Unit 7. Weather and Ecology


The naughtiest thing in the world is the weather. It's like a capricious woman who always does the opposite to what you ask her.

When you want to go for a picnic in the open air you ask the skies to remain clear and the day to be fine. Nervously you switch on the radio and listen to the weather forecast. You tremble with joy to hear that it'll stay warm and dry with bright sunshine, and moderate breeze. Your imagination draws a hot summer afternoon and yourself saying: 'Nice weather we are having today!' You take a lot of food and no warm clothes, go to the countryside but... do not get anything sunny.

You get it cloudy and cool with intermittent drizzle which ends with a thundery shower. The sky is so heavily cast with clouds, the downpours follow one another with such frequency, the rumbling of thunder and Hashes of lightning are so frightening that you've got no illusions left. You throw away the food and go back hungry and angry. And when you are already approaching your home soaked to the skin it suddenly brightens up. Oh, Goodness!

Each summer every student survives through the best time of his or her life – an examination session. Then many students plead: 'Please, weather, stay cloudy, chilly or even cold with brisk northerly wind and nun torrents leaving pools and peddles everywhere, especially on the playground. And I'll be a good student'. The radio promises: 'Patchy light drizzle with showery outbreaks of rain.' But the "patch" is never in the right place. Instead the skies send heat and excellent weather for a sun tan. Everyone knows that sun tan never helps at exams.

And it is always like this. When you go skiing and want to have frosty weather with a lot of snow, it starts thawing and your skis sink in the slush. Instead of a snowfall and hoarfrost on the trees you get excellent sleet. The weather does not feel any pangs of remorse.

When you go in the car to the country, enjoying nice weather and a beautiful view of a rainbow in the blue sky, you pay no attention to some haze on the horizon. Sometime later a thin mist in the distance turns into a thick fog and you spend a lovely two hours instead of one at the steering wheel.

When you plant some much-cared-for flowers in the garden, either a ground frost or a hail storm kills them. Digging muddy flowerbeds one feels exasperated: What beastly weather we've had this week! And it keeps nasty! Wretched!'

To tell the truth, sometimes the weather is ashamed and turns for the better. But not always. More often it sticks to its own pattern and after a short warm spell turns bad again. Why is it always like this? Maybe, because the weather likes surprises and wants to bring in adventures to our life, breaking the boring routine with marvelous happenings?

  1. Do you agree that the weather is like a capricious woman? Prove your point.
  2. Say what weather you like best of all and why.
  3. Do you listen to the weather forecasts? Do you trust them? Have you heard the weather forecast for today? Was it right?
  4. Explain how you understand the proverb.

Whether the weather is cold

Or whether the weather is hot

We'll weather the weather

Whatever the weather

Whether we like it or not.


Fog on the Barrow-Downs

(Extract from the book by J. R. R. Tolkien "The Lord of the Rings". Abridged)

That night they heard no noises. But either in his dreams or out of them, he could not tell which, Frodo heard a sweet singing running in his mind; a song that seemed to come like a pale light behind a grey rain-curtain.

The vision melted into waking; and there was Tom whistling; and the sun was already slanting down the hill and through the open window.

After breakfast they made ready to say farewell, as nearly heavy of heart as was possible on such a morning; cool, bright, and clean under a washed autumn sky of thin blue. The air came fresh from the North-West.

They rode off along a path and looked out from the hill-top over lands under the morning. It was now as clear and far-seen as it had been veiled and misty when they stood upon the knoll in the Forest. They took a deep draught of the air.

Their way wound along the floor of the hollow, and round the green feet of a steep hill into another deeper and broader valley. As they journeyed the sun mounted, and grew hot. Each time they climbed a ridge the breeze seemed to have grown less. When they caught a glimpse of the country westward the distant Forest seemed to be smoking, as if the fallen rain was steaming up again. A shadow now lay round the edge of sight, a dark haze above which the sky was like a blue cap. On that side the hills were higher and looked down upon them; and all those hills were crowned with green mounds, and on some were standing stones, pointing upwards like jagged teeth out of green gums. The view was somehow disquieting; so they turned from the sight and went down into the hollow circle. In the midst of it there stood a single stone, standing tall under the sun above, and at this hour casting no shadow. They set their backs against the east side of the stone. It was cool, as if the sun had had no power to warm it. There they took food and drink.

Riding over the hills, and eating their fill, lying a little too long; these things are, perhaps, enough to explain what happened. However, that may be: they woke suddenly from a sleep they had never meant to take. The standing stone was cold, and it cast a long pale shadow. The sun was gleaming through the mist; north, south, and east, the fog was thick, cold and white. The air was silent, heavy and chill.

The hobbits sprang to their feet in alarm, and ran to the western rim. They found that they were upon an island in the fog. Even as they looked out in dismay towards the setting sun, it sank before their eyes into a white sea, and a cold grey shadow sprang up in the East behind. The fog rolled up to the walls and rose above them, and as it mounted it bent over their heads until it became a roof. They felt as if a trap was closing about them. They packed up as quickly as their chilled fingers would work.

