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Views #1346 | Intermediate (B1)

Living in Melbourne

Shirley talks about her hometown of Melbourne, Australia and why it is a nice place.

Josh: Hey, Shirley. You’re from Australia, right?

Shirley: Yeah, that’s right. From Down Under.

Josh: Okay. Are you from Sydney?

Shirley: No. I’m not from Sydney. Actually, I’m from Melbourne.

Josh: Melbourne?

Shirley: Hmm.

Josh: Okay. So are there any nice parts in Melbourne?

Shirley: Well, you know Josh, Melbourne is a great city. And one of the reasons is because there are lots of parks. There’s a really big park right in the center of the city.

Josh: Is it beautiful?

Shirley: It’s gorgeous. It’s called the Botanical Gardens. And they have plants from many different places around the world. And there’s a lake, a small lake in the center. But what I really love about that park is at one time of the year, they have lots of big fruit bats that fly into the park and they hang upside down from the trees. They are really huge, like big sacks. It’s very cool.

Josh: That sounds beautiful.

Shirley: Yeah.

Josh: So is there good shopping in your city?

Shirley: Oh, there’s great shopping in Melbourne. You know, Melbourne has people from many different countries. So we have a great variety of things; and clothing, cars, coffee shops, foods from many different countries. So it’s a great place to shop.

Josh: Wonderful. What about housing? Is there cheap housing or is it really expensive?

Shirley: Well, it’s not cheap but it’s not as expensive as Sydney. Sydney is the biggest city in Australia. It’s very expensive to live. But in Melbourne, hmm, the housing is so-so.

Josh: How do you get around in Melbourne? Do you take the bus?

Shirley: You can take the bus but Melbourne has something very special that no other city in Australia has. We have a tram system. I think they’re called trolley cars in America, maybe.

Josh: Yeah, that sounds familiar.

Shirley: Yeah. Well, Melbourne has a really big tram system so you can go lots of places in the city by tram. It’s really good fun.

Josh: What about the tram? Is it expensive?

Shirley: Not so expensive; cheaper than the bus. Maybe about the same as the train. Cheaper than a car. Probably, one of the cheapest ways to travel in the city.

Josh: What about schools in Melbourne. Is there a big university?

Shirley: Melbourne has three or four really big universities and some smaller universities, too. Also, they have some very good private high schools and some very good public high schools.

Josh: Great. That sounds like a great place to go to school.

Shirley: It’s a pretty great place to live.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

Down Under


Yeah, that’s right. From Down Under.

Down Under is a way to refer to Australia. Notice the following:

  1. She is from Down Under.
  2. There is lots to see and do Down Under.



It’s gorgeous.

Gorgeous means very beautiful. Notice the following:

  1. You look gorgeous tonight.
  2. The view was gorgeous.

fruit bat


They have lots of big fruit bats.

A fruit bat is a small bat that likes to eat fruit. Notice the following:

  1. Australia has lots of fruit bats.
  2. There are many fruit bats in the trees.

upside down


They hang upside down from the trees.

When something is upside down, the top faces down and the bottom faces up. Notice the following:

  1. This map is upside down. Turn it around.
  2. Kids like to hang upside down on monkey bars.



We have a tram system.

A tram is a slow moving rail system above ground. Notice the following:

  1. My city has a lovely tram system.
  2. I take the tram to work everyday.



They have some very good private high schools.

A private school is not funded by the government, unlike a public school. Notice the following:

  1. He went to a private high school.
  2. In Japan, some of the best universities are public, not private.

Vocabulary Quiz

gorgeous • Down Under • fruit bat
upside down • tram • private
  1. We love to vacation .
  2. I think that painting is hanging .
  3. Let's take the downtown.
  4. He goes to a school.
  5. I thought that was a bird.
  6. Your outfit looks .

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1346 City Down Under
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