I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

What kinds of snacks, candy, and other items can you buy at school or from the store? When you are thirsty, what do you usually drink: water, a soda like Coke or Pepsi, or fruit juice?

HELPFUL TIP: Buying and eating a variety of snacks and candy is a part of everyday life. However, in response to health-conscious consumers, many stores are now stocked with more nutritious choices like fruit juices, low-fat milk, and water.

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 statement does NOT describe the man’s problem?

A. He can’t get his snack from the machine.

B. The machine didn’t give him change.
C. He accidently purchased the wrong item.
2. Why can’t the cashier at the snack bar help the man?

A. The vending machine is not part of his business.

B. The customer pushed the wrong number.

C. He doesn’t have a key to open the machine.

3. What does the man recommend they do?

A. call the phone number on the machine

B. move the machine to get the candy to drop

C. forget about the problem and go home

4. Why does the man’s friend reject his suggestion?

A. He thinks they’ll break the candy if it falls.

B. He knows they’ll lose more money that way.

C. He fears someone might call the police.

5. What does the man’s friend infer in the last sentence of the conversation?

A. He was able to buy some candy without a problem.

B. They might have more luck with the machine tomorrow.

C. He’ll buy his friend something at a different place.

Score =

Correct answers:

Dean: Hey, man. What’s up?
Tod: Ah, first of all, I put a buck in the vending machine for a seventy-five cent candy bar, and the thing got stuck here in the machine. Then, I pressed the change button [Ah, man] , and nothing happened. [Wow!] Nothing came out. The dumb thing still owes me a quarter.

Dean: Well, did you talk to the man at the snack bar to see if he could refund your money?

Tod: Yeah, I tried that, but he said he didn’t own the machine, and I’d have to call the phone number on the machine.

Dean: What a bummer.

Tod: Hey, I have an idea. [What?] Why don’t we rock the machine back and forth until the candy bar falls?

Dean: Nothing doing. I don’t want to be responsible for breaking the thing, and besides, someone might call the cops.

Tod: Ah, don’t worry. I’ve done it before.

Tod: Oh well. Hey, hey, tough luck. Hey, here, take my candy bar. [You mean?] Yeah, the machine and I hit it off earlier today.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • buck (noun): informal for dollar
    – Could I borrow a buck to buy a drink from the snack bar?
  • vending machine (noun): a machine from which you can buy items like candy or drinks
    – In some places, you can find a vending machine on almost every street corner.
  • get stuck (verb): unable to move
    – I got stuck in traffic on the way home from work.
  • refund (verb; also a noun): give someone their money back
    – That store will refund your money if there is a problem with the item you buy.
  • bummer (noun): a disappointing situation
    – It was a real bummer that you lost your last buck in that vending machine.
  • rock (verb): move back and forth
    – I sometimes rock the baby when he can’t sleep.
  • nothing doing (noun): no way, used when refusing something
    – Are you asking me to loan you more money? Nothing doing!
  • tough luck (noun): an expression of sympathy about a problem
    – Did she really break your date? Tough luck.
  • hit it off (verb): like someone as soon as you meet
    – The man at the store and I hit it off the first time I entered, and now he always gives me discounts on certain purchases.