Exercise 1

A. Nancy and Brian are going on holiday. Nancy is packing. Listen to their conversation. What four things does Brian think Nancy doesn’t need to take?





B. Listen again. Complete Nancy’s reasons for taking the things.

 I might ____________________.

 It might ____________________.

 The hotel might not ____________________.

 They’re ____________________.



1 trainers   2 raincoat   3 hairdryer   4 two pairs of jeans


1 I might go to the gym.

2 It might rain.

3 The hotel might not have one.

4 They’re different styles.


B = Brian, N = Nancy

 Have you finished packing? The taxi will be here in fifteen minutes.

N   Er, nearly. I can’t decide what to take.

B   Well, hurry up. You don’t need all that! You’ll never close that suitcase. And we can only take fifteen kilos each.

N   Yes, I know.

B   You don’t need your trainers. We’re going to be on the beach most of the time!

N   Yes, but I might go to the gym. There’s one in the hotel.

B   And why are you taking a raincoat? It’s not going to rain in Greece in June.

N   It might rain. It sometimes rains in the summer.

B   What’s that?

N   It’s my hairdryer.

B   But the hotel will have a hairdryer.

 It might not have one. Hotels don’t always have hairdryers. And I need it.

B   And two pairs of jeans? We’re only going to be there for a week.

N   They’re different styles. I’m not sure which ones I’ll want to wear.

B   You need to take some things out. Extra baggage costs a fortune. It’s something like ten pounds per kilo.

N   Yes, yes, I will. I promise.

B   Well, hurry up. The traffic might be a bit slow because of the rain.

N   I’ll be ready in five minutes…


B   The taxi’s here.

N   I’ve closed my case. Can you take it downstairs?

B   I’m sure this is more than fifteen kilos.

N   I think it’ll be OK…

C. Listen to them at the airport. What happens?


Nancy’s suitcase is too heavy (17.5 kilos, and she can only take 15). They tell her to pay £25 extra. She tries to take some things out and put them in Brian’s case.


BD = bag drop, B = Brian, N = Nancy

BD   Can you put your case on the scales, please?

B   Shall I help you?

 No, I’m fine.

BD   That’s seventeen and a half kilos. You can only take fifteen.

B   I knew it. I told you it was too heavy.

BD   You need to go to the window over there and pay for the extra two and a half kilos. That’ll be twenty-five pounds.

N   Twenty-five pounds? No, wait. Brian, I can put some things in your case. Yours was only ten kilos. Look, take this pair of jeans…and the hairdryer…and these books…and the raincoat…

Exercise 2

A. Listen to talk called Is too much choice making us unhappy? Does the speaker think the answer is yes or no?

B. Listen again. What are the five main points in the talk? Choose a, b, or c.

1   Nowadays, it is ___ to buy jeans than in the past because there is so much choice.

      a easier     b more difficult

      c more fun

2   One of the examples the speaker gives of where we have a lot of choice today is ___.

      a buying coffee in supermarkets

      b choosing which airline to travel with

      c finding a boyfriend or girlfriend

3   Research has shown that when we have a lot of choice we often ___.

      a worry that we’ve chosen the wrong thing

      b can’t decide what to buy

      c buy more than we really need

4   In another study, about jams, Professor Lepper found that people were happier when they had ___ jams to choose from than when they had 24.

      a sixteen     b six     c sixty

5   Professor Lepper suggests that when we go shopping we should ___.

      a do research in advance

      b look at all the options carefully

      c relax and choose quickly





1 b   2 c   3 a   4 b   5 c


Buying jeans isn’t as easy as it used to be. Years ago, there was only one kind of jeans – probably Levi’s. Nowadays, there are hundreds – different styles, different colours, different lengths, with buttons, with zips. There are so many options that you feel the perfect pair must be waiting for you somewhere…

And it isn’t just jeans. In big supermarkets, we have to choose between thousands of products – my local supermarket has thirty five different kinds of milk! When we’re buying clothes or electrical gadgets, ordering a coffee in a café, looking for a hotel on a travel website, deciding which TV channel to watch, or even choosing a future partner on a dating website, we constantly have to choose from hundreds of possibilities.

People often think that being able to choose from a lot of options is a good thing. However, university researchers have discovered that too much choice is making us feel unhappy and dissatisfied. The problem is that we have so many options that we get stressed every time we have to make a decision, because we’re worried about making the wrong one. Then when we choose one thing, we feel bad because we think we are missing other opportunities, and this makes us dissatisfied with what we’ve chosen.

Research also shows that we feel happier when we have less choice. In a study, Professor Mark Lepper at Stanford University found that people who tried six kinds of jam and then chose one felt happier with their choice than those who were offered twenty-four jams to taste.

But if all this choice is bad for us, what can we do about it? Professor Lepper suggests that we should try to relax when we have to decide what to buy. ‘Don’t take these choices too seriously or it will become stressful,’ he says. ‘If you pick a sofa from IKEA in thirty seconds, you’ll feel better than if you spend hours researching sofas – because you won’t know what you’re missing.’

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