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    #1

    comprehension questions 2

    Dear teachers, here are my questions & answers. Is there anything wrong with them? How can I improve my work, please?

    Comprehension Questions:

    1. What kind of crisis is the government facing / What is the latest crisis to hit the government?
    A criticism about the governmentís decision to increase MPs' salaries by 40%.

    2. What is shoking about the situtation?
    The fact that MPs are taking advantage of their position to vote a law that concerns them directly:

    a) They have increased their salaries tremendously compared to other civil servants', such as that of nurses, firefighters and teachers who get a maximum of 2.5% payrise.

    b) In addition, this increase is higher than the inflation rate while the increase of the other workers' salaries only matches the inflation rate.

    3. What is the journalist implying by his questions?
    That this measure is unfair and almost fraudulent (?).

    4. How is the Prime Minister counteracting the accusations?
    a) MPs deserve this increase because they work very hard.
    b) MPs need this increase to cover up their duty / professional (?) expenses.
    c) Their income is much lower than that of those who work in the private sector.
    d) Lack of money hinders their effectiveness / efficiency. (how is that?)
    e) the creation of a "controlling body used as a watchdog" (correct English?)

    5. Why do MPs need to get allowances on top of their salaries to be efficient in their work?
    (I donít really know how to answer...)

    6. Why doesnít the argument about the watchdog committee (?) stand the criticism?
    Because this body is not independent at all since it is formed by MPs themselves.

    7. What is the last point the journalist raised to the Prime Minister?
    Itís about the Prime Ministerís own 50% payrise.

    8. How does the Prime Minister react to it?
    Actually, he eludes the question. He says that his own salary, just as that of other citizens, is fairly assessed / decided (?) by a "controlling body". But as we have seen this committee (?) is formed by the very MPs he has intended to spoil / favour.

    9. Comment on the tone (of speech) of the journalist and the Prime Minister.
    The journalistís tone = provocative, insisting, sarcastic (?)
    The Prime Ministerís = defensive, irritated, underplaying it (?)

    Can we add something else?
    Many thanks,
    Hela
    Last edited by hela; 12-Mar-2007 at 19:12.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: comprehension questions 2

    Re 8: not 'eludes'; 'evades', or 'avoids; or even, possibly, 'ignores'.

    Is there a link to go with these questions?

    b

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    #3

    Re: comprehension questions 2

    Dear Bob, the text that matches my questions is in post https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...tions-1-a.html

    See you later, I hope.
    Last edited by BobK; 12-Mar-2007 at 15:56. Reason: Add link

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    #4

    Re: comprehension questions 2

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Dear teachers, here are my questions & answers. Is there anything wrong with them? How can I improve my work, please?

    Comprehension Questions:

    1. What kind of crisis is the government facing / What is the latest crisis to hit the government?
    A criticism about the government’s decision to increase MPs' salaries by 40%.
    'Criticism [no article] of'. If you want underline the crisis (a moment when something critical happens) you could say 'a spate/torrent/deluge of criticism'.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    2. What is shoking about the situtation?
    The fact that MPs are taking advantage of their position to vote a law that concerns them directly:
    You can say 'vote a law', but it'd probably be better here to say 'vote for something that...'.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post

    a) They have increased their salaries tremendously compared to other civil servants', such as that of nurses, firefighters and teachers who get a maximum of 2.5% payrise.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post

    b) In addition, this increase is higher than the inflation rate while the increase of the other workers' salaries only matches the inflation rate.
    Does it even do that? Jeremy says that 40% (or maybe 20%) is 5 times inflation.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post

    3. What is the journalist implying by his questions?
    That this measure is unfair and almost fraudulent (?).


    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post

    4. How is the Prime Minister counteracting the accusations?
    a) MPs deserve this increase because they work very hard.
    b) MPs need this increase to cover up their duty / professional (?) expenses. 'cover' or 're-coup'
    c) Their income is much lower than that of those who work in the private sector.
    d) Lack of money hinders their effectiveness / efficiency. (how is that?)
    e) the creation of a "controlling body used as a watchdog" (correct English?)
    The 'effectiveness' point is that in order to represent people, MPs have to maintain contact with them - and that costs money.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post

    5. Why do MPs need to get allowances on top of their salaries to be efficient in their work?
    (I don’t really know how to answer...)
    Answered already. If an MP provides a 'surgery' [face-to-face opportunity to deal with particular problems] for his constituents 100s of miles from Westminster (where Parliament sits), travelling costs money. If he has to send thousands of letters a week, that costs money.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post

    6. Why doesn’t the argument about the watchdog committee (?) stand the criticism?
    Because this body is not independent at all since it is formed by MPs themselves.
    What you say is true, but I don't understand the question; I don't know what 'stand the criticism' is supposed to mean. The phrase 'watchdog committee' is fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post

    7. What is the last point the journalist raised to the Prime Minister?
    It’s about the Prime Minister’s own 50% payrise.


    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post

    8. How does the Prime Minister react to it?
    Actually, he eludes the question. He says that his own salary, just as that of other citizens, is fairly assessed / decided on(?) by a "controlling body". But as we have seen this committee (?) is formed by the very MPs he has intended to spoil / favour.
    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post

    9. Comment on the tone (of speech) of the journalist and the Prime Minister.
    The journalist’s tone = provocative, insistent, sarcastic (?)
    The Prime Minister’s = defensive, irritated, underplaying it (?)
    FYI, the interviewer is modelled on Jeremy Paxman. The PM also 'ducks the issue' when Jeremy tries to ask about his own rise (as you have said in another answer).

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Can we add something else?
    Many thanks,
    Hela
    I think that covers everything.

    b

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    #5

    Re: comprehension questions 2

    Thank you very much, Bob, for your help.

    In question 6 may be I should say "Why doesn't the argument... committee stand?"

    Who is Jeremy Paxman?

    All the best

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    #6

    Re: comprehension questions 2

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Thank you very much, Bob, for your help.

    In question 6 may be I should say "Why doesn't the argument... committee stand?"

    Who is Jeremy Paxman?

    All the best
    I think you need to be more specific about the invalidity of the argument: 'Why is it invalid/Why does it not bear scrutiny' - 'bear scrutiny' is a common collocation. Or perhaps 'Why does it not stand up'. 'Stand' on its own, as you have used it, is used differently: 'You have answered part of my question, but the main point still stands.'

    Jeremy Paxman is a political interviewer famous for his abrasive style. Several poiliticians have stormed out of TV interviews with him. Here's a pointer to the sort of role he has in British media life: BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | Newsnight Election 2005 | Newsnight's election coverage

    b

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    #7

    Re: comprehension questions 2

    Thank you Bob.

    If I say that the PM is "underplaying it" what do you understand form it ?

    An MP lives in his own constituency, does he? Does he come to Westminster once a week to vote and discuss bills? Does he usually have a job while being an MP? They are not civil servants, are they? Same questions for the members of the House of Lords.

    What about ministers? Can they be considered civil servants even if they may not come from (and go back to) governmental administrations?

    Are magistrates civil servants? Do they work in the public sector?

    Have a nice day

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