Arriving late to class

Listen to the conversation between two students to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Student 1: Sorry. Sorry, excuse me. I'm just … just coming to sit over here. Phew. Hey. How's it going? So, what have I missed?

Student 2: Nothing. He just started around five minutes ago.

Student 1: Did he say anything about the mid-term?

Student 2: What?

Student 1: About the mid-term tests. Did he say anything about when he was going to hand them back?

Student 2: He's almost finished marking them, he said. We get them next Tuesday.

Student 1: I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. When do we get them?

Student 2: Tuesday. Next Tuesday.

Student 1: OK. Got it. Sorry. What page are we meant to be on?

Student 2: Page 34.

Student 1: Page … 34. Oh, wait. I don't have my textbook. Can I … share with you? Wow. This is hard stuff.

Student 2: Mmm.

Student 1: What does SEO mean?

Student 2: What?

Student 1: SEO. This is all about SEO but he hasn't said what it means.

Student 2: Search engine optimisation. How to appear on internet searches.

Student 1: Internet searches. Right. Right. OK.

Student 2: He said what it meant.

Student 1: What?

Student 2: He explained it before you got here.

Student 1: Oh. Right. OK.

Student 2: Can you be quiet? I'm trying to listen to the lecture.

Student 1: So am I. Sorry. Sorry, one more question. What does this have to do with the American Revolution?

Student 2: What?

Student 1: I don't get it. Why is he talking about search engines in a course on the American Revolution?

Student 2: What are you talking about? This is a class on software engineering.

Student 1: You mean, it's not Early American History?

Student 2: You're in the wrong class.

Student 1: Oh, wow. Now it all makes sense. I'm so sorry.

Student 2: It's fine. 

Student 1: Here, I'll just … excuse me. I'm in the wrong class. Excuse me. Thanks. Sorry.  

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Worksheet78.44 KB

Language level

Submitted by vuhoap on Thu, 25/11/2021 - 13:30


When I don't understand something in class, I always mark the parts that I missed and try to get it. If not yet, I'll ask my classmate who is next to me, or ask for help from my teacher directly.

Submitted by ceehinh on Sat, 30/10/2021 - 06:13


When I don't understand something in class, i think i ask some close friend and i often record something that i find it difficult to understand to review when i come back home.

Submitted by erisyadianaa on Thu, 28/10/2021 - 04:12


not too easy but okay <3

Submitted by Farhan Halim on Thu, 28/10/2021 - 04:06


I need to listening many times to get the answer because I am slow to catch up.

Submitted by saifuddin hakimi on Thu, 28/10/2021 - 03:53


I don't understand some of the word but it was a great task to do.

Submitted by DrQuirky on Thu, 28/10/2021 - 03:49


I will raise my hand, call my lecturer and say sorry. Then, i will ask the thing i don't understand to make it clear.

Submitted by Amer Ha on Fri, 22/10/2021 - 04:11


I just wait some minutes to try to catch the teacher. And then if I still understand, I'd ask my friend who's next to me

Submitted by siddhuk on Sat, 16/10/2021 - 10:56


If I have any doubt about a concept, I ask my course teacher about my doubts. He makes it clear for me.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Fri, 08/10/2021 - 12:46


When I don't understand topic in class, end of the class I ask teacher about this. I go to Home and search about this.

Submitted by iEdd on Wed, 07/07/2021 - 19:33

If I don't understand something in class, I ask for help or try to discuss an argument with my clasmmates. There's no fool question, but fool persons that don't do so. Nobody was born with all the answers, and life is a continous process of learning.

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Thu, 24/06/2021 - 19:01

When I don't understand something in class, first I tried to ask the teacher if they can repeat it again and if I still don't understand I go to my house, I searched the topic on the internet, and then I reviewed the topic very often.

Submitted by Alexandr1991 on Wed, 02/06/2021 - 07:26

When i don't understant something, i usually serch it on the internet.

Submitted by Paula Bermúdez… on Wed, 19/05/2021 - 00:56

When I don't understand something in class, I do different things. The first is to wait until the end of the class to ask the teacher about the topic that I didn't understand. Moreover, I ask my friends about it and they help me with my doubts. But, when they don't understand also, I search on the internet the topic and check a lot of videos and pages.

