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A class and homework course


Rex Sadler Sandra Sadler

This edition published in 2021 by

Matilda Education Australia, an imprint

of Meanwhile Education Pty Ltd

Level 1/274 Brunswick St

Fitzroy, Victoria Australia 3065

T: 1300 277 235

E: customersupport@matildaed.com.au


First edition published in 2007 by

Macmillan Science and Education Australia Pty Ltd

Copyright © Rex Sadler and Sandra Sadler 2007, 2010, 2017

The moral rights of the author have been asserted.

All rights reserved.

Except under the conditions described in the

Copyright Act 1968 of Australia (the Act) and subsequent amendments,

no part of this publication may be reproduced,

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,

electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,

without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

Educational institutions copying any part of this book

for educational purposes under the Act must be covered by a

Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licence for educational institutions

and must have given a remuneration notice to CAL.

Licence restrictions must be adhered to. For details of the CAL licence contact:

Copyright Agency Limited, Level 11, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.

Telephone: (02) 9394 7600. Facsimile: (02) 9394 7601. Email: memberservices@copyright.com.au

Publication data

Authors: Rex Sadler and Sandra Sadler

Title: Complete English Basics 2: A Class and Homework Course

ISBN: 978 1 4202 3708 5

Publisher: Emma Cooper

Project editor: Barbara Delissen

Cover and text designer: Dim Frangoulis

Production control: Janine Biderman and Katherine Fullagar

Photo research and permissions clearance: Fiona Byrne and Vanessa Roberts

Typeset in Heuristica Regular 10.5/12pt by DiZign Pty Ltd

Cover image: Adobe Stock/Olga Khoroshunova

Printed in Malaysia by Vivar Printing Pdt Ltd

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Warning: It is recommended that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples exercise caution when

viewing this publication as it may contain images of deceased persons.