Soon they were leading their ponies in single file over the rim and down the long northward slope of the hill, down into a foggy sea. As they went down the mist became colder and damper, and their hair hung lank and dripping on their foreheads. When they reached the bottom it was so cold that they halted and got out cloaks and hoods, which soon became bedewed with grey drops. Then, mounting their ponies, they went slowly on again. To prevent their getting separated and wandering in different directions they went in file, with Frodo leading. Suddenly Frodo saw a hopeful sign. On either side ahead a darkness began to loom through the mist; and he guessed that they were at last approaching the gap in the hills."'Come on! Follow me!" he called back over his shoulder, and he hurried forward. His pony reared, and he fell off. When he looked back he found that he was alone: the others had not followed him.

'Sam!' he called. 'Pippin! Merry! Come along! Why don't you keep up?'

There was no answer. Fear took him, and he ran back. As he struggled on he called again, and kept on calling more and more frantically. He was weary, sweating and yet chilled. It was wholly dark.

'Where are you?' he cried out miserably.

There was no reply. He stood listening. He was suddenly aware that it was getting very cold, and that up here a wind was beginning to blow, an icy wind. A change was coming in the weather. The mist was flowing past him in shreds and tatters. His breath was smoking. He looked up and saw with surprise that faint stars were appearing overhead amid the strands of hurrying cloud and fog. Oat of the east the biting wind was blowing.

'Where are you?' he cried again, both angry and afraid.

'Here!' said a voice, deep and cold, that seemed to come out of the ground. 'I am waiting for you!'

'No!' said Frodo; but he did not run away. His knees gave, and he fell on the ground. Nothing happened, and there was no sound. Trembling he looked up in time to see a tall dark figure like a shadow against the stars. It leaned over him. He thought there were two eyes, very cold though lit with a pale light that seemed to come from some remote distance. Then a grip stronger and colder than iron seized him. The icy touch froze his bones, and he remembered no more.

When he came to himself again, for a moment he could recall nothing except a sense of dread. Then suddenly he knew that he was imprisoned, caught hopelessly; he was in a barrow. A Barrow-wight had taken him, and he was probably already under the dreadful spells of the Barrow-wights about which whispered tales spoke. Headed not move, but lay as he found himself: flat on his back upon a cold stone with his hands on his breast.

As he lay there, thinking and getting a hold on himself, he noticed all at once that the darkness was slowly giving way: a pale greenish light was growing round him. He turned, and there in the cold glow he saw lying beside him Sam, Pippin, and Merry.

There was a loud rumbling sound, as of stones rolling and falling, and suddenly light streamed in. A low door-like opening appeared at the end of the chamber beyond Frodo's feet; and there was Tom's head against the light of the sun rising red behind him.

'Come, friend Frodo!' said Tom. 'Let us get out on to the clean grass! You must help me bear them.' Together they carried out Merry, Pippin and Sam. To Frodo's great joy the hobbits stirred, robbed their eyes, and then suddenly sprang up. They looked about in amazement. 'What in the name of wonder? began Merry. 'Where did you get to, Frodo?'

'I thought that I was lost', said Frodo; 'but I don't want to speak of it.' But Tom shook his head, saying: 'Be glad, my merry friends, and let the warm sunlight heat now heart and limb! Cast off these cold rags! Run naked on the grass!'

The air was growing very warm again. The hobbits ran about for a while on the grass. Then they lay basking in the sun with the delight of those that have been wafted suddenly from bitter winter to a friendly clime, or of people that, after being long ill, wake one day to find that they are unexpectedly well and the day is again full of promise.

Comprehension Check

  1. What did Frodo hear in his sleep?
  2. Who was whistling?
  3. When did the hobbits start out?
  4. What was the country like?
  5. What was the weather like?
  6. Where did the hobbits stop and what for?
  7. Why did they fall asleep?
  8. What change in the weather did they see when they woke up?
  9. What did they do after waking up?
  10. Why did Frodo hurry forward?
  11. What was Frodo suddenly aware of?
  12. What happened to Frodo?
  13. What did Frodo realise when he came to himself again?
  14. Whom did Frodo suddenly see?
  15. Where did Tom and Frodo bear the others?
  16. What was the weather like again?

Exercise 1

Transcribe and pronounce correctly the words from the text.

Vision, whistling, slanting, farewell, knoll, to journey, to mount, mound, jagged, disquieting, to cast, to roll, northward, bedewed, to wander, sign, to rear, frantically, weary, to sweat, tatter, strand, dread, barrow-wight, chamber, naked, to bask, to waft.

Exercise 2

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the text.


  1. shine with interrupted brightness
  2. appear indistinctly
  3. change to liquid condition by heat
  4. move upwards
  5. cover or sprinkle with dew or water
  6. be or feel very cold
  7. diverge from a vertical or horizontal line
  1. A. melt
  2. B. slant
  3. C. bedew
  4. D. gleam
  5. E. mount
  6. F. loom
  7. G. freeze


  1. gentle wind
  2. climate
  3. round portion of liquid such as hangs or falls separately
  4. grave-mound
  5. patch of shade, region not reached by sun
  6. visible water vapour floating in air high above the ground
  7. torn or broken piece
  1. A. shadow
  2. B. breeze
  3. C. cloud
  4. D. shred
  5. E. barrow
  6. F. clime
  7. G. drop


  1. biting, harsh; piercingly cold
  2. of fairly low temperature, fairly cold
  3. slightly or fairly wet
  4. unpleasantly cold to feel
  5. covered with ice, very cold
  6. indinstinct in form; of, or covered with
  7. straight and limp
  1. A. damp
  2. B. icy
  3. C. chill
  4. D. bitter
  5. E. lank
  6. F. cool mist
  7. G. misty

Exercise 3

Consult your dictionary and give all possible derivatives from the following words.

