University English: the blog for ESL students

October 7, 2013

Unit 9: Things happen

Filed under: conversation strategies — richardlstansfield @ 1:29 am

* Note

This unit summary has been completely updated. There are answers to all exercises in the book. You should do them and check your answers to prepare for next week’s Mid-term Exam.

Page 86

Books closed

Some bad things happened to Sean Davis, Julia Chen, and Roberto Moreno. What?

Page 86, Exercise 1, Part B

1. Sean was talking to a woman on the train, and he missed his stop.

2. Julia’s friend deleted her files when she was using Julia’s computer.

3. Roberto and his friend were trying to look cool when they walked into a glass door.

Page 87.
We usually use the simple past tense.
Usually, we only use the past continuous in these two situations:

1. Interrupted Actions

e.g. “I was driving from Toronto to Montreal when my car broke down.”

I may have repaired (fixed) my car and completed my journey to Montreal, or I may have stopped there. We don’t know from this sentence.

The interrupted action uses the past continuous. The interrupting action uses the simple past.

2. Settings

A setting is like the background for the beginning of a story.

e.g. “It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. People were chatting when suddenly the sound of a gunshot rang out. A man in a gray suit grabbed his chest and slowly sank to the ground.”

Page 87, Exercise 2, Part A
1. was making




2. damaged

was driving


3. hurt

was doing


4. was having



5. were talking

weren’t paying

was standing

were listening
Page 89. Books closed.

Listen to the conversation between Nicole and Barry, and answer the questions.

1. What kind of trip did Barry go on?

2. What happened during his trip?

3. Why did it happen?


1. He went on a ski trip.

2. He had an accident and broke his leg.

3. He was talking on his cell-phone while skiing.

Page 89, Exercise 3, Part A

1. c

2. d

3. e

4. b

5. f

6. a

Practice the conversations using the fall-rise intonation that you learned about in Exercise 3.

Page 88

sprain: (verb) to injure part of your body by twisting it, but not so badly that it breaks

Be careful not to confuse “hip” with “buttocks.”

hip: (noun) one of the two parts of your body above your leg and below your waist

buttock: (noun) one of the two sides of your bottom


When answering a question, pay attention to your verbs (past continuous vs. simple past).

A: Have you ever made a mistake while cooking?
B: Yes. I was watching TV and I dropped an egg on the floor. What a mess!

A: Have you ever been embarrassed?
B: Yes. I was looking at some girls and I walked into a glass door.

. Have you ever made a mistake while cooking?
. Have you ever been in a traffic accident?
. Have you ever hurt yourself while exercising or playing sports?
. Have you ever had a bad experience in a restaurant or bar?
. Have you ever been embarrassed?
Tell us something about your partner.


My partner was in a traffic accident. She was driving to work and she ran into a stop sign.

Page 90. Conversation Strategy: Reacting to a story

Books closed. Listen to the conversation between Matt and Emily, and answer the questions.

First Listening

1. What was Matt doing?

a. cooking

b. skiing

c. driving

2. Did something good or something bad happen to Matt?


1. a. He was cooking.

2. Something bad happened to Matt.

Second Listening

1. What happened to Matt?

2. How did he solve his problem?


1. He dropped rice onto the floor.

2. He bought some rice from a restaurant.

Matt: I was making Mexican food for a bunch of people one time …
Emily: Oh, I love Mexican.
Matt: Anyway, everything was ready, and I picked up this big pot of rice, and I burned myself, and I dropped it right in the middle of the floor, upside down!
Emily: Oh, no.
Matt: I freaked!
Emily: Oh, I bet.
Matt: So anyway, I just ran out to the restaurant down the street, bought some rice, put it in a bowl, and served dinner.
Emily: I bet no one even noticed.
Matt: They didn’t. I was only gone for five minutes.
Emily: That’s really funny.


Rejoinders are special phrases. We use them for three reasons:

1. to show that we are listening

2. to show that we understand

3. to show that we are interested

For example, for each conversation, choose the best rejoinder.

Example #1

A: My dog died last night.


(a) That’s great!

(b) That’s nice.

(c) I’m sorry to hear that.

(d) Oh, really?

Example #2

A: I won the lottery last night. (Lottery = “lotto” in Konglish)


(a) That’s great!

(b) That’s nice.

(c) I’m sorry to hear that.

(d) Oh, really?

Here are the different kinds of rejoinders.


– That’s great!

– Terrific!

– Wonderful!


– That’s too bad.

– I’m sorry to hear that.

– Oh, no!


– I see.

– That’s nice.

– Oh, yeah?


– You’re kidding!

– I can’t believe it!

– Oh, really!/Oh, really?

Step 1

Student A reads out a sentence.

Student B listens and then gives an appropriate rejoinder.

Example #1:

A: I broke my finger yesterday.


(a) Wonderful!

(b) Oh, yeah?

(c) Oh, no!

(d) Oh, really?

Example #2:

A: IU will marry a member of Super Junior.


(a) That’s too bad.

(b) You’re kidding!

(c) I see.

(d) That’s great!

Step 2

Vice versa.

Student B reads out a sentence.

Student A listens and then gives an appropriate rejoinder.

Step 3

First, fill in the blanks.


My favorite kind of animals are ___ .

Then, take turns reading out your sentences and giving appropriate rejoinders.
Step 4

Take turns with your partner. One person tells about a travel experience, and the other gives rejoinders.
A: This past vacation, I went on a trip to Jeju Island.
B: That’s nice.
A: My uncle is the mayor of Jeju City.
B: Oh, really!
A: So I stayed at his house for a few days.
B: I see.
A: Unfortunately, I was punched by a drunk man.
B: Oh, no!
A: But I wasn’t too hurt, and I received a lot of “blood money.”
B: That’s great!

[ etc. … ]

Page 91, Exercise 3

_4_ Oh no! That’s terrible.
_3_ I bet. That’s amazing.
_1_ Oh! That’s funny.
_2_ Oh, I bet that was boring.

1. She and her husband have matching cell-phones. She took her husband’s cell-phone by mistake. She tried to call her husband. Her phone was ringing in her purse. She was calling herself.
2. He went to see a French movie. There were no sub-titles. He couldn’t understand the movie and so he was bored. He couldn’t leave because the man next to him was asleep.
3. She sent a birthday card to her sister. She forgot about it, and so sent another card. It was the same card with the same message.
4. He lost his credit card. He was charged 1,200 dollars. Somebody used it to buy a plane ticket to Australia.

Page 92, Exercise 1, Part C

1. False. Nelson Hunter usually writes about good bad things that happen to people.

2. False. Abby Walters had to pay for a A woman paid for Abby’s cab home when she missed her train.

3. True

4. False. A young man found Andrea’s wallet when he was leaving walking into the mall.

5. False. John ate shared the bag of donuts by himself with his roommates.

Page 93, Exercise 2
Gary’s Story
1. He was having breakfast at a coffee shop.
2. He met somebody from his old high school.
3. They were still talking and laughing when they left.
4. He called the coffee shop. (They didn’t have it.)
5. Yes. He was listening to the radio and they had it on the “lost and found” announcements. (He got his briefcase and laptop back.)

Pam’s Story
1. She was going to her friend’s wedding party.
2. She got lost.
3. She went to someone’s house and asked for help.
4. She said, “Follow me.”
5. No. It was a different wedding party (not her friend’s).


1 Comment »

  1. […] Do the exercises in Unit 9 that we did not do and check your answers on the Unit 9 post at this […]

    Pingback by Mid-term Exam | University English: the blog for ESL students — October 18, 2013 @ 12:57 am | Reply

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