General Listening Quiz

“Home Repairs”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult home repairs two men 01:38

Pre-Listening Exercise

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.


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.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

Dave needs a roommate to pay for rent because _____.

Dave: Yeap. I sure am. Ever since I cut back on my working hours to go to school, I've been really strapped for cash.

What is wrong with the carpet in the living room?

Randall: Oh. It looks like you could use a new carpet . . . and those stains? Dave: Well. I've had a few problems with some former roommates. I know it needs to be cleaned, but I just don't have the money to do it right now.

What has Dave done to fix temporarily the refrigerator door?

Dave: Well, the refrigerator door is broken . . . a little bit . . . and it won't shut all the way. It needs fixing, but don't worry. I've just improvised by pushing a box against it to keep it shut.

Which problem is true of the bathroom?

Randall: No, no. Don't tell me. The toilet is clogged or the sink has a few leaks.

What does Randall probably do at the end of the conversation?

Dave: So what do you think? You really can't beat a place like this for $450 a month. So it has a few problems, but we can fix those. Randall: Uh, no thank you. I think I've seen enough.

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

Post-Listening Exercise

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?

Online Investigation

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