English listening, English speaking & English conversation at upper-intermediate level

Level 4: High Intermediate English Audio Lessons

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Learn English Listening and English Conversation at High Intermediate Level. Understand both British and American English, and learn English phrasal verbs and idioms.

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...  

Lesson
Functions
Notes

Functions:

  1. Checking or confirming: The Pullens Estate and the area it is situated in has always been a bit of a rundown sort of place,hasn’t it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Recalling: As I remember, the lighting was always quite dodgy (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Emphasising: It really has deteriorated. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Talking about how difficult something is: ...I’m leaving - but that’s easier said than done. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. the area it is situated in (omitting the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’) = the area that/which it is situated in / the area in which it is situated (much more formal)

  2. rundown = unkempt and neglected

  3. the lighting was always quite dodgy (informal) = the lighting was never very good / the lighting never worked well

  4. dodgy = of poor quality (can also mean untrustworthy)

  5. rough looking = aggressive looking (appearing to be aggressive or dangerous)

  6. gangs of youths = groups of young people

  7. gangs = groups of people who are often engaged in illegal activities

  8. I always used to avoid it = I always had the habit of avoiding it

  9. in the dark. = when it is dark at night

  10. you should see it = you ought to see it 

  11. has deteriorated (more formal) = has got worse

  12. As soon as I can = At the first possible moment that I am able to

  13. I can raise the money = I can get enough money, either by earning it or borrowing it

  14. a deposit on a flat = a down payment on an apartment. (We pay a deposit to secure a property, then usually pay the rest of the money using a mortgage)

  15. that’s easier said than done (idiom) = in reality that is difficult to do

  16. With the amount of money I’m bringing in (phrasal verb) = Considering the amount of money that I’m earning  (more formal)

  17. save up (phrasal verb) = reserve and not spend / accumulate by not using

  18. to get out  (phrasal verb) = to leave / to escape

Robert:  The Pullens Estate and the area it is situated in has always been a bit of a rundown sort of place, hasn’t itAs I remember, the lighting was always quite dodgy there and there were often rough looking gangs of youths hanging around. I always used to avoid it when I was walking home in the dark. 

Jenny:  Well, if you thought it was bad before, you should see it now. It has really deteriorated. As soon as I can raise the money for a deposit on a flat, I’m leaving - but that’s easier said than done. With the amount of money I’m bringing in I’ll never save up enough to get out. 

 

.

Situation: Jenny and Robert discuss the area where Jenny lives, and her plans to leave it.

Style: general conversation

.

Functions:

  1. Checking or confirming: The Pullens Estate and the area it is situated in has always been a bit of a rundown sort of place,hasn’t it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Recalling: As I remember, the lighting was always quite dodgy (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Emphasising: It really has deteriorated. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Talking about how difficult something is: ...I’m leaving - but that’s easier said than done. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

.

Notes:

  1. the area it is situated in (omitting the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’) = the area that/which it is situated in / the area in which it is situated (much more formal)

  2. rundown = unkempt and neglected

  3. the lighting was always quite dodgy (informal) = the lighting was never very good / the lighting never worked well

  4. dodgy = of poor quality (can also mean untrustworthy)

  5. rough looking = aggressive looking (appearing to be aggressive or dangerous)

  6. gangs of youths = groups of young people

  7. gangs = groups of people who are often engaged in illegal activities

  8. I always used to avoid it = I always had the habit of avoiding it

  9. in the dark. = when it is dark at night

  10. you should see it = you ought to see it 

  11. has deteriorated (more formal) = has got worse

  12. As soon as I can = At the first possible moment that I am able to

  13. I can raise the money = I can get enough money, either by earning it or borrowing it

  14. a deposit on a flat = a down payment on an apartment. (We pay a deposit to secure a property, then usually pay the rest of the money using a mortgage)

  15. that’s easier said than done (idiom) = in reality that is difficult to do

  16. With the amount of money I’m bringing in (phrasal verb) = Considering the amount of money that I’m earning  (more formal)

