The Importance of Letters (part 1)

by | Last updated Jun 14, 2019 | Intensive Listening | 0 comments

The Importance of Letters (part 1)

by | Last updated Jun 14, 2019 | Intensive Listening | 0 comments

Intensive listenings are advanced exercises based on popular podcasts. They are a great way to practice listening to natural, conversational English.


The Allusionist - Open me (part 1). The Allusionist is a fantastic podcast made by Helen Zaltzman which explores all aspects of words, language and communication. As well as being extremely interesting, it is very funny.


These extracts are taken from an episode about letters - why they are important, why people write them, and what it is like to receive them.


English (RP).

I relationship 21st . internet , mobile phones, landlines .
I relationship 21st . us had the internet , mobile phones, landlines sometimes.

Extract 2

each other, , the years we . And them, box, , storage unit.
wrote letters each other, , for the three years we together. And I them, box, in box, in storage unit.

Extract 3

The is, I story, his half: he's . maybe , maybe he , a long ; I destroy .
The is, I half the story, his half: he's . Or maybe , maybe he rid of them, long time ; I really destroy them.

Language notes

"...maybe he did get rid of them a long time ago..."

to get rid of something = to dispose of or eliminate something that you don't want or need. You should get rid of your old books if you never read them. My flatmate cooked sardines last night and I can't get rid of the smell.

Extract 4

I haven't since we , lifetime ago; myself , either.
I haven't his letters since we , half my lifetime ago; can't myself away, either.

Language notes

"...but I can't bring myself to throw them away..."

We use this expression to say that you are unable to do something because it is too unpleasant or emotionally difficult. I know she has said sorry a hundred times, but I can't bring myself to forgive her. In the listening, Alison finds it impossible to throw away (or get rid of) the old letters from her ex-boyfriend, maybe because they are still emotionally important to her.


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Improve your English listening skills with this intensive listening exercise for advanced learners.When was the last time you wrote a letter? Hardly anyone writes letters these days, but most people still think they are important - but why?#LearnEnglish #ESL #English #Listening

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