GE|Adults|Advanced|6. Breaking up

Read the quote

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«When a woman says nothing’s wrong, that means everything’s wrong. And when a woman says everything’s wrong, that means everything’s wrong.»

— Homer Simpson



Useful language

Stating an opinion

  • As far as I’m concerned…
  • If you ask me…

Expressing agreement

  • I agree with you 100 percent.
  • That’s for sure.
  • Absolutely.

Expressing disagreement

  • Not necessarily.
  • That’s not always the case.
  • I can’t accept it

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Read the ten top break-up lines from a website

Read the text about how a French artist replied to the break-up email from her former partner. What do you think her motivation was?

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Getting your own back

The exhibition Prenez soin de vous («Take care of yourself») was first a huge success at the Venice Biennale and then at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. It has since toured in Europe and the Americas, and has been published as a book with the same title.

One day, Sophie Calle’s mobile beeped. It was an email from her boyfriend. He was dumping her electronically, adding that it hurt him more than it hurt her. Here is a short extract:

Whatever happens, you must know that I will never stop loving you in my own way — the way I’ve loved you ever since I’ve known you, which will stay part of me, and never die… I wish things had ________ differently. Take care of yourself…

Sophie was heartbroken. But she is one of France’s best-known avant-garde artists, specializing in turning private ________ into public art, and two days after ________ the email she started a new project:

I received an email telling me it was over. I didn’t know how to respond. It was almost as if it hadn’t been meant for me. It ended with the words, «Take care of yourself». And so I did. I asked 107 women, chosen for their profession or skills, to interpret this letter. To analyse it, comment on it, dance it, sing it. Dissect it. Exhaust it. Understand it for me. Answer for me. It was a way of taking the time to break up. A way of taking care of myself.

Sophie sent the email to 107 women ________ an actress, an editor, an opera singer, a criminologist, a linguist, a lyricist, and her mother. She asked them to read the email and to analyse it or interpret it ________ their job, while she filmed or photographed the result. Sophie’s mother, who clearly knows her well, wrote:

You leave, you get left, that’s the name of the game, and for you this break-up could be the wellspring of a new piece of art — am I wrong?

The editor ________ the boyfriend’s grammar, the lyricist wrote a song, and the criminologist had this to say about the email writer:

He is proud, narcissistic, and egotistical (he says ‘I’ more than 30 times in a letter with 23 sentences). It is possible that he studied literature. He probably prefers jazz to rock. I can imagine him wearing polo-neck sweaters rather than a suit and tie. He must have a small kitchen and cook up tasty little meals. He must have charm, but not be classically handsome. He is an authentic manipulator, perverse, psychologically dangerous, and / or a great writer. To be ________ at all costs.

It was therapy for Sophie, and she quickly began to ________ the end of her relationship. «After a month I felt better. There was no suffering. It worked. The project had ________ the man.»

With hindsight , Sophie’s ex almost certainly wishes that he had followed his first instinct (It seems to me it would be better to say what I have to say to you face-to-face). ________ he isn’t named in the exhibition, it’s a sure bet that when he dumps his partners in the future, he’ll never again say, «Take care of yourself.»


Choose the right words for gaps 1-10 in the article

Getting your own back

The exhibition Prenez soin de vous ("Take care of yourself") was first a huge success at the Venice Biennale and then at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. It has since toured in Europe and the Americas, and has been published as a book with the same title.

One day, Sophie Calle's mobile beeped. It was an email from her boyfriend. He was dumping her electronically, adding that it hurt him more than it hurt her. Here is a short extract:

Whatever happens, you must know that I will never stop loving you in my own way — the way I've loved you ever since I've known you, which will stay part of me, and never die… I wish things had differently. Take care of yourself…

Sophie was heartbroken. But she is one of France's best-known avant-garde artists, specializing in turning private into public art, and two days after the email she started a new project:

I received an email telling me it was over. I didn't know how to respond. It was almost as if it hadn't been meant for me. It ended with the words, "Take care of yourself". And so I did. I asked 107 women, chosen for their profession or skills, to interpret this letter. To analyse it, comment on it, dance it, sing it. Dissect it. Exhaust it. Understand it for me. Answer for me. It was a way of taking the time to break up. A way of taking care of myself.

Sophie sent the email to 107 women an actress, an editor, an opera singer, a criminologist, a linguist, a lyricist, and her mother. She asked them to read the email and to analyse it or interpret it their job, while she filmed or photographed the result. Sophie's mother, who clearly knows her well, wrote:

You leave, you get left, that's the name of the game, and for you this break-up could be the wellspring of a new piece of art — am I wrong?

