We can read of things that happened 50,000 years ago in the Near East, where people first learned to write. But there are some parts of the world, where even now people cannot write. The only way that they preserve their history is to recount it as sagas – legends handed down from one generation of storytellers to another. These legends are useful because they can tell us something about migrations of people who lived long ago, but none could write down what they did. Anthropologists wondered where the remote ancestors of the Polynesian peoples now living in the Pacific Islands came from. The sagas of these people explain that some of them came from Indonesia about 2,000 years ago.
But the first people who were like ourselves lived so long ago that even their sagas, if they had any, are forgotten. So archaeologists have neither history nor legends to help them to find out where the first modern men came from. Fortunately, however, ancient men made tools of stone, especially flint, because this is easier to shape than other kinds. They may also have used wood and skins, but these have rotted away. Stone does not decay. And so the tools of long ago have remained when even the bones of the men who made them have disappeared without trace.
fossil man, He is a fossil.
- speak of / talk of
- hear of / learn of / know of
- think of
- dream of
- Of Study
recount: describe, narrate, depict, portray
- recount/relate/report sth to sb.
- tell sb. (about) sth
- account, account for
saga: (a Viking saga: a prose narrative in Old Norse or Old Icelandic) sage, sagacious, epic, ‘anecdote, epic, legend, myth (mythology)
migration, migrate to…; migrant, immigrant, emigrant
anthropologist, anthropoid, anthropogenic, philanthropist, archaeologist, zo’ologist, naturalist, ecologist, ornithologist, entomologist
philosopher (sophisticated, sophomore)
- Gorillas, chimpanzees and gibbons are all anthropoid apes.
ancestor, ancient, antique, antecedent, forefather, forebear, descendant, offspring, posterity
rot, decay, decompose, deteriorate
- Too much candy will rot/decay your teeth / make your teeth rot/decay.
- rot away
- One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.
- Each civilization is born, it culminates, and it decays.
disappear / vanish without trace
- the first people who were like ourselves
- fossile men
- people who lived long ago
- the first ‘modern men’
- ancient men
Problem – solution pattern
- encourage – spur
- prohibit / forbid – ban
- compete – vie
- nominate – name
Order change in sentence
- We can read of things that happened 50,000 years ago in the Near East, where people first learned to write.
- Several cases have been reported in Russia recently of people who can read and detect colors with their fingers, and even see through solid doors and walls.
- He maybe conceited, ill-mannered, presumptuous or fatuous, but I do not turn for protection to dreary cliches about respect of elders — as if mere age were a reason for respect.
- What is an intellectual? I shall define him as an individual who has elected as his primary duty and pleasure in life the activity of thinking in Socratic way about moral problems.
- As a logical consequence of this development, separate journals have now appeared aimed mainly towards either professional or amateur readership.
- We can read of things that happened 50,000 years ago in the Near East, where people first learned to write.
- We endeavour to avoid the old, romantic idea of a gusher, which wastes oil and gas.
- Much to the aristocrat’s amusement, the gaoler returned a few moments later with a pair of glasses and the usual copy of the letter which he proceeded to read to the prisoner.
- The action, which has aroused universal disapproval, is nevertheless the only solution.
- The past few years witnessed the great influx of migrant workers from the countryside to big cities, where they could secure decent jobs and support their families.
- All I have to do is dream.
- All I wanted was to help him.
Fortunately, however, ancient men made tools of stone, especially flint, because this is easier to shape than other kinds.
To shape it is easier …
- Stone does not decay. And so the tools of long ago have remained when even the bones of the men who made them have disappeared without trace.
- He walks when he might take a taxi.
- Why do you walk when you have a car?
Why, you may wonder, should spiders be our friends? Because they destroy so many insects, and insects include some of the greatest enemies of the human race. Insects would make it impossible for us to live in the world, they would devour our crops and kill our flocks and herds, if it were not for the protection we get from insect eating animals. We owe a lot to the birds and beasts who eat insects but all of them put together kill only a fraction of the number destroyed by spiders. Moreover, unlike some of the other insect eaters, spiders never do the least harm to us and our belongings.
