British Customs and Traditions

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British Customs and Traditions

Pre - reading task


1. What do you know about English customs and traditions?

2. When is All Fools’ Day celebrated?

3. What is connected with April Fools’ Day?



April Fools’ Day

April Fools’ Day is a custom observed in many countries. On this day people play tricks, practical jokes. In Britain all must end on the stroke of noon. If anyone attempts a trick after midday, the intended victim retorts:

April Fools gone past,

You are the biggest fool at last!

A variety of theories have been put forward to account for this lively and persistent custom, but its origin still remains obscure. Below there are two examples of how Englishmen enjoy themselves on April 1st. They may change the idea of this nation.

A Practical Joke.

About forty years ago a tradesman of the town Dover had a good laugh at the expense of his fellow citizens.

On March 31 of the year in question, a large number of persons who owned dogs received a very official-looking document. It was marked “Urgent”, and it bore the municipal coat of arms at the head of the page. The document was typewritten and signed by the Mayor of the town. It ran as follows:

Owing to a sudden outbreak of hydrophobia, it has become necessary

to take special measures of precaution against this terrible malady and

to have all the dogs of the town vaccinated.”

The notice went on to say that all persons owning dogs were therefore summoned to appear at the Town Tall at 10 o’clock sharp on the following morning, April 1st, accompanied by their pets.

By ten o’clock on the day appointed, hundreds of dogs, muzzled and unmuzzled, and of all breeds and sizes have assembled and were barking and wagging their tails in the courtyard of the Town Hall.

Aroused by the hubbub, the astonished officials came to the windows. None of them knew what to make of it. When the owners of the dogs showed their summonses and demanded admission, they were informed that there must be some mistake, as no such notices had been sent out.

Gradually, it dawned upon the victims that some wit or other had made April fools of them. Most of them took it in good part and after a hearty laugh dispersed to their homes.

An April Fool’s Day Hoax

On April 1st, 1957, BBC Television played an elaborate April Fool’s Day hoax on the viewers of a normally staid weekly current affairs programme. It showed a film about a bumper spaghetti crop being harvested in Southern Switzerland, near the Italian frontier. Included in the film were shots of agricultural workers picking long strands of spaghetti from bushes. The presenter of the film commented on the uniform length of the spaghetti; the result, he said, of many years of patient cultivation by plant breeders. After the programme was over, hundreds of viewers telephoned the BBC. Some of the calls were from viewers who had enjoyed the hoax, including one who complained that spaghetti didn’t grow vertically, but horizontally. Some of the calls were from viewers who wanted to know where they could buy spaghetti bushes. Mainly, though, the calls were from viewers who were no longer certain that spaghetti was made with flour and water and not grown. Such is the power of television.



Task 2.

Comprehension Check

Exercise 1.Complete the statements given below by choosing

the right variant.


1. The origin of April Fools’ Day still remains . . .

a) in the dark b) obscure c) very clear

2. A large number of dog owners received an official letter . . .

a) on March 30 of the year in question b) on March 31, 1899

c) on March 31 of the year in question

3. According to this letter all dogs of the town had to be . . .

a) brought to the nearest veterinary b) vaccinated

c)taken out of the town

4. By ten o’clock on the day appointed . . .

a) nobody had come to the Town Hall

b) everybody had stayed at home because they didn’t believe the letter

c) hundreds of citizens had brought their pets to the Town Hall

5. The practical joke played by BBC Television brought to . . .

a) many calls from viewers who wanted to buy spaghetti bushes

b) a big scandal c) much laughter from viewers


Exercise 2.Choose phrasal verbs given below to complete the sentences.


take measures against; go on; make of; send out; be over;

dawn upon; take smth in good part; play a hoax on; make with.


1. You should . . . the epidemic of flu.

2. I don’t know what . . . your statement.

3. At last it . . . him that it was a practical joke.

4. The lesson . . ., you may go home.

5. The secretary was asked . . . letters of invitation.

6. On April 1, 1957 BBC Television . . . viewers but many of them didn’t believe what they had seen and . . . the programme.

7. This cake . . . flour, butter, eggs and sugar.


Exercise 3.Look through the text and find the synonyms to the

following words.

1. merry 2. undertake 3. many 4. frontier

5. illness 6. finish 7. invite 8. good laugh

9. gather 10. be sure

Exercise 4. Translate the following proverbs and idioms into

Russian. Describe the situations when you can use them.


a) It would make even a cat laugh.

b) Many a true word is spoken in jest.

c) Every man has a fool in his sleeve.

d) To cap someone’s joke.

e) To laugh up one’s sleeve.


Exercise 5.What is a practical joke? Speak about a practical joke

you played on your friends or they played on you.


Oral Practice

Describing Objects and Their Uses.


Materials and patterns

Questions Replies

1. What is it like? 1. It is . . . with . . .

2. What is it made of? 2. It’s made of . . .

3. What is it used for? 3. It’s used for (+Gerund)

4. How long (wide,thick) is it? 4. It’s 50 cm long (wide, thick)

5. Can I have a thing for . . .? 5. Oh, you mean . . . Yes,of course.


Materials: (it is made of . . .)

plastic, metal, gold, silver, copper, leather, silk, cotton, wool, nylon, china (porcelain), velvet, cord.

