Getting Ready

What do you like about your town or city? Check (✓) your answers and compare them with a partner.


Like a lot

Like a little

Don’t like

the parks

the public transportation

the nightlife

the restaurants

the air quality

the safety

the traffic

the cleanliness

the economy

other: …………………


your own answers

Listening 1

People are describing their cities. What topic are they talking about? Listen and circle the correct answer.

1   a   the economy

     b   the traffic

2   a   the safety

     b   the shopping

3   a   places for children

     b   the public transportation

4   a   the economy

     b   the cleanliness

5   a   the safety

     b   the restaurants

6   a   the noise

     b   the air quality

Answer & Transcript

1 b   2 b   3 a   4 a   5 b   6 a



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


There used to be some really good stores on King Street, but most of them moved to the new mall downtown. Now King Street looks pretty deserted.


The city council has done a great job of providing places for kids to go in their free time. The community center has some great after-school programs now, and there’s a new skate park on Market Street.


There didn’t use to be a lot of jobs for young people in the city, but there are a lot now. You see lots of companies advertising to train young, inexperienced workers.


I used to eat out a lot, but I don’t eat out much anymore. All the good inexpensive places near my apartment have moved or gone out of business. Now there are only really expensive restaurants in my neighborhood. 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.

Listening 2

Task 1

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


1 b   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   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.

 The kids spend more time outside now.

Answer & Transcript

1 False   2 False   3 True

4 False   5 True   6 True



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


My school still looks the same as ever. It hasn’t changed at all, 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 since the building has been empty for so long.


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


There didn’t use to be any industry in my hometown. People used to come here to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Now no one comes here because of all the factories and traffic.


The young people in town used to go to a club downtown next to all the office buildings. Now they go to the new skate park. It’s better because they’re outside, they get some exercise, and have fun!

Listening 3

Task 1

People are talking about their cities. What are their opinions? Listen and check (✓) the correct answer.




1   the shopping

     the restaurants

2   the mall

     the restaurants

3   the cleanliness

     the parks

4   the nightlife

     the safety

5   the traffic

     the subway

6   the air quality

     the economy


1 Likes, Dislikes     2 Dislikes, Likes

2 Likes, Dislikes     4 Dislikes, Likes

5 Dislikes, Likes     6 Likes, Dislikes

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 to the city

b   build bigger highways

 open some nightclubs

d   build more parks downtown

e   open a restaurant that serves good salads

 have a few inexpensive stores at the mall

Answer & Transcript

1 e   2 f   3 d   4 c   5 b   6 a



A:   I love living here. The best thing is the choice of stores. There are some great bookstores around here, and I love just browsing 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 salads. I’d love that.

B:   So would I.


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, Mexican food, and even a Greek place.

B:   Oh, I love Greek food. Let’s go there sometime.


A:   I think the city council does a great job 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 with lots of trees.

B:   That’s a good idea.


A:   This city is so boring at night. Nothing ever happens. I wish we had some fun clubs to go to.

B:   Yeah, me, too.

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:   You’re right about that.


A:   The traffic in this city is pretty bad. During rush hour, it can take an hour to drive twenty miles. We need bigger 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 I love about this town? It’s such a healthy place to live. There are so many trees, and the air quality is so good. I guess that’s because there’s not a lot of industry around here.

B:   Yeah. You’re probably right.

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

B:   I agree.

Conversation Corner: Talking about cities

Task 1

Listen to the conversation. Write the missing words.

A:   This city has changed so much in the …………… …………… …………… .

B:   What do you mean?

A:   Well, there …………… …………… …………… be anything for kids to do after school, but now there’s a great after-school program at the community center.

B:   That’s true. There are a lot of fun things for kids to do now.

A:   Also, …………… …………… …………… be a lot of crime downtown, and there didn’t use to be a lot of good restaurants there.

B:   Yeah. It’s safe downtown now, and there are …………… …………… …………… places to eat.

Task 2

Practice the conversation with a partner. Be sure to reduce used to and use to.

Answer & Transcript

A:   This city has changed so much in the past five years.

B:   What do you mean?

A:   Well, there didn’t use to be anything for kids to do after school, but now there’s a great after-school program at the community center.

B:   That’s true. There are a lot of fun things for kids to do now.

A:   Also, there used to be a lot of crime downtown, and there didn’t use to be a lot of good restaurants there.

B:   Yeah. It’s safe downtown now, and there are lots of great places to eat.

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