  1. sun
  2. mist
  3. air
  4. fog
  5. wind
  6. light
  7. rain
  8. dark
  9. warm

Exercise 4

Find in the text one or more synonyms to the following words.

  • to smoke
  • a shred
  • to sink
  • cool
  • to rise
  • cold
  • to journey
  • to cast

Exercise 5

Pick out from the text:

1) all verbs used with the nouns: sun, shadow, fog, rain;

2) all adjectives used with the nouns: fog, wind, morning, air, light, mist.

Exercise 6

Explain the difference between the synonyms or analogous words from the text.

to chill – to freeze

breeze – wind

to smoke – to steam up

shreds – tatters – strands

veil – haze – mist – fog

cool – chill – cold – icy – bitter

Exercise 7

Find the English equivalents to the following words or phrases.


Пелена дождя, потянул свежий ветерок, было далеко видно, по низу лощины, солнце поднялось, стало жарко, после дождя поднимались испарения, отбрасывать тень, солнечные лучи пробивались сквозь дымку, заходящее солнце, туман подкатывал, закоченевшие пальцы, волосы обвисли, покрылись каплями, погода менялась, появились звезды, темнота рассеивалась, забрезжил зеленоватый свет, ворвался поток света, вставало красное солнце, нежиться на солнце.


Звучать в сознании, попрощаться, с тяжёлым сердцем, прислониться спиной, плотно пообедать, вскочить на ноги, в ужасе, остановиться, сесть на пони, поспевать, склониться над кем-либо, издалека, выбраться, протереть глаза, сбросить лохмотья, нежиться на солнце.

Exercise 8

I. Give the first form of the following irregular verbs in the past tense.

rode, stood, wound, grew, caught, lay, set, woke, meant, sprang, sank, bent, felt, hung, froze, began, fell, lost.

II. Give the past form of the following regular verbs.

melt, wash, veil, mount, seem, crown, turn, roll, chill, halt, guess, rear, hurry, struggle, stream, waft.

Exercise 9

Write out into your notebook all expressions used to describe good or bad weather in the text.

Good weatherBad weather

Exercise 10

Fill in the gaps in the sentences with one of the expressions from the list. Change their form if necessary.

To run in one's mind, to give way, to catch a glimpse, in single file, to get separated, to come from some remote distance, to come to oneself, to be heavy of heart, to be crowned with, to grow less, to spring to one's feet, to be lost, to call back over one's shoulder, to freeze one's bones, to rub one's eyes.

  1. The rain ceased and the wind ... ; soon everything had become quiet in nature.
  2. Though we were sitting, we all ... when he appeared in the room: our astonishment was so great. No one could expect it.
  3. To manage everything we decided ... and meet again later; thus each one could carry out his task better.
  4. Having wandered for an hour along the narrow streets, I realised at last that I....
  5. The top of the mountain was ... a snowcap although there were green woods in blossom at the foot.
  6. The tourists were slowly walking ... . It was a lot easier to walk like this across the marshy ground.
  7. The voices of our friends ..., we did not understand how far away they were.
  8. I had to leave Paris soon. I ... because it meant the end of my careless and happy life in the city which I started to love so much.
  9. For a whole day Ronald could not get rid of a simple melody which he heard on the radio in the morning: it was constantly ....
  10. The operation was over and the patient was ... . At first he could not understand where he was.
  11. Without turning around, he ... , but nobody answered. In surprise he turned his head and saw nobody.
  12. Deadly fear ... . I could not move, I could not even stir a finger.
  13. Though we passed the open door very quickly, I managed ... of the people who gathered in the director's office.
  14. The medicine did a world of good: the disease started ... , which was almost a miracle.
  15. The sight in front of me was so unbelievable, that I felt an impulse ... , but kept back, remembering that I was not a child.

Exercise 11

Find in the text sentences starting with the following words and express the same idea using different wording and grammar.

  1. The vision melted into waking ...
  2. It was now as clear and far-seen ...
  3. Their way wound along ...
  4. A shadow now lay round the edge of sight...
  5. In the midst of it there stood a single stone ...
  6. However, that may be ...
  7. To prevent their getting separated ...
  8. On either side ahead a darkness ...
  9. As he straggled on he called again ...
  10. He was suddenly aware that it was getting very cold ...
  11. He thought there were two eyes ...
  12. As he lay there, thinking and getting a hold on himself ...
  13. To Frodo's great joy the hobbits stirred ...
  14. Then they lay basking in the sun ...

Exercise 12

Retell the story of the hobbits' journey:

  1. in the third person;
  2. in the person of Frodo;
  3. in the person of Tom.

Exercise 13

Discussion points.

  1. What can you say about the hobbits' journey: was it difficult or pleasant, interesting or boring?
  2. Can you say that the weather is one more character in the story? Prove your point.
  3. Does the weather help the hobbits somehow or does it interfere somehow?
  4. Do you think that the author tries to draw a parallel "nature — weather" in the story? Prove your point.

