I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Name several illnesses that keep people from going to work or school. Then, discuss the symptoms for each and remedies and treatments for curing the problem.

HELPFUL TIP: People often have their own home remedies for different aliments. Some people eat hot chicken soup when they have a cold. Give it a try.

1. What’s the matter with Steve?

A. He has a cold.

B. He has the flu.

C. He has a stomachache.
2. How long has Steve been sick?

A. since Friday

B. since Saturday

C. since Sunday

3. How often should Steve take the medicine the doctor prescribes?

A. three times a day with meals

B. four times a day before meals

C. three times a day after meals

4. What does Carla suggest he do?

A. take herbal medicine

B. see another doctor

C. eat chicken soup

5. What does Steve decide to do?

A. talk to another friend

B. listen to Carla’s suggestion

C. see the same doctor again

Score =

Correct answers:

Carla: So, how are things going, Steve?
Steve: Well, to be honest Carla, I was feeling great on Saturday, but I started to feel sick Sunday afternoon. I thought I’d get better, but I feel worse than before. And I’m really worried because I’m scheduled to give a presentation at work on Friday, so I have to be better by then.

Carla: Well, what seems to be the problem?

Steve: Well, I thought I had the flu, but the doctor said it was just a bad cold. He gave me some cold medicine to take care of my stuffy nose and fever. I’m supposed to take the medicine three times a day after eating, but it doesn’t seem to help. He also told me to stay off my feet for a day or so, but I’m so busy these days.

Carla: Listen, forget about that medicine! I have just the thing to get rid of bad colds. You see, my mom is really into herbal medicine.

Steve: Oh, no thanks.

Carla: Ah, come on! Give it a try. You just take some of my mom’s herbal tea and drink it four times a day. Believe me. You’ll be up and dancing around in no time.

Steve: Dancing around in no time, right? Well, I guess. Nothing else seems to be doing the job.

Carla: Great. I’ll come by your place at 7:30. See you then.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • flu (noun): informal for influenza, like a very bad cold with chills and fever
    – Sometimes, doctors have to be very discreet when talking with their family about patients.
  • stuffy (adjective): closed or blocked
    – I have a really stuffy nose and can’t breathe very well.
  • be supposed to (verb): expected to do something
    – She was supposed to stay in bed and rest, but she went to work instead.
  • seem (verb): appear
    – My dad didn’t seem very sick this morning, but he got worse during the rest of the day.
  • stay off your feet (idiom): put into action
    – If you want to get better, you have to stay off your feet for a few days.
  • get rid of (phrasal verb): do away with, eliminate
    – Try my garlic soup. It’ll help get rid of your bad stuffy nose.
  • come on: said to encourage someone to do something
    Come on! Call and make an appointment to see the doctor. You’re not going to get better on your own.