The editor the boyfriend's grammar, the lyricist wrote a song, and the criminologist had this to say about the email writer:

He is proud, narcissistic, and egotistical (he says 'I' more than 30 times in a letter with 23 sentences). It is possible that he studied literature. He probably prefers jazz to rock. I can imagine him wearing polo-neck sweaters rather than a suit and tie. He must have a small kitchen and cook up tasty little meals. He must have charm, but not be classically handsome. He is an authentic manipulator, perverse, psychologically dangerous, and / or a great writer. To be at all costs.

It was therapy for Sophie, and she quickly began to the end of her relationship. "After a month I felt better. There was no suffering. It worked. The project had the man."

With hindsight , Sophie's ex almost certainly wishes that he had followed his first instinct (It seems to me it would be better to say what I have to say to you face-to-face). he isn't named in the exhibition, it's a sure bet that when he dumps his partners in the future, he'll never again say, "Take care of yourself."


 

Read the extract from the text. Then listen and check

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French words used in English

A number of French words and phrases are commonly used in English, e.g. cafe [ˈkæfeɪ], ballet [ˈbæleɪ], coup [kuː].

They are usually said in a way that is close to their French pronunciation, so they do not necessarily follow normal English pronunciation patterns.


Sophie was heartbroken. But she is one of France’s best-known avant-garde artists…

Sophie was heartbroken. But she is one of France’s best-known avant-garde artists…

Write out a French word or expression from each sentence below and say them aloud. Then listen and check. Explain what they mean

  • faux pas [,fəʋ ‘pɑ:] — an action or remark that causes embarrassment because it is not socially correct.
  • déja vu [,deiʒa: ‘vu:] — the feeling that you have previously experienced sth that is happening to you now.
  • a rendezvous [‘rɒndivu:] — an arrangement to meet sb at a particular time and place.
  • an entrepreneur [,ɒntrəprə’nɜ:] — a person who makes money by starting and running businesses, especially if this involves taking financial risks.
  • a cliché [‘kli:ʃei] — a phrase which has been used so often it loses its meaning and interest.
  • a bouquet [bu’kei] — a bunch of flowers arranged in an attractive way.
  • a fiance [fi’ɒnsei] — the man that a woman is engaged to (fiancee for a woman).
  • fait accompli [,feit ə’kɒmpli:] — sth that has already happened or been done and that you cannot change.


Throughout the centuries a feature of English has been that it has always borrowed words from other languages (called «loan words»), typically where there is not an English word available to describe, e.g. a custom, type of food, a technology, which has been imported from another country. Common examples of loan words are sauna (from Finnish), pasta (from Italian), and robot (from Czech). The pronunciation of these words is usually anglicized.

However, there is quite a large group of French loan words and phrases most of which are pronounced in a similar way to the way a French person would say them, e.g. nouveau riche [ˈnuːvəʊ ‘riː∫] (an expression to describe a person who has recently become rich and likes to show it off in a very obvious way). An advanced dictionary will give these words and phrases and their pronunciation.



1. I made a real faux pas when I mentioned his ex-wife.

2. When we were introduced I had a sense of deja vu, though I knew we’d never met before.

3. We used to have a secret rendezvous every Thursday in the National Gallery.

4. She’s engaged to a well-known local entrepreneur.

5. I know it’s a cliche, but it really was love at first sight.

6. On our anniversary, he always buys me a huge bouquet of flowers!

7. I met Jane’s fiance last night. They’re getting married next year.

8. They knew their parents wouldn’t want them to get married, so they did it anyway and presented them with a fait accompli.

Look at the expressions from the text and match them with their definitions

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Complete the sentences with the words from the box. Then match them with their meaning


Complete the ideas matching two sentences



  • get real — see things as they really are, don’t act in a stupid/unreasonable way.
  • get a life — used to tell somebody to do something more exciting with their life.
  • get nowhere (not get anywhere) — to make no progress or have no success.
  • get on somebody’s nerves — to annoy somebody.
  • get your act together — to organize yourself more effectively in order to be able to achieve something.
  • get on like a house on fire — to get on very well with somebody.
  • get a move on — you tell somebody to get a move on when you want them to hurry.
  • to be getting on (always in continuous form) — to be getting old.
  • get the message — understand what somebody is trying to tell you.
  • get your own way — get or do what you want, especially when somebody has tried to stop you.


