EPISODE 61
LEVEL B2

 

READING COMPREHENSION 

 

DEATH


There are births and weddings, but there are also funerals (= religious ceremony organized when someone dies). People are born, get married and they die, whether they like it or not.
When a person dies, the funeral ceremony is organized at the cemetery (= a large area where dead people are put). Family and friends of the person who died, all in mourning (= very sad), come to bury (= put into the ground) his/her body put into a coffin (= a kind of box made of wood) or ashes in an urn, when the body is cremated. Everyone is full of grief (= sadness) due to the loss of someone they liked or loved. People present at the funeral give condolences to the closest family of the dead person, expressing their sympathy (= they say they are sorry).
People put wreaths (= a circle of flowers) and candles on the grave (= a place where one person is buried) to show they remember and miss the person who passed away (= died).

 

More contexts for the new words: 

  • The situation is very grave. What are we going to do? (= very serious, worrying)

 

EXERCISE 1 

Decide if the sentences below are true of false. Correct the false ones.

  1. You put a dead person’s body into a coffin.
  2. When you’re cremated, the remains are put into an urn.
  3. Inside the urn, you can find the dead person’s dusts.
  4. If you’re in mourning, it means you have woken up early.
  5. A wreath is a circle of flowers.
  6. If you express your sympathy, you say you like someone.

 

 

ENGLISH IN USE  

 

Let us think today about the usage of verbs and pronouns after words like ‚everyone/everybody’.

‚Everyone is full of grief due to the loss of someone they liked or loved.’

The first thing you notice is the chunk ‚everyone is’, which is all fine, because EVERYBODY/EVERYONE is always accompanied by a SINGULAR VERB.

‚Does everyone have a pen?’
‚Everybody needs
love.’

There is another thing to be noticed in the sentence quoted – the use of ‚they’ later in the sentence. ‚They’ is clearly connected to ‚everyone’. Some of you will probably think: ‚why didn’t they use ‚he/she’ in this place, we don’t know if we talk about a man or a woman + a moment ago you said we should use a singular verb after ‚everyone?’.

 

The answer is: ‚ok, you do use a singular verb with ‚everyone’, but it is also clear that ‚everyone’ refers to more than one person. ‚So, if you want to refer to ‚everyone’ later in a sentence or in a new sentence, it is more natural to use ‚they’ (which is impersonal and not related to sex). In this way you avoid using ‚he/she’, ‚him/her,’ etc.

A) Did everyone get a copy?
B) Yes, they did.


‚Everyone was happy and they told me so.’

The same rules apply to ‚nobody/no one’.

 

 

IDIOM CLOSE-UP

 

A/ Dude, you LOOK LIKE DEATH WARMED UP!

B/ Thanks, man. I’ve been sick for the past two months.

 

When you look/ feel like death warmed up, you look/ feel very ill. 

 

 

PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP

 

  1. When something DIES AWAY, it becomes quieter or weaker and finally stops.

The music gradually died away.

The sound of her footsteps gradually died away.

 

  1. When something DIES OUT, it becomes less common and finally stops existing.

Dinosaurs died out millions of years ago.

It’s a tradition which is beginning to die out.

 

EXERCISE 2 

Match the sentence halves.

  1. He shouldn’t be working when he’s so ill                          a. – he looks like death warmed up!
  2. The tribe’s traditional way of life                                        b. died away.
  3. The sound of the party gradually                                        c. is dying out.

 

NEWS

 

CREMATION FASHION

Warsaw’s crematoria are barely coping with the recent huge demand for their services. More and more people are choosing to be buried in an urn instead of a coffin, or even ask to have their ashes scattered in the mountains or in a meadow. The institutions are now providing a cremation every hour and are working at full throttle.

How does the procedure work? First of all, the family and friends are invited into a special room, where they can pay their last respects to the deceased. Then the body, in a special coffin, is slowly transported into the incinerator, with classical music playing softly in the background. Finally, after an hour or so, any remaining metal elements (e.g. nails from the coffin) are removed, and the ashes put into an urn. Easy, isn’t it? And way cheaper than a traditional funeral!

  

GLOSSARY 

crematoria – the plural of ‘crematorium’ – the building where the bodies of dead people are cremated

scattered – thrown around

at full throttle –  as fast as possible

pay their last respects – attend a funeral

the deceased – the dead person

incinerator – a huge ‘oven’ in a crematorium

 

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>>Answers

KEY TO EXERCISES  

 

Ex. 1

  1. True
  2. True
  3. False – you can find there ashes
  4. False – it means someone close to you has died
  5. True
  6. False – you say you are sorry

 

Ex. 2 

  1. a
  2. c
  3. b

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