General Listening Quiz

“Office Supplies Company”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
easy business communications man – woman 01:32

Pre-Listening Exercise

The following words are found in the conversation. What do you think is the main topic of the conversation?

office supplies, fax, brochure, service, computers, answering machines


in the black” = in good financial condition with no debt
The company has been in the black for the past six months.

see eye-to-eye” = to agree or feel the same way
Most of the employees see eye-to-eye on the future of the company.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

Why can't Elaine Strong answer the phone?

Secretary: Uh, yes, she should be here later on this afternoon maybe about 4:30. May I take a message?

What does the caller want the secretary to send?

Caller: Yes. Ms. Strong sent me a brochure detailing your newest line of laptop computers with a description of other software products, but there wasn't any information about after-sales service.

What time will the secretary send the material?

Caller: Yes, but our fax is being repaired at the moment, and it won't be working until around 2:30. Hum . . . could you try sending that information around 3:30? That should give me time to look over the material before I call Ms. Strong, say, around 5:00.

What is the caller's name?

Caller: Yes. Jack Kordell and the phone number is 560-1287. And the fax number is 560-1288.

What is the caller's telephone number?

Caller: Yes. Jack Kordell and the phone number is 560-1287. And the fax number is 560-1288.

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

Post-Listening Exercise

Imagine that you are opening your own clothing store or some other business. What kinds of office equipment and supplies do you think you will need to run your business? How much will this equipment cost? Will you rent the equipment or buy it? Do you create a Website for your business? Discuss your ideas.

Online Investigation

If you want to buy these items for your office, which Web site do you use? How much does each item cost? What are the return policies? 

  • a laptop
  • an office phone
  • a desk and chair
  • a filing cabinet