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Parliamentary Chambers




1. Mrs. Harris talks Cockney which is a dialect of the East End of London (the poor district). Among other peculiarities it is also characterized by the dropping of the initial [h] sound.

2. run-through – a quick or cursory examination, trip.

3. a money-gobbling gadget – the money collecting box fixed near the bus driver’s seat.

4.Yellow Cabs – taxis which are often yellow coloured in New York. ”Cab” is the usual American shortening for “taxicab”, while “taxi” is the regular word in English.

5. Spuyten Duyvil Creek ['spaitәn 'daivl 'kri:k] – a narrow channel separating: Manhattan island from mainland.


1. What did Mrs. Harris initiate in every moment of her spare time?

2. What did she soon find herself embroiled with in New York?

3. What actually and physically made an island of Manhattan?

4. What place was overwhelmed by the skyscrapers?

5. Where did little Ada Harris of Battersea stand, alone, not quite undaunted?

6. What is another name of 135th Street and Lenox Avenue?

7. Why did chocolate colored people welcome Mrs. Harris?


1. Заполните пропуски в следующих предложениях сочетанием may have, употребив глаголы, данные в скобках, в форме Participle II.

1. She ... (to take) the book by mistake. 2. They ... (to telephone) while you were out. 3. I ... (to leave) my keys at home. 4. They ... (to be) wealthy at one time, but I doubt it. 5. The storm ... (to delay) the plane.


2. Замените сложноподчиненные предложения простыми, употребив сложное дополнение. Устно переведите предложения на русский язык:

1. Our specialists expect that this new device will show high accuracy. 2. Everybody saw that she entered the laboratory. 3. They expect that I shall solve all problems. 4. We noticed that she was writing something. 5. His teachers consider that he is very good at mathematics.


3. Употребите инфинитив, данный в скобках, в составе сложного дополнения. Устно пере­ведите предложения на русский язык:

1. We heard the engineer (to speak) about this experiment.

2. They noticed us (to leave) the room.

3. We watched them (to install) the equipment.

4. They wanted the device (to be examined) carefully by experts.

5. We want this problem (to be solved) with the help of the new method.


4. Переведите следующие предложения на русский язык. Подчеркните сложное подлежащее.

1. The match proved to be final. 2. The solution of this problem is said not to be easy. 3. Electric current is known to flow in metal parts. 4. The experiment was supposed to have been completed. 5. This important problem is sure to be settled very soon. 6. Many new houses are planned to be built in our city. 7. He is likely to be given this work. 8. Tsiolkovsky is known to have developed the theory of rocket flying.


5. Замените придаточные предложения герундиальным оборотом, употребив предлоги, данные в скобках:

1. Before the students graduate from the institute, they write their diplomas. (before)

2. While I was solving these problems, I paid much attention to the correct computations. (while)

3. When we were testing the machine, we found that it needed improvements. (on)

4. You will never know mathematics well unless you work hard at it. (without)

5. When I complete my work, I shall inform you of the fact. (on)


6. Устно переведите следующие предложения на русский язык, подчеркните независимый причастный оборот

1. It being very late, we had to return home. 2. The translation having been done, we went for a short walk. 3. Technical and scientific problems having been solved, the first space flight could be realized. 4. There is always water vapour in the air, the amount depending upon various conditions. 5. There being an extensive system of free evening and correspond­ence education in the Russian Federation, a great number of people are part-time or correspondence students.


7. Переведите следующие предложения на русский язык, обращая внимание на форму причастий. Письменно определите форму причастия

1. Having arrived two days before the opening of the conference, they had enough time to do the city. 2. And saying so he left the room. 3. Holiday accommodation and facili­ties being cheap, all the students can spend their vacation in camps and rest homes. 4. Having seen so little of the country, he could not give full answers to all your questions. 5. Knowing how fond he is of good music, I brought him a few records. 6. The workers having refused to return to work, the manager dis­missed them from the plant.


8. Замените следующие предложения восклицательными, употребляя what, what a, how

Образцы: 1) She plays the piano well. – How well she plays the piano! 2) It is a beautiful day. – What a beautiful day!

1. Peter speaks Spanish very well.

2. Ann has good taste in everything

3. They have learnt Russian very quickly.

4. St. Petersburg is a beautiful city.

5. We are having beautiful weather now.


9. Письменно переведите на русский язык предложения, обратите внимание на модальное сказуемое

1. You should have helped him. 2. No one could have done more than you did. 3. They were to have sent that telegram. 4. You needn’t have left so early! 5. He must have been working since morning. 6. They can’t have been waiting for us all this time. 7. You oughtn’t to have been rude to her, she is weeping now. 8. We needn’t have done all the work. 9. He must never have learnt the truth. 10. She should have remembered about it. 11. They might have forgotten to send us a telegram. 12. They must have failed to find her house. 13. I was to have finished my work yesterday. 14. We oughtn’t to have told her about it. 15. Could he have said so? 16. Need I tell you that you needn’t have taken so much trouble?


