English Listening Exercises for B2 – Buying and selling

1. a   Listen and choose the correct answers.

1) What will the world’s population be in 2050?

a 7 billion      b 9 billion      c 10 billion

2) According to the text, why is meat the biggest problem in feeding the population?

a A lot of fuel is used to transport it.

b The animals add to climate change.

     c  The animals need a lot of food.

3) How does cattle farming damage the planet?

a Rainforests are cut down to create farms.

b Cattle need a special kind of land.

     c  Chemicals are needed to produce the grass.

4) What part of a diet could insects provide a lot of?

a vitamins and minerals

b protein

    c  fat

5) Why are grasshoppers better for the environment than cattle?

a They need less than ten per cent of the food.

b They grow much more quickly.

     c They have fifty per cent more food value.

6) Which way of using insects is not mentioned?

a burgers, sausages and meatballs

b protein drinks for children

 c food for fish and other animals.

b   Listen again. Match the insects to the correct places.

1) grasshoppers

2) caterpillars

3) silkworms

4) leafcutter ants

5) honeypot ants

6) mealworms

a China

b Colombia

c Australia

d Mexico

e Thailand and Korea

f Africa

Show answers


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


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


The world’s population is increasing. By 2050, it will reach 9 billion. How will all these people be fed?

The biggest problem is meat. This is because a lot of food is needed to produce the meat. To get one kilogram of beef, for example, 25 kilograms of grass must be grown to feed the cow. There simply isn’t enough land to produce all that grass. Every year, large areas of rainforest are cut down to create farms for cattle, but that can’t go on forever.

Unfortunately, most of the protein in our diets is provided by meat. So what can we do? Some scientists think that there is an answer – we should eat insects!

Insects have many advantages. They are full of protein. They grow very quickly and they don’t need a lot of food. A kilogram of beef needs 25 kilograms of food for the cow. A kilogram of grasshoppers, on the other hand, needs only 2.1 kilograms of food – less than 10% of what the cow needs. So producing insects is much more efficient.

Insects are already eaten in many countries around the world:

–  Grasshoppers can be bought on the street in Mexico. They are usually roasted with lime juice and garlic.

–  Caterpillars are eaten in many places in Africa.

–  In Thailand and Korea, fried silkworms are a popular snack.

–  Leafcutter ants are sold as a snack in cinemas in Colombia.

–  And honeypot ants are eaten by the Aborigines in Australia.

–  Mealworms can be found on the menu in many restaurants in China.

Of course, the main problem with eating insects is that they look horrible. Because of this, scientists think that in the future insects will probably be used in two ways:

1   The insects will be chopped up to make burgers, sausages or meatballs. In that way, you won’t actually see the insect.

2   The insects will be made into food for fish and other animals, and we will eat those things.

So perhaps you won’t sit down to eat a plate of grasshoppers and caterpillars, but we will all eat insects in some form in the future.

2. a   Listen. You will hear about an unusual hotel that is being planned. Choose the correct answers.

1) Where will it be?

a under the sea

b on top of a mountain

      c  in space

      d in a cave

2) How much will it cost to stay there?

a $50,000

b $100,000

   c $750,000

   d $1,000,000

b   Listen again and answer the questions.

1) Which country is the company that plans to build the hotel from?


2) How many guests will be able to stay at the hotel at the same time?


3) How many rooms will it have?


Show answers


1) c   2) d


1) Russia   2) seven   3) four   4) horizontal or vertical

5) by a spaceship   6) the Earth   7) special training

8) five days


It will be the most unusual – and the most expensive – hotel in the world … Except that it won’t be in the world! It will be in space. A Russian company has plans to build a hotel in orbit around the Earth, and they say it will be launched in the next four years. The space hotel will be big enough for seven people. It will have four private rooms, all with their own toilet and shower.

In a hotel on Earth, you choose whether you want a single bed or a double bed, but at the space hotel your choice will be a horizontal bed or a vertical bed. With no gravity, you can sleep in any position. Food won’t be prepared at the hotel. It will be delivered by a spaceship. The hotel will have large circular windows which will give you a spectacular view of the Earth.

You have to be fit and healthy to live in space, so guests will have special training before they are allowed to travel to the hotel. The special training will be provided by the hotel company.

And how much will all this cost? Well, the hotel is out of this world and so is the price. Guests will stay at the hotel for five days, and that will cost you one million dollars!

3. a   Listen to the announcements. Match trains 1-6 to information a-h. Two of the pieces of information are not used.

1) The 11.38 to London Euston

2) The 18.15 to Birmingham

3) The 10.32 to Portsmouth

4) The 9.45 to Dartford

5) The 12.19 to Brighton

6) The 15.57 to Blackpool

a is running ten minutes late.

b has been cancelled.

c will depart from platform 7.

d isn’t a direct train.

e is the next train from platform 1.

f will arrive at 18.42.

g is a slow train.

h is the next train from platform 4.

b   Listen again. If you want to travel to these places, what time train should you get?

