Thursday, 29 October 2009

Answers to Autumn comprehension questions

How did you do? (How successful were you?) Here are the answers to the comprehension questions:

Click here to read the article on Autumn.

To read the vocabulary notes for this article click here.

  • What does it mean if you say the nights are drawing in?
    If you say "the nights are drawing in" it means that it's starting to get dark earlier. Draw in is a phrasal verb. It can also mean to lure or entice, e.g. you can draw someone into a trap. You can also avoid being drawn into a long conversation with someone if you are in a hurry.
  • What are customs?
    Customs are the traditional forms of behaviour belonging to a particular society or culture. If something is customary it means its normal for people in that society / culture to do it, e.g. it’s customary to shake hands when you meet someone.
    (The word customs can also mean the gate or barrier at an aiport or border where you have to declare whether you are bringing any goods (products) into the country. You may have to pay duty on these.)
  • What’s the difference between autumn and fall?
    Autumn is British English, while fall is American English.
    (Read an article on British English vs American English.)
  • When does autumn officially begin?
    Around the time of the autumnal equinox (21st September)
  • Why (according to the article) does the summer seem to end too quickly?
    It always feels like autumn comes too soon because we don’t really want the summer holidays to end, but we have to return to work or school anyway. Autumn invariably marks the end of the long summer days as it starts to get darker sooner and becomes colder.
    (invariably means without change, always the same)
  • Which events traditionally take place (happen) in the autumn? (Some of these are covered in other areas of the Milan English blog.)
    The beginning of the school (and university) year; the conference season (the time when the British political parties have week-long get-togthers, usually at the seaside - although the Tory (or Conservative) party broke with tradition this year by holding its annual conference in Manchester); Parliament reassembles.

    Religious events include: the Jewish New Year (followed by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and Succoth – the Jewish equivalent of the harvest festival); the Christian Harvest Festival and Thanksgiving in North America; Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light; and the Muslim holy (sacred) month of Ramadan, when people fast (don’t eat).

    Hallowe’en is on the 31st October, while the 5th November is Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night (in Britain).

    The most autumnal event, the article suggests, is when the clocks go back and we gain one hour: the sudden change to much shorter days and longer nights means that the summer really is over.

No comments:

Post a Comment