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This exercise is designed to give you practice identifying very specific information, like numbers, times, places and statistics. This kind of listening is important in everyday life, but also for exams such as IELTS. Please note – if you are writing a number, use numbers instead of words (e.g. write 10 instead of ten).

This clip is from the How I Built This podcast, which looks at the stories behind the creation of well known companies by interviewing their founders. It’s a brilliant podcast to listen to if you are interested in developing your business English! This episode features an interview with Stewart Butterfield, who created Slack. In this section, he is telling a story about leaving one of his first jobs.

Listen as many times as you need to, and see how quickly you can correctly identify all the missing information. Good luck!

And so around the end of of the I quit, I walked away. I thought I was walking away from like $ in equity, and I got bought out for, for $ on my way out. And of course, like later, later was the first dot com crash. And so in the end I got $ more than I would have had I stayed.

…in the end I got $35,000 more than I would have, had I stayed

This is a good example of an advanced third conditional structure, which is often used to make language more formal or serious (especially in writing).

To form this structure, the order of the condition (the ‘if’ section) is inverted (switched) and the word ‘if’ is not used. The normal conditional in this clip would be: I got $35,000 more than I would have, if I had stayed.

So for example, the sentence: If I had studied, I would have passed becomes: Had I studied, I would have passed.

Basically, drop ‘if’ and then switch the first 2 words. Not too complicated, but it’s a very advanced structure.

Can you give me your own example?

Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash.

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