EPISODE 92
LEVEL A1.2/A2.1

 

READING COMPREHENSION 

 

BEING NERVOUS

I had my final English exam yesterday. In the morning I felt so nervous that I couldn’t eat! So I went to my school very early and I met my classmates. Everyone was as nervous about the exam as me, of course. Sara was a bit anxious (=nervous about something in the future) because she’s not very good at grammar, Peter was so tense that he didn’t even want to talk to me (=he couldn’t relax), and generally everyone was rather uneasy (=nervous and anxious). We tried drinking some coffee, but we were uncomfortable (=not pleasant) sitting on the chairs and I noticed that my palms were sweating (=the insides of my hands were getting wet). Ann even started to get a bit panicky (=starting to panic), because she was sure she was going to fail, but she’s generally quite a hysterical person, so this wasn’t unusual for her. Of course, in the end we all passed the test, so all of this being nervous was a complete waste of time…

 

More contexts for the new words: 

  • Are you often nervous before exams? 
  • What kinds of things make you tense

 

EXERCISE 1 

Match the expressions to their definitions.

  1. sweating
  2. anxious
  3. uncomfortable
  4. panicky
  5. palms
  6. tense

a) starting to panic
b) getting wet
c) unable to relax
d) the insides of your hands
e) nervous about sth in the future
f) not pleasant

 

EXERCISE 2 

Match the question halves, then answer the questions.

  1. When did you last have an uncomfortable      a) situation at work?
  2. When was the last time you felt                         b) people? Who are they?
  3. Do you know any hysterical                                c) uneasy about something?

 

 

ENGLISH IN USE  

With these adjectives, you very often use the preposition ’about'

  • nervous / anxious / tense / uneasy / panicky / hysterical about 
  • We were all nervous about the exam. 
  • What are you so uneasy about
  • I am anxious about my driving test tomorrow.

 

 

IDIOM CLOSE-UP 

A/ Why did you leave in the middle of the exam?

B/ I just LOST MY NERVE.

When you lose your nerve, you are no longer able to control your fear.

 

 

PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP

 

  1. If you CRACK UP, you become mentally ill.

He just cracked up from all the stress.
I think she’s cracking up – she is so panicky all the time.

 

  1. When you COOL OFF, you become calm again.

Let her cool off, you can discuss it later.
I’m quite busy now, but when things cool off I’ll come and see you.

 

EXERCISE 3 

Rewrite the sentences keeping the same meaning and using the word in capitals. 

 

  1. John became mentally ill after his son died.

[UP] ……………………………………………………………………………

 

  1. Suddenly I lost control of my fear and I couldn’t move.

[NERVE] ……………………………………………………………………………….

 

  1. We both had to calm down after the argument.

[OFF] ……………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

NEWS

  

MASS HYSTERIA

Panic broke out yesterday in a fashionable shopping mall in the centre of Poznań. It all started when a female customer of one of the designer boutiques started shrieking in the fitting room. ‘A mouse, a mouse,’ she kept shouting, but refused to move anywhere. She just made a lot of noise.

But the other women did move – all the customers of the boutique ran out immediately, and started screaming ‘A mouse, a mouse’ themselves. They were in such a hurry to leave the shopping mall that they pushed their way through quite brutally.

In the resulting stampede, three women were hurt, and one girl had to be taken to hospital. It is still unclear if there really was a mouse in the shop.

 

GLOSSARY 

shopping mall – a large building with a lot of shops, restaurants, and sometimes a cinema
shrieking – screaming
fitting room – the place where you try on clothes in a shop
stampede – running fast in fear

 

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>>Answers

KEY TO EXERCISES  

 

Ex.1

  1. b
  2. e
  3. f
  4. a
  5. d
  6. c

 

Ex.2

  1. a
  2. c
  3. b

 

Ex.3 

  1. John cracked up after his son died.
  2. Suddenly I lost my nerve and I couldn’t move.
  3. We both had to cool off after the argument.

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