新概念英语

Lesson 1 A private conversation

Last week I went to the theatre. I had a very good seat. The play was very interesting. I did not enjoy it. A young man and a young woman were sitting behind me. They were talking loudly. I got very angry. I could not hear the actors. I turned round. I looked at the man and the woman angrily. They did not pay any attention. In the end, I could not bear it. I turned round again. 'I can't hear a word!' I said angrily.
'It's none of your business,' the young man said rudely. 'This is a private conversation!'

 

Lesson 2 Breakfast or lunch?

It was Sunday. I never get up early on Sundays. I sometimes stay in bed until lunchtime. Last Sunday I got up very late. I looked out of the window. It was dark outside. 'What a day!' I thought. 'It's raining again.' Just then, the telephone rang. It was my aunt Lucy. 'I've just arrived by train,' she said. 'I'm coming to see you.'
'But I'm still having breakfast,' I said.
'What are you doing?' she asked.
'I'm having breakfast,' I repeated.
'Dear me,' she said. 'Do you always get up so late? It's one o'clock!'

 

Lesson 3 Please send me a card

Postcards always spoil my holidays. Last summer, I went to Italy. I visited museums and sat in public gardens. A friendly waiter taught me a few words of Italian. Then he lent me a book. I read a few lines, but I did not understand a word. Everyday I thought about postcards. My holidays passed quickly, but I did not send cards to my friends. On the last day I made a big decision. I got up early and bought thirty-seven cards. I spent the whole day in my room, but I did not write a single card!

 

Lesson 4 An exciting trip

I have just received a letter from my brother, Tim. He is in Australia. He has been there for six months. Tim is an engineer. He is working for a big firm and he has already visited a great number of different places in Australia. He has just bought an Australian car and has gone to Alice Springs, a small town in the centre of Australia. He will soon visit Darwin. From there, he will fly to Perth. My brother has never been abroad before, so he is finding this trip very exciting.

 

Lesson 5 No wrong numbers

Mr. James Scott has a garage in Silbury and now he has just bought another garage in Pinhurst. Pinhurst is only five miles from Silbury, but Mr. Scott cannot get a telephone for his new garage, so he has just bought twelve pigeons. Yesterday, a pigeon carried the first message from Pinhurst to Silbury. The bird covered the distance in three minutes. Up to now, Mr. Scott has sent a great many requests for spare parts and other urgent messages from one garage to the other. In this way, he has begun his own private 'telephone' service.

 

Lesson 6 Percy Buttons

I have just moved to a house in Bridge Street. Yesterday a beggar knocked at my door. He asked me for a meal and a glass of beer. In return for this, the beggar stood on his head and sang songs. I gave him a meal. He ate the food and drank the beer. Then he put a piece of cheese in his pocket and went away. Later a neighbor told me about him. Everybody knows him. His name is Percy Buttons. He calls at every house in the street once a month and always asks for a meal and a glass of beer.

 

Lesson 7 Too late

The plane was late and detectives were waiting at the airport all morning. They were expecting a valuable parcel of diamonds from South Africa. A few hours earlier, someone had told the police that thieves would try to steal the diamonds. When the plane arrived, some of the detectives were waiting inside the main building while others were waiting on the airfield. Two men took the parcel off the plane and carried it into the Customs House. While two detectives were keeping guard at the door, two others opened the parcel. To their surprise, the precious parcel was full of stones and sand!

 

Lesson 8 The best and the worst

Joe Sanders has the most beautiful garden in our town. Nearly everybody enters for 'The Nicest Garden Competition' each year, but Joe wins every time. Bill Frith's garden is larger than Joe's. Bill works harder than Joe and grows more flowers and vegetables, but Joe's garden is more interesting. He has made neat paths and has built a wooden bridge over a pool. I like gardens too, but I do not like hard work. Every year I enter for the garden competition too, and I always win a little prize for the worst garden in the town!

 

Lesson 9 A cold welcome

On Wednesday evening, we went to the Town Hall. It was the last day of the year and a large crowd of people had gathered under the Town Hall clock. It would strike twelve in twenty minutes' time. Fifteen minutes passed and then, at five to twelve, the clock stopped. The big minute hand did not move. We waited and waited, but nothing happened. Suddenly someone shouted. 'It's two minutes past twelve! The clock has stopped!' I looked at my watch. It was true. The big clock refused to welcome the New Year. At that moment, everybody began to laugh and sing.

 

Lesson 10 Not for jazz

We have an old musical instrument. It is called a clavichord. It was made in Germany in 1681. Our clavichord is kept in the living room. It has belonged to our family for a long time. The instrument was bought by my grandfather many years ago. Recently it was damaged by a visitor. She tried to play jazz on it! She struck the keys too hard and two of the strings were broken. My father was shocked. Now we are not allowed to touch it. It is being repaired by a friend of my father's.