Exercise 14

I. Translate into Russian the following bits from the same book by J. R. R.


  1. They had been two days in this country when the weather turned wet. The wind began to blow steadily out of the West and pour the water of the distant seas (...) in fine drenching rain. By nightfall they were all soaked.
  2. But before long the snow was falling fast, filling all the air, and swirling into Frodo's eyes.
  3. le they were halted, the wind died down, and the snow slackened until it almost ceased. (...) But they had not gone more than a furlong when the storm returned with fresh fury. The wind whistled and the snow became a blinding blizzard.
  4. Nothing happened that night worse than a brief drizzle of rain an hour before dawn. (...) Already the fog was thinning. (...) In the mid-morning the clouds drew down lower, and it began to rain heavily.
  5. The sky was utterly dark, and the stillness of the heavy air foreboded the storm. Suddenly the clouds were seared by a blinding flash. Branched lighting smote dawn upon the eastward hills.
  6. The thunder was rumbling in the distance now. The lightning flickered still, far off among the mountains in the South. A keen wind was blowing from the North again. The clouds were torn and drifting, and stars peeped out.
  7. The hurrying darkness, now gathering speed, rushed up from the East and swallowed the sky. There was a dry splitting crack of thunder right overhead. Searing lightning smote down into the hills. Then came a blast of savage wind.
  8. There was another crack of thunder, and then the rain came. In a blinding sheet, mingled with hail, it drove against the cliff, bitter cold.

II. Using some of the underlined words or expressions describe a rainstorm or a snowstorm you were caught in once.

Exercise 15

Study the Topical Vocabulaiy and add other analogous words to the following lists. Explain the difference in their meanings.

  • rainfall
  • snowfall
  • wind
  • rain
  • snowstorm
  • whirlwind

Exercise 16

Match the nouns with adjectives to make common phrases.

Pattern: heavy rain, heavy snow, etc.


  • rain
  • wind
  • fog
  • snow
  • sky
  • air


  • heavy
  • bitter
  • biting
  • chilly
  • strong
  • cloudy
  • fresh
  • brisk
  • thick
  • drizzling
  • thin
  • hot
  • cold
  • piercing
  • bright
  • southerly
  • clear
  • swirling
  • chill
  • misty
  • clean
  • drenching

Exercise 17

Add the missing forms.

    • north
    • ...?...
    • northerly
    • south
    • southern
    • ...?...
    • east
    • ...?...
    • ...?...
    • west
    • ...?...
    • ...?...
    • north-east
    • ...?...
    • north-easterly
    • north-west
    • north-western
    • ...?...
    • south-east
    • ...?...
    • ...?...
    • south-west
    • ...?...
    • ...?...

Exercise 18

Choose the right word from a couple of similar looking ones. Change word forms if necessary.

1. (slush, sleet)

a) The ... under my feet was awful. I had an impression that I was walking through a muddy sea.

b) The rain changed into .... Wet snowflakes were falling on the ground and melted there.

2. (ice drift, snowdrift)

a) The path was hedged by two long .... They were like two mountain ranges.

b) The ... started at night. In the morning the children ran to the river to look at the huge blocks of ice drifting across the water.

3. (icing, icicle)

a) There was heavy... on the road and all cars were moving very slowly.

b) After a thaw there appeared ... on the edge of the roof; they looked like sparkling needles.

4. (frost, hoarfrost)

a) Tree branches were covered with ... and the forest looked enchanting and somewhat mysterious.

b) The ... was biting the nose and the cheeks. It was impossible to stay long in the street.

5. (draught, drought)

a) Severe ... killed the crops. Not a drop of rain fell on the ground for a month.

b) When the door opened, the ... blew off the papers down on to the floor.

6. (to freeze, to be freezing)

a) In winter all rivers and lakes in these parts always ....

b) The temperature was quite low and I felt that I ....

7. (blizzard, drizzle)

a) Boring ... spoiled the day. It was too wet and dull.

b) The ... was blinding us. Snowflakes were swirling in the air.

8. (light, lightning)

a) There is not enough ... in the room. The table should be moved closer to the window.

b) The ... split the sky into two parts. A deafening thunder crack followed.

Exercise 19

I. Below you see examples of several weather forecasts from >English newspapers. Read and translate them.

I. General situation: Many eastern coastal areas of England will; stay cloudy and cool, with patchy light drizzle during the morning. Western parts of Wales and south-west England will be cloudy with showery outbreaks of rain, although western Wales will brighten up during the afternoon. The rest of England and Wales will stay warm and dry with hazy sunshine, although there will be a brisk easterly breeze. Showery rain over Northern Ireland will clear during the afternoon. Scotland will be dry with sunny periods, but eastern coasts will be cloudy and western areas may have rain during the morning.

"The Independent"

II. Cloud and outbreaks of rain over England and Wales will clear during the morning. The afternoon will be mostly dry with bright or sunny spells, although wintry showers will develop at times in the north and north-west.

Scotland and Northern Ireland will have another cold day with sunshine and blustery showers expected. The showers will be heavy in places and falling as snow over the high ground.

Outlook: Bright with wintry showers at times, especially in the north. Rain spreading eastwards on Monday.

"Daily Express"

III. Forecast: A dry, sunny start over England and Wales, but there may be light showers adjacent to the southern North Sea. Western Scotland and Nothern Ireland will become cloudy during the morning with outbreaks of rain moving to these areas by midday. This weather will spread south-eastwards to all parts of Scotland, north-west England and north Wales by the evening. Temperatures: 8 °C (46 °F) in East Anglia, 10 °C (50 °F) in Northern Ireland.

Outlook: Little change in southern and eastern parts of England during Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be cool nights with frost and possibly patchy fog, but day with sunny spells during daylight hours. Early cloud and rain in north-western districts will gradually die out during Tuesday.