1 Images and words 1

Comprehension Film poster 1

Cartoon 3

Spelling and vocabulary Behaviour 4

Language What is a clause? 6

Main clauses 6

Dependent (subordinate) clauses 6

Punctuation How well do you punctuate? 8

The craft of writing The graphic novel 8

2 Factual texts 10

Comprehension Information report 10

Autobiography 12

Spelling and vocabulary Confusing pairs 14

Language Dependent (subordinate) clauses 15

Punctuation Reviewing punctuation 17

The craft of writing Autobiography 18

3 Planet Earth 19

Comprehension Global warming 19

Spelling and vocabulary The Earth 21

Language Nouns 22

Punctuation Starting and finishing sentences 23

The craft of writing Problems of planet Earth 25

4 This sporting life 26

Comprehension The race 26

Spelling and vocabulary Sport 28

Language Proper and common nouns 30

Punctuation Punctuating fables 31

The craft of writing Becoming a better writer 32

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iv Contents

978 1 4202 3708 5

5 Hard times 33

Comprehension Shoes 33

Spelling and vocabulary Money matters 35

Language Collective nouns 36

Abstract nouns 37

Punctuation The full stop, question mark and exclamation mark 38

The craft of writing Poverty 39

6 Inventions40

Comprehension Credit cards 40

Shopping trolleys 41

Spelling and vocabulary Inventions and discoveries 42

Language Singular and plural nouns 43

Forming plural nouns 44

Punctuation Commas 45

The craft of writing Describing objects 46

7 War and peace 47

Comprehension The hiding place 47

Spelling and vocabulary In the line of fire 49

Language More plural nouns 50

Punctuation Statements and questions 52

The craft of writing War and peace 53

8 All about people 54

Comprehension Robyn 54

Spit Nolan 55

Spelling and vocabulary Up-front and personal 56

Language Using adjectives 58

Punctuation Apostrophes 59

The craft of writing Using details to describe people 60

9 In the wild 61

Comprehension Stingrays 61

Spelling and vocabulary Creatures in the wild 63

Language Adjectives of comparison 64

Punctuation Capital letters 66

The craft of writing The world of animals 67

10 Music, music, music 68

Comprehension ‘The nocturne in the corner phonebox’ 68

Spelling and vocabulary The sound of music 70

Language Onomatopoeia 72

Punctuation Punctuating dialogue 73

The craft of writing Using sound words 74

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11 The world of books 75

Comprehension The emu 75

Banana fact file 76

Spelling and vocabulary All about books 77

Language Synonyms 78

Antonyms 79

Homonyms 79

Punctuation Using the apostrophe to abbreviate words 80

The craft of writing What’s that you’re reading? 81

12 Places82

Comprehension Beneath the sea 82

Spelling and vocabulary Describing places 84

Language Personal pronouns 85

Punctuation Direct and indirect speech 87

The craft of writing Describing a place 88

13 School days 89

Comprehension Conflict in the classroom 89

Spelling and vocabulary Education 91

Language Verbs 92

Punctuation Using the apostrophe to show ownership 94

The craft of writing School days 95

14 Disaster96

Comprehension Plane crash in the Andes 96

Spelling and vocabulary Emergency 98

Language Verbs tell time 99

Punctuation Apostrophes—avoiding confusion 101

The craft of writing Narratives 102

15 On the farm 103

Comprehension A plague of locusts 103

Spelling and vocabulary On the land 105

Language Present participles 106

Forming present participles 107

Punctuation Using commas 107

The craft of writing Plagues and epidemics 109

16 Health 110

Comprehension What it feels like to be stuck in a tornado 110

Spelling and vocabulary The human body 112

Language Past participles 113

Punctuation Abbreviations 115

The craft of writing Describing feelings 116

vi Contents

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17 Abandon ship! 117

Comprehension Torpedoed 117

Spelling and vocabulary On the move 119

Language Adverbs 120

Forming adverbs 121

Punctuation Colons 122

The craft of writing The force of nature 123

18 Let’s go to the movies 124

Comprehension ‘A bundle of twists in a dragon’s tale: Eragon’ 124

Spelling and vocabulary At the movies 126

Language Idioms 127

Punctuation Paragraphs 129

The craft of writing Writing a film review 130

19 Read all about it! 131

Comprehension ‘Paraglider pilot survives horror storm ascent’ 131

Spelling and vocabulary The newspaper 133

Language Prefixes 134

Punctuation Quotation marks for speech 135

The craft of writing A news report 137

20 The great outdoors 138

Comprehension Rapids ahead! 138

Spelling and vocabulary In the wilderness 140

Language Conjunctions 141

Punctuation Question marks and exclamation marks in speech 143

The craft of writing Untamed lands 144

21 Careers145

Comprehension A day in the life of a naturalist 145

Spelling and vocabulary People at work 147

Language Suffixes 148

Punctuation Revision—punctuating sentences 149

The craft of writing What I would like to be 150

22 Numbers, shapes and sizes 151

Comprehension The great pyramids of Egypt 151

Spelling and vocabulary Counting and measuring 153

Language Numbers as adjectives 154

Numbers and prefixes 155

Punctuation Revision—punctuating sentences 156

The craft of writing How/why did it happen? 157

Back-of-the-book dictionary 158


Complete English Basics 2 sets out to present essential English skills in an interesting and

meaningful way for junior secondary students.

This third edition covers essential language and literacy skills underpinning the Australian

curriculum. It incorporates a wide range of comprehension texts, spelling and vocabulary

development, as well as language work on sentences, phrases, parts of speech, word families and

paragraphing. It is important to note that eleven creative writing and punctuation units have been

added to this new edition.

The workbook can be used as a class or homework text. One approach would be to have

students complete each unit over a two-week period.

The stimulus materials and exercises are designed to improve comprehension and vocabulary

skills, as well as language usage and spelling. A special feature is the back-of-the-book dictionary, which

encourages students to expand their vocabulary by looking up the meanings of unfamiliar words.

Correct spelling is essential for good communication. Research has shown that in those

classrooms where teachers are concerned about correct spelling and vocabulary enrichment, the

students’ spelling level improves significantly. It is a good idea, if time allows, to have a brief spelling

test at the end of each unit using the words from the spelling and vocabulary list.

The extracts are engaging and cover a diverse range of topics—from tornadoes to Egyptian

pyramids. A range of genres is represented including biography, crime, fiction and adventure.

Above all, we hope that students will enjoy their studies as they gain basic English skills.

Rex and Sandra Sadler

978 1 4202 3708 5



The author and publisher are grateful to the following for permission to reproduce copyright material:


ALAMY/A.F. ARCHIVE, 81, 124, /Archive Images, 144, /

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The Kobal Collection/20th Century Fox, 1.

Other material

‘Treasure Island’ image panel adapted by Seymour Reit,

art by Ernie Colón, lettering by George Roberts and

colours by Luisa Colón from Treasure Island by Robert

Louis Stevenson. Copyright © 1995 by Bank Street College

of Education. Reproduced by permission of Bank Street

College of Education, 9; Extract from Whitaker’s World of

Facts by Russell Ash, Bloomsbury, 2005, 76; Extract from

True Spirit by Jessica Watson, Hachette, 2010, 123; Cover

and extract from Twopence to Cross the Mersey, reprinted

by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, © 1981

Helen Forrester, 12–13; Extract ‘Attacked by a swarm of

African killer bees’ from What It Feels Like, reprinted by

permission of Harper Collins Publishers Ltd © 2003 Edited

by AJ Jacobs, 109; Extract ‘What it feels like to be stuck in a

tornado’ by John Neidigh from What It Feels Like, reprinted

by permission of Harper Collins Publishers Ltd © 2003

Edited by AJ Jacobs, 110; Extract from Angela’s Ashes,

reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd,

© 1996 Frank McCourt, 33–4; Extract from The Overloaded

Ark by Gerald Durrell, Faber and Faber, 1953, 145–6;

