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Say what you mean!

Very often people pay us compliments which are not really compliments at all. They seem like compliments and in fact they are insults, for example:

- Your wife is so nice and sensible!

Meaning: Your wife is the most unexciting, unimaginative woman, I’ve ever met!

- You’re still a career girl then, aren’t you?

Meaning: So you still haven’t found anyone to marry you!


What are the swiftest means of communication?

- Telegraph, telephone and … tell a woman.

What is a secret?

- A woman’s idea of keeping a secret is refusing to say who told it.


House and flat

Active Vocabulary

house – to leave the house

to move to/into a new house

to keep house

residential area/street

detached house

semidetached house (duplex – AmE)

terraced house




high-rise building/a high-rise

- Syn. multi-storey building

multi-storey (multi-storey car park)

living room (a front room)

bedsitter (in ads)

- Syn. a bedsitting room

utility room


- Syn. spare room

recreation room (AmE)



the flat faces (fronts, gives upon, overlooks)

the flat has a south-facing aspect

within easy reach of shops / metro stations


to be spick-and-span

to be in a mess

conveniences (latest improvements)

rubbish chute (refuse chute)

air conditioning (AC)

to be fully air-conditioned

floor space (U)

to do/clean/tidy up the flat

to air (heat, furnish, paper) the flat

to air out (AmE)


  • Ant. poky/pokey

crammed with/crammed full of furniture

a cramped room


well (simply, badly) furnished

tidy (untidy)

to redecorate/to have your flat redecorated

to paint

to paper

to whitewash

to polish

to furnish sth with sth

furniture (U)

an article of furniture

a suite of furniture

to match

to fit in


patterned (a patterned carpet, wallpaper patterned with…)

Additional Vocabulary

panelled doors (f. ex. oak-panelled, to be panelled with oak)

a waste-bin/wheelie bin – контейнер на колесах на заднем дворе

to give a warm colour to the room


to decorate

an interior designer

wainscotted doors

mahogany furniture



standard lamp (BrE)

- Syn. floor lamp (AmE)

suspended ceiling


bar counter


CD player / hi fi / music system remote control

waste disposal (BrE)


dust pan





a trash can

- Syn. garbage can

a table mat

a coffee table

a food processor

a microwave oven


(electric food) mixer

cutting board



coffee mill

coffee maker

towel rack


toilet brush set


hair dryer

Text I Our New Flat

I live in Ekaterinburg in a five-storey dwelling house in the centre of our city. Last year our wooden house was pulled down and we moved here into a two-room flat with all modern conveniences. Now we have cold and hot running water, gas, electricity, central heating and a refuse chute. Now we needn’t have a garbage can which we had to empty in the yard twice a day. We live on the top floor and from the balcony we have a good view of the large green park, our block of flats faces.

The entrance-hall is rather small. Near the door lies a small doormat. We wipe our feet on it. Against the wall there is a hallstand where we hang our hats coats and a mirror-stand.

The study is rather spacious. It’s a simply-furnished room. The floor space is about 15 square metres. It is not overcrowded with furniture. Everything fits in well. Nothing is out of place here. Next to the window there is a writing desk with a lot of drawers and a desk lamp with a yellow lampshade. The bookcase, which is full of books, has sliding glass doors. The curtains of a gay pattern match the wallpaper. On the left there are two comfortable armchairs facing the TV set. The room has an east-facing aspect so it is sunny all day long.

In the bedroom we have a dark-brown suite of furniture of the latest model and a thick carpet to match. Beside the divan-bed there is a dressing table with some combs and hair-brushes. In the built-in wardrobe we keep our clothes and bed linen.

In the kitchen there is a fridge to store perishable foods (perishables) in, a cupboard, a kitchen table and a gas cooker/stove with an oven. Over the sink there is a plate rack. All the kitchen utensils are close at hand, so it doesn’t take you long to do the cooking. In the corridor there is a built-in closet where we keep our vacuum cleaner (hoover), electric iron and other household objects.

In the bathroom with tiled walls there is a bathtub and a shower, a towel rack and a washbasin with a shelf above it. On it we have some toiletries at our disposal: a cake/bar of soap, a toothbrush and tooth powder (toothpaste) and some shaving articles. There is nothing special about our flat, no rich decorations, but we are accustomed to it. It’s much better and more comfortable compared to the old one.

    1. Read and retell the text.

    2. Describe your flat using the italicized words and word combinations from the text above.

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