"The Independent"

IV. Weather: England and Wales will start cloudy with outbreaks of rain. However, brighter, showery weather already over Scotland and Northern Ireland will slowly spread south and east throughout the day. The showers will be heaviest and most frequent in the north, falling as sleet or snow over hills and mountains, with drifting occurring in places. It will feel cold in the blustery and strong westerly wind.

Outlook: Sunny intervals and showers are expected. Feeling colder than of late in the north-westerly wind.

"Daily Express"

II. Match the Russian phrases from list A with their English equivalents from list B.


Местами дожди/туман; ожидается сухая тёплая погода; на востоке области пройдут сильные проливные дожди; на почве возможны заморозки; ветер северный, умеренный, 10–15 м/сек; в дальнейшем холодный характер погоды сохранится; облачная, дождливая погода; к концу недели погода изменится.


The showers will be heavy in the East; we are in for a warm dry spell; moderate northerly wind, 1–15 meters per second; a change in the weather by the end of the week; patchy rain/fog; the weather will stay cold; ground frosts are possible; cloudy and wet.

III. Make up your own weather forecast for the next day.

Exercise 20

I. Look at the following patterns, expressing one's delight with the weather or dislike of it. Translate them into Russian.

For good weatherFor bad weather
It's absolutely marvellous!It certainly is horrible.
Isn't it gorgeous!Nasty day, isn't it?
It's so nice and hot!Isn't it dreadful?
Personally I think it's so nice when it's hot, isn't it?I hate rain.
I adore it. Don't you?I don't like it at all. Do you?

II. Work in pairs. Use these patterns to respond to the following.


Nice day, isn't it?

What a glorious morning!

Fancy such a day in December!

It's so nice when it's warm.

What a beautiful winter evening!

This breeze is so refreshing!

It's so surprisingly warm for this time of the year!

What a fine day we are having!

I love the sun. Isn't it wonderful?


Dull morning, isn't it?

Nasty day, isn't it?

I hate snow.

What a horrible day!

The heat is unbearable.

I can't stand this wind.

The weather is turning bad.

Rain all day long. Isn't it dreadful?

It's pouring again. Isn't it wretched?

Exercise 21

Discuss with a partner the weather you are having at present. Choose questions and answers from the models given below.


What do you think of the weather?

What's the weather outside?

I wonder what the weather is going to be like.

Will the weather keep?

Do you think it will clear up?

Do you think it is going to turn out fine?

What is the weather forecast for today?


We are in for a spell of good weather.

It looks like rain.

The weather is turning bad.

It'll change for the better.

The weather is fine/nice/lovely/beautiful.

The weather is nasty/wretched/awful/dull.

The day is rainy/windy/bright/sunny.

The weather is favourable.

The sky is overcast/cloudy/clear.

It's snowing/pouring/raining/drizzling.

The wind is rising.

It has been raining on and off for ...

The fog is lifting.

Exercise 22

Compare the weather in your parts with the weather in Great Britain. Use the daily forecasts in British newspapers.

Exercise 23

Translate into English.

  1. Утро началось с моросящего дождя, который постепенно усилился и к полудню перешёл в сильный ливень.
  2. Я слышала прогноз погоды на сегодня: днем солнечно и тепло, температура около 20 °С, ветер восточный, умеренный; ночью температура около нуля, на почве местами заморозки.
  3. Зима наступает здесь в ноябре – начинают дуть северные ветры, из-за чего средняя температура становится ниже, выпадает первый снег.
  4. Весной легкий ветер часто нагоняет облака. Небо затягивается тучами и погода портится.
  5. Ожидается улучшение погоды – дождь прекратится и станет сухо и жарко.
  6. В июле невыносимая жара привела к засухе. За месяц не выпало ни капли дождя.
  7. Белые снежинки тихо кружили в воздухе и ложились на землю. К утру всё было завалено сугробами.
  8. Первые лучи солнца пробились сквозь пелену тумана. К девяти туман начал рассеиваться.
  9. Всходило солнце, дул теплый ветерок, над землёй курился туман.
  10. Высокая ель отбрасывала тень, там можно было спастись от жары.
  11. С неба падал мокрый снег, было холодно и сыро. Сапоги промокли, потому что под ногами тоже был талый снег.
  12. После дождя прояснилось и на небе появилась многоцветная радуга. Хорошая примета.
  13. Такой грозы я не припомню: гром, молния, сильные порывы ветра, а потом – град.
  14. Было чудесное утро. Быстро встало солнце и иссушило капли росы на траве.
  15. Сначала подмораживало. Ветви деревьев покрылись инеем. На дороге был сильный гололёд. Потом начало оттаивать.

Exercise 24

Recall the weather on the day of 1) your entrance examination in English; 2) your last exam at school; 3) your last birthday. As you may be not quite sure of the weather on that day, use the models below to express hesitation.

As far as I remember ...

If my memory serves me right ...

I seem to remember ...

I am not sure about it, but ...

I can't be absolutely sure about it, of course, ...

If I remember correctly ...

Exercise 25

What is the weather like in different parts of Russia in spring, summer, autumn and winter?

Exercise 26

Say what mood in you prevails when 1) it is a cold winter day; 2) it is a hot summer night; 3) it is a warm spring evening; 4) it is a cool autumn morning.

