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Travel for Work You can see them in every airport in the world. They are businessmen and women who have to travel for their work. When they first applied for the job, they may have thought of good food and hotels, huge expense accounts and fashionable cities. Now they have to sit in airport lounges, tired and uncomfortable in their smart clothes, listening to the loudspeaker announce “The fight of Tokyo, or Berlin, or New York is delayed for another two hours.” Some people say to me, “How lucky you are to be able to travel abroad in your work! You can go sightseeing without paying any money by yourself!” They think that my job is like a continual holiday. It is not. There are advantages, of course, and I do thin I am lucky, but only because I can go to places I would never visit if I was a tourist. Intelligence Are some people born clever, and others born stupid? Or is intelligence developed by our environment and our experience? Strangely enough, the answer to these questions is yes. To some extent our intelligence is given us at birth, and no amount of special education can make a genius out of a child born with low intelligence. On the other hand, a child who lives in a boring environment will develop his intelligence less than one who lives in rich and varied surroundings. Thus, the limits of a person’s intelligence are fixed at birth, whether or not he reaches those limits will depend on his environment. This view, held by most experts now, can be supported in a number of ways. As is easy to show that intelligence is to some extent something we are born with. The closer the blood relationship between two people is, the closer they are likely to be in intelligence. A Free Dress Every Week The temptation to steal is greater than ever before especially in large shops and people are not so honest as they once were. A detective recently watched a well-dressed woman who always went into a large store on Monday mornings. One Monday, there were fewer people in the shop than usual when the woman came in, so it was easier for the detective to watch her. The woman first bought a few small articles. After a little time, she chose one of the most expensive dresses in the shop and handed it to an assistant who wrapped it up for her as quickly as possible. The woman simply took the parcel and walked out of the shop without paying. When she was arrested, the detective found out that the shop assistant was her daughter. Believe it or not, the girl “gave” her mother a free dress every week! Time Time is tangible. One can gain time, spend time, waste time, save time, or even kill time. Common questions in American English reveal this concrete quality as though time were a possession. “Do you have any time?”, “Can you get some time for this?”, “How much free time do you have?” The treatment of time as a possession influences the way that time is carefully divided. Generally, Americans are taught to do one thing at a time and may be uncomfortable when an activity is interrupted. In businesses, the careful scheduling of time and the separation of activities are common practices. Appointment calendars are printed with 15-,30-, and 60-minute time slots. The idea that “there is a time and place for everything” extends to American social life. Visitors who drop by without prior notice may interrupt their host’s personal time. Thus, calling friends on
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the telephone before visiting them is generally preferred to visitors’ dropping by. Useful words and expressions:
  1. tangible 切实的
  2. kill time 消磨时间
  3. reveal 显示,揭示
  4. scheduling 行程安排
  5. slot 缝隙
  6. drop by 随便访问
  7. preferred 首选的 Cartoonists In a good cartoon, the artist can tell in a few lines as much as a writer can tell in half a dozen paragraphs. The cartoonist not only tells a story but he also tries to persuade the reader to his way of thinking. He has great influence on public opinion. In a political campaign, he plays an important part. Controversial issues in Congress or at meetings of the United Nations may keep the cartoonist well-supplied with current materials. A clever cartoonist may cause laughter because he often uses humor in his drawings. If he is sketching a famous person, he takes a prominent feature and exaggerates it. Cartoonists, for instance, like to lengthen an already long nose and to widen an already broad grin. This exaggeration of a person’s characteristics is called caricature. The artist uses such exaggeration to put his message across. Useful Words and Expressions:
  1. cartoonist 漫画家
  2. campaign 活动
  3. controversial 争论的,争议的
  4. sketch 素描
  5. prominent 卓越的
  6. exaggerate 夸张
  7. lengthen 延长
  8. grin 露齿笑 Water Pollution Water is very important to us. Factories and plants need water for industrial uses and large pieces of farmland need it for irrigation. Without water to drink, people die in a short time. Today most water sources are so dirty that people must purify water before drinking. Water becomes dirty in many ways: industrial pollution is one of them. With the development of industry, plants and factories pour tons of industrial wasters into rivers every day. The rivers have become seriously polluted, and the water is becoming unfit for drinking or irrigation. The same thing has also happened to our seas and oceans. So, the problem of water pollution is almost worldwide. Scientists of many countries have done a lot of work to stop pollution. The polluted water in some places has become clean and drinkable again. Perhaps one day the people in all towns and cities will be drinking clean water. That day, we believe, is not very far off. Making a Complaint Complaining about faulty goods or bad services is never easy. But if something you have