  17. save up (phrasal verb) = reserve and not spend / accumulate by not using

  18. to get out  (phrasal verb) = to leave / to escape 

Functions:

  1. Checking or confirming: The Pullens Estate and the area it is situated in has always been a bit of a rundown sort of place,hasn’t it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Recalling: As I remember, the lighting was always quite dodgy (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Emphasising: It really has deteriorated. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Talking about how difficult something is: ...I’m leaving - but that’s easier said than done. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. the area it is situated in (omitting the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’) = the area that/which it is situated in / the area in which it is situated (much more formal)

  2. rundown = unkempt and neglected

  3. the lighting was always quite dodgy (informal) = the lighting was never very good / the lighting never worked well

  4. dodgy = of poor quality (can also mean untrustworthy)

  5. rough looking = aggressive looking (appearing to be aggressive or dangerous)

  6. gangs of youths = groups of young people

  7. gangs = groups of people who are often engaged in illegal activities

  8. I always used to avoid it = I always had the habit of avoiding it

  9. in the dark. = when it is dark at night

  10. you should see it = you ought to see it 

  11. has deteriorated (more formal) = has got worse

  12. As soon as I can = At the first possible moment that I am able to

  13. I can raise the money = I can get enough money, either by earning it or borrowing it

  14. a deposit on a flat = a down payment on an apartment. (We pay a deposit to secure a property, then usually pay the rest of the money using a mortgage)

  15. that’s easier said than done (idiom) = in reality that is difficult to do

  16. With the amount of money I’m bringing in (phrasal verb) = Considering the amount of money that I’m earning  (more formal)

  17. save up (phrasal verb) = reserve and not spend / accumulate by not using

  18. to get out  (phrasal verb) = to leave / to escape
Audio Audio (slow)
Lesson
Functions
Notes

Functions:

  1. Checking or confirming: The Pullens Apartments and the area it is situated in has always been a bit of a rundown sort of place, hasn’t it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Recalling: As I remember, the lighting was always kind of unreliable (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Emphasizing: It has really deteriorated. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Talking about how difficult something is: ...I’m leaving - but that’s easier said than done. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. the area it is situated in (omitting the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’) = the area that/which it is situated in / the area in which it is situated (much more formal)

  2. rundown = unkempt and neglected

  3. the lighting was always kind of unreliable (informal) = the lighting was never very good / the lighting never worked well

  4. rough looking = aggressive looking (appearing to be aggressive or dangerous)

  5. gangs = groups of people who are often engaged in illegal activities

  6. I always used to avoid it = I always had the habit of avoiding it

  7. in the dark. = when it is dark at night

  8. you should see it = you ought to see it 

  9. has deteriorated (more formal) = has got worse

  10. As soon as I can = At the first possible moment that I am able to

  11. I can raise the money = I can get enough money, either by earning it or borrowing it

  12. a deposit on an apartment = a down payment on an apartment

  13. that’s easier said than done (idiom) = in reality that is difficult to do

  14. With the amount of money I’m bringing in (phrasal verb) = Considering the amount of money that I’m earning  (more formal)

  15. save up (phrasal verb) = reserve and not spend / accumulate by not using

  16. to get out  (phrasal verb) = to leave / to escape

Robert:  The Pullens Apartments and the area it is situated in has always been a bit of a rundown sort of place, hasn’t itAs I remember, the lighting was always kind of unreliable and there were often rough looking gangs hanging around.  I always used to avoid it when I was walking home in the dark. 

Jenny: Well, if you thought it was bad before, you should see it now. It has really deteriorated. As soon as I can raise the money for a deposit on an apartment, I’m leaving - but that’s easier said than done. With the amount of money I’m bringing in I’ll never save up enough to get out. 

 

.

Situation: Jenny and Robert discuss the area where Jenny lives, and her plans to leave it.

Style: general

.

Functions:

  1. Checking or confirming: The Pullens Apartments and the area it is situated in has always been a bit of a rundown sort of place, hasn’t it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Recalling: As I remember, the lighting was always kind of unreliable (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Emphasizing: It has really deteriorated. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Talking about how difficult something is: ...I’m leaving - but that’s easier said than done. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

.

