1. Read the text and decide whether sentences 1-4 are fact (F) or opinion (O).
1 2 3 4
Rich without money
Living without money is not easy. You have to really want to do it and be prepared to give up some things. You will need to lose the impulse to just buy anything you want. 1 However, you will find another way of living in which you will be happy will all that you already have. All it will be a more creative life that you develop to satisfy your needs. 2 You will be rich in other ways! In addition, you won’t be contributing to the destruction of the environment caused by all the stuff we buy that we don’t need.
But imagine what a whole world would be like without money. Would it even be possible? 3 In fact, philosophers, sociologists and economists have already asked these questions. When money was introduced into our society, it made our lives so much easier in many ways. So would it be impossible to go back now?
Well, there is a middle way. 4 There are many websites which give people tips on relying less on money, and practical advice on other ways of doing things.
Why not have a look and try some of the ideas? You can save not only money, but also the environment. What have you got to lose?
1) O 2) O 3) F 4) F
To answer some comprehension questions, you need to be able to distinguish between fact and opinion. Listen carefully for words or phrases that may indicate whether the speaker is expressing a fact or an opinion.
2. Read the Listening Strategy. Then put the phrases below in the correct columns.
actually as far as I’m concerned as I see it
in fact in view in reality I strongly believe
I’ve a feeling that it’s been proved that it’s true that
it's undeniable that impression is personally
the truth is to mind undeniably
Introducing an opinion
Introducing a fact
Introducing an opinion as far as I’m concerned, as I see it, I strongly believe, I’ve a feeling that, in view, impression is, personally, to mind
Introducing a fact actually, in fact, in reality, it’s been proved that, it’s true that, it’s undeniable that, the truth is, undeniably
3. Listen and write the words used to introduce the sentences. Are the sentences fact (F) or opinion (O)?
1) _________ , bank managers get paid too much.
2) _________ inflation has remained at the same level for six months.
3) _________ , the government’s policies to tackle poverty aren’t working.
4) _________ it’s better to be a saver than a spender.
5) _________ more Monopoly money is printed every year than real money.
6) _________ the key to happiness is spending money on experiences rather than possessions.
1) To mind, O 2) It’s undeniable that, F
3) As far as I’m concerned, O 4) I strongly believe, O
5) It’s true that, F 6) It’s been proved that, F
1) To mind, bank managers get paid too much.
2) It’s undeniable that inflation has remained at the same level for six months.
3) As far as I’m concerned, the government’s policies to tackle poverty aren’t working.
4) I strongly believe it’s better to be a saver than a spender.
5) It’s true that more Monopoly money is printed every year than real money.
6) It’s been proved that the key to happiness is spending money on experiences rather than possessions.
4. Listen to three recordings and choose the correct answers (a-c).
1) What is the purpose of the speaker’s story?
a To show how money changes relationships.
b To explain why it is better to be poor.
c To persuade people to live without money.
2) The speakers can’t agree that
a people are generally nice.
b couch-surfing has a good philosophy behind it.
c couch-surfing doesn’t cost anything.
3) Which of the following is stated in the radio programme as an opinion, not a fact?
a Streetbank is an online project.
b The co-founders of Streetbank intended to encourage community spirit.
c There is no negative side to Streetbank.
1) a 2) b 3) c
I can quite understand why people try to live without money today. In view, it forges a community spirit that we have lost in this technological age. If you help someone with something and they help you with something else, you form a bond with that person. I grew up in a small village in Wales where nobody had any money at all. We lived like all the other families lived – a hand-to-mouth existence, with none of the things – TVs, cars and smartphones – that we consider necessary today. But I was an extremely happy child in a happy family, living in a happy village. Every house was always open to anyone else. Children were looked after by everybody. People grew food and shared it around. And if a family was in trouble, everyone helped out. When I visit these days, everyone seems well-off, with more in the bank, and that’s good. However, it has destroyed some of the community feeling because people don’t need each other so much now. Instead, people use money to solve their problems and don’t ask their neighbours any more.
a What is couch-surfing? And why do you want to do it, anyway?
b You don’t know what couch-surfing is? Personally, I think it’s a brilliant idea. You join this website and you can stay with people all over the world for free.
a Really? Why would people do that?
b Who? The people visiting or the people letting them stay?
a Well, both, really! Why would you go and stay with a stranger, and why would you have a stranger stay with you?
b To be nice? People are generally nice, you know. If you look on the website, the hosts are undeniably friendly people who like company and meeting new people.
a Hmm, OK. And they really don’t want any money for it?
b No, they do it out of the goodness of their hearts. In fact, the website’s strapline is ‘Changing the world, one couch at a time.’ Isn’t that nice?
a No, it isn’t. It’s a terrible strapline. And a bit of an exaggeration! It’s not like couch-surfing is ending global warming or world poverty, is it?
