Practice Listening English Exercises for B1 – Apologies and Excuses

Getting Ready

Are these expressions used to apologies or responses? Check (✓) the correct answer.



1) I’m sorry.

2) That’s okay.

3) I didn’t mean to.

4) It won’t happen again.

5) Don’t worry about it.

6) How can I make it up to go?

7) It’s no problem.

8) That’s all right.

Show answers

Apology: 1, 3, 4, 6

Response: 2, 5, 7, 8

Listening 1

People are apologizing. What are they apologizing for? Listen and circle the correct answer.

1)  a He hit her car.

b He scratched her bicycle.

2)  a He forgot their date.

b He forgot her birthday.

3)  a She left his CD at school.

b She lost his CD.

4)  a He was late for their date.

b He forgot their date.

5)  a She hit his car.

b She tripped him.

6)  a She was late for their date.

b She forgot their date.

Show answers & Transcript

1) a   2) b   3) b   4) a   5) b   6) b



A:  Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hit you.

B:  Don’t worry about it. It’s just a little scratch.

A:  Here, let me give you insurance information.

B:  That’s okay. It’s a really old car. It has dozens of dents and scratches already.


A:  So, what did you do this weekend, Carrie?

B:  Well, I went out to dinner at Sabrina’s with family on Saturday night.

A:  Wow, Sabrina’s! It’s such a nice restaurant. What was the occasion?

B:  Um, it was birthday.

A:  Oh, no! Did I forget again this year? I feel terrible. It won’t happen again.

B:  That’s all right. I always forget people’s birthdays.


A:  Hi, Gina. I don’t want to bother you. I just came by to see if you’re finished with that CD I loaned you.

B:  Oh, sure. Come on in, and I’ll get it__ Let’s see, I had it in book bag__ Uh-oh.

A:  Is something wrong?

B:  I can’t find it. I must have lost it this morning. I’m sorry.

A:  Oh, well, that’s all right.

B:  I’ll go buy you a new copy right now.


A:  Hi, Sarah. What’s wrong? Are you upset?

B:  It’s 6:30. You were supposed to be here half an hour ago.

A:  I’m sorry. There was so much traffic on the freeway. It won’t happen again.

B:  Well, I’ll let it go this time. But you should really leave your house earlier when you have to drive somewhere during rush hour.


A: Oh! Are you okay, Sam?

B:  I’m not sure. ankle hurts a little.

A: I really apologize. I was walking too fast, and I wasn’t watching where I was going. I didn’t mean to trip you.

B: I know you didn’t, but I think ankle might be sprained.

A: Oh, no. Here, let me help you up. We should go to the hospital.


A: Where were you last night?

B: I was home studying. Why?

A: You were supposed to meet me at the movies last night.

B: Oh, no! I forgot! I’m sorry.

A: I tried to call you, but I kept getting your voicemail.

B: I’m so sorry. Unfortunately, I lost phone yesterday.

Listening 2

Task 1

People are apologizing and making excuses. What are their excuses? Listen and check (✓) the correct picture.


Show answers

1) b   2) a   3) a   4) b

Task 2

Listen again. Does each listener believe the excuse? Check (✓) the correct answer.







Show answers & Transcript

1) No   2) Yes   3) No   4) No



A:  Hi, Linda. I’m so sorry I’m late.

B:  You’re really late. You were supposed to be here over an hour ago. What happened?

A:  There was heavy traffic on the freeway, and I couldn’t call because cell phone died.

B:  That’s weird. There isn’t usually any traffic at this time of day.

A:  I know, but there was a really bad accident on the freeway about ten miles north of here. Traffic was completely stopped for over an hour.

B:  Hmm__ That’s very unusual.


A: Hi, Mike.

B:  Hi, Kylie. What’s wrong?

A: I have to apologize. I wasn’t able to finish half of our class project last night.

B:  But it’s due today.

A: I know. I feel terrible about it.

B:  What happened?

A: roommate burned her hand while she was cooking last night, and I had to take her to the emergency room. We were there all night.

B:  No wonder you look so tired. Is she okay?

A:  Her hand is burned pretty badly, but she’ll be all right.


A:  Hey, Ken. Why didn’t you come to Alex’s party last night? We were all expecting to see you there.

B:  Oh, I’m sorry about that. I got lost trying to find Alex’s house.

A:  Really? But I gave you directions.

B:  Well, I wrote the directions down wrong.

