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Short texts for reading

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Golubev:
Dear Friends,
for all of us who joined the forum, we are happy to present a new short story, (as you know MP3 is available at our English Club meetings) - and this story might be considerd as our Home Assignment.
Let's do it now!

   Mrs. Jones was waiting for an important telephone call, but she had no bread in the house, so she left the baby at home and said to his five-year-old brother,’ I am going to the shops, Jimmy, and I will be back in a few minutes.'
   While she was out, the telephone rang, and Jimmy answered. 'Hallo,' said a man, 'is your mother there?'
'No,' answered Jimmy.
'Well, when she comes back, say to her, "Mr. Baker telephoned".'
'What?'
'Mr Baker. Write it down. B-A-K-E-R.'
'How do you make a B?'
'How do I make . . . ? Listen, little boy, is there anybody else with you? Any brothers or sisters?'
'My brother Billy is here.'
'Good, I want to talk to him, please.'
'All right.' Jimmy took the telephone to the baby's bed and gave it to Billy. When their mother came back, she asked,
'Did anyone telephone?'
'Yes,' said Jimmy, 'a man. But he only wanted to talk to Billy.'

What was Mrs. Jones waiting for?   Why did she go out ?  What did she do with the baby when she went out ?
What did she say to Jimmy ?  How old was he ? What happened while she was out ? What did Jimmy do ?
What did the man say ? What did Jimmy answer ? What did the man say then ? What did Jimmy's mother do when she came home ?  What did Jimmy answer ?

BR,
Golubev Oleg

Golubev:
Dear friends,
as agreed at the last meeting, we are happy to introduce you our Home Assignment:
this is going to be short stories. (See below).
And what is more exciting-we have MP3 of these short stories available at our English Club session.
So, please,  read the story now, answer the questions  and we are going to listen to it at the Club and check the ability to reproduce it after 2-3 listenings. Besides, we may start a new topic "Christmas celebration" - based on this story.
 Here it is:

Short story 1.

      It was two weeks before Christmas, and Mrs. Smith was very busy. She bought a lot of Christmas cards to send to her friends and to her husband's friends, and put them on the table in the living-room. Then, when her husband came home from work, she said to him, 'Here are the Christmas cards for our friends, and here are some stamps, a pen and our book of addresses. Will you please write the cards while I am cooking the dinner?'
      Mr. Smith did not say anything, but walked out of the living-room and went to his study. Mrs. Smith was very angry with him, but did not say anything either. Then a minute later he came back with a box full of Christmas cards. All of them had addresses and stamps on them. 'These are from last year,' he said. ‘I forgot to post them.'

When was Mrs. Smith very busy?
What did she do?
Why did she buy the cards?
Where did she put them?
What did she say to her husband?
What did Mr. Smith say?
What did he do?
How did Mrs. Smith feel?
What did she say?
What did Mr. Smith do a minute later?
What did he say?

BR,
Oleg

Golubev:
Dear Friends,
speaking about Present Perfect Continuous, we wold like to add more details to the point:

В вопросительном предложении вспомогательный глагол to have выносится на место перед подлежащим, а остальная часть сказуемого располагается после него:

I smell tobacco. Have you been smoking?
Я чувствую запах табака. Ты что, курил?

Has she been using my car again?
Она опять пользовалась моей машиной?

В отрицательных предложениях за вспомогательным глаголом to have следует отрицательная частица not:

It has not been snowing here since 1993.
Здесь не было снега с 1993 года.

Случаи употребления Present Perfect Continuous:

Действие, которое началось в прошлом, продолжалось в течение некоторого времени и все еще продолжается в момент разговора:
The workers have been trying to move our wardrobe for half an hour, go help them.
Рабочие вот уже полчаса пытаются сдвинуть наш шкаф с места, помоги им.

Действие, которое началось в прошлом, продолжалось в течение некоторого времени и закончилось непосредственно перед разговором:
Do you like this cake? I have been baking it since morning.
Тебе нравится этот пирог? Я пеку его с самого утра.

Best Regards,
Golubev Oleg

Golubev:
Hello, everybody!
Are not these short stories wonderful? This is our best choice to improve English.
Very helpful indeed.
Best Regards,
Golubev Oleg

V.B.:
      Present Perfect Continuous - очень употребимое время в английском языке. Означает действие, которое началось давно и продолжается до сих пор. Переводится на русский язык настоящим временем.
     See how Present Perfect Continuous is used in the following funny stories.

                                            1. BAD MANNERS
     Mother:      Jessie, don't interrupt me. Haven't I told you again and again not to speak when older persons are talking, but wait until they stop?
     Jessie:        I HAVE  BEEN WAITING  for such a long time, mummy, but you never stop tallking.

                                             2.THE WORLD'S INGRATITUDE
     Old man:     Why are you looking so sad, dear boy?
     Young poet: Brown doesn't know who Shakespeare was.
     Old man:      How does it concern you?
     Young poet:  I HAVE BEEN THINKING that one day I may be forgotten, too.


                                             3. PUPPIES NEVER SEE TILL THEY ARE
                                                           NINE DAYS OLD
     Tutor:        Wait a bit, young men! I HAVE BEEN WATCHING YOU  for  about  an hour.  Why don't you take off your hats when you meet your  tutors?
     One of the undergraduates: We beg your pardon, sir. We are just freshmen
     here. We haven't seen you.
     Tutor:     How long HAVE YOU BEEN STAYING  in Cambridge?
     One of the undergraduates: We HAVE BEEN STAYING here for only eight days, sir.
      Tutor:     In this case I have been too strict, for puppies never see till they are nine days old.
                   

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