Topics Workbook TOEFL

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Unit 9 Travellers tales

  • Reading

  • Vocabulary

  • Grammar

  • Writing
  • Reading

    1 Choosing a title
    Read the article quickly and choose the best title.

    a A trip to America

    b An extraordinary adventure

    c At home on the ranch

    2 Understanding the text

    Now read the article carefully and answer these questions.

    1 Why did Emma choose to ride a horse across America?
      I had always dreamt about riding across America,' said Emma.
    2 Before she left for America, what type of things did Emma have to do?
      She saved £3,000. She taught herself first aid, went to self-defence classes and read about the type of horse she would need.
    3 How did Emma feel when she first saw Smokey?
      I can't say it was love at first sight, she said.
    4 What was the most difficult thing about the journey?
      Crossing the deserts was especially difficult.
    5 What did Emma hope to achieve by the journey?
      'The adventure would be an opportunity to get away and 'have a bit of space,' she said.
    6 What has Emma always wanted to have?
      For years she had dreamt of owning her own horse.
    Travelling 2,600 miles across America alone on a horse is adventurous by anybody's standards. But when you are a woman, with a budget of only $25 a week, many people would think it was madness. Emma Crosby's family and friends certainly did. Emma, on the other hand, thought it was a perfectly rational idea.
    I had always dreamt about riding across America,' said Emma. 'It made a lot of sense to me to do it on a horse: a horse is cheaper to run than a car and less likely to break down.

    It took Emma two-and-a-half years to save up the 3,000 she needed to pay for her air fare, a horse, equipment and spending money. In that time, she taught herself first aid, went to self-defence classes and read about the type of horse she would need. As soon as her plane landed in Houston, Texas, she went straight to a horse farm.

    The first meeting between woman and horse was not encouraging: Smoking Spear was not as wild as her name suggested. I had had this image of a wild white horse and there in front of me was this small grey pony,' says Emma. I can't say it was love at first sight. Nevertheless, Emma was persuaded that Smokey, as the horse became known, was perfect for the job, so the two headed east to Georgia to start their journey.

    In the weeks and months that followed, Emma and Smokey travelled through the southern states of America. They rode across hot deserts and freezing mountains and down lonely tracks that went on forever. It was a hard way of life, especially crossing the deserts. Emma and Smokey would set off at 5.30 a.m. and carry on until it became too hot. Another problem was her budget. By the end of the journey, she had almost run out of money.

    Before she arrived in America, Emma had hoped that the adventure would be an opportunity to get away and 'have a bit of space'. What she didn't realise was that her journey would change her life. After crossing nine states in 202 days, she reached a ranch in San Diego, California. Ranch owner, Mike Spurling opened the door.

    'He invited me out to a restaurant that night and it just went from there,' says Emma. 'I never left.' A year later they were married.

    Emma now lives in California, helping to run two ranches. For years she had dreamt of owning her own horse, now she has 80. So does she still have the desire to ride off into the sunset? 'I would never do it again,' says Emma. 'My last stop turned into a full-time husband. Now we're on an adventure all of our own - real life.'

    3 Meanings

    Match the phrases in 1-5 with their meanings in a-e.

    1 make sense (line 2) a be sensible or logical

    2 break down (line 4) b escape from somewhere

    3 run out of (line 26) c become

    4 get away (line 28) d stop working

    5 turn into (line 40) e finish your supply of something


    1 make sense - be sensible or logical

    2 break down - stop working

    3 run out of - finish your supply of something

    4 get away - escape from somewhere

    5 turn into - become

    Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Reading. In the mind's eye.
    Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with more than one meaning.
    Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Grammar. Modals. Remember + ing or to-inf.
    Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Writing descriptions. Travel and sightseeing.

    Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Reading. A sense of identity.
    Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Vocabulary. Crime. Match the people with the definitions.
    Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Grammar. Present simple, present continuous and present perfect.
    Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Writing a profile. Words describing appearance.

    Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Reading. BRINGING the past to life.

    Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Vocabulary. TV programmes.
    Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Grammar. Regular and Irregular Verbs.
    Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Writing a Talk. The Millenium Dome.

    Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Reading. The man who really founded New York.
    Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Vocabulary. Nouns, verbs, adjectives.
    Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Grammar. The Future. Will.
    Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Writing a letter of complaint.

    Unit 5. FAME AND FORTUNE. Reading. A dream come true? How winning a lottery can affect your life?
    Unit 5.  FAME AND FORTUNE. Vocabulary. Prepositions. Money.
    Unit 5.  FAME AND FORTUNE. Grammar. Modals. Language patterns: verb + noun/pronoun + infinitive with to.
    Unit 5.  FAME AND FORTUNE. Writing a composition. The Lottery.

    Unit 6. TAKING RISKS. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with take.
    Unit 6. TAKING RISKS. Grammar. Relative pronoun. Who, whom, which or that Quiz. Purpose and result. Language patterns: verb + direct object + (to) do.
    Unit 6. TAKING RISKS. Writing a biography.

    Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Reading. Getting your Message Across.
    Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Vocabulary. Adjectives ending in -ed an -ing. Feelings. Body language.
    Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Grammar. Present perfect and past simple; present perfect simple and continuous; the passive.

    Unit 8. WHAT IF ... ? Reading. Poets and pop stars.
    Unit 8.  WHAT IF ... ? Vocabulary. Words to do with poetry and music.
    Unit 8.  WHAT IF ... ? Grammar. Conditionals. The verbs tell, talk, say and speak.
    Unit 8.  WHAT IF ... ? Writing a discursive composition. An ideal job.

    Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Reading. A trip to America.
    Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Vocabulary. Describing a journey.
    Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Grammar. Past simple, past continuous or past perfect? Reflexive verbs.
    Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Writing a story. My holiday nightmare.

    Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Reading. DANGER: woman at work.
    Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Vocabulary. Negative prefixes. Phrasal verbs give up • get on • turn down • take on • fit in
    Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Grammar. Reported Speech. Direct and indirect objects.
    Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Writing a job application.