HISTORY: BASIC VOCABULARY
John: Are you interested in history?
Mark: Yeah, I have read several books about ancient ( = from a long time ago) Greece or the Roman empire (= a group of countries ruled by a single person, government or country).
John: Do you ever read about prehistoric ( = before anything was written down) events?
Mark: Not very often. Humans lived in caves (= large holes in the side of a mountain) and hunted (= caught and killed animals) for food back then, what’s to read about?
John: They were our ancestors (= people who lived before us) and they had their art. The vase in the picture dates back to prehistoric times (= comes from prehistoric times).
Mark: True, but it is rather primitive (= very simple), don’t you think?
John: You’re right, but I still think it was a fascinating period in history.
More contexts for the new words:
- There were portraits of his ancestors on the walls of the room.
(= there were portraits of the family members who lived before him on the walls)
- I’m having a date tonight.
(= I’m meeting my girlfriend tonight)
Decide if the sentences below are true or false. Correct the false ones.
- If something is ancient, it is very old.
- Empires are usually very powerful and important.
- When something is primitive, it is very complicated.
- Some animals, e.g. bats or bears, can live in caves.
- Ancestors are people who will live after us.
- Prehistoric times are often described in science fiction books.
Rearrange the words and phrases to make questions, and then answer them.
- do you know / What / your ancestors? / about
- illegal? / Should hunting / Why? / be made
- interested in? / Why? / Are you / ancient history
ENGLISH IN USE
This time we are going to learn a new word: “several.” Look at the sentence:
I have read several books about ancient Greece.
The first question is how many books he has read. He has read some books, but not many.
“Several” is like “some”, but it can only be used with countable nouns. Can we say “several sugar?” No, sugar is uncountable. Can we say “several spoons of sugar?” Of course, “a spoon” is a countable noun.
A/ Hey, what happened between you and Kate?
B/ Finally we realized that we could never get along, and THE REST IS HISTORY.
When you say the rest is history, it means that everyone knows the rest of the story that you are referring to.
PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP
- When you STAND OUT from a group of others, you are much better than them. The related adjective is ‘outstanding.’
Queen Elizabeth II stands out from all the other monarchs due to her exceptionally long reign.
Their old orange car stood out from all the rest.
- When you SHOW OFF, you behave in a way that is intended to attract people’s attention and make them admire you. The related noun for such a person is ‘a show-off.’
Many contemporary heirs to the throne can’t resist the temptation to show off their power.
The kids start showing off the minute anyone comes into the house.
Complete each gap with one word.
- Then they arrested all the officers of the corporation, and the rest …………………………. history.
- Her bright clothes always make her stand …………………………. in a crowd.
- He’s such a playboy – he’s always showing …………………………. with women around.
HISTORY ON MATURA
The Ministry of Education has just announced that it is considering reintroducing history as an obligatory subject to be taken at the ‘matura’ exam. Proponents of this idea claim that everyone should be familiar with the history of their country, and that such a step would help encourage patriotic attitudes among young adults. Opponents, however, argue that it would just add to the amount of useless knowledge that teenagers have to accumulate, and forcing someone to take an exam is not the best way to make them like the subject. And what do you think?
– considering – thinking about sth
– reintroducing – having again
– obligatory – sth you have to do
– proponents – supporters
KEY TO EXERCISES
- False – it is very simple
- False – these are people who lived before us
- False – they are described in history books
- What do you know about your ancestors?
- Should hunting be made illegal? Why?
- Are you interested in ancient history? Why?