Read the text and complete the exercises.
Why don’t we get married?
There are many superstitions about important days in people’s lives that began centuries ago. One such day is the day when you decide to get married.
The Greeks, for example, believe that if you get married during a leap year, you will probably divorce. In Finland, on the other hand, if a woman asks a man to marry her on 29th February, it will bring her good luck.
The next tradition is very interesting. In 1288, the Scottish Queen Margaret established a law which allowed women to propose on leap day. But the woman had to wear a red underskirt so that the man knew she was going to pop the question.
The Irish also have an interesting tradition. Legend has it that St Bridget asked St Patrick to allow women to ask men to marry. He agreed but only allowed this on 29th February. St Bridget used the opportunity and proposed to St Patrick. He said no but gave her a silk dress so she wouldn’t be too disappointed. Traditionally in Ireland, any man who says no to a woman’s leap-day proposal must give her a silk dress.
Today men propose in many different ways. Some make it simple, others make it creative and romantic. Those who want to be original propose in untraditional ways.
In the USA, for example, men sometimes propose during sport matches. Usually the proposal appears on a scoreboard and then the cameras turn on the couple. If the woman accepts, the whole stadium applauds.
One computer expert hacked into his girlfriend’s favourite computer game while she was playing and asked her to marry. Another man took his girlfriend to the cinema. He proposed to her with a video that was played during the commercials before the film started. One couple went skydiving together and when they landed the man asked the question. Yet another man asked his girlfriend to marry him on top of a death train ride.
The key to a successful proposal is the right time, the right place and the right person to spend the rest of your life with. You can’t go wrong if you just follow your heart.
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
|1 The Greeks believe that a wedding during leap year brings bad luck.|
|2 Women in Scotland could propose to men on leap day.|
|3 St Patrick allowed women to propose any day of the year.|
|4 Whenever an Irishman says no to a marriage proposal, he has to give the woman a dress.|
|5 In America you can propose at a sports event.|
|6 If a man proposes at a sports match, nobody knows about it.|
|7 The computer expert’s proposal was part of a computer game.|
|8 A man asked his girlfriend to marry when they got off a death train.|
- Complete the sentences. Use a word from the same word family as the word in brackets.
- My dad had two big __celebration__ (celebrate) for his fiftieth birthday.
- I knew their ____________________ (marry) wouldn’t last. He was too jealous.
- Where did you put the Christmas ___________________ (decorate)? I can’t find them anywhere.
- I want my wedding ____________________ (invite) to be something special.
- We were very worried when our cousin didn’t wake up after his __________________ (operate).
- The wedding ____________________ (receive) took place in a luxurious hotel at the seaside.
- My dad won’t admit it, but he’s rather ___________________ (superstition). He spits three times whenever a black cat crosses his way.
- Unfortunately, a high ___________________ (percent) of marriages end in divorce.
- Many people ____________________ (belief) that rain on a wedding day means the couple will have a lot of money.
- Her _______________ (refuse) of his marriage proposal came as a blow to him and he was very upset.
- Complete the text with the words from the box.
|best man bride bridesmaids engaged groom hen night honeymoon maid of honour newlyweds registry office rings stag night|
In Britain wedding preparations start after a marriage proposal has been accepted. Traditionally, the man proposes to a woman he loves by going down on one knee and asking her to become his wife. If she accepts, they become 1__engaged__. After the engagement, wedding planning can begin.
First, the couple decide whether they want to get married in a church and have a church wedding or have a civil wedding in a2________________. Then they draw up a guest list, book a venue for the reception and send out invitations.
The woman chooses her 3________________. These are usually her female friends or relatives and their job is to assist her on the wedding day. The main one is called a 4________________. The man chooses his companion, who is called a 5________________. Shortly before the wedding they both have their last separate parties as singles. The woman invites her friends to a 6________________ and the man and his friends have a 7________________.
On the wedding day the woman, now called a 8________________ arrives at the place of the ceremony, where usually the man, now called a9________________ and the guests are waiting for her. If the wedding takes place in church, the bride is traditionally escorted to the altar by her father, who gives her away. During the ceremony the couple exchange wedding vows and 10________________ and thus become husband and wife.
After the ceremony, photos are usually taken of the 11________________ and the guests. Then the whole party goes to a reception where they celebrate with music, dancing and speeches. After the reception the couple usually go on a 12________________ to a romantic place.
- Where would you hear the following phrases? Write the number of the phrase in the right box.
- My condolences to you and your family.
- If you blow out all the candles, your wish will come true.
