   That’s great! Did you rent a car?

B:   No, you really don’t have to drive there. You can take the Metro everywhere. That’s what the subway is called in Paris.

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