[Listening Difficult] Home Cleaning Service – KEY

Pre-Listening Exercise

How clean is your house or apartment right now? Are there some areas of your place that get cleaned more often than others?


clean up your act” = improve your behavior
Hey. You’d better clean up your act, or Mom will throw you out of the house. You can’t be rude to her like that.”

start off with a clean slate” = start things new again (children used to write on slates that could be erased)
You had some problems here at home in the past, but I hope you can start off this year with a clean slate. Everyone needs a new beginning from time to time.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

Man: Hey. Megan. Come on in. Take a seat . . . uh, somewhere.

Woman: Whoa. This place is a disaster and the smell.

Man: It’s . . . . Ah. [ Sniff, sniff ]. Ah, it’s not so bad.

Woman: Yes, it is. It’s terrible.

Man: Ah. Come on.

Woman: No, look. There are pizza boxes all over the floor.

Man: Do you need a piece?

Woman: Wait! I think that (pizza) company’s been closed . . . like two months ago . . . for health reasons. Stains on the carpet from who knows what. Say good-bye to your deposit. I’m . . . I’m not even going into the bathroom. And, what is that smell?

Man: What smell? Wait . . . what! Ah!

Woman: Uh . . . What is in your garbage? This milk is curdled. How long has it been in there? Are you trying to develop intelligent life? I mean it looks like you’re trying to build a civilization in there?

Man: It’s . . . it’s not so bad.

Woman: You keep saying that. Uh, do you need to hire a housecleaning service?

Man: A what?

Woman: Yes. A cleaning service. [ Cleaning service? ] You know my friend. She has . . . She has her own company. They’ll come to your apartment . . . clean everything from top to bottom. Clean your carpet . . . and it certainly needs it. Uh, dust your furniture, sweep, mop, everything. Clean your blinds . . . not that you’d notice, closets, and your appliances.

Man: That . . . that . . . that sounds expensive. I . . . I . . . I don’t think I can afford that.

Woman: They . . . they usually send out teams of two people, but for you, they’re going to need a whole HazMat (hazardous materials) crew.

Man: Well, how much?

Woman: They usually charge $30 an hour.

Man: THIRTY DOLLARS!?!? Whoa!!!! That’s expensive.

Woman: But it’s going to be more for you, I’m sure.

Man: Whoa!!! That’s expensive.

Woman: Look. You always tell me you don’t have friends . . . . I can see why. Give them a try. Look. I can get you a discount. Okay, you can’t keep living like this.

Man: Oh, well, uh, Sis. Uh, do you have time? Maybe, you could . . .

Woman: No, no! In fact, I remember I have to be somewhere.

Man: Oh, okay, well. What’s their number?

Woman: I’ll . . . I’ll text it to you later. Good-bye.

Man: All right. Bye.


Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • disaster (noun): something that cause a lot of suffering and loss 
    A fire started in one of the apartments, and we lost everything. It was a terrible disaster for everyone.
  • deposit (noun): money that you pay when you rent an apartment and you may get back if you leave it in good condition 
    You usually have to pay a deposit to rent an apartment in this area.
  • curdle(adjective or verb): to be thick and often spoiled 
    – I couldn’t drink the milk because it was all curdled. (adjective)
    – The pudding will curdle if you leave it on the stove too long. (verb)
  • civilization (noun): an organized and developed society 
    – You can’t be a part of modern civilization if you live in such a dirty apartment and not realize it.
  • blinds (noun): something that is used to cover a window on the inside of a room 
    – Could you close the blinds? The light outside is bothering me.
  • HazMat (noun): dangerous or hazardous materials 
    – You need to wear a HazMat suit to enter that building. It is too dangerous otherwise.
  • crew (noun): a group of people who work together on a team 
    – A crew of workers are in charge of cleaning all of the apartments this week.