Young Post's language exercises won't kill you. Thomas and Mandie survived. Vicky Chak is not a pleasant person to work with. She is lazy, aggressive and loves causing trouble. She has worked in the offices of Dallas Design for three months and there have been problems since the first day she arrived. Vicky has heard a rumour that the office manager is leaving and she thinks the job should be hers. Vicky has made an appointment to see Mr Law, the human resources manager. Mr Law: Good morning, Miss Chak. What can I do for you? Vicky: I will come straight to the point, Mr Law. I have heard that Mrs Chong is leaving at the end of the month and I would like her job. Mr Law: I am afraid I cannot comment, Miss Chak. Vicky: I must ask you, Mr Law, have you heard someone in the office casting aspersions on my character and is that why you will not discuss my suitability for the job? Mr Law: Miss Chak, I never listen to gossip. Vicky: So someone has been saying bad things! Please cast aside anything you have heard about me. Mr Law: Miss Chak, I can assure you that nobody has cast any aspersions on your character in my hearing. Vicky: Has anyone cast doubts in your mind about my ability to do the job? I have a right to ask you. Mr Law: What are you talking about, Miss Chak? If I hear any office gossip, I always cast it aside before I make any promotions. No one in the office has cast any doubts on your ability to do anything. Vicky: The girls in the office do not like me and will do anything to stop me getting promoted. So, you are casting me aside as a candidate for Mrs Chong's job! Mr Law: Miss Chak! This discussion is at an end. Please leave my office. Answers Task 1 1. aspersions/2. aside/3. doubts/4. aspersions/5. aside/6. doubts/ 7. aside/8. doubts Task 2 1. B/2. F/3. C/4. D/5. E/6. A Mandie Ho, 17, TWGHs Mrs Wu York Yu Memorial College After reading the article and explanation, I learned that 'cast doubts on' is related to one's ability, while 'cast aspersions on' is about one's character. I came up with the answers for Task 1 easily. For Task 2, I did the 'why' questions first because the answers must have the word 'because'. Question 6 of Task 2 talked about promotion. The answer must be related to jobs. Thomas Li, 16, St Joseph's College After reading the explanation, I learned that 'cast aside' does not follow a preposition, which helped me do Task 1. Question 3 of Task 2 is easy. The subject of the question is 'one of you' which means a group of people. So I just had to look for an answer that had a plural pronoun. Question 5 of Task 2 is hard. I forgot the meaning of 'cast aside' and had to go back to the definition. NOW YOUR TURN If you don't fully understand the three phrasal verbs in the story, these definitions will help you. TO CAST ASIDE - means to reject or abandon someone or something You can't just cast your new boyfriend aside like that! TO CAST DOUBTS ON - means to make people feel unsure about or have less trust in something or someone He has cast doubts on my public-speaking skills. TO CAST ASPERSIONS ON (someone) - means to make critical or damaging remarks about someone My boss has been casting aspersions on both Cindy and Paul. TASK 1 Put ASIDE/DOUBTS/ASPERSIONS in the gaps in these sentences so that they make sense. 1. Why have you been casting ........ on my character behind my back? 2. He has cast his girlfriend ....... like a piece of old rubbish. 3. Why have you been casting ........ on my ability to do the job? 4. Stop casting ........ on her character. It's not a nice thing to do. 5. Don't cast my ideas ......... so quickly. They are good. 6. Don't cast ........ on what I am saying until you have heard everything. 7. You cast people ........ too quickly. Why can't you be more friendly? 8. That article in the newspaper cast ....... on her ability as an actress. TASK 2 Can you match up the questions and the answers? 1. Why did you cast aside Paul's suggestions for the party? 2. Why did you cast doubts on what I said? 3. Which one of you has been casting aspersions on my character? Someone has been saying bad things. 4. Why did you cast him aside so suddenly? 5. Have you cast aside all the suggestions I wrote down? 6. Why do you think my boss has been casting doubts on my chances of promotion? A. Because he has someone else in mind for the job. B. Because they were no good. C. It wasn't any of us. We all think you are marvellous. D. Because I'd grown tired of him. E. Yes. I've thrown them all in the rubbish bin. F. Because you were talking a load of rubbish.