Instant messages

Read a conversation by instant messages to practise and improve your reading skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.

Reading text

You there, Beatriz?

Hang on, Andrew.

OK. What's up?

It's Caroline's birthday tomorrow.

Oh yeah, that's right!

You thought about what to get her?           

You mean a present? Weren't you buying one from both of us?

I'm sorry! It totally slipped my mind!           


And I'm working 'til late.

So …

Could you pick up a gift today?

I guess. What sort of thing were you thinking of?

Dunno. Got any ideas?

One sec. Phone.

OK, I'm back.

Just had an idea for a gift.

Go on.

New headphones?

Nah. Jeremy said he was getting her headphones.

OK. What then?

Have you seen those gift certificates for a spa? Maybe one of those?

She'd love that!

I'll pick it up today then.

Thanks a million. Appreciate it.

No worries. See you tomorrow then?


What time was it again? 4?

4.30. I can pick you up at your house if you like.


CU then.

Bye for now.

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Worksheet129.04 KB

Language level

B2 English level (upper intermediate)

Submitted by marwan297 on Mon, 05/09/2022 - 17:56


For me I prefer sending messages because I don't like speaking as I consider it as annoying. Actually it depends on the circumstance, If it is urgent, I will have to call them so I can save time, other wise, I will send them a message.

Submitted by ze-lal on Thu, 11/08/2022 - 07:36


I am soo slowly on typing massage, so I prefer to call. But at all I don't like telecommunications

Submitted by emma tae on Wed, 06/07/2022 - 05:27


I'd be more likely to text my friends since phone bills are extremely expensive here

Submitted by SilverGhost68 on Thu, 23/06/2022 - 15:38


I would prefer sending messages, because it's more convinient, and it also saves times. I only call them if that is an important situation that I need to talk with them immidiately.

Submitted by phost1271 on Wed, 18/05/2022 - 17:06


I prefer texting over calling as most people do. I find texting much less time-consuming than calling. You can always shorten specific phrases or sentences when texting by using internet abbreviations (you know "lol" "brb" this stuff), which can save a significant amount of time. Although it sounds less formal, this can come as more convenient when communicating when texting your close ones, such as friends or family members with who are you mostly interact in daily life.

Submitted by Anastasiia Kirss on Mon, 16/05/2022 - 14:11


I definitely prefer phoning my friends. I think calling is only appropriate for urgent cases when you really need to hear from them ASAP. Why would I bother my friend with a call, when I'm not even sure if they're free to talk at the moment? Besides, it's really nice to have all the important info written in your chat, like the time and place you've agreed to see each other, right?

I agree with what was said. Sometimes you need to get information from friends, relatives as soon as possible and it would be more convenient to call. But sometimes, in order to disturb them with calls, it would be more appropriate to write a letter.

I comletely agree with you,i prefer to communicate in messages, because i love when correspondence with a person saved, but before i call on the phone, i write and ask if the person is busy or not

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Wed, 23/02/2022 - 14:42


I prefer calling them... sometimes I wrote messages or via email but its easier and faster, I have unlimited minutes, that`s mean and is cheaper :)

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Thu, 25/11/2021 - 08:04


I would prefer phoning contact to my friends.

Submitted by khaoula ghar on Thu, 04/11/2021 - 18:12


It depends on the situation, but generally I prefer messaging them or sending voice messages. so they could listen to them and reply when they have time to do it.

Submitted by Neshe on Sat, 30/10/2021 - 20:13


I thınk ıt depends on. Sometimes it is better to phone your friends to explain the situation. Messages may misread by people.
To me l use both communicating with my friends and my family.

Submitted by mangnb on Mon, 25/10/2021 - 14:03


I think send messages is the best. This is my mind

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Wed, 20/10/2021 - 18:33


I usually call him. When matter is not urgent then I leave message to friends.

Submitted by Min Htet Kaung on Fri, 17/09/2021 - 09:31

It depends on the circustance. In some countries, it's difficult to get access to Internet and the cost of using Internet is high. At this situation, it will be more suitable to phone friends. But if he or she is at work, it'd better send a message. I don't like sending message via SMS because in our country, the mobile service enterprises send a lot of messages about their sale promotion and I rarely read those messages. So I miss some of my friends' messages via SMS among these sale promotion messages.

