1. b Canada1
2. a My family2
2. b Australia and New Zealand2
3. a My daily program3
3. b Geography of Great Britain3 12681cnm98gxx7m
4. a Work and jobs4
4. b Personal correspondence4
5. a My friend4
5. b The british economy4 nx681c2198gxxx
6. a Interests and free time activities5
6. b The political system of Great Britain5
7. a Learning foreign languages6
7. b History of the UK6
8. a School and study7
8. b The business letter7
9. a Culture and entertainment7
9. b British Mass Media7
10. a My home, housing, especially in the Czech republic and the USA8
10. b London and other British cities8
11. a Living in town and in the country9
11. b British traditions9
12. Weather, seasons of the year10
13. a Man and the environment10
13. b My favorite English-writing author11
14. a Sightseeing Prague11
14. b William Shakespeare12
15. a The Czech Republic12
15. b American traditions13
16. a The human body, health and diseases13
17. a Food and drinks13
17. b Geography of the U. S. A.14
19. a Clothing and fashion14
19. b The political system of the USA14
23.a At the restaurant and hotel15
24. a At the post office15
25. a At the railway station16
1. b Canada
Canada occupies the northern part of North America except Alaska, and many islands such as Baffin Island, Victoria Island, Newfoundland Island. Canada borders on the USA in the south and on the Arctic Ocean in the north. Its area is almost 10 million square kilometers, which makes it the second largest country in the world.
Canada is famous for its varied and beautiful countryside, especially near the Great Lakes in the south-east. Visitors to Canada are eager to see Niagara Falls, which are to be found between Lake Ontario and lake Erie. Canada has also high mountain ranges, like the Rocky Mountains and the Mackenzie Mountains. The highest peak is Mt. Logan in the Alaska region (6 000 m). The longest river is the Mackenzie flowing from the Rocky Mountains to the Arctic Ocean. There are about thirty national parks in Canada, one of them is Jasper National Park in Alberta. The climate is mostly continental in Canada, with warm summers and cold winters. The north is arctic.
The original inhabitants came to Canada about 10 000 to 25 000 years ago from Asia. The Vikings discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago, but it was rediscovered by Europeans in the 15th century. The French occupied large parts of the territory in the 16th century. They were followed by the English who captured most of Canada from the French in wars of the 17th - 19th centuries. Now the population of Canada is more than 26 million people, which means that the density is one of the lowest. 45 per cent of Canadians are of British origin, 29 % of French origin and 23 % have their origin in other European countries. Most of the inhabitants are concentrated near the border with the USA by the St. Lawrence River.
Canada became a British dominion in 1867. Now it is an independent federal state and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The head of the state is the British monarch represented by the Governor-General. The leading figure in the political life of the country is the Prime Minister.
Canada is divided into ten provinces and two territories. The largest province is Quebec. Canada´s capital is Ottawa in Ontario. Other main cities are: Montreal, Toronto.
Canada´s economy is traditionally based on natural resources and agriculture. Canada is the world´s second largest exporter of wheat. Some districts are renowned for their forestry. Forests cover 44 per cent of the land area. Coal, oil, gas, gold, silver, zinc and other ores are found in Canada. Main industries are chemical, machine-building, ship-building, motor-car, iron and steel. The main trading partner is USA. Valid currency is Canadian dollar.
2. a My family
I live with my family in a flat. When I say "my family", I mean my mother, father sister and me.
My mother's name is Jana and she is forty-six. She has green eyes. She doesn't work now, because she is ill. She is after operation with her back. She is small, has medium long hair. Its color is brown. She likes gardening and reading books. I help her with housework (with sister) because she is very tired and she mustn't do it. She also sew in her free time.
My father's name is Karel. He is forty-nine years old. He works as a plumber. He's rather tall, has short brown hair and blue and green eyes (like me). My father loves gardening and he's very keen on cars. He's an excellent driver.
I have a one sister. She's eleven. She is tall, has long blond hair and green eyes. She is now in the fifth class at basic school. She likes listening to music, drawing and watching TV. She makes me almost always crazy. She makes jokes to me. But I love her very much.
We are very large family. I have also one grandfather and two grandmothers, five uncles and four aunts, and ten cousins. My mother's father died twelve years ago. My grandmother's names are Růžena and Marie. My grandfather's name is Karel like my father. My parents are from the Southern Bohemia. There are my grandparents. We go to grandparent's every week, inspite of a great distance between Prague and the Southern Bohemia. I love it there.
Two of my aunts and uncles and six cousins live in Bechyně. It is near Tábor. I see them about once a month. We understand each other very well, mainly with my cousins. Other relatives live in the Southern Bohemia.
Twice or three times a year we (our whole family) go to Bechyně and we talk about everything. It's such a good time. Imagine, that when we are all it's about forty people.
And my "own family"? I don't want to get married yet. I want to enjoy life. And then I'd like to have two children, a boy and a girl. I'd like to live in a large house on the outskirts of Prague.
2. b Australia and New Zealand
Australia, situated in the southern hemisphere, is the smallest continent in the world. Tasmania lies 240 km south. There are 2 great deserts in Australia: the Great Sandy Desert and the Great Victoria Desert. Australia has 2 big rivers, the Murray and the Darling and 3 great lakes: Lake Eyre, Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner. The highest peak is Mt. Kosciusko (2 300 m) in the Australian Alps. Australia has many different kinds of climate: tropical, continental, sub-tropical. It is famous for its animals: the kangaroo, the koala, the big bird emu and platypus.
