Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №11/1999

Howard Allen and David Foster have an insurance company, and they employ 2000 people. Their company is growing fast, so they need a new office building. Mr. Allen wants to build in the city, but Mr. Foster likes the suburbs.

Allen: Well, Dave. Good news. I have an offer from the old Northeastern Bank Company. They want to sell us their old building for $50 million. You know their location: it is in the center of the city!

Foster: Wait a minute, Howard. Land is really expensive in the city. There is not enough room for us in that building, and there is no room for growth. Isn’t there any other location we can use?

Allen: What do you have in mind?

Foster: You know, there is a lot of room outside the city. Land is cheaper there. In the suburbs there is no pollution, there is little traffic, and there is no noise. There is a lot of room for parking cars. Our workers don’t like to drive into the city every day.

Allen: That’s true. In the city there are a lot of problems. But what about the advantages? There are parks, museums, restaurants, theaters, stores . . .

Foster: Our workers have no time to use those things during the week. And by the weekend, they are sick of driving. I have an offer here for office space in the new industrial park. Ten million dollars. There are lots of offices, so we can continue growing. Is there any reason to say no?

Allen: Great! I’m sick of the city myself. Now I can enjoy it on weekends.


A. Grammar

Count and noncount nouns with articles

Study the words in the list below. Then copy the paragraph. Write articles in the spaces where they are needed.

Singular count nouns: an insurance company, a building, an offer, a location, an office, a reason, a place.

Plural nouns: people, cars, workers, problems, parks, museums, restaurants, theaters, stores, weekends.

Noncount nouns: insurance, land, room, pollution, traffic, noise, office space, time.


Mr. Allen and Mr. Foster want ____ good location for – new office building. ____ location should be safe and quiet. They have ____ offer from Northeastern Bank Company, but ____ offer is very expensive. Mr. Allen likes ____ cities because there are ____ parks, ____ museums, ____ restaurants, ____ theaters, and ____ stores there. Mr. Foster says that in ____ cities there is ____ pollution, ____ traffic, and ____ noise. ____ theaters and ____ stores are no good if there isn’t ____ time to visit them. Finally they decide on ____ good place. ____ office building will be in ____ Suburban Industrial Park. ____ place is just right for ____ new office building.


B. Controlled Composition


Your teacher will read the paragraph above three times.

Listen carefully, but do not take notes. After the third reading, write the paragraph as well as you can from memory. Check your paper for articles and for subject-verb agreement.


C. Sentence Construction

Statements with There is and There are

In one sentence pattern in English, the real subject of the sentence does not hold the first position in the sentence; the word there acts as a substitute subject, and the real subject comes after the verb to be. Study the model sentences below. Notice the different patterns for singular count nouns, plural nouns, and noncount nouns.

There + Verb + Quantifier + Noun Phrase (Real subject) + Adverb Phrase

Singular Count: There is (an (a), no) office building on Grand Avenue.

Plural Count: There are (lots of, a lot of, many, some, few, no) office buildings in the city.

Noncountable: There is (lots of, a lot of, much, some, little, no) noise in the city.


Make a sentence with each group of words below. Use the correct verb and choose a quantifier for each sentence.

1. people/city
There are lots of people in the city.

2. people/country
There are few people in the country.

3. pollution/country
There is no pollution in the country.

4. pollution/city
There is a lot of pollution in the city.

5. room/city

6. room/country

7. good location/city

8. good location/country

9. cars/city

10. cars/country

11. good reason to build/city

12. good reasons to build/country

13. restaurants/city

14. restaurants/country

15. problems/city

16. problems/country


D. Sentence Construction

Questions with Is there and Are there

Notice that the patterns for questions are slightly different. The verb comes first, before there. Use the word any in a question if you have no idea what the answer will be. Use a more definite quantifier if you already have an idea about the answer.



office buildings/suburbs

Are there many office buildings in the suburbs? (I know there are some, but I don’t know how many there are.)


Are there any problems in the suburbs? (I don’t know if there are problems or not.)

Verb + There + Quantifier + Noun Phrase (Real subject) + Adverb Phrase

Singular Count: Is there an (a) office building on Grand Avenue?

