Oh, I am sorry. You wanted that type of litter!

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 March, 2008, 12:00am

Paper 1a

You should be able to work out the meanings of words from their context.

Some words have a few meanings: litter can mean pieces of paper left in the street, a seat on which people were carried in the past, small stones put in a cat toilet, the straw a farm animal sleeps on, and a set of babies an animal gives birth to all at one time!

Read the short passages and then choose the best definition for the word specified.

1 Frank was busy putting up the tent. It didn't seem easy and he kept disappearing in the folds of the material. Roger was concentrating on building a fire. 'Why the rush?' I asked. 'We can't start cooking until we have the fire going, and I am starving, aren't you?' he replied. 'Well, I will unpack the supplies. Let's see what we have. Four large tins of baked beans, four tins of sausages, three tins of pork luncheon meat and two big tins of pineapple chunks. Not very healthy but quite tasty,' I said. 'But there is one slight hitch. None of the tins has a ring-pull and we didn't bring a tin-opener.'

Choose the right definition for 'hitch'

a) to travel by asking for free rides [verb]

b) to pull your clothes higher up [verb]

c) to attach something you want to pull to the back of a car [verb]

d) to fasten a horse to something [verb]

e) a problem [noun]

2 When he heard this Roger threw himself on the ground, beating it with his fists like a small child in a rage. It was embarrassing to watch him. After all, it was only an hour's walk into the village and someone would be sure to give us something to eat. Frank had finally managed to master the tent which now stood ready for us. He looked up at all the noise and came over, asking why Roger was behaving like that. I explained. Frank reached for his pack, felt around in it and then drew out a tin-opener, which he placed on the ground in front of Roger before walking quietly away.

Choose the right definition for 'pack'

a) set of things tied together [noun]

b) a bag you carry on your back [noun]

c) a group of dogs or related animals [noun]

d) the forwards in a rugby team [noun]

e) to press things together [verb]

3 'I have asked you all to this meeting because our company is suffering from financial problems. You all know that the economy is not doing very well at the moment and that it is very difficult to attract customers. We have considered reducing the size of the staff but we do not want to lose you. We hope you will be willing to take a pay cut to help the company survive. I am sure the economy will improve next year and that in the long run we will be very successful and be able to make it up to you.'

Choose the right definition for 'run'

a) used about a machine when it works [verb]

b) a regular journey [noun]

c) a time when many people want to take their money out of a bank [noun]

d) a period of time [noun]

e) an attempt to be elected [noun]

4 The picnic was not going well. Jill and Fiona had obviously had a quarrel and were not speaking to each other. Bryan had fallen and scraped his knee badly. Jimmy was doing everything wrong at the barbecue so we would be eating meat raw in the middle and burnt on the outside. Then I felt a few spots of rain. Of course, none of us had brought umbrellas. Why had I come? Picnics always go wrong.

Choose the right definition for 'spot'

a) a little of something [noun]

b) a place [noun]

c) a round dot of colour [noun]

d) a pimple [noun]

e) to notice [verb]

5 Gina opened the door. I pushed past her. I was so full of excitement. 'Well, it's all going really well. I have booked a fabulous restaurant for the wedding banquet and found a photographer who has a really creative approach to wedding photos so you won't have pictures just like everyone else's. And...' 'Stop,' said Gina. I turned and gave her my attention. She spoke in a strangely flat voice. 'There isn't going to be a wedding. Keith has called it off.'

Choose the right definition for 'flat'

a) level, parallel to the ground [adj]

b) emotionless [adj]

c) lower than the musical note that is expected [adj]

d) without any more power [adj]

e) without bubbles [adj]

6 We left our room and headed towards the swimming pool. Most of our group had already arrived and people were sitting around sipping cocktails and looking up at the stars shining in the clear night sky. The hotel staff were gradually laying out the buffet. I strolled over to look. There were some dips on a side table. I tried one - delicious. It seemed we had chosen the right holiday and were going to have a wonderful time.

Choose the right definition for 'dip'

a) to lower into a liquid [verb]

b) a quick swim [noun]

c) a lowering in level [noun]

d) a chemical wash for farm animals [noun]

e) a cold sauce eaten with snacks [noun]


1. e; 2. b; 3. d; 4. a; 5. b; 6. e