Notes:

  1. the area it is situated in (omitting the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’) = the area that/which it is situated in / the area in which it is situated (much more formal)

  2. rundown = unkempt and neglected

  3. the lighting was always kind of unreliable (informal) = the lighting was never very good / the lighting never worked well

  4. rough looking = aggressive looking (appearing to be aggressive or dangerous)

  5. gangs = groups of people who are often engaged in illegal activities

  6. I always used to avoid it = I always had the habit of avoiding it

  7. in the dark. = when it is dark at night

  8. you should see it = you ought to see it 

  9. has deteriorated (more formal) = has got worse

  10. As soon as I can = At the first possible moment that I am able to

  11. I can raise the money = I can get enough money, either by earning it or borrowing it

  12. a deposit on an apartment = a down payment on an apartment

  13. that’s easier said than done (idiom) = in reality that is difficult to do

  14. With the amount of money I’m bringing in (phrasal verb) = Considering the amount of money that I’m earning  (more formal)

  15. save up (phrasal verb) = reserve and not spend / accumulate by not using

  16. to get out  (phrasal verb) = to leave / to escape

Functions:

  1. Checking or confirming: The Pullens Apartments and the area it is situated in has always been a bit of a rundown sort of place, hasn’t it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Recalling: As I remember, the lighting was always kind of unreliable (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Emphasizing: It has really deteriorated. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  4. Talking about how difficult something is: ...I’m leaving - but that’s easier said than done. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. the area it is situated in (omitting the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’) = the area that/which it is situated in / the area in which it is situated (much more formal)

  2. rundown = unkempt and neglected

  3. the lighting was always kind of unreliable (informal) = the lighting was never very good / the lighting never worked well

  4. rough looking = aggressive looking (appearing to be aggressive or dangerous)

  5. gangs = groups of people who are often engaged in illegal activities

  6. I always used to avoid it = I always had the habit of avoiding it

  7. in the dark. = when it is dark at night

  8. you should see it = you ought to see it 

  9. has deteriorated (more formal) = has got worse

  10. As soon as I can = At the first possible moment that I am able to

  11. I can raise the money = I can get enough money, either by earning it or borrowing it

  12. a deposit on an apartment = a down payment on an apartment

  13. that’s easier said than done (idiom) = in reality that is difficult to do

  14. With the amount of money I’m bringing in (phrasal verb) = Considering the amount of money that I’m earning  (more formal)

  15. save up (phrasal verb) = reserve and not spend / accumulate by not using

  16. to get out  (phrasal verb) = to leave / to escape
Audio Audio (slow)
Lesson
Functions
Notes

Functions:

  1. Asking for an opinion: What would you say has caused the estate to change for the worse so quickly? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Asking for an opinion: When did you first notice the way things were going? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Saying something made a strong impression: Yes, how could I forget it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. What would you say has caused...?= What, in your opinion, has caused...? (more formal)

  2. the estate = the housing estate (where Jenny lives)

  3. to change for the worse = to change and become worse / to deteriorate

  4. the state of the economy = the situation regarding the financial state of the nation / the condition of the economy

  5. the state of the economy hasn’t helped = the state of the economy has contributed to this problem (more formal)

  6. on a long slow decline = getting worse slowly and for a long time / declining slowly over a long period of time

  7. When did you first notice = When was the first time you noticed

  8. the way things were going = how the situation was developing (more formal)

  9. the riot = the noisy and possibly violent uprising of people who are protesting about something

  10. a fire caused by some of the looters (using a Participle Relative Clause. In other words, we omit the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’ and the verb ‘was caused’, and use the participle ‘caused’ instead.) = a fire that/which was caused by some of the looters

  11. the looters = the people who steal from shops or houses during a riot or other time of unrest

  12. the local council = the local government

  13. to...give up on (phrasal verb) = to abandon /to leave to its fate / to stop caring about 

  14. let it fall apart (phrasal verb) = allow it to disintegrate (more formal)

Robert:  What would you say has caused the estate to change for the worse so quickly?

