Английский язык. Reading Comprehension

Part 1

You are going to read a nephew’s memories of his uncle. Seven sentences have been removed from the passage. Choose from the sentences A-H the one which fits each gap (1-7). There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use.

Memories of a man I won’t forget!

I wish you’d met my Uncle Bill. He was a tall man – so tall that he could change the bulbs in light sockets while hardly reaching above his head. He said that he wasn’t supposed to reach up – it was something to do with a heart condition – and that being tall made life much easier. 1_________ Those accessible bulbs were an easy target for that lofty, blundering head of his.

I realized from the start that his problem was not so much tallness as clumsiness. He blundered into anything and everything and often had injuries (though not in fact burns) to prove how accident-prone he was.

A miserly man, my uncle always stuck replacement soles on his shoes as the old ones wore through, no matter how shabby the uppers became – or how badly he injured himself in the process. 2_________ Well, strictly it wasn’t the sticking that did it but the razor blade adjustments that followed. In his clumsiness, he nearly always stuck the soles slightly out of position. Once firmly glued they couldn’t be moved but at least the protruding parts could be neatly trimmed away. 3________

I can see him now in my mind’s eye! There was the sole, slightly out of position, and there was my uncle, his fingers encrusted with firmly set glue. 4_________ Then he’d blunder round his house in search of lint and sticking plasters. Vases would topple, ornaments would get knocked off walls. He lived alone but his frequent visitors were used to the commotion my uncle made as he hurried round his untidy house. 5__________ Even going to answer the phone could cause calamities and a trail of damage.

6________ No, they were due to injured fingers, banged heads and falls down stairs. As a matter of fact he survived so many serious injuries that in the end I came to doubt that there was anything wrong with his heart at all. 7_________

A I think he preferred to claim a bad heart than admit to bad eyesight or total and utter clumsiness!
B He would set to work with his razor blade, and a minute later we’d hear his cry of pain and frustration.
C My uncle’s visits to hospital never resulted from that famous heart condition of his.
D But how could even a clumsy man suffer injuries sticking soles on his shoes?
E And that’s where the razor blades came in, and all the consequent injuries to fingers and thumbs.
F However, it also created problems for him.
G The slightest haste was enough to cause an accident.
H You should have seen him when he really got going!

Part 2

You are going to read an extract from a book. For questions 8-14, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.

That night as Easton walked home through the rain he felt very depressed. It had been a very bad summer for most people and he had not fared better than the rest. A few weeks with one firm, a few days with another, then out of job, then on again for a month perhaps, and so on.

William Easton was a man of medium height, about 23 years old, with fair hair and moustache and blue eyes. His clothes, though shabby, were clean and neat but the holes in his shoes made it painful to walk.

He was married: his wife was a young woman whose acquaintance he had made when he happened to be employed with other painting the outside of the house where she was a general servant. Easton had been in no hurry to marry for he knew that, taking good times with bad, his wages did not average a pound a week. However, after going out for 18 months they were finally married.

That was a year ago.

As a single man he had never troubled much if he happened to be out of work. He always had enough to live on and pocket money besides, but now that he was married it was different; the fear of being ‘out’ haunted him all the time.

He had started for Rushton and Co. on the previous Monday after having been idle for three weeks and, as the house where he was working had to be done right through, he had congratulated himself on having secured a job that would last till Christmas; but he now began to fear that what had happened to Jack Linden – a master craftsman – might also happen to himself at any time. He would have to be very careful not to offend Bill Crass in any way. He was afraid that the latter did not like him very much as it was. He knew that Crass could get him the sack at any time and would not scruple to do so if he wanted to make room for some pal of his.

Crass, the foreman, was quite without special abilities; he was if anything inferior to the majority of the men he supervised. Even so, he pretended to know everything, and the vague references he was in the habit of making to ‘tones’ and ‘shades’ and ‘harmony’ had so impressed Frederick Hunter that the latter was completely taken in. it was by pushing himself forward in this way that Crass had managed to get himself put in charge of the work.

Although Crass did as little as possible himself, he took care to work the others hard. Any man who failed to satisfy him was reported to Hunter as being ‘no good’ or ‘too slow for a funeral’ and was then dispensed with at the end of the week. Knowing this, all the workers feared and hated the wily Crass.
Some, by giving him pipefuls of tobacco and pints of beer, managed to stay in Crass’s favour and often kept their jobs when better men were dismissed.

As he walked home through the rain thinking of these things, Easton realized that it was not possible to foresee what a day or even an hour might bring.

8 As he walked home, Easton felt depressed because

A it had been a bad summer for most people, including him.
B he was afraid of losing his job.
C he had recently got married, despite his low wages.
D his shoes were worn out and his feet were hurting.

9 The fifth paragraph mentions Easton’s fear of being ‘out’. Is there a fear of

A being unemployed?
B not having any money?
C having nowhere to live?
D falling out with his wife?

10 The most senior person mentioned in the passage is

A Jack Linden.
B Frederick Hunter.
C Bill Crass.
D William Easton.

11 Crass got his position because Hunter thought he was good at

A using language.
B managing other people.
C understanding colour schemes.
D repairing or decorating houses.

12 To keep his job, anyone working under Crass had to

A work hard.
B give him presents.
C take care not to offend him.
D make room for his ‘pals’ (friends).

13 Crass was

A a skilful worker but lazy.
B not very skilful but hard working.
C not very skilful but also lazy.
D a skilful man and a hard worker.

14 A good title for the passage would be

A Foreman Crass.
B An Uncertain Future.
C Too Slow for a Funeral.
D A Miserable Walk.

Keys

Part 1
1 F
2 D
3 E
4 D
5 G
6 C
7 A

Part 2
8 B
9 A
10 B
11 C
12 C
13 C
14 B

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