Social Life 1 (Unit 4)

Social Life 1 (Unit 1)
Social Life 1 (Unit 2)
Social Life 1 (Unit 3)
Social Life 1 (Unit 4)
Social Life 1 (Unit 5)
Social Life 1 (Unit 6)
Social Life 1 (Unit 7)
Social Life (Unit 1)
Social Life (Unit 2)
Social Life (Unit 3)
Social Life (Unit 4)
Social Life (Unit 5)
Social Life (Unit 6)
Social Life (Unit 7)
Social Life (Unit 8)
Getting ready for exams



Unit IV

Character Study


Learning Objectives

After studying this unit, you should be able to understand the characters traits (1) by the way the person thinks, (2) by the way other characters think of the person, and (3) by the way other characters treat the person.


Text 1


A face can often tell us a great deal about a person. So, too, can clothing, physique and other external attributes. Use a picture of a person, and his (or her) age, job, interests, nationality and character can be discussed in class. Conclusions must be supported by reference to evidence in the picture, so make sure you have the necessary vocabulary to describe faces, bodies, etc., at your fingertips! If each student knows something about the person in his picture, he can tell the others how near their guesses are to the truth.


Vocabulary Practice


Ex. 1 Give a detailed description of a portrait given above.


Ex. 2 List 5-6 questions you would like to ask a woman if you were meet her.


Ex. 3 Are there any differences between women of the XVIII th century and women of the XX th century?


Ex. 4 Develop biographical data concerning one of these women: place a year of her birth, her life, as a child and then as a young girl, her education, her house, her lifestyle, her work, hobbies, her family and her financial status. Use your imagination freely.


Ex. 5 What adjectives can you use to describe the women given above:





serious/not serious














Ex. 6 Divide all the words into two columns:

A person can be

A person can




Easygoing, emotional, intelligent, to be of great value to, talkative, meet people from all over the world, patient, tactful, describe smth., be interested in, with a good sense of humor, wise, be delicate to, just, kind, emotional, deal with people from different walks of life, serious, sociable, quiet, make decisions, responsible, loyal, punctual, admire the way smb. does smth., sincere, devoted, to be dedicated to


Ex. 7 Use Complex Object in your sentences with the words given below.

Example: I think him (her) to be loyal.


highly educated

quiet ,


open-minded ,


sincere , ,


sociable ,





trustworthy ,


wise -

with a good sense of humour

with sparkling wit ,


Comprehension Exercises


Ex. 1 Write in 250 words about the person who you think deserves the title of "Personality of the Year". They can be from the world of politics, entertainment, sport, the arts or business or they may be somebody completely unknown.


Ex. 2 Read and translate the texts, then answer

Text 2

Who are these people describing?

1. She's absolutely adorable. I think she's very pretty, she makes me laugh a lot, um... she tells terrible jokes but I like the way she tells them. She's a bit naughty sometimes and I curse her when she gets me up at six o'clock in the morning, but when I hear her singing in the morning, well, all is forgiven. She can twist me round her little finger, of course.

2. He was very boring and predictable. The kind of person who remembered birthdays and anniversaries, but who made you angry because there was absolutely nothing spontaneous about him. His ideas of fun were so unadventurous. Well, the first few years were OK, but after that I'd just had enough. Reliable, stable, dependable, and boring.

3. Well, he's quite well-dressed and punctual. Sometimes he's cheerful and tells us jokes, but other times we have to do a lot of work. We don't really know him very well. Oh, I know he's married, but I've never met him socially or anything like that. He seems very professional.

Write a description of a person that you know.


Do you have a 'Type A' or 'Type B' personality?

Some doctors believe there are two main types of personalities: "Type A" and "Type B". Type A people are ambitious, aggressive, hard-working, and competitive; they are sometimes impatient and are often in a hurry. Type B people are more relaxed and don't get bothered easily. Doctors say that because they are so hard driving, Type A personalities often suffer from stress and high blood pressure. .

Pair work. Take turns asking your partner these questions. Is your partner a Type A or Type B personality? How about you?




Yes No

a) Are you always in a hurry to finish things?


b) Are you ambitious and always looking for new challenges?


c) Are you often impatient with other people?


d) Do you get upset when people are late for appointments?


e) Do you often do two things at once, such as watching TV while eating?


f) Do you get upset easily when things go wrong?


g) Do you sometimes stop listening when people are talking to you?


h) Do you expect to be the best at everything you do?


i) Do you often interrupt people while they are speaking?


j) Do you think the best way to get a job done is to do it yourself?




