The world’s most respected companies


In a survey for the Financial Times, 1000 respondents (all of them Chief Executive Officers) across 25 countries identified the companies they respect most and gave the reasons for their choices. The criteria used for ranking include, among others, innovation, customer service and community commitment (i.e. supporting the community by creating jobs, protecting the environment, giving money to charity etc.)
The company which scored most highly in the eyes of CEOs for demonstrating commitment to, and investment in, communities is Microsoft. Among the reasons they give are the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “the company’s respect for local community needs” and the large sums it spends on sponsorship. “Bill Gates’ contributions to charity have dramatically changed the image of Microsoft”, says one CEO.

Toyota, in second place, has a “commitment to train local suppliers and employees”, says another respondent. And another one says the autos company contributes to the protection of the environment.

Third is Coca-Cola, which “provides a lot of employment” and “adapts to the culture of every country”. BP and McDonald’s take fourth and fifth place, and GE comes sixth.

The next generation of respected companies, says one CEO, will be those that develop environmental technology and medical treatments for global use and that contribute to world peace and safety.


Exercise 1

Find words in the text which mean the following:

1. ankieta ________________________
2. ankietowany ________________________
3. leczenie ________________________
4. pokolenie ________________________
5. szanować ________________________
6. szkolić ________________________
7. wkład ________________________
8. wspierać ________________________
9. wspólnota ________________________
10. zatrudnienie ________________________


Exercise 2

Complete these collocations from the text with the words listed in the box:

create / demonstrate / give / protect / spend / train

1. to ______________ reasons
2. to ______________ jobs
3. to ______________ environment
4. to ______________ commitment
5. to ______________ money
6. to ______________ employees


Exercise 3

Change the form of these words to obtain the ones used in the text:

1. to respond __________________
2. to innovate __________________
3. to invest __________________
4. to sponsor __________________
5. to contribute __________________
6. to employ __________________



Phrasals, phrasals…

This lesson’s reading text was about companies that people respect. To express the idea of respect in English we use the phrasal verb “look up to” (podziwiać). We may of course want to express an opposite feeling, and then we would say that we “look down on” (pogardzać) something or someone.
And you? Who do you look up to? And is there anything that you look down on?



Grammar corner…

Let’s study these two fragments of the reading text:

  • The company which scored most highly (…)
  • Bill Gates’ contributions to charity have dramatically changed the image of Microsoft.

The underlines words are adverbs – words which go with verbs or adjectives to specify their meaning.

How do we form adverbs in English? By adding the ending “–ly” to the adjective.

We must remember however that sometimes (when adjectives end in “–ic”, we have to make the ending longer: :-ally”, and that some adverbs have the same form as the adjectives.


Exercise 4

Transform these adjectives into adverbs:

1. quick ___________________
2. fast ___________________
3. democratic ___________________
4. financial ___________________
5. hard ___________________
6. interesting ___________________




respected – szanowany
survey – ankieta
respondent – ankietowany
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – prezes firmy
reason – powód
choice – wybór
to include – zawierać
among others – między innymi
innovation – innowacja
customer service – obsługa klienta
community – wspólnota, tu: społeczeństwo
commitment – zobowiazanie
to support – wspierać
to protect – chronić
environment – środowisko
charity – cele charytatywne
to score – osiągnąć wynik
to demonstrate – okazywać
sponsorship – sponsoring
contribution – wkład
to train – szkolić
supplier – dostawca
employment – zatrudnienie
generation –  pokolenie
medical treatment – leczenie
peace – (s)pokój
safety – bezpieczeństwo


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1. survey
2. respondent
3. (medical) treatment
4. generation
5. respect
6. train
7. contribution
8. support
9. community
10. employment

Ex. 2
1. to give reasons
2. to create jobs
3. to protect environment
4. to demonstrate commitment
5. to spend money
6. to train employees

Ex. 3
1. respondent
2. innovation
3. investment
4. sponsorship
5. contribution
6. employment

1. quickly
2. fast
3. democratic
4. financial
5. hard
6. interesting