Exercise 1

We were cold, wet and tired. We’d walked for hours by the sea, following a path that had become smaller and smaller and then stopped. We had been very careless and we hadn’t brought a map. Mary, who is more confident than she is reliable, had told me she knew the way and I had believed her. But, of course, she didn’t know the way and we were lost. We knew we could be several kilometres from the nearest house. We sat down under a tree, feeling very sorry for ourselves.

Suddenly we heard a sound. It was a dog barking, not far away. We got up and walked on quickly. A minute later we came to the top of a small hill, and saw a very old stone cottage. An old man with a black dog was looking out from the front door. ‘Oh dear! You look wet!’ the man called to us. ‘Yes, we’re completely lost,’ Mary replied. ‘Well,’ the man said, ‘why don’t you come in and get dry?’

We went inside and I started to feel better. We sat next to the fire and the man went into the kitchen.

A. Read the story and answer the questions.

 Why didn’t they take a map on their walk?

 How did they find the cottage?

 Why did the man invite them in?

 How long had the man lived in the house?

 How did they find their way to the hotel?

 What was different about the path when they went back?

 Why didn’t they give the old man the present?


1   They had been careless; Mary said she knew the way.

2   They heard a dog barking.

3   because they were lost and wet

4   ever since he was a child

5   The man gave them directions to the village.

6   Plants were growing across it.

7   There was no old man (or cottage).

Exercise 2

We bought a zoo

In March 2005, Benjamin Mee received a letter from his sister. Inside was an advertisement for a house that was for sale. It was a house with a zoo full of animals in its garden.

Earlier that year, Benjamin’s father had died and his mother was living alone in a large house in London, which she was trying to sell for £1.2 million, the same price as the zoo. Benjamin, who was living in France with his wife and two children, thought that it would be wonderful for his family to sell his mother’s house and buy the zoo so that they could all live together and take care of each other. He knew that his father, a sensible man, would not have agreed. But Benjamin was thinking of the future.

Surprisingly, his family agreed. Benjamin’s mother was very generous and happy to buy the zoo after selling her house. The year before she had spent a day at a zoo helping the zoo keepers and had really enjoyed looking after the animals. Benjamin’s wife was more anxious. She was very ill and didn’t want to change her life, but Benjamin said that it would help her and the children think about something else.

Unfortunately, buying the zoo was quite difficult, but Benjamin was patient and confident, and after a year of trying, in October 2006, they did it. But four days after the family moved into the zoo, there was a disaster. A jaguar, a large black cat, had escaped, after a zoo keeper had forgotten to close a door. The family also needed £500,000 for repairs before they could open it. Then while they were doing the repairs, Benjamin’s wife died.

On 7 July 2007, the zoo opened and the first visitors came to see the animals. There were tigers, bears, monkeys, parrots, snakes and spiders, and lots of others. People loved the zoo, and loved what Benjamin, his children, who were always sociable and friendly with visitors, and his family had done.

In 2008, he wrote a book called We bought a zoo, which became very popular. A Hollywood producer read the story and decided to make a film about it, and in 2012, the film was released and the money Benjamin earned from it helped to pay the bills and keep the zoo open.

If you’d like to visit the zoo that Benjamin’s family bought, it’s called the Dartmoor Zoological Gardens, in south-west England.

A. Read the magazine article above. Put the events in the correct order.

……   Benjamin and his family buy the zoo.

..1..   Benjamin’s mother spends a day at a zoo.

……   The zoo opens.

……   Benjamin’s father dies.

……   A Hollywood film is made about the zoo.

……   Benjamin receives a letter from his sister.

B. Read the magazine article again. Match the adjectives and the descriptions with the people. Complete the table with the words in the boxes.







friendly with people

gave lots of money to buy something

waited a year to do something

was worried about changing something




1   Benjamin


waited a year to do something

2   Benjamin’s wife



3   Benjamin’s mother



4   Benjamin’s children



C. Read the magazine article again. Tick (✓) the correct responses.

1   Why did Benjamin want to buy the zoo?

      a   He had always wanted to work with animals.

      b  He wanted to bring his family closer at a difficult time.   ✓

      c   His mother was a zoo keeper.

2   How did the jaguar escape?

      a   The zoo keeper hadn’t done something that was important.

      b   The zoo needed to be repaired.

      c   A visitor opened the door.

3   Benjamin’s wife died …

      a   before Benjamin bought the zoo.

      b   before the zoo opened.

      c   when the zoo opened.

4   How did the Hollywood film help Benjamin and the zoo?

      a   Lots of people visited the zoo after they saw the film.

      b   Benjamin wrote a book about it.

      c   The money he got helped to run the zoo.

D. Write a paragraph about a trip that you have recently been on. Remember to include:

•   where you went

•   what you did

•   what preparation you had to do before you went

•   what you thought of the trip.



4, 1, 5, 2, 6, 3


 anxious, was worried about changing something

 generous, gave lots of money to buy something

 sociable, friendly with people


2 a   3 b   4 c

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