Extract from Blueback by Tim Winton, Jenny Darling and

Associates, 82–3, 85; Extract from Lockie Leonard, Human

Torpedo by Tim Winton, Jenny Darling and Associates,

89–90; Extract from The Habit of Loving, Copyright ©

1978 by Doris Lessing, Featured by kind permission of

Jonathan Clowes Ltd., London, on behalf of The Estate of

Doris Lessing, 103–4; Extract from Macquarie Compact

Dictionary, 2014, 75; Extract from The Book Thief by

Markus Zusak reprinted by permission of Pan Macmillan

Australia Pty Ltd. Copyright © Markus Zusak 2005, 81;

Extract from Tomorrow, When the War Began by John

Marsden reprinted by permission of Pan Macmillan

Australia Pty Ltd. Copyright © JLM Pty Ltd 1993, 54;

Extract from Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin, Penguin

Books Australia, 2003, 39; Cover of Little Brother by Alan

Baillie, Puffin, 2004, Penguin Australia Pty Ltd, 53; Cover

and extract from The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier,

copyright © 1974 by Robert Cormier. Used by permission

of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin

Random House LLC. All rights reserved, 95; Extract from

Cold River by William Judson, copyright © 1974 by Cork

Tree, Inc. Used by permission of New American Library,

an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of

Penguin Random House LLC, 138; ‘Chapter three’ from

The Cay by Theodore Taylor, copyright © 1969 by Theodore

Taylor. Used by permission of Delacorte Press, an imprint

of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin

Random House LLC. All rights reserved, 117–18; Extract

from Spit Nolan by Bill Naughton reprinted by permission

of Peters Fraser & Dunlop (www.petersfraserdunlop.

com) on behalf of the Estate of Bill Naughton, 55; Extract

from Alive by Piers Paul Read, Random House, 1974,

96–7; Extract from The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier,

Random House, 1956, 47; Extract from Frozen Fire: A Tale

of Courage by James Houston, Simon Schuster, 1992, 67;

‘A bundle of twists in a dragon’s tale’ by Paul LePetit, in

The Sunday Telegraph, 17 Dec 2006, 124; E.T. film review

by Paul LePetit, in The Sunday Telegraph TV Guide, 24 Dec

2006, 130; ‘The nocturne in the corner phonebox’, by

Andrew Taylor, 68; Extract from Dougy by James Maloney,

University of Queensland Press, 1993, 26; ‘Paraglider

pilot survives horror storm ascent’ by DD McNicoll, The

Weekend Australian, 17 Feb 2007, 131–2.

The author and publisher would like to acknowledge the


Extract from Little Brother by Alan Baillie, Puffin, 2004,

53; Extract from Frozen Fire: A Tale of Courage by James

Houston, Estate of James Houston, 1992, 67.

While every care has been taken to trace and acknowledge

copyright, the publisher tenders their apologies for any

accidental infringement where copyright has proved

untraceable. They would be pleased to come to a suitable

arrangement with the rightful owner in each case.

viii 978 1 4202 3708 5


and words



Film poster

Look at the film poster and answer the questions that follow.

978 1 4202 3708 5


2 Complete English Basics 2

978 1 4202 3708 5

Reading for understanding

1 What is the advertiser’s purpose in creating this poster?

2 In this poster, what immediately draws the audience’s attention? Why?

3 How are the scissor hands positioned in relation to the two characters?

4 How does the poster’s image show that the film is a love story?

5 Which words in the poster indicate that the young woman is attracted to Edward?

6 Which words tell the audience about the character of Edward?

7 ‘… an uncommonly gentle man.’ Why do we wonder whether Edward can be gentle?

8 How does the film image suggest that Edward is the main character?

9 Why do you think the advertiser mentions two of the director’s previous films, Batman

and Beetlejuice ?

10 Why do you think the title has ‘edward’ in lower case and ‘SCISSORHANDS’ in capital


11 What emotions are presented in the image?

12 What else in the image, other than his hands, suggests that Edward is an unusual


12 marks

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1 Images and words 3


Reading for understanding

1 What is the cartoonist’s purpose?

2 How do the survivors know that they have reached civilisation?

3 How does the cartoonist show that the survivors have endured much hardship?

4 What emotions do the survivors experience when they see the garbage floating on the


5 What has the cartoonist identified about our society’s values?

5 marks

4 Complete English Basics 2

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Spelling and vocabulary


guess defiance gratitude similarity truly

perfection juvenile confiscate observant anonymous

praise resistance impostor prohibit amiable

stupidity minority completely prevention degradation

unanimous rejection noisily patriotism compulsory

respectable impulsive permit difficulties hurriedly

Finding list words

Use list words to complete these sentences.

1 is the opposite of majority.

2 is the adverb formed from hurry.

3 is the plural of difficulty.

4 is the opposite of quietly.

5 is the adjective formed from impulse.

6 means having no name or authorship.

7 is the adverb formed from true.

8 means of, or for, young people.

9 means love of one’s country.

10 is the noun formed from defy.

11 is the adjective formed from observe.

12 means everyone is in complete agreement.

13 is the adverb formed from complete.

14 means to seize or take away.

15 is the state of being similar.

16 means to express approval or admiration of.

17 is the adjective formed from compel.

18 means friendly and good-natured.

19 is a verb meaning to forbid or prevent.

