A. Listen to five people and match the speakers with the regrets. Who…?

 wasted time when he / she could have been doing something else   ___

 wishes he / she had said something to someone   ___

 missed an opportunity because he / she wasn’t independent   ___

 wasn’t old enough to take advantage of a situation   ___

E   regretted trying to change his / her appearance   ___

B. Listen again. Why do the speakers mention or say the following?

1   ‘Mercedes and Bosch.’   ‘It would have opened doors for me.’

2   ‘The top and skirt I wore were really skimpy.’

3   ‘The Russian revolution.’   ‘Old letters.’

4   ‘I really fancied him.’   ‘Now it’s too late.’

5   ‘I just did the bare minimum.’   ‘This was a unique opportunity.’



A 5   B 4   C 1   D 3   E 2


1   Mercedes and Bosch – He was working for Mercedes (the German car company) when a man from Bosch (the German engineering company) offered him a job.

     It would have opened doors for me – Taking the job would probably have given him better work prospects when he came back to Spain.

2   The top and skirt I wore were really skimpy. – Her clothes didn’t cover much of her body so everyone could see how burnt she was.

3   The Russian revolution – Her (Polish) grandmother was in Russia during the revolution and met many interesting people (painters, writers). Her granddaughter wishes she could have talked to her about this time.

      Old letters – By reading her old letters the granddaughter is discovering about her life.

4   I really fancied him. – She was attracted to the man.

     Now it’s too late. – It’s too late because the man she was too afraid to chat up is now engaged to be married.

5   I just did the bare minimum. – He studied as little as possible, just doing enough to pass his exams but not more.

     This was a unique opportunity. – Being a student was a once in a lifetime chance to learn about literature.



When I was a young man, about 17, I was working in Spain as an electrician for the German car company Mercedes. A man from the engineering company, Bosch, visited Mercedes and he liked the way that I worked and he offered me a job in Germany. I suppose it is what you would call ‘an apprenticeship’. I would have learnt to become an engineer. I really wanted to do it, but my parents didn’t want me to leave home and go and work in a foreign country. In those days not many people did that. So in the end I didn’t go. But I really wish that I’d taken that job because I think it would have opened doors for me and my professional life would have been more fulfilling.


Three years ago I was going to take part in a dance competition. I was a bit pale so I decided to go to a suntan studio the day before the competition. As I didn’t have much time and I wanted to get a nice tan really quickly, I stayed under the lamp about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, that was too long and I got burnt. The top and skirt I wore the next day for the competition were really skimpy and so everyone in the audience could see how red my skin was. I felt really stupid and really wished I hadn’t done it.


I really wish I’d been able to know my grandmother better. She died when I was 12, and since then I’ve discovered that she must have been a fascinating person, and there are so many things I would love to have been able to talk to her about. She was Polish but she was in Russia, in St Petersburg, during the Russian Revolution, and she knew all sorts of interesting people at the time, painters, writers, people like that. I was only a child so I never asked her much about her own life. Now I’m discovering all about her through reading her old letters and papers, but I wish she had lived longer so that I could have talked to her about those times face-to-face.


The only thing I really regret is not having had the courage to chat up a guy who I saw at a party last summer. I really fancied him – he was very good-looking – but I just wasn’t brave enough to start a conversation. I wish I’d tried. I’m absolutely positive we would have got on well. And now it’s too late – he’s engaged to another girl!


My biggest regret is how I spent my time at university. I studied English Literature, which was something I was quite interested in, but it certainly wasn’t the most important thing in my life. I played a lot of sport, I played in a band, and listened to a lot of music, but I also spent most of my time either socializing or asleep. And in terms of studying, I just did the bare minimum – I read what I had to, but never anything more. I only went to the compulsory lectures, never the optional ones and I felt all my essays until the last minute and kept them as short as I could. OK, I passed my exams and I got my degree in the end, but I’ve always regretted not taking more advantage of those three years. I wish I’d realized at the time that this was a unique opportunity to read lots of novels, to learn about great writers and to listen to people who really knew what they were talking about. Now I’m working and have small children, I don’t have time to read anything.

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