Shapes: (it is . . .)

round, pointed, oval, cylindrical, square, triangular, rectangular, elliptical, spherical, long, short, wide, narrow, thin, thick, curved.

Colours: red, blue, white, green, grey, black, brown, orange,yellow, purple, greenish, light/pale blue, dark/deep brown.


Other describing characteristics:

This river is 3,5 miles long.

The Mount Everest is 8,848 metres high.

This lake is 3 miles wide.

The pipe is 2 centimetres thick.


The river has a length of 3,5 miles.

The sun has a surface temperature of 11 000 F.

In a description you can use such adverbs as:


This object is relatively small. Zinc is rather reactive. Copper salts are slightly blue. It is extremely hot in deserts.


Remember: Science demands objectivity and precision in descriptions.


Exercise 1. State what would make the following descriptions more scientific:

1. We used statistical approach.

2. Steel is less corrosive.

3. The surface temperature of the sun is 11 000.

4. The river Thames is rather long.

5. The Grand Canyon is 5 500 feet.

Exercise 2.Learn the dialogues by heart and make up similar dialogues

of your own using the patterns.



Kate - Excuse me, can I have a thing for cutting paper. I forgot the English

word for it.

Shop-assistant - Do you mean a razor?

Kate - Oh, no. It is about 15 centimeters long or may be longer. It is made of

metal with plastic handles. It is also used for cutting textile.

Shop-assistant - Oh, you mean scissors. Here you are.



Susan - Oh, dear! I’m afraid, I’ve lost my new pendant.

Ben - What is it made of?

Susan - It’s made of yellow metal.

Ben - What shape is it?

Susan - It is oval and there is a blue stone in it.

Ben - Here it is. You’ve left it on the table.


Exercise 3.Work in pairs.


a) You are at the Lost Property office. You’ve lost your scarf (hat, bag, etc.). Describe it to the clerk there.

b) The clerk asks more questions about your scarf (hat, bag, etc.) and tries to find it.


Exercise 4.You are staying with an English family. Your room hasn’t

got everything you need. Say, what you need. If you don’t

know how a thing is called, describe it to your hosts.


Unit 2

Text 1

Precious Metals

Why are some metals so much more valuable than others? Gold, silver and platinum have been highly valued for centuries because of their scarsity, beauty and high qualities. The result of the rush for these metals was death, blood and tragedy.

When Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, Spanish expeditions soon followed, and though they are much criticised for their cruelty, greed and treachery, the military achievements of the ‘Conquistadores’ were remarkable. First they conquered Mexico and took away its valuable treasures. Seeking more land and wealth they invaded Peru, home of the Incas. Here they murdered the king and stole his vast hoard of gold - probably the greatest in the world. The natives were enslaved and set to work to win more gold. Later the Spanish conquered Chile and Bolivia, both of these countries being rich in precious metals, particularly silver.

To the metallurgists, the most exciting discovery made by the Spaniards was the finding of platinum in the silver mines of Mexico. At that time the new metal was regarded as more of a nuisance than of value. It could not be melted by any known method, though it was possible to make a very realistic imitation gold from it. Later it joined the group of precious metals and is now used for jewellery and in industry. Its high melting point makes it suitable for electrical contacts where the heat of sparks would melt other metals. In the chemical industries its resistance to corrosion is of great value.

Gold is the most malleable of all the metals. It can be hammered into sheets so thin that 250 of them would equal the thickness of a sheet of paper. It is also the most ductile metal. One gram of gold can be drawn into a wire 1.8 miles in length.

Gold is the least chemically active of all metals and does not combine with oxygen to form rust. This ability to resist corrosion makes it very durable, i.e. it may last for centuries. Pure gold is too soft to be used in jewelry so it is usually alloyed with other metals. The proportion of gold in an alloy is measured in karats. Pure gold is 24 karats. A 14 karat gold ring is an alloy of about 58% of gold and small percentages of copper and silver.

Silver is similar to gold in many ways. Like gold, it is very malleable and ductile and so it is also used for jewelry. Silver differs from gold in that it is more reactive and tarnished when exposed to the traces of sulfur in the air. (Silver sulfide, a black deposit, forms on its surface). Pure silver is too soft and so it is usually alloyed with copper to increase its hardness and durability. Sterling silver is 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Silver is used for coins and for photographic film because certain compounds of silver, such as silver bromide, reflect light. Silver is the best conductor of electricity known.


Task 1.

Phonetic Exercise

Practise after the speaker and learn to pronounce the words given below:


critisize /’kritisaiz/; achievements /'‘tòi:vm'nts/; conquistadors /’konkisteid'z/; conquer /’konk '/; platinum /’plжtin'm/; Peru /p'‘ru:/; Chile /’tò ili/; Bolivia /b'‘livi'/; Mexico /’meksikou/



Task 2.

Lexical Exercises

Exercise 1.Find the English equivalents for the words and word-combinations

given below. Use them in the sentences of your own.