To score: Six or more Yes answers = Type A; six or more No answers = type B.


Ex. 3 Read the text and do the tasks:

Text 3

Good Manners - FAQ

Q: Two ladies of the household in which 1 live insist on drying their tights and other undergarments on the kitchen radiator. I feel that since this is a public room, it is an inappropriate place to dry such articles. When I suggested that they be removed, to their bedroom radiators. I was informed this was none of my bloody business.

A: In this world, the demands of hygiene should be sometimes sacrificed to the demands of etiquette. But you are completely right, while these ladies are completely wrong. Therefore, you should be firmer with your suggestions, There are quite a few courses of action you might follow.

The simplest way. which used to be very popular in the big cities of undeveloped countries in the 20th century, is just to steal your neighbours' undergarments. It is also the most profitable way. If those ladies continue their dirty actions, you may even launch a small undergarment business. Don't forget to apply for a subsidy to your city council, as your actions would perfectly fit in with the guidelines of New Governmental Policy of Local Authority Support for Small and Medium Business.

This method is good for rather soft and polite persons, who are unwilling to openly challenge their offenders. But if you are brave, your prospects are much wider. Get up early, collect the drying undergarments from the kitchen, and be on watch. As one of your neighbours appears, throw the whole lot of their dirty tights in her face! This may be supplemented with a strong kick, or several. Don't forget to shout something like 'F*** YOURSELF, BLOODY FETISHIST' during the whole action. If your neighbour is stronger than you, you may use mops, brooms, rolling-pins, kettles or other objects during the battle.

The third way is just to demonstrate to your neighbours that drying their tights on bedroom radiators is more efficient. When they have put them on the kitchen radiator, start, regularly and, if possible, secretly, to wet them. If this doesn't help, try to wet them with dirty water, increasing the concentration of mud with every session.

Q: I recently fell out with an old friend over something he heard me saying after I had had a few drinks. I have heard through the grapevine that he feels insulted. Is there anything you could advise me that might help to heal the rift? A: This is a very complicated case, and you should not make quick decisions. The most important thing is not to apologise, at least not before you clarify everything. Otherwise you will only harm yourself.

To be frank, I suspect that either what you said was not, in fact, particularly insulting, or that your former friend does not really feel insulted. It is possible you both are the victims of the third party's intrigue. Anyway, before taking decisions, you should make absolutely clear for yourself the following:

-  What exactly did you drink?

-  What exactly did you say?

-  Who of the 'grapevine' should be trusted and who should not?

-  Why on earth, if your friend was so insulted, did he not smash your face, challenge you to a duel, or at least say something as offensive about you as you did about him?

In my opinion, independent of the answers to the above questions, the last thing you should do is to apologise or, heaven forbid, take your words back. The first thing you should care about is your reputation, not your relations with someone. When you find out what you said, try to find, or invent, arguments to support your thesis. Then take a few drinks again and state your arguments publicly. Once you have entered this discussion, it is too late to retreat - otherwise people will know they cannot rely on your words.

Also, try to meet your former friend (preferably, publicly) and tell him, quoting Aristotle, that "Plato is my dear friend", but the Truth is dearer. I strongly recommend taking a few drinks before the meeting.

Next time be more careful about what you say. Good luck and may God Almighty help you!


1.      Put questions to the text.

2.      Make a plan.

3.      Give Russian equivalents to the following word combinations:

to be none of ones bloody business;

to be sacrificed to the demands of etiquette;

to apply for a subsidy to smb. (smth.)

to fall out with smb.;

to make quick decisions;

to challenge smb. to duel

4.      How do you understand Good Manners?

5.      What is your own opinion to the words: be more careful about what to say?


Vocabulary practice



What sort of person are you?

1. Put Y for Yes, N for No, and S for Sometimes


a)     (___) Are you generally aware of other peoples feelings?

b)     (___) Do you find it difficult to meet people?

c)     (___) Do you frequently make people laugh?

d)     (___) Does your mood change often and suddenly?

e)     (___) When decisions have to be made do you think first of yourself?

f)      (___) Can your friends trust you and depend on you?

g)     (___) Do you generally like other peoples company?

h)     (___) Are there lots of things you want to do in your life?

i)      (___) Can you usually understand other peoples point of view?

j)      (___) Do you worry and think too much about detail?

k)     (___) Are you usually quite a happy smiling person?

l)      (___) Are you interested in other people and their business?

m)    (___) Do you sometimes not tell the truth because you dont want to hurt someones feelings?