Submitted by Min Htet Kaung on Fri, 17/09/2021 - 09:03

Does the sentence " You thought about what to get her" mean " Have you already thought about which present to give her?"?

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Mon, 16/08/2021 - 22:26

Now often I text messages because I write faster, but if it something really important and need to happen faster I will call her/him.

Submitted by RuthYong on Sat, 26/06/2021 - 03:05

Dear team, I would like to inquire about the paid subscription. I left an email a week ago but there was no reply. I'd like to know if I pay for the self-access courses without learning from teachers, are there any extra PDF materials that I can download and study on my own? Also, will it be possible to subscribe on a quarterly basis instead of monthly basis? Thanks a lot and looking forward to your reply. Regards, Ruth

Hello RuthYong,

I'm very sorry you haven't yet received a response. I'm afraid I won't be able to find out what's happened until Monday or Tuesday, but I will follow up and you should hear from someone very quickly. I'll also try to answer your questions below.

There are no teachers in the self-access courses. They are essentially lessons that are carefully sequenced for different levels about different topics. We are working to create a space for our subscribers to have opportunities to interact with teachers, but I'm afraid we haven't managed to do this at this point.

There are currently no PDF materials available to download for subscribers. As far as I know, the option of quarterly subscriptions is not available, but please look for a definitive answer about that in the email you should receive in the next few days.

Thanks very much for your patience and interest.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Kirk for your reply. Please look into the email as I've been waiting for a week. I'm interested to learn more topics for the self-access course and would like to know more/get more clarification. Thanks

Hello again RuthYong,

Thanks for letting me know that you got my response. Someone will be in touch via email soon.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by RuthYong on Sat, 26/06/2021 - 03:01

I would certainly prefer to call instead of sending messages. To me, calling my friends would lead to faster response and clear unnecessary doubts. This is also more convenient for me due to my visual impairment.

Submitted by Andrea Valencia on Wed, 12/05/2021 - 18:16

I sometimes prefer to send messages and other times I prefer to call them.
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Submitted by Jack Milgram on Wed, 10/02/2021 - 08:00

I hate talking to people. That's why I always choose to send messages. Sometimes I just send an emoji, and that works even better. But remember - formal situations require emailing, not text messaging.

Submitted by mohamad90 on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 19:53

The most certain way to communicate is talking face to face. Other ways like sending sms couse mistake, specially when we communicate with strangers. Nevertheless communicate with new technologies has several merits.

Submitted by Alek89 on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 10:49

I definitely prefer sending text messages to my friends. I think nowadays this is the main way to communicate with others, and also it's more simple and fast. Nevertheless, a phone call can be very useful depending on the context.

Submitted by Jamilalucente on Tue, 26/01/2021 - 12:21

I prefer sending messages, because it is quicker and practice.

Submitted by Ehsan on Sun, 03/01/2021 - 13:11

Considering the economic cost I prefer to use social messengers like WhatsApp. I often text them and sometimes make a voice or video relation with them.

Submitted by reem mohd on Tue, 08/12/2020 - 16:49

I honestly prefer more to message them. I mean... I don't always have the time to call someone and be on a call with them for long periods of time (only in serious situations though). So, messaging is my go-to method all the time :)
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Submitted by danisep on Tue, 01/12/2020 - 23:32

Always I prefer messaging instead calls but as usual sometimes the best options is make a call, if you need to discuss something important and if you want to avoid the other person ignore your messages, for instance, when you’re selling something or collect money it is better make a call. But if the conversation is between friends the matter is chill more and there is no be problem.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Fri, 06/11/2020 - 19:27

What do you prefer – sending messages to your friends or phoning them? It depends on the type of the message: if I must send a short message not very important, I prefer using whatsapp, but if it's a significant question, which demands a long explanation, I use an email or my phone.

Submitted by Denise on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 09:30

I would rather text them than call it. I’m Not the person to stay at the phone talking even for important things I try in maximum to solve by message,in the last case I call the person.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 17:27

It depends on the situation. Lately, I prefer texting. I think it's more suitable for almost any case. My friend can be at the driver's seat or has an important meeting, so I just show him my intention to share some information with him and, if he's free we can talk. It became more weighty now, due to the COVID-19 when many of us have to work home with unnormalized hours. Of course, if my message is urgent I call him without all this "texting prelude". But it's not happened often. Mostly I phone just to know what's new or so. I would like to say, it works quite well with my buddies. As for me, I also prefer it when my friend texts me instead of phone calls. I fell more comfortable when I can arrange my time and free some of it for calling in advance.