Submitted by Morrow on Fri, 30/04/2021 - 02:50

If I don't get something about a lecture, I will ask my friend who is the best student in class. Because l am always shy to ask my teachers though they don't mind.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Sat, 17/04/2021 - 03:35

Hi, When I don't understand something in the class then when class is finished then I go to the teacher and ask about my doubt. Probably he explains me about easy language. Still I don't understand then I ask things about friends. Then I back to hostle and search in the internet.

Submitted by mo-tarik on Sun, 07/03/2021 - 22:28

First I will try to ask the teacher about the thing I didn't get it, then if I still not understanding the concept I will wait until I go back home and search for it in the internet.

Submitted by German on Wed, 24/02/2021 - 02:47

When I don´t understand something in class I write the topic that don´t understand and later I search on internet or in a book in order to understand that topic.

Submitted by lean on Tue, 16/02/2021 - 09:53

Hello Not the first time I'm confused by how you relate words and their meanings. Let's look at the preparation task. For first example take "to give something to a teacher or person in authority" = "to hand something in". I have a question, if I give something to a someone, who's not an authority or a person in authority, or a teacher, will "to hand something in" change its definition ? And what does it have to do with "authority" ? If I delete the word "authority" (or change it on the boss) does it change the meaning of "to hand something in" ? I'm not sure..... Second example. "To hear" - "to catch (what someone said)" and "to understand something" - "to get something". I'm sure it can be changed, and that will still be right : "to hear" - "to get something" (for example to get knowledge or information) and "to understand something" - "to catch (what someone said)" (if I understand it means I catch words or phrases that someone said). All this ambiguity in your examples is misleading for English learners . Please correct if I understand something wrong :-)))))))) Best regards

Submitted by Jonathan R on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 10:51

In reply to by lean


Hi lean,

Thanks for your feedback, and sorry that the task seems confusing. We’ve made some changes to the preparation task to clarify the words and meanings.

Hear, catch, understand and get do have similar meanings, but there are differences. Hearing is not the same as understanding – for example, if somebody speaks in a language I don’t know, I hear it but I don't understand it. Hearing refers only to the physical process of perceiving sounds, not necessarily to understanding (though hearing and understanding of course often happen together). So, in the preparation task, to hear can’t match to get something, because get normally requires understanding as part of its meaning, but hear doesn’t. We’ve changed the wording to make this part of the task clearer.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kautsar on Sat, 13/02/2021 - 23:01

i will ask my teacher to repeat and simplying the thing that he was explaining to or i will ask to my close friend

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Mon, 08/02/2021 - 08:46

When I do not understand something in my class, firstly I raise up my hand to take the attention of my teacher and request him to explain it again for me. Secondly I would discuss it with my class fellow friend. Finally I search on the internet.

Submitted by Galit Avni on Mon, 01/02/2021 - 14:15

when I do not understand something, I prefer to ask my teacher. But, if we have been dealing with this subject for a long time, so I will get help from my friends.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Wed, 27/01/2021 - 18:12

When I arrive late in a class, I ask my deskmate for some informations about what the professor has already debated, but, if I don't understand something, I prefer to look for greater explanations on the books or internet.

Submitted by Aroooma on Tue, 26/01/2021 - 19:20

When I don't understand during lecture keep calm and in the home study and research but if I don't get it completely I ask teacher in the second class.

Submitted by Leonardo Kato Aoki on Mon, 25/01/2021 - 13:22

Normally i ask my teacher about it,however sometimes,when i know he will teach this something again i just wait for another class

Submitted by El Cuy Mágico on Sat, 16/01/2021 - 23:44

When I do not understand something in a lecture, first, I ask my teacher to explain it again, quite often it’s enough. But if I still don’t get it, then I ask a classmate for help. And if it’s a very difficult topic to understand I try to search it on internet after classes.

Submitted by Dariusz on Sun, 03/01/2021 - 20:19

It depends what it is a class. When this is a small class then (if it's possible of course) I ask the teacher or colleague, but if it's a lecture I usually do the same things what a boy from the conversation I mean I ask a person who sit over me.

Submitted by Caspiterin89 on Mon, 28/12/2020 - 16:08

I usually ask directly to the teacher. Mainly becuase it's the easiest thing to do in the long term. After reading some posts in this discussion I notice that many people prefer to ask to friends or searching on the internet, but for me is extra work that need time, so by asking to the theacher I settle doubts once and for all. Also for people who says that they're shy it can be a great opportunity for improving their social skills! The teachers are usually friendly and if you ask them in a kind way they'll probably help you. Don't worry and the next time, if you have a doubt ask that question don't remain in silence!

