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ANIMALS AND PETS

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  1. PETS AND OTHER ANIMALS

There are a lot of animals on our planet. They can be wild and domestic. Wild animals are those animals that live in nature without people. Wolves, foxes, giraffes are wild animals. Domestic animals are animals that live with people, who are not really scary. People always call them “pets”. Cats, dogs, sheep are domestic animals.

People divide animals into four groups – reptiles, birds, insects and mammals. Reptiles are animals without wings that lay eggs. Some reptiles are very dangerous. Crocodiles and snakes are reptiles. Birds are animals with feathers, two wings and two legs. Parrots and eagles are birds. Insects are small creatures with six legs and usually two pairs of wings. Butterflies and ladybirds are insects. Mammals are animals who feed their babies on milk. Dogs, kangaroos, dolphins are mammals.

Cats are mammals too. Their short fur can be of different colors – clear white, black, red, grey and so on. Cats have no fins and wings, just legs, a body, a head with whiskers and a long tail. They have 4 long legs, so they run quite fast. Sometimes cats can be friendly and nice to people, sometimes – selfish. It depends on a cat’s temper. Cats are domestic animals, so they live with people – in people’s houses and apartments. They eat fish, meat, milk, sometimes – human food. Cats live for 10 - 15 years, but some of them can live longer.

As for me, I have a pet too – I have got a red fluffy cat. His name is Boris. My cat is four years old, he is very funny and sometimes he does crazy things. He likes to sleep with us and to look at the window where colorful birds fly. Boris is rather smart and he knows the time I feed him and he goes to the kitchen before me. I like him very much and I hope he will live a long and happy life.

AT THE THEATRE

I will never forget my first visit to the Mayakovsky Theatre. It was ages ago, but this stands out in my memory quiet vividly. My mother bought beforehand two tickets for a matinee performance of the ballet "Sleeping Beauty" by Chaikovsky. We came to the theatre long before the performance began. A sign at the entrance of the theatre said that "house full". Many people were standing at the entrance of the theatre asking if we had an extra ticket.



We left our coats in the cloak-room and bought a program from the usher to see what the cast was. When we came into the hall the orchestra were tuning in their instruments. We found our seats which were in the stalls and went exploring the theatre. My mother showed me the boxes, the pit, the dress-circle, the tiers and balconies. At 12 sharp the lights went down. The conductor appeared and the performance began. After the performance the curtain went up. I was in raptures at what I saw on the stage. I have never seen anything more wonderful. The scenery and the dancing were superb. The ballet seemed to me a fairy-tale. When the last curtain fell, the house burst out into applause. I applauded so much that my hands ached. The cries of encore sounded all over the theatre. The dancers got many curtain calls and were presented with many flowers. The performance was a great success with the public. It was one of my brightest memories.

BIG BEN

Big Ben is one of London’s best-known landmarks, and looks most spectacular at night when the clock faces are illuminated. You even know when parliament is in session, because a light shines above the clock face.

The four dials of the are 23 feet square, the minute hand is 14 feet long and the figures are 2 feet high. Minutely regulated with a stack of coins placed on the huge pendulum, Bib Ben is an excellent timekeeper, which has rarely stopped.

The name Big Ben actually refers not to the clock-tower itself, but to the thirteen ton bell hung within. The bell was named after the first commissioner of works, Sir Benjamin Hall.

The bell came originally from the old Palace of Westminster, it was given to the Dean of St. Paul’s by William III. Before returning to Westminster to hang in its present home, it was refashioned in Whitechapel in 1858. The BBC first broadcast the chimes on the 31st December 1923 – there is a microphone in the turret connected to Broadcasting House.

During the second World War in 1941, an incendiary bomb destroyed the Commons chamber of the Houses of Parliament, but clock tower remained intact and Big Ben continued to keep time and strike away the hours, its unique sound was broadcast to the nation and around the world, a welcome reassurance of hope to all who heard it.

There are even cells within the clock tower where Members of Parliament can be imprisoned for a breach of parliamentary privilege, though this is rare; the last recorded case was in 1880.

HALLOWEEN

Halloween, name applied to the evening of October 31, preceding the Christian feast of Hallowmas, Allhallows, or All Saints' Day. The observances connected with Halloween are thought to have originated among the ancient Druids, who believed that on that evening, Saman, the lord of the dead, called forth hosts of evil spirits. The Druids customarily lit great fires on Halloween, apparently for the purpose of warding off all these spirits. Among the ancient Celts, Halloween was the last evening of the year and was regarded as a propitious time for examining the portents of the future. The Celts also believed that the spirits of the dead revisited their earthly homes on that evening. After the Romans conquered Britain, they added to Halloween features of the Roman harvest festival held on November 1 in honor of Pomona, goddess of the fruits of trees. The Celtic tradition of lighting fires on Halloween survived until modern times in Scotland and Wales, and the concept of ghosts and witches is still common to all Halloween observances. Traces of the Roman harvest festival survive in the custom, prevalent in both the United States and Great Britain, of playing games involving fruit, such as ducking for apples in a tub of water. Of similar origin is the use of hollowed-out pumpkins carved to resemble grotesque faces and lit by candles placed inside.

