[Listening Difficult] Video Game Systems – KEY

Pre-Listening Exercise

Video game systems are popular among children and teenagers, but how do children obtain these systems: they receive them as gifts, they earn money and buy them, or they borrow the systems from a friend?


be dying for something” = want something very much
My daughter is dying to buy more video games, but she needs to save money for other things.”

sore/bad loser” = someone who acts or behaves badly when they lose a game
I don’t like playing him very much because he’s always a sore loser when I beat him playing video games. He’ll run off and be mad the whole day.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.


Boy: Dad, Dad! Can I have some money to buy a Game Boy?

Dad: A Game Boy? Those are too expensive.

Boy: No, they’re not. They’re only twenty-five dollars. I’ve got forty-two dollars before, but Mom didn’t let me buy one.

Dad: Well, let’s look. Let’s think of some ways so that . . . Hmm. Well, maybe we can come up with some ways that you can earn money.

Boy: Let’s see . . . allowance.

Dad: Okay, well allowance. So, how much money can you make a week with allowance? What did Mom tell you?

Boy: She said that if, umm, you get your work done on time, you can get $1.25.

Dad: Okay, so if you get your work done, you get $1.25. Okay, and what are some other ways that you can earn a little bit more money?

Boy: Umm, let’s see. I could work for people.

Dad: Okay, well, maybe you could come up with some odd jobs. What are a couple of things that you could do to earn some money, maybe around here, in the neighborhood?

Boy: Umm.

Dad: What about opening up a lemonade stand?

Boy: I can try that. That’ll be fun.

Dad: Okay. What else can you do?

Boy: Hmmm. Most of the kids on our block like candy, so I can start one of those.

Dad: Okay, so maybe selling some candy. [Yeah.] And, what else?

Boy: Umm. I could . . . umm . . . take out the trash everyday.

Dad: Well, I think you have some ideas, so I guess if you save long, you’ll be able to earn enough money to buy something you want. Sound good?

Boy: Like a Game Boy?

Dad: Uh, something you need, let’s say.

Boy: Uh! (Great surprise and disgust)

Dad: [Laughing]


Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • come up with (phrasal verb): think of an idea or answer 
    – We couldn’t come up with any ideas for the weekend, so we just stayed home and played video games.
  • earn (verb): receive money as payment for work that you do 
    – I need to earn money to buy more video games.
  • allowance (noun): an amount of money parents give children to spend 
    – My parents give me an allowance if I do all my chores.
  • bit (noun): a small amount of something 
    – My son wants to work a bit longer before he buys a car.
  • odd job (noun): not usual or regular work 
    – I had to accept a few odd jobs after I graduated before I found good steady work.
  • stand (noun): a small outdoor store where things are sold
    – I worked one summer at a fruit stand downtown to earn money to pay for college.