I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

What kinds of schools supplies do you usually need to buy before the start of a new academic year (e.g., pen, pencils, laptop or desktop computers, PDA, calculators)?

HELPFUL TIP: Having an answering machine with a clear message can help your caller know exactly what information they should record (e.g., their name, the time they called, and a short message).

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. Which item did the girl NOT mention about her needed supplies for school?

A. pencils

B. computer

C. calculator
2. Why doesn’t the father want to buy his daughter some of these supplies?

A. The items are far beyond his financial means.

B. He feels his daughter really doesn’t need them.

C. The family already owns some of these supplies.

3. For which specific class does the girl mention that she needs these supplies?

A. geometry

B. chemistry

C. physics

4. What specific argument does the girl give her father to pursuade him to buy these things?

A. They are on sale until the end of the week.

B. Her teachers require them as part of the curriculum.

C. She volunteers to use some of her own money.

5. Why does the father eventually give in to his daughter?

A. He discovers he had more money than he thought.

B. He concludes that she will provide for him when he is older.

C. The girl promises to help her mother in exchange for the supplies.

Score =
Correct answers:

Girl: Dad, I need a few supplies for school, and I was wondering if . . . .
Dad: Yeah. There are a couple of pencils and an eraser in the kitchen drawer, I think.

Girl: Dad, I’m in eight grade now, and I need REAL supplies for my demanding classes.

Dad: Oh, so you need a ruler too?

Girl: Dad, I need some high-tech tech stuff like a calculator, a Palm Pilot, and a laptop computer.

Dad: Uh. I didn’t have any of that when I was in middle school, and I did just fine.

Girl: Yeah, and they weren’t any cars either, WERE there. [Hey] And things are just more progressive now.

Dad: Well, we can rule out the hand pilot [Palm Pilot, Dad]. Whatever, AND the computer . . . unless mom lets you sell the car. And as for the adding machine [Calculator]. Yeah, I think mine from college is kicking around here somewhere.

Girl: Dad, I need a calculator for geometry, and I have heard you can download free software from the Internet.

Dad: Great. My daughter will be playing video games in geometry class.

Girl: Dad.

Dad: Okay. How much is this thing going to cost me?

Girl: Well, I saw it at the store for only $99, WITH a $10 mail-in rebate, or you could buy it online.

Dad: Oh. Do they throw in a few aspirin so your father can recover from sticker shock?

Girl: Dad. Please!!!. Everyone has one [I’ve heard that before.] and you always say you want me to excel in school, and I’ll chip in $10 of my own, and I’ll even pick up my room [Hey!!].

Dad: Hmmm, 100 bucks.

Dad: Well, you’ll be supporting me in my old age, so, I guess so. When do you need it?

Girl: Now, right now. [Now!] Mom’s already waiting in the car for us. [Huh?] She said she would buy me an ice cream if I could talk you into to buying it for me today.

Key Vocabulary [Top]

  • demanding (adjective): requiring great effort or work
    – My history teacher is very demanding. She expects student to memorize so many facts.
  • mail-in rebate (noun): refund or return of money sent to the purchaser after buying goods
    – It took two months to receive my mail-in rebate from that company.
  • throw in (phrasal verb): add as an extra item
    – The computer store threw in a free set of speakers when I bought a computer.
  • sticker shock (noun): great surprise at the sales price of an item
    – I can’t get over the sticker shock of seeing the price of cars these days.
  • chip in (phrasal verb): add or contribute
    – My father chipped in money so I could by my first laptop.
  • buck (noun): informal for dollar
    – It only costs a few bucks to buy some folders and notebooks for school.