Australia has very low density (2 person 1sq m), has 17 million of inhabitants. 95 per cent people are of British origin, 1,5 per cent are aborigines. English is the official language. Canberra is the capital city. The main cities are: Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Brisbane.
Australia was discovered and explored by Europeans (mainly the Dutch and the British) in the 17th and 18th centuries. The settlement of Australia began with the arrival of about 1 000 colonists from Great Britain. 750 of them were convicts. The day, when they landed, is now public holiday. The official name of Australia is the Commonwealth of Australia.
Australia is rich in iron ore, oil, gas, coal, gold and silver. Its main industries are iron and steel, textiles, chemicals, car, ship and machinery. Australia is exporter of wool, wheat, beef, mutton and minerals. Currency is Australian dollar.
Australia consists of 6 states and 2 territories. Australia has parliamentary system where the head of state is now Queen Elizabeth II. represented by the Governor-General.
New Zealand is in the south-west Pacific Ocean. It consists of 2 large islands, the North Island, the South Island and a small island called Steward Island. The distance between islands is called Cook Strait and it is 150 km. NZ is mainly mountainous with fertile plains on its east coast. The NI is famous for its volcanic plateau and a lot of small lakes. There are glaciers and 15 peaks above 3 000 m in the SI. The highest peak is Mt. Cook (3 700 m) in the Southern Alps. The climate is very pleasant all the year around in NZ.
Population of NZ is about 3,3 million. The density is low (12 people per 1 sq. km). 85 per cent people are of European origin and about 9 per cent are Maoris. English is the official language. NZ is divided into counties. All the principal cities lie on the coast. The largest cities are: capital Wellington and Auckland are in the NI, Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson are in the SI.
The first inhabitants of NZ were the Maoris of Polynesian origin, who settled there before and during 14th century. The first European to see NZ was the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman. The Maoris did not him to land. More than 100 years later rediscovered the islands captain James Cook.
NZ is rich in oil, iron ore, gas, coal and forests. NZ is highly developed country. Both agriculture and industry are very efficient. NZ is the world's biggest exporter of meat and dairy products and the second largest exporter of wool. Food processing, textiles, farm machinery and forest industry are the main industries there. Tourism is another booming industry. NZ dollar is the local currency.
NZ has a parliamentary system where the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. represented by the Governor-General. The head of government is the Prime Minister.
3. a My daily program
Each of my days is full of "work" from morning to evening, particularly on weekdays, when I must go to school. Every day I get up at seven o'clock but it is a big problem for me because I like to sleep late. First I have breakfast, which is prepared by my sister. Then I go to the bathroom, wash and clean my teeth. Then I get dressed and comb my hair.
I don't have to go by bus or tube to the school because I live about 200 m from my school. So I usually go to school at 7.45. I usually have six lessons, which are forty-five minutes long. Between lessons we have ten minutes breaks, except one "long" break between the second and the third lesson, which is twenty minutes long.
After the lessons I go to have a lunch to our school dining-room. Then I go with my friends to a bus stop because I like to have a chat with them. When they leave I go home. When I come home I do some household works, then I work with my computer or help my sister to learn. Then I prepare to school, do homework or learn. I go out with my friends or I listen to music or watch TV.
I must be at home at six o'clock, because it is time for dinner. Then I wash up, take a shower or have a bath and go to my room, where I read or work with computer.
I go to bed about at ten or eleven o'clock. I try to sleep minimum eight hours.
I am really very happy when weekdays end and the weekend comes, because I can go to our cottage, where I have my best friends. There I can ride a bike, a motorbike, go to a pub with friends or to a disco. Weekends are much better than weekdays.
3. b Geography of Great Britain
There are four countries in the United Kingdom of Great Britain: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England is the largest of the countries. Southern Ireland is a republic and is not a part of the UK.
There are not many rivers in the UK. The longest river is the river Severn. There are also not many lakes in Great Britain. There are some in Scotland and some in the north of England. The largest lakes in Scotland are Loch Lomond and Loch Ness, which became famous because of the "Loch Ness monster". The climate is mild and damp. Britain has not very hot summers, no extremes of temperature, rain all the year round.
The highest mountain in GB is Ben Nevis in Scotland (1 300 m).
Northern Ireland is very beautiful place. It is a land of mountains, rivers and lakes. Belfast is the capital of NI. NI is formed by six counties. There are the problems between Protestants and Catholics, which started several centuries ago, still continue and are more political than religious.
The south of England has nearly half of England's population. Most of the people live in London and the area around. County Kent is called the Garden of England. Bristol is the center of the aviation industry and Rolls Royce makes airplane engines there. Huge stones of Stonehenge set up in a circle on Salisbury Plain are associated with sun worship. Windsor Castle was built 900 years ago. England's kings and queens have lived there ever since.
The Midlands and the North is center of various industries. Yorkshire, Leeds and Bradford have been associated with wool. Manchester became a very important center for the production of cotton. Newcastle became known for its shipbuilding but there is only one major car company in Birmingham now.
Scotland has become an important center for computer production. Edinburgh is the official residence of the Queen. Glasgow is the second biggest city in Scotland.
Wales is famous for its castles, mountains, beautiful valleys, and its national parks. The Welsh have been famous for their singing. Welsh is now spoken as a first language by more than 20 per cent of the population.