20 means good, or worthy of respect.

20 marks

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1 Images and words 5

Word skills

1 Form nouns ending in ‘-ion’ for each of the following list words.

a permit d confiscate

b prohibit e compulsory

c observant f completely

2 Write a list word similar in meaning to each of the following words.

a allow c totally

b sincerely d foolishness

3 Write a list word opposite in meaning to each of the following words.

a voluntary c slowly

b quietly d ingratitude

14 marks

Adding list words

Complete the following by using appropriate words from your list. The first letter of each word

is given to help you. Use each list word once only.

The quest for freedom

The r group had made a u decision to depose

the i who was trying to p them from gaining a democracy.

An a letter had been h circulated and the people

showed their d by an i attack on the parliament building.

A r

recognise the d

should have the power to c

member of the community pleaded that the dictator should

faced by the people and demanded that he no longer

their properties.

Back-of-the-book dictionary

The list word ‘permit’ is made up of two Latin words: per meaning

‘through’ and mitto, meaning ‘I send’. ‘To permit’ is ‘to send somebody

through’ or ‘to let someone pass through’. There are many words in

English that begin with the Latin prefix per-. Here are a few of them.

Using the back-of-the-book dictionary, write their meanings.






11 marks

5 marks

6 Complete English Basics 2

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What is a clause?

A clause is a group of words expressing a complete thought. A clause contains a subject and a verb.

Clauses are often joined together to form sentences. The following sentence is made up of a

main clause and two dependent clauses.

Owls are able to catch small animals because they have strong night vision,

which enables them to see in the dark.

Dependent clause

(The first dependent clause begins with the conjunction ‘because’ and the second with the relative

pronoun ‘which’.)

Main clauses

Main clause

Dependent clause

A main clause (also called a principal clause or independent clause) contains a verb and a subject.

It usually makes sense on its own and may also form a complete sentence in itself.

A burst of lightning lit up the sea.

It very often combines with other main and dependent clauses to form sentences.

Main clause


Falcons are not huge birds, but they can fly very fast.

Please note: in the above sentence the two main clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunction


Dependent (subordinate) clauses

Main clause

A dependent clause (also known as a subordinate clause) is a group of words that has both a

subject and a verb, but it cannot stand alone as a sentence.

It is not able to function by itself. It usually begins with a conjunction or a relative pronoun,

as seen in the dependent clauses in bold below.

Dark clouds scudded across the horizon as the storm approached.

The old man, who was smiling happily, hugged his grandchild.

Identifying clauses

Identify the clauses as set out in each example.

1 When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.

from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Dependent clause:

Main clause:

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1 Images and words 7

2 Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.

Main clause:

Dependent clause:

from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

3 He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone

eighty-four days now without taking a fish.

from The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Main clause 1:

Dependent clause:

Main clause 2:

4 Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy,

Cotton-tail and Peter.

from The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Main clause 1:

Main clause 2:

5 When Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his

eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and

excitement in Hobbiton.

from The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Dependent clause 1:

Dependent clause 2:

Main clause:

6 All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

from Animal Farm by George Orwell

Main clause 1:

Main clause 2:

7 The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had

long since ended.

from 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke

Main clause 1:

Main clause 2:

8 A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

Main clause:

Dependent clause:

from A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

18 marks

8 Complete English Basics 2

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How well do you punctuate?

Imagine where we’d be without punctuation. We’d have no sentences or paragraphs. There would

be no capital letters to tell us where to begin a sentence, no full stops to tell us where to end one,

and no commas to tell us where to pause. There would just be a never-ending block of print or

writing. Reading a book, newspaper or magazine would be intolerable.

To give you an idea of what it would be like, here is a dramatic paragraph taken from the

classic novel Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Rudolf Wyss. Your task is to rewrite the paragraph

adding capital letters, full stops and commas. The number of sentences that you need to use is

indicated in the brackets at the end.

Encounter with a boa constrictor

after the donkey ran from the beach it arrived at the lair of the snake and stopped

although the donkey realised its danger it could not move the poor animal should have

fled but it stood fascinated and uttered a low groan the boa its hungry jaws wide open

approached steadily until it was within striking distance the donkey could not move

because it was paralysed with fear it gazed at the monster that quickly wound its long

scaly body around him and then suffocated him in the horrible embrace we shuddered as

we looked at the fearful sight

(seven sentences)

from Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Rudolf Wyss

The craft of writing

The graphic novel

A graphic novel is a novel in a comic-strip format. It is a long story told in pictures and words. It


• panels comprising words and pictures that show action and movement to develop the


• gutters, which are the spaces between the panels

• speech balloons that enclose the dialogue

• caption boxes containing information about a scene or character

• visual sound effects using special lettering and onomatopoeia (e.g. ‘kapow!’).

7 marks

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1 Images and words 9

Creating graphic novel panels

Many famous novels have been changed into graphic novels. Here are two panels from a graphic

novel derived from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Notice how the combination of

words and images brings the story to life. Now try your hand at converting an incident or scene

from a novel, poem or story you have been reading. Four panels are provided for you to use.