Jenny:  Well, the state of the economy hasn’t helped but the estate has been on a long, slow decline. 

Robert:  When did you first notice the way things were going?

Jenny:  Do you remember the riot in two thousand and eight (2008) ?

Robert:  Yes,  how could I forget it?

Jenny:  Well, a few of buildings on the eastern part of the estate were very badly damaged by a fire caused by some of the looters. After that, the local council seemed to just give up on the place and let it fall apart. 

 

.

Situation: Jenny and Robert discuss the area where Jenny lives, and how it has declined.

Style: general conversation

.

Functions:

  1. Asking for an opinion: What would you say has caused the estate to change for the worse so quickly? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Asking for an opinion: When did you first notice the way things were going? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Saying something made a strong impression: Yes, how could I forget it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

.

Notes:

  1. What would you say has caused...?= What, in your opinion, has caused...? (more formal)

  2. the estate = the housing estate (where Jenny lives)

  3. to change for the worse = to change and become worse / to deteriorate

  4. the state of the economy = the situation regarding the financial state of the nation / the condition of the economy

  5. the state of the economy hasn’t helped = the state of the economy has contributed to this problem (more formal)

  6. on a long slow decline = getting worse slowly and for a long time / declining slowly over a long period of time

  7. When did you first notice = When was the first time you noticed

  8. the way things were going = how the situation was developing (more formal)

  9. the riot = the noisy and possibly violent uprising of people who are protesting about something

  10. a fire caused by some of the looters (using a Participle Relative Clause. In other words, we omit the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’ and the verb ‘was caused’, and use the participle ‘caused’ instead.) = a fire that/which was caused by some of the looters

  11. the looters = the people who steal from shops or houses during a riot or other time of unrest

  12. the local council = the local government

  13. to...give up on (phrasal verb) = to abandon /to leave to its fate / to stop caring about 

  14. let it fall apart (phrasal verb) = allow it to disintegrate (more formal)

Functions:

  1. Asking for an opinion: What would you say has caused the estate to change for the worse so quickly? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Asking for an opinion: When did you first notice the way things were going? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Saying something made a strong impression: Yes, how could I forget it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. What would you say has caused...?= What, in your opinion, has caused...? (more formal)

  2. the estate = the housing estate (where Jenny lives)

  3. to change for the worse = to change and become worse / to deteriorate

  4. the state of the economy = the situation regarding the financial state of the nation / the condition of the economy

  5. the state of the economy hasn’t helped = the state of the economy has contributed to this problem (more formal)

  6. on a long slow decline = getting worse slowly and for a long time / declining slowly over a long period of time

  7. When did you first notice = When was the first time you noticed

  8. the way things were going = how the situation was developing (more formal)

  9. the riot = the noisy and possibly violent uprising of people who are protesting about something

  10. a fire caused by some of the looters (using a Participle Relative Clause. In other words, we omit the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’ and the verb ‘was caused’, and use the participle ‘caused’ instead.) = a fire that/which was caused by some of the looters

  11. the looters = the people who steal from shops or houses during a riot or other time of unrest

  12. the local council = the local government

  13. to...give up on (phrasal verb) = to abandon /to leave to its fate / to stop caring about 

  14. let it fall apart (phrasal verb) = allow it to disintegrate (more formal)
Audio Audio (slow)
Lesson
Functions
Notes

Functions:

  1. Asking for an opinion: What would you say has caused the complex to change for the worse so quickly? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Asking for an opinion: When did you first notice the way things were going? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Saying something made a strong impression: Yes, how could I forget it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. What would you say has caused...?= What, in your opinion, has caused...? (more formal)

  2. the complex = the apartment complex (where Jenny lives)

  3. to change for the worse = to change and become worse / to deteriorate

  4. the state of the economy = the situation regarding the financial state of the nation / the condition of the economy

  5. the state of the economy hasn’t helped = the state of the economy has contributed to this problem (more formal)

  6. on a long slow decline = getting worse slowly and for a long time / declining slowly over a long period of time