огромный запас золота; засесть за работу; рассматривать; имитация золота; известный метод; драгоценные металлы; высокая точка плавления; химическая промышленность; ювелирное украшение; измерять; терять блеск (окисляться); серебро высшей пробы; фотопленка; серебряные копи.



Exercise 2.Match the English words and word-combinations

given below with their Russian equivalents.

1. to critisize for 1. в поисках новых земель и богатства

2. remarkable achievements 2. повысить износостойкость

3. seeking more land and wealth 3. богатый драгоценными металлами

4. to set to work 4. растянуть в проволоку

5. to equal smth 5. отражать свет

6. to increase durability 6. засесть зa работу

7. to reflect light 7. быть равным ч-л

8. rich in precious metals 8. наименее химически активный металл

9. the least chemically active metal 9. удивительные достижения

10. to draw into a wire 10. критиковать за


Exercise 3.Answer the following questions:

1. What are the precious metals valued for? 2. When did the Spanish expeditions set fot South America? 3. What did they find there? 4. What was their most exciting discovery? 5. Why is it easy to hammer gold into thin sheets? 6. Where is gold used? 7. What are the properties of silver?


Exercise 4.In the text given above you could find the fragments of the

definitions of gold and silver. Make them complete definitions.

Listed in the box are some guidelines for writing good definitions.

They are followed by poorly written definitions. Say, what is wrong

with them and correct them.


1. Identify the class. You may also use descriptions, comparions, examples.

2. Be precise. Do not only identify the class, but give the characteristics that differentiate this object or phenomenon from others.

3. Use negative definitions (like “An apple is not a vegetable”) when you think people have a wrong idea. But then follow it with a proper definition.

4. Be objective. Always remember about those you are speaking to. A child needs an easier and more detailed definition.

1. An apple is round, red and about the size of a fist.

2. An astronomer is a scientist.

3. Radium is an element.

4. A pizza is something really good to eat.

5. Helium is light.

6. Barometer measures air pressure.

7. Conduction transfers heat.

8. An agronomist is a person who practises agronomy.



Exercise 5.Translate at sight.

Metals and Non-metals

The 105 elements do not, fortunately, exhibit 105 completely different sets of properties. When the major properties are considered it is found that the elements fall into one or two groups, the metals or the non-metals. The contrast between the properties of these two groups is given below. It is not to be expected that all elements in one class will agree in every detail; some differ in one or two properties from the others of their class; these exceptions are indicated in brackets.

Metals Non-Metals

Physical properties

1.Solid at room temperature (mercury 1.Many are liquids and gases at room

is the only liquid metal) temperature

2.Have a high density (except 2. Density is usually low

potassium and sodium)

3.Can be moulded by pressure, i.e. 3. Solid non-metals are brittle

they are malleable

4.Have high melting points and 4. Have low melting points and

boiling points boiling points

5.Are good conductors of heat, 5. Are poor conductors of heat and

electricity electricity (graphite is the only good

conductor of electricity among non-


6.Can be drawn into wire, i.e. they 6.Cannot be drawn into a wire

are ductile

Chemical properties

7. Have basic oxides 7. Have acidic oxides

8. React with dilute acids form- 8. Salts of non-metals do not exist

ing salts

9.Form positive ions 9. Form negative ions

10.Are liberated at the cathode 10. Are liberated at the anode

during electrolysis (hydrogen during electrolysis

acts as a metal)

The chemical properties are much more conclusive than the physical properties for deciding whether a particular element is to be regarded as a metal or a non-metal, e.g. if an element forms a basic oxide it must be classified as a metal. A basic oxide is never formed by a non-metal.



Task 3.

Focus on Grammar

Modal Verbs of Deduction

We use modal verbs of deduction to express degrees of certainty about the present and the past.

1. To express certainty we use must in the positive and can’t in the negative.

He must be at work now. Должно быть, он сейчас дома.

He can’t be at home now.


2. To express possibility we use can, could

They can be at work now. Вероятно, он сейчас на работе.

6. To express probability we use may, might

He may not be there yet. Boзможно, его еще там нет.

4. Modal verbs of deduction are often used to hypothesize

There may be a fifth force in nature that causes objects to fall at different rates.


Exercise 1.Rewrite these sentences using a modal verb of deduction

Example: 1. I am sure he is in Moscow now. - He must be in Moscow now.

2. I think he has finished this work. - He can have finished this work.

3. Perhaps she will help us. - She may help us.


1. I am sure he has been at the conference. 2. Perhaps Steve has got this grant. 3. He probably wanted her to marry him. 4. Perhaps she has been to London already. 5. I am sure James is a famous scholar. 6. He probably didn’t want her to meet them. 7. I am sure she didn’t work hard at school. 8. They have probably tried to get the tickets for this play. 9. I am sure they are in a hurry. 10. I think Brian has no money to buy a new car. 11. Probably Tom is coming to see us tomorrow. 12. I am not definitely sure what I am doing this weekend. 13. It’s possible that I am going to Italy in July. 14. The director is away so perhaps there won’t be a meeting on Friday. 15. I am sure he has got everything he needed. 16. If he walks from the station, perhaps he will come in time. 17. There is probably some misunderstanding. 18. My students are certainly at the conference now. 19. There is no doubt he is coming to her birthday party. 20. Is it possible that this old man is his brother?


