Wednesday, November 28, 2012

L3 Reading Comprehension Exercises

Reading Comprehension Task
Read the text and decide which of the three options best fits each space. 0 has been completed in bold as an example.

TV pets training school

People say you can't train cats – they're wrong. I've been doing it (0) for years/during years/years ago and I get a huge amount of job satisfaction from it.
I've always had pets. My first job was releasing pigeons from a box for a TV drama (1) so/in order/so as the director could get a shot of them flying.
Six years ago I (2) put/set/began up my own business and started training animals myself.
 I've got 16 working cats. I keep my cats in a cattery; that way I know that if I need a cat to be on a shoot that day, I can find it. It's not practical to spend months (3) by training/train/training a cat and then let it roam the streets, especially not with animal (4) burglary/robbery/theft being such a huge issue these days.
I start training the cats from when they're (5) chicks/kittens/puppies. I use a clicker. I train them to do something and, when they get it right, I (6) click/do/make the noise with the clicker, so they associate that action with getting a reward, and give them a piece of fresh chicken.
Ideally, the cat should be really greedy – if they're not motivated by food there's a limit to how much you can train them.
My cats walk from one point to another and they've all been (7) taught/teach/teaching to lay down on command. You can't just get them out of their carrying box and start filming, you need to prepare them for the shoot and (8) recall/remember/remind them what they're doing.
I like working with all animals but I get the biggest sense of achievement from working with the cats because it's (9) so/such/such a long process to train them.
I'm not so (10) fond/interested/keen on working with hamsters – they're quite unpleasant little creatures. The classic is when you're doing an advert and the director wants a shot of the hamster spinning on its wheel. They'll do it at home in their cage but the minute you've got a camera running they won't do it. I'll buy them in for a job and then give them to a child when it's over. As with cats, it helps if you can work with a greedy hamster, (11) as/like/when you get better results.
This isn't a job, it's a way of life. After a 12-hour day I'll have to make sure the animals are all right and have to bed them down before I can (12) fed up/get on/put up with my own things.

Fill in the gaps with one word only.

Are you one of the thousands of people (1) _______________ eagerly follow every new fashion trend? Or perhaps you just go to the shops and buy something (2) _______________ your size that (3) __________________ you. Or maybe you order from the Internet and then have to send everything (4) _________________ because nothing fits. Whatever (5) ________________ of shopper you are, one thing is certain. Everyone finds clothes important. (6)____________________ to a recent survey, people (7)________________ more time either buying clothes, or thinking (8) ________________ buying them, or looking at them in (9) ________________ windows than they do on most other products, (10) ________________ from food.

  1. He always has breakfast before he _____.
            a) puts on                        b) wears                     c) gets dressed
2.            Don’t forget to ___ a tie for the interview.
            a) try on                            b) put on                   c) get dressed
  1. What’s she going to ___ to the party?
            a) wear                            b) try on                      c) get dressed
  1. You should always ____ shoes before you buy them.
            a) wear                           b) fit                               c) try on
  1. This dress doesn’t ___ me – it’s a size too small.
            a) fit                              b) measure                   c) suit
  1. Green clothes ___ people with red hair.
            a) match                        b) fit                                    c) suit
  1. That pink blouse doesn’t ___ your red skirt.
            a) fit                            b) measure                        c) match

Exercise with non-defining clauses 

Write the following sentences again, giving extra information in a relative clause. Sometimes the relative clause is in the middle of the sentence, sometimes at the end. Use the sentences in parentheses (……..) to make your relative clauses.
My father goes jogging every day. (My father’s 80.)
My father, who is 80, goes jogging every day.
She gave me a ring. (I put the ring in my handbag.)
She gave me a ring, which I put in my handbag.

