Why do we drink?
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Published: 7.10.2021
Level 6   |   Time: 4:26
Accent: American
Source: Vox Today, Explained (7.02.2021)

TOEFL: A discussion on the evolutionary benefits drinking alcohol has brought to humans.

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triangle Directions


  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio above.
  3. ANSWER the questions (IELTS).
  4. CHECK your answers.

triangle Vocabulary


  • ☐ ☐ ☐ get (something) out of the way [exp] - say/do something first so I can focus on something more important
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ capacity [n] - ability
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ endorphins [n] - chemicals produced by the body to reduce stress and pain
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ opiates [n] - a drug that makes you feel very happy (opioids)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ set (us) up [phv] - prepare (us)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ dovetail [v] - connect, join together
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ archaeological findings [n] - things discovered by archaeologists
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ Gobekli Tempeh [n] - an ancient temple near Turkey
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ predate [v] - comes before (in time)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ perplexing [adj] - confusing
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ the Agricultural Revolution [n] - when humans started farming
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ gigantic pillars [n] - large columns
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ Stonehenge [n] - a famous site in England consisting of large rocks
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ elaborate [adj] - complex
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a vat [n] - a large tank or tub used to hold liquid (like beer or wine)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ old-school [adj] - old-fashioned, traditional
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a brewery [n] - a place where beer is made (brewed)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ puzzle (something) out [phv] - figure (something) out
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ hunter-gatherers [n] - humans that find food by hunting (not farming)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ periodically [adv] - occasionally, from time to time
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ the draw [n] - the attraction
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ booze [n] - alcohol
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ an enterprise [n] - a business or complex activity
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ settle down [phv] - stop moving, live in one place
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ fractious [adj] - don't work well together, difficult to control
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a line of thinking [exp] - a theory, a way of thinking
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ socially disinhibited [exp] - feeling free, very social, not shy
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ rally around [phv] - support, get excited about

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression



triangle Comprehension Questions


  1. The _____ reason people drink is because it is fun.
    obvious
    hidden
    controversial
    original

  2. Drinking _____ the production of endorphins.
    promotes
    restricts
    prevents

  3. Experts believe that alcohol must have some other _____ effects.
    positive
    negative

  4. Gobekli Tempeh, in eastern Turkey, was discovered _____ years ago.
    5
    10
    12
    25

  5. Gobekli Tempeh is believed to be the _____ human temple ever discovered.
    largest
    oldest
    most important

  6. Gobekli Tempeh is _____ Stonehenge.
    almost as old as
    half as old as
    a little older than
    two times older than

  7. Gobekli Tempeh _____ an agricultural site.
    was
    was not

  8. Gobekli Tempeh _____ an place where many people lived.
    was
    was not

  9. The stones at Gobekli Tempeh are covered with drawings of people _____ and _____.
    farming
    dancing
    drinking
    playing music
    working together

  10. The woman compares Gobekli Tempeh to an ancient _____.
    bar
    club
    brewery
    factory

  11. The attraction of food and alcohol encouraged people to ____.
    fight
    drink
    play music
    work together

  12. The woman states that humans are more like bees and ants than chimpanzees _____.
    historically
    biologically
    physically
    socially

  13. Chimpanzees are too fractious and competitive to work together _____.
    for a long time
    in large groups
    without alcohol
    during most studies

  14. According to the woman, alcohol socially disinhibits humans so that they can _____.
    live together
    cooperate
    work hard
    procreate

  15. Alcohol likely had a similar function as _____ for early humans.
    government
    religion
    medicine
    drugs
    war



triangle TOEFL Questions


  1. What is the discussion mainly about?
    (A) The social benefits of drinking
    (B) A new archaeological site in Turkey
    (C) How evolution favors people who don't drink
    (D) The history of alcohol

  2. Why does the woman think that drinking must have some more positive effects than just pleasure?
    (A) Because alcohol is difficult to produce.
    (B) Because drinking promotes the production of endorphins.
    (C) Because humans continue to drink despite its harms.
    (D) Because alcohol is addictive.

  3. Which of these statements about Gobekli Tempeh are NOT true?
    (A) It is much older than Stonehenge.
    (B) It was discovered about 25 years ago.
    (C) It was in an agricultural area.
    (D) It is one of the earliest temples ever discovered.

  4. What evidence suggests that Gobekli Tempeh was primarily used for partying and celebration?
    [Choose 4 answers.]
    (A) No one lived in the area.
    (B) No one farmed in the area.
    (C) It contained numerous large vats.
    (D) It has many painting of people playing music and drinking.
    (E) It contains numerous large pillars.
    (F) It may be where beer was first made.

  5. Why does the woman say this?

    (A) To show that alcohol has been produced and consumed for a long time
    (B) To show its similarity to other archaeological sites
    (C) To show that the site required cooperation among large groups of people to build
    (D) To show why people traveled from far away to visit the site

  6. Why does the woman mention bees and ants?
    (A) Alcohol has a similar effect on bees and ants.
    (B) Humans are similar to bees and ants in their capacity to work together.
    (C) Bees and ants were used in the production of alcohol by ancient peoples.
    (D) There is archaeological evidence that bees and ants were present at Gobekli Tempeh.

  7. What does the woman say about chimpanzees?
    (A) They have difficulty working together in large groups.
    (B) They are affected in similar way by alcohol to humans.
    (C) They tend to cooperate better when they consume alcohol.
    (D) Their remains have been found at Gobekli Tempeh.

  8. Why does the woman compare drinking to religion?
    (A) Ancient religions often used alcohol in their ceremonies.
    (B) Only humans have alcohol and religion.
    (C) Both alcohol and religion help people work together.
    (D) Both alcohol and religion can lead to violence and war.

  9. What reasons for drinking does the woman mention?
    [Choose 3 answers.]
    (A) It is fun.
    (B) It helps the body produce endorphins.
    (C) It helps the body produce opiates.
    (D) It helps humans cooperate.
    (E) It helps humans create art and music.



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