Exercise 2.What can you deduce from the following situations?

Example: Look, John is standing under the clock!

He may be waiting for somebody.

He must have an appointment.


1. John has lost a lot of weight recently. 2. It’s the beginning of your lesson and your teacher isn’t here. 3. The children are making a lot of noise in the court-yard. 4. He has got an enormous sum of money. 5. Paul looks so unhappy. 6. Liz is wearing a beautiful dress. 7. There is nobody in the room. Where is everybody? 8. Ann doesn’t want to see Bill. 9. He has got a chess board with him. 10. He is working so hard now.


Exercise 3.Use the necessary modal verb of deduction.


1. He seldom goes out he . . . be working hard. 2. Nobody answers the phone, they . . . have gone somewhere. 3. You . . . have asked me for this book, I have it at home. 4. His face seems familiar to me, we . . . have met before. 5. He began this work only yesterday, he . . . not have finished it. 6. Why don’t you tell him about it, he . . . help you. 7. She doesn’t want to see him any longer. They . . . have quarrelled. 8. There is a bell. Ann . . . be coming from the party. 9. She … not be working there. She is not a good PC user. 10. He is such a good student. He … not have done the work so carelessly. 11. They … be unable to get in touch with you. 12. He … be late. He is so punctual. 13. He … have learnt the news, he looks as if nothing has happened. 14. They … not have refused to take part in the discussion, they have been working on this problem for a month.


Exercise 4. Translate into Russian, paying attention to the modals of deduction.


1. He is so late. He must have taken a wrong bus. 2. Why hasn’t he come to our meeting? He couldn’t forget about it. He may have fallen ill. 3. Everything must have been arranged beforehand. 4. It may have been taken for a joke. 5. They can’t fail to recognize you, you haven’t changed much. 6. Look! People are hurrying along the streets with umbrellas up. It must be raining hard. 7. They must have been writing the test for an hour, they are looking so tired. 8. Don’t be angry with her. She may have done it by mistake. 9. They couldn’t have said anything of the kind. 10. If nothing prevents them, they can arrive tomorrow morning.



Text 2


Pre - reading task

1. Scan the text in 5 minutes and find information about the following:

a) the climates of the US;

b) the original inhabitants;

c) the American Revolution;

d) the reason for the US Civil War;

e) the US participation in the two World wars.



Land and Climate

The United States covers the central portion of North America and includes Alaska and Hawaii. It is the fourth largest country in the world. Because of its size and location, it has many different climates and a variety of geographical features. Large mountains, vast deserts, wide canyons, rolling hills, prairies, frozen tundra, extensive coasts, forests, tropical islands, wetlands, swamps, and other features can be found. The West Coast rises to the Rocky Mountains, which give way to a vast central plain that merges with the rolling hills and low mountains of the east.

Climates are as varied as the terrain. Humidity is often high in the east and southeast, while the west is drier. Most of the nation experiences all four seasons, with cold and snowy winters and warm summers. The southwest and southeast experience fewer variations in climate and rarely receive snow in winter.


North America’s history before Europeans arrived is incomplete, but the original inhabitants had large empires and advanced civilizations. From the seventeenth century on, the Native Americans were displaced by Eorupean settlers who had come for riches, territory, and new world. British colonies (the Thirteen Colonies) were established on the east coast of North America. Spanish and French explorers also claimed large territories.

By the mid-eighteenth century, the colonists desired independence from Great Britain. The American Revolution of 1776 led to independence and a loose confederation of states. The Constitution of 1787 established the basic form of government as it exists today. Explorers and pioneers moved west and settled large areas of land. The United States acquired territory from France, Mexico, and Spain throughout the nineteenth century, expanding its borders from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

In 1861, civil war broke out between Union states in the north and Confederate states in the south over issues of slavery, secession, and economic differences. Union forces, under President Abraham Lincoln, defeated the Confederacy in 1865 and reunited the country.

Although American troops were only involved in the last year of World War I, the United States was a major combatant in World War II and emerged as the strongest economic and military power in the world. Through its assistance to developing countries, the United States spread American values and influence throughout the world, which some nations welcomed and others did not.

American prominence declined in the 1970s because of the US defeat in the Vietnam War. This trend continued in the 1980s as other nations became more powerful, especially economically, but the United States remains an important member of the world community. In 1991, it led a coalition of nations in a war against Iraq to liberate Kuwait from occupation. It then participated in refugee relief operations and peace talks for the settlement of regional disputes.

The United States is an active member of the United Nations and is a key donor of international aid. It has never been ruled by a dictator and has always had free elections to determine its leadership. It considers itself the world guardian of freedom and democracy.


Task 2.

Comprehension Check


Exercise 1.Agree or disagree with the statements given below. Check

your answers while re-reading the text.