Factual texts


Read the following two texts and answer the questions.

Information report

Polar bears

POLAR bears live in five countries— United

States (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Greenland and

Norway. Some have been seen near the North

Pole but this is unusual as there is not much food

there for them.

They are the largest land carnivore. The males

grow two to three times larger than the females.

Their skin is black and their fur completely

covers their body except for their nose and the

soles of their feet. They shed their fur completely

once a year and then re-grow their coat. Although

the fur looks white or creamy yellow, each hair is

transparent and hollow. This special type of hair

transmits the sun’s heat directly to the base of

the hair where it is absorbed by the black skin.

Amazingly, polar bears are so well insulated they

tend to overheat, so they move slowly and take

regular rests. The excess heat is released through

blood vessels close to the skin.

Polar bears are strong swimmers and can

swim up to 95 kilometres without resting. They

can also swim underwater for up to two minutes

by flattening their ears against their head and

closing their nostrils.

They mainly eat seals but will also eat carcasses

of beluga whales, walruses, etc. Occasionally

they themselves will kill young walruses and

beluga whales. When food is scarce they will eat

small rodents, seabirds, eggs, berries, kelp and

even human garbage. They do not drink water

because they get all the fluid they need from

their food. Hungry polar bears that come into

towns and camping sites looking for food are very

dangerous and, if they attack, a human has little

chance of surviving. Bears that attack humans are

most often young adults and mothers with cubs.

Most females give birth to two cubs once

every three years. They enter a den where they

sleep deeply. Their heart rate slows and their

temperature drops slightly. This sleep is different

to hibernation and the bears can be roused

quickly if necessary. They give birth while in this

deep sleep and remain in the den with the cubs

until the outside temperature rises and the young

cubs are able to travel.

In 1968 the polar bear population was reported

to be 10 000 but because government regulations

now limit hunting, the population is now

estimated to be between 21 000 and 28 000. Even

so, polar bears are classified as ‘threatened’.

Polar bears hunt from large platforms of ice

called pack ice. Global warming is causing the

ice to melt and the bears are forced to hunt

from these platforms for shorter periods of

time. This means that many are starving or

are undernourished. Older, weaker bears in

particular are prone to starvation.

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2 Factual texts 11

Reading for understanding

Choose the correct answer for each of the following.

1 Polar bears live mainly

a at the North Pole.

b in five different countries.

c in dens.

2 The bears’ diet

a can be quite varied.

b never includes plant matter.

c would never include human’s food.

3 The male bears

a are a similar size to the females.

b are the largest land carnivores.

c cannot swim underwater.

4 Polar bears

a have pure white fur.

b are poorly insulated.

c have black skin.

5 Female bears usually

a give birth to a single cub.

b take the cubs out of the den soon after their birth.

c give birth to cubs once every three years.

6 Since 1968 the polar bear population

a has increased.

b has decreased.

c has remained stable.

7 Polar bears

a are likely to increase in numbers.

b are completely protected from hunters.

c are a threatened species.

12 Complete English Basics 2

978 1 4202 3708 5

8 Global warming

a has had little effect on polar bears.

b shortens the length of time bears can hunt.

c has meant that fewer cubs survive.

9 A female polar bear

a gives birth to cubs while in a deep sleep.

b hunts for food during the winter months.

c hibernates during the coldest months.

10 Polar bears

a react well to humans.

b prefer human’s food to seals.

c are willing to kill humans if disturbed.

10 marks


A young teacher asked me, as I stood uncertainly

in the hall, what courses I wanted to take.

I was aghast. I had no idea what courses to

take. All I wanted was to continue my education

from where I had left off nearly three years


‘I’m not sure,’ I managed to mutter. ‘I know I

need to learn arithmetic.’

She pointed to an open doorway farther down

the hall.

‘Try bookkeeping,’ she said kindly, as she

turned to attend to another lost youngster.

I did not know what bookkeeping was, but

I was so scared of the shifting, staring young

people crowding round me, some of whom

sniggered when they looked at me, that I bolted

down the corridor and turned thankfully into a

classroom holding about a dozen boys and girls

and a young lady teacher.

The classroom, with its walls of frosted glass

and varnished wood, had enough desks, made

to accommodate two pupils each, to swallow

about fifty children; four electric lights hanging

from the ceiling failed to illuminate it adequately;

the bare wooden floor was grey from years of

tramping boots. Facing the pupils’ desks was

a high, single desk for the teacher and near it

stood a blackboard

on an easel. The air

smelled of chalk

dust and damp

woollens. A dingy,

uninspiring room it

was, but it was made

more lively by the

buzz of conversation

among the pupils.

As I came through

the door, the teacher

looked up, and a pall

of silence fell upon

the gathering. The

mouths of the neatly

clad, well-scrubbed

young people fell

open. Then a well-curled blonde began to giggle.