Spiders are not insects, as many people think, nor even nearly related to them. One can tell the difference almost at a glance, for a spider always has eight legs and an insect never more than six.
How many spiders are engaged in this work on our behalf? One authority on spiders made a census of the spiders in a grass field in the south of England, and he estimated there were more than 2,250,000 in one acre; that is something like 6,000,000 spiders of different kinds on a football pitch. Spiders are busy for at least half the year in killing insects. It is impossible to make more than the wildest guess at how many they kill, but they are hungry creatures, not content with only three meals a day. It has been estimated that the weight of all the insects destroyed by spiders in Britain in one year would be greater than the total weight of all the human beings in the country.
- insect-eating animals,
- the birds and beasts who eat insects
- the other insect eaters
- The lorry was loaded with empty beer bottles and hundreds of them slid off the back of the vehicle and on to the road. (superordinate)
- ship / vessel
- Giant pandas are considered a national treasure and the Chinese government are doing their best to protect this endangered species.
- Moreover, in the past two years other nearby cities may have begun to build similar golf courses or resort hotels. Indeed, the fact that Ocean View has already built these facilities might actually portent failure for Hopewell, …
杀死动物或植物 – destroy, kill off （大规模）， slaughter / massacre, wipe out / exterminate,
- One of the bulls had to be destroyed.
- The earthquake destroyed even the tallest buildings
- The rainforests are being destroyed at a frightening rate.
- The rain ruined my hair.
- I don’t want to spoil your day.
- Pollution in the sea has killed off a lot of marine life.
- The army slaughtered / massacred hundreds of unarmed civilians.
- Nanjing massacre
- What wiped out / exterminated dinosaurs from the earth?
- Illegal contracts must be terminated.
be engaged in (doing) sth
on one’s behalf / on behalf of sb.
in one’s interest / in the interest of sb.
authority on, expert in, authorities
census / investigation / inquest / survey / poll / opinion poll / inquiry / enquiry
~ find / show / indication / reveal
- the fifth national (population) census
- road traffic census
- The case is under investigation.
- The investigation into the cause of the air crash is continuing.
- an inquest into the death of the actor
- The survey revealed a large number of sources of noise that we really dislike.
- on the spot / official / sampling inquiry
- a football / soccer pitch / field
- a basketball / tennis court
- a boxing ring
- a skating rink
- a baseball diamond / court
- a golf course / links
- bowling alley
wild – unreasonable, without careful thought
- a wild dream / imagination / speculation
- Working with you is beyond my wildest dreams.
guess, make a guess at
content adj. — cannot be used as descriptive word in front of a noun
- be/feel content / satisfied with …
- be/feel content / satisfied to do …
- They are enterprising young people, not content with the dull routine of everyday life.
contented adj. from content used as verb
- A contented mind is a perpetual feast.
- When contented, and occasionally when hunger, cats frequently make a purring sound.
- be discontented / dissatisfied with
- There are more and more people who are discontented with the government.
- There is growing discontent with the government.
- all of them (who are) put together kill only a fraction of the number (that are) destroyed by spiders.
- Spare my life!
- Spare the rod and spoil the child.
- The government will spare no expense to stem the bird flu from spreading.
- The government will stem the bird flu from spreading at any cost.
- China will spare no effort to realize peaceful reunification.
should in questions — 怎么， 不是“应该”
- How should I know?
- Why should conservatives vote for Bush?
make it possible for sb. to do sth
enable sb. to do sth
render sb. / sth. + adj.
- They devise hundreds of competitions which will enable us to win huge sums of money. Radio and television have made it possible for advertisers to capture the attention of millions of people in this way.
- His injury rendered him unfit for work.
- Solar power could become a viable energy source, rendering fossil fuels obsolete.
synonyms:generate, give, return, yield
- His shares are now worth a fraction of their former value.
- All of us put together earn only a fraction of the money made by Bill Gates.
proportion / percentage
- a high / large ~ of …
- a small / tiny ~ of …
- We are lucky in that only the lower fields, which make up a very small proportion of our farm, are effected by flooding, …
they are hungry creatures, have large/hearty appetites,
on/in behalf of sb.