1. The original inhabitants of North America were not civilized.

2. The Americans unlike the British have a written Constitution.

3. Civil war was directed against slavery.

4. American troops were a major force in World War I.

5. American economic growth declined in the 1970s.


Exercise 2.Complete these statements by choosing the answer which

you think fits best.


- The American Revolution of 1776 led to

a) the disruption of the country;

b) Civil war;

c) independence.

- After World War II the United States

a) lost economic prominence;

b) emerged as the strongest economic power;

c) was completely desabled economically.

- American troops were involved in World War I

a) from the very beginning;

b) in its last year;

c) in the middle of it.

- American prominence declined in the 1970s because of

a) the US participation in the war against Iraq;

b) economic recession;

c) the US defeat in the Vietman War.


Exercise 3.Choose the answer that best matches the meaning

of the underlined word


1. Because of its size and location the US has many different climates

a) disposition b) presence

2. His story will be incomplete without these details.

a) unfinished b) inaccurate

3. The natives were displaced by European settlers.

a) turned b) removed

4. Pioneers moved west and settled large areas of land.

a) adjusted b) inhabited

5. The US has always assisted developing countries.

a) helped b) promoted

6. This scientist is known throughout the world.

a) in b) all over

7. He has participated in many important events and can tell you much about his experience.

a) played a part b) taken part

8. You are my real guardian. I know I can rely on you in any situation.

a) protector b) supervisor


Exercise 4.Decsribe Russia using the patterns from the text.


Oral Practice

Inviting. Eating out.



Questions Replies

1. What are you doing tonight? 1. - Nothing in particular.

- I’m having dinner with Ben.

- Sorry, I’m busy tonight. I am

playing tennis with Jill.

2. Would you like to go out for a 2. - Sorry, another time. I have a

meal with me tonight? previous engagement.

(Come and have dinner?) - Yes, that would be nice, I’d love to.

- How kind of you. Thank you.


3. What would you like? 3. - I’d like prawn cocktail (to start with)

and steak and kidney pudding for the

main course.

4. Would you like a drink? 4. - Just a tonic (mineral water, orange juice)

- A half of bitter (lager, Guinness)

- A glass of red/white wine.

- A vodka (double whisky on the rocks,

a gin and tonic.

5. Could you provide a vegetarian 5. - I’ll see what I can do for you.

dish for me?

6. May I have the bill? 6. - Here you are.

Can I have the wine-list?

7. How much do I owe you for the 7. - Never mind, it’s on me.


8. Shall we share? 8. - Never mind, I pay.

The Pier Restaurant


StartersFishes. Seafood

Baked stuffed mushrooms Baked and stuffed shrimp

Norwegian herring Fresh filet of sole

Fried squid Fresh caught fish of the day

Shrimp cocktail Cod scallops

SteaksThe Pier’s Special

Roast Prime rib of beef Cornish Pastry

Baby calves liver Shepherd’s pie

Prime Sirloin Steak

Exercise 1.Learn the dialogues by heart and make dialogues of your own

using the patterns



Ben : What are you doing tonight, Kate?

Kate: Nothing in particular

Ben: Come and have dinner with me tonight?

Kate: How kind of you, thank you.



Ben: Have you got a table for two?

Waiter: Yes, sir. This way, please. Here you are.

Ben: Can we have the menu and wine-list, please?

Waiter: Yes, certainly. Here you are. Are you ready to order?

Ben: I think so. What would you like for starters, Kate?

Kate: Baked stuffed mushrooms.

Ben: Two baked stuffed mushrooms, please.

Waiter: And for the main course?

Ben: Fresh caught fish of the day, please.



Kate: Cornish pasty, what is it, Ben?

Ben: It’s meat and vegetables in thin pastry. Very delicious, I can say.

I like the way they cook it here.


Exercise 2.You are giving a party. Discuss with your mother what you

will have for dinner. Make the shopping list.


Exercise 3.You are in the Pier’s Restaurant. Make dialogues between

customers and a waiter, using the menu and the patterns.

Unit 3

Text 1

The Alchemists


During the Middle Ages, alchemists searched for a way to change base metals, like lead, into gold. They thought that if they could find the right formula, they could, for example, add a certain amount of mercury to lead and produce gold. Even the great Sir Isaac Newton believed it could be done.

The experiments the alchemists carried out were sometimes very elaborate. Some put the metals through a hundred purifying processes and added a great deal of so-called magic as well. Of course, all these efforts came to nothing, but the alchemists were convinced that they would succeed and plodded on until about the seventeenth century.

Although scientific knowledge was acquired during the course of these experiments, the basic idea behind them was not to enrich the minds of men with a store of knowledge but to enrich the alchemists themselves with a store of gold. Dishonest people became interested and decided that it was unnecessary to make real gold - but merely something that looked like it. Soon these people, who were called ‘Puffers’ were selling false gold to the credulous. Laws and dire penalties were devised to stop them, but they continued to operate on an international scale until the Royal Mints were established. Nothing could then be valued as real gold unless it had the ‘hallmark’ of the Royal Mint on it.

