A few words on paper
Prepared by John Millen
We are surrounded by paper. We use tonnes of it every day. You are probably holding something made from paper in your hand at the moment. Paper is a natural resource and it should be valued. Save paper! Don't throw it away!
Paper verbs and phrases
Select the correct meanings of these verbs and phrases.
1. To paper over the cracks
a) to tell lies all the time
b) to hide problems so a situation appears better than it is
2. To put pen to paper
a) to begin writing
b) to lecture
3. To commit something to paper
a) to buy a newspaper every day
b) to write something down so it is official
4. It's not worth the paper it's written on
a) it will be valuable one day
b) it has no value at all
5. He couldn't act his way out of a paper bag
a) he is useless at what he is doing
b) he is brilliant at what he does
6. Put it down on paper, please
a) write it down, please
b) buy me a newspaper, please
7. It's paper thin
a) it is white
b) it is very thin
Complete these dialogues and then practise them with a friend.
1. Be careful with that piece of glass. It's .............
- Don't worry. I won't drop it.
2. Our new English teacher is useless. He doesn't know his subject and he can't control the class.
- I know. He couldn't .............................
3. Have you still got the guarantee for your camera?
- Yes, I have. But it's not worth ................
4. Dad's not telling us the truth about what's happening.
- I know. He's been papering ............... for quite some time.
5. So, what do you think?
- You have some good ideas. You should ........... them ...... before you forget them.
6. I just loved that book.
- She's a great writer but she didn't ............... until she was 45.
7. So, there is my complaint.
- Would you ..................., please and post it to us.
Put in the paper words
Fill the gaps so these sentences make sense.
1. I sometimes buy a ____________________ in the week, but I always buy one on Sunday.
2. Pass me some ____________________. This ink is still wet and I don't want it to smudge.
3. Line the baking tin with ____________________ before you put the cake mixture in.
4. This diagram is too complicated to copy by hand. I'm going to use ____________________ and do it that way.
5. I must buy some ____________________ before Christmas.
6. I'll wait until the last Harry Potter comes out in ____________________. I can't afford it at the moment.
7. Our new boss shouts a lot and makes threats. But I'm not scared of him. He's only a ____________________.
Can you match up these words with their meanings?
1. blotting paper
2. a daily paper
3. filter paper
4. a paperback
5. a paper clip
6. a paper knife
7. a paper tiger
8. wrapping paper
9. tracing paper
a) thin paper that you put over a picture and then draw over the outline
b) a paper cone that allows water through (used in making coffee)
c) decorated paper that's used for covering presents
d) a newspaper that is published six days a week (not Sunday)
e) a book that has a soft cover
f) a small piece of bent wire used for holding pieces of paper together
g) something that appears very strong but which is really weak and harmless
h) absorbent paper for soaking up wet ink
i) a knife used for opening letters
Paper words: 1. h, 2. d, 3. b, 4. e, 5. f, 6. i, 7. g, 8. c, 9. a
Put in the paper words: 1. daily paper 2. blotting paper 3. greaseproof paper 4. tracing paper 5. wrapping paper 6. paperback 7. paper tiger
Paper verbs and phrases: 1. b, 2. a, 3. b, 4. b, 5. a, 6. a, 7. b
Useful dialogues: 1. paper thin 2. act his way out of a paper bag 3. the paper it's written on 4. over the cracks 5. commit .... to paper 6. put pen to paper, 7. put it down on paper