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1) Charles Ives is now acclaimed as the first great American composer of the twentieth century.

2) He had to wait many years for the recognition he deserved.

3) The son of the bandmaster, Ives entered Yale at twenty to study composition with Horatio Parker, but after graduation, he did not choose to pursue a career in music.

4) He suspected correctly that the public would not accept the music he wrote.

5) Even the few conductors and performers he tried to interest in his compositions felt that they were unpayable.

6) Instead, he became a successful insurance worker, turning his company into the largest agency in the country.

7) Even during that busy time, he still dedicated himself to composing music in the evenings, on weekends and during vacations.

8 ) Although he occasionally hired musicians to play one of his works privately for him, he usually heard his music only in his imagination.

9) After he recovered from a serious heart attack, he became reconciled to the fact that his ideas, especially the use of dissonance and special effects, were just too different for the musical mainstream.

10) Determined to share his music with the few people who might appreciate it, he published his work privately and distributed it free.

#1.(…) Was Charles Ives’ music similar or different from the music of the time?

#2. (…) How did he make his living?

#3. (…) What did he do to share his music with at least some music lovers?

#4. (…) Was his suspicion right?

#5. (…) The world fame and understanding were quick to come to the first great American composer of the twentieth century, weren’t they?

28.05.2009 Розділ 08 Комментарии отключены admin


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1) After inventing dynamite Swedish-born Alfred Nobel became a very rich man.

2) However, he saw its universally destructive power too late.

3) Nobel preferred not to be remembered as the inventor of dynamite.

4) So in 1895 just two weeks before his death, he created a fund to be used for awarding prizes to people who made worth-while contributions to mankind.

5) Originally, there were five awards: literature, physics, chemistry, medicine and peace.

6) Economics was added in 1963, just sixty-seven years after the first ceremony.

7) Nobel’s original legacy of nine million dollars was invested and the interest on this sum is used for the awards which vary from 30000 to 125000.

8 ) Every year on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s, the awards (gold medal, diploma and money) are presented to winners.

9) Sometimes politics plays an important role in the judges’ decisions.

10) Some people have won two prizes, but this is rare, others have shared their prizes; Americans have won numerous science prizes, but relatively few literature prizes.

#1. (…)Did Alfred Nobel as the inventor of dynamite realize its might at once?

#2. (…) People often get several prizes among five awards, don’t they?

#3. (…) What was Alfred Nobel’s origin?

#4. (…) What people were to be awarded prizes according to Nobel’s will?

#5, (…) What does the award comprise?

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1) When the early settlers, especially the English, arrived in the New World, the hardships and dangers awaiting them were totally unexpected.

2) Had it not been for some friendly Indians, the colonists would never have survived the terrible winters.

3) The cold, famine, illnesses and diseases were all equally dangerous.

4) The first settlers knew nothing about planting crops, hunting animals, building houses, or making clothing from animal skins.

5) Life in England had been much simpler, and this new life was not like what the Spanish explorers had reported.

6) The settlers introduced iron tools, muskets for hunting, domesticated animals and political ways to the Indians.

7) In exchange, the settlers learned to build canoes for water transportation and snowshoes and toboggans for winter travelling.

8 ) The Indians also taught them to blaze trails through the forest, to hunt large animals and trap smaller ones, and to spear fish in the lakes and streams.

9) The natives also introduced to the settlers typical foods, such as turkey, corn, beans and pumpkin.

10) Everything possible was done in order to make their new settlement resemble the homes they had left behind.

#1.(…) Who misinformed the English?

#2. (…) The first settlers did not expect any difficulties, did they?

#3. (…) What did the newcomers have to know?

#4. (…) Did the settlers learn a lot from Indians about hunting and fishing?

#5. (…) What was unknown for all friendly Indians?

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1) Elizabeth Blackwell was born in England in 1821 and emigrated to New-York City when she was ten years old.

2) One day he decided that she wanted to become a doctor.

3) That was nearly impossible for a woman in the middle of the nineteenth century.

4) After writing many letters seeking admission to medical school, she was finally accepted by a doctor in Philadelphia.

5) So determined was she that she taught at school and gave music lessons to earn money for tuition.

6) In 1849, after graduation from medical school, she decided to further her education in Paris.

7) She wanted to be a surgeon, but a serious eye infection forced her to abandon the idea.

8 ) Upon returning to the United States she found it difficult to start her own practice because she was a woman.

9) By 1857 Elizabeth and her sister, also a doctor, along with another female doctor, managed to open a new hospital, the first for women and children.

10) Besides being the first female physician and founding her own hospital, Elizabeth Blackwell also established the first medical school for women.

