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"on the fritz" = broken, not working

"We need to get the air conditioning repaired because it's been on the fritz for three weeks."

"clean as a whistle" = perfectly clean

"Wow! Your bedroom is clean as a whistle."

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[ Quiz Script | Text Completion Quiz ]

Home Repairs
1. Pre-Listening Exercises
2. Listening Exercises
3. Vocabulary
4. Post-Listening
5. Online Investigations

Level:Topic:Type: Speakers:Length:
difficulthome repairsconversation two men01:38

1. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Discuss with a partner three common repairs or home improvements people do in and around their apartments or houses (e.g., kitchen cabinets, roofing, siding, etc.).

  • The walls need to be repainted because there are stains and holes in different places.
  • The kitchen table needs fixing because a part is broken.
  • The kitchen cabinets need to be refinished because they are scratched.

HELPFUL TIP: Making money on the Internet is possible. Just be sure to read carefully all the terms of the program before you make any commitments to make sure you understand what you are joining.


2. Listening Exercises [Top]
Listen to the conversation by pressing the "Play Audio" button of the audio type you want to hear, and answer the questions. Press the "Final Score" button to check your quiz.

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1. Why does Dave need a roommate to pay for rent?
A. He was recently laid off from his job.
B. He is working fewer hours these days.
C. He quit his job to go back to school.

2. What is wrong with the carpet in the living room?
A. It is soiled in several places.
B. It has a few tears here and there.
C. It is really worn out.

3. What has Dave done to fix temporarily the refrigerator door?
A. He used some heavy-duty tape around the door.
B. He applied some super glue to keep the hinges on tightly.
C. He pushed a box against the door to keep it shut.

4. Which problem is true of the bathroom?
A. The tile needs replacing.
B. The sink is clogged.
C. The window pane is cracked.

5. What does Randall probably do at the end of the conversation?
A. He decides to look for another place.
B. He agrees to split the cost of rent.
C. He helps Dave fix up the house.

Score =
Correct answers:

Listen to the conversation again as you read the Quiz Script.

Read the Explanation of Answers.

3. Vocabulary Activities [Top]
Review the key vocabulary from the conversation: [ Why do these? ]

4. Post-Listening Exercises [Top]

Think of three problems with the place you are now living and what needs to be done to fix them. Discuss your ideas with a partner. Then, share your opinions with other students on your experiences with housing in your country. Ask another students these questions. Report your findings to the class:

  • Where do you live?
  • Where do most university students live while going to college (i.e., at home with family, in an apartment with a roommate, in a dormitory)?
  • What one thing would you change about the place where you live now?

5. Online Investigations - [ What's This? ] [Top]
Suppose that you need to to make of the following repairs on your apartment or home. Search online for three Web sites that provide specific instructions on how to deal with each situation. How clear on the written instructions on how to fix each problem? Are there an instructional videos to visually explain the process of repairing the items?

  • a leaky faucet
  • a clogged toilet
  • a damaged wall (caused by your roommate punching the wall because he/she didn't get a good grade on a grammar test)
  • a stained carpet from grape juice

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