2. Match these adjectives with the questions above:

Example: (b) - shy


(_) tolerant

(_) sociable

(_) reliable

(_) sensitive

(_) tactful

(_) fussy

(_) witty

(_) selfish

(_) ambitious

(_) moody

(_) inquisitive

(_) cheerful


3. Which of these do you think are positive, and which negative qualities?


4. What are the opposites of these adjectives?




Ex. 1 Express your opinion on the problem, give your reasons.


Text 4

Be moderate!

As for me, all opinions are controversial: some writers recommend abstaining from drinking alcohol, and to drink only orange juice, while others approve of drinking beer or alcohol. To me they both sound dumb and I accept neither position.

Of course, it's beyond question that most of us can't avoid drinking, especially if you are a shy person, a few drops will help you feel more confident and sociable. Maybe it sounds strange, but my motto is that everything should be done in moderation. In my opinion, it's possible for a person to start drinking, if he is of age, of course. And I can prove it.

In my favourite book The Practical Psychology for Boys or How to Become a Real Man, the author says that 80 percent of alcoholics began drinking in their teens. She also says that teenage alcoholism forms 2-4 times faster than with adults; the key point, I think, is how often and in what amount. Of course, it is not good to drink every day or week, and not to get drunk, but to cheer up and to feel a bit more relaxed.

I understand, some will find my theory too restrictive and in no way linked to reality. Who cares?

Speaking of beer, it seems strange, but the views of medical researchers are contradictory. Some of them say that beer is good to prevent cancer; at the same time others say that constant consumption of beer provokes hormonal changes in the human body. Pavel Stroilov describes beer-drinkers as (usually) big, good-natured, calm, and not clever; it's just the result of feminism. On the other hand, female beer-drinkers state they want to be more masculine and, as a matter of fact, they will never be able to give birth.

That's why I say: Be moderate, and everything will be OK! Your life is what you make of it!

By Vitaliy Sorokin


Ex. 2 Give you interpretation of the word sincerity


Text 5

Sincerity Can Be Destructive

One of my friends, Vanya, is a very open-hearted person. Once he faced a problem: he was unfaithful to his girl-friend Katya. It is not a very unusual situation in life, but for him it was a big problem. He is a really open and honest person, and he didn't want to hurt his girlfriend or the other girl either. So he started discussing the problem with his friends. Being open and sociable, he has a lot of friends, most of whom were also Katya's friends. None of them likes gossip, and nobody told Katya about Vanya's problem. But as his relations with the other girlfriend were very candid, he told her everything himself. She found out the truth, including the fact that all her friends knew the story. As a result she lost trust in her boyfriend and almost all her friends.

I think, this story well illustrates my point of view - a person should be discrete. Intimate relations should not become a matter of discussion with other people - even if those people are your best friends - because they haven't any business in your bedroom.

People also should not know about your relations at home, about your own emotions, and so on. And if you make a mistake, you should not forget that it is your own mistake. If you have friends, they shouldn't try to correct your mistake, and you should not lay blame on someone else. Of course, this way of behaviour is more difficult than the method of collective decision-making in very personal issues; but I think it is more honest. Even though Katya might say that Vanya should have been absolutely sincere with her, it would be much better for her not to know the truth. That truth was destructive for their relations. Surely, to keep silent would be difficult for Vanya, but it was he who made a mistake, so his difficulties would be a fair punishment.

By Maria Stroilova, a first year student


Ex. 3 Read the text and answer the questions:

1.      Do you agree with the authors idea of having something for yourself or not?

2.      Do you believe the authors pride should be sufficient to improve her inner world?

3.      Sum up the authors view.

4.      What would you ask the author if you meet her?


Text 6

The Cause of Pride

From early age I dreamed to play the guitar. And some time ago my mother gave me a guitar as a birthday present. I was happy. I began to study playing, and it proved to be quite easy. I like rock music. Russian rock has a very special character: the music is not the most important thing for our rock stars, the lyrics are much more significant. Therefore, if you wish to perform only the main musical theme, all you need to know are a few chords and that's enough. Things become even simpler because you can find all the necessary chords on the Internet.

Very soon I understood that I can play almost every song I love. My friends asked me to play songs at our parties, and it was no problem, even though I had never tried to play this or that song before. I was greatly surprised when some months later I found myself playing only classical guitar pieces and nothing more. I tried to understand why and discovered a very interesting thing.

