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

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by ivanricardo07 on Fri, 19/08/2022 - 00:24


Whether I find some topics or lessons that I do not get in class, I usually take note of the uncomprehending points, and for ask explanations and examples about them later from the professor. Thereby, I do not interfere right away with the teacher's speech. It is most likely that followed by the lesson or speech the professor offers a question round which will allow us to have the opportunity to express our concerns, besides the class will go on more fluently.

Submitted by Thanh Thien on Sat, 13/08/2022 - 10:47


I will write down notes in my notebook and try to connect the next idea because the ideas in a whole lesson will be connected to one another. If I still don't get it, I will ask my seatmate. I try to avoid asking the teacher right in the lesson in spite of their willingness to answer my questions as it will interrupt others.

Thanks for your reading.

Submitted by mamalirezaenglish on Tue, 09/08/2022 - 18:12


I always ask the teacher to explain it again. I used to be very shy to ask teacher for explaining the subject one more time. But in time, I realized that I won't understand the subject perfectly, if I don't ask again.

Submitted by Weena pineda on Tue, 26/07/2022 - 17:43


I just stay quiet.

Submitted by AlexandraMT on Sun, 24/07/2022 - 16:19


i usually lose attention but I try to connect the next idea

Submitted by RuthYong on Sun, 10/07/2022 - 07:29


Hi team, I have a question to ask on task 1 q5. The boy thought this class was about the French Revolution. Why is the answer false and not true? I understand he thought about SEO in American Revolution? Please advise. Thanks

Hello RuthYong,

Student 1 has gone to the wrong classroom. He thought he entered a class on early American history (a time period which includes the American Revolution), but actually he joined a class on digital marketing (or some other similar course) that deals with digital marketing. The man didn't think it was a class about the French Revolution at any time, so that statement is false.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SilverGhost68 on Thu, 23/06/2022 - 15:26


I often ask my friends to explain it because they're all willing to help people in the class. If they don't know, I will ask the teacher. I'd avoid keeping questions because if I do that, I cannot learn new things.

Submitted by omidabbasi on Fri, 17/06/2022 - 13:00


one of the problems i always had in class was I fall asleep most of the time and it made me don't understand anything in class and then i was getting textbook of my classmates and i studied it on my own

Submitted by Selinay. on Fri, 17/06/2022 - 08:25


When i don't understand what is happening in the class, i try to listen the lecture what about is. On the other hand, i ask to somebody what are we talking about. If, i am in the wrong class, i apologize to teacher.

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Submitted by Magedelabd on Sun, 05/06/2022 - 05:32


actually i am 53 years old right now . and i can not give details about such cases. but off course it happened many times . and if i do not understand something , i was writing down notes then refer to a colleague to explain.

Submitted by Brenda Ruiz on Fri, 20/05/2022 - 17:11


Normally I prefer ask to my teacher what I don't understand because usually they are ready to answer.

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 17/05/2022 - 08:21


I always try to record the voice and listen it again and write all things. when I listen later, if I can't understand anything, I can search it on the internet or ask about it.

Submitted by 13851385 on Wed, 16/03/2022 - 14:37


well honesty sometimes I prefer not to ask it anymore cause Im really shy but nowadays I ask the question briflely or search it on the internet

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Submitted by Ethel on Thu, 10/02/2022 - 14:54


When I don't understand something in class I tend to keep quiet, because I am a shy person, but I search for the necessary information in some way. Perhaps in other books, or on the internet.

Submitted by misty on Sun, 09/01/2022 - 03:14


If I don't understand the topic my teacher is discussing, I usually try to ask my seat-mate. If not, I will try to re-read again the topic and ask my classmate to explain it further for me to better understand the topic.

Submitted by jmajo on Tue, 28/12/2021 - 12:23


Well, when I was in classes at the University and I didn't catch something that the professor was saying, I used to ask some of my classmates if they could explain me, but if they doubt about it or couldn't explain me the concept, most of the times I raised my hand and ask the professor to explain me what he or she had just said. I remember It was difficult to ask questions when the class was crowded because they couldn't spent all the class time answering questions, usually they used to leave the las 5 minutes of class to answer questions or listening for doubts. I prefer the professors whom give practical applications for the concepts given in class so the theory will make more sense for all of us.

Thanks for the lesson.
Great site!

Submitted by azharbgskr on Tue, 21/12/2021 - 12:17


I will ask my friends after class, and try to understand the rest.

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.

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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
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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
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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.
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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.