Passives at C1 level

At C1 level, learners are continuing to develop their mastery of the passive, particularly in more formal or academic contexts.

They can use the present continuous passive negative form to refer to ongoing situations in the present.

In my opinion, the store is not being promoted enough. (Cambridge English: Business Higher; Polish)

Women are not being seen as just inferior to men and incapable of working outside the home. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Portuguese)

Finally, I agree with the fact that mobile phones have helped the human species develop, but as long as they’re not being used in a sensible way, they’re a destructive weapon against children’s health. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Greek)

C1 learners also use the passive, with it as a dummy subject, to summarise or evaluate in discussions, usually in formal or academic writing.

To sum up, it can be concluded that this report has attempted to summarize the main points  regarding the Spanish educational system. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Spanish — European)

In addition, it has been found that some products were difficult to find. (Cambridge English: Business Vantage; Swiss German)

At C1 level, learners can now use the passive non-finite -ing form as a subordinate clause or a noun clause to give explanatory background information.

Being born and raised in Mexico, I believe her to be this country’s best representative  to the world. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Spanish — Latin American)

Being overworked and badly paid, Polish women are torn between their dreams and  their real possibilities. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Polish)

Being invited by your boss for an unexpected lunch makes you feel noticed. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Portuguese)

Source: English Profile.


Talking about the future at C1 and C2 levels

At C1 level, learners are starting to use the future perfect simple to make assumptions about the present. There is also some evidence for the expert speaker politeness strategy referred to in the B level grammar gem (using the future perfect to ‘assume that something is the case’). See the second example below taken from a formal letter:

As you will have heard, this year’s work experience programme in Britain was in general a success. (Certificate in Advanced English; Greek)

I hope I will have reassured you. (Certificate in Advanced English; French)

However, the researchers note examples such as these are few and far between in the learner data. Course book writers preparing new material at an advanced level may wish to focus more overtly on uses of the future perfect simple like these, which are very common in native/expert speaker language.

Our data shows that C1 learners are also using might or may to talk about future expectations:

As far as I’m concerned, we should definitely do some additional publicity, particularly for the new offerings which might be coming up. (Certificate in Advanced English; Dutch)

There is evidence of C1 learners using a greater range of adverbs when talking about the future, as well. This is especially true in Business English writing, as the second and third examples below show:

If you have ever read a fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen you will surely have discovered why this man is so famous worldwide. (Certificate in Advanced English; Danish)

However, sales will possibly have fallen to 5000 units again by the end of the year. (BEC Higher; German)

As the new store is going to be the first and only one in Moscow, and, to make matters worse, it is going to be located close to our most successful outlet, it is undoubtedly going to have a detrimental effect on our company. (BEC Higher; Polish)

Talking about the future at C2 level

The C2 level is referred to in the CEFR as ‘Mastery’ and it is interesting to see that learners are still expanding their knowledge of future forms. Additional uses found in our data at C2 include:

• the future perfect continuous to make assumptions about the present (still with very low frequency in comparison to first language use)

I do not think that this aspect is really necessary because it is supposed that you will have been studying very hard to occupy that job. (Certificate of Proficiency in English; Spanish)

• the present simple with only when, followed by will and an inverted subject, to refer to the future

Moreover, I think that only when people manage this will they be able to move on with their lives and offer something new to humanity. (Certificate of Proficiency in English; Greek)

And, sadly, I also believe that only when something really catastrophic happens will citizens face reality and accept that measures must be taken. (Certificate of Proficiency in English; Portuguese)

• the use of shall to talk about long-term intentions

I must believe, believe in myself and in everybody else, and mainly in what I look for, this way I shall never lose hope. (Certificate of Proficiency in English; Spanish)

I shall always remember it as the city of lights. (Certificate of Proficiency in English; French)

What does all this evidence tell us about the teaching of future forms? It is clear that learners are gradually broadening their repertoire and sophistication of use as they move up the CEFR levels. The research underpinning the development of the English Grammar Profile indicates strongly that, as teachers, we should never assume that once a structure has been taught at one level, there is no need for it to be revisited at higher ones. Quite apart from the necessary revision and recycling of existing grammatical knowledge, it is important for learners to be aware of the many additional ways they can draw on to express themselves clearly and naturally. A cyclical approach to the teaching of grammar will ensure that learners are adequately equipped with the depth of knowledge needed at a particular level. To this end, the researchers are describing in great detail what learners are actually capable of at each CEFR level, and these findings will inform a whole new generation of materials from Cambridge University Press.

