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An Online Catalogue of English Grammar Exercises


An Advanced Exercise: fill the gaps with one word (you can count a pronoun with a contraction as one word)!

When (1) first come to London it's a (2). of a shock for many foreigners. The reason for (3) . is that London is (4) .. an international, global village, with (5) . from all over the (6) .. living and working there.

The (7).. is that people coming from (8).. expect London to be (9) . of people dressed like Sherlock Holmes (10). the cast of The Avengers, resplendent in smart pinstripe (11) . and bowler hats, or leather cat suits - (12) the ladies, of course! (13).. they find is a tremendous variety of (14).., with rings through eyebrows, noses or lips, and tattoos on exposed stomachs or backs on (15) . types of people, and very (16). grey or black suits on the majority of (17). slaves.

There are also very (18).. children to be seen in the centre so it is (19) .. to see a father or mother with a child on the tube, though you do see them.

Usually (20) .. people live in the city - though they may live (21) a partner, or a group of (22)-minded people, or (23) .. to live alone.

At the moment mobile (24) are the most frequently observable accessory - though the usual sort (25) thing you hear is "I'm on the train. (26) . be home in five minutes". Really boring! Though you also hear (27).: One man shouted into the quiet (28). of the outdoor train (29) .. where I wait (30) my train at 7.40 in the morning - "I've just (31).. two trains. I'm on London Bridge station", neither of which was true!

Londoners do have a (32) accent and it is hard to understand them. If you speak to a man selling newspapers on the streets by his (33) . you will find him to be very friendly but probably quite (34). The cockney accent can be (35) .. by the dropped 'h's and the vowels are differently (36)., and the vocabulary is also different - but it's (37). persevering if you meet working people in a pub or on a bus or in the street, because they are so friendly and (38) .. for a chat, whereas the (39). dressed ones will stare you (40). or stare (41) .. through you and ignore you if you (42). have the courage to speak to them. (43), . it is possible to feel very lonely in London.

To feel happy, (44). the sunshine in the parks - yes, the sun does (45) .. in London - and go and (46). the ducks on the Serpentine.  (47). a sports club. Go (48). walking tours of the interesting houses and gardens. Try to (49) . with a family - they may be (50). to get to (51) but in the end you (52). make friends (53) life.

Answers: the alternatives are in brackets if they are less frequent collocations

1. you 2. bit 3. this 4. like 5. people, (foreigners), (not 'strangers') 6. world 7. trouble (problem, thing) 8. abroad, overseas 9. full 10. or 11. suits 12. for 13. What. 14 dress (appearance) 15. some 16. conventional, boring (dull) 17. office, (wage) 18. few 19. unusual 20. single 21. with 22. like 23. prefer, choose 24. phones 25. of 26. I'll 27. lies 28. air 29. station 30. for 31. missed 32. strong 33. stand 34. incomprehensible 35. identified, (recognised), (spotted) 36. pronounced 37. worth 38. ready 39. smartly, well, (elegantly) 40. down 41. straight 42. even (ever) 43. So  44. enjoy 45. shine 46. feed, see  47. Join  48. on 49. live, stay  50. hard (difficult) 51. know  52. will   53. for

Read The A - Z of English Grammar & Usage for the rules.

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