4. a Work and jobs
What do people really want from their jobs? The most frequent answer is money. But there are also many people who are satisfied with a small salary when they have a grand title. Yes, there are many people who want to be called director of this, controller of that or manager of the other.
At present the most of modern jobs seem to have an economic character. The most typical job with economic character is a manager or a secretary. A good secretary must be able not only to type and take shorthand but she also be able to look after her boss in a number of ways. On the contrary a good manager must be patient and must not regret doing overtime. A lot of people study commercial schools to become a manager or a secretary. After all work is in an office often paid much higher than other sorts of jobs. But now the economic jobs begin to be crowded.
Manual work is difficult but it is not paid as much as other kinds of work. There are many types of craftsmen. For example, bakers, drivers, cleaners, cooks, waiters, hair stylists and shop assistants.
The less common jobs are paid higher. It might be, for example, work connected with film and art, such as playwrights, writers, actors, singers and reporters.
There are also political jobs like presidents, ministers, senators, judges and diplomats. And of course many others, for example teachers, doctors, guides.
You can be employed in a state company or in a private company or you can have your own business. You can work in industry, in agriculture or in the services (banks, stock markets, hotels and insurance companies).
I, personally, want to do some interesting work. It might be a stock manager, a businessman and so on. I prefer a job of economic character. I want to earn much money because I am all my life short of money.
4. b Personal correspondence
A personal letter is more cordial than a business letter. The lay-out of a personal letter is a bit different as well. The sender's address is placed in the top right-hand corner, above the date.
You usually greet your friend Dear/Dearest and his or her first name, which is often written by hand in a typewritten letter. You may ask the addressee to pass on to others, for example "Please remember me to your wife", "Please give your parents my kindest regards", "Please pass my best wishes on to your family" or "My wife wishes/asks to be remembered".
We end an informal letter with "Best wishes", "With my best wishes. Women often end a letter or postcard with "Love".
The envelope of a personal letter is similar to one of a business letter, but the return address is on the back of the envelope.
Short messages or greetings can be sent by a postcard without an envelope.
5. a My friend
My friend is my class-mate. His name is Jenda. He lives in a flat in region called Opatov.
He is quite tall, has very short black hair. His face looks like a box and his eyes are brown. He is very much slim. He has such a big nose. He usually wears jeans and a T-shirt or a sweater.
He is quite frank, helpful, clever, obstinate and reliable. He's very temperament, never tired. He seems to tell me almost everything about himself.
It is really fun to be with him. He has incredibly sense of humor. We have nearly the same hobbies and sometimes the same opinion. We often go to a pub or just walk around town. We both like travelling, reading, swimming, talking about politics, listening to music, computers and mainly attractive girls. We often spend our leisure time together, especially when we are discussing some extremely beautiful girl. At weekends and in summer we usually hike around Bohemia and chase nice girls.
He is also very forgetful and I can't imagine his life without me. I must remember him everything. He is so forgetful that we quarrel about things that he heard a minute ago. Sometimes I feel like his mother. He is often short of money and then I must lend it him.
He is very untidy and I can't stand it. It really makes me crazy. He (sometimes) behaves as if he isn't from the Earth. He misses a tact to treat somebody.
I think our friendship will be long lasting, although it doesn't look like that.
5. b The british economy
England is highly industrialized and the earliest developments of modern industry took place there. Many of important inventions, such as invention of the steam engine by James Watt, were made by Englishmen.
Britain's main industry was coal mining. Glasgow and Newcastle became great centers of engineering and shipbuilding. Lancashire produced cotton goods and south-west Yorkshire woolens. Sheffield concentrated on the production of iron and steel and Birmingham developed light engineering and later became the chief center for making vehicles.
More recently oil and natural gas have taken place of coal. In addition to them Britain's industry comprises heavy and light engineering, electrical and electronical engineering, aeroengines, shipbuilding, chemical industry, consumer goods and textiles industry and fish processing factories. Scotland is famous for its whisky distilleries. Banking, insurance and tourism have also become important industrial branches in Britain. Insurance is one of its most profitable exports. The City of London has the world's largest insurance market.
Although only 2,2 per cent of the working population are engaged in agriculture and fishing, they feed nearly two-thirds of Britain's inhabitants. Agricultural production includes cattle, sheep and poultry, wheat, barley and potatoes.
Britain is a member of the European Union and half of Britain's trade is with its Union partners. Another major trading partner is the USA.
Currency valid in GB is 1 pound which has 100 pence.
6. a Interests and free time activities
There are so many hobbies. Some hobbies are rather expensive, some are dangerous, some are very time-consuming.
Many people like to spend their free time reading books, magazines or newspapers. Some people love listening to music. Many people spend ages in front of TV or a video. Going out can be very expensive now. If you go to the cinema, to a concert, to a theatre, you need a lot of money.
When I was a small boy, I had more time for my hobbies than now. Now I have no time for myself because I have to learn for my final exam and I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend. But I have many interests and free time activities, so I am very happy when weekend starts of I have holidays.
I really do love reading books but they are so expensive! My favorite genre of literature is fantasy and sci-fi. I have already read so many books that I cannot remember them. I remember only the best ones.
I love listening to music. I listen to pop music, a bit to rock music. My favorite pop group is ROXETTE.
I think it is nothing better than to go somewhere with my friends. I love going around the town, to the cinema.
I am trying to play the guitar but I have no time for it. It seems to me I am a small virtuoso.
