GRAMMAR IN FOCUS. Present Perfect Continuous.

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GRAMMAR IN FOCUS. Present Perfect Continuous.


You use this tense when you want to emphasize the fact that a recent event continued to happen for some time.

I have beendieting for 2 months.

I haven’t beensmoking since March.


… have …has (not) been Ving for … since …


Three students Helen, Bob and Kate are talking about their attitude towards health.

1) Read their stories.

a) Helen: I am not going to be a supermodel. But I think it is very important to be fit and healthy and look nice. Some firms don’t employpeople who are overweightor who are smokers. I agree with that because smoking affects other people’s life, too. I pay a lot of attention to my health. I try to eat only low-fat food, more fruit and vegetables which are rich invitamins and less sweets. I don’t smoke. I don’t want to have unhealthy skin and teeth. Besides, I have been doing aerobics for a year. I feel great. And all my friends think I look great.

b) Bob: I have no problems with my health though I am a smoker and a bit overweight. I like smoking. It helps me to relax. I have been smoking since I was 12. All my friends are smokers. I don’t want to be the odd one out.I know all the facts, but you only live once, don’t you? So why not enjoy yourself? As for dieting I think it is very dangerous. You are what you are. It is impossible to change. Besides, I like chocolate bars, ice cream and the like. Why should I give up such tasty things? Eat only cucumbers? Never! Of course I have some problems with my skin and hair, but I don’t want to change.

c) Kate: I think people should choose for themselves if they want to be healthy – it’s their life, it’s their bodies. They are free to decide. It is not very good to think too much about your appearance but it is good to think about your health. I don’t pay much attention to my friends’ health habits. My friend Willie likes sweets, he is pleasantly fat and I like him, he is very clever. He has been exercising all his life. He isn’t as clever as Willie but he is nice. I like to have different people with different likes and dislikes as my friends.


2) Do Helen, Bob and Kate care about their health? Read the stories

again to find out.


3) Read the stories again to answer the following questions.

a) Why does Helen look great?

b) What does she think about her future?

c) What does Bob look like?

d) What health sins has he got?

e) How does he justify himself?

f) What is he afraid of?

g) What does Kate like in her friends?



I. READING COMPREHENSION. Ordinary aspirin is considered to be one of the most popular all-purpose medicines. What is its history and uses?


1. Aspirin is one of the safest and most effective drugs ever invented. Many people take aspirin when they have a headache. It is effective in relieving other pains, too. Aspirin, in short, is truly the 20th century wonder drug. But it is also the leading cause of poisoning among children. It has side effects that although relatively mild, are largely unrecognized among users.

2. Although aspirin was first sold by a German company in 1899, it has been around much longer than that. Hippocrates, in ancient Greece, understood the medical value of the leaves and tree bark which today are known to contain salicylates, the chemical in aspirin. During the 19th century, there was a lot of experimentation in Europe with this chemical and it led to the development of aspirin. By 1915, aspirin tablets were available in the United States.

3. A small quantity of aspirin can relieve minor pain. It also reduces fever by interfering with some of the body’s reactions. Basically, aspirin seems to slow down the formation of chemicals that cause pain and the complex chemical reactions that cause fever.

4. Aspirin is very irritating to the stomachs. There is a right way and a wrong way to take aspirin. The best way is to chew the tablets before swallowing them with water, but few people can stand the bitter taste. Some people suggest crushing the tablets in milk or orange juice and drinking that.


1. Why is aspirin called the 20th century wonder drug, according to paragraph 1?

A. Only aspirin can help when you have a headache.

B. Aspirin helps in many cases when you don’t feel well.

C. Aspirin can help to cure children of drug poisoning.


2. What does paragraph 2 say about the history of aspirin?

A. People didn’t know about the medical value of aspirin until the 19th century.

B. The medical qualities of the chemical in aspirin were known in ancient times.

C. Aspirin was first produced and used by famous Hippocrates.


3. How does aspirin work, according to paragraph 3?

A. It works against chemical processes that cause pain and fever.

B. It helps to drop the body’s temperature if taken in a small quantity.

C. It slows down all processes in a human organism which is ill.


4. What is bad about aspirin, according to paragraph 4?

A. It is very hard and difficult to chew.

B. It must always be taken with milk.

C. It can make your stomach hurt.


II. LISTENING COMPREHENSION. In the table below there are two people and seven statements about them. Listen to the dialogue and decide which statements apply to each person and tick (√) the appropriate boxes.


  Boy Girl
1. has given up smoking    
2. has put on weight    
3. eats sweets instead of smoking    
4. reads books about a healthy balanced diet    
5. thinks that if you eat potatoes you will become fat    
6. thinks you can eat fruit not only in the summer time    
7. knows how to cook beans on toast    



Boy:Have a cigarette!

Girl:No thanks. I’ve stopped smoking.

Boy:How do you stay so slim? Most people put on weight when they stop smoking.

Girl:That’s because people often replace cigarettes with sweets.

Boy: I eat sweets as well! Perhaps that’s why you are slimmer than me.

Girl: I’m reading a book called “Be Fit, Stay Slim”. It tells you to eat lots of potatoes, and wholemeal bread, and baked beans.

Boy:I thought potatoes and all those things were fattening.

Girl:No, it’s sweet things that are fattening. We should eat less fat and less sugar. The book advises eating lots of fruit.

Boy: That’s easy in the summer. But it’s not so easy in winter.

Girl:It’s possible in winter, too. You can freeze some things – frozen raspberries are very good. Anyway this book gives some suggested menus. Breakfast: cereal, two slices of toast, tea or coffee. Lunch: a cheese sandwich, and two small peaches.

Boy:It doesn’t sound like much. What’s for supper?

Girl:Vegetable soup, beans on toast, and a small ice-cream. I love beans on toast. It’s so easy to make.


III. Imagine conversation between Helen and Bob.

1) Whose viewpoint is closest to your own views? Act out a conversation using facts from the stories to prove your point of view.

2) Whose opinion, Helen’s, Bob’s do you share?


IV.What is your personal attitude towards health? Write about it and tell your group mates.


V.GRAMMAR IN FOCUS: PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS. The English tradition of afternoon tea is known all over the world. Tea has even played its part in history. Here are some facts about the history of tea in Britain. Rewrite these facts so that they mean the same.

1) The British first tasted tea in about 1650.   2) The first tea was imported from China.     3) In 1823, a tea plant was found growing in India. And today, London’s tea markets deal in tea from India and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) more than from China.   4) The English custom of afternoon tea goes back to the late eighteenth century, when Anne, wife of the 7th Duke of Bedford, decided that she needed tea and cakes to bring back her strength around 5 pm.   5) It is supposed that the British drink more tea than any other nation – about 4 kilos a head, or 1650 cups of tea a year.     a) The British ____________ (drink)tea since 1650.   b) Since that time the British ________________(import) tea from China.   c) Since 1823, London’s tea market _________________ (deal) in tea from India and Sri Lanka.   d) The British _____________ (follow) the tradition of afternoon tea for two centuries.   e) The British _____________ (drink) more tea each year than any other nation since then.


7. Learn the useful phrases.

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