Interviewer Welcome to Money Concerns, the programme that deals with money issues. Today we’re looking at moneyless issues, namely the online organisation ‘Streetbank’. Our resident economist today is Patrick Barlow. Patrick, can you explain to us what Streetbank is?
Patrick Streetbank was set up by two friends in London as an online community project. It is a website that allows people to offer skills or items to others in their neighbourhood.
Interviewer In their neighbourhood? Do they really need to go online to talk to their neighbours?
Patrick Well, actually, yes they do – especially in places like London where a lot of people live in the same space, but without actually knowing anybody else. As Sam Stephens, one of the co-founders, says, the idea is to ‘bring neighbourhoods closer together and make the world a little bit nicer’. Interviewer That’s certainly a splendid ambition. How does it work in reality?
Patrick It’s similar to Freecycle, the website where people post things online that they want to give away. But here, people also offer things they can do for other people, like gardening, dog walking, computer lessons, all sorts of things. And more importantly, people can go online to ask a favour – to borrow a vacuum cleaner or a lawnmower, ask for help with moving, anything really.
Interviewer So what’s the catch?
Patrick Oh, only a cynical, suspicious person would ask that! In opinion, there is no catch. It doesn’t cost you anything! As the website says, people helping each other saves money and makes the world a better place. Even as an economist, I agree with those principles!
When you do a multiple-matching task, remember that the information you need may come at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of what each speaker says.
1. Read the Strategy. Then read the short extract below. The question to match with the extract is about taking advantage of somebody else’s mistake. Where does this information come: at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the extract? Underline the relevant part of the paragraph.
I pickup a great bargain on eBay the last time I bought a smartphone. I was after a Samsung, and I was bidding for one of the older models because I didn’t want to fork out for a new one. One day, I made an important discovery. When I wrote the name of the phone in the search bar, a completely different page came up and the model I wanted was much cheaper. What had happened was that I’d spelled ‘Samsung’ wrong – without the G – which is what the person who’d listed the phone must have done too.
The answer comes at the end of the extract: ‘which is what the person who’d listed the phone must have done too’.
2. You will hear four speakers talking about bargains they have purchased. Match sentences A-E with speakers 1-4. There is one extra sentence.
Which speaker ___
a had a pleasant surprise when they tried something different?
b paid next to nothing for a second-hand object?
c saved a lot of money because of a technological error?
d had to negotiate a price with the seller?
e was given a bargain as a present?
Speaker 1: ____ .
Speaker 2: ____ .
Speaker 3: ____ .
Speaker 4: ____ .
1) C 2) E 3) A 4) B
I snapped up an excellent bargain at local supermarket once without even meaning to. I’m a big fan of dessert, especially those chocolate puddings that have melted chocolate in the middle. I don’t usually buy them, but I was having a dinner party, so I thought I would get some for dessert. When I went shopping, I was delighted to see that they were on offer – two for £4.50 – so I added four to basket and went to pay. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised that the price had been knocked down even further – I’d been charged 31p for each one! I think it was a mistake with the computers or something.
I’m really happy with the leather jacket I got last time I visited grandparents – it isn’t actually leather, but it looks like it. Anyway, we were in this enormous superstore together doing some food shopping, and I decided to pop over to the clothes section. When I saw the jackets, I grabbed one to try it on, but it was a bit tight. I tried the next size up and it was perfect! When we got to the checkout, we discovered that there was 25% off all men’s clothes that day, so the jacket was only £35. grandad refused to let me pay for it so I think I did rather well in the end.
I think best bargain was a holiday I went on – to Switzerland – I wasn’t prepared to pay through the nose for an expensive hotel, so I thought I’d check out the hostels for a change. In the end, I booked one in a place I’d never heard of for three nights at €25 a night. When I got there, I found self with own little wooden house, complete with painted furniture and a balcony. The hostel had a reading room with a bookcase full of books, and a terrace overlooking a lake. All I did was swim, relax and read – it turned out to be one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.
I tend to go to a lot of car boot sales – you know, those sales held in a car park where people sell things they don’t want from the back of their cars. Anyway, at this particular sale, there was a couple selling some old China and this lovely old teapot caught eye. I was about to start negotiating a price when I noticed a tag on the teapot: £1. I decided that the teapot was probably worth a lot more than that, so I bought it before anybody else could. I gave it to mum because she likes that sort of thing, and she was over the moon about it.