Real Exam English - B2, C1, C2

S03 - 4 Money

November 15, 2021 Real Exam English Season 3 Episode 4
Real Exam English - B2, C1, C2
S03 - 4 Money
Show Notes Transcript

Native English speakers answer questions about money from previous B2, C1, C2 and IELTS  exam papers.

It goes by many different names…moolah, dosh, dough, buckaroos, bobs, spondulix. Everyone needs it, most people want more of it and English examiners like to ask questions about it! Therefore, it’s a really worthwhile topic to cover and today you are going to hear loads of words, expressions and phrasal verbs all to do with money. We also have some nice conditionals, inversions and some awesome adverbs. As usual we have a bunch of different accents, which is excellent for your listening practice. 

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Music: Wholesome by Kevin MacLeod

Thanks to all of the contributors, including Ian from the We Dig Music podcast, Konner from The Blunt Report podcast(, Rosemary, David, Mary Alice, Ofordi and Ursula.

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Real Exam English Season 3 Money


Hello and welcome to Real Exam English. Today´s episode is about money. It goes by many different names…moolah, dosh, dough, buckaroos, bobs, spondulix. Everyone needs it, most people want more of it and English examiners like to ask questions about it! Therefore, it’s a really worthwhile topic to cover and today you are going to hear loads of words, expressions and phrasal verbs all to do with money. We also have some nice conditionals, inversions and some awesome adverbs. As usual we have a bunch of different accents, which is excellent for your listening practice. 


In case you need them, the transcripts are available to download on the podcast page of the Real Exam English website,


Okey dokey, let’s go with the questions:


Do you think that parents should give their children pocket money?

Uh, yes, definitely, because uh.You know a parents job. I'm not a parent, so it's hard for me to say, but isn't a parents job to to support and ensure you know the wellbeing and security of of their children.If so, then you know if if a parent asks if a child asks for some money, I think the parents should should give that person the money.


What do people of your age generally want to buy? 

I'm 28 years old here in the US. Over the past year we haven't been able to go out to do that. Many things we've just opened up recently, so I think people in the US at my age a lot of us are buying assets, stocks, cryptocurrencies, equities.Some people like to buy gold. A lot of us are investing our money now apart from that.Uh, you know, we like to go to the bar and you know we like to go out for for lunch, go out for dinner we we like to.We don't really go out to the movies anymore, but yeah, I would say we like to invest our money typically and enjoy. Enjoy a nice.Cooked meal in a restaurant or or go to the bar. 


Sounds good to me! Ok, the first thing to comment on here is the pronunciation of the word parent. Quite a few of my students are from Spain and Italy and it´s quite common to hear them say parents, with pa. The correct way to say it, however, is parents, with pay, the same way you would say the verb to pay. So be careful with that one.

Then we had our first lot of money vocabulary, asset, stocks, cryptocurrencies, equities and gold, which are all ways to invest money.

how far do you agree with the saying money is the root of all evil?

I would say that I agree quite highly with this statement. Probably 90%. I agree. I would say a truer statement is that Greed is the root of all evil essentially, and money is a very, very close stem to that. money basically is is the thing that Greed affects the most we can, We can get the things that we want if we have money. So, I agree fairly wholeheartedly with the fact that money is the root of all evil.

The question is how important is money to you?

For me, money is very important. I it's certainly not the number one thing in my priorities, but it is a huge important factor and there are a few reasons for that, the biggest one being access to education. I love to study. I have goals of becoming a doctor and I'm studying at medical school. And these costs are absolutely phenomenal, and these costs are expensive. Every step of the way, including the testing period, including getting the right materials, including being in the right place. It's extremely expensive. Every step of the way, and for the fact that.I don't have a large amount of money, like maybe some of the other candidates might have it. It makes the stakes much higher and makes the probability that I will fail much, much higher also. For that reason, money is important because it gives you the opportunity opportunity to do the things that you want to do.I certainly don't think it's the only thing related to happiness, but it opens doors and gives you possibilities that having less money just doesn't have.


I love all the adverbs in these answers. We heard I agree fairly wholeheartedly, the costs are absolutely phenomenal and it´s extremely expensive. It´s great to use adverbs like this to make your language richer and to impress examiners, should you be doing an exam. We also heard this awesome expression it makes the stakes higher, which means it increases the level of risk or consideration involved in doing something. For example, if my football team lose this match then they will be relegated so the stakes are really high!

Should money management be a school subject? (Why?/ Why not?)

 it Should it absolutely should. 

'cause a lot of people get into debt because. they grow up without any kind of idea on how to spend money and how to manage money. I've done it myself. Let's see, you know you're like oh, I can get a loan I can afford these repayments but can you afford the repayments With everything else, you spend money on, maybe, maybe not. I don't know. I feel like if I'd have had some kind of budget teaching when I was growing up I could well have avoided being so terrible with money. 


should credit card companies be blamed for peoples irresponsible spending habits? 

To an extent, yes, uhm. Did people get massively hilariously in debt before credit cards? I don't know. I would imagine less so, though, because when you make it incredibly easy for someone to have thousands of pounds, and then the more they spend on the credit card. The easier it is for them to spend more money on the credit card that's going to lead some people into Some very irresponsible spending, again speaking from experience. 