A:  Well, why didn’t you call or use the GPS on your phone?

B:  Uh, I didn’t have cell phone with me.

A:  That’s strange. You always carry your cell phone with you.


A:  Where have you been? We’ve been waiting for you. The meeting was supposed to start half an hour ago.

B: I know. I apologize. car broke down, and I had to wait for a tow truck.

A: Again? Didn’t your car break down last week, too?

B: Um, yeah, it did. It’s a really old car.

A: And the week before that, you were late because you were helping someone look for their lost cat.

B: I’m sorry. I promise I’ll be on time for next week’s meeting.

Listening 3

Task 1

People are explaining why they missed certain events. What event did each person miss? Circle the correct answer.

1)  a his cousin’s party

b his cousin’s wedding

     c his sister’s wedding

2)  a her class

b work

     c a phone call

3)  a his sister’s soccer game

b his soccer game

     c work

4)  a her first day of work

b her job interview

     c a lunch date

5)  a his niece’s birthday

b his sister’s party

     c his niece’s graduation

6)  a her history test

b a movie

     c a birthday party

Show answers

1) b   2) a   3) a   4) b   5) c   6) c

Task 2

Listen again. Why did the people miss their events? Match the first half of each sentence on the left with the second half of the sentence on the right.

1) He missed it because he ____

2) She missed it because she ____

3) He missed it because he ____

4) She missed it because she ____

5) He missed it because he ____

6) She missed it because she ____

a had to work.

b got sick.

c broke her ankle.

d had to study.

e ran out of gas.

f couldn’t find it.

Show answers & Transcript

1) b   2) c   3) a   4) f   5) e   6) d



A: Tell me all about how it went!

B: I wish I could, but I missed it. I got really sick on Friday night. I thought I had the flu, but it turned out to be food poisoning. I was sick all day Saturday, so I couldn’t go to the wedding. I thought cousin would be mad, but she just felt bad that I was sick all day.


A:  Hi, it’s Paul. I missed class yesterday. Can you tell me what the homework was?

B:   Oh, sorry, I wasn’t there yesterday, either. I was on way to catch the bus when I fell and broke ankle. One of neighbors who was on his way to work drove me to the hospital. I’ll call Katie and ask her about the homework, and then I’ll call you back.


A: How did your sister do yesterday?

B:  Well, her team won, but I didn’t get to see it! I had just gotten to the soccer field when boss called. One of coworkers called in sick with the flu, so he asked me to come in and work.


A: Well, how did it go on Monday?

B: You’re not going to believe this, but I missed it! I left really early so I wouldn’t be late, but I wrote the address down wrong, and I couldn’t find the office. I was so nervous about the interview that I forgot phone, too, so I couldn’t call them and ask for directions. I was so mad at self. I really wanted that job!


A: So how was it?

B:  I don’t know because I missed it! I was so disappointed, and so was niece. I had flowers and a card to give her, and I really wanted to be there for her special day. But I ran out of gas on way to the school. Can you believe that? I made it to her graduation party later that evening, but I really wanted to make it to the ceremony.


A: So was it fun?

B:  Well, I think the people who went had fun, but I had to study for history test. friend Kelly went, and she said it was a great party. I hope Sarah has another one for her birthday next year.

Conversation Corner: Asking for reasons

Task 1

Listen to the conversation. Write the missing words.

A: _____ ______ ____ this afternoon? You were supposed to meet me for lunch.

B: I’m so sorry. I was at a doctor’s appointment. I thought I would be out of there by noon, but the appointment took a long time.

A: Oh, ______ ______ ______?

B: I’m fine. It was just a check-up. Did you get the movie tickets for tonight?

A: No, I didn’t. I’m sorry. I couldn’t get online at home.

B: _____ ______ ____ with your Internet connection?

A: I think so. Sometimes I can’t get a connection.

Task 2

Practice the conversation with a partner. Be sure to use the correct intonation.

Show answers & Transcript

A: Wherewereyou this afternoon? You were supposed to meet me for lunch.

B: I’m so sorry. I was at a doctor’s appointment. I thought I would be out of there by noon, but the appointment took a long time.

A: Oh, are you okay ?

B: I’m fine. It was just a check-up. Did you get the movie tickets for tonight?

A: No, I didn’t. I’m sorry. I couldn’t get online at home.

B: Is something wrong with your Internet connection?

A: I think so. Sometimes I can’t get a connection.