The Coca Cola story

Coca Cola sells its soft drink to more countries around the world than any other company. The sugary black soda drink was first created in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia. The company started expanding in its early years and by 1900 it had spread to Asia and Europe. Throughout World War II American soldiers were provided with Coca Cola and at that time it was manufactured in over 60 factories around the world. It became a global symbol of America. Not everyone, however, welcomed Coca Cola. In the 1950s the French captured trucks full of bottles and smashed them against the ground. During the Cold War Coca Cola became a symbol of capitalism and the free world. It was not allowed in the Soviet Union; however, in 1979 it became an official sponsor at the 1980 World Ice Hockey Championships in Moscow. After Mao Zedong had died, China opened itself to the west and after ten years of talks Coca Cola became officially allowed for the first time in the Communist era. East Germans provocatively drank Coca Cola after the Berlin Wall came down when Communism collapsed in the country in 1989. In the Middle East the company fought hard to get back into the market after it had been banned in Arab countries. This came about because Coca Cola sold their product to enemy Israel as well. As a result, Pepsi became more popular and dominated the Arabian market. Recently Coca Cola has been allowed on sale again in Myanmar, after sixty years of absence. The trade embargo was lifted as the government started to move towards democracy.

Exercise 1
Match the words and expressions in bold from the text with these definitions:

1. _____________ = not being present
2. _____________ = not allowed
3. _____________ = happened
4. _____________ = got control of something
5. _____________ = stopped existing in a dramatic way
6. _____________ = became number one
7. _____________ = growing
8. _____________ = in the whole world
9. _____________ = no longer exisitng
10. _____________ = produced
11. _____________ = here: in shops so that you can buy it
12. _____________ = given
13. _____________ = destroyed
14. _____________ = a drink that does not have any alcohol
15. _____________ = when a country orders its people and companies not to trade with other countries


Exercise 2
Combine the words from the two columns to form collocations as in the text:

1. soft                allowed
2. global           drink
3. official          embargo
4. officially      sponsor
5. trade            symbol


I know English idioms!

The topic of this lesson is Coca Cola – a very popular kind of soft drinks. Not so popular though to have become subject of idioms. Contrary to another, even more popular drink: tea. This one IS used in the very common idiom: sth is not my cup of tea, which just means that I don’t like something.
Are English idioms YOUR cup of the?


Phrasals, phrasals…

This lesson’s reading text contains two phrasal verbs based on the verb “come”: come about and come down. As we already know their meaning, let’s see some other examples of how to use them:

  • A lot of trees came down in the storm.
  • House prices have come down recently.
  • Inflation is coming down.  The questions is how the problem came about at all.
  • The change finally came about three years later in 1982.
  • A good deal has come about by word of mouth.


Grammar corner

(…) it had been banned in Arab countries
Recently Coca Cola has been allowed on sale again in Myanmar.
The underlined fragments of these sentences from the reading text are in the passive voice. However, their form is quite complicated as these are perfect tenses (past and present perfect).

Try and complete these sentences with perfect forms of the passive voice:
1. I (already / inform) ___________________________ about the changes.
2. She (not/give) ____________________________ the final answer yet.
3. We (invited) ____________________________ to their party recently.
4. They (promise) ____________________________ better conditions of employment.



soft drink – napój bezalkoholowy
sugary – słodki
to expand – rozrastać się
to spread – rozprzestrzenić się
throughout – przez, na przestrzeni
to provide – zapewnić, dostarczyć
soldier – żołnierz
to manufacture – wytwarzać
factory – fabryka
to welcome – powitać
to capture – schwytać, przechwycić
truck – ciężarówka
to smash – roztrzaskać
ground – ziemia
to be allowed – być dozwolonym
Soviet Union – Związek Radziecki
championships – mistrzostwa
talks – rozmowy, negocjacje
provocatively – prowokacyjnie
to come down – runąć
to collapse – zawalić się
the Middle East – Bliski Wschód
to fight (fought) – walczyć
to get back – wrócić
to be banned – być zakazanym
to come about – wydarzyć się
enemy – wróg, wrogi
to dominate – zdominować
on sale – w sprzedaży
absence – nieobecność
trade – handel
to be lifted – znieść
government – rząd
to move towards – iść w kierunku
democracy – demokracja


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1. absence = not being present
2. banned = not allowed
3. came about = happened
4. captured = got control of something
5. collapsed = stopped existing in a dramatic way
6. dominated = became number one
7. expanding = growing
8. global = in the whole world
9. lifted = no longer exisitng
10. manufactured = produced
11. on sale = here: in shops so that you can buy it
12. provided = given
13. smashed = destroyed
14. soft drink = a drink that does not have any alcohol
15. embargo = when a country orders its people and companies not to trade with other countries

Ex. 2
1. soft drink
2. global symbol
3. official sponsor
4. officially allowed
5. trade embargo

Ex. Grammar corner
1. have already been informed
2. hasn’t been given.
3. have been invited
4. have been promised