Writing (an email describing the place you live in)

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Writing (an email describing the place you live in)

Getting started


Read the rubric and underline the key words/phrases. What words/phrases can you think of related to the word 'city'?


This is part of an email you received from your English friend.


My family and I have just moved to Cambridge. It’s green, very peaceful and I like it a lot! What is the city you live in like? Do you enjoy living there?


Now write an email to Helen, telling her what the city you live in is like and if you enjoy living there or not.



Let’s look closer


Read the email and complete the paragraph plan.

Introduction (Para 1) Opening remarks
Dear Helen,

Ø 1Hi! How’s everything going? I really enjoyed your email and I’m glad you like Cambridge.

(Para 2) Name and location of city, what it is like
2My city, Barcelona, is a cosmopolitan place situated in the north-east of Spain. There are beautiful block of flats, elegant shops and fantastic shopping centres. The people are very friendly. I just love walking along the busy streets and mixing with the city people. Getting around Barcelona is quite easy because there is a metro and lots of buses. Of course, Barcelona, like most big cities, has its problems, too. It can be noisy, with heavy traffic and crowded streets. I don’t mind, though. You see, I’m a city girl and I love it.

(Para 3)How writer feels about living there
3 Barcelona is never boring. There are lots of cinemas, theatres, cafés and restaurants. What I enjoy the most, though, is the sea, and the musicians performing in the streets during summer.

Conclusion (Para 4) Closing remarks
4Iguess I could talk about Barcelona for days. Why don’t you come and spend your summer holidays with my family and me? Write back and let me know.

Take care,




Topic sentences


The topic sentence is the first sentence in the paragraph. It introduces or summarises the main topic of the paragraph and gives the reader an idea of what the paragraph is going to be about. The rest of the paragraph (supporting sentences) develops the main idea of the topic sentence.


Look at the main body paragraphs in the letter in Ex. 2. Underline the topic sentences. Does the information that follows further develop the topic sentences?

(Yes, the information that follows develops the topic sentences.)


What do you expect to read in paragraphs starting with the following topic sentences?

Can you think of other topic sentences to replace them?


  1. Cracow has many impressive sights to see.

2. Nightlife in Moscow is exciting.

3. Cancun is a place that has something to offer everyone.


Using adjectives


When we describe a place we can use a variety of adjectives to make our description more interesting

A. Complete the table with synonyms from the list, as in the example.




big Large


B. Replace the words in bold with adjectives from the table in Ex. 5a.

1 Sharon lives in a very big detached house in a nice suburb, huge, beautiful

2 This hotel is really bad so you'd better find another one. awful/terrible

3 Pleasantville is a very small village situated on the shore of a lake, tiny

4 The view from the hill is very nice, magnificent

5 The weather is very bad. terrible/awful

6 It is a nice shop but the service is very bad. charming, awful/terrible

Your turn

Answer the questions (1-2) about yourself. Use the useful language box.

  1. What is your city/town/village like? Think about: location – attractions – shops – transport – nightlife
  2. Do you enjoy living there? Why (not)?


Describing places

location: is situated/is located ... in (the)north/south/east/west/on the north/south/east/ west coast of .../in the centre/heart/middle of... attractions: fantastic funfair; ancient temples; busy market; sandy beach; medieval castle; etc shops: modern shopping centre; lovely antique shops; etc transport: convenient public transport, modern metro; etc nightlife: dance clubs; fashionable/popular restaurants; trendy cafes/theatres; etc  


Read the rubric in Ex. 1 again. Use your answers in Ex.6 to write your email to your English friend (80-100 words). You can use the paragraph plan in Ex.2 to help you.



Семинарское занятие № 19

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