Exercise 1

A. Listen to Carol’s talking about what happened next. Was the meeting a success?

B. Listen again and answer questions 1-5.

 Why was Carol surprised at Robert’s choice of job?

 What happened when she got to the restaurant?

 What do Carol and Robert look like now?

 What did Carol realize as soon as she saw Robert?

 How had Robert changed?



Carol’s reunion was not a success. They didn’t have anything in common any more.


1   He always said that he would hate to be a teacher.

2   She thought ‘he always used to be late’.

3   People say she looks five years younger than she is.

     He looked like an old man. He was bald (and was wearing a hideous jacket).

4   That they didn’t have anything in common any more.

5   He wasn’t a rebel any more, he was boring and conventional.



When Robert replied to my email I got really excited. He didn’t actually say very much about himself. He just told me that he was now a teacher, which surprised me because he always used to say he would hate to teach. He also told me that he’d been married but was now divorced.

Anyway, I answered his email and we agreed to meet for lunch at a restaurant I like – it’s a place where I often go at weekends.

When I got there I looked around to see if I could see him, but I couldn’t, and I thought, ‘Typical! Same old Robert,’ because he always used to be late. So I sat down and ordered a drink. I was just sipping my wine when a man came over to my table and said, ‘Carol, how are you?’. I could hardly believe it – I mean I know neither of us is young any more, but I think I look good for my age.

People usually say I look five years younger than I am. But Robert looked like an old man. His lovely long hair was all gone – in fact he was bald, with a few strands of hair sort of combed over his head – and he was wearing the most hideous jacket. Well, I know you shouldn’t judge by appearances, so I smiled at him and we started talking – and well, I quite enjoyed the lunch and we talked a lot about the past – but I knew as soon as I saw him that we didn’t have anything in common any more. And I was right. Instead of the rebel he used to be, he was, well, now much more conventional than me. In fact, he seemed just like the sort of teachers we used to hate when we were young.

C. Listen to Alex’s talking about what happened next. Was the meeting a success?

D. Listen again and answer questions 6-10.

 Did he recognize any of the people?

 How did he feel?

 What did they talk to him about?

 What did he remember when he saw the photos?

10   Who is Anna? What does he think of her now?



Alex’s reunion was successful. He is now in touch regularly with the people he met and is going out with one of them.


 No, he didn’t recognize anyone.

 He felt nervous.

 All the things he used to do when he was at school (e.g. play in the football team, etc.).

 He remembered that he used to wear glasses.

10   Anna is a girl who used to be at his school. They are now going out together.



I got to the pub late because I couldn’t find it, but when I walked in I saw a whole group of young people at a table and I thought that must be them, though I didn’t really recognize anybody. So I went up and they all said hello.

They all recognized me, which was great though it felt a bit strange. I must admit I was feeling quite nervous. Anyway, I sat down and we started talking. They told me lots of things that I used to do when I was at school, like play in the school football team – they said I used to be really good – and they told me about all sorts of other things: places we used to go to, things like that. Some of my friends had even brought photos and we looked at them. I’d completely forgotten that I used to wear these really awful big glasses – and I sort of relaxed and I felt that I was getting to know them again, and getting to know more about myself and my past. Anyway, since we met that evening, we’ve all been emailing each other and I’ve started going out with Anna – one of the girls who was at the pub that night. She says she used to really like me at school, but that I didn’t use to take any notice of her then! I can’t remember any of that, but I know I like her a lot now!

Exercise 2

A. Read sentences A-F below. Now listen to three people talking. Which sentences are they talking about? Write 1, 2, or 3 next to the sentence.

a   Men keep their friends longer than women.

b   It’s more difficult to keep in touch with friends than it used to be.

c   It’s impossible to stay ‘good friends’ with an ex-partner.

d   You should never criticize your friend’s partner.

e   You should neve lend money to a friend.

 You can only have two or three close friends.

B. Listen again. Do they agree or disagree with the statements? What are their reasons? What examples do they give?



Speaker 1   b

Speaker 2   a

Speaker 3   d


1   Disagrees. He thinks it’s easier because you can text, email, and chat online on the computer. He gives the example of several friends he met on holiday last year. He is still in touch with them.

2   Agrees. She thinks that men keep friends longer because their friendships are less intense (and less intimate) than women’s – they don’t talk about their personal lives much. As a result, they don’t have arguments.

3   Agrees. He says that if you criticize your friend’s partner while they are still together (and in love) you will lose the friendship. You should wait until they break up. He gives the example of how he once criticized his friend’s girlfriend and now they aren’t friends any more.



I don’t agree at all. I think it’s much easier. Today you can text, you can email, you can chat online on Messenger and things like that. I’m still in touch with some friends who I met on holiday last year even though they live miles away.


Actually, I think it’s probably true. Because I know a lot of men who are still friends with people they went to primary school with, but I don’t know many women who are. For example, my brother has a friend called Tim who he’s known since they were three years old. But I think the reason why is because men’s friendships are less intense, sort of less intimate than women’s friendships. As men only ever talk about sport or superficial things, it doesn’t matter if they’ve completely changed and don’t have much in common any more – they can still talk about football.


You definitely shouldn’t. I mean that’s the quickest way to lose a friendship. If you don’t like a friend’s girlfriend, you should just keep quiet. You have to wait until they break up, and of course then you can say how awful you thought she was and your friend will agree and think you’re being supportive. But if you say anything bad while they’re still madly in love, it’s a disaster. I know because it happened to me once with a friend of mine. I said something negative about his girlfriend. And now we’re not friends any more.

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