1.    She showed me a photograph of her son. (Her son is a banker.)
2.    We decided not to swim in the ocean. (The ocean looked a bit dirty.)
3.    The new stadium will be opened next week. (The stadium holds 90,000 people.)
4.    Sarah is one of my closest friends. (I have known Sarah for eight years.)
5.    That man over there is an artist. (I don’t remember his name.) (use whose)
6.    Opposite our house there is a nice park. (There are some beautiful trees in this park.)  (Use where)
7.    The storm caused a lot of damage. (Nobody had been expecting the storm.)
8.    The cleaning lady was late this morning. (The cleaning lady is nearly always on time.)
9.    We often go to visit our friends in Bath. (Bath is only 30 miles away.)
10.Mr. Edwards has gone to the hospital for some tests. (His health hasn’t been good recently.) (use whose)
11.Jack looks much better without his beard. (His beard made him look much older.)
12.I went to see the doctor. (The doctor told me to rest for a few days.)
13.Thank you for your letter. (I was very happy to get your letter.)
14.A friend of mine helped me to get a job. (His mother is the manager of a company.) (use whose)
15.Next weekend I am going to Rome. (My sister lives in Rome.) (use where)
16.The population of London is now falling. (London was once the largest city in the world.)
17.I looked up at the moon. (The moon was very bright that evening.)
18.We spent a pleasant day at the lake. (We had a picnic by the lake.) (use where)

L3 Reading Comprehension: Multiple-choice gap fill.
Read the text and underline the answer (A, B, C or D) which best fits each gap.
Once upon a time, people (0) school or university, joined a company and stayed with it until they retired. The concept of a job for life is now long gone, and nowadays many employees find it hard to stay loyal to their companies for even a relatively short (1)…………. of time. According to a recent survey, this is particularly (2) ………… in London, where more than half of those asked said that they constantly keep one eye on other job opportunities, (3) ………… they are fairly happy in their existing jobs. A high number of London workers say that they are always on the lookout, although they are content and motivated in their current position.
Job seekers find that the internet (4) them with a quick and easy way to find out what jobs are available, and 53 per cent said that they had applied for a job or (5) ………..… with an employment agency in the past 12 months. This proactive approach means that people can look for a perfect job match with the (6) ………… of effort. But while this is good for job hunters, the growing lack of company loyalty could (7) ………… up being a big problem for employers.
0. A ended B completed C did D left
1. A stage B point C section D period
2. A right B true C actual D real
3. A just as B as well C so that D even if
4. A serves B delivers C provides D fulfils
5. A engaged B registered C appointed D recorded
6. A least B smallest C lowest D minimum
7. A come B end C lead D run

Monday, November 12, 2012

L3 used to + INF vs. be/get used to + GER

Please be aware of these two very different verb patterns:

When she was a child, she used to spend her summer holidays in Conil. (=solía)

It took me a long time, but I am now used to getting up early on weekdays. (=estar acostumbrado)

After a few basic lessons, he quickly got used to typing with all his fingers. (=acostumbrarse)

THE FIRST VERB PATTERN IS CONSTRUCTED WITH THE INFINITIVE, THE OTHER TWO WITH THE GERUND! (The presence of the word used in all of them is what may cause confusion.)

For a more in-depth presentation of "used to", click on this link to Perfect English Grammar.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Constitutional Court rules in favour of same-sex marriage

By Ingrid Bazinet (AFP)
MADRID — Spain's constitutional court Tuesday upheld a 2005 gay marriage law, throwing out a long-standing appeal by the now-ruling Popular Party.

The court ruling dealt a resounding legal defeat to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's right-leaning party, which lodged its objection just three months after the law was passed in July 2005. The party, then in opposition, had contested the use of the word "marriage" to describe a union between a same-sex couple.

Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardón conceded that the court's published ruling had established a doctrine that was "binding" and his party would therefore make no changes to the legislation. The legal victory reinforces then prime minister Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's tradition-shattering reform, one of a string of legal changes he introduced to put Spain on the forefront of progressive social change.

In its ruling, the top court simply said it "rejected the appeal" by more than 50 members of the Popular Party who had argued the law was not constitutional. A full copy of the decision and arguments, backed by eight of the 12 judges but with three against and one abstaining, is to be released in the days ahead, it said.

Hours ahead of the decision, Rajoy said his party had objected in particular to the use of the word "marriage". "We appealed not because the union of two people of the same sex would have legal effects, that did not matter to us," he told Cope radio. "The only thing we appealed was the name, that is to say the word 'marriage' was the reason for the appeal."

The Spanish court decision comes just as neighbouring France's Socialist government is about to propose gay marriage legislation, which has been hotly opposed by the Church and some conservatives. Spain's gay marriage law, which also lets homosexual couples adopt children, has allowed as many as 22,000 gay couples to wed, according to a national federation of gays, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals. When the legislation was passed seven years ago, Spain became only the third member of the European Union after Belgium and the Netherlands to allow same-sex weddings.