In fact when I am playing guitar I present you the songs which I sing. If they are not my favourite songs, I don't want to sing them because it is simply boring. But if I really love a song, I usually don't want to share it with anybody. I can play it only for myself, and when I do that I feel that the song is really mine. It doesn't matter that its real writer is another person, not me.

It's a normal thing: when a group of people, even close friends, listen to a song some like it but some don't. And very often people start arguing about the song. But I want to hear nothing unfavourable about things I love. Above all, any comments about my favourite songs are, in my opinion, very stupid. Everything has been already said by the writer, and all we can do is to listen and to feel.

I was surprised again. I used to think myself to be a generous person who likes to share things with everybody. So I began to consider myself and understood: that's right, I am generous. But I don't want to share everything. And I don't think this is wrong. Every person has some things which belong only to him. It may be a hobby, work, or even an academic subject. And if anybody wishes to come too close to those things, one runs away.

In my opinion if you haven't this "something for yourself you are not a person, you are only a part of a mass. The things which are kept only for yourself form your inner world. And if you don't want to share some things with anybody, even your closest friends, you should not feel ashamed, you can be proud, of this.

By Agatha


Ex. 4 Read the text and discuss the status of being leader

Text 7

Be Yourself

I'm a freshman this year. I faced a problem which, in my opinion, is important for not only first-year students: what should you do when you are a newcomer to a group of people?

When I went to the first classes at the university I found myself in quite a difficult situation - I hadn't attended two group meetings arranged some days before classes really started, considering those meetings to be unnecessary for studies. As a result, when I came to the university I saw a group, not a bunch of individuals. So, I had to understand the nature of that group and find my place in it.

I am in the psychology department. As psychology is not very popular among boys, there are five boys out of 30 people in our group. I immediately saw three leaders, all of them girls. The features of a true leader seem to have little to do with the intellect. I watched one of the leaders during a half-hour break. She found a very strange way to entertain herself: she spent all her time listening to music from her friends' mobile phones. And she is a leader nevertheless. Our second leader is a typically beautiful girl. The third one is clever.

I decided not to fight for a leadership position. I see no good in being the fourth leader. It is evident that the leaders are doomed to struggle for their positions during the five years we are going to be at the university. I don't think it is funny. So I preferred to wait in the shadows for about two weeks. But it is impossible not to express yourself at all. I chose a very simple way for expression to study. As a result, the stupid girl understood that she has nothing to do with me. The clever girl tried to make friends with me because she thinks it to be more interesting and useful than to try to subject me.

A funny thing happened with the boys. They are a minority in our group, and the girls launched a real battle for them. I already have got a boyfriend who is at another university; so I wasn't interested in the boys of our group. But I had a challenge to show our girls that I wasn't going to take part in the competition. I am happy: my elder brother is a third-year student at our university and I know a lot of his friends very well. So I asked one of them to act as my boyfriend for a day within the university. He agreed because his girlfriend studies at another place, and proved a genial actor. Any girl would understand that I am not her rival.

The widespread idea proved to be true: if you don't try to demonstrate that you are something other than yourself, it will be easy to find your own place in any community.

By Agatha, 1st year MUH student


Ex. 5 Did the author choose the right way for expression to study?


Ex. 6 What would you advise your friend if he wanted to be a leader?


Ex. 7 Do you agree that the features of true leader seem to have little to do with the intellect?


Ex. 8 Is it possible not to express yourself at all?


Ex. 9 What should you do if you are a newcomer to a group of people?


Ex. 10 Do you agree its time you should think about your character and understand yourself better?


Ex. 11 Are you satisfied with the role you are now in your class? What accounts for such a state of things?


Ex. 12 Say what factors in the authors opinion effect you? Give your own comments.


Ex. 13 Say what you would do in the authors place?


Ex. 14 Sum up the text. Express your opinion on the problem.


Ex. 16 Read the text and comment on the following points:


Text 8


Anyone can make a mistake. Sometimes we can say things which make sense only in a certain moment: they are linked to only this or that situation, often to an offence. So, after that we have to understand that we were wrong and should apologise. We all need to forgive and to be forgiven. But some-times it is very difficult and we can even end a relations nip because of fear.

American psychologists have developed advice for such situations. The rules are the following:

   Be open.

   To forgive takes a decision.

   Don't throw an error back in someone's face at a later date. Don't use it as ammunition in an argument.

   Don't seek revenge or retribution. It will only extend the pain.

   Try and understand the reason for the transgression.

   Remember that forgiveness doesn't mean you condone the hurtful behaviour.

   Show true contrition and remorse for the pain that you've caused.