Don't do it, kids. 


Some sound advice there and plenty of nice vocabulary too. We had to get into debt which means to owe money, usually to the bank. Be careful with the pronunciation here too, debt is spelled debt, but the B is silent, so it´s det, not debt, det. He also spoke about getting a loan, which is where the bank gives you money and you have to repay it. He mentioned being able to afford the repayments, which is having enough money to be able to pay back the bank. Another example would be I can’t afford to go to the cinema later, I’m still waiting for my boss to pay me. We also heard budget teaching, so your budget is your plan of how you plan to spend your money and not spend more than you have. So loads of nice money vocabulary in one answer there, which would be great in an exam answer.

We also had some lovely grammar, I could well have avoided being so terrible with money. This is a nice third conditional structure, talking about an unreal situation in the past. Another example would be If I had taken classes with Trevor, I could well have passed my exam, but I didn’t, so I failed!


Nobody is going to fail their exam right. If you do need classes to help you prepare for an exam, or if you just want to improve your fluency through conversation, or maybe just refresh your English, or whatever, then make sure to get in contact with me, I’d be more than happy to help. Come on, what are you waiting for! You can find details about classes on the Real Exam English website,

What would you buy if you suddenly had a lot of money?

I had a lot of money I would buy probably several properties and you know, live in one and rent out some.I wouldn't necessarily buy a car, but I would continue to travel the world and try and find some causes that I could perhaps donate money to.

How important do you think money is for a happy and fulfilling life?

Uhm, it really depends on how you value money. You know, sometimes, uhm, you can be in a situation where you have very little, but you can still be happy. having a lot of money doesn't necessarily make you a happier Person, you know I've over the recent years I've struggled on my own and without a lot of money, but I'm still a happy person. So and you can't take it with you when you go.

First of all, we had this really typical English exam question, what would you buy if you suddenly had a lot of money. Make sure you have a think about how you would answer this as it really does come up a lot. Of course, you answer using the second conditional as you are talking about a hypothetical situation in the future. So our speaker said “If I had a lot of money I would buy several properties”, or you could say If I won a lot of money, I would get myself a yacht, or whatever. She also said she would donate money, which is where you give money to a charity or something similar.


In today’s society, is it still true that money can’t buy happiness?

I think so. I think it can buy a quick fix and I think it can buy satisfaction up to a point, but I suppose the first question is what do you mean by happiness? I'm not trying to get all philosophical here, but you know, happiness is dependent on what you think happiness is, and uhm.You know there are lots of people who have money and are able to spend it who are deeply unhappy. There are also lots of people who don't have that much money and are happier so. You know? There's also that sort of saying more money, more problems to quote the Americans. Uhm, but to a degree, that's that's true. I mean it. You know I'm not suggesting for for for a second that anybody wants to be poor because that's incredibly difficult, but I don't think money fixes Uhm, everything and I, nor do I think that you know it. It it necessarily makes people happier, I think. You know you have to. You have to figure out what's what's important to you and and really what makes you happy.And if money is part of that that, then so be it. But it's not going to be the be all and end all of anybody happiness.


What kind of responsibilities do you think rich people have?

you know there are lots of people in the world who have very, very little and you have quite a few rich people.Splashing money around and showing off and that causes.You know, I mean there will be people who were frustrated with that. There were people who aspire to that by any means necessary, which isn't also healthy. And there are plenty of people who would come run into debt in order to emulate that lifestyle. So I think you know, enjoy your money because you've got your money. But maybe be a little bit responsible about how you you do it, especially if you're on social media.


Some super language in these two answers. The first thing we will look at it a pair of inversions, nor do I and so be it. Nor do I is used when you are adding an additional negative point to an original negative point. For instance, it is not sunny, nor is it humid. Or I am not tall, nor is my brother. So be it then is used to say that you have to accept the situation as it exists. Like, if our daughter wants to get a tattoo, so be it. Or if he spends all his money on guitars, so be it. We also had this brilliant expression- money is not going to be the be-all and end-all of anybody’s happiness. If something is the be all and end all then it is the most important thing. For example, studying grammar is not the be all and end all, you need to practice speaking too. Or winning the marathon is not the be all and end all, just finishing is what matters. 

The second answer had this fantastic phrasal verb to splash money around. So if you splash money around then you spend it in a way that you are making it obvious to everyone that you have a lot of money, or as the speaker said you are showing off. This is similar to the phrasal verb to splash out which means to spend money freely, or maybe to treat yourself. An example would be, I´ve just passed my C1 exam so I´m gonna splash out and go to a 5-star hotel for the weekend.    


Ok folks, that’s about it for today, hopefully you find all of this money vocabulary useful. As I mentioned earlier it’s quite a common topic, in exams and in real life. If anybody has some cash to splash around then remember you can buy me a coffee or donate money to the podcast. There´s a link on the Real Exam English podcast page and also in the show notes on your podcast player. Ok then, thanks very much for listening today. The podcast is just about to break the 100,000 downloads mark, which is amazing, so thanks so much to all of you for listening and for giving your support. I am truly grateful.

Thanks again, Trevor