GE|Adults|Intermediate|8. Are modern manners important?


1.1 Answer the questions.

1. Do you think that manners are important?

2. What manners are the most important for you?

3. What do you think about modern manners?

4. Name one most common modern manner.

5. Do modern manners irritate you?

1.2 Watch this video. What do you think about it?


1.1 Match the pictures with the sentences.

1.2 Can you explain what these are?

  • Skype
  • a screensaver
  • silent / vibrate mode
  • quiet zones
  • instant messaging

1.3 Answer the questions.

1. What brand is your phone? How long have you had it?

2. Do you like your phone?

3. Would you like to get a new one? Why (not)?

4. What ringtone do you have?

5. Do you use your phone for games? What games do you like?

6. Where and when do you normally switch off your mobile?

7. Have you ever…?

⦁ lost your phone
⦁ sent a message to the wrong person
⦁ forgotten to turn your phone off (with embarrassing consequences)


1.1 Read the text about cell phone etiquette. Answer the questions.


How to Practice Cell Phone Etiquette?

Rude cell phone users are anywhere that there’s a cell phone signal. Most people who are being impolite don’t even realize what they’re doing. Could that be you?


The First Principle: It is not other people’s responsibility to cope with your mobile phone use; it is your responsibility to use your mobile phone inoffensively. Please note that «inoffensively» is not defined by what you expect others to tolerate, but by what others do in fact find offensive. Ignore this principle, and you are sure to be rude.

Following directly from the First Principle: You should assume that someone who asks you to turn your cell phone (or audio player) down or off is in good faith, and you should comply in good faith. They have a reason for asking, and it’s probably not that they’re trying to dominate you or hassle you or restrict your God-given right to free expression.

Don’t talk too loudly. Generally, you don’t have to shout in the microphone to be heard on the other end. In fact, doing so often makes it harder for you to be understood.

Don’t use your phone when having a meal with someone. Ideally, you should turn it off entirely. If you’re anticipating an important call, let the person you’re with know beforehand that you’re expecting a call that you’ll need to take. No matter what, don’t hold a conversation at the table; step away, follow step 1, and don’t stay away any longer than you would for a bathroom break. Never text at the table, even if the face-to-face conversation dies down. It will be seen as disrespectful.

1. Do you agree with these rules?

2. What would you add?

3. Are there any other things people do with their cell phones that annoy you?

4. Do you always follow these rules?

1.2 Read the text again. Match the highlighted words with their definitions.

2.1 Read the rules of using must, have to and should.

2.2 Fill in the gaps with the correct form of have to (+, — or ?).

2.3 Choose and mark the correct modal verb.

3.1 Make up sentences using have to/ must / mustn’t / should / shouldn’t. You can also use these phrases:

! Interesting fact

In my opinion

I think

Personally, I think

I’m utterly convinced that

1. switch off your phone in a theatre
2. talk loudly on your phone in public
3. send text messages when you are driving
4. reply to a message on your phone while you are talking to somebody face-to-face
5. use your phone at a petrol station
6. video people on your phone without their permission
7. set your phone to silent mode on a train
8. send or receive texts in the cinema
9. turn off your phone on a plane during take-off and landing


1.1 Imagine that you have been invited to stay for a weekend with your partner’s family. Think of three things that you think it would be bad manners to do.

1.2 Read this funny story. What would you do? How can you comment this story?

1.3 Read the article. Do you know how to behave in such situations? Do you agree with the given advice? How would you behave?

How to Handle Rude In-Laws?


Whenever your mother-in-law visits for dinner, she makes derogatory comments about your cooking and house cleaning. Your in-laws are coming over for a big family get-together on Mother’s Day. How to respond to these remarks?
1. Let it slide.
2. Complain to your husband and let him set her straight.
3. Pull your mother-in-law aside if she makes a comment and politely explain to her that the remarks hurt your feelings.
The correct answer: (3) Since you’re honoring your mother-in-law by cooking her dinner on Mother’s Day, I say it’s not too much to ask that she refrain from making disparaging remarks – now and in the future. But you’ve got to speak up, gracefully. If she says something that gets to you, pull her aside and calmly tell her: «That comment you made really hurt my feelings.» Then wait to give her a chance to respond. Enlisting your husband’s help is an option, if he can respond to what his mother says with tact and even humor. If your relationship with your mother-in-law is hostile or the situation is formal, you may have to grin and bear it.

1.4 Find the words or phrases in the article which mean:


1.1 Listen to Miranda Smith who is married to Alexander Fedorov talking about the difference between Russian manners and British manners. What was their problem? How have they managed to solve their differences?