But there were real scientists among the alchemists. One of them was Roger Bacon, called ‘the Admirable Doctor’ who lived in the 13th century. He was a great philosopher encyclopedist and alchemist, an Oxford graduate. One of his lectures was misinterpreted and the people who were present there decided that Bacon had discovered the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’, which would not only cure all the diseases but also convert metals such as copper into gold.

The Catholic Church got interested in the works of Roger Bacon. The Pope himself gave him a laboratory in Paris University. Bacon worked very much, made some discoveries, his fame grew on and the Pope, thinking that Bacon didn’t want to reveal the secret of the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ imprisoned him. The scientist spent 20 years during which he had no right to speak to anybody. There he wrote 3 monographs, on alchemistry and philosophy which contributed much to philosophy but didn’t help to discover the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’.


Task 1.

Phonetic Exercise


Practise after the speaker and learn to pronounce the words given below


elaborate /i’l'b'rit/; alchemist /’жlkimist/; purifying /’pju:'rifaih/; dishonest /dis’onist/; credulous /’kredjul's/; admirable /'d’mai'r'bl/; encyclopedist /ensaiklou’pi:dist/; philosopher /fi’los'f'/; disease /di’zi:z/; laboratory /l''bo:r'tri/; monograph /’mon' gra:f/.


Task 2.

Lexical Exercises

Exercise 1.Find the English equivalents for the words and word-

combinations given below. Use them in the sentences

of your own.


тщательно продуманный; процесс очистки; иметь успех; продолжать упорно работать; заинтересоваться; фальшивое золото; Монетный двор; проба (золота); всесторонне образованный человек; неправильно понять; превращать ч-л в; раскрыть секрет; внести вклад в; открыть ‘философский камень’.

Exercise 2.Match the English words and word combinations given

below with their Russian equivalents.


1. a certain amount of mercury 1. ни к чему не придти (потерпеть неудачу)

2. so-called magic 2. запас знаний

3. to come to nothing 3. действовать на международной арене

4. a store of knowledge 4. его слава продолжала расти

5. credulous 5. Папа Римский

6. dire penalty 6. сделать открытие

7. to operate on an international 7. определенное количество ртути

scale 8. доверчивый

8. to make a discovery 9. так называемой волшебство

9. his fame grew on 10. ужасное наказание

10. the Pope


Exercise 3.Agree or disagree with the following statements.


1. Alchemists wanted to change metals into silver.

2. Many talented scientists were among alchemists.

3. Alchemists carried out their experiments up to the 15th century.

4. Such great scientists as Sir Isaak Newton didn’t believe alchemistry.

5. Roger Bacon managed to discover the ‘Philosopher’s stone’.

6. Roger Bacon, a great English encyclopedist, worked in London.

7. He wrote 3 monographs in prison.


Exercise 4. More about word-building:

English nouns can be formed

1) from verbs using the suffixes -er/-or,- ess, - ion, - ance/-ence, - ing, - ment

For example: teach - teacher; exist - existence; educate - education;

begin - beginning; govern - government.

2) from adjectives using the suffixes -(i)ty, -ism

For example: productive - productivity, race - racism

3) from nouns using the siffux -ist

For example: physics - physicist

4) the prefixes in-, un-, im-, dis- give a negative meaning to verbs, adjectives and adverbs

important - unimportant, integrate - disintegrate, complete - incomplete


a) In the text find nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs formed in this way.

b) Give the corresponding verbs to the following nouns:

reaction, participation, production, supporter, establishment, entrance, governess, teaching, opening, development, painter, writer.

c) Form adjectives from the following adjectives using prefixes in-, im-, un-, -dis:

natural, dependent, possible, like, different, mobile, organized, curious, covered


Exercise 5.Translate at sight.


Aluminium is the most abundant metal, but it was not used until a century ago because it is active chemically and difficult to extract. Like iron it is soft, but in contrast to iron and steel, aluminium is very light and more resistant to corrosion. These qualities make it useful for airplanes, trains, automobiles, rockets, and for some constructional purposes.

In the 1940s, magnesium emerged as an important metal. Although it is less abundant in the earth, more chemically active, and harder to extract than aluminium, it is present in sea water and that means there is almost an endless supply of it.

In the space age, the extraordinary properties of titanium have made it the new wonder metal. Lighter and stronger than steel, it is more resistant to corrosion and able to withstand heat.

The remaining major metals are sodium, potassium, and calcium, all too active chemically (they react violently with water) for use in construction.



Task 3.

Focus on Grammar

The Passive Voice

to be + Part.II


The Passive form of a verb is often used in all scientific writing, because the emphasis in science is usually on the action, not on the person performing the action. If you want to change the tense, change the tense of the verb ‘to be’, Participle II remains unchangeable.


