Text for Reading Comprehension №1
Sam was an old farmer. He was born on his farm and had lived on it all his life. He had married his neighbor’s daughter, and they grew fruit and vegetables.
Sam got up at five o'clock every morning to gather them and take a load off to market in his old truck.
There were very few vehicles on the country roads at that time of the morning, and Sam knew how to get to market very well, so as he was going along, he was always thinking about everything except his driving.
One morning he was thinking about what crops to plant for the next year's harvest, and whether to try something else. A lot of other farmers were planting the same things which he produced, so the prices in the market were coming down and he was getting less money.
After a few kilometres, Sam came to a place where the small road which went in the direction of the market crossed a bigger one, and he continued over it without stopping. He always crossed the big road like that, because there was never any traffic on it at that time of the morning, so there was no fear of having an accident, and anyway he was always in a hurry, because he wanted to get to the market in time for its opening.
But this morning a young policeman whom he had never seen before ~ signaled to him to stop a hundred metres beyond the crossroads.
Sam stopped beside the policeman, and the policeman said to him, «Didn't you know that there was a sign telling you to stop at the crossroads before going over the main road?»
«Oh, yes,» answered Sam, «I knew that there was a sign at that point, because I go to market along this road every morning. But what I unfortunately didn't know was that you were here.»
1. Where had Sam lived all his life?
2. What made Sam think of the crops for the next year's harvest?
3. Why was Sam always in a hurry?
4. Why did Sam stop after he had crossed the road?
Text for Reading Comprehension №2
Three young men were playing with a gun in a street in a quiet area of the town after dark when one of them fired it by mistake without aiming it at anything. The bullet broke a window in an old lady's house.
The young men made off at once when they saw the damage they had done, but the old lady looked out of a window when she heard the explosion, and she recognized one of them as the son of a man and a woman who lived not far from her.
The old lady complained to the police, and a detective came to her house. The old lady gave him a detailed account of everything that had happened, and then the detective asked her if she knew where the young man lived. The old lady told him that too, so the detective went to the young man's house. He and his companions tried to hide, but the detective found them and the gun and took them to the police station.
There his chief officer questioned the young men to find out which of them owned the gun, but none of them was willing to say. The young man who owned the gun did not dare to admit that he did, because he did not have a license for it.
At last the chief officer decided to put an end to the conversation, so he turned to the detective and demanded to know whether he had got an officer's permission to take the gun away from the young man who owned it.
The detective felt anxious when he heard this question. «No, sir» he answered nervously, «I didn't get it.»
«In that case,» the officer declared angrily, «you were quite wrong to take it away from him. You'd better return it immediately, or there'll be trouble!»
This made the young men smile happily at each other, and as soon as the detective held the gun out and said, «Here you are,» one of them put his hand out in order to get it back. -
That is how the officer finally discovered whom the gun belonged to.
1. Where were the three young men playing with a gun?
2. Why was the old lady able to recognize one of the young men?
3. Why was the owner of the gun afraid to admit it?
4. How did the owner of the gun give himself finally away?
Text for Reading Comprehension №3
As the train approached the seaside town where I was going to spend my holidays, I went into the corridor to stretch my legs. I stayed there a short time, breathing in the fresh sea air and talking to one of the passengers, whom I had met earlier on the station platform.
When I turned to go back to my seat, I happened to glance into the compartment next to mine. Sitting there was a man who many years before had been my neighbour. He was a great talker, I remembered; it used to take hours to get away from him once he began a conversation. I was not at all sorry when he went to live in another part of London. We had not met since then, nor did I wish to meet him now, when my holiday was about to begin.
Luckily at that moment he was much too busy talking to the man opposite him to catch sight of me. I slipped back into my compartment, took down my two suitcases and carried them to the far end of the corridor so as to be ready to get off the train as soon as it stopped. The moment the train stopped, I called a porter, who in no time at all had carried my luggage out of the station and found me a taxi. As I drove towards my small hotel on the edge of the town, I breathed a deep sigh of relief at my narrow escape. There was little chance that I should run into my boring ex-neighbour again.