Submitted by Roblox on Thu, 10/09/2020 - 19:06

First, I text my friend if I am at work. Second, I contact her if she didn't text me back. Third, I come over to her house and find out why she didn't respond.

Submitted by Rorro01 on Sun, 06/09/2020 - 00:15

I think it's depend on the situation. Sending messages is useful to talk about daily matters like what's going on with them or just to get in touch with . But if I need to convey something that it's urgent and important I'd rather calling them. If my friend is busy which it could happens once in a while i would firstly send a message to agreed an special time when we can have a conversation.

Submitted by melisong56 on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 14:46

If the situation is not really urgent, I prefer just sending a message than talking through the phone. Because I can keep it simple and not everybody is in the situation to picking up their cellphone. By sending message we also can think about what we want to say first and not talking spontaneously

Submitted by Daniela Zapata on Thu, 20/08/2020 - 19:29

Hi everybody. If I have to tell something important and urgent, I will call my friend. Sometimes when I haven´t seen my friends in a long time, I make a long call to tell them about important news in my life. Despite WhatsApp has a lot of "emojis" I think is really hard to express your emotions. I use messages when I want to tell something short, or without importance.

Submitted by tlemos on Fri, 17/07/2020 - 14:22

Hi everyone! I think it depends. For example, if I need to say something very important and urgent, I make a call. But, if I don’t need to get a response shortly, I think a message is better than make call. Guys, I’m new here and I would like to ask something. If I write wrong, please correct me. It will helps me a lot. I’m Brazilian and I’m here to improve my English. When I write phrases and texts, I prefer do this without see on Google Translator, because I don’t know if it’s possible to completely trust in it. Thank you!

Submitted by abdul aziz farooqi on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 11:46

Well, Prefer to call my friends rather use messages. It bit costly compare to message but in short we convey our thought to the point. Often we need to write very long messages just to share some unnecessary news or thought.

Submitted by Aakash Jain on Sun, 14/06/2020 - 03:14

Well, I prefer phoning my friends rather than texting since it is not always possible to write long messages to your friends. Also when you write short texts , they usually don't convey the exact message properly since it lacks the tone of voice. It looks really blank when you text (in most cases). So phoning is better if your friends are not busy.

Submitted by jason2295 on Sat, 13/06/2020 - 15:56

I prefer sending message to my friends instead of calling them by phone because sometimes the people could be busy and won't able to answer. Then they can reply the message as soon as they could read it.

Submitted by M19 on Wed, 03/06/2020 - 15:42

Well, that depends on how crucial the information is. I'd call them up if it's a matter of urgency. However, I'll still do so even if it's not. Say contacting an old time kind of a "lost and found" friend. In this context, I would love to hear them express their feelings/ experiences through laughter, listen to their verbal talk and get a deeper understanding from their tone of voice. Yet still l could send them messages, especially when I am in the middle of something important, say at work or school where alot of interruptions would obviously be inevitable.

Submitted by Ahmadbassam on Mon, 01/06/2020 - 19:21

I like phoning them. I don't like sending messages. I usually get annoyed at typing on any device
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Submitted by rerre on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 02:29

I prefer phoning people but this kind of contact is rare because everybody is in a hurry and you can disturb if you make a call

Submitted by Muhammad Bagir on Sun, 24/05/2020 - 11:41

I prefer sending them a message. I'm not very good at talking directly with people.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Thu, 07/05/2020 - 01:49

I prefer sending them messages.

Submitted by TAYSH on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 11:01

In my opinion, when you need to tell something your friend is easier to phone her because talking on the telephone we each other understand better. And if you have to talk important thing, you should definitely call. However, nowaday we hurry everywere and we haven´t time to stop to talk on the telephone so a message could be the best way to communicate.

Submitted by jazmin marquez on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 00:15

Actually, I prefer send messages, spite, I know that is very impersonal. I call only when is a urgent situation or the messages wasn't answered.