I enjoy riding a bike, a motorbike or a car, swimming, playing table tennis, practicing all sports.
6. b The political system of Great Britain
The UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been the official title of the British state ever since 1922.
The UK is constitutional monarchy. This means that the official head of state is the monarch, but his or her powers are limited by the constitution. The British constitution is not written in any single document. Only some of these rules are written down in the form of ordinary laws passed by Parliament at various times.
Parliament is the supreme law-making body in the country. It consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. British parliamentary system is one of the oldest in the world, it developed slowly during the 13th century after King John's signature of Magna Charta in 1215.
The Commons has 650, elected and paid Members of Parliament. The Lords is made up of hereditary and life peers, two archbishops and 24 bishops of the Church of England.
The major part of Parliament's work is revising the Government's work. From Monday to Thursday all ministers must answer MP´s questions for one hour, the Prime Minister must answer their questions two days a week.
Another important parliamentary task is law-making. A bill (a proposal of a new law) must pass through the Houses and then is sent to the Queen for Royal Assent.
General elections to choose MP´s are held every five years. Voting is not compulsory and is from the age of 18. In 1997 won the Labour Party headed by Tony Blair.
The Government is formed by the party which ahs the majority in the Parliament and the Queen appoints its leader as the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister appoints a team of main ministers as the Cabinet (about 20 people).
The second largest party form the official opposition with its own leader and "shadow cabinet". At present it is the Conservative Party headed by John Major. The third party represented in the Parliament are the Liberals.
British national flag is called "Union Jack". It symbolizes the Union of England, Scotland and Ireland and dates back from 1801 (George, Andrew, Patrick Cross). National anthem is "God Save The Queen". Each part of the UK has its own symbol:
England - red rose
Ireland – shamrock
Wales - leek, daffodil
Scotland - thistle
7. a Learning foreign languages
Studying foreign languages is important for everybody. We have many reasons to study them. We need it for travelling abroad, for reading foreign materials (books, newspapers, magazines), for business communication, for corresponding with our friends or for cultural reasons (watching films, visiting concerts and exhibitions).
The most important language for the world communication is English. It's spoken in many parts of the world, mainly in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (and also in Malta and Gibraltar). We can find English expressions more and more at present - in technical and electronic scientific circles people use many English abbreviations (zkratka) and expressions, computer programs and games are in English.
English is very popular and important now but we also have opportunities for studying other foreign languages. Only around 14 million people speak Czech all over the world, that is why we have to study foreign languages if we want to make ourselves understood. In our country we study mainly German, French, Spanish and Russian. We begin studying them at basic school.
Today, English is one of the major languages in the world. It is difficult to imagine that 300 years ago only a few million people spoke English, the language was not so important for other European nations and was unknown to the rest of the world.
English has become a world language because of its establishment (ustanovení, zřízení) as a mother tongue outside England, in all the continents of the world. The exporting of English began in the 17th century, with the first settlements in North America. The great growth of population in the USA and massive immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries have given English its present standing in the world.
People who speak English fall into one of three groups: those who have learned it as their native language; those who have learned it as a second language in a society that is mainly bilingual; and those who are forced to use it for a practical purpose (účel, cíl) - administrative, professional or educational.
Basic characteristics of English
Simplicity of form: Over the centuries words have been simplified.
Flexibility: The same word can operate as many different parts of speech. Many nouns and verbs have the same form, f. e. swim, drink, walk, kiss, look and smile.
Openness of vocabulary: This involves (zahrnuje) the free admissions (vstup) of words from other languages and the easy creation of compounds (složenina) and derivatives (odvozeniny).
The future of English: Geographically, English is the most widespread (rozšířený) language on Earth. And it is the second language behind Mandarin Chinese in the number of people who speak it. It is the language of business, technology, sport, and so on. This will no doubt (bezpochyby) continue, although the proposition (tvrzení) that all other languages will die out is absurd.
7. b History of the UK
The Celts arrived to England 2 500 years ago. In the 1st century was England added to the Roman Empire. They remained there for almost four centuries. After that the German tribes came - the Angles, the Saxons, the Juts. They had to fight with the Vikings, who came to loot and to kill. In the 11th century William the Conqueror defeated the Saxon King Harold in the Battle of Hastings and established a strong kingdom with the Normans in high positions.
The opposition by nobles forced King John to sign Magna Charta in the beginning of the 13th century. Magna Charta was a guarantee of rights and the rule of law. During the 13th century the parliamentary system slowly developed. In the 14th century was in England the War of the Roses.
Under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. England became a major sea power and started its colonial politics. During the 17th century England and Scotland were ruled by one monarch but remained separate. In about 1640 there was a bloody Civil War between the Parliament and the Stuart Kings, which won Oliver Cromwell. He established a republic. The monarchy was restored in 1660 but the "glorious Revolution" confirmed the sovereignty of the Parliament.
In the 19th century Britain became the greatest colonial power. In the first World War the UK suffered great causalities and huge economic losses.
Ireland became independent in 1921. India also became independent.
The World War II was a great period of heroism, but GB lost its leading position in the world and in the post-war period lost also its colonies.
8. a School and study
In our country school attendance is compulsory from the age of 6 or 7 till 15 or 16. School are mainly state schools, but there are also some private and church schools. Attendance at state schools is free of charge and provide the same kind of education with the possibility of enrolling at universities.