Source — English Vocabulary Profile.

English Central

В прошлый раз мы рассказывали о несложных интернет-играх для изучения новых английских слов, сегодня же обратим ваше внимание на мощный ресурс, предлагающий полноценные курсы для улучшения произношения и увеличения словарного запаса.


Итак, на English Central вы найдете огромное количество видеофайлов — иногда собранных в полноценные курсы, иногда — нет, но всегда в сопровождении расшифровок, упражнений и словарных статей по каждому использованному в клипе слову. После просмотра видео и выполнения упражнений вы примените полученные знания на практике и проверите свое произношение — а система подскажет, каким звукам стоит уделить особое внимание. Да, здесь скорее американский вариант произношения, но изучать язык со Стивом Джобсом и Мартином Лютером Кингом, не выходя из дома, — не худший вариант, не правда ли? Преподаватели же могут использовать материалы сайта для домашних заданий и как основу для дальнейший обсуждений в классе.

Резюмируя, скажем, что English Central — мощный многофункциональный ресурс для улучшения уровня владения английским языком, который можно использовать как отдельно, так и совместно с иными курсами.

Match brands and slogans

  1. A diamond is forever.
  2. Be all that you can be.
  3. Between love and madness lies Obsession.
  4. Connecting People.
  5. Good to the last drop.
  6. Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.
  7. It keeps going and going and going.
  8. The pause that refreshes.
  9. We love to see you smile.
  10. Impossible is nothing.
  11. Don’t leave home without it.
  12. Think different.
  13. Image is everything
  14. Be a Pepper!
  15. The best a man can get.
  16. Always There for You
  17. Pure genius.
  18. Because I’m worth it.
  19. Your potential, our passion.
Energizer batteries
Dr Pepper
Apple Computers
Calvin Klein’s Obsession
Maxwell House coffee
United States Army
American Express


10 Adidas
7Energizer batteries
14Dr Pepper
12Apple Computers
3Calvin Klein’s Obsession
5Maxwell House coffee
2United States Army
11American Express


Discussion topic. Ideal marriage

spousesJust a few decades ago, feminists could only dream of gender equality. While their dreams have come true today, the men’s view of the ideal housewife hardly changed. According the latest poll, most men want to have a “traditional” wife who would make a great housewife. As for women, they want men respect their opinion and support the family financially.

Most Important Wife’s Quality

The data was received during the poll conducted by Yorkshire sociologists that involved 1 500 people. When asked – what are the most important qualities of the spouse? – 44% of men said it was caring for household, 39% said it was cooking abilities. Only 16% said it was financial independence.

Most Important Husband’s Quality

When asked the same question, 41% of women said it was the ability of the spouse to respect their opinion. 38% said the most important quality was the financial state of their husband.

How Men Should Be

The most important quality of man from female perspective:

  • Respect for woman’s opinion – 41%
  • Financial state – 38%
  • Being a good father – 27%
  • Gardening – 25%
  • The priority of the family – 22%.

How Women Should Be

The most important quality of women from male perspective:

  • Caring for household – 44%
  • Cooking – 39%
  • Cleaning – 33%
  • Being a good mother – 31%
  • Respect for men’s opinion – 31%.

Modern Woman or “Traditional” Woman?

But can modern women be the ideal housewives for their men? Can we compromise our career and goals to please our husband and become a “traditional” wife?


Test yourself! Would you make a good spy?

Would you nake a good spy?