  7. When did you first notice = When was the first time you noticed

  8. the way things were going = how the situation was developing (more formal)

  9. the riot = the noisy and possibly violent uprising of people who are protesting about something

  10. a fire caused by some of the rioters (using a Participle Relative Clause. In other words, we omit the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’ and the verb ‘was caused’, and use the participle ‘caused’ instead.) = a fire that/which was caused by some of the looters

  11. the rioters = the people who were protesting

  12. the local authorities = the local government

  13. to...give up on (phrasal verb) = to abandon /to leave to its fate / to stop caring about 

  14. let it fall apart (phrasal verb) = allow it to disintegrate (more formal)

Robert:  What would you say has caused the complex to change for the worse so quickly?

Jenny:   Well, the state of the economy hasn’t helped but the area has been on a long, slow decline. 

Robert: When did you first notice the way things were going?

Jenny:  Do you remember the riot in two thousand and eight (2008) ?

Robert:  Yes,  how could I forget it?

Jenny: Well, a few of buildings on the east side of the neighborhood were very badly damaged by a fire caused by some of the rioters. After that, the local authorities seemed to just give up on the place and let it fall apart. 

 

.

Situation: Jenny and Robert discuss the area where Jenny lives, and how it has declined.

Style: general

.

Functions:

  1. Asking for an opinion: What would you say has caused the complex to change for the worse so quickly? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Asking for an opinion: When did you first notice the way things were going? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Saying something made a strong impression: Yes, how could I forget it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

.

Notes:

  1. What would you say has caused...?= What, in your opinion, has caused...? (more formal)

  2. the complex = the apartment complex (where Jenny lives)

  3. to change for the worse = to change and become worse / to deteriorate

  4. the state of the economy = the situation regarding the financial state of the nation / the condition of the economy

  5. the state of the economy hasn’t helped = the state of the economy has contributed to this problem (more formal)

  6. on a long slow decline = getting worse slowly and for a long time / declining slowly over a long period of time

  7. When did you first notice = When was the first time you noticed

  8. the way things were going = how the situation was developing (more formal)

  9. the riot = the noisy and possibly violent uprising of people who are protesting about something

  10. a fire caused by some of the rioters (using a Participle Relative Clause. In other words, we omit the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’ and the verb ‘was caused’, and use the participle ‘caused’ instead.) = a fire that/which was caused by some of the looters

  11. the rioters = the people who were protesting

  12. the local authorities = the local government

  13. to...give up on (phrasal verb) = to abandon /to leave to its fate / to stop caring about 

  14. let it fall apart (phrasal verb) = allow it to disintegrate (more formal)

Functions:

  1. Asking for an opinion: What would you say has caused the complex to change for the worse so quickly? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  2. Asking for an opinion: When did you first notice the way things were going? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

  3. Saying something made a strong impression: Yes, how could I forget it? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully here.)

Notes:

  1. What would you say has caused...?= What, in your opinion, has caused...? (more formal)

  2. the complex = the apartment complex (where Jenny lives)

  3. to change for the worse = to change and become worse / to deteriorate

  4. the state of the economy = the situation regarding the financial state of the nation / the condition of the economy

  5. the state of the economy hasn’t helped = the state of the economy has contributed to this problem (more formal)

  6. on a long slow decline = getting worse slowly and for a long time / declining slowly over a long period of time

  7. When did you first notice = When was the first time you noticed

  8. the way things were going = how the situation was developing (more formal)

  9. the riot = the noisy and possibly violent uprising of people who are protesting about something

  10. a fire caused by some of the rioters (using a Participle Relative Clause. In other words, we omit the relative pronoun ‘that’ or ‘which’ and the verb ‘was caused’, and use the participle ‘caused’ instead.) = a fire that/which was caused by some of the looters

  11. the rioters = the people who were protesting

  12. the local authorities = the local government

  13. to...give up on (phrasal verb) = to abandon /to leave to its fate / to stop caring about 

  14. let it fall apart (phrasal verb) = allow it to disintegrate (more formal)
Audio Audio (slow)