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"face up to" = accept something difficult

"Having problems is a part of life, and sometimes you just have to face up to them."

"mince words" = be indirect by using mild words

"I wish you didn't mince words every time we need to resolve a problem. Just tell me what you think."

More of Randall's Favorite Learning Resources

[ Quiz Script | Text Completion Quiz]

Personal Problems
1. Pre-Listening Exercises
2. Listening Exercises
3. Vocabulary
4. Post-Listening Exercises
5. Online Investigations

difficulthealthconversationman - woman1:07

1. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

What are some common personal or health problems we encounter in our lives? What words of advice would you give a person with these problems?

HELPFUL TIP: If you are having medical problems, you can also use the Internet to search for information on your condition; however, be sure to consult with a physician for clear diagnosis of your circumstances.

What could be his problem?

2. Listening Exercises [Top]
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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[ What are these different audio choices? ]
[ Other Audio Option: Play Window Media ]

1. What is the main problem discussed in the conversation?
A. extreme stress
B. hair loss
C. declining health

2. Based on the conversation, what is the most probable relationship between the speakers?
A. old friends
B. brother and sister
C. colleagues from work

3. Why is the man hesitant about seeking medical treatment for his condition?
A. He feels medical treatment is still unproven for his condition.
B. He is worried about the side effects of the medication.
C. He thinks the treatment is too expensive.

4. What does the man probably do at the end of the conversation?
A. He continues to look for other solutions to his problem.
B. He decides to visit a doctor at his sister's urging.
C. He finally accepts that state of his condition.

Score =
Correct answers:

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

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

4. Post-Listening Exercises [Top]

In the Pre-Listening Exercise, you were asked to think about common health problems, like the ones below. Now, discuss these with a partner. Are there any home remedies or medicines that you use in your country?


  • overeating
  • no love life
  • inability to control spending habits
  • strained relationship with a family member


  • Maybe you could drink more water before meal time to reduce your appetite.
  • Have you ever thought of going to more parties with your friends?
  • You should come up with a monthly budget for your expenses.
  • What about sitting down with that family member and having a very open discussion?

5. Online Investigations - [ What's This? ] [Top]
Use the Internet find more or more products or services to deal with and treat the problems mentioned above. What are the claims made by each product? Are are guarantees made on its effectiveness? How much does the product or service cost?

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