LEVEL B1 – B2
A NEW PHONE
„So which phone should I get?” asks Julia. „I sort of like this Motorola here.”
„What do they say about it?” Timothy looks over Julia’s shoulder at the brochure. „A 2-megapixel camera. Do you want a camera?”
„Sure, why not”, says Julia.
„OK. It has headphone wires (headphones = a device with a part to cover each ear through which you can listen to music without other people hearing; wires = cables) included so you can listen to music too…”
„Or how about this Sony Ericsson?” Julia’s attention drifts to another phone.
„’A touch screen (= a screen on which you 'click' on items by touching them) for simplified navigation (=choosing which options you want to use), which is also big enough for comfortable video viewing and great web browsing.' OK, honey, but are you really going to watch videos and surf the internet on your mobile?”
„Not likely”, agrees Julia. „Then how about this one here? Unique swivel design (=when some of the elements move) in a lovely bright pink colour – look, you have to turn a half of it around to open it – a 1.5-megapixel camera, MP3 player, Bluetooth, voice dialling. So I just need to call your name, and it will make a call to you! And it comes with a free Bluetooth headset (= a set of headphones with a microphone fixed to it)!”
„What make is this?” asks the brand-conscious Timothy.
„Oh who cares, if it is pink!”
More contexts for the new words:
- We don’t have wireless here – you need to use the Ethernet cable if you need internet access.
(= a device or system which performs telecommunications applications without using cables/wires, usually by relying on radio frequencies instead)
- Lizzie swivelled round quickly to look out the window.
(= to turn round in order to face another direction)
- Is the phone disconnected? There’s no dialling tone.
(= a continuous sound which tells you that a telephone is connected and ready to be used)
Match the words from both columns to make correct expressions.
- touch a) player
- voice b) browsing
- headphone c) dialling
- MP3 d) viewing
- dialling e) screen
- video f) camera
- swivel g) tone
- web h) wires
- 2-megapixel i) design
Answer the questions:
Which of the features mentioned in the text:
- does your current phone have?
- you have never had but would like to?
- are unnecessary/useless in your opinion?
ENGLISH IN USE
Look at this sentence from the text:
– You have to turn a half of it around to open it.
„A half” is a common expression. In some contexts, it could be written as „1/2”, still pronounced „a half”. This is an example of a fraction. If we write it in a different form: 0.5, it is a decimal. The pronunciation then is different: „oh point five„. Some more spelling and pronunciation rules relating to numbers are:
– When reading out fractions, read the top number as a cardinal number, followed by the ordinal number + 's': 3/8 => three eighths, 2/5 => two fifths BUT 1/4 => one quarter, 2/3 => two thirds, 1/2 => one half
– Read decimals as the given number point XYZ: 2.362 => two point three six two
– In texts, decimals and fractions are usually set in figures, although in some cases, a fraction may be spelled out: „I read about two-thirds of the chapter last night.” Note that hyphens are used when spelling out fractions.
– For numbers of four digits or larger, use a comma: 1,500; 35,000. Very large numbers should be expressed with a figure and word: $450 million.
A/ Weren’t we supposed to meet at 2 o’clock?
B/ Oh, we must have GOT OUR WIRES CROSSED. I thought we agreed to meet at 4.
If people get their wires crossed, they do not understand each other correctly.
PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP
1. If you CALL something OFF, you cancel or postpone something.
The trip has been called off due to insufficient funds.
We’re calling the meeting off for now, but we’ll see how everything goes and will let you know if anything changes.
2. If you CALL ON somebody, you order them or request to undertake a particular activity.
I called on my friends to help me when I ran out of ideas myself.
I now call on everyone to raise a glass to the happy couple.
Match sentences from the two columns into synonymous pairs.
- They cancelled the concert because of heavy rain. a) We got our wires crossed.
- I think we had a small misunderstanding. b) It was called off.
- He encouraged them to also participate in the protest. c) He called on them to join.
MOBILE PHONE ADDICTION ON THE RISE
More and more people are becoming addicted to mobile phones, and the consequences seem to be graver than anyone might have suspected. In a study done at the University of Staffordshire, scientists found problem behaviour linked to using a mobile in 16% of 106 users who were studied. Mobile phone users may suffer from increased stress levels and irritability, resulting, among others, in high blood pressure. Scientists have also found out more and more people exhibit the tendency to conceal the real amount of time they spend fiddling with their phone. Or phones, as some have been found to use not one, not two, but as many as nine mobile phones!
– grave – serious, important, threatening a bad outcome
– to exhibit – to show, to display, to manifest
– to conceal – to hide
– to fiddle with sth – to touch or move things with your fingers, often because you are nervous or bored