Miranda Smith

You know, maybe I think stereotypically, but I always thought that good manners are the main thing for a person. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world. But that was before I met and then married Alexander. We met in Russia. I was a student there. You know I still remember our first meeting. Once he came to my flat, and as soon as he came in he said to me, in Russian, Sdelay mnye chai — which means ‘Make me some tea’. Well, I was angry because of his impoliteness and I said ‘Make it yourself.’ I couldn’t believe that he hadn’t used a Could you…? or a please. But Alexander explained that in Russian it was fine — you don’t have to add any polite words. Some months later I took Alexander home to visit my parents in the UK. But before we went there I had to give him an intensive course in pleases and thank yous. I also told him how important it was to smile all the time. He said that he won’t do it because he will look like an idiot! It was hard to explain him that it’s rude not to smile in the UK. He felt really stupid, ‘like the village idiot’, he said, because in Russia if you smile all the time people think that you are crazy or stupid. And actually, this is what all his friends thought of me the first time they saw me, because I smiled all the time, and also translated every please and thank you from English into Russian!
Another thing that Alexander just couldn’t understand was why people said things like, ‘Would you mind passing me the bread, please?’ He said, ‘It’s only the bread, for goodness sake! What do you say in English if you want a real favour?’ He was also amazed that if you eat not tasty food you have to lie and tell that it’s fantastic. In Russia, people are much more direct. Actually Alexander’s mum is pretty direct. When we had dinner for the first time she told me that my chicken needed more salt and pepper, that it was really tasteless. I was really annoyed, and later, after she left, Alexander and I argued about it. Alexander just couldn’t see my point. He said, ‘Do you prefer your dinner guests to lie?’ Actually you know, I think I do. I’d prefer them to say ‘That was tasty’ even if they didn’t mean it.
Anyway after all these situations, at home now we have an agreement. If we’re speaking Russian, he can say ‘Make me some tea’, and not say ‘thank you’ when I give it to him. But when we’re speaking English, he has to add a please, a thank you, and… a smile.

1.2 Listen again and mark the sentences T (true) or F (false).


1.1 Talk about Good Manners. Do you think it’s good manners, bad manners, or not important/ nor necessary? Why?


⦁ to say ‘thank you’;
⦁ to interrupt someone when they are talking;
⦁ to talk when the teacher is talking;
⦁ to say you’re sorry when you make a mistake;
⦁ to help friends.


1.1 Complete the sentences. Use words from the list.

engaged / voicemail / ringtone / busy / call back / screen / message / zone / vibrate / silent

2.1 Are these sentences correct? If yes – put ‘+’ next to the sentence, if no – rewrite the sentence without a mistake.


I must do it yesterday. -> I had to do it yesterday.

We have enough food. You don’t have to go to the shop. -> +

2.2 Choose and write the correct form.

Useful advices before visiting the USA

3.1 Listen to a radio programme about good manners in different countries. What kind of advice do the four people ask about? Choose the correct answers. There is one piece of advice you do not need to use.

radio programme teenagers

The Traveller’s Guide

Ben: Hello and welcome to The Traveller’s Guide. Now, last week we asked our British listeners who are going to go abroad to send us their questions about good manners in other countries, and we’ve invited our resident expert Betsey Collins to the show to answer them. Welcome to the programme, Betsey.
Betsey: Thank you.
Ben: So the first question, Betsey. This comes from Jane in Glasgow, who is going to travel around Thailand next summer. Jane wants to know what she should do when she first meets people in Thailand.
Betsey: Well, Jane, most of the time, a simple handshake will be fine. But if someone gives you a ‘wai’, that is a small bow with the hands held together close to the body, you must do the same. But, if the person is of lower social status than you, so if they are younger than you, or they are a waiter, for example, you shouldn’t return the ‘wai’.
Ben: Very useful advice, Betsey. The next question is from James in Liverpool, who is going to Austria with his girlfriend, to meet her family for the first time. He asks: ‘Is there anything I should or shouldn’t do?’
Betsey: Austrian culture is similar to British culture in a lot of ways, but there are a few differences to remember. Don’t be late. If you say you are going to arrive at a particular time, make sure you arrive at that time. Take a gift to give to her parents and some flowers for her mother, but only in odd numbers, so for example nine flowers are OK, bur ten would be considered bad luck.
Ben: That sounds like good advice for you, James. Right, our next caller is Sue in Lincoln. She is going to Greece on holiday, but doesn’t speak the language. She asks: ‘As I don’t speak any Greek I will be communicating mostly with my hands. Are there any gestures I shouldn’t use? ‘
Betsey: Absolutely, Sue. The most important one to remember is the ‘thumbs up’, which in the UK means ‘good’ or ‘OK’. But it is very insulting to a Greek person. Another one is the UK hand gesture for ‘stop’, where you show someone your hand with your fingers straight together, like a policeman. But again this is an insult in Greece.
Ben: Good luck, Sue. And we’ve got time for one more, and this question is from Claire in Swansea. She’s going to South Korea for her job, and she would like some tips on business behaviour over there.
Betsey: The most important thing to remember is that South Koreans like to bow a lot. As a foreigner, you won’t be expected to, but it is a good way of showing respect, and the deeper you bow, the happier you are.
Ben: Very interesting. Betsey Collins, thank you for joining us.
Betsey: Thank you too. Bye.

3.2 Listen again and choose the right answers.