Primary education starts at basic schools and lasts now 9 years. Children learn there writing, counting, reading, Czech language and literature, etc. Secondary education lasts usually 4 years. The types of secondary schools are following: secondary grammar schools, secondary special schools for example technical schools, schools of economic, agriculture schools, music schools, schools for health workers etc. and vocational schools which prepare young people for practical professions. Tertiary education starts at the age of 18 or 19 and lasts usually from 4 to 6 years. Students may attend various universities or colleges for example Technical College, Law Faculty, Medical Faculty, School of Economic etc.
In Britain all children and young people between the ages of 5 and 16 must get full-time education. They receive their education at schools supported by public funds or at private or church schools. The principal examination at about the age of 16 is the General Certificate of Secondary Education. More than a third of young people receive some form of part-school education. Those, who want study at the universities, can choose from more ones and the most known are in Oxford and Cambridge - they are the oldest ant the most famous.
In the USA there is not a national system of education. Each of the 50 states has its own laws regulating education. Every child gets minimum 13 years of education. The goal of studies at secondary schools, which are also called "high schools", is to get a high school diploma. Students should take on average 17 or over 20 units during their studies. Marks in most US schools are A, B, C, D, E.
I attend Commercial High School. The education here lasts 4 years and it ends with graduation exam. We have to pass an obligatory exam in Czech, in Economic, in Accountancy and in one subject from three ones which we can choose. The subjects are Math, English, German. I have chosen English.
8. b The business letter
The form of business letter is different from the form of private correspondence.
Business letters are usually written on official paper with a letterhead. The sender's address is in the top right - hand corner above the date. The letter starts with the addressee's address on the left hand side of the page. Below it you must fill in "Your" and "Our reference", it is the number or abbreviation under which the copy of the letter has been filed and the initials of the member of the staff or his typist.
In a letter to a firm, the formal greeting is "Dear Sirs" in Britain and "Gentlemen" in the USA or Canada. After the greeting can be comma in British letters and a colon in USA letters. The message begins, for example "We are pleased to inform you that...".
The letter is closed with "Yours faithfully" in Britain and "Yours truly" in the USA.
On the envelope is the return address in the left - hand corner. Under the return address are the postal instructions, for example "Pleas forward" or "Express post". In the right - hand corner is postage stamp above the addressee's address.
9. a Culture and entertainment
In Prague there are many possibilities to go somewhere. The only obstacle is money.
In Prague there are about 60 theatres. I go to the theatre once a month. Last time I was at the National Theatre to see the play called Sluha dvou pánů. It is a play by Carlo Goldoni. The leading role was played by Miroslav Donutil. It was a comedy and absolutely amazing. I was laughing during the performance very much.
You can also go to the cinema. I recommend the cinema Galaxy. It is quite a new cinema, multicinema. I don't go to the cinema often. I would go more often but it is expensive for me.
Last time I saw....
I do not go a lot to the galleries and the museums. I used to go with my parents when I was small. I recommend the National Museum and the National Gallery.
There are many concerts in Prague every week. I go to the concerts occasionally, rather exceptionally because it costs a lot of money.
There are many exhibitions in Prague, too. The center of the exhibitions is in Holešovice in the Exhibition Hall. But the largest place for exhibitions is in Brno. I was there at INVEX. It is an exhibition for computers and computer technique. I spent there the whole day. It was very interesting.
In Prague you can visit the Viewtower of Petřín, the ZOO in Trója.
9. b British Mass Media
British people are great readers of newspapers. Britain is one of the few countries where daily newspapers are delivered at the door before breakfast.
There are national, regional, and local newspapers, dailies and weeklies, morning and evening papers.
The national papers can be divided into two main groups: quality paper and popular papers. Some popular papers are called "tabloids". Quality papers like The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, The Financial Times, The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph report national and international news very thoroughly, with analysis and comment on economic, political and social issues. The best-selling paper is The Daily Telegraph with a circulation over one million.
The popular papers tend to make news sensational, but their main interest is entertainment, show business gossip, sport and sensational sex scandals. The Sun is Britain's most popular daily paper. The weekly News of the World has the largest circulation in the western world. Much of its information concerns the private lives of people who are in the news.
Newspapers are almost always financially independent of any political party, but most of them have some political bias. Most of Britain national papers are right-wing.
A modern newspaper could not be sold at a profit without advertisements. A single copy costs more to produce than is the price paid by the reader.
Most newspapers are issued daily, but there are also 7 000 periodicals published in the UK. Of those, women's magazines Woman and Woman's Own have the largest circulation. There are magazines and journals for almost every trade, profession, sport, hobby or interest.
There are a number of news agencies in London. The oldest of them is Reuters, which was founded in 1851 by the German, Julius Reuter. Reuters is now used by newspapers all over the world.
The most important radio and TV company in GB is the BBC. Its activities are paid from the licenses, which everyone who owns or rents a TV set has to pay.
The BBC has 2 TV channels: BBC 1 and BBC 2, BBC1 programmes consist largely of lighter plays and series, humor and sports. BBC 2 offers more serious programmes - documentaries and discussions, operas and concerts.
There are four BBC radio channels, each of which specializes. Radio 1 has mainly pop music, Radio 2 light music, comedy and sport, Radio 3 has classical music, talks on serious subjects and plays. Radio 4 specializes in the spoken word - news reports, talks and discussions. In addition the BBC has a number of local radio stations. The BBC also broadcasts news and information to countries all over the world.
Besides BBC 1 and BBC 2 there are two other TV channels: ITV and Channel 4.
