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12p.
Task 1 (12 points)
Read the text below and choose the correct answer which best completes each sentence. An example (0) is given.

 
 
THE WEATHER
  
The weather – and the British obsession (0) with talking about it – has been puzzling outsiders for decades. According to recent research, 94% of British respondents admit to having conversed about the weather in the past six hours, (1)  38% say they have in the past 60 minutes. “This means at almost any moment in this country (2)  a third of the population is either talking about the weather (3)  is about to do so,” says social anthropologist Kate Fox, who (4)  the studies in 2010. So why do the British do it?
 
Several features of Britain’s geography make the weather the way it is: mild, changeable and famously unpredictable. The variability (5) residents never know quite what to expect. It is these types of extremes (6) generate much of the debate on online forums about the British weather. The British Weather Newsgroup, for example, (7) since the mid-1990s and was started as a forum for enthusiasts to discuss scientific aspects of the British weather.
 
However, many of the day-to-day conversations British people initiate about the weather are more ordinary. Comments like “Cold, isn’t it?” do not even particularly (8)  a full response; a grunt of agreement will be enough. 

In some situations weather talk is an icebreaker. In (9) it is used to ill awkward silences or divert the conversation away from uncomfortable topics. Often it is an excuse for a good old grumble, which can be a bonding experience in (10) , but we can also use weather–speak to understand other people’s moods. “Depending (11) their response to your weather greeting, you can tell if someone is in the mood for a chat, or is feeling grumpy and negative,” says Kate Fox.
 
There are certain unwritten rules that the British follow when conducting these weather-related conversations. Firstly, the topic will almost always be introduced as a form of question. Secondly, the person (12) must agree. If someone says “Cold, isn’t it?”, and you say “Well actually, no!”, the person would be a bit taken aback and feel that it was an impolite thing to say.
 

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