2nd COURSE - 1ST TERM

ENGLAND

England is the largest and the richest country of Great Britain. The capital of England is London but there are other large industrial cities, such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and other famous and interesting cities such as York, Chester, Oxford and Cambridge. Stonehenge is one of the most famous prehistoric places in the world. This ancient circle of stones stands in Southwest England. It measures 80 meters across and made with massive blocks of stone up to four meters high. Why it was built is a mystery.

Not far from Stonehenge stands Salisbury Cathedral. It is a splendid example of an English Gothic Cathedral; inside there is one of four copies of Magna Charta and the oldest clock in England. Chester is very important town in the north-west of England. In the past it used to be a Roman fort; its name comes from the Latin word castra, meaning "fortified camp". In Chester there is a famous museum which contains over 5000 ancient and modern toys.

Oxford is the home of the oldest university of England. The most famous college is Christ Church. It has a great hall which was built during the reign of Henry VIII and its chapel has become the Cathedral of Oxford. Cambridge is the home of Britain's second oldest university. York was the capital of Northern England. It is one of the best preserved medieval cities of Europe. It was built by Romans, conquered by Anglo-Saxons and ruled by the Vikings. Birmingham is often called the "City of 1,500 trades" because of the great variety of its industries.

GREAT BRITAIN

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the U.K., or Britain) is a country to the northwest of mainland Europe. It comprises the island of Great Britain, the northeast part of the island of Ireland and many small islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The largest island, Great Britain, is linked to France by the Channel Tunnel.

The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy comprising four constituent countries — England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — with Elizabeth II as head of state. The Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, formally possessions of the Crown, are not part of the UK but form a federacy with it. The UK has fourteen overseas territories, all remnants of the British Empire, which at its height encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface. However, Queen Elizabeth II remains the head of the Commonwealth of Nations and head of state of the Commonwealth realms. It is a developed country, with the fifth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP.

Britain was the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th century, but the economic cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. The UK nevertheless retains significant economic, cultural, military and political influence and is a nuclear power, with the second highest defence spending in the world. It holds a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and is a member of the G8, NATO, the European Union and the Commonwealth of Nations.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is in Western Europe. It comprises the island of Great Britain (most of England, Scotland and Wales) and the northeastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland), together with many smaller islands. The Royal Greenwich Observatory, near London, is the defining point of the Prime Meridian. The United Kingdom has a total area of approximately 245,000 square kilometers. The UK lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, and comes within 35 kilometres of the northwest coast of France, from which it is separated by the English Channel. Northern Ireland shares a 360 kilometres land boundary with the Republic of Ireland. The Channel Tunnel ("Chunnel") now links the UK with France beneath the English Channel.

All parts of the United Kingdom have a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round. The temperature varies with the seasons but seldom drops below ?10 C or rises above 35 C. The prevailing wind is from the southwest, bearing frequent spells of mild and wet weather from the Atlantic Ocean. Eastern parts are most sheltered from this wind and are therefore the driest. Atlantic currents, warmed by the Gulf Stream, bring mild winters, especially in the west, where winters are also wet, especially over high ground. Summers are warmest in the south east of England, being closest to the European mainland, and coolest in the north. Snowfall can occur in winter and early spring, though it rarely settles to any great depth away from high ground.

NEW YEAR'S DAY

There are many holidays in our coun­try. They are: New Year's Day, Christ­mas, Women's Day, Victory Day, May Day and others.

I like New Year's Day, it is my favorite holiday. The 1st of January is a win­ter holiday and now it is the first day of the New Year.

Peter the First changed the Russian calendar in 1699. He made the 31st of De­cember, 1699 the last day of the year. The first of January 1700 became New Year's Day.

The 1st of January is in the middle of winter. The weather is usually fine and there is a lot of snow everywhere. As the 1st of January is a holiday I don't go to school and my parents don't go to work.

We usually have got a very interesting New Year's party at school. We have got it on the 28th or 29th of December.

Our family prepares for this holiday be­forehand. My father buys and brings home a beautiful New Year's tree at the end of December. Our family has a tradition to buy it. I like to decorate the New Year's tree with toys, little colored lights, sweets and a beautiful star on the top.

My mother and grandmother prepare our holiday supper and lay the table. I make a cake.

All the members of our family clean the flat before this nice holiday and then each of us try to dress well. We like to see the New Year in at home with our relatives. They come to see us at 11 o'clock in the evening.

At 12 o'clock we are sitting at the table and we are glad to see the New Year in. We say, "Best wishes for the New Year!"

I hope that next year will be better than the last one.

The New Year's Day is always connect­ed with our new hopes and dreams.

It is a pleasant moment to get presents on the New Year's Eve.

I usually get many nice useful things from my parents and relatives.

My parents put their presents under the New Year's tree.

We don't go to bed till morning; we watch TV, dance, eat tasty things and make jokes. I enjoy this holiday very much.


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