- Call the girls. Karen is ready to throw the bouquet.
- Finally you’ll have more time to spend with your grandchildren.
- With your excellent grades you won’t have any problems getting into a good University.
- Many happy returns.
- Will you come to Frank’s wake? It would mean a lot to his family.
- Let’s raise our glasses to Betty and Tom. We wish you every happiness.
- We will begin with honorary degrees.
- I’ll miss everyone in this office.
- Write complete sentences about Slovenian celebrations and superstitions. Use if for sentences 2–7 and unless for sentences 8–10.
- you plant your flowers during the week before Palm Sunday / they grow well
If you plant your flowers during the week before Palm Sunday, they’ll grow well.
- you sprinkle crushed eggshells from Easter eggs around the house / they keep the evil away
- you get fern seeds in your shoes on midsummer night / you understand what animals are saying
- you put the house key on the table at Christmas / the house be safe until next Christmas
- a girl bring an even number of logs from the woodshed on Christmas Eve / she get married soon
- you visit other people on Christmas Day / something bad happen to you
- you eat bread left from Christmas on January 6th / you become extremely strong
- Christmas not be white / Easter be white
- you not put a loaf of bread on the table at Christmas / the family not be lucky and healthy
- you not wear some new clothes on New Year’s Day / you not have any new clothes for a year
- Match sentences 1–10 with the most appropriate responses a–j.
- We’re going camping next week. Can you check the weather forecast for me, please?
- Let’s have a party at my house on Saturday, shall we?
- I want you to tidy your room before dinner. How you can find anything in this mess is a mystery to me.
- You must be hungry after such a long journey. What do you fancy?
- Why don’t you come to my house tomorrow evening? We can watch a film together.
- See you tomorrow at grandma’s. What have you bought her, by the way?
- What are your plans for your next holiday?
- What are your plans for next Sunday?
- Your grades have been low for some time and you’ve done nothing to improve them.
- You’ve been to this pizzeria before, haven’t you? What do you recommend?
- Let me see. I’ll have a pepperoni and cheese pizza and some garlic bread.
- I’ve had quite a rough time lately, but I promise I’ll study harder.
- Well, nothing really. She loves almond cupcakes so I’m going to bake some this evening and decorate them nicely.
- Well, it says here it’ll be hot and sunny.
- Well, I’m going to have a pepperoni and cheese pizza. I’ve been dreaming about it, it’s so delicious.
- I’m sorry. It’s Friday 13th tomorrow and I’m going to stay in bed all day.
- Sorry, I’ve got an exam coming up so I’m going to study all weekend.
- I don’t have any, really. I think I’ll visit my grandparents or go to the cinema.
- I’m going to travel around Africa. I’m studying hard to pass all my exams and saving every penny I can.
- Actually, I can find everything I need. I’ll do it when I finish this project for school, okay?
1 d, 2 _____, 3 _____, 4 _____, 5 _____, 6 _____, 7 _____, 8 _____, 9 _____, 10 _____
- Fill the gaps with the correct form of the verbs in brackets.
Our summer in Finland
Last summer we 1___chose___ (choose) Finland as our holiday destination not only because of its unspoilt nature but also because we 2____________________ (want) to see some of the unusual competitions that take place there.
At the beginning of July we 3____________________ (watch) the Wife Carrying World Championship where men, often in fancy dress, must carry a woman for about 250 metres through water and over different obstacles. The event 4____________________ (take place) every summer since 1992.
A few days later, we 5____________________ (cheer) for the teams in the Swamp Soccer Championship. It’s played like a normal football match except that players 6____________________ (sink) up to their knees or thighs into the mud while trying to run around. At the end of the match, they were all covered in mud from head to toe.
One of the silliest things we 7____________________ (ever see) was the Mosquito Swatting Championship. It 8____________________ (exist) since 1993. It 9____________________ (consist) of one simple event. Every contestant 10____________________ (get) five minutes to swat as many mosquitoes as possible. If you don’t know what’s going on, it11____________________ (look) like a really weird dance. The winner is the one who gets the most mosquitoes, of course.
The last championship on our list was the Ant’s Nest Sitting Competition. Can you imagine sitting on an ant’s nest naked? We12___________________ (have) great fun watching the competitors’ faces while they 13 ____________________ (try) to appear tough with tears in their eyes. It was just hilarious.
I hope we 14____________________ (go back) to Finland next year to visit the Rubber Boot Throwing World Championship. My brother15____________________ (take) a size 43 in shoes, which is perfect for practising.