Texas Instruments English Preparation Verbal and Comprehension (Paper 3 of 7)

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The Death Car

It was cold night in September. The rain was drumming on the car roof as George & Marie Winstion drove through the empty country roads towards the house of their friends, the Harrissons, where they were going to attend a party to celebrate the engagement of the Harrisons daughter, Lisa. As they drove, they listened to the local radio station, which was playing classical music. They were about 5 miles from the destination when the music on the radio was interrupted by a news announcement: The Cheshire police have issued a serious warning after a man escaped from Colford Mental Hospital earlier this evening. The man, John Downey, is murderer who killed 6 people before he was captured 2 years ago. He is described as large, very strong & extremely dangerous. People in the Cheshire area are warned to keep their doors & windows locked, & to call the police immediately if they se anyone acting strangely. Marie shivered, A crazy killer. And he's out there somewhere. That's scary. Don't worry about it, said her husband. We're nearly there now. Anyway, we have more important things to worry about. This car is losing power for some reason it must be that old problem with the carburetor, If it gets any worse, we'll have to stay at the Harrisons'tonight & get it fixed before we travel back tomorrow, As he spoke, the car began to slow down, George pressed the accelerator, but the engine only coughed. Finally they rolled to a halt, as the engine died completely, Just as they stopped, George pulled the car off the road, & it came to rest under a large tree. Blast! said George angrily. Now we'll have to walk in the rain. But that'll take us an hour at least, said Marie. And I have my high-held shoes & my nice clothes on. They'll be ruined! Well, you'll have to wait while I run to the nearest house & call the Harissons. Someone can come out & picks us up, said George. But George! Have you forgotten what the radio said? There's a homicidal maniac out there! You can't leave me alone here! You'll have to hide in the back of the car. Lock all the doors & lie on the floor in the back, under this blanket. No-one will see you, when I come back, I'll knock 3 times on the door. Then you can get up & open it. Don't open it unless you here 3 knocks. George opened the door & slipped out into the rain. He quickly disappeared into the blackness. Marie quickly locked the doors & settled down under the blanket in the back for a long wait. She was frightened & worried, but she was a strong-minded woman. She had not been waiting long, however, when she heard a strange scratching noise. It seemed to be coming from the roof of the car. Marie was terrified. She listened, holding her breath. Then she heard 3 slow knocks, one after the other, also on the roof of the car. Was it her husband? Should she open the door? Then she heard another knock, and another. This was not her husband. It was somebody--or something--else. She was shaking with fear. But she forced herself to lie still. The knocking continued--bump, bump, bump, bump Many hours later, as the sun rose, she was still lying there. She had not slept for a moment. The knocking had never stopped, all night long. She did not know what to do. Where was George? Why had he not come for her?

Suddenly, she heard the sound of 3 or 4 vehicles, racing quickly down the road. All of them pulled up around her, their tires screeching on the road. At last! Some one had come! Marie sat up quickly & looked out the window.

The 3 vehicles were all police cars, & 2 still had their lights flashing. Several policemen leap out. One of them rushed towards the car as Marie opened the door. He took her by the hand.

Get out of the car & walk with me to the police vehicle. Miss. You're safe now. Look straight ahead. Keep looking at police car. Don't look back. Just don't look back.

Something in the way he spoke filled Marie with cold horror. She could not help herself. After 10 yards from the police car, she stopped, turned & looked back at the empty vehicle.

George was hanging from the tree above the car, a rope tied around his neck. As the wind blew his body back & forth, his feet were bumping gently on the roof of the car--bump, bump, bump, bump

Please read all the questions in the table below (12 − 21) as one continuous passage. Tick the varb with right tense or the correct word to fill in the gaps in each of the sentences.

Statement & Options

  1. A famous singer had been contracted to sign at a Paris opera house & ticket sales_______________ booming.

    1. is

    2. are

    3. were

    4. have been

  2. In fact, the night of the concert, the house was packed; every ticket ________________

    1. is selling

    2. was selling

    3. sold

    4. had been sold

  3. The feeling of anticipation & excitement was in the air as the house manager__________ the stage & said, Ladies & gentlemen, thank you for your enthusiastic support!

    1. took

    2. takes

    3. had taken

    4. was taking

  4. I am afraid that due to illness, the man whom you've all come to hear________________ performing tonight

    1. will not be

    2. has not been

    3. had not been

    4. was not

  5. However, we _________ a suitable substitute who, we hope, will provide you with comparable entertainment.

    1. are finding

    2. were finding

    3. had found

    4. have found

  6. The crowd____________ in disappointment & failed to hear the announcer mention the stand-in's name

    1. groans

    2. groaned

    3. had groaned

    4. were groaning

  7. The environment turned from excitement to frustration The stand-in performer__________ the performance everything he had.

    1. will give

    2. had given

    3. gave

    4. gives

  8. When he had finished, there was nothing but an uncomfortable silence. No one _____________

    1. Applauded

    2. Applauds

    3. Was applauding

    4. Has applauded

  9. Suddenly, from the balcony, a little boy stood up and____________, Daddy, I think you're wonderful!

    1. shouts

    2. was shouting

    3. had shouted

    4. shouted

  10. The crowd_________________ into thunderous applause

    1. breaks

    2. broke

    3. had broken

    4. was breaking