Aspect/ Tense Present Past Future


Indefinite is/are done was/were done will be done


Continuous is/are being done was/were being done -


Perfect have/has been done had been done will have been done



Exercise 1.Change the following sentences from the active to the passive

form. Include a by-phrase if you think the subject of the

active sentence is important to the passive sentences


1. We never saw him in our laboratory. 2. During the years from 1870 to 1876 Edison patented 122 inventions. 3.Workers completed the Panama Canal in 1914. 4. His experiments and inventions covered many sides of human life. 5. Edison did some research work on the principles of flying, and even made a helicopter. 6. They have seen this show. 7. They have adopted the metric system in Britain and made the money system much simpler. 8. The professor is examining our group. 9. The Gulf Stream determines the climate of Great Britain. 10. The Great Fire of 1666 destroyed St.Paul’s Cathedral. 11. She has prepared a report for the next meeting of our club. 12. They have crowned English kings and queens in Westminster Abbey for about 1000 years. 13. Sometimes we describe plasma as the fourth state of matter. 14. We can define the atom as the smallest portion of matter.



Exercise 2.Fill in the passive form of the verb in parantheses in

the following sentences.


1. The weight of the planets . . . (to calculate) by Newton as a young man. 2. The concept of relativity . . . (to propose) by Albert Einstein in 1905. 3. Most Cambridge colleges . . . (to found) as schools of theology but in 1750 under the influence of Sir Isaak Newton, mathematics became compulsory and the main subject of study. 4. The first motor car . . . (to make) in 1875by an Austrian Siegfried Marcus. He used the internal combustion engine, which . . . (to perfect) gradually. 5. The earliest motor cars . . . (to build) like horse carriages and an early British company . . . (to call) the Greatest Horseless Carriage Company. 6. The Rolls-Royce motor car long . . . (to know) as the best car in the world. 7. Water . . . (to discover) under the Sakhara Desert. 8. Diamonds . . . (to find) in South Africa in the 19th century. 9. The electric battery . . . (to invent) by Luigi Galvan in 1786. 10. The craters on the moon . . . (to cause) probably by meteors. 11. Gold, silver and copper . . . (to value) for their luster.


Exercise 3.Translate the following sentences into Russian, paying attention to the passive forms.


1. These tests were conducted on new specimens. 2. The specimens were examined for evidence of secondary cracking. 3. The present study was intended to evaluate the properties of this material. 4. The system is designed to operate at temperatures over 110 C. 5. Solubility was analysed in temperatures ranging from 200-900 C. 6. Methods have also been develped for applying the results of the research. 7. The results of the research are being considered by alternative methods. 8. Nanocrystalline tungsten has been successfully synthesized. 9. An appropriate model is shown here. 10. When silicon was first being considered as an optical material, it was assumed that single crystals will be required for image quality. 11. In foundries producing a small volume of castings, a small amount of metal is usually required. 12. If atoms are deprived of electrons,they cease to be atoms. 13. In fully ionized plasmas the radiation is emitted by the free electrons. 14. The rate of chemical reaction is influenced by a large number of variables. 15. The participants of the conference were told that the furnaces of entirely new design would be put into operation in a few weeks.


Exercise 3.In scientific writing ‘should’ and ‘must’, “can” and “may” appear most frequently in combinations with the passive voice. In each of the following sentences use the passive form of the verb in parentheses.


1. X-rays must only . . . (to use) when necessary. 2. Temperature can . . . ( to measure) by different types of thermometres. 3. Potassium must . . . (never, to allow) to come in contact with water. 4. The technicians should . . . (to protect) from excessive radiation. 5. The aims of his research may . . . (to declare) at the next seminar. 6. Energy can . . . (to transform) from one type to another. 7. Our earth may … (to warm) by ‘greenhouse effect’. 8. An atom may … (to combine) with other atoms to form certain stable arrangements of outer electrons. 9. It should … (to remember) that copper-based alloys are all hardened similarly. 10. This information must … (to present) in the form suitable for all parts of the control system. 11. Various methods should … (to use) to make water safe and attractive to the consumer.


Text 2

Pre- reading Task

Read the text given below and find the answers to the following questions:

1. What was the population of New York in 1875?

2. Did the population of New York grow fast?

3. How did the Government cope with the problem of the rapid growth of population?

4. When did the first sky-scraper appear?

5. What is the highest sky-scraper of New York?

6. Is New York a multinational city?

7. Why are statictics so impressive?

8. Why is it so difficult to be Mayor of New York?


New York

New York defies description. You can say anything you like about it and always be right; if you listen to different people talking about it they could each be describing a different town. For some, it’s a center for art, music and theatre; for others, a city of finance and politics. For writers it’s the publishing capital of the world, for manufacturers, a bottomless market, for safe-crackers it’s Ali Baba’s cave, for everyone it’s a city of opportunity.

In 1875 the population of New York was one million; twenty-five years later it was over three and a half million. New inventions were developed to deal with the population expansion. At break-neck speed, New York covered itself with trains, suspension bridges, elevated railways, steam boats and then skyscrapers. The first skyscraper was put up in 1888. It had only thirteen stories, but the next had twenty-two, the Empire State Building- 102, and now the World Trade Center has reached 110. Manhattan solved the space problem by building up. But although the population of New York has stabilized, the city continues to construct and destruct itself. The average lifespan of a Manhattan building is twenty years - some skyscrapers are pulled down after only ten years, while others spring up in only a few weeks. New York is never finished.

