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Except for a few special occasions, Americans are not big gift-givers. There's no exchange of presents among business people, and in fact, if one American were to give another a present, it could look like an attempt at bribery. Americans have learned something of the role that gift-giving plays in certain other cultures, but among ourselves we don't see the need for presents. Even friends may never exchange presents. When I go abroad, I try to bring back little souvenirs for close friends, but nobody would feel upset if I didn't. I rarely remember a friend's birthday, and few people outside of my family remember mine. If someone gave me presents too often, I'd get annoyed. However, a gift from a foreignertypical of his or her homelandwon't go wrong, except to government employees who aren't allowed to accept gifts. You usually open a present immediately and in front of the person who gives it. The only exceptions to this are Christmas, birthday, and wedding presents. The best reaction is delight at receiving something so lovely/indispensable/thoughtful. You may want to bring a packet of chocolate or flowers to a dinner party, but you're never expected to. Nobody will mind if you bring chocolate, but your host may not serve it that evening. Christmas is the one occasion when we give gifts to our family and sometimes our friends. We also give gifts to people who have been helpful during the yeardoormen, babysitters, housecleaners, newspaper deliverers anyone who has served us regularly.

Comprehension:
A. Read the passage and decide what the main idea is.
a. Gift-giving in the United States. b. Social customs in the United States. c. Special occasions and gift-giving.

B. Read the passage and say whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. It is not acceptable to give presents to business people. It is usual to bring back small souvenirs for friends if you travel abroad. Most people give their friends presents on their birthday. If you gave a government employee a present, you could be accused of bribery. If you are invited to someone's home, it is customary to give your hostess a present Americans don't expect a guest to bring anything to a dinner party. It is generally only acceptable to give Americans gifts on social occasions. At Christmas, Americans only give gifts to members of their own family.

C. Answer these queastions


What nationality is the writer of the passage? Why is it not acceptable for business people to exchange gifts? What would make the writer annoyed? When is it acceptable not to open a present in front of the person who gives it? When is it usual to give people you don't know very well gifts? ...but nobody would feel upset if I didn't. If I didn't do what? ...but you're never expected to. You are never expected to do what? The only exceptions to this... What does this refer to? D. Read the passage and choose the best answer a, b, c, or d.

1. Its not acceptable to exchange presents with business people because ...
a. you could be suspected of dishonesty. b. they are already well-paid. c. it is not a business tradition in the U.S. d. it is against the law.

2. When you travel abroad, you ...


a. are expected to bring back souvenirs for close friends. b. you shouldn't bring back souvenirs. c. aren't expected to bring anything back. d. people would be annoyed if you gave them a souvenir.

3. A gift from a foreigner which is typical of his or her homeland, would ...
a. be unwelcome. b. annoy the receiver. c. cause embarassment. d. be received with pleasure.

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4. At Christmas, it is customary to give presents to...


a. business colleagues. b. members of the family only. c. people who have served you during the year. d. close friends and family only.

5. You can bring a bottle of wine to a dinner party, ...


a. but your host will feel obliged to serve it with the meal. b. but you may embarrass your host. c. and your host will be delighted. d. but it is not expected.

6. In the writer's opinion, gift-giving in the U.S. is ...


a. culturally unacceptable. b. not an important social custom. c. only traditional within the family. d. only acceptable at Christmas.

7. When I go abroad, ... The underlined word means ...


a. away b. on vacation c. to another country d. to a city

8. ...I try to bring back little souvenirs for close friends. Is a close friend someone ...
a. you know very well? b. you have only just met? c. you have known for a long time? d. of your own sex?

E. Find words in the passage which have similar meanings to the following words and phrases.
a. someone who comes from a different country b. not very pleased c. other countries d. pleasure

Study these sentences My parents are well. My parents were well. Im going to learn to drive. I was going to learn to drive. John has given up his job. John had given up his job. I cant come to the party on Friday I couldnt come to the party on Friday Am / is was Are were Do / does Did Have Had Can could Yesterday you met a friend of yours, Jane. Here are some of the thing she said to you: Im living in London. 8. Im not enjoying my job very much. My father isnt well. 9. You can come and stay at my flat. My car Sheila and Paul are getting married. is in the garage. Margaret has had a baby. 10. I want to go on holiday. I dont know what Fred is doing. 11. Ill tell Ann you are here. I saw Helen at a party in June . 12. I need you. I havent seen Diane recently. 13. This restaurant is expensive. Later that day you tell another friend what Charlie said. Use reported speech: 1. Jane said that she ... 2. Jane said that her ...
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

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