#1. (…)When was it next to impossible for a woman to choose any profession and, for instance, become a physician?

#2. (…) Who was among the first to open medical schools for women?

#3. (…) How did she manage to collect money for getting education?

#4. (…) Why couldn’t she realize her cherished dream of becoming a highly qualified surgeon?

#5. (…) Was it easy for Elizabeth to initiate her own medical practice?

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1) Madame Tussaud’s is London’s famous highly visited tourist attraction, with over two and a half million visitors a year.

2) There are over 400 models on display, each one worth 20000 pounds, so security is tight.

3) However, visitors can’t resist picking up souvenirs and someone even went off with Marie Antoinette’s head.

4) Making the wax models is a highly skilled and lengthy process, for it takes months of work for the artists and craftsmen, who combine to produce the final figure.

5) All the waxworks are life-size replicas of the real person, down to the last detail.

6) Stuart Williamson, a sculptor here for fifteen years, says, «either they come to the museum or we go to them. We went to Buckingham Palace to do the Royal Family and the Netherland Ranch for Jackson».

7) «They sit on a turntable where they are measured and photographed from every angle possible,» he adds.

8 ) Clothes for the models are often chosen by the famous themselves, sometimes clothes are given to the museum.

9) The most nerve-racking part of the job can be when the real person meets his or her wax double.

10) The public’s fascination with the fame and fortune means Madame Tussaud’s will continue to be a popular venue for many years to come.

#1.(…) What is meant by waxworks?

#2. (…) Why is Madame Tussaud’s always going to be a cherished place of interest?

#3. (…)A wax model making never takes a long time to produce a masterpiece, does it?

#4. (…) In general, models are inexpensive and no special measures are taken to protect them, are they?

#5, (…) Which moment is the most tricky in this work for all artists and craftsmen?

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1) The study and forecasting of weather is called meteorology because it was once precisely that — the study of meteors.

2) The idea that meteors were formed in the sky from various combinations of earth, water, air and fire and that they contributed to weather conditions, goes back to the great philosopher and scientist, Aristotle, in the 4-th century BC.

3) It was believed so in Europe until late in the 17-th century.

4) In AD 582, it rained «blood» on Paris, and the terrified local people saw this as a sign from Heaven and responded by repenting their sins and wrong deeds.

5) The true cause of the strange event was the «sirocco», the wind that sometimes blows from the Sahara across the Mediterranean into Europe.

6) It carries a fine, red dust from the desert, and this caused the rain that fell on Paris.

7) In ancient times it was believed that the Earth lay on the back of a giant tortoise, and when it shuffled its feet the Earth would quake.

8 ) One ancient Japanese legend held that the movement of a vast underground caused earthquakes.

9) A later account said it was a monster catfish.

10) The ancient Greeks blamed huge giants wrestling underground.

#1.(…) What were the people’s first beliefs concerning weather and meteors?

#2. (…)How did the people of the East explain earthquakes in their folklore at first?

#3. (…) Why were the people frightened at seeing unusual rains?

#4. (…) What air current was the real reason for the scarlet or red rain?

#5. (…) What does meteorology derive its name from?

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1) When the boy was ten years old, one of his cousins gave him a misroscope.

2) The first time he looked through its magic lens, the clouds that surrounded his daily life rolled away.

3) He saw a universe of tiny living creatures in a drop of water. Day by day, night after night he studied life under his microscope.

4) The boy learned to speak to Nature in language his family and friends could not understand while he could explore Life’s most secret rooms.

5) He felt as if he had discovered another Garden of Eden. Although the boy didn’t tell anyone about his secret world, he decided to spend his life studying the microscope.

6) His parents had other plans for their son. When he was nearly twenty years old, they insisted that he should learn a profession- even though their family were rich and he didn’t have to work at all.

7) The young man decided to study medicine in New-York. This city was far away from his family, so he could spend time as he pleased.

8 ) As long as he paid his medical school fees every year, his family would never know he wasn’t attending any classes.

9) In New-York he would be able to buy excellent microscopes and meet scientists from all over the world.

10) The young man would have plenty of money and plenty of time to spend on his dream. So he left home with high hopes.

#1.(…) What event influenced the whole boy’s life?

#2. (…) Did he make up his mind to take up business in New-York?

#3. (…) The boy shared his secret knowledge with everyone, didn’t he?

#4. (…) Would it be possible for his parents to learn the truth about his student life?

#5. (…) What kind of expectations did he cherish on leaving his native place?

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1) The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, who all wrote famous and lasting novels, lived in their parsonage home on the Yorkshire moors in the first half of the I9th century.

