Problems and solutions
1.1 Consider whether you can ever have too much, too many, too little or too few of the following.
time traffic people money space work rubbish
Too much / too little can be used with uncountable nouns: traffic, time, money, space, work, rubbish.
Too many / too few can be used with countable nouns: people
1.2 Listen to a conversation between two women and decide which two topics they talk about.
They talk about work and traffic and to a limited extent, time.
1.3 Listen again and write down all the verbs that are used with the words problem and issue.
face, deal with, cause, tackle, address, raise, resolve, present, identify
1.4 Complete the sentences using the verbs you wrote in 1.3. There may be more than one possible answer, so try to use a different verb for each sentence.
1 One of the biggest problems ………..the world today is poverty.
2 Your problems won’t go away if you ignore them, you need to ………..them.
3 The problem was ………..by a blocked pipe, which eventually burst.
4 Here is a list of the issues that will be ………..during the meeting.
5 Unfortunately we were unable to ………..the issue, even after two days of talks.
6 The main speaker did not arrive, which ………..an awkward problem for the organisers of the conference.
- address them/ resolve/ deal with/ tackle (face up to is also possible)
- raised/ addressed/ tackled
- presented (posed is also possible)
1.5 Match the nouns in column B with the correct verbs in column A. Which two verbs can be used with the words problem and compromise?
find a solution, overcome a difficulty, solve or resolve a problem, remedy a situation, resolve an issue or problem, reach or find a compromise
1.6 Correct the mistakes in these sentences.
1 I am not sure we will ever solve the issue of unemployment.
2 We need to resolve a solution to this situation as soon as possible.
3 What can we do to solve this difficulty?
4 At last scientists have solution the problems associated with solar-powered cars.
5 Finally, the members of the city council were able to solve a compromise and the building work was allowed to start.
- solveresolve the issue/solve the problem
- resolve find a solution
- solve overcome this difficulty
- solution solved/resolved the problems, found a solution to the problems
- solve reach/ find a compromise
1.7 Cross out the one word in each list that is NOT a synonym for the word in capitals.
1 PROBLEM difficulty, dilemma, benefit, challenge, obstacle
2 SOLUTION answer, key, remedy, resolution, setback
3 WORSEN compound, deteriorate, enhance, exacerbate
4 IMPROVE advance, aggravate, flourish, progress, reform
5 CHANGE acclimatise, adapt, adjust, amend, linger, modify, transform
- benefit (=advantage)
- setback (=problem)
- enhance (= improve)
- aggravate ( = make worse)
- linger (= stay a long time)
1.8 Use a hyphen to combine one of the words in box A with one of the words in box B. Then complete the sentences.
A double long short one
B edged sighted sided term
1 We need a ………. plan for our transport systems that will take into account future growth.
2 A warning sign was put at the site of the accident as a ………. measure until a new wall was built.
3 This argument appears to be a little ……….. . I’d like to hear the other side as well.
4 The management agreed to employ five more members of staff, which in hindsight was a very ……….. decision because within a few weeks we were still understaffed.
5 Globalisation is a ………. sword. It promotes multiculturalism while it erodes the local culture.
double-edged long-sighted long-term short- sighted short-term one-sided
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