10. a My home, housing, especially in the Czech republic and the USA
People living in the Czech republic usually live either in flats in housing estates or in family houses with gardens. I live with my parents and sister in a flat in one of many Prague housing estates. Our flat is large and not silent and comfortable.
Out flat consist of an ante-room, a bathroom, a toilet, a kitchen, which is also used as a dining-room, a balcony and three rooms (bedroom, living room, children room).
The ante-room is quite large. You can find there three wardrobes with our clothes and boots, a red carpet which is very old (and dirty because I am lazy to clean it up) and a picture on the wall.
The kitchen is also used as a dining-room because of lack space. You will find there a table with four creaky chairs and then a sink, microwave oven and a cooker.
The bathroom and a toilet are tiled. A wash machine is situated in the bathroom.
In the bedroom there are a large bed for my mother and father. Next to the bed you can see two bedside tables with night lamps. There is a blue carpet and two wardrobes.
The living-room is the most used room in the flat. In this room we watch TV, read books, have a rest or just idle about. In the living-room you can find a TV set, a video and a stereo. There are also two armchairs, a sofa, flowers, a lamp, a picture and many other things.
The children room is shared by me and my sister. There are two wardrobes (one for me and one for my sister) a TV, my tape-deck, a receiver and a computer. We have also a table and a chair there.
In the USA, people in cities live in rental apartments or in single-family houses. Six out of every seven homes have at least one room for each family member. although most Americans shop and cook for themselves, life is made easier by many domestic time-saving devices. About 85 per cent of homes have a TV set and a car, while 50 per cent have two or more TV sets and cars. Americans usually live with their relatives or their households contain only parents and children.
10. b London and other British cities
London is the capital city of the UK. It is situated on the river Thames in southeast England.
London is a huge metropolis; its population is 10 million (with suburbs). It has many attractions. We can see them by walk or by various ways of transport. We can either go by bus, especially by one of the famous - red double Decker, or by underground. It is the oldest underground in the world.
Buckingham Palace has been the Queen's or King's residence in London since the Queen Victoria's reign. Some of its rooms are open to the public during August and September. Outside the place the Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place. It is one of the biggest London's parades.
The Houses of Parliament are in gothic style but they were rebuilt in 1840 on the side of the old Palace of Westminster, which was destroyed by fire. There is also the famous clock tower with Big Ben.
Whitehall is the street where the government offices are. Horse Guards parade takes place here.
Downing Street 10 has been the official home of British Prime Minister since the 18th century. No. 11 is the home of the Chancellor of Exchequer.
Westminster Abbey is in Parliament Square. A church is very old. It is the crowning place of English monarchs and several generations of English Sovereigns are buried here. There are also many memorials to great statesmen, politicians, scientists, and poets.
St. Paul's Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. It is a masterpiece of the architect Sir Christopher Wren and was built after the Great Fire in 1666. It took 42 years for the completion. Wren is buried here. In 1981 Charles and Diana were married here.
The City is the oldest part of London. It was founded by the Romans. At present it is the financial center of the country, the seat of the Bank of England.
Tower of London was built by William Conqueror. It is the seat of the Royal Mint and the Royal Observatory. Not far away is the Tower Bridge. It can open in the middle and let large ships go through.
Trafalgar Square was named after Admiral Nelson's victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson's statue is situated here.
The National Gallery also lies here.
There are many parks in London, for example Regent's Park and Hyde Park with its Speaker's Corner where anyone can make a speech.
Greenwich is the place where the prime meridian is.
11. a Living in town and in the country
Many people like living in town and spending their weekends in the country. My family and I prefer life in town. I was born in Prague, and so I am accustomed to living here. But we also like to go to my parent's birthplace in the South Bohemia. I always look forward to staying there, where it is possible to spend all day in the open air.
I like going for walks there. Sometimes we take a trip with my friends. The countryside looks different in each season of the year. I am always eager to see large fields, woods and hills. I towns we are constantly assailed by the noise of the traffic but in the country you can hear at most he bird's singing.
The air in the country is different from the town's air. In the country there are fewer exhaust fumes and gases like carbon dioxide because of fewer number of cars.
But I must say that the country has also many disadvantages. The biggest problem is to get a job. Many people are forced to travel many kilometers to town, as the matter of course if they gained it. In town you have much higher chance to get a good job. Another unpleasant problem is that everyone knows you and knows what you do, because you live in a small place together with a lot of people. It is a great advantage of living in town, because you are hardly unknown there.
I like both the exciting life in town and relaxation in the country. So, I think, the best thing is to live in town and to stay in the country at weekends and during holidays.
11. b British traditions
In every country there are a lot of holidays and festivals. In GB they are called bank holidays because the banks are closed. The most important of them are Christmas Day and New Year's Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Christmas in GB is marked by fairy lights and illuminated streets, carols and children awaiting the arrival of Father Christmas and his reindeer stopping outside their chimney. They hang up their stockings at the foot of beds and wait for the presents. They open them only on the 25th December at breakfast time. At noon they have their traditional Christmas dinner - roast turkey and Christmas pudding. December 26 is called Boxing Day. That day parents go with their children to watch pantomimes.
New Year's Eve is the night of merry-making all over the land, especially in Scotland. They have family parties and before midnight people gather in squares, link arms and at twelve o'clock they sing "Auld land syne". In Scotland they call the last day of the year Hogmanay and believe that the first visitor on New Year's Day brings good luck. They give each other a piece of coal and wish their chimney to smoke for a long time.