   Be willing to make a commitment to not hurt someone in the same way again.

   Accept the consequences of the action that created the hurt.

   Be open to making amends.

Be patient. Being able to forgive often takes time.

By Agatha


Ex. 17 Read the text and answer the questions:

1.      Do you agree with the authors judging from your own experience and observations?

2.      What would Dave say if were in Russia?


Text 9

A letter

This is a letter from Dave. Dave is an American exchange student in Great Britain, who is living in Frank's home, while Frank is staying in the U.S. with Dave's family.

Dear Frank,

Hi! How are you getting along in the States? I'm having a wonderful time here in England with your family and friends. Everyone is so friendly, and hospitable. They all welcome me into their homes and treat me as one of the family.

I've been very surprised by English people. I thought they would all be very conservative and traditional. Instead I've found them very open to new ideas. I also thought English people would be rather shy. But most people seem very outgoing and self-confident, almost as much as Americans. I find the English very tolerant too. Nobody here seems to mind very much how you dress or what you say. Of course, there are some narrow-minded people too. But I don't think there are as many as there are back home in the States.

I often think of you in my home and what you must be thinking about Americans. I imagine you think we're too hard-working and too materialistic. I never realised how much Americans talk about money, until I came to Britain. And you probably also think that Americans are very rude compared with the British. I don't think we're really so rude, it's just that we sometimes forget to use all those polite phrases like "do you mind" and "could I" and "may I".

One difference I have noticed is that the British don't seem as optimistic as Americans. In America we always think we can change things and make them better. But I get the feeling that the British have a rather pessimistic view of life.

I'm feeling lazy, so that's all I'm going to write now. I look forward to hearing your impressions of the US.

Yours, Dave


A. According to Dave, do these words best describe British people (B) or American people (A)?

1. rude ___

2. materialistic ___

3. hard-working ___

4. tolerant ___

5. self-confident ___

6 optimistic ___


B. Think about

1. What characteristics do people from other countries think people from your country have?

2. Do you sometimes feel shy? In what situations?

3. In what ways do you think your parents' generation is different from your generation?

4. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Why?

5. Have you ever been to a foreign country? What do you think of the people in that country?


Determining Characters Traits


I. Do activities and speak about Bobbys traits. You can learn about a story character (1) by the way he thinks, (2) by the way other characters think of him, and (3) by the way other characters treat the person. Read the story below.


Bobby sat on the bench. His team trailed in the basketball game by one point. Only one minute of playing time remained. Bobby thought to himself, Im sure we can beat this team. I know we can! Suddenly the coach called: Bobby, replace Brian. Bobbys teammates smiled when Bobby ran on the court. They knew they could count on him in times like this. The home crowd cheered loudly for their hero Bobby. The other team worried when Bobby entered the game.

With five seconds left in the game, a player passed the ball Bobby. He pushed the ball into the air. Whoosh! It soared through the hoop. Two points! Bobbys team had won the game.

The people in the stands stood up and clapped their hands for Bobby. The coach, wearing a big smile on his face, shook Bobbys hand tightly. The other players of the team carried Bobby off the court. Bobby had come through again.


II. Circle the letter next to each correct answer.

1. Bobby felt about the game.

a) sad

b) puzzled

c) hopeful

d) angry

 2. Bobbys teammates Bobby.

a) trusted

b) doubted

c) teased

d) worried

 3. Bobbys coach Bobby.

a) scolded

b) forgot

c) scared

d) counted on

 4. The home crowd Bobby.

a) bothered

b) admired

c) upset

d) weakened

 5. The other team Bobby.

a) liked

b) laughed at

c) frightened

d) feared

 6. A word to describe Bobby is

a) careless

b) dependable

c) nervous

d) selfish





You work for a magazine, as a writer.

The woman in the photo is over 100 years old. Imagine that you have been sent to interview her for an article for the magazine. You are to prepare a character sketch of the woman in which you try to give information about her past life and its high points, as well as an account of her present life and interests.

You also must bring out aspects of her personality in order to present her as a "person" and not just the subject of a magazine article.


1.  Make a list of questions that you intend to ask the 100-year-old woman.

2.  Answer the questions in the form of notes you have taken in your conversation with the woman.

3.  Invent personality traits for the interviewee and list them for later use.

4.  Combine your notes and the personality traits to form a short magazine article that is a biographical sketch of the woman.

5.  Give a title to the sketch.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Using a classmate to play the part of the 100-year-old woman, work together as a team to dramatize the interview. Give your imagination free rein.