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"a going over" = an often fast cleaning

"The house needs a good going over before our guests arrive."

"elbow grease" = hard work

"Put a little elbow grease into cleaning that bathtub."

More of Randall's Favorite Learning Resources

[ Quiz Script | Explanation of Answers | Text Completion Quiz ]

Friday Night Mishaps
1. Pre-Listening Exercises
2. Listening Exercises
3. Post-Listening Exercises

medium home repairsconversationtwo men01:35

1. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Discuss the kinds of mishaps or accidents that can occur around the house that might require home repairs or house cleaning. Use the following verbs and nouns or others you know to make sentences. Then write some of the ideas on the board.

VERBS: burn, break, cut, damage, fall, ruin, scratch, slip, spill, tear
NOUNS: bathtub, carpet, chair, door, dinner, floor, ladder, stairs, stove, wall


  • He ruined the carpet when he started a fire in the living room.
  • Tony broke the kitchen window.

HELPFUL TIP: Coming with a family preparedness plan now can help in case of an emergency such as a fire, earthquake, or flood. Practice what to do on a regular basis.

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2. Listening Exercises [Top]

First, listen to the conversation by pressing the "Play Audio" button, and answer the questions. Press the "Final Score" button to check your quiz.

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1. Where is Henry going this evening to pick up his wife?
A. the train station
B. the bus station
C. the airport

2. What was Henry doing Friday night when his problems started?
A. He was watching a game on TV with some pals.
B. He was playing basketball with a few of his friends.
C. He was having a barbeque with a couple of buddies.

3. The vase broke when one of Henry's friends:
A. hit it with a ball.
B. accidentally dropped it.
C. bumped into it with his arm.

4. How did the manuscript of the book become totally ruined?
A. It burned up in a fire.
B. Hot water damaged the entire copy.
C. Someone mistakenly threw it into the trash.

5. From the tone of the conversation, what sort of reaction does Henry expect from his wife about his misfortunes?
A. disappointment
B. anger
C. contentment

Score =
Correct answers:

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

Do practice activities to review the vocabulary:

IV. Read the Explanation of Answers.

3. Post-Listening Exercises [Top]

Encountering problems and having accidents is a part of life. With a partner, one of you play the role of Henry, and the other person, the part of his wife. Pretend that the wife has just arrived at the airport and asks her husband how things went while she was gone. Use the following model to get you started. Add your own ideas and have fun.

Henry's Wife: Hi Honey. Good to see you and thanks for coming to get me.There are so many things I want to tell you about my trip.

Henry: Same here.

Henry's Wife: Oh, anything out of the ordinary?

Henry: That's what we need to talk about. You see _____________________________________.

Henry's Wife: What? _____________________________.

Henry: _____________________________________.

Henry's Wife: _____________________________.

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