 

Lesson 11 One good turn deserves another

I was having dinner at a restaurant when Tony Steele came in. Tony worked in a lawyer's office years ago, but he is now working at a bank. He gets a good salary, but he always borrows money from his friends and never pays it back. Tony saw me and came and sat at the same table. He has never borrowed money from me. While he was eating, I asked him to lend me twenty pounds. To my surprise, he gave me the money immediately. 'I have never borrowed any money from you,' Tony said, 'so now you can pay for my dinner!'

 

Lesson 12 Goodbye and good luck

Our neighbor, Captain Charles Alison, will sail from Portsmouth tomorrow. We'll meet him at the harbor early in the morning. He will be in his small boat, Topsail. Topsail is a famous little boat. It has sailed across the Atlantic many times. Captain Alison will set out at eight o'clock, so we'll have plenty of time. We'll see his boat and then we'll say goodbye to him. He will be away for two months. We are very proud of him. He will take part in an important race across the Atlantic.

 

Lesson 13 The Greenwood Boys

The Greenwood Boys are a group of pop singers. At present, they are visiting all parts of the country. They will be arriving here tomorrow. They will be coming by train and most of the young people in the town will be meeting them at the station. Tomorrow evening they will be singing at the Workers' Club. The Greenwood Boys will be staying for five days. During this time, they will give five performances. As usual, the police will have a difficult time. They will be trying to keep order. It is always the same on these occasions.

 

Lesson 14 Do you speak English?

I had an amusing experience last year. After I had left a small village in the south of France, I drove on to the next town. On the way, a young man waved to me. I stopped and he asked me for a lift. As soon as he had got into the car, I said good morning to him in French and he replied in the same language. Apart from a few words, I do not know any French at all. Neither of us spoke during the journey. I had nearly reached the town, when the young man suddenly said, very slowly, "Do you speak English?' As I soon learnt, he was English himself!'

 

Lesson 15 Good news

The secretary told me that Mr. Harmsworth would see me. I felt very nervous when I went into his office. He did not look up from his desk when I entered. After I had sat down, he said that business was very bad. He told me that the firm could not afford to pay such large salaries. Twenty people had already left. I knew that my turn had come.
'Mr. Harmsworth,' I said in a weak voice.
'Don't interrupt,' he said.
Then he smiled and told me I would receive an extra thousand pounds a year!

 

Lesson 16 A polite request

If you park your car in the wrong place, a traffic policeman will soon find it. You will be very lucky if he lets you go without a ticket. However, this does not always happen. Traffic police are sometimes very polite. During a holiday in Sweden, I found this note on my car: 'sir, we welcome you to our city. This is a "No Parking" area. You will enjoy your stay here if you pay attention to our street signs. This note is only a reminder.' If you receive a request like this, you cannot fail to obey it!

 

Lesson 17 Always young

My aunt Jennifer is an actress. She must be at least thirty-five years old. In spite of this, she often appears on the stage as a young girl. Jennifer will have to take part in a new play soon. This time, she will be a girl of seventeen. In the play, she must appear in a bright red dress and long black stockings. Last year in another play, she had to wear short socks and a bright, orange-colored dress. If anyone ever asks her how old she is, she always answers, 'Darling, it must be terrible to be grown up!'

 

Lesson 18 He often does this!

After I had had lunch at a village pub, I looked for my bag. I had left it on a chair beside the door and now it wasn't there! As I was looking for it, the landlord came in.
'Did you have a good meal?" he asked.
'Yes, thank you,' I answered, 'but I can't pay the bill. I haven't got my bag.'
The landlord smiled and immediately went out. In a few minutes he returned with my bag and gave it back to me.
'I'm very sorry,' he said. 'My dog had taken it into the garden. He often does this!'

 

Lesson 19 Sold out

'The play may begin at any moment,' I said.
'It may have begun already,' Susan answered.
I hurried to the ticket office. 'May I have two tickets please?' I asked.
'I'm sorry, we've sold out,' the girl said.
'What a pity!' Susan exclaimed.
Just then, a man hurried to the ticket office.
'Can I return these two tickets?' he asked.
'Certainly,' the girl said.
I went back to the ticket office at once.
'Could I have those two tickets please?' I asked.
'Certainly,' the girl said, 'but they're for next Wednesday's performance. Do you still want them?'
'I might as well have them,' I said sadly.

 

Lesson 20 One man in a boat

Fishing is my favorite sport. I often fish for hours without catching anything. But this does not worry me. Some fishermen are unlucky. Instead of catching fish, they catch old boots and rubbish. I am even less lucky. I never catch anything -- not even old boots. After having spent whole mornings on the river, I always go home with an empty bag. 'You must give up fishing!' my friends say. 'It's a waste of time.' But they don't realize one important thing. I'm not really interested in fishing. I am only interested in sitting in a boat and doing nothing at all!