When I reached the hotel, I went straight to my room and rested there until it was time for dinner. Then I went down to the lounge and ordered a drink. I hadn't even begun to drink when an all too familiar voice greeted me. I had not escaped from my tiresome neighbour after all! He grasped me warmly by the hand and insisted that we should share a table in the dining-room. «This is a pleasant surprise,» he said. «I never expected to see you again after all these years.»
1. Where was the narrator going to spend his holidays?
2. What did the narrator do to escape from the man?
3. What did the narrator think about his chance of meeting the man again in the town?
4. What did the man insist on when he saw the narrator?
Text for Reading Comprehension №4
Jim lived with his parents until he was twenty-one years old, and then he got a job in the office of a big factory in another town, so he left home. He found a comfortable little flat which had two rooms, a small kitchen and a bathroom, and he lived there on his own.
At first he cleaned it himself, but he did not want to have to go on doing this, so he determined to find someone else to do it instead of him. He asked a lot of his fellow workers at the factory what they did about this, and at last one of the men said, «Oh, Mrs. Roper comes and cleans my flat regularly. She washes the dishes, irons my shirts and keeps the place neat and tidy and so on. I'll introduce you to her, if you
like. She's a charming old lady. She does her best, but she hasn't got much energy.»
«Well, you'd better ask her to come and see me, please,» Jim answered. So the next evening Mrs. Roper came to see him, and she agreed with pleasure to come to his flat every morning for an hour.
After she had been working for Jim for two weeks, he looked at the mirror in his bedroom and thought, «That mirror looks very dusty. Mrs. Roper's forgotten to clean it. I can write on it with my finger.» He wrote a message in the dust: «I'm coughing whenever I breathe because everything in this room is very dusty.»
He came home at 7 o'clock that evening, and when he had eaten his supper, he went into his bedroom and looked at the mirror. «That silly old woman still hasn't cleaned it!» he said to himself. «All it needs is a cloth!»
But then he bent down and saw a bottle in front of the mirror. «I didn't put that bottle there.» He thought. «Mrs. Roper must have left it.» He picked the bottle up and looked at it carefully.
«She's written some words on it,» he said to himself. He read the words. They were: «Cough medicine.»
1. What kind of flat did Jim have?
2. How did Jim get to know Mrs. Roper?
3. How did Jim let Mrs. Roper know what he thought about her work?
4. What was Mrs. Roper's answer to him?
Text for Reading Comprehension №5
Andy Barton was in a bad mood. It was Friday, and at six o'clock his favourite programme Travel with us, was on TV. Andy liked to get home in good time for that. But then, just as he was leaving the office a little early, a customer rang up with a few complaints. The customer complained steadily for the next fifteen minutes! «I can still get home in time if I hurry,» Andy told himself as he dashed out of the office. But then, as he drove off in his car, he noticed that he was almost out of petrol. «I'll have to stop at Fenton's,» Andy thought. He hated Fenton's because it was a self-service petrol station. «You do all the work yourself, but you pay the same for the petrol,» he used to grumble.
But at Fenton's things went wrong again! The pump was not working properly and it took ages to get the petrol. It was four minutes to six by
the time Andy jumped back into his car and drove off. But at two minutes past six he was sitting in front of the television, watching Travel with us. He was on his way to Japan!
Then the phone rang. «Shall I answer it?» Andy thought. He tried to concentrate on Japan and forget the phone. But it kept on ringing and finally he picked it up.
«Mr. Barton?» a voice said. «Fenton's Garage here.»
«Fenton's?» said Andy. «Why, I was at your place only a few minutes ago, getting some petrol. Did I leave something behind or what?» «No, you didn't, Mr. Barton,» the voice went on. «That's just the trouble! You didn't leave anything behind! You went off without paying for your petrol, you see! Now normally, when that happens, we ring up the police. But luckily I recognised you because I live on the same street as you, and I knew it was a mistake.»