Complete the sentences. Use the meanings in italics to help. Answer the questions

  • get together — meet socially.
  • get over — recover from.
  • get on with — continue doing.
  • get through to — make somebody understand.
  • get into — start a career or profession.
  • get around — move from place to place.
  • get away with — do something wrong without getting caught.
  • get by — manage with what you have.
  • get behind — fail to make enough progress.
  • get down — depress you.
  • get out of — avoid a responsibility or obligation.
  • get back — respond to somebody by speaking or writing.


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Choose 2 issues you would like to discuss

1. Think of some advice how to get over him/her.

2. What can you do?

3. Who should you talk to?

1. Do you use Instagram? Why?

2. Do you follow any celebrities there?

3. Do you believe the photos?

1. Think how you met.

2. What did you talk about?

3. What are your relationships now?

1. Why do you feel like that?

2. What exactly do they do?

3. Have you tried to change the situation?

1. What modern comedy shows do you watch? Why?

2. Do you like any of them?

3. Do you have a good sense of humor?

Listen to the song and answer the questions

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«50 Ways To Say Goodbye»

My heart is paralyzed

My head was oversized

I’ll take the high road like I should

You said it’s meant to be

That it’s not you, it’s me

You’re leaving now for my own good

That’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say

She went down in an airplane

Fried getting suntanned

Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand

Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes!

She met a shark under water

Fell and no one caught her

I returned everything I ever bought her

Help me, help me, I’m all out of lies

And ways to say you died

My pride still feels the sting

You were my everything

Some day I’ll find a love like yours (a love like yours)

She’ll think I’m Superman

Not super minivan

How could you leave on Yom Kippur?

That’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say

She was caught in a mudslide

Eaten by a lion

Got run over by a crappy purple Scion

Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes!

She dried up in the desert

Drowned in a hot tub

Danced to death at an east side night club

Help me, help me, I’m all out of lies

And ways to say you died

I wanna live a thousand lives with you

I wanna be the one you’re dying to love…

But you don’t want to

That’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say That’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say

She went down in an airplane

Fried getting suntanned

Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand

Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes!

She met a shark under water

Fell and no one caught her

I returned everything I ever bought her

Help me, help me, I’m all out of lies

She was caught in a mudslide

Eaten by a lion

Got run over by a crappy purple Scion

Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes!

She dried up in the desert

Drowned in a hot tub

Danced to death at an east side night club

Help me, help me, I’m all out of lies

And ways to say you died



Listen again and correct mistakes

My heart is paralyzed

My head was oversized

I’ll take the high road like I should

You said it’s meant to be

That it’s not you, it’s me

You’re leaving now for my own good

That’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say

She went down in an airplane

Fried getting suntanned

Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand

Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes!

She met a shark under water

Fell and no one caught her

I returned everything I ever bought her

Help me, help me, I’m all out of lies

And ways to say you died

My pride still feels the sting

You were my everything

Some day I’ll find a love like yours (a love like yours)

She’ll think I’m Superman

Not super minivan

How could you leave on Yom Kippur?

That’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say

She was caught in a mudslide

Eaten by a lion

Got run over by a crappy purple Scion

Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes!

She dried up in the desert

Drowned in a hot tub

Danced to death at an east side night club

Help me, help me, I’m all out of lies

And ways to say you died

I wanna live a thousand lives with you

I wanna be the one you’re dying to love…

But you don’t want to

That’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say That’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say

She went down in an airplane

Fried getting suntanned

Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand

Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes!

She met a shark under water

Fell and no one caught her

I returned everything I ever bought her

Help me, help me, I’m all out of lies

She was caught in a mudslide

Eaten by a lion

Got run over by a crappy purple Scion

Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes!

She dried up in the desert

Drowned in a hot tub

Danced to death at an east side night club

Help me, help me, I’m all out of lies

And ways to say you died


 

 

Complete the idioms

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Complete the sentences with the missing particles

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You are going to write a romantic poem of 16 lines. Use the list of rhymes to help you:

«We are all poets at heart, the heart being the emotional body or the soul connection.»

be, free, key, tea, tree, sea, see

Love, above, dove, enough, half, laugh, tough

You, blue, few, knew, threw, two, true

Time, climb, crime, fine, lime, mine

Life, alive, five, knife, wife

Heart, apart, art, part, smart, start.

bit, fit, grit, hit, knit, meet, shit, sit, split.

Out, around, cloud, doubt, ground, shout, sound, without


Instructions

1. Read the topic and the questions carefully.

2. Plan what you are going to write about.

3. Write the text according to your plan.

4. Check your writing before sending it for evaluation.

5. Learn the rules and see the sample here.

6. Please use Grammarly to avoid spelling and some grammar mistakes.


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