Exercise 27

Think for five minutes and write what you like to do in good and bad weather. Compare your activities with those written by other classmates. Choose the most original ideas.

Exercise 28

For hundreds of years people have accumulated weather lore. Do you believe that there are signs in nature that may predict the weather? What are they? Is weather lore reliable? Comment on the pieces of weather lore below.

A snow year – a rich year.

Farewell frost – fair weather next.

Good winter – good summer.

Red sky at night, shepherd's delight; red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning.

When the dew is on the grass, rain will never come to pass. If bees stay at home, rain will soon come; if they fly away, fine will be the day.

A sunshiny shower won't last half an hour. Mackerel sky, mackerel sky, not long wet and not long dry.

Exercise 29

Work in groups and discuss with your classmates the topics you see below. Let one of you sum up what all of you have said.

  • Your favourite season or your favourite month.
  • The season or month you dislike.
  • The climate of Russia and Great Britain.
  • The climate in one of the countries where you have been.
  • Exercise 30

    I. Read the poem from Winnie-the-Pooh by A. Milne.

    Lines Written by a Bear of Very little Brain

    On Monday, when the sun is hot,

    I wonder to myself a lot:

    'Now is it time or is it not,

    That what is which and which is what?'

    On Tuesday, when it hails and snows,

    The feeling on me grows and grows

    That hardly anybody knows

    If those are these or these are those.

    On Wednesday, when the sky is blue

    And I have nothing else to do,

    I sometimes wonder if it's true

    That who is what and what is who.

    On Thursday, when it starts to freeze

    And hoarfrost twinkles on the trees,

    How very readily one sees

    That these are those – but whose are these?

    On Friday –

    II. Finish the poem above that was not completed by Winnie-the-Pooh.

    Exercise 31

    Fill in the gaps in the sentences below-with one of the following idioms: to catch the wind with a net, not to have the foggiest idea, to chase rainbows, a bit of blue sky, to be snowed under, to be on cloud nine, a storm in a tea cup, thunderous applause, to save for a rainy day, under the weather, to snowball, out of season.

    1. When the audience like a performance, they show it with...
    2. When you feel that you'll never finish your work, you're ...
    3. When you are completely in the dark about something, you ...
    4. When a project gets bigger and bigger, it...
    5. When you are ecstatically happy, you are ...
    6. When you feel unwell, you say that you are ...
    7. When you pursue illusory goals or hopes, you ...
    8. When you get yourself busy with a useless thing, you ...
    9. When you lay up money for the future, you ...
    10. When something is absolutely out of place, it is ...
    11. When somebody gets some hope at last, he or she gets ...
    12. When there is a lot of fuss about a small mishap, it is ...

    Exercise 32

    Translate the following proverbs and sayings or give their Russian equivalents. Explain their meaning and use them in 3-sentence situations of your own.

    1. Every cloud has a silver lining.
    2. It never rains but it pour's.
    3. Rain before seven, fine before eleven.
    4. One swallow does not make a summer.
    5. Make hay while the sun shines.
    6. Sow the wind and reap the whirl-wind.
    7. Everything is good in its season.
    8. It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

    Exercise 33

    Translate the quotations and comment upon them.

    'There is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.'

    John Ruskin

    'When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather.'

    Samuel Johnson

    'Life, believe, is not a dream,

    So dark as sages say;

    Oft a little morning rain

    Foretells a pleasant day!'

    Charlotte Bronte

    Exercise 34

    Role Play "Office Gossip after the Summer Vacation".

    Setting: The offices of the famous international corporation "Rich People Banks".

    Situation: The first working day after a summer vacation. Lunch time. The people speak about their tours to different places during their leaves. They mainly speak about the weather which they were lucky or unlucky to have.


    Card I – Mr Merryweather, the boss's assistant. He stayed with his wife in a hotel on the Canary Islands for three weeks. The weather was very nice.

    Caid II – Cleopatra, the secretary of the boss. She went hiking to the Pennine Mountains in Great Britain. The weather was changeable.

    Card III–IV – Nina and Tina, two typists. They went together to a youth camp in France. The weather was warm and sunny.

    Card V–VI – Ted and Ned, two computer programmers. They went fishing to the lakes of Norway. The weather was rainy.

    Card VII – Mrs Ames, a clerk. She went to the US to visit her relatives in California. It was very hot.

    Card VIII – Mrs James, a clerk. She went to Canada with her husband to some sports events. The weather was cool, but they liked it.

    Card IX – Mr Flames, an accountant. He was unlucky not to have had a leave, but to have gone on business to Alaska. It was rather cold there.

    Card X – Mr. Blames, a business manager. He went travelling to China. It was hot but rainy.


    Exercise 1

    Study the weather in your region for a whole week. Write down your observations. Use the following models.


    Monday:Occasional drizzle, bright spells, cold.
    Tuesday:Scattered showers, hail and snow over high ground.
    Wednesday:Snow showers heavy in the North, sunny pe riod, cold.
    Thursday:Cloudy with showers of sleet or snow, rather cold.
    Friday:Some rain in the South at first, early fog, frost patches.
    Saturday:Mainly dry, some bright intervals, milder.
    Sunday:Rain at times, temperatures near normal.


