3.2 A LIFE IN SIX WORDS

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Question English
Answer English

Which sentences probably come from a conversation
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and which from a written text?

I've never seen such a dramatic change! Her hair went white overnight!
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conversation.

A collection of jokes and hilarious anecdotes. Guaranteed to make you laugh.
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written text.

She told us some really moving stories about her life during the war.
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Conversation or written text.

It was incredible - the car hit her, but she was OK.
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Conversation.

This teacher was so inspiring that he changed each of his students' lives.
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written text.

A poignant tale of heartbreak and loss. Don't miss it!
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written text.

She was just too intense for me. I never felt I could relax.
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conversation.

This woman's remarkable story of success at the age of eighty-five will amaze you.
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written text.

Underline the adjective in each sentence above.
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Then match the adjectives with the meaning below.

sudden and extraordinary.

hilarious.
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very amusing.

making you feel sadness.

incredible.
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not believable.

inspiring.
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making you want to achieve things.

making you feel sadness.

concentrated/strong, e.g... heat.

remarkable.
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impressive, e.g... achievement.

Choose three of the adjectives
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and outline a news or film story that fits each.

A film about two teenagers in love, but they know one of them is going to move to the other side of the world.

Read the text above
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and discuss the questions.

What do you think Hemingway's story is about?
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"For sale: baby shoes, never worn". The death of the baby.

Who is Larry Smith and why is he on Today?
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Larry Smith is the online magazine editor which has used the Hemingway's story to inspire its readers to write their life story in just six words. He's on Today because Today was inviting its listeners to send their own six-words stories.

Where does the title of the book come from?
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It comes from the six words of one of the submissions to the online magazine.

Predict the correct alternative in sentences 1-5.
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Then listen to the interview with Larry Smith and check your answers.

Larry didn't expect a large number of entries.
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They've been overwhelmed by the thousands who took up the challenge. It was incredible. In a couple of mounths we got 15,000 entries and I was just blown away.

People were very intense about the challenge.
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I was just so inspired by how serious and intense folks took the six-words memoir challenge.

People wrote about their own life.
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some folks clearly tried to tell a whole story of a life in six words,

Many stories had a sense of regret and disappointment.
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a lot of them are quite sad or there’s sort of sense of regret or disappointment in a lot of them.

A lot of people had had a tough life.
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People really told us, ‘It’s tough out there.’

Listen again
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and complete the six-word stories.

what I was planning.

Wasn't born
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a redhead. Fixed that.

true love. Married someone else.

should have bought that ring.’

Which adjectives could be used
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to describe the stories? Why?

Not quite what I was planning.
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dramatic

Wasn't born a redhead. Fixed that.
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hilarious.

‘Found true love. Married someone else.’
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Inspiring.

‘Never should have bought that ring.’
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Intense.

Which story sounds most interesting? What do you think happened in this person's life?
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‘Never should have bought that ring.’ A story of regret and disappointment. Somebody who regrets his propose to Sarah. "I have already proposed to Sarah"

Look at these "short" stories.
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Which do you think is the most powerful?

Love climbing those hills.
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Hills. I love and hate hills in equal measure. Love rolling down ’em, hate riding up ’em,

Too much love.
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Where love is concerned, too much is not even enough.

Blankets, books, bottles, books, blankets.
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The blanket warms me. Now I read books. The bottle is here We study, we drink. I went to find a blanket

Found it. Lost it. Found it.
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Too much love.

Coughin; coffin.
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A coffin is the box that dead people are buried in. Coughing is the body’s natural response when there is a tickle in the throat and you try to clear it- you cough.

How have the writers above shortened their stories? What kinds of words have they left out or included?
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Only nouns or only verbs. Reduction of complementary elements.

Write your own six-word story about an aspect of your life, the life of someone famous or someone you know.
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birth, death, days between are mine. birth, study, war, work, retired, study.

Match the multi-word verbs
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with meanings.

arrive

stop (a hobby or habit).

start (a hobby or habit).

settled down
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start living a quiet life, e.g. get married and have children.

start (a business)

be completely used up.

Look at the extracts from a dictionary.
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Which verbs

can sometimes be used without an object?
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run out

must be used with an object
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set up

can be separated with an object
set sth <> up
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set sth up
She left the company to set up her own business.

can be followed by a preposition
We've run out of sugar.
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run our + of
I'm running out of ideas.

Look at the photo in the article on the right. What do you think this woman's life has been like?
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Maya Angelou is a poet and award-winning author known for her acclaimed memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and her numerous poetry and essay collections.

Did she have an easy life?
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No. She suffered violence and racism all life. She's a model for great courage and a huge appetite for life and expression.

What jobs did she have in her life?
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cable car conductor, waitress, cook, dancer, singer, writer, lecturer,

What were her major interests?
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Arts. Dancer, Singer, Writer.

Why is she a role model?
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Great courage and huge appetite for life and expression.

Read the article again
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and match meanings with the multi-word verbs in the infinitive.

spend your childhood
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grow up

learn by experience not study
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pick up

look up to

pass away.

continue to do something
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go on

pass (about time)
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go by

agree to do some work
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take on

stand for

stop doing (a course)
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drop out

bring up

Look at the sentences
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and answer the questions about the multi-word verb bring up.

Where can you put a noun object?
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to bring up is separable or to bring sb up: We brought up Simon to be polite. or We brought Simon up to be polite.

Where must you put a pronoun object?
They brought me up to be cautious with money.
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We brought him up to be polite.

Which is the most useful way or ways for you to record this feature of a multi. word verb?
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Examples, but explanations are also useful.

Replace the noun in bold in each sentence
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with the pronoun in brackets.

Kieron wanted the job but they turned down Kieron. (him)
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Kieron wanted the job but they turned him down.

The shop had some great clothes but the loud music put off Lena. (her)
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The shop had some great clothes but the loud music put her off.

Fifty people wanted to be extras in the film and the director took on all fifty people. (them all)
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Fifty people wanted to be extras in the film and the director took them all on.

Señor Almeida isn't here at the moment. Can you ring Señor Almeida back? (him)
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Señor Almeida isn't here at the moment. Can you ring him back?

I finished the essay last night and gave in the essay this morning. (it)
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I finished the essay last night and gave it in this morning.

If I don't know new words, I just look up the words in my electronic dictionary. (them)
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If I don't know new words, I just look them up in my electronic dictionary.

The sound of the doorbell at 2a.m. woke up everyone. (us)
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The sound of the doorbell at 2a.m. woke us up.

Is that a new coat? Anyway, take off the coat and hang up the coat here. (it, it)
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Is that a new coat? Anyway, take it off and hang it up here.


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