«I'm really very sorry,» Andy said.
«Oh, that's all right, Mr. Baron. These things happen! But could you come round now and pay for your petrol? And please hurry! We close at half past six!»
1. What was the name of Andy's favourite programme?
2. Why did Andy dislike Fenton's Garage?
3. Why did it take longer for Andy to get petrol?
4. Why did the man from Fenton's Garage recognize Andy?
Text for Reading Comprehension №6
Patrick Reilly was the manager of a company that made washing powders, among other things. The company employed several scientists, whose job was to find new and better kinds of products, including washing powders.
Patrick did not know very much about science himself, but he used to meet his scientists regularly. He always enjoyed it and took a great interest in what they were doing.
One day one of them was in Patrick's office, talking about plans for the future, when he said to Patrick, «I suppose you know Sir James White. He was my professor at the university where I studied, and now he's one of the world's greatest and most honoured biologists.»
«Oh, yes, I know,» Patrick answered, «but I've never actually met him. What about him?»
«Well,» said the scientist, «he's discovered some new type of system that might be very useful to us for improving our manufacture of soap powders. I read an article about it yesterday in one of the scientific journals I take every month. You ought to meet him.»
«I'd like to,» Patrick answered. «What do you think of inviting him to dinner one evening and suggesting that we might be able to offer him a job as an adviser?»
«I agree,» the scientist replied. «That would be an excellent decision.»
Patrick got his secretary to ring Professor White's office at the university to give him the invitation, and they managed to find a date on which they would both be free for dinner.
«It'll be a small family affair,» Patrick said. «I propose to invite two of my scientific staff with their wives. One of them was a student of yours. And I hope Lady White will be able to come too.»
«Thank you,» the professor answered, «I'm sure she'll be delighted to.»
Patrickhad a son of sixteen, who had finished his O-level examinations and was studying for his A-levels. While everybody was having a drink before dinner, the boy chatted to the professor. «What do you do?» the boy asked.
«I study biology,» the professor answered.
«Oh?» the boy answered proudly. «Well, I finished biology last July.»
1. What did Patrick's company produce among other things?
2. Why did Patrick's company employ scientists?
3. Why did the scientist tell Patrick about Sir James White?
4. How was Patrick Reilly planning to meet Professor White?
Text for Reading Comprehension №7
I left my friend's house shortly after seven. It was still too early for me to have my evening meal, so I walked along the seafront for about an hour until I began to feel hungry. By that time I was not far from a favourite restaurant of mine, where I often went to eat two or three times a week. I knew the owner well and frequently complimented him on his excellent cooking.
I went into the restaurant, which was already crowded, and ordered my meal. While I was waiting for the soup to arrive, I looked around to see if I knew anyone in the restaurant. It was then that I noticed that a man sitting at a corner table near the door kept glancing in my direction as if he knew me. I certainly did not know him, for I never forget a face' The man had a newspaper open in front of him, which he was pretending to read, though all the while I could see that he was keeping an eye on me. When the waiter brought my soup, the man was clearly puzzled by the familiar way in which the waiter and I addressed each other. He became even more puzzled as time went on and it grew more and more obvious that I was well known in the restaurant. Eventually he got up and went into the kitchen. After a few minutes he came out again, paid his bill and left without another glance in my direction.
When I had finished and was about to pay my bill, I called the owner of the restaurant over and asked him what the man had wanted. The owner was a little embarrassed by my question and at first he did not want to tell me. I insisted. «Well,» he said, «that man was a detective.» «Really?» I said, considerably surprised. «He was certainly very interested in me. But why?» «He followed you here because he thought you were a man he was looking for,» the owner of the restaurant said. «When he came into the kitchen, he showed me a photograph of the wanted man. He certainly looked like you! Of course, since we know you here, I was able to convince him that he had made a mistake.» «It's lucky I came to a restaurant where I am known,» I said, «otherwise I might have been arrested!»