    Monday:Fog early, followed by dry sunny day.
    Tuesday:Rather cloudy with some rain, bright periods.
    Wednesday:Changeable with rain at times, near normal temperatures.
    Thursday:Rain in places, mainly dry later.
    Friday:Showers at first, sunny spells, little change.
    Saturday:Rain chiefly in the North and West, sunny intervals.
    Sunday:Normal temperatures, max. 20 °C, sunshine.

    Exercise 2

    Write an essay on one of the following topics.

    1. A Lot of People Like Winter (Summer) but I Hate It.
    2. How the Weather Can Help People in Difficult Situations.
    3. Once I Was Caught in a Rainstorm/Snowstorm.
    4. How the Weather Affects Me.
    5. I Don't Believe Weather Forecasts; I Believe Weather Lore.

    Exercise 3

    Write a summary of the following text.

    Cold? Britain Is Actually Getting Hotter

    Most Britons could be forgiven for thinking a new Ice Age is upon us. Small comfort, then, as we struggle through snowdrifts and cope with burst pipes, that the present cold is a sign the British climate is generally getting milder.

    Ironically, most scientists now believe the short sharp shock of severe cold that has struck Europe for three winters running is an indicator that the world is growing warmer. The burning of fossil fuels is building up a blanket of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, creating a "greenhouse" effect.

    Britain and Europe have certainly experienced weather this cold before. In the 17th century, the Thames froze solid so often that it became a regular winter sports attraction. The weather then was so severe that it is sometimes referred to as the Little Ice Age. Even in the early 19th century, Britain's climate was still colder than it is today. We still have a cherished picture of Charles Dickens's Christmases – although, in fact, snow at Christmas has been a rarity in southern England for 150 years.

    Studies of temperature trends around the world show that it has been warming up since the middle of the 19th century. Most experts agree that this is a result of human activities. By burning coal and oil, we are putting carbon dioxide into the air. This acts like a blanket round the earth, trapping heat that would otherwise escape into space. As long as we keep burning fossil fuel, the trend is likely to continue. So why have we had such severe cold spells in Europe recently? According to researchers at the University of East Anglia, it is all part of the same process. When the climate of the globe changes, it doesn't do so evenly. Britain and Western Europe are just unlucky in being in the path of a particularly significant wind shift.

    By comparing the weather in different seasons, during the warmest and coldest years of the 20th century, the researchers have built up a picture of what is going on. Their key new discovery is that although spring, summer and autumn are all warmer, severe cold spells in winter are most likely over the whole of central Europe. So then, short cold spells mean it's generally getting warmer — but the bad news is it could get TOO warm. If the predictions come true — and the present changes are exactly in line with computer forecasts — within the next 40 or 100 years we shall see a change in climate as dramatic as the shift which ended the last Ice Age.


    A summary is the expression of the essence of some piece of writing in a condensed form. The main ideas of the piece should be presented clearly, concisely and precisely. The length of a summary makes up approximately one third of the length of the original source. Writing a summary includes seven stages:

    1) reading the original text to grasp the main idea;

    2) re-reading the passage to check up your understanding;

    3) selecting the essential points;

    4) linking the points in a logical order;

    5) writing a rough copy of a new concise text;

    6) comparing the summary with the original passage to see whether all essentials are included;

    7) writing a fair copy of a summary.

    In writing a summary only the information taken from the passage should be used. A summary does not contain repetitions, illustrative details, figures of speech, wordy phrases consisting of meaningless words. A good summary shows one's ability to understand and to present ideas.

    Ecological Problems

    Since ancient times Nature has served Man, being the source of his life. For thousands of years people lived in harmony with environment and it seemed to them that natural riches were unlimited. But with the development of civilization man's interference in nature began to increase. Large cities with thousands of smoky industrial enterprises appear all over the world today. The by-products of their activity pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we grow grain and vegetables on. Every year world industry pollutes the atmosphere with about 1000 million tons of dust and other harmful substances. Many cities suffer from smog. Vast forests are cut and burn in fire. Their disappearance upsets the oxygen balance. As a result some rare species of animals, birds, fish and plants disappear forever, a number of rivers and lakes dry up. The pollution of air and the world's ocean, destruction of the ozone layer is the result of man's careless interaction with nature, a sign of the ecological crises. The most horrible ecological disaster befell Ukraine and its people after the Chernobyl tragedy in April 1986. About 18 percent of the territory of Belarus were also polluted with radioactive substances. A great damage has been done to the agriculture, forests and people's health. The consequences of this explosion at the atomic power-station are tragic for the Ukrainian, Byelorussian and other nations. Environmental protection is of a universal concern. That is very serious measures to create a system of ecological security should be taken. Some progress has been already made in this direction. As many as 159 countries – members of the UNO – have set up environmental protection agencies. Numerous conferences have been held by these agencies to discuss problems facing ecologically poor regions including the Aral Sea, the South Urals, Kuzbass, Donbas, Semipalatinsk and Chernobyl. An international environmental research centre has been set up on Lake Baikal. The international organization Greenpeace is also doing much to preserve the environment. But these are only the initial steps and they must be carried onward to protect nature, to save life on the planet not only for the sake of the present but also for the future generations.

    Energy Sources

    Coal. It was coal that produced the energy to run the factories of the first big industrial countries, such as Britain and Germany. Coalminers worked long hard hours in cold dark coalmines to bring this black rock above ground. They called it black gold. Oil and gas. Texas, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Venezuela: these are only a few of the places where oil has been found. Today, big oil companies still spend millions of dollars looking for oil, and when they find it, a new oil well is started and the company makes even more millions. Sometimes they don't find oil underneath the earth. They find gas. But gas, too, can be used for energy. It is a good energy source for heating and cooking.

