Exercise 1

A. Listen to the stories. Why are the examples of Murphy’s Law?

B. Listen again. Mark the sentences T (true) or F (false). Correct the F sentences.

1   Peter didn’t have any qualifications.

2   He wasn’t expecting to get a phone call about a job.

3   He couldn’t call them back because his phone had no battery.

4   Sue didn’t have much free time at the conference.

5   The guide was optimistic about seeing the tiger.

6   Sue didn’t really enjoy her trip.



Peter waited four months for a job interview, but when the phone call finally came for an interview, the call got cut off.

Sue got up early for a trip to see a tiger, but didn’t see one. However, other people who went on a trip to see birds saw the tiger.


1 F (Peter studied math at university.)

2 T

3 F (Peter couldn’t call them back because his phone said “unknown number.”)

4 T

5 F (The guide wasn’t optimistic about seeing the tiger.)

6 F (Sue enjoyed her trip.)


Peter wanted to get a job

I did maths at university and normally, after doing maths at university, people get a job in a bank or in IT, but when I finished it was the recession and it was very difficult to get a job. I was unemployed for quite a long time. I was looking for jobs, and I applied for lots of different jobs, but they just answered, ‘Sorry, we don’t want you,’ and I was getting a bit depressed. This went on for about four months, and then one day, I was on a number forty-nine bus in London – I can even remember where I was sitting – and my phone rang. I said, ‘Hello’ and a woman said, ‘Hello, you applied for a job with us a few months ago. Are you still interested?’ So I said, ‘Yes, absolutely. I’m very interested.’ So then she said, ‘We’d like you to come for an interview’…and then, at that moment, we got cut off because the bus went into a tunnel. And the phone number wasn’t on my phone – it just said ‘unknown number’, and I couldn’t remember what the name of the company was because I’d applied for so many jobs. So I thought, ‘Four months of nothing, and then when they ring, I get cut off.’ Luckily, they called back the next day, and in the end, I had an interview and I got the job.

Sue wanted to see a tiger

This happened when I was at a conference in Thailand. The conference hotel was amazing – it was in a beautiful national park called Khao Yai, north of Bangkok. We were very busy with talks and meetings most of the time, but we had one free morning, and we could choose from different trips or activities. I was interested in either a trip to see birds or a trip to see a tiger. A tiger, not tigers, because they told us that there was only one tiger in the whole park! Well, I chose the tiger trip, because I thought it would be really cool to see a tiger in the wild. But we had to leave really early in the morning because we had to travel quite a long way to the part of the park where the tiger usually was – the bird trip was nearer the hotel. So we tiger-watchers got up at five in the morning, but our guide said that we probably wouldn’t see the tiger because, you know, there was only one tiger. We finally got there and we spent the whole morning looking for the tiger, but no luck. But we saw some nice birds, and it was fun, so when we got back to the conference hotel, we felt we’d had a really good morning. But then the other group got back – the ones who went to see the birds – and of course they saw lots of amazing birds, but they also saw the tiger! I suppose that day, it wasn’t in its usual part of the park. And I thought, ‘Isn’t that typical – you go on the tiger trip and you don’t see the tiger, but the people on the bird trip see the tiger!’

Exercise 2

Listen and answer the questions.

1   For Susie happiness is ____ and having good food and music.

      a   going out with friends

      b   being at home with friends

      c   going to a friend’s house

2   Tarquin speaks ____ French.

      a   very good    

      b   very fluent

      c   quite good

3   Katelyn doesn’t usually ask her parents for advice ____.

      a   because she doesn’t get on with them

      b   because they are much older than she is

      c   because she lives far away from them

4   Joseph suggests that people who can’t sleep ____.

      a   should have the window open at night

      b   should buy a really comfortable bed

      c   shouldn’t have their phone in their bedroom

5   Alison thinks British are bad at learning languages ____.

      a   because they don’t think they need to

      b   because they don’t have good teachers

      c   because English is easier than most other languages


1 b   2 c   3 b   4 c   5 a



I = interviewer, S = Susie

I   What’s your idea of happiness?

 That’s a difficult question. Um, my idea of happiness is probably relaxing with friends in my home, listening to nice music, with lovely food for everyone.


I = interviewer, T = Tarquin

I   What foreign languages do you speak?

T   I speak French.

 How well do you speak it?

T   Quite well. Not fluently, but well enough to get around.


I = interviewer, K = Katelyn

I   If you have a problem, who do you ask for advice, friends or family?

K   When I have a problem, I usually ask close friends for advice.

I   Why?

K   My parents are a lot older than me, so their advice is really great for certain things, but most of the things I’m going through right now, my friends are pretty good.


I = interviewer, J = Joseph

I   What advice would you give someone who can’t sleep at night?

 If someone couldn’t sleep at night, I’d usually advise them to do something like meditation, so some kind of breathing exercises which would calm them down, um, and also just to be in an environment where they feel comfortable and safe I guess, rather than in an environment that stresses them out, maybe keep their phone out of the bedroom, or something like that.


I = interviewer, A = Alison

I   Do you think the British are bad at learning languages?

 I think we do tend to be rather bad at learning languages.

I   Why?

A   I think we can be a bit lazy, because everybody else speaks English.

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