Easter is celebrated as in the rest of Europe. It is an ancient symbol of spring and new life, when Christians remember Christ's death and his return to life.
There are other bank holidays in GB as well: the first and last Monday in May and the last Monday in August. In Northern Ireland there are two special days - St. Patrick's Day and Orengeman´s Day.
St. Valentines Day - a lovers´ feast
May Day - celebrating fertility with dancing around Maypoles
Midsummer's Day - various celebrations, esp. a sunrise ceremony at Stonehenge
Queen's official birthday - in June
Guy Fawkes Night - to remember the unsuccessful plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament with bonfires, fireworks and burning of "guys"
Halloween - the Eve of All Saint's Day - a night of traditional fun and games
Remembrance Day - to remember those who were killed in the two world wars
12. Weather, seasons of the year
Our country lies in the center of Europe and its climate is moderate. We have four different seasons - spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each of them has its special magic.
In spring flowers start growing up and everything seems to be clear. There is a lot of showers and rains and a temperature is bellow twenty degrees. Birds come back from south. It seems that begins a new life. And that is why people usually fall in love in spring.
Summers in our country are quite warm and usually rather dry almost without rains. Sometimes comes a storm. The sun shines most of time. Summer is for most people very agreeable and pleasant - mainly for children and students because summer is time for holidays.
Autumn starts on 21st of September, but the weather is usually still warm. The end of October brings a lot of rains and weather is windy. The colors of tree leaves are fantastic. But this colors does not last long - the leaves of trees fall down.
Then the weather is getting slowly colder and the winter comes. the winter's landscape is lovely, everything is covered in snow. Many people go to the mountains for skiing and snowboarding. The most favorite entertainment for children in winter is making snowmen, skiing and skating. But the most important thing is Christmas. Temperature is usually bellow zero and snowing is very frequent.
What the weather will be in the following days we can find out by weather forecast. The information about the weather are in every medias.
I like every season of the year, but my the most favorite seasons are summer and spring. Spring because of its magic when everything wake up. And summer because we have holidays and you can enjoy life without school.
13. a Man and the environment
Civilization has brought people many advantages but they product also pollute and damage the environment in which we live. Pollution affects air, water, land, forests, people, animals and plants.
Air pollution is the biggest problem in large cities and in areas with concentrated industrial production. Emissions range (rozsah) from smoke, dust, and smells to car and lorry exhausts. Smoke contains sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide which are produced by coal-fired power stations and industrial plants (závody) burning fossil fuels.
Trees are vitally important for our life because they are the lungs of our planet. They absorb carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen in return. In some parts of the world, such as Asia and the South America, trees are not threatened (ohrožovány) by pollution, but by people. The great rain forests are being destroyed for firewood and building materials. Since the Amazon rain forest covers an area as large as the whole of Europe and contains one third of the world's trees, scientists believe that it provides 50 per cent of the world's annual production of oxygen. If we lose tropical forests, it will become more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to breathe. with more carbon dioxide in the air, the temperature will rise, the icecaps at the North and South Poles will melt, and the sea level will rise which will result in the flooding of many coastal cities.
Several gases have been identified as contributing (přispívající) to greenhouse effect, which can also cause climate change. Without this "greenhouse effect" there could be no life on earth because the earth is warmed up naturally by the atmosphere which traps (pohlcuje) solar radiation.
How can the problems of air pollution be solved? First of all, people should try to use alternative sources of energy, such as solar, water, wind, geothermal and perhaps tidal (přílivová) energies, or at least to burn smokeless fuels.
Water pollution results from harmful industrial processed and households, from pesticides and other chemicals used in agriculture, from waste disposal sites (skládka) and from ships. Concentrations of heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium, lead or copper are increasing. Nitrate can pollute inland waters by leaching (pronikání) from farmland. Much of this comes from organic nitrogen in the soil but some also from organic and inorganic fertilizer use.
If we want to have cleaner waterways, some measures must be taken. First, discharges to water from industrial processes should be controlled and the number of sewage treatment plants should be increased. We should also find technologies for saving water and reduce the amount of chemicals. New technologies should develop environmentally friendly pesticides.
Noise poses is a considerable problem for many people. I results in stress, lack of concentration, defective hearing or insomnia.
13. b My favorite English-writing author
Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870) was born in 1812 in Portsmouth. He was the second child of a clerk in the Navy Pay Office. His childhood wasn't happy because of his father's inability to sty out of debt. This led to his father's imprisonment and Charles was sent to work in a warehouse. Memories of this time haunted him for the rest of his life. In spite of parents´ failure to educate him, Dickens worked hard and became a clerk in a solicitor's office, then a reporter of Parliamentary debates for the Morning Chronicle.
With Oliver Twist Dickens began his indictment of the cruelty that children suffer in the hands of society. While he was working on Oliver Twist, Dickens learned of the death of his beloved sister-in-law, Mary. The grief he displayed in his work.
Dickens followed the success of Oliver Twist with Nicolas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge.
He travelled to America. He supported the abolition of slavery there. On his return to England he wrote Christmas Books.
After the publication of Dombey and Son Dickens's novels became increasingly sombre. Between 1850 and his death in 1870 Dickens published Little Dorrit, David Copperfield, Hard Times, A Tale of Two Cities. His last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was never completed and was later published posthumously.
