Exercise 1

A. Listen to Marcos and Heather talk about how they have changed over the last five years. How did they change? Complete the chart with the expressions from the box.

kind and generous

friendly and outgoing

shy and reserved

wild and crazy



used to be …

has become …







B. Listen again. Choose the person you think would be more likely to do each of these things this weekend.




1  stay out late at a big party

2  stay at home and watch TV

3  help someone with a personal problem

4  invite a friend to a funny movie

Answers & Audioscripts


Marcos: used to be wild and crazy, has become kind and generous

Heather: used to be shy and reserved, has become friendly and outgoing


1 Heather

2 Marcos

3 Marcos

4 Heather


1   Marcos

Well, I guess the biggest change in my life over the last five years is that I got married. You know, I used to be into going out with friends every weekend – and staying out late. We were pretty wild and crazy back then. Now, I’m more of a family man. I don’t mind staying at home, watching TV – that kind of thing. I’m even learning to cook! It’s not so bad. I guess you could say that I started to grow up. I wasn’t so interested in going out all the time. I was ready to settle down and have a family.

I have to be honest. My heart wasn’t really in the right place before. I mean, before, I didn’t mind being, well, a little irresponsible at times, even selfish. I was always out having fun with my friends, but I never wanted to hear about their problems. I just didn’t care. But now that I have a wife and a little boy, it’s different. I’m trying to become more, you know, more generous and kind. I want to be there to help them out, no matter how small the problem.

2   Heather

I have to say, five years ago I was a completely different person. I never said much in a crowd, and I always tried to avoid making small talk with people I didn’t know very well. But, really, I was just incredibly shy and reserved. Anyway, then I went away to college, and I had this roommate, Nora. She had a great sense of humor and laughed at all my jokes. That really gave me a lot of confidence.

Nora and I joined a small study group at school. When we finish studying, a bunch of us go out for coffee. Conversation is easy because we all have a lot of the same interests. Now my new friends think of me as the funny one in the group. Can you believe it? So, I’d say I’m much more friendly and outgoing now. I don’t worry about speaking up and giving my opinion anymore. In fact, I’m thinking about joining a few more clubs so I can meet even more new people and do more things.

Exercise 2

A. Listen to Paul and Andrea talk about their families. What kind of family did each person grow up in? How have their families changed?

B. Listen again. Match the people on the left with the phrases on the right.

1   Andrea ___

2   Andrea’s husband ___

3   Andrea’s sister-in-law ___

4   Paul’s sister ___

5   Paul ___

6   Paul’s mother ___

a   has two daughters.

b   doesn’t know her-in-laws very well.

c   has three brothers.

d   is looking forward to seeing the family.

e   will be cooking for 12 people.

f   is a law student.

Answers & Audioscripts


Andrea grew up in a small nuclear family. Now that she’s married, her family is much larger, although her in-laws don’t live with her.

Paul grew up in an extended family. When his grandparents passed away, his family became a nuclear one with just his parents and siblings.


1 b   2 c   3 f   4 a   5 d   6 e


Paul:   So, Andrea, I heard you’re staying with your in-laws for the holidays.

Andrea:   Well, yeah. We leave tomorrow afternoon. How about you, Paul?

Paul:   Actually, I still live with my parents, so I don’t have to go anywhere. You know, you don’t sound very excited about your trip.

Andrea:   I guess I’m just a little nervous. The whole time I was growing up, it was just me and my mom and dad. It was quiet around the house – very quiet. But my husband’s family is huge. I mean, there are so many people!

Paul:   Wow! How many?

Andrea:   Well, he grew up in an extended family. So there were his parents and his grandparents, and his younger sister, and his two younger brothers – no, wait, three younger brothers. All under one roof! So that’s what, nine total?

Paul:   Wow. What do they all do?

Andrea:   Oh, let me think. My sister-in-law, she’s the youngest, maybe 20 or 21. She’s a law student here in Chicago. And the oldest brother-in-law is a musician in New York. The other brothers are a lawyer and . . . a teacher, I think. We haven’t been married long, so I don’t know them that well, you know. But they all seem very nice and friendly. So, how about you? How big is your family?

Paul:   Well, when I was a kid, our family was a lot like your in laws’. It was me, my parents, my older sister and brother – and my grandparents, too. But both my grandparents passed away a while ago, unfortunately, so it’s just the five of us now.

Andrea:   Are your sister and brother coming in for the holidays?

Paul:   Yeah, they’re coming with their families. My sister and her husband live near Boston. They have two little girls. Then my brother and his wife and their three kids will come over as well. My brother’s a doctor here in Chicago. It’ll be great! We love getting together.

Andrea:   So that’s . . . How many people is that?

Paul:   Uh, 12, I think.

Andrea:   Wow! That’s even more than my in-laws.

Paul:   Yeah. The hard part about it is my mom has to cook so much food. Of course, the great thing about having a big family is that there are a lot of people to help her.

Exercise 3

A. Listen to Victor tell a friend about his family reunion. What were they celebrating at the reunion?

B. Listen again. In addition to Victor, who else was at the reunion? Select the people mentioned.

 his grandfather

 his uncle’s cousin

 his brother

 his sister-in-law

 his niece

 his son

 his mother-in-law

 his cousin

 friends of the family

Answers & Audioscripts


They were celebrating Victor’s grandmother’s 80th birthday.


The people mentioned are:

 his uncle’s cousin

 his brother

 his sister-in-law

 his niece

 his mother-in-law

 friends of the family


Sue:   Hey, Victor, you’re back in town! So, how did it go?

Victor:   Oh, it was great! I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it, but it turned out to be a lot of fun.

Sue:   Was your grandmother surprised?

Victor:   Completely! She knew we’d do something special for her eightieth birthday, but she never expected that the whole family would turn up for a reunion.

Sue:   How many people were there?

Victor:   Lots – I’d say about 60 or so. Folks showed up from all over the place. We had people from Texas, Illinois, Florida, California, and even Mexico. I got to see people I hadn’t seen for years, like Lu Ann, my uncle’s cousin. Actually, I don’t think I’ve seen her since I was a little kid! Oh, and my brother Rudy was there with his wife and their new baby – Grandma’s first great-granddaughter.

Sue:   That sounds like fun. So was there anyone there you didn’t recognize?

Victor:   Yeah, but that was OK because as soon as we got there, we each got a name tag showing how we were related to Grandma. Like mine said: “Victor – Anita’s grandson, Hector’s son.”

Sue:   That’s a cool idea. So you could immediately see how you were related to someone.

Victor:   Yeah, most people have changed a lot over the years, plus my mother-in-law came along because she hadn’t seen any of these people since our wedding, so the name tags worked out really well.

Sue:   So, were there other people at the reunion who weren’t directly related to your grandmother?

Victor:   Oh, sure. There were quite a few people who weren’t directly related to her, like some in-laws, neighbors, friends of the family . . . But their name tags said who they were and what the connection was.

Sue:   Sounds like it must have been a lot of fun. I bet your grandmother was happy.

Victor:   Yeah. Really happy.

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