She hastily stuffed her handkerchief into her

mouth, while a derisive grin spread through the


The dim electric lights became blurred, as

tears of realization welled up. I must have been

a horrible sight, with hair draggling round my

shoulders, its greasiness combed through with

my fingers; septic acne sores all over my face;

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hands with dirty, broken nails, sticking out

from an ancient cardigan with huge holes in its

elbows, no blouse, and a gym slip shiny with

accumulated grime. Red blotches of bug bites

were clearly visible on my naked legs and thighs,

our new house being equally as verminous as our

old one, and my toes stuck out of the holes in the

laceless gym shoes on my feet.

I fought back my tears. I was made of better

stuff than the children before me.

from Twopence to Cross the Mersey by Helen Forrester

Reading for understanding

1 Why was the narrator attending night school?

2 Why did the young teacher tell the narrator to try bookkeeping?

3 ‘I bolted down the corridor …’ What caused the narrator to do this?

4 What are the smells in the classroom the narrator is conscious of?

5 How did the class initially react as the narrator came through the door?

6 What comments does the narrator make about the appearance of the other young

people in the room?

7 ‘I must have been a horrible sight …’ What was ‘horrible’ about her face?

8 What was wrong with the narrator’s gym shoes?

9 What does the final short paragraph reveal about the narrator’s character?

10 Using the back-of-the-book dictionary, write the meanings to the following words.

a aghast:

b dingy:

c pall:

d derisive:

13 marks

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Spelling and vocabulary

Confusing pairs

soar counsellor principal pause lessen

sore councillor principle paws lesson

faint barren role colonel deceased

feint baron roll kernel diseased

medal profit loan mail current

meddle prophet lone male currant

Who am I?

Write a list word for each of the following clues.

1 I can prophesy the future.

2 I am in charge of a school.

3 I am the opposite to female.

4 I am a senior officer in the army.

5 I am a nobleman.

6 I am a member of a council.

7 I am an adviser; in particular, a psychologist.

7 marks

What am I?

Write a list word for each of the following clues.

1 I am the feet of an animal with nails or claws.

2 I am given as an award for bravery or as a prize.

3 I am sent by post.

4 I am a small, dried, seedless grape.

5 I am the part or character an actor plays.

6 I am money given, usually to be repaid with interest.

7 I am the edible inner part of a nut.

8 I am a short rest or stop when speaking, etc.

9 I am an injured, inflamed or infected part of the skin.

10 I am the time when students are taught a subject.

10 marks

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Back-of-the-book dictionary

The word ‘current’ is a flow of air, water or electricity. It is derived from

the Latin word curro, which means ‘I run’. Here are some of the words

derived from curro. Use the back-of-the-book dictionary to write their

meanings in the spaces below.








7 marks


Dependent (subordinate) clauses

There are three kinds of dependent (subordinate) clauses—adjectival, adverbial and noun.

Dependent clauses cannot stand alone. They are used with a main clause.

Adjectival clauses do the work of adjectives. They describe nouns. They begin with the

relative pronouns who, whose, whom, which or that.

Adjectival clause

Polar bears, which are strong swimmers, can swim 95 kilometres without resting.

The students laughed at the newcomer whose clothes were in tatters.

Adverbial clauses tell how, where, when and why. They begin with conjunctions such as when,

while, since, after, until, before, although, though, unless, because, then, as, whether, if, than.

Polar bears do not drink water, because they get all the fluid they need from their food.

Adverbial clause of time

When the new student came through the door, the teacher looked up.

Noun clauses do the work of nouns. They often begin with a word such as that.

Noun clause

Adjectival clause

It is a scientific fact that polar bears are the largest land carnivore.

Noun clause

The new student realised that she was a horrible sight.

Adverbial clause giving the reason

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Identifying clauses

Identify the clauses in each sentence, as indicated.

1 If a hungry polar bear attacks, a human has little chance of surviving.

Adverbial clause:

Main clause:

2 The Ancient Egyptians and Greeks thought that giraffes were a mixture of camel and leopard.

Main clause:

Noun clause:

3 Female polar bears give birth while they are in a deep sleep.

Main clause:

Adverbial clause:

4 There are not many bears that inhabit the North Pole, because food is in short supply there.

Principal clause:

Adjectival clause:

Adverbial clause:

5 When they are kept in captivity, African elephants prefer to eat hay, grain and vegetables.

Adverbial clause:

Main clause:

6 Although seals are mammals that live mostly underwater, they need to come up to the

surface to breathe air.

Adverbial clause:

Adjectival clause:

Main clause:

7 It is hard to believe that the first email was sent in 1972.

Main clause:

Noun clause:

8 The Sumerians were the people who invented the wheel in about 3500 BC.

Main clause:

Adjectival clause:

9 Although jaguars spend most of their time on the ground, they are able to climb trees

because their sharp claws allow them to grab hold of trunks.

Adverbial clause:

Main clause:

Adverbial clause:

10 Research has shown that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

Main clause:

Noun clause:

23 marks

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Reviewing punctuation

Punctuation marks work together to make the meaning of a sentence clearer for the reader. In

its simplest form, a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, question mark

or exclamation mark. After you have read through the review of the major punctuation marks,

complete the exercise that follows.