10. Поставьте частицу toперед инфинитивом, где это необходимо.

1. The teacher made me … repeat it all again. 2. You needn’t … ask for permission, I’ll let you … take my books whenever you like. 3. Will you help me … move the table, please? 4. He is expected … arrive in a few days. 5. You seem … know these places very well. 6. I heard the door … open and saw a shadow … move across the floor. 7. He told me … try … do it once again. 8. I’d rather … walk a little before going to bed. 9. There is nothing … do but … wait till somebody comes … let us out. 10. You ought not … show your feelings. 11. Why not … wait a little longer? 12. You had better … make a note of it. 13. I felt her … shiver with cold. 14. We should love you … stay with us. 15. You are not … mention this to anyone. 16. We got Mother … cut up some sandwiches. 17. Rose wanted them ... stop laughing, wanted the curtain … come down. 18. I’ll have … go there. 19. There doesn’t seem … be anything wrong with you. 20. She helped me … get over my fear. 21. Look here, Jane, why .. be cross? 22. He was heard … say so. 23. What made you … deceive me? 24. She was not able … explain anything. 25. I’m not … blame.



People outside Great Britain believe, and their belief seems reasonable, that if a man is elected to sit in Parliament, he ought to have a seat. Indeed, most Parliaments provide each member not
only with a seat, but with a reserved seat, often a desk in which papers can be kept.

Why, then, when the opportunity came after the war to rebuild the bombed House of Commons, did its members decide that their own Chamber should, like the pre-war Chamber, be too small to provide seats for all of them? The decision was a deliberate one, made after a debate in the House. Members rejected the idea that there should be seats for all.

The new House of Commons has many improvements, including air-conditioning and the provision of microphones. It has, however, seats for only about two-thirds of its 630 members. No change has been made in its shape. It is still an oblong, with seats for Government supporters on the Speaker’s right and seats for the Opposition on his left. There are, facing the Speaker, cross benches for Independent members, those who do not belong to either of the two great political parties.

There are obvious disadvantages in this arrangement. If, after an election, the two parties are about equal in number, there is not much difficulty. If, however, the Government has a large majority, seating will certainly be a problem. If one party has 400 members and the other 230, it becomes difficult to have Government and Opposition facing one another across the House except when the attendance is small.

If we examine the kind of Chamber favoured in other countries, we find that it is in some cases semi-circular. In the Chamber of the French National Assembly, for example, instead of a clear division between Government and Opposition, we find an amphitheatre. Members sit in a large semi-circle. On the President’s extreme left are the Communists, and on his right are the conservative parties.

This semi-circular arrangement of seats is the most probable explanation of the political terms that are commonly used today, especially of European politics. When we say that a man is left, right, centre (or even left of centre, right of centre), we are thinking of the seat he occupies in this French style of Chamber.

Another difference between the British House of Commons and Parliamentary Chambers in many other countries is that in the House of Commons there are benches; in other Chambers there are separate seats. From this we get the terms ‘front benches’, ‘back benches’ and ‘cross benches’. The term ‘front benches’ stands for the two benches, one on each side of the House, as far as the centre gangway. The front bench on the Speaker’s right is for the Prime Minister and the leading members of the Government. That on the Speaker’s left is for the Leader of the Opposition and those members of the Opposition who have formed, or who are likely to form, an alternative government. The back benches are those seats occupied by members who have no right to front bench seats. The cross benches may be used by those Independent members who do not vote regularly with the Government or with the official Opposition.

Only four members of the House of Commons have reserved seats. One, of course, is the Speaker. Another is the member who has sat in the House for the longest unbroken period, the member who is known as ‘the Father of the House of Commons’. The other two reserved seats are on each side of the Clerk’s table, and are for the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Ministers sit on the Front Bench, but have no right to any particular seat there.

In most semi-circular Chambers a member who is called upon to speak leaves his seat and goes to a reading-desk (a tribune or rostrum) placed below the raised seat of the President. Instead of facing and addressing the chairman, as in the House of Commons, he faces and addresses the whole House.

When a member ends his speech in the House of Commons, other members stand up and face the Speaker. They try to catch his eye, for the order of speakers is not arranged in advance. The Speaker decides who is to speak next. The member who is named remains standing, and speaks from the place where he has been sitting. He must address the Speaker, not the House as a whole. The only members who speak from the Clerk’s table are the Government and Opposition Leaders.


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