1. Why did the narrator walk along the seafront for about an hour?
2. Why was the narrator sure that he had never met the man with a newspaper before?
3. What was the man with a newspaper puzzled by?
4. Why did the detective follow the narrator?
Text for Reading Comprehension №8
Nick was bored with life. Every day was exactly the same. He got up at exactly the same time; he caught the same bus to work; he did the same things in the office; he talked to the same people; he came home at the same time; he watched the same programmes on television — and he went to bed at the same time!
«What I need is a little adventure!» Nick thought as he waited at the bus-stop one morning. Nick's «little adventure» happened sooner than he expected!
While he was on the bus, reading his newspaper (the same one that he read every morning), the man sitting next to him suddenly pushed a large brown envelope into his hands. «Here, take this!» he muttered. Then he stood up and got off the bus before Nick could say a word.
Nick sat there, holding the envelope. It felt heavy. There were papers inside, or money perhaps. «I'd better hand it over to the police,» he thought. There was a police-station close to his office. But, as he got off the bus, a man approached him. He was obviously waiting for something. «He wants the envelope,» Nick thought. Nick began to walk quickly—and the man hurried after him. Nick started to run — and the man began to run too. But then, just before he got to the police station, Nick managed to lose the man in the crowds. When he entered the police station, the man was no longer in sight.
Inside the police-station, Nick handed over the envelope to the inspector in charge. The inspector opened it. The envelope was full of money —false money. «Obviously the man made a mistake,» the inspector said. «He thought you were one of the gang! Well, congratulations!»
Nick felt like a hero. He could already see his name in all the papers. He could imagine an interview on television!
«However,» the inspector went on, interrupting Nick's day-dreams, «I'm afraid I must ask you to keep quiet about all this. We're trying to catch some very clever thieves — and we don't want them to know that we have some of the money. So you mustn't say a word to anyone — not even your boss! Sorry!»
«So that's that!» Nick said to himself on his way to the office. He was over an hour late. «I' ve had my little adventure... but I can't tell anyone about it, so what's the point? I've even got to make up an excuse for the boss!»
1. Where did Nick work?
2. Why did the man give the envelope to Nick? What criminals were the police trying to catch?
3. Why did Nick feel disappointed after his «little adventure»?
Text for Reading Comprehension №9
We were lucky that morning. The train was not very crowded and we managed to get a corner seat to ourselves in one of those long open carriages. «I don't like this sort of carriage,» Mark said as he took out papers for our meeting, «but at least you get a table to work on!»I fetched some coffee and biscuits from the restaurant car and we settled down to work. People passed up and down the train, and once the ticket inspector came to look at our tickets. But, apart from that, it was a peaceful journey.
«Good!» said Mark after an hour or so. «I think we've just about finished.» He began to put away his papers. «What time is it?» he asked. «My watch has stopped.» «About nine-thirty, I reckon,» I said. «Hold on a moment. My watch is here somewhere on the table.»
I looked under my own papers, and then on the floor, but there was no sign of my watch. It was not in my pockets, either.
«You didn't put it in your bag, did you?» I asked Mark. «Along with your papers.» He checked, but the watch was not there.
«It's very odd,» I said. «I remember taking it off and putting it on the table when we started work. No one's been near us except the ticket collector — and he didn't pick it up!»
«Someone came and cleared away the coffee cups,» Mark said. «I remember seeing a man with a big plastic bag.»
The man with the plastic bag came from the restaurant car, one of the passengers informed us. I went along there to see him and I explained my problem.
«Are you sure?» the man asked. «Look, there's the bag - full of rubbish. I don't want to empty everything out if you're not sure.»
«I can't be absolutely certain,» I said, «but my watch was on the table. I'll look in the bag myself if you like. It's a very expensive watch!»
«Well, in that case, we'd better have a look, sir,» the man said and emptied everything out on the floor. There, among the paper coffee cups, half-eaten biscuits and pieces of paper, lay my very valuable watch!.