• A capital letter begins sentences and names.

Albert Einstein was a famous mathematician.

• A full stop (.) is used at the end of a sentence or abbreviation.

School will finish at 2 p.m. today.

• A comma (,) is used to indicate a pause or to separate items in a list.

When the bell rang, the students put their books away.

Emus, kookaburras, platypuses and kangaroos are Australian native animals.

• A question mark (?) is used after a direct question has been asked.

Are you going to the movies on Saturday?

When is she leaving?

• An exclamation mark (!) is used to end a sentence that expresses a strong feeling.

Oh! What a beautiful morning! Fire! Look out!

• An apostrophe (’) shows ownership or indicates the omission of a letter or letters from a


The emperor’s palace was destroyed by the barbarians’ battering ram.

He can’t pay his fine.

Punctuating sentences

She isn’t at school today.

Rewrite each of the following sentences, inserting all the necessary punctuation.

1 the polar bear is the biggest land hunter in the arctic

2 polar bears eat ringed seals walruses reindeer and musk oxen

3 the fire in the department store destroyed childrens toys mens shirts and womens fashion

4 pres obama was the first african american to lead the united states.

5 its important to know whos coming to the party and when theyre arriving

6 leonardo da vincis famous painting of mona lisa hangs in the louvre in paris

6 marks

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The craft of writing

Point of view is the perspective from which a writer tells a story. A writer can choose to use either

first, second or third person. Different points of view are as follows:

First person – I, me, my, we, our

Second person – you, your

Third person – he, his, him, she, her, it, its, they, them, their


In an autobiography, the writer tells the story from a personal point of view and uses the pronouns

I, me, my, we, our. Look closely at the use of first person in the introduction to this famous


At the hospital

THE hospital again, and the echo of my reluctant

feet through the long empty corridors. I hated

hospitals and hospital smells. I hated the bare

boards that gleamed with newly applied polish,

the dust-free window-sills, and the flashes of

shiny chrome that snatched my distorted shape

as we hurried past. I was the grubby five-year-old

in an alien environment.

from My Place by Sally Morgan

Using the first person point of view, write about one of

the following.

• My biggest achievement

• There are some things I can’t stand

• The worst day of the week

• A very enjoyable party

Planet Earth



Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow.

Global warming

The atmosphere that surrounds the Earth

is a thin layer of gases, which protects us by

blocking out much of the sun’s harmful rays

but allowing enough warmth to be trapped so

that we do not freeze to death. This is called the

greenhouse effect. Without it, the Earth would

be too cold to sustain life. When this delicate

layer is upset or destroyed, we are bombarded

with too many rays and the Earth’s temperature

rises. This is known as global warming.

The world’s ecosystems are finely balanced,

and even a small change in temperature can

cause the extinction of a species. Baby birds often

rely on one type of caterpillar for food. If the

caterpillars are abundant when the chicks hatch,

there will be sufficient food; if the caterpillars’

life cycle has changed because of a variation in

temperature, the chicks will die and the species

could face extinction. Natural climate changes

have occurred over many hundreds of years and

most animals and plants have been able to adapt


Humans began altering the environment and

climate after the invention of machinery to make

their lives easier. Machines need fossil fuels and

the gases emitted from burning these fuels affect

the Earth’s atmosphere. Industrialisation also

meant the removal of millions of trees when land

was cleared for farming or mining. Trees and other

plants absorb carbon dioxide, one of the natural

gases that trap the sun’s heat and prevent it from

escaping into space. Fewer trees means that more

carbon dioxide builds up and causes greater

heating of the Earth. Deforestation is still occurring

at frightening rates.

As the temperature rises, ice caps and glaciers

begin to melt and the sea level rises. This will

mean that many animal and plant habitats will

be affected, coastlines will be altered and rainfall

patterns will change. The natural habitat of many

creatures, among them the polar bear, will no

longer exist.

Some of the ways we can improve the health of

our planet are:

• developing and using energy-efficient means

of transport to reduce the amount of oil

we use

• saving electricity and using energy-efficient

appliances so that less fossil fuel is needed

• planting trees so that they absorb carbon


• recycling so that less rubbish is sent to landfill.

Decomposing rubbish produces methane,

another greenhouse gas.

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Reading for understanding

1 What is the atmosphere surrounding the Earth made of?

2 How are we protected from the sun’s harmful rays?

3 How does the atmosphere prevent us from being frozen to death?

4 What would happen if there was no greenhouse effect?

5 What can be the result of a small change in temperature?

6 What initially caused environmental and climate change?

7 What happens when millions of trees are removed?

8 What causes the sea level to rise?

9 What changes will a rising sea level bring about?

10 How can the world’s use of oil be reduced?

11 How can we reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?

12 What is one way of reducing the amount of methane in the atmosphere?

12 marks

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Spelling and vocabulary

The Earth

regions climate prairie equator plateau

glacier valley vegetation desert endangered

forest moisture continent world survival

terrain recycled pollution forecast oasis

weather environment global creatures species

geography resources responsible extinct horizon

Missing words

Insert words from the spelling list to complete the sentences below. The first letters are given to

help you. Each word should be used once only.