2) As young children they gave themselves a training for their craft of novel writing. They composed long histories of imaginary countries in which they described the stormy lives of kings, dukes and princesses, filled with accounts of battles and palace intrigues. Their brother Branwell joined them in making up fantasies. With Charlotte he invented the imaginary kingdom of Angria, when he was 10 and she was 11.

3) These stories were written in tiny booklets, stitched together and covered with sugar bag paper.

4) Over 100 of them still exist, having been discovered long after all four were dead.

5) When the three Bronte sisters grew up, they were quite poor and worked as governesses to earn their bread.

6) When Charlotte was 26, and Emily 24, the two sisters attended a boarding school in Brussels, hoping eventually to open their own school in Yorkshire.

7) The school idea came to nothing and the three sisters returned home to the parsonage. Sacked from his job as a tutor, Branwell returned too and rapidly deteriorated through drink.

8 ) At this time, with incredible courage, the three girls began to write novels. «Wuthering Heights» by Emily, «Agnes Grey» by Anne and «Jane Eyre» by Charlotte, were published.

9) More novels followed, but a time of terrible tragedy followed, with Branwell, Emily and Anne all dying in quick succession. Charlotte lived on and married. But she, too, died young.

10) Today millions enjoy the novels of the brilliant but modest sisters. «Wuthering Heights» is recognised as a work of genius and Charlotte’s novels have proved successful in film and television adaptations.

#1. (…) Can a modern reader get acquainted with the Brontes’ first creative writings?

#2. (…)What high hopes did the sisters cherish in their youth while schooling?

#3. (…) Why did their brother come home?

#4. (…) Whose novels have turned out to be most successful for screening?

#5. (…) What part of Britain did they come from?

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1) 50 years ago people hadn’t even heard of computers and today we cannot imagine life without them.

2) Computer technology is the greatest and fastest-growing industry in the world. The first computer was the size of a minibus and weighed a ton while today its job can be done by a chip the size of a pin head. And the revolution is still going on.

3) Very soon we’ll have computers that we’ll wear on our wrists or even in our glasses and earrings. Such wearable computers are being developed in the USA.

4) Japan’s biggest mobile-phone company has just released its cleverest product so far, the i-mode, a mobile phone that allows you to move around the Internet as well as make calls.

5) People are already using the phone to check the news headlines, follow the stock market and even the latest jokes. Soon they will be able to buy cinema tickets and manage their bank accounts.

6) The next generation of computers will be able to talk and even think for themselves. They will contain electronic «neural networks».

7) Of course, they will be a lot simpler than human brains, but it will be a great step forward.

8 ) Such computers will help to diagnose illnesses, find minerals, understand and control the world’s money markets, identify criminals and control space travel.

9) Computer revolution is changing our life and our language too.

10) We are constantly making up new words or giving new meanings to old ones. For example, a mouse is a «small furry animal with a long tail» and «a small box used to operate a computer.»

#1. (…) How can you prove that computer revolution has a certain influence on our language?

#2. (…) Will newest computers be more complicated than our minds?

#3. (…) How can computers assist people in their future life activities?

#4. (…) What will the next generation computers comprise?

#5. (…) Is there any progress seen in computer making?

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1) A few minutes after eight o’clock on the night of Sunday October,30, 1938, a tragic voice interrupted a radio broadcast to warn Americans, «Ladies and gentlemen, I have a grave announcement to make…»

2) The words that followed in a programme network across the USA, caused remarkable scenes of panic.

3) The announcement was that the Martians had landed in North America and were moving across the country at great speed.

4) Nothing seemed able to stop them and all resistance was useless.

5) The USA was taken over by aliens from outer space.

6) The announcement was in fact part of a radio play «War of the Worlds» by H.G. Wells but one so realistic that most people who heard it took it for the real thing.

7) One of the actors of Orson Welles’ «Mercury Theatre of the Air» pretended to be the President of the United States and warned the American People against the dangers of panic.

8 ) Despite this there were terrible scenes of panic in New Jersey that evening when people tried to leave and the roads were filled with cars racing for the hills.

9) After it was all over, Orson Welles, already a well-known actor at the age of 24, was criticised for throwing half the USA into terror.

10) Dozens of people took legal action against CBS, but in the end CBS bosses congratulated themselves for having hired the most talked about actor in America.

#1. (…)Why was the radio announcement taken so close to heart by the American people?

#2. (…) Did the people follow the President’s warning words?

#3. (…) After this broadcast the actor was highly praised for the remarkable scenes that threw America into panic, wasn’t he?

#4. (…)Who was the most pleased party in the end despite people’s indignation?

#5. (…) What were Americans struck by in the text about invasion one evening?

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