Submitted by Saad786 on Sat, 26/12/2020 - 11:29

When i don't anything during the lecture i raise my hand and request the teacher to repeat it . If not, then i will summarize the teacher words or ask from my friend

Submitted by farhad zada on Sat, 28/11/2020 - 10:50

I try to ask for repeat from teacher.

Submitted by DJ Singh on Wed, 25/11/2020 - 12:35

Well rather than asking from a fellow student I would like to ask from the teacher itself. Maybe he/she could explain to me in a better or another way.

Submitted by Vi on Sun, 15/11/2020 - 08:56

When I don't understand something, I may ask my partner in the class, or try to find useful information in the books or on the Internet.

Submitted by togrul01 on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 17:34

Maybe, I asked my classmate like this boy, however, I asked very slowly and I could ask a little question

Submitted by mahmutkilic0408 on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 08:57

uummmh, I guess , I would do what the boy did.

Submitted by javibuendi on Tue, 03/11/2020 - 11:02

When i don´t understand something in class, I usually search it on internet. That´s because I´m a little bit shy and I would feel awkward if I interrupted the lesson, and because when you ask the teachers they normally take a long time to answer the question, so in that case, Google is faster. Cheers from Madrid.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 17:17

i always ask my friend ,then she tells me that she didn't understand too after this we both start laughing :)

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 15:52

When I don't understand something in class, I ask a question to the teacher, raising my hand up, and then I got it.

Submitted by cassiamattos2013 on Tue, 22/09/2020 - 23:24

When I don't understand something in class, about any topics, however, I know I need to ask a teacher about the subject, I really have shame, because I'm very shy. But how I need to do that, I always take courage and with my heart in my hand, I ask about my doubt, because I don't like to keep with some question about anything topics.

Submitted by Mattia Ciccarelli on Sun, 13/09/2020 - 16:34

If I don't understand something, I ask to the teacher to repeat that

Submitted by Ivy Yang on Sat, 12/09/2020 - 17:20

If I have questions about the teachers' lectures, I will never ask them. In my opinion, teachers always make the problems worse =))) My classmates are helpful, they are willing to help me with those question whenever I need; so I often ask them for the answers
Yeah,that is mostly true.I really rally feel for you.Sometimes I ask about just small information which needs only 30 sec explaining and here we go you can not stop my teacher)))

Submitted by danisep on Fri, 11/09/2020 - 21:29

I am not the kind of person that makes a lot of questions in class, unless that topic is a lot important or interesting, I'd rather ask my partners or friends in class, I prefer those classes when the teacher explains the subject with stories and not in a typical way.

Submitted by katyatorres on Thu, 10/09/2020 - 02:53

I usually feel frustrated because I couldn't understand everthing, however when the class finish I ask to some of my classmates about the things I didn´t understand and then they explain me everything. I finally do my own summary about the class.

Submitted by Mai Khin Nway Shein on Wed, 02/09/2020 - 10:47

Sometime I didn't understand some words that the teacher said cause of interrupting by someone or my less concentration. At these situation, I asked my colleague after the class.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Mon, 31/08/2020 - 07:49

I think I would raise my hand and I would ask the teacher. But sometimes most students can hesitate or shame by asking.

Submitted by Danbraga on Fri, 28/08/2020 - 02:04

If I don't get something said, I ask for saying that again. "Hey could you say that again please ?"

Submitted by Gema25 on Tue, 25/08/2020 - 04:53

I try to make an effor to understand the class but if I'm in trouble I just write the topic in a post-it and when I go back home I just search or whatch some videos on YouTube to find a solution. I used to ask some friends but I think it might be annoying and I don't want to distract them.

Submitted by Rinaa on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 22:48

Usually, I ask for help from my colleagues. Or when I can understand the lecture, or I'm not in the mood to be concentrated I record the lecture and then I listen to it at the house. And also I take notes of important things and revise them at home. But most of the time I prefer to study on my own, I can understand lessons better and master them, lectures I see as an obligation, not necessary. My introvert type doesn't allow me to raise my hand and to ask a question in front of other students.

Submitted by Asni on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 23:20

I'm kind of shy, so usually when I don't understand something, I write it down on my notebook with a big exclamation mark and then either at break time or when I'm back home, I go through my notes and if I still can't get it ,I search it on the Internet. Most of the time, I end up understanding it, if not I ask for it in the next class.