Dickens was buried in Poets´ Corner at Westminster Abbey.
Dickens is well known for his cruel, comic and repugnant characters. He is one of the most popular writers in the world.
14. a Sightseeing Prague
Prague is said to be the city lying right in the heart of Europe. Others call it "hundred-towered Prague". Prague is the capital and the largest city in the Czech Republic. It is the seat of the president, parliament, government and other highest state and political bodies of the Czech Republic. Moreover the large quantity of social, cultural, educational and scientific institutions operate here. Prague is also an important business and financial center.
Prague has a large number of monuments. The most famous are Hradčany, with Prague Castle which was founded in the ninth century. Prague became a center of European significance during the government of the king and emperor Charles IV who established the New Town and Charles University in 1348.
Prague Castle is a part of Hradčany. In the past it was the residence of the Czech kings and since 1918 it has become the residence of our presidents. If you visit Prague Castle you will not be disappointed by the late Gothic Vladislav hall of Saint Vitus Cathedral, where the tombs of the Czech kings are located and the crown jewels are housed. Prague Castle offers a beautiful view of The Lesser Quarter, the National Theatre, the Church of Saint Nicholas and other interesting parts of Prague.
The river Vltava flows through Prague, that is why large number of bridges has been built in the past. The most famous, and also the most beautiful, is Charles Bridge, which was built in 1357. A unique set of 31 sculptures of the bridge was added from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
Among the most frequently visited places in Prague is the Old Town Square where a large number of monuments are situated. In the middle is a monument to Master Jan Hus and at the edge is Týnský Church. The Old Town Hall was built in the 14th century. In the 15th century a horological clock, much admired by tourists, was added to the City Hall's Tower, in the second half of the 19th century circular calendar plaque by Josef Mánes was added to it.
Another frequented place is Wenceslas Square, which is the longest in the country (750 m). In its upper part is the statue of the Czech prince Saint Weceslas. Nearby is the National Museum. On Wenceslas Square we can find a large quantity of shops, restaurants, banks and exchange offices.
Old Prague is very beautiful and we can certainly say that it is really the most interesting part of our beautiful city. Unfortunately in other parts a lot of housing blocks and concrete-panel houses were built, which to some extent damage the whole city's reputation.
There is now a modern underground, but traffic is still a problem.
14. b William Shakespeare
William was born at Strattford upon Avon in April 1564. He was the third child of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. His father was one of the most prosperous men of Strattford and William attended the local grammar school. In December 1583, Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway, daughter of a farmer. Their first child Susanna was baptized in 1583 and twins Hamnet and Judith in 1585. Hamnet died at the age of 11.
Little of Shakespeare's life is known until 1592 when he came to London and joined a group of actors known as the Lord Chamberlain's Men, which became the King's Men under the patronage of James I. In 1599 he bought the Globe Theatre. First he helped adapt of rewrite older plays but later he started to write his own plays and he was very successful. Both the Queen Elizabeth I and James I liked him very much. His plays were first published in 1623. After acting and writing he went back to Strattford and lived a quiet life with his family. He made fortune so he could buy a new fine house in Strattford. He died on the same day as he was born (23rd April). The legend says that he died after a louder and noisier birthday celebration with his friends. He is buried at local Trinity Church. There are only two portraits of Shakespeare, which are authentic, and one of them is the bust in Strattford at Trinity Church.
Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and beautiful sonnets. His mastery lies in his human vision which recognize the complexity of moral questions and in the richness of his language. He wrote comedies, history plays and tragedies.
Comedies: The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer-Night's Dream, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors.
History plays: Henry IV, Henry V, Richard III
Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello
Romeo and Juliet
is about unhappy love and death of Romeo and Juliet, the only children of two powerful houses of Verona - the House of Montague and the House of Capulet. These two houses hate each other and Romeo Montague meets Juliet at the ball. He fells in love with her although he knows she is Capulet. They love each other very much and ask Friar Laurence to marry them. Their love and marriage are secret and by an unfortunate coincidence Romeo kills Tybalt who is Juliet's cousin. Prince of Verona sends Romeo to the exile outside Verona and young Juliet is forced to get married to a young nobleman called Paris. She asks Friar Laurence for help again and he gives her magic drops after which she fells asleep for several hours and looks as if she was dead. Romeo learns about Juliet's death but he doesn't know about the trick and kills himself. Soon after that Juliet wakes up and when she sees Romeo dead, she kills herself too. Both Montague and Capulet Houses reconcile only after the death of their beloved children.
15. a The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a small landlocked country in Central Europe. Its area is nearly
79 000 square kilometers. Its capital is Prague.
The country borders Poland, Austria, Germany and Slovakia, with which it was united in the state of Czechoslovakia until 31 December 1992. The country consists of two main regions: Bohemia - the western half and Moravia - with part of Silesia in the east. Bohemia is more densely populated and industrialized than the eastern part.
The borders are mostly defined by mountains and rivers. The best known mountain ranges are the Šumava, the Krušné Mountains, the Jizerské Mountains, the Krkonoše, the Orlické Mountains, the Jeseníky and the Beskydy. Bohemia is separated from Moravia by the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. The largest rivers are the Elbe, the Vltava and the Morava. Although there are only a few natural lakes in the country, Southern Bohemia has many artificial lakes, which date from the 16th century. There are many mineral springs throughout the country, around many o which saps have developed (Karlovy Vary, Třeboň, Luhačovice, ...).
The country i