- She asked the doctor to speak to her parents on her behalf.
- On behalf of everyone here, may I wish you a very happy retirement.
tell the difference
tell sb./sth apart
distinguish / differentiate / discriminate between A and B / A from B.
~ between causes and effects
Modern alpinists try to climb mountains by a route which will give them good sport, and the more difficult it is, the more highly it is regarded.
In the pioneering days however, this was not the case at all. The early climbers were looking for the easiest way to the top because the summit was the prize they sought, especially if it had never been attained before. It is true that during their explorations they often faced difficulties and dangers of the most perilous nature, equipped in a manner which would make a modern climber shudder at the thought, but they did not go out of their way to court such excitement. They had a single aim, a solitary goal – the top!
It is hard for us to realize nowadays how difficult it was for the pioneers. Except for one or two places such as Zermatt and Chimanix, which had rapidly become popular, Alpine villages tended to be impoverished settlements cut off from civilization by the high mountains. Such inns as there were were generally dirty and flea-ridden; the food simply local cheese accompanied by bread often twelve months old, all washed down with coarse wine. Often a valley boasted no inn at all, and climbers found shelter wherever they could — sometimes with the local priest (who was usually as poor as his parishioners), sometimes with shepherds or cheese-makers. Invariably the background was the same: dirt and poverty, and very uncomfortable. For men accustomed to eating seven-course dinners and sleeping between fine linen sheets at home, the change to Alps must have been very hard indeed.
alpinist, the Alps, alpine
- climber, mountaineer
- mountain climbing, mountaineering, bouldering
- alpinism, Alpinism
- Mont Blanc, Mont Matterhorn, Chamonix the cradle of modern mountaineering
sport n. fun, amusement
- for sport = for fun
- a good sport, a poor sport, a sore loser
pioneer (v. n.), pioneering (adj.),
- Yu Minhong pioneered in XDF in 1993, and eventually became a pioneer in the foreign languages training realm.
- break new ground, ground-breaking, lead the way
- the early climbers, the pioneers, the pioneer climbers, their predecessors.
Sometimes we go upstream to a favourite backwater, sometimes we have our party at the boathouse, which a predecessor of ours at the farm built in the meadow hard by the deepest pool for swimming and diving.
summit: ~ meeting,
- peak, ~ season
- pinnacle, crest, apex, zenith
prize, sense of pride / honor / accomplishment
- Veni, vidi, vici. — Julius Caesar
top – summit; look for — seek
seek refuge / asylum
- seek compensation
- seek advice
- The incumbent president will not seek reelection.
- Virgo woman seeks Scorpio man.
attain: obtain, sustain, detain, retain
- be faced / confronted with … (state)
- risky, precarious, dangerous, hazardous
- in grave peril / danger / dread/ hazard / menace
- a health / safety / fire / traffic hazard
- The busy traffic entrance is / presents / poses / constitutes a hazard to pedestrians.
shudder, tremble, quiver, shiver with anger / fear / excitement
court: pursue, woo, hunt for
- A friend in court is better than a penny in purse.
- court fame and gain
- Pride courts failure.
Riot police were patrolling the stadium, equipped in a manner which would make a soccer hooligan shudder at the sight.
go out of one’s way to do …
- Please don’t go out of your way for me.
- It was very kind of you to go out of your way to meet us at the airport.
- solitude: Life without communication is a pity, while life without solitude is a disaster.
- I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity. — Albert Einstein
- deprived, destitute, disadvantaged, underprivileged, underdeveloped,
- Too much visual exposure impoverishes our imaginations.
cut off from, out of touch with, isolated from, separated from
- The disease is accompanied by sneezing and fever.
- Chinese President Xi, accompanied by his wife, is undertaking a state visit to the US.
coarse: unrefined, rough [course]
wash sth. down with sth
sth boasts sth.; sb. boasts of sth.
parishioner, parish, diocese, church, cathedral
regard sth/sb. highly: value sth/sb greatly (disregard)
In the pioneering days: in the early days of mountain climbing
explorations: mountain climbing
of a … nature
difficulties and dangers (n.) of the most perilous nature: the most perilous difficulties and dangers
- nature: human nature
- a sincere person = a person of sincere nature
- I cannot approve of things of this nature.
