Problems with cars

My last month's journey to my friend's wedding was a real nightmare. I decided to drive since I didn't want to depend on public transport and be late. It turned out, however, that my car was not very reliable, either.

To begin with, after several minutes I realized that I was running out of petrol and I had to stop at a petrol station to fill up. Then, a car driving behind me started hooting (= making a loud sound as a warning) at me - apparently I had a puncture (= there was no air in one of my tyres). I had to pull over (= stop by the side of the road). I was wearing my best clothes and I didn't want to get dirty, but luckily some nice man stopped and helped me change the wheel. With the wheel changed, I drove off happily. That wasn't my lucky day, though. I was in a hurry and I knew I was going over (= driving faster than) the speed limit. When I caught a glimpse of a police car, I slammed on the brakes (= braked with great force), but it was too late. I was stopped and asked to get out of (= leave) the car. Then all the routine proceedings: checking my papers and a breath test (= a test to see if I had drunk any alcohol). I didn't even protest when they told me I had to pay a fine (= money you pay when you have broken the law). It seemed as if all the possible problems had happened to me that day, well except for crashing into (= hitting) another car maybe. However, the worst thing was that I was late for my friend's wedding.


Match the problems 1-8 with their possible causes a-h.

  1. crash into another car

  2. pay a fine

  3. slam on the brakes

  4. go over the speed limit

  5. hoot

  6. pull over

  7. have a puncture

  8. run out of petrol

a) a pedestrian has jumped out in front of your car

b) the car in front of you is really slow

c) you broke the law

d) you drove over broken glass

e) you forgot to fill up

f) you want to have a look at the map

g) you were looking the other way

h) you’re late for work


Complete each gap with one word, then answer the questions.

  1. When did you last …………………………. a fine? Why did you have to do it?

  2. When did you last …………………………. over the speed limit? Why?

  3. Have you ever had a breath ………………………….? Why?



  1. g

  2. c

  3. a

  4. h

  5. b

  6. f

  7. d

  8. e

Ex. 2

  1. pay

  2. go

  3. test

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