Plural Count: Are there (lots of, a lot of, many, any) office buildings on Grand Avenue?

Noncount: Is there (lots of, a lot of, much, any) noise in the city?


Make questions with each group of words below. Use the correct verb and choose a quantifier for each sentence.

1. office space/city

2. office space/suburbs

3. pollution/city

4. pollution/suburbs

5. noise/city

6. noise/suburbs

7. insurance company/suburbs

8. office building/suburbs

9. cars/suburbs

10. cars/city

11. restaurants/city

12. restaurants/suburbs

13. stores/suburbs

14. good location/suburbs


E. Grammar

Word order with adverb phrases

Study the two sentences below, and notice the position of the adverb phrases. Rewrite each of the following sentences, putting the adverb phrase first.

There is a lot of rain near the ocean.

Near the ocean there is a lot of rain.

1. There is a lot of pollution in New York.

2. There is a lot of land in Alaska.

3. There is a lot of traffic in Tokyo.

4. There are many insurance companies in London.

5. There is no time for shopping on weekdays.

6. There is lots of time for museums on the weekends.

7. There’s no space for parking on the street.

8. There are a lot of beaches in Venezuela.

9. There are many Chinese restaurants in San Francisco.

10. There’s very little noise in the country.


F. Grammar

Sentence combining review

Combine each pair of sentences by using and . . . too, and . . . either, or but. Leave out the main verb and all the other information from the second sentence that is repetitious.

Mr. Allen wants to build in the city.

Mr. Foster doesn’t want to build in the city.

Mr. Allen wants to build in the city, but Mr. Foster doesn’t.

1. The Northeastern Bank Company is in the city. The industrial park isn’t in the city.

2. Our building doesn’t have enough office space. The Northeastern Bank office building doesn’t have enough office space.

3. Land is expensive in the city.

In the suburbs land isn’t expensive.

4. The city has a lot of pollution.

The suburbs doesn’t have a lot of pollution.

5. The city has some advantages.The suburbs have some advantages.

6. The city has many parks, museums, restaurants, theaters, and stores.The suburbs don’t have many parks, museums, restaurants, theaters, or stores.

7. The workers have no time for museums during the week.

On the weekend the workers have time for museums.

8. The workers are sick of driving. I am sick of driving.

9. The workers enjoy the weekends. The employers enjoy the weekends.


G. Controlled Composition


Incomplete letter

The word memo is short for memorandum. It is a short message or letter that people send to each other at work. The employers at the Allen-Foster Insurance Company want to know the workers’ opinions about the city and the suburbs. They are planning a new office building, and they want the workers to be happy. Pretend that you are a worker at the company and write a short composition about your opinions.


“Where your happiness
is our success”


To: Company Employees

From: Howard Allen
and David Foster

Re [on the subject of]:
New Office Building

Please write us a short note about your opinion: Which is better for our new office building, the city or the suburbs? We want you to be happy. Choose a location and give us all your reasons.

Thank you.

 March 18, 19___

Dear Mr. Allen and Mr. Foster,

You are very kind to ask our opinions about the new office building. I like to work in the ____, for there (is/are) ____ ____. Also, there (is/are) ____.

I don’t like to work in the ____, because there (is/are) ____ ____. Besides this, there (is/are) ________.

For these reasons, please build the new office building in the ________.

Thank you.




H. Vocabulary and Spelling

Compound nouns

Some two-word combinations in English are so common that they are almost like a single word, even though they are not written together. Read the definition of each two-word combination and write the words as they are used together. Each singular count noun needs an article.

Example: a dance that is done by eight people in a squarea square dance

1. a heater that burns oil

2. customs about food

3. the season when farmers can be growing food

4. winds that come off the ocean to the land

5. a station which broadcasts TV programs

6. a story that is written in the newspaper

7. a pal who writes letters to you with paper and pen

8. the pharmacist who works as the head of the department

9. a company that sells insurance

10. a building where many people have an office

11. a park that is used for industrial buildings

12. space for each person to work in an office


to be continued
compiled by Vladimir Pavlov