"Is This Your Horse?" (Comprehension)

Grammar Summary:

Why are so many horses being abandoned in the countryside? Comprehension plus grammar (passives) and vocabulary notes.

Open the article and answer the questions below.
Article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9146120/New-countryside-crime-of-horse-tipping-and-fly-grazing.html



A. Grammar questions: 

British drinking less beer

1. How many examples of verbs in the passive voice are there in this article?

2. Why is the passive often generally used for articles, formal speeches, business letters, etc.?

B. Vocabulary questions:

3. Find three words in the article conveying the meaning of emotional distress.

4. Find the word meaning: 'to fail to care for'.

5. Find the word meaning: without morals or principles.

C. Comprehension Questions:

6. True or false: The phenomenon is believed to be due to more owners being unable to afford to continue looking after their horses.

7. True or false: Many horses have to be put to death as a result of this phenomenon.



1. Answer: 8
- “has received” (Paragraph 1)
- “it is believed” (p.4)
- “has been driven” (p.4)
- “cannot be sold” (p.5)
- “animals are left” (p.7)
- “numbers of horses being abandoned” - gerund (p.12)
- “reported to it” - past participle (p.13)

- “if they are homed” (p.16)

2. Answer:
Passive voice often conveys objectivity on the writer’s part.

John saysE.g. Compare: “animals are left in fields” (p.7)
vs. “people leave animals in fields”.

The first sentence (passive) focuses more on the people and seems to imply blame. The second sentence (active) focuses more on the animals.

3. Answers:
- “exasperated” (= very frustrated, p.1);
- “upsetting” (= causing distress, p.8)
- “traumatised” (= emotionally damaged, p.10)

4. Answer: “neglected” (p.1)

5. Answer: “unscrupulous” (p.3)

6. Answer: True

See paragraph 12, which says that due to the recession even the middle classes are struggling to feed their pets.

7. Answer:

See paragraph 14: many more horses are being put down (destroyed) because horse charities are unable to cope with the rise in numbers of abandoned horses.

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