If you stop a passing New Yorker and ask where he or she comes from, the chances are that they’ll answer “I’m Irish” - or German. In New York, five people out of every eight are effectively foreigners, or children of foreigners. New York has more Jews than Israel, more Italians than the rest of the world - Italy excepted - and more ethnic minorities than anywhere else. Everyday sixty-seven foreign-language newspapers are published here.

Statistics are impressive. New York City has five boroughs and shelters roughly eight million people - sixteen million if you include the suburbs. But each day the city fills up with another four million who work here but live somewhere else. The subway uses 7,000 cars to transport five million people each day. New Yorkers produce 3 kg of garbage per day - that represents 200,000 tonnes to collect every day from 9,000 km of street and avenues. The police force employs 25,000 officers - the equivalent of the population of Monaco. It’s not surprising that being mayor of New York is supposed to be the most difficult job in the world.



Task 2.

Comprehension Check

Exercise 1.Complete the statements given below by choosing the right


1. By the beginning of the 20th century the population of New York had reached

a) two million people b) over three and a half million

c) five million people

2. The first sky-scraper had

a) thirteen stories b) ten stories c) 100 stories

3. Manhattan solved the problem of accomodation by

a) expanding b) extending c) building up

4. Though the population of New York has stabilized the city continues

a) to build up b) to expand c) to construct and distruct itself

5. The population of New York consists of

a) many nations and national minorities b) born Americans

c) mostly of Jews and Italians


Exercise 2.Look at the text and find words and phrases which mean

opposite to


similar build up poor market majority

low speed precisely destroy easy


Exercise 3.Look at the text and find compound words in it. Translate

them into Russian and use in the sentences of your own.


Exercise 4.Arrange the jumbled text given below.


1. The visitor may be photographed astride a stuffed bucking bronco or, on a Victorian tin-type picture, in the authentic costume of the Gold Rush era - a relic of Bygone Days.

2. Founded in 1858 with discovery of gold at the junction of South Platte River and Cherry Creek, Denver rapidly became the supply center for mining camps in nearby mountains. It remains the largest distribution center in the region extending from Canada to Mexico.

3. Today it is a city, where a nineteenth-century past blends, architecturally, with a skyscraping present. The saloons - the Grubstake Inn, the Glory Hole - have reopened their doors to the tourists. One is disguised as a mine, complete with pit-props and sacking. In another, behind “the only original swimming doors in the country”, tinkles an ancient mechanical piano.

4. Denver - the “Mile High City” (from the sea, not the ground) is the “capital” of the Rockies - the terminus, a century ago, of the Colorado Gold Rush. In those pioneer days it was a rough shack settlement, where it was usual enough to see a man being hanged in the public square, after a trial by the citizens, for murdering his mate with an axe.

5. Since World War II, Denver has become center for smokeless industries. A tourist mecca, it is a gateway to vast recreational areas, including major winter sports resorts and more mountains than Switzerland. Until recently, buildings were limited to 12 stories. In the last 20 years or so buildings of up to 42 stories have been erected, with a 50-story building started in 1970.


Exercise 5.Speak on some other American city. Use the words and phrases from the two texts.



Oral Practice


Asking for Information. Hotel Accomodation



Questions Replies

1. How much does a single room cost? 1. It costs 29 pounds.

2. And a double room? 2. We’ve got a double room with twin

beds for 39 pounds and with a

double bed just for the same price.

3. Have the rooms got private 3. Yes, the rooms have bathrooms.


4. Do you offer full board or half 4. Sorry, only bed and breakfast.


5.Do you offer English breakfast 5. Both. And there is a car park.

or continental one?

6. Can I make a reservation? 6. - Yes, certainly.

- No, sorry, we are full.

7. Do I have to register? 7. - Yes, please. Here are your keys.


Exercise 1.Learn the dialogues by heart and make dialogues of your

own using the patterns.


Peter: Hello, is it the Magnolia Hotel?

Receptionist: Yes, it is. Can I help you?

Peter: Yes, could I make a reservation?

Receptionist: Certainly, sir. Do you want a single or a double room?

Peter: I’d like a single room, en suite, for three days starting from


Receptionist: That’s fine. You are welcome.



Ben: How were your holidays?

Susan: Fine, thanks.

Ben: Was the accomodation satisfactory?

Susan: Yes, I had a single, ensuite.

Ben: And what about the food?

Susan: It was half-board, the English breakfast and an excellent dinner.

I didn’t need a lunch in fact. You know these huge English

breakfasts of bacon and eggs, beans, mushrooms and the like.

Ben: And how about the price?

Susan: It was quite reasonable.

Exercise 2.Role-play: you want to stay somewhere in the country.

You don’t know anything about the hotels there. Ring

the Accomodation Agency to ask for help.


Exercise 3.Make a dialogue between a receptionist and a customer at

a two-star and five-star hotels. Ask about all the facilities

(a bar, a restaurant, a swimming pool, etc.) they can offer.


Unit 4

Text 1

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