Saturday, 20 June 2009

beat the test

Fill in the gaps with the correct phrase from below and ONLY THEN click on the “gap” box to check your answer.

beat doing something

beat somebody down

beat somebody to the punch

it beats me

take some beating

It was hot.
It was hotter than hot.
It was so hot, even the air was melting.
Insects remained motionless in the shadows. Birds sat listlessly in the trees. Dogs lay in the shade, their tongues lolling carelessly on the parched brown grass.
There was not a breath of wind anywhere.
And the people? The people were very sad. They tried not to move and dreamt of snow. But none of this disguised the real source of their misery: there was no ice-cream left in the whole city. It was all gone.
Many had already left the city to go and find ice-cream elsewhere. 'It waiting here for some to arrive,' they said.
But then, one day, at the very height of the heatwave, a rumour began to circulate that there was a single ice-cream available for sale at Giuseppe's Gelateria. A whole cornet with vanilla ice-cream topped with chocolate and walnut bits.
Such an ice-cream would on an ordinary day, never mind in the middle of a heatwave with an ice-cream famine.
As soon as people heard about the ice-cream, they began to salivate. A cool breeze seemed to blow across their brows. It was the most beautiful thought in the world.
Slowly, people got to their feet and headed for the shop which was said to contain this legendary ice-cream.
At first, people headed there singly or in twos and threes. Soon they merged into bigger groups, huge gangs became crowds, and the crowds became throngs.
They chattered quietly to each other.
'Do you think there will be enough for everybody?'
' but my sister heard from her husband's aunt that it was a giant ice-cream.'
'How much do you think it will be?'
'I don't know, but if we stick together we'll be able to.'
'But there are so many of us....'
As more and more people joined the throng heading for the shop, some began to worry that there wouldn't be enough ice-cream to go round.
Some of the younger people broke into a gentle trot. Seeing them, others began to run even faster, determined to and get to Giuseppe's first.
Soon, everybody was running as fast as they could.
The energy generated by thousands of people running created a huge heat wave that roared in front of them. It rolled higher and higher - a true tsunami of heat.
Giuseppe, holding the ice-cream, saw the giant heat wave rolling towards him. Stunned by the size of it, he froze and couldn't move. The heat smashed over him, immediately melting the ice-cream.

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Collocation of the Week by Dr Myers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.