English Speaking Exercises for B2 – Photo comparison

1. Read the task below. Then listen to a student doing the task. Which option does he choose and why?

Compare the photos. Say which of these places is more suitable for a birthday treat for a friend.


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The student chooses option 1 because it is more casual, and because it is Chinese and his friend Mark likes food from different countries.


Examiner These two photos show places where you might go and eat for a treat. I’d like you to compare the photos and say which place would be more suitable for a birthday treat for a friend.

Student Well, these are two very different places to eat out. Let me see ___ The first one looks like a Chinese buffet – very busy and casual – and the second looks like a more formal restaurant – more sophisticated and expensive. If I had to choose where to take a friend for a birthday treat? Well, for one thing, it would depend which friend. For instance, if I were to take friend Mark, we’d go to the Chinese restaurant. Not because it’s cheaper – although it’s probably better value for money – but because it would be more casual. Mark is a very relaxed kind of guy. Another thing is that Mark likes food from different countries. In view, the elegant restaurant wouldn’t be Mark’s kind of thing at all. Although he loves good food, he doesn’t like formal restaurants. And this one looks very quiet! On top of that, he would hate having to dress up for dinner! For those reasons, I think I would prefer to take Mark to the busy, noisy Chinese restaurant.

2. Listen again. Tick the phrases below that the student uses for justifying his opinion.

1) The reason I believe that is because ___

2) The main reason is that ___

3) For one thing, ___ / Another thing is that ___

4) On top of that, ___

5) I definitely think that the ___ is better, because ___

6) For those reasons, I think ___

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3, 4, 6


See exercise 1.

Speaking Strategy

When performing the task, it is important that you have useful language ready at your disposal. For examples:

Introducing opinions In view, ___

Making additional points Not only that, but ___

Giving examples for instance

Introducing contrasting points However, ___

Gaining time That’s an interesting question.

3. KEY PHRASES   Read the Speaking Strategy and listen again. Add the formulaic phrases that you hear to the correct groups below.

Introducing opinions

To mind, ___

1) _____.

Making additional points

Not only that, but ___

In addition to that, ___

Giving examples

2) _____.

Introducing contrasting points

3) _____.

However, ___

4) _____.

Gaining time

That’s an interesting question.

5) _____.

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1) In view, __2) For instance, __3) Not because ___ but because ___

4) Although   5) Let me see ___


See exercise 1.

4. Match 1-5 with a-e to make phrases to express a tentative opinion.

1) I don’t have any strong ____.

2) I’m not sure about ____.

3) It could be ____.

4) There might be a case ____.

5) Thinking about it, I ____.

a that. Let me think / see.

b argued that ___

c opinion about ___

d suppose that ___

e for arguing that ___

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1) c   2) a   3) b   4) e   5) d

5. Listen to another student answering the examiner’s follow-up question. Which of the phrases in exercise 4 does she use?

Compare the photos. Which place would you choose for a day out with a penfriend who is visiting the UK from another country?


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2, 5


Examiner In which place would you prefer to eat, and why?

Girl Mmm, that’s an interesting question. I’m not sure about that ___ Let me see ___ Well, I quite like Chinese food, but I can’t say it’s favourite. Looking at the other restaurant, it isn’t clear what kind of food they serve, but I like the look of the place. And I like the idea of being served by a waiter rather than helping self from the buffet. So, thinking about it, I suppose I’d go for B and hope that there’d be something on the menu that I like!

6. Read the task above. Spend about a minute preparing your answer.

Your preferred option





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your own answers

7. Read the follow-up question above and write notes. Try not to spend long on preparing your answer.



8. Now do the task using your notes from exercises 6 and 7.

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your own answers

Extra exercises


When you are comparing and contrasting photographs, you often have to speculate about what is happening in the pictures.

1. Read the Strategy. Then complete the sentences with the words below.

as      like      look      might      perhaps      probably

1) She doesn’t ____________ very happy about the situation.

2) _________ he’s been working all day.

3) He looks ____________ if he’s going to fall off the ladder.

4) They’re ____________ going to be late.

5) They look ____________ store detectives.

6) She ____________ be a professional photographer.

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1) look 2) Perhaps 3) as 4) probably 5) like 6) might

2. Compare and contrast the photos which show different methods of payment. Include the following points:

–  where you think the customers are shopping

–  what you think they have bought

–  why you think they are paying in this way


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your own answers

3. In pairs, discuss questions 1 and 2 below. Use evidence from the photos in your discussion, if possible.

1) What are the advantages and disadvantages of using this method of payment?

2) How do you think customers will pay for their shopping in the future?

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your own answers