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English Conversation – City and Town Life

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 10:08 AM
posted by Jo

City and Town Life

This is the preparation material for an English Conversation Lesson about City and Town Life.  In this lesson, you will learn many common collocations that we use when we are describing cities and towns.  You will also learn some of the most common questions people ask eachother when discussing cities and towns and the places they have lived.

Audio discussion about small towns

Download Audio Discussion

Transcript of Audio Discussion

* Audio courtesy of elllo.org

Describing cities and towns

  • Rustic charm – appeal that is simple and picturesque
  • Quaint old buildings – attractive because of being unusual and old-fashioned
  • In the middle of nowhere – an extremely isolated place
  • Inner city – the centre of the city
  • Upmarket shops – for people with expensive tastes
  • Sprawling city – spread over a large area

Towns and cities and their problems 

  • Bumper-to-bumper traffic – so many cars and so close that they are almost touching each other.
  • Hectic pace – very busy and fast pace
  • Congested roads – roads that are blocked because of too much traffic
  • Bored rigid – extremely bored
  • Derelict buildings – buildings that are not cared for or are in bad condition
  • Deprived areas – not having the things that are necessary for a pleasant life e.g. enough money, good living conditions

Putting it all together

I used to live in a small town in the middle of nowhere.  I have good memories of this town. It had rustic charm and the streets were lined with quaint old buildings.  There was a bad side though. There wasn’t much for the young people to do and most of them were bored rigid. They used to graffiti old derelict buildings because they didn’t have anything constructive to spend their time on.

Later in life, I moved to a sprawling city.  It was a big change. It had a very hectic pace of life and it was almost impossible to drive around in the inner city due to the bumper-to-bumper traffic and congested roads.  But I loved catching a bus into the city to visit all the upmarket shops. There were so many of them. Generally I felt very safe in that city, but there were a few deprived areas where the councils were not doing enough to fix the problems and the crime rate was high.

Conversation questions 

  • Why do you like living in the city?
  • What are some of the advantages of living in a city?
  • What are some of the disadvantages of living in a city?
  • Is your city a sprawling city?
  • Do you know the neighbours who live near you?
  • What's your favourite city? Why?
  • What parts of your city do you like the most?
  • Does your city ever have bumper-to-bumper traffic?
  • Do you like the hectic pace of life in the city?
  • Does your city have any areas with upmarket shops?
  • What is the inner city like?
  • What aspects of life in the city would you complain about?
  • Are there any deprived areas in your city?
  • What do you think should be done to improve living condition in cities?
  • What are some differences between living in the city and living in a small town?
  • What monuments of your city do you consider the most impressive?
  • Which city's sports team do you cheer for?
  • In what ways are people from cities different to people from small towns?
  • What do you like about small towns?
  • Have you ever visited a small town with rustic charm and quaint old buildings?
  • Have you ever stayed in a town that is in the middle of nowhere? Did you like it?
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