    Nuclear or atomic energy. It is incredible to think that from the nucleus of the atom – one of the smallest things in the world – can come enormous amounts of energy. This energy, which is called nuclear or atomic energy, can either be controlled in nuclear power stations to create electricity for millions of homes, or it can be used in war to destroy millions of homes. Hydroelectric power. Water from fast-running rivers is another source of energy. By building large dams to control the water, millions of kilowatts of power can be produced. Countries like Sweden and Norway get most of their electricity from hydroelectric power. Solar and wind energy. In the future much of our energy may come from the sun. In some countries, solar collectors on the roof can already create enough solar power to heat and provide electricity for a house in both winter and summer. One day we may also see small windmills on every roof. Even a small wind can provide enough power to run lights and most electrical machines in the home.


    1. What energy sources do you know?
    2. What sources of energy are used in your country?
    3. Are you against nuclear power? Why?
    4. Can you think of some ways of saving energy?
    5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using of each source of energy?

    Environmental Pollution

    People have always polluted their surroundings, But until now pollution was not such a serious problem. People lived in uncrowded rural areas and did not have pollution – causing machines. With the development of crowded industrial cities which put huge amounts of pollutants into small areas, the problem has become more important. Automobiles and other new inventions make pollution steadily worse. Since the late 1960's people have become alarmed with the danger of pollution. Air, water, and soil are necessary for existence of all living things. But polluted air can cause illness, and even death. Polluted water kills fish and other marine life. On polluted soil, food cannot be grown. In addition environmental pollution spoils the natural beauty of our planet. Pollution is as complicated as serious problem. Automobiles are polluting the air but they provide transportation for the people. Factories pollute the air and the water but they provide jobs for people and produce necessary goods. Fertilizers and pesticides are important for growing crops but they can ruin soil. Thus, people would have to stop using many useful things if they wanted to end pollution immediately. Most people do not want that of course. But pollution can be reduced gradually. Scientists and engineers can find the ways to reduce pollution from automobiles and factories. Government can pass the laws that would make enterprises take measures for reducing of pollution. Individuals and groups of people can work together to persuade enterprises to stop polluting activities.


    1. Why wasn't pollution such as a serious problem earlier?
    2. When have people become alarmed with the danger of pollution?
    3. What can environmental pollution cause?
    4. Why is pollution a complicated problem?
    5. Can pollution be stopped immediately?

    The Problem of Environmental Protection

    Environmental protection is the main problem facing humanity nowadays. The image of a sick planet has become firmly established in the public mind lately. Ten years ago the word 'ecology' hardly meant anything for the majority of people, but today we can't help bearing it in our minds. It has happened because of the growing effect of the rapid industrial development of the natural world which has negative features of its own. As a matter of fact the state of environment has greatly worsened of late. There is no doubt that soil, water and air are contaminated with toxic wastes. Over the past few years we have been constantly speaking about ozone holes, droughts, high level of radiation, about food contaminated with chemicals. Scientists in many countries are very much concerned about drastic changes in weather patterns. The worst drought, the mildest winter and the most devastating hurricanes have become typical in those parts of the world where they used to be a rare occurrence. Weather patterns have been changing recently due to the global warming-up process and its major reason – the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is created by carbon dioxide emissions, released by industrial facilities and a constantly increasing number of cars. Thus it is of vital importance that the world should start cutting down the release of gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect. What is the reason for people getting so much worried about the state of environment? The answer to this question is fairly simple. The thing is the deterioration of the environment is telling heavily on people. They are paying for this with their health. And it is obvious what all people need is a healthy environment. To solve this burning problem it is necessary for people to combine efforts, to raise safety standards at all industrial facilities, to adequately process by-products of industry, to set up an international space laboratory to monitor the state of environment and set up an international centre for emergency environmental assistance. All these measures will help us in solving these important problems and prevent us from dangerous illnesses and diseases.

    The World of Plants

    Without plants, people could not live. We eat plants. We breathe the oxygen that plants produce. And we need plants for another, very different reason: we need them for their beauty. Imagine a world with no plants. Imagine no flowers with their sweet smells, their beautiful colours and their lovely shapes. Imagine, when the wind blows, not being able to hear the leaves in the trees or watch the branches swing from side to side. Imagine not being able to see the buds on the trees open and turn to colorful blossom. Everywhere people need the beauty of plants. That is why even in big modern cities, we have parks full of trees, bushes, and flowers. That is why architects always try to design houses with room for some grass and a garden. That is why in every city apartment you are sure to find some green houseplants growing in pots, or freshly cut flowers in a vase of water.

    Do you talk to your plants? Do you give them love and attention? According to Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, authors of a book called "The Secret Life of Plants", you should talk to them and give them love. Tompkins and Bird describe an experiment in which two seeds were planted in different places. While the plants were growing, one plant was given love and positive ideas. The other plant was given only negative ideas. After six months, the loved plant was bigger. Under the earth, it had more and longer roots; above the earth, it had a thicker stem and more leaves. So be careful when you are talking in front of your plants. They may be listening to you!


    1. What are plants ?
    2. Why do we need plants?
    3. Can you imagine a world with no plants?
    4. Do you talk to your plants? What do you think of this idea?
    5. When do people give each other flowers?