«Phew!» I said. «I think I need another cup of coffee after that!»
«Sorry, sir,» the man snapped. «The restaurant car is closed. We're almost at London.»
1. Why were the narrator and his friend lucky that morning?
2. Who informed the narrator where the man with the plastic bag came from?
3. What things besides the watch were there in the plastic bag?
4. Why couldn't the two friends have another cup of coffee?
Text for Reading Comprehension №10
Aunt Jane is now well over seventy, but she is still a great cinema-goer. The cinema in our town closed down years ago and sometimes she has to travel twenty miles or more to see a good film. And once a month at least she goes up to London to see the latest foreign films. Of course she could see most of these films on television, but the idea does not attract her. «It isn't the same,» she says. «For one thing, the screen's too small. Besides, I like going to the cinema!»
One thing has always puzzled us. Although Aunt Jane has lots of friends and always enjoys company, she always goes to the cinema alone. We discovered the reason for this only recently — from mother. «It may surprise you to learn that Aunt Jane wanted to be an actress when she was young,» she told us. «She used to wait outside film studios all day,
just to appear in crowd scenes. Your aunt has probably appeared in dozens of films — as a face in the crowd at a railway station or in the street! Sometimes she did not even know the name of the film they were making, so she couldn't go to see herself at the cinema!
«All the time, of course, she was looking for a small part in a film. Her big chance came when they started to make a film in our town. Jane managed to meet the director at a party, and he offered her a role as a shopkeeper. It really was a very small part — she only had a few lines to say — but it was an important moment for Jane. Before the great event, she rehearsed for days. In fact, she turned the sitting-room into a shop! We all had to help, going in and out of the shop until she was word perfect. And on the actual day she was marvelous. The director congratulated her. Jane thought that this was the beginning of her film career!
«Unfortunately, in the end, they did not include the shop scene in the film. But nobody told Jane! When the film first appeared in London, she took all her friends to see it. And of course she wasn't in it! It was a terrible blow! She stopped going to film studios and gave up the idea of becoming an actress. She still loves the cinema, as you all know, but from that day she has always gone alone!»
1. Why does Aunt Jane have to travel a long distance to see a good film?
2. Why couldn't Jane sometimes go to see herself at the cinema?
3. How did Jane get to know the director of a film?
4. What turned out to be a big blow to Jane's hopes?
Text for Reading Comprehension №11
George Robinson was ambitious but not very clever when he was at school, and he left when he was sixteen. At first he did not know what to do, but then he tried selling cheap toys in the street, and it quickly became clear that he was a clever businessman. Soon, without much struggle, he had a small shop of his own.
Before he was thirty he had quite a big factory for making toys, and had succeeded in making a considerable fortune.
George had always been interested in local politics. He was elected to the town council when he was thirty-two, and was such a busy and useful member of it that he rapidly became mayor.
Although he was very successful in international industry as well as in local government, George was still not a very well-educated man, and as he was also a very busy one, he began to have the speeches he had to
make written for him by a special speechwriter. George never had any difficulties with him and got quite used to trusting him. In the end he did not trouble even to look at what he was given until it was time to make the speech.
Then one day George had to make an important speech at a formal official ceremony marking the opening of a new library. He had been away on urgent business for a week before this occasion, so he had had no time to read through his speech at all.
When it was his turn to speak to the audience, he stood up on the stage, took his speech out of his pocket and began to read it. He enjoyed jokes, and always asked his speechwriter to put a few good ones in each speech he wrote for him, to put his audience in good temper. This time, sure enough, he came to the words, «And that reminds me of one of my favourite stories».
George had actually never heard that story before, and when he looked at it before reading it aloud, he burst out laughing and laughed so much that he fell off the platform on which he was standing and broke his arm.
1. Where was George Robinson elected to at the age of 32?
2. Why did George use a speechwriter?
3. Why did George not know what was in his speech?
4. What happened to George when he burst out laughing?