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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.  



Language level

Intermediate: B1


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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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