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brought is faulty or does not do what was claimed for it, you are not asking for a favor to get it put right. Complaints should be made to a responsible person. Go back to the shop where you bought the goods, taking with you any receipt you may have. In a small store the assistant may also be the owner so you can complain direct. In a chain store, ask the manager. If you telephone, ask the name of the person who handles your enquiry, otherwise you may never find out who dealt with the complaint later. If you do not want to do it in person, write a letter. Stick to the facts and keep a copy of what you write. At this stage you should give any receipt numbers, but you should not need to give receipts or other papers to prove you bought the article. Where Do the British Live Nearly everyone in Britain would like to own their own home and, whether they do or not, they are prepared to put time and money into decorating and furnishing it or even making structural alterations to it. Because of the climate and because of the expense involved in going out for the evening, the British spend a lot of time at home and a large part of their social life takes place there. Young people tend to stay with their families longer these days as accommodation is expensive but, when they move away to a job or college, there are various options open to them. They can get lodgings with a landlady. This means that they rent a room in someone’s house and have breakfast with the family. They can also get a bed-sitting room, that is to say one self-contained room in which they can cook, live and sleep. Alternatively, they can share a rented flat or house with a group of young people, perhaps the most popular option of all. Useful Words and Expressions:
  1. lodging 寄宿处
  2. bedsit 卧室兼起居室
  3. bed-sitting 卧室兼起居室的
  4. self-contained 设备齐全的 Will Computers Replace Human Beings? We are in the computer age today. The computers are working all kinds of wonders now. They are very useful in automatic control and data processing. At the same time, computers are finding their way into the home. They seem to be so clever and can solve such complicated problems that some people think sooner or later they will replace us. But I do not think that there is such a possibility. My reason is very simple: computers are machines, not humans. And our tasks are far too various and complicated for any one single kind of machine to perform. Probably the greatest difference between man and computer is that the former can do things of his own while the latter can do nothing without being programmed. In my opinion, computers will remain nothing but an extension of our human brains, no matter how clever and complicated they may become. Soccer Soccer has had a slow start in America. In fact, the majority of schools still have no official soccer teams or coaches. But the blossoming popularity of the game cannot be denied. Thanks to the efforts of some world-famous soccer stars, soccer is soon to have its place in American culture. Although soccer has enjoyed decades of popularity elsewhere, it was literally ignored in
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America. Instead, a variation of the game called “football” was most popular in the U.S. and still is to this day. But the obvious advantages of playing soccer instead will soon win even the most avid football enthusiasts. For one thing, soccer is a much safer game to play than football. No one deliberately tries to knock an opponent down in soccer. In fact, they players are discouraged from even touching each other. Soccer is a game that requires skill and dexterity in controlling the ball. Since no one may use hands to do this, soccer players soon acquire incredible control of their heads, knees, and feet. Useful Words and Expresisons:
  1. slow start 缓慢起动
  2. blossom 兴旺,发展
  3. ignore 忽视
  4. avid 渴望的
  5. discourage from 劝阻
  6. dexterity 灵巧,机敏 Artists Every artist knows in his heart that he is saying something to the public. Not only does he want to say it well, but he wants it to be something which has not been said before. What visual artists, like painters, want to say is easy to make out but difficult to explain, because painters translate their experiences into shapes and colors, not words. They seem to feel that a certain selection of shapes and colors, out of the countless billions of possible, is exceptionally interesting for them and worth showing to us. Most artists take their shapes and colors from the world of nature and from human bodies in motion and response; their choices indicate that these aspects of the world are worth looking at, that they contain beautiful sights. Contemporary artists might say that they merely choose subjects that provide an interesting pattern, that there is nothing more in it. Yet even they do not choose entirely without reference to the character of their subjects. Useful words and Expressions:
  1. visual artist 视觉艺术家
  2. selection 挑选,选择
  3. exceptional 例外的,异常的
  4. motion 运动,动作
  5. indicate 显示,象征
  6. contemporary 当代的,同时代的
  7. without reference to 不论,与……无关 Professioanl Sports in the U.S. Professional sports are not only very popular in the United States, but also a big business. The most popular sports are baseball, football and basketball. Each sport has its own season and individual teams have millions of supporters. Professional teams are named for the cities where they are located. For example, the Lakers are in Los Angeles. The strongest supporters of the Lakers are residents of Los Angeles and Southern California. When the Lakers play, many people in Los Angeles enthusiastically follow the game. When we mention “NBA”, almost every one knows it ahs some relationship with U.S. professional basketball. However, what does it really stand for? N.B.A is gaining new fans and supporters around the world. Basketball has been called
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the “national pastime”. However, football is the most popular professional sport in the U.S.. American football is different from international football, which Americans call “soccer”. Both games require strength and specialized skills. Useful Words and Expressions:
  1. be named for 被指定为
  2. be short for 是……的简称
  3. stand for 代表 “How to” Books Books which give instructions on how to do things are popular in the United States today. Thousands of these “how to” books are available. In fact, there are about for thousand books with titles that begin with the words “how to’. Many “how to” books give advice on careers. They tell you how to choose a career and how to succeed in it. Many of these books help people to use their free time better. Some people want book which will give them useful information about sports, hobbies and travel. Other people use their free time to make repairs and improvements on their homes. They prefer books which give step-by-step instructions on how to repair things like plumbing and electrical wiring or on how to redecorate or enlarge a house. Why have “how to” books become so popular? Probably because life has become more comple



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英语专业四级 历年真题

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