1) Warrington   ______.

2) Bexley   ______.

3) Brighton   ______.

4) Lancaster   ______.

Show answers


1) h   2) f   3) c   4) g   5) b   6) d


1) 11.38   2) 9.45   3) 12.49   4) 15.57



The next train to arrive at platform number 4 will be the 11.38 to London Euston, calling at Preston, Wigan, Warrington and London Euston. Platform 4 for the 11.38 to London Euston.


We regret to announce that the 18.15 train to Birmingham is running approximately 27 minutes late. The train is now expected to arrive at 18.42. We apologize for this delay.


Your attention, please. This is a platform alteration. The 10.32 train to Portsmouth will now depart from platform 7. Platform 7 for the 10.32 to Portsmouth.


The train now standing at platform 3 is the 9.45 train to Dartford calling at Waterloo East, London Bridge, St Johns, Lewisham, Hither Green, Lee, Mottingham, New Eltham, Sidcup, Albany Park, Bexley and Crayford. Platform 3 for the 9.45 to Dartford.


We regret to announce that the 12.19 train to Brighton has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience. Passengers travelling to Brighton should wait for the 12.49. The 12.19 to Brighton has been cancelled.


The 15.57 train to Lancaster will depart from platform 3. Passengers for Blackpool should change at Preston.

4. Listen. Match the British words 1-10 to their American equivalents a-k. One of the American words is not used.

1) ground floor

2) biscuits

3) sweets

4) crisps

5) chips

6) shop

7) tap

8) boot (car)

9) note (money)

1) 0   film

a French fries

b trunk

c movie

d candy

e faucet

f cookies

g store

h bill

i first floor

j chips

k cakes

Show answers

1)2) f  3) d  4) j  5)6)7) e  8) b  9)10) c


Hi. name’s Brad. I work in Britain, but I come from the USA. When I first arrived in London, I thought that everything would be easy, because we speak the same language, English. But I soon found that quite a lot of common words are different. I stayed in a hotel and I didn’t know which floor room was on. In the UK, the bottom floor is called the ground floor and you go up the stairs – or take the elevator – to the first floor. But in the States the bottom floor is the first floor. We don’t have a ground floor.

And if you want a snack, things can be difficult. In Britain, people ask for biscuits, but we ask for cookies. British sweets are American candy. But the biggest problem comes with chips. I went into a shop and asked for some chips. The assistant said: ‘We don’t sell chips.’ But I pointed and said: ‘Yes, you do. There they are.’ And she said: ‘Oh, you mean crisps.’ So I found out that American chips are called crisps in Britain. Of course, there are chips in Britain – as in fish and chips. We call those French fries. I said I went into a shop. Actually in the USA we call that a store, not a shop.

And there are other differences, too. If you want some water in Britain, you turn on the tap. In America, you open the faucet. In Britain, when you travel by car, you put your bags in the boot. We put them in the trunk. When you pay for something in Britain, you might give the assistant a ten pound note, but we don’t use the word ‘note’ for money. We say ‘bill’, so you give the assistant a ten dollar bill. And if they want to relax, the British watch a film, but Americans watch a movie. So the same language? Well, almost!

5. a   Listen to the conversation at a hotel. Choose the correct information for each category.










the sea

the forest

the swimming pool














no meals


Breakfast and dinner





b   Listen again. Complete the information that the clerk gives.

1) Cars must ________

2) Your key can ________

3) Breakfast can ________________ or ________

4) The swimming pool can ________

Show answers


Room : suite

View : the sea

Nights : 4

Departing : 27/10

Price : £143

Includes : breakfast

Breakfast : 7.30-10


1) be parked in the underground car park

2) be used to open the gate

3) be taken in the Ocean Restaurant ___ in your room

4) be used from 6 am to 9 pm


Clerk Good afternoon. Welcome to the Park Hotel. Can I have your name, please?

Mr Willis It’s Mr and Mrs Willis.

Clerk Thank you. Just one moment. Ah yes. You’ve booked a suite.

Mr Willis With a sea view.

Clerk Yes, with a sea view. I’m sure you’ll find the view quite spectacular.

Mr Willis Thank you.

Clerk And you’re staying for four nights, departing on 27 October?

Mr Willis Yes, that’s correct.

Clerk So the price of the suite will be £143 a night, and that includes breakfast.

Mr Willis And dinner, too?

Clerk No, just breakfast.

Mr Willis OK.

Clerk Could you sign here, please, and could I take a credit card, too, please?

Mr Willis Yes, here you are.

Clerk Thank you. Here’s your key. Have you got a car?

Mr Willis Yes, we have.

Clerk OK. Cars must be parked in the underground car park. Your key can be used to open the gate.

Mr Willis OK. Thank you. What time is breakfast?

Clerk Breakfast is served from 7.30 to ten o’clock. It can be taken in the Ocean Restaurant or in your room. And the swimming pool can be used from 6 am to 9 pm.

Mr Willis Thank you.

Clerk We hope you enjoy your stay with us.

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