1 Hundreds of endangered animal s could become e .

2 G warming will threaten the survival of many c .

3 The v in the f was luxuriant.

4 An o in a d provides water and food for animals.

5 The world’s w f predicts rising temperatures.

6 G is the study of the Earth’s r .

7 A p is an ecosystem with a grassy t .

8 The e is an imaginary line through the centre of the w .

9 The c of Australia is rich in natural r .

10 Humans are r for p .

20 marks

A word for a phrase

Find a word in the spelling list that has the same meaning as each of the following phrases.

1 a large, flat stretch of high ground p

2 a large mass of slow-moving ice g

3 the line where the earth appears to meet the sky h

4 placed in danger e

5 dampness or humidity m

6 an area of low land between hills or mountains v

7 the continuation of life s

8 the usual weather of a particular place c

9 converted to be used again r

10 land thickly covered with trees f

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11 one of the great land masses of the world c

12 a sandy or stony, dry area d

13 the surrounding conditions of a place e

14 no longer existing e

15 living things c

15 marks

Back-of-the-book dictionary

Many words begin with the prefix re-, which means ‘again’ or ‘back’.

To recycle means to ‘use again’. Use the back-of-the-book dictionary

to write down the meanings of these words beginning with re-.






4 marks


Nouns are naming words. They are used to name people, places, things and qualities. Here are

some examples:

people: woman, father, cricketer, pupil, Hugh, Jessica

places: Paris, India, factory, gymnasium, garage, kiosk

things: piano, chocolate, orange, window, bus, shirt

qualities: anger, fright, generosity, duty, sadness, joy

Identifying nouns

Sort the nouns from the list into the categories ‘People’, ‘Places’, ‘Things’ and ‘Qualities’.

pencil journalist supermarket Germany

bravery book Cinderella curiosity

sailor school London yacht

microscope Rebecca sorrow happiness

People: Places: Things: Qualities:

16 marks

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Grouping nouns

Choose pairs of nouns from the box to complete the groups below. The first one has been done

for you.

cricket tennis goose chicken pork lamb

orange banana painter courier Athens Baghdad

copper zinc autumn spring Honda Mazda

guitar violin tuna flounder mosquito ant

Uranus Neptune panther cougar South Africa Australia

Thames Murray violet daisy spaniel terrier

1 Toyota Volvo Honda Mazda

2 trumpet piano

3 Dalmatian labrador

4 Amazon Nile

5 turkey duck

6 lion tiger

7 wasp bee

8 India Slovenia

9 gold silver

10 winter summer

11 rose poppy

12 dentist architect

13 beef mutton

14 Cairo Rome

15 hockey volleyball

16 salmon trout

17 apple blackberry

18 Saturn Mars


Starting and finishing sentences

17 marks

Can you imagine how confusing it would be to read and write without punctuation? Punctuation

marks were invented to clarify written language. We need to have capital letters and full stops so we

know where a sentence begins or ends.

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Punctuating pairs of sentences

The capital letters and full stops have been left out of the following pairs of sentences. Rewrite

each pair of sentences by inserting the missing punctuation.

1 melting glaciers are an important water source in many dry countries if glaciers

disappear, this water will no longer be available

2 world fisheries have declined drastically as a result of over-fishing there has been no real

attempt to conserve stocks and species

3 wildlife conservation can help prevent extinction of animals and plants hunting needs to

be limited and endangered species need to be studied and bred

4 many animals migrate to Antarctica for the summer the Arctic tern flies 9000 kilometres

from the Arctic every year

5 few animals can survive in a very cold climate ways of coping can be by hibernating,

migrating or insulating their bodies with fur, feathers or fat

6 many species of frogs could face extinction this is due to climate change, pollution,

pesticides and loss of habitat

7 human activity can cause extinction of animal species altered or destroyed habitats,

pollution or the introduction of new species are examples

8 a household contributes an annual average of 8 tonnes of carbon dioxide this is

increasing because of the many electrical appliances we have in our homes

8 marks

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The craft of writing

Problems of planet Earth

Planet Earth has many serious environmental problems. Chief Dan George (1899–1981), a famous

member of the Canadian Tsleil-Waututh Nation, was appalled by the way white people abused

the land. In the following passage, he describes some of their destructive practices and the

consequences for the natural world.

My heart soars

I see my white brothers

going about blotting out nature from his cities.

I see him strip the hills bare, leaving ugly wounds

on the face of mountains. I see him tearing things

from the bosom of mother earth as though she

were a monster, who refused to share her treasures

with him. I see him throw poison in the waters,

indifferent to the life he kills there;

and he chokes the air with deadly fumes.

from My Heart Soars by Chief Dan George

Select one or two of the environmental topics listed below and write down your feelings, ideas

and concerns.

• Endangered species

• Urban sprawl

• Climate change

• Air pollution

• Deforestation

• Ozone layer depletion

• Waste disposal

• Over-population

• Acid rain

• Water pollution

• Habitat destruction

• Mining

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