1. What is your principal motivation for wanting to become a spy?
a. Adventure
b. Money
c. Ideals

2. How old are you?
a. Under 20
b. 20-24
c. 25-35
d. Over 35
e. Over 45
f. Over 55

3. How good a liar are you?
a. You usually blush when you tell a lie
b. You can tell an occasional lie without too much trouble,
but you hate telling really big lies
c. You can lie pretty good as a rule
d. You love telling a good big lie
e. You never lie

4. How  courageous are you? Suppose that you see someone (let’s say, a man much bigger and stronger than you) doing something bad, such as beating a child brutally or torturing a puppy. Would you…
a. Try to talk him out of it
b. Stop him by any means, even attack him physically
c. Inform the police
d. Mind your own business

5. How would you go about collecting information? Suppose you suspect your wife (husband, companion), of being unfaithful to you. Would you…
a. Employ a detective
b. Ask close friends to supply you with information
c. Conduct discreet inquiries on your own without involving anyone else
d. Make a scene and browbeat her (him) into admitting her (his ) guilt
e. Do nothing and hope things will straighten themselves out

6. What is the extent of your readiness to break the law?
a. To drive through a red light at 2 A.M. with no one about
b. To do anything, as long as it serves your purpose
c. To do nothing illegal under any circumstances
d. To cheat on your income tax return

7. How good a friend are you? Assume that a close friend needs your help, but giving it would cause you much trouble and expense. Would you…
a. Rush to the aid unasked and act without consulting the individual
b. Ask how you can best be of help and then act accordingly
c. Give only as much help as will not inconvenience you a great deal
d. Explain that you are sorry, but you are in no position to be of much help

8. How good a mixer are you?
a. Fond of social life, but only within your own circle
b. At home in any crowd
c. Able to make friends with strangers
d Shy and withdrawn, not a good mixer

9. How would you describe yourself as a drinker?
a. A heavy drinker
b. A light drinker
c. A social drinker, but able to take it
d A teetotaler

10. How immoral are you? Do you believe in the maxim that the end justifies the means?
a. Yes, unreservedly
b. Not when the means or methods are illegal and/or objectionable
c. Only under certain circumstances
d. One must judge each case individually


1. a:25, b:5; c:5
2. a:0; b:10; c:25; d:20; e:15; f:5
3. a:5; b:10; c:25; d:10; e:0
4. a:10; b:0; c:5: d:25
5. a:5; b:0; c:25; d:5; e:10
6. a:10; b:25; c:0; d:15
7. a:10; b:25; c:10; d:5
8. a:10;, b:15; c:25; d:5
9. a:5; b:10; c:25; d:0
10 a:20; b:0; c:5; d:25

235-250 points: You are selfish and mean. You will do practically anything to gain an advantage. You are cunning but not too clever. As a professional spy your bulldozer attitude will be an asset – up to a point. Your superiors in the service will find you quite useful for certain types of operations, but few of them will either like or respect you. However, being what you are, you won’t care about that. Your chances for survival are good, although it is doubtful that you will ever be entrusted with a position of major responsibility.

205-230 points: You’re a tough. You know what you want and your are determined to get it. You don’t mind employing questionable methods when the occasion needs it. At the same time you are sufficiently sensitive about your business and don’t go like a bull in a china shop. You will probably like the service and get on well with your superiors and colleagues, although you will know what you want from either. With a little luck you could easily get to the very top of the profession.

105-200 points: You are average; most people are. To a large extent you obey the rules. In the service this often presents an obstacle, although not a big one. You have strong qualities even in a profession such as ours. If you apply yourself, you may in time become a possible agent.

55 — 100 points: Let’s face it, friend, you’re a bit of a softie. No harm in that – as long as you keep out of the secret service. Should you by some chance get in, you will remain at low position. If this is what you aspire to, best of luck! We suggest, though, that you confine your interest in espionage to the reading of spy thrillers.

50 points or less:
You are probably a very beautiful person, kind, sensitive, good to your mother. You believe in mankind and the United Nations. As for espionage, you have never given the matter a single moment of serious consideration – not in connection with yourself, so bless you..

Текст — Business English

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. «Lose 5 pounds» is a better goal than «lose some weight,» because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll «eat less» or «sleep more» is too vague — be clear and precise. «I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights» leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., «If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.») Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.success

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control «muscle» is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur («If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.») It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don’t tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., «Don’t think about white bears!») has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like «If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.» By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.