LEVEL A1.2/A2.1







We live in a dangerous world, some people say. Opportunity makes a thief, others will add (= a saying: if people have a chance to take something away without being punished, they will do it). Well, it is true that there are many types of crime for us to look at. First of all, let’s look at expressions connected with stealing (= taking something away without the owner’s permission). There is pickpocketing (= when somebody takes your wallet away on a bus or in a shop). It happens quite often and sometimes we don’t even know when. Then there is burglary (= when somebody takes something away from your house when you are not there or happen to be asleep) and robbery (= when somebody steals money from a bank). And there is shoplifiting (= when somebody takes something from a shop without paying for it). What about other types of crime? There is for example drink-driving (= when somebody drives after they have drunk too much alcohol) and jaywalking (= when somebody crosses a street at place where it is not allowed).


More contexts for the new words: 


  • Another plane was hijacked yesterday. (= Terrorists took control of a plane) 
  • A boy was kidnapped last week. (= A boy was taken away illegally) 



Match the crimes to their definitions.

  1. stealing 
  2. pickpocketing
  3. burglary
  4. robbery
  5. shoplifiting
  6. drink-driving
  7. jaywalking
  8. hijacking
  9. kidnapping


a) crossing the street illegally
b) driving after drinking
c) stealing from a shop
d) stealing from your house
e) stealing money from a bank
f) stealing your wallet on a bus
g) taking away a person
h) taking control of a plane
i) taking something away without the owner’s permission



Match the question halves, then answer the questions.


  1. Do you agree with the saying that                   a. for jay-walking?
  2. Which crime is more serious:                           b. shoplifting or drink-driving?
  3. What explanations do people have                 c. opportunity makes a thief?





In one of the sentences above we have the name of a crime: drink-driving.

In this name we use a basic form of the verb. The other two are: drank and drunk.
There are more verbs which follow the same pattern. They are for example:

ring rang rung  (e.g. The telephone rang, when I was cooking dinner)
begin began begun (e.g. I have just begun my English course)
sing sang sung (e.g. I usually sing when I have a shower





A/ Suzy’s parents are very easy-going with her.

B/ Yes, she GETS AWAY WITH MURDER. They really should be more strict.


If you get away with murder, you are allowed to do anything without being punished.






  1. When you HOLD UP a bank, you rob it.


He was arrested for holding up three banks.

Hands up! It’s a hold-up!


  1. If you LET someone OFF, you allow them to go unpunished.


Many criminals are let off because the police are not doing their job properly.

John was caught jaywalking, but he was let off with a warning.



Complete each gap with one word.


  1. There is no way they’ll let you …………………. if you kill your boss.
  2. He needed money, so he decided to hold …………………. a bank.
  3. She loves her husband so much, he could get …………………. with murder.







Priscilla Pinkerton, the well-known pop singer, was caught yesterday stealing clothes in a shopping mall. This is the fifth time the celebrity was caught stealing from a shop within the last year. When questioned by the police, she explained that all clothes go out of fashion very quickly, so she really needs more than she can afford to buy. She also claimed that she was going to return them to the shops after using them only once. “I can’t wear the same dress twice,” the singer explains, “and all the designer labels are outrageously expensive!”



questioned – interviewed

designer labels – clothes by famous designers

outrageously – very



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  1. i
  2. f
  3. d
  4. e
  5. c
  6. b
  7. a
  8. h
  9. g


Ex. 2

  1. c
  2. b
  3. a



  1. off
  2. up
  3. away