- treaties of a political nature
- books of an erotic nature
- questions of an academic nature
- articles of a technical nature
be equipped with sth
in a manner (way)
at the thought (of sth): thinking of sth
go out of one’s way to do sth.: do sth. on purpose
The background was (invariably) the same: (dirt and poverty), and very uncomfortable.
For men (accustomed to eating …), the change to .. ..
be accustomed to doing sth.
be used to sth/ doing
be in the habit of sth. / doing
seven-course dinner: appetizer, soup, fish, main dish (beef, lamb), salad, desert, beverage
Several cases have been reported in Russia recently of people who can read and detect colors with their fingers, or even see through solid doors and walls. One case concerns an 11-year-old schoolgirl Vera Petrova, who has normal vision but who can also perceive things with different parts of her skin, and through solid walls.
This ability was first noticed by her father. One day she came into his office and happened to put her hands on the door of a locked safe. Suddenly she asked her father why he kept so many old newspapers locked away there, and even described the way they were done up in bundles.
Vera’s curious talent was brought to the notice of a scientific institute in the town of Ulyanovsk, near where she lives, and in April she was given a series of tests by a special commission of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federal Republic. During these tests she was able to read a newspaper through an opaque screen and, stranger still, by moving her elbow over a child’s game of Lotto she was able to describe the figures and colors printed on it, and in another instance, wearing stockings and slippers, to make out with her foot the outlines and colors of a picture hidden under a carpet. Other experiments showed that her knees and shoulders had a similar sensitivity. During all these tests Vera was blindfold, and indeed, except when blindfold she lacked the ability to perceive things with her skin. It was also found that although she could perceive things with her fingers this ability ceased the moment her hands were wet.
- solid doors and walls
- The villa has a solid foundations. (flimsy)
- a solid ball (hollow)
- solid geometry (three-dimensional)
commission, committee, council
opaque, transparent, translucent
see through | see it through | get it over with | stick it out
normal vision, near / short vision, far / long vision, ophthalmologist, optometrist, optician
perceive: deceive, conceive, sieve, grieve, achieve, retrieve, relieve
- I am really thirsty. I could do with a drink.
- The government did away with free milk for schoolchildren in the 1970s.
- I hear the new owners plan to do up that old place.
- She spent a lot of time doing herself up for the party.
- You’ll have to do without sugar in your coffee. I forgot to buy some more.
- He cheated me! He did me out of my share of the money.
make out what/how/why etc
except when (she was) blindfold,
- Michael Jackson was fond of singing when (he was) yet a child.
- I got acquainted with him while (I was) on a visit to New York.
in bundles, in pairs, in twos and threes,
be brought to sb’s notice / attention
come to sb’s notice / attention
be brought to light / come to light
a series / train / chain / string / stream / succession / progression of
stop to do | stop doing
wet, moist, damp, humid
People are always talking about ‘the problem of youth’. If there is one — which I take leave to doubt – then it is older people who create it, not the young themselves. Let us get down to fundamentals and agree that the young are after all human beings — people just like their elders. There is only one difference between an old man and a young one: the young man has a glorious future before him and the old one has a splendid future behind him: and maybe that is where the rub is.
When I was a teenager, I felt that I was just young and uncertain — that I was a new boy in a huge school, and I would have been very pleased to be regarded as something so interesting as a problem. For one thing, being a problem gives you a certain identity, and this is one of the things the young are busily engaged in seeking.
I find young people exciting. They have an air of freedom, and they have not a dreary commitment to mean ambitions or love of comfort. They are not anxious social climbers, and they have no devotion to material things. All this seems to me to link them with life and the origins of things. It’s as if they were, in some sense, cosmic beings in violent and lovely contrast with us suburban creatures. All that is in my mind when I meet a young person. He may be conceited, ill-mannered, presumptuous or fatuous, but I do not turn for protection to dreary cliches about respect for elders — as if mere age were a reason for respect. I accept that we are equals, and I will argue with him, as an equal, if I think he is wrong.
