EPISODE 42
LEVEL B2

 

READING COMPREHENSION

 

CARS

Sam decided to buy himself a car. After a great deal of thinking and hesitating, he finally made up his mind to get a cheaper second-hand car rather than an expensive brand-new one. He searched on the Internet, he bought newspapers with ads and then one day a friend of a friend offered to sell him a car. It was reasonably priced for the mileage (= the number of miles that a car has traveled since it was made) it had.
The exterior (= outside part) caught the eye; the owner had never had an accident so the body (= the outside surface of a car) was in very good condition. It was only the boot (= covered space at the back of a car used for carrying things in) which was slightly dented (= pushed inwards) at one point, but you could hardly notice that.
Sam lifted the bonnet (= the front part of a car that covers the engine) and inspected the engine carefully. Then he got into the car and went for a drive to test the car on the road. The steering wheel, the accelerator (= used for speeding up), the brake (= used for slowing down or stopping a car), the gears (= part of the engine that changes engine power into movement; cars usually have 5 of them), the clutch (= a pedal you push when you change gears) and the wipers (= long thin tools that move across a windscreen to get rid of rain) – everything seemed to work pretty well. Sam was ready to buy the car, so after a bit of haggling the owner readily agreed to add the set of winter tyres (= a thick rubber cover of a wheel) and the car radio he had. The deal was made and Sam drove home in his new car.

 

More contexts for the new words:
• The two lights on the front of a vehicle, used for driving at night, are called headlights.
• The lights on a car that show in which direction it is turning are called indicators.

 

 

EXERCISE 1

Add the missing vowels (a, e, I, o, u), then answer the questions.

1. What is the ……………………………….. MLG of your (or your best friend’s) car?
2. When did you last change the ……………………………….. TRS in your car (or, when did your friend do it)?
3. Would you ever buy a car that was ……………………………….. DNTD? Why/ Why not?

 

 

ENGLISH IN USE

 

The car from today’s lesson was in good condition, apart from a slight dent in the boot, but you ‚could hardly notice it‚.
The adverb ‚hardly‚ definitely derives from the adjective ‚hard’, but is sometimes confused with another adverb formed from the same adjective, namely ‚hard‚.
When you need to use an adverb of manner (describing how you do something), then ‚hard’ comes in handy:

He worked hard all day yesterday.
I tried hard but I didn’t succeed.

The question remains now, what do we have ‚hardly‚ for? It is used in the meaning of ‚almost not’ (so it already carries negative meaning), so whenever you use it, the verb it follows must be put in the positive form. It’s not a rule, but the structure with ‚hardly‚ is often used with ‚can/could’.

I can hardly hear you (= I almost can’t hear you). Can you speak up?
He was so exhausted that he could hardly breathe. (= he almost couldn’t breathe)

Yet, ‚hardly’ can be used in the meaning of ‚almost not’ not only with verbs, but also with adjectives, e.g.

The stain is hardly visible, so don’t worry about it. (= it’s almost not visible)

IDIOM CLOSE-UP

A/ Are you feeling better now?
B/ Yes. Two more cups of coffee definitely helped my brain to CLICK INTO GEAR.

When something clicks into gear, it starts working effectively or making progress.

 

 

PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP

 

1. When a car PULLS UP, it stops, often for a short time.

Their taxi pulled up outside the station.
Could you pull up for a second? I’m feeling sick.

 

2. When you PULL OVER, you drive the car to the side of the road in order to stop.

Why don’t we pull over and have a look at the map?
What a beautiful view! Could you pull over and I’ll take a photo?

 

EXERCISE 2

Complete the mini-story with the missing words.

It was a short trip, but a very tiring one. John had to pull (1) ………………………….. every five or ten minutes because his kids wanted to pee. And then his wife asked him to pull (2) ………………………….. because she wanted to manicure her nails! After about twenty such stops, John himself had to stop and buy himself some coffee in order to help his brain click into (3) ………………………….. .

 

 

NEWS

 

ROAD RAGE
Psychologists and sociologists alike are really concerned about one of the most frequent afflictions facing mankind today – the phenomenon of road rage. Road rage can be defined as outbursts of uncontrollable anger directed at fellow road users – obviously, the condition is experienced by drivers at the end of their tether. These drivers tend to hurl verbal abuse at other drivers, who – in their opinion – are too slow, too fast, to selfish, and – in general – too everything. The disorder is believed to be a civilizational development, preconditioned by the overwhelming traffic congestion and the frantic pace of modern life. Maybe you are also one of the victims?

 

 

GLOSSARY
– afflictions – illnesses / serious problems
– outbursts – sudden expressions of a strong feeling, especially anger
– at the end of your tether – very upset because you are no longer able to deal with a difficult situation
– hurl verbal abuse – use swear words against sb
– preconditioned by – caused by
– traffic congestion – too many cars
– frantic – crazy, very fast

 

download lesson (pdf)

>>Answers

KEY TO EXERCISES

Ex.1
1. mileage
2. tyres
3. dented

Ex.2
1. up
2. over
3. gear

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