Exercise 1

Listen to Tracey reading Graham’s advice. Which of the three options does Graham think is right? Why?

What should Tracey do?

a   She should leave him and find somebody who is closer to her age and shares her interests.

b   She should think hard about what kind of man she really wants to be with before making a decision.

c   She should stay with him if she loves him. Being with an older man has advantages as well as disadvantages.




Hi, Tracey. You know the answer to your last question, and it is “yes. You’re making your life more difficult. But it’s also true that having a long-term relationship with anyone is difficult, and in your case, you can at least see what some of the problems are. I’m sure this man loves you and will support you in all your goals in life, but it’s true that he’s already done all the things you want to do. It’s not his fault, but it means that he will never get as excited as you about, for example, a wedding or having another child. And everything you experience together he will probably compare to the last time he did it. You should think carefully about what kind of partner you really want: someone who can support you and show you the way in life, or someone who will discover life with you. You shouldn’t make a decision in a hurry. When you are clearer about what you want, then you can decide if you’re going to stay with this man or not.  Good luck!

Exercise 2

A. Listen to Annabel and Peter calling a radio show called What’s the problem? and make notes about the problem with their son.

1   What should Annabel and Peter do?

      a   They should tell their 25-year-old son that he can’t go on holiday – he needs to save money.

      b   They should let him go – everybody needs a holiday.

      c   They should let him go, but they should ask him to start paying rent.

B. Listen to an expert giving them advice. Is it the advice you chose? Is it good advice? Why (not)?

C. Repeat A-B for Nick.

2   What should Nick do?

      a   He should stay where he has a job, and see his girlfriend on weekends.

      b   He should go with her and start a new life.

      c   He should tell her to stay where they are if she wants to stay together.

D. Repeat A-B for Jane.

3   What should Jane do?

      a   She should go on holiday with both friends.

      b   She should get to know her friend’s friend Angie better, and then decide.

      c   She should refuse to go if Angie goes too.



Their son, Jamie, wants to go on holiday to Mexico with some friends. Annabel and Peter, his parents, don’t think he should go. They think he should save his money, so he can get his own place to live.


c – The expert’s advice is to let Jamie go on holiday, but talk to him about paying rent when he gets back.


Nick’s girlfriend wants to move to London to get a better job, but he has a good job and doesn’t know if he should follow her or not.

a – The expert’s advice is for Nick and his girlfriend to sit down and discuss their future. If they want the same thing, then Nick’s girlfriend should move to London and he can visit.


Jane has planned a holiday with her friend Susan and is really looking forward to it. However, Susan has now invited another friend, Angie. Jane doesn’t know Angie and doesn’t want to go on holiday with her.

b – The expert’s advice is to try to get to know Angie first. If Miriam likes her, then the holiday will be a success. If not, then she should tell her friend Susan she isn’t going.



A = Annabel, P = Peter, E = expert

A   Hello. I’m Annabel.

P   And I’m Peter.

E   Hi there, Annabel and Peter. What’s your problem?

A   We’ve got a son, Jamie, and he’s twenty-five. He’s a chef.

P   But he still lives with us because he says it’s too expensive to rent a flat and he doesn’t earn enough money.

A   He gives us some money every month for bills – not much, but a bit – and, you know, it’s nice to have him at home, but we think he needs to be more independent.

P   Yes, absolutely.

A   But last week he told us that he’s planning a two-week holiday to Mexico with his friends. I mean, it’s true that he works full-time and we know he needs a break, but we really think…

P   Yes, we don’t think he should go on an expensive holiday when he doesn’t give us much money. We think he should save his money so that he can get his own place to live. Should we tell him that he can’t go to Mexico?



A = Annabel, P = Peter, E = expert

E   You know, to be honest, I think you’re being a bit hard on him. I mean, he’s only twenty-five. It’s good that he has a job, and everybody needs a holiday. My advice is that you should let him go to Mexico, but when he comes back, you should sit down with him and talk to him about starting to pay rent. That way he’ll understand that he needs to start planning for the future and to start thinking about renting a flat. But I know from talking to other parents that there are a lot of young people still living at home in their twenties and thirties, and some of them don’t even have jobs. So in many ways, I think you’re lucky.

A   You see? That’s just what I think…



N = Nick, E = expert

N   Hi there. I’m Nick.

E   Hi, Nick. So what’s your problem?

 Well, I’ve been with my girlfriend for three years. We have a really great relationship although we’re quite different. She’s clever and popular, and I’m, er, quiet and hard-working. Anyway, now she wants to move to London because she thinks she can get a better job there, and she wants me to go to London, too – you know, London’s much more exciting than Bolton, where we live now. But I have a good job in Bolton and I get a good salary. I mean, the idea of moving and having a new life is like a dream, but for me that’s what it is – I mean, it’s a dream; it isn’t real. What should I do? Should I follow my heart and move to London with her? Or should I stay here, where I know I have a good job, but possibly lose my girlfriend?


E   I think you should sit down together and talk about your dreams for the future, and see if they are the same dreams. If they are, and you can see a future together, then the first thing is for her to look for a job in London. If she finds one, then maybe she can move there first, and you can go at weekends and see how you feel about life there.

N   Thanks a lot for that. I think that’s really good advice.



J = Jane, E = expert

J   Hello. My name’s Jane.

E   Hi, Jane. So, why are you calling?

 Well, a month ago, my friend Susan and I decided to go on holiday together this summer, to Turkey. So we planned everything and, er, I was really looking forward to it, as Susan’s an old friend and I don’t see her very often. But the other day, she told me that she was telling another friend of hers about our holiday – somebody I don’t know, a woman called Angie – and Angie was really interested, and now Susan has invited her to come, too. Susan never asked me what I thought! I don’t even know Angie, and I really don’t want to go on holiday with someone I don’t know. What should I do?


E   I think your friend has been a bit insensitive, and she’s put you in a difficult position. You have several different options. You could say that you aren’t going if Angie goes, but then you’ll put Susan in a difficult position. Or you could just cancel, and suggest having another holiday later, with just the two of you. Or you could invite someone else who you like, and then there would be four of you, which is sometimes a better number than three. But in fact, you don’t know Angie, and maybe you’ll like her. So I think you should try to get to know her first. If you like her, then the holiday will probably be a success. If not, then you should tell your friend you aren’t going because you don’t think it will work with Angie. You know, a bad holiday is worse than no holiday.

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