- reasons for response
- relevant examples
fundamentals, basics, essentials, the first principles, basic rules, rudiments
basic, fundamental, essential,
get down to sth / doing = to start doing sth seriously
- Let’s get down to business.
- Let’s get down to discussing the details.
agree / accept / admit / acknowledge / recognize / concede 承认
just / merely / no more than one difference
a single / solitary difference
- There is only one difference between an old man and a young one: the young man has a glorious future before him and the old one has a splendid future behind him: and maybe that is where the rub is.
- When poverty comes in at the door, love leaps out at the window.
- A mother takes twenty years to make a man of her boy, and another woman takes twenty minutes to make a fool of him.
glorious / splendid / magnificent / rosy / brilliant
rub: problem, knot, nut, snag
rub sb. the wrong way
get on one’s nerves
in one’s teen
adolescent n. adj. / adolescence
juvenile delinquency (legal); juvenile delinquent
regard / see / count A as B
think of / look on / conceive of A as B.
consider A (to be) B.
deem / reckon A to be B.
be recognized / acknowledged as …
- Heifetz was recognized / acknowledged as the greatest violinist of the 20th century.
Being a problem is better than being a nobody.
dreary: banal, monotonous, stereotyped.
commitment to sth. (religion, communique),
make a commitment to do ..
devotion to ab/sth.
affection (affectionate), infatuation (fatuous)
mean: contemptible, miserly, stingy
suburban: provincial, insular
in some sense
to some degree / extent
in some measure
The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self. — Albert Einstein
in / by contrast (comparison) to / with …
compare to / with
be in one’s mind
be on one’s mind
ill-mannered, ill-tempered, ill-advised, ill-bred, ill-educated
conceited: presumptuous, contemptuous, supercilious
turn to … for …
- He had to turn to his brother for help, because his brother is the only person he could trust.
- He had to turn for help to his brother, the only person he could trust.
An idle youth, a needy age.
Passion is the sin of youth.
Pride is the sin of middle age.
Prejudice is the sin of old age.
People are always talking about ‘the problem of youth’.
- simple sentence
- Other’s opinion
- are always doing sth: writer’s attitude
If there is one — which I take leave to doubt – then it is older people who create it, not the young themselves.
- If … concession clause
- If … + an inserted phrase – then (it is … who …, not …)
- it is … who …, not … writer’s strong opinion
Let us get down to fundamentals and agree that the young are after all human beings — people just like their elders.
- Start arguing
- Invite readers to think about basics and to lay out the same foot for the further discussion
There is only one difference between an old man and a young one: the young man has a glorious future before him and the old one has a splendid future behind him: and maybe that is where the rub is.
- There is … starting the sentence
- explain why the elder talk about “the problem of youth,” and again point out that the elder people create this problem.
When I was a teenager, I felt that I was just young and uncertain — that I was a new boy in a huge school, and I would have been very pleased to be regarded as something so interesting as a problem.
- start with a time clause
- an vivid example
For one thing, being a problem gives you a certain identity, and this is one of the things the young are busily engaged in seeking.
- start with a phrase indicating the reason
I find young people exciting.
- writer’s opinion
They have an air of freedom, and they have not a dreary commitment to mean ambitions or love of comfort. They are not anxious social climbers, and they have no devotion to material things.
- exciting: explanations and descriptions
All this seems to me to link them with life and the origins of things. It’s as if they were, in some sense, cosmic beings in violent and lovely contrast with us suburban creatures.
- writer’s opinion
All that is in my mind when I meet a young person. He may be conceited, ill-mannered, presumptuous or fatuous, but I do not turn for protection to dreary cliches about respect for elders — as if mere age were a reason for respect. I accept that we are equals, and I will argue with him, as an equal, if I think he is wrong.
- writer’s action/proposal
- Imagine a scene where he meets a young person
- I do not ….. I accept …