Pleasant Surprises

1 a. Complete the speech extras with one word.

b. What situations can you think of where the following phrases could be said? Use them in short monologues. We will check them at the lesson!

1 ‘I couldn’t believe my luck!’

2 ‘I couldn’t hold back the tears of joy’

3 ‘My parents were bursting with pride.’

4 ‘He was visibly touched; he shook my hand and thanked me’

5 ‘Everyone broke into spontaneous applause”

6 ‘Life would never be the same again ‘

7 ‘Not surprisingly, her dad was particularly emotional!

2. Complete the gaps with the given words.


3 a. Fill the gaps with the most suitable word from the given sets (write a letter, e.g. B).


b Make your own gapped sentences. Your partner must guess which of the words in Ex. 3a best complete your sentences. We will check it at the lesson!

E.g. She warned him that if he littered her garden again

she would call the police, but he was …

  • undeterred
You will read an article about money and its relation to happiness. Before you read, discuss the following questions.

1 The writer will argue that money actually does buy happiness What examples do you think he will give?

2 What parts of everyday life can money help to improve? What parts can it potentially make worse?


Read the text quickly and find information about the following people:

  • J Paul Getty
  • Andrew Oswald and Jonathan Gardner
  • Dawn Wilby

The last word: Money can buy happiness

Money can’t buy happiness, right? Wrong.
John Silveira argues that happiness is up for
grabs – if you can afford it.

The results are in: money can buy happiness, but it doesn’t come cheap. Not only that, the amount of happiness your money can buy can be measured. I know this runs contrary to everything we’ve ever heard since childhood about money — “It can’t buy happiness, it can’t buy health, and it can’t buy love.” But the facts don’t support this.

First, according to surveys, the well-off are more optimistic about their lives. Optimism is a major factor in happiness. Second, medical evidence shows those with more money live longer, healthier lives than those with less. There are always the stories featuring the loaded uncle who had a heart attack while living the high life, but on average, the affluent live longer and healthier lives.

Not only that, but despite all the food they can buy with their loot, the rich tend to be thinner than the poor —another sign of good health.

In the Whitehall Survey, conducted at University College London, 17,000 civil servants were followed. All are well educated and have the same access to health care. Yet the clerks at the bottom of the income scale have triple the mortality rate as those at the top. A U.S. study involving 300,000 men, called the Multiple Risk Intervention Factor, discovered every income class was healthier than the classes below them and more sick than the ones above.

Third, a 1998 survey conducted by the magazine Town Country shows that the well-to-do tend to have better marriages, are happier with the friends they make, and find their jobs more interesting. I know we’ve been told different. But it just isn’t true. Sorry!

These studies come as no surprise to me. Over the years I’ve said, quite frankly, I believe money can buy happiness. My comment is usually meted with raised eyebrows and insinuations there’s something morally wrong with mc. In ensuing discussions I’ve tried to explain that it’s not like you can go to the market and buy two kilos of happiness. I’ve maintained money can make you happier because it represents convenience and time. By convenience I mean that more of the necessities in life are readily available to you. When I say you can buy time, I mean time in two senses: first, because your health improves and you are likely to buy a few more good years of life. Second, every time I write a check to the guy who mows my lawn, I am literally buying his time to do something I don’t want or don’t have time to do myself. Of course, because I’m not rich, I have to put in my own time to earn the money I use to buy his. But if I were rich, I’d no longer have to use the limited amount of time I have on this planet to buy someone else’s time. I’d just write a check.

How much money do you need to be rich? When he was alive, J. Paul Getty, one of the world’s richest men, said, if you can actually count your money then you are not really a rich man.” But a fellow I once worked with was more realistic. He didn’t need billions of dollars. He just needed enough so he didn’t have to work (though he was sure he still would), so he didn’t have to worry about bills, and so that every couple of years he could go down to the local car lot, pay cash for a new vehicle, and not have to think about the money he spent.

How much do the experts say is enough? In a study conducted by Andrew Oswald and Jonathan Gardner at the University of Warwick, they discovered that about 1.5 million tax-free American dollars moved most people into the top 2% on the happiness scale. Their study also revealed that, at the low end of the scale, each $75,000 moves people one notch up the scale. None of this is to say that you can only be happy if you’re loaded. Lots of poor people are perfectly content. But, if you are wealthy, it’s likely that you’re going to be even happier.

Nor does wealth guarantee happiness. The Warwick study is replete with examples of people who discovered they were miserable just laying about. One, Dawn Wilby, won £4 million and was unhappy until she took a job for £12,000 a year. She hadn’t realised that you can’t just lay there and expect happiness to come to the door. You’ve got to do something to get the benefit of your wealth.

Other studies I read that purportedly demonstrate the opposite — that money leads to misery — were about well-paid executives who got huge bonuses but were still unhappy. I discounted these because they concentrated only on office jealousies and dissatisfaction that arose because the subjects wish they’d gotten more. ‘There’s no mention of their home lives, whether they feel relief from the pressure of bills. etc. It is as though their jobs were the only things that mattered. These studies are so narrow they are tantamount to proving marriage makes a man’s life worse by focusing only on his relationship with his mother-in-law.

And, finally, years ago I read an article about lottery winners and one fellow who said the money made him unhappy because people kept asking him for loans. That’s not unhappiness; that’s annoyance. It’s like complaining about mosquitoes when you take a trip to Hawaii. You’re
not getting my sympathy, pal. But the last word on this comes from my friend, Cathy. When she heard I was writing this column, she said, “Anyone who thinks money can’t buy happiness is either a master of self-deception or just doesn’t know where to shop.”


3. Now read the article. For questions 1-7, choose the best answer (A, B, C or D).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *