English Reading Exercises for A2 – A painless operation

1. Complete the table.

Accidents and injuries

Noun / Phrase


1) blood


2) a ________.

burn yourself

3) a cut

________. your finger

4) a ________.

sprain your ankle

5) an injury

________. yourself

6) a ________. arm

break your arm

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1) bleed   2) burn   3) cut   4) sprain   5) injure   6) broken

2. Complete the sentences with the words below.

bruise      fell over      hurt      hurts      pain      slipped

1) I’ve got a big black ________. where I banged arm.

2) I’ve got a ________. in shoulder.

3) finger ________.

4) Joe ________. himself when he was playing football.

5) mum ________. on the ice and ________.

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1) bruise   2) pain   3) hurts   4) hurt   5) slipped, fell over

3. Read the text. Are the sentences true (T) or false (F)?

1) Lenkei took about half an hour to hypnotise himself.

2) Lenkei didn’t speak during the operation.

3) All the operations were successful.

It didn’t hurt!


In 2008, Alex Lenkei had a problem with the bone in his arm and he needed a serious operation. Normally, with an operation like that, the doctor gives the patient an anaesthetic so that he or she doesn’t feel any pain. But Lenkei refused the anaesthetic. Instead, he hypnotised himself and simply told himself that he could not feel any pain. That took about thirty seconds. Then the operation started. According to Mr Lenkei, pain signals do not reach his brain when he is hypnotised.


The doctor, David Llewellyn-Clerk, was a bit worried. He had to take some bone from Lenkei’s arm. He watched Lenkei carefully during the operation, as he wasn’t sure that Lenkei could feel no pain. ‘I didn’t think Mr Lenkei could hear us,’ said Dr Llewellyn-Clerk, ‘but half way through the operation, he said “How’s it going?”’ That’s when the doctor realised that Lenkei was not in pain. The operation lasted 83 minutes.


Mr Lenkei started hypnotising people when he was sixteen and is now an expert. It wasn’t his first operation without anaesthetic. In 1996, a friend hypnotised him before a thirty-minute operation on his stomach. Both operations were successful, so Lenkei had a third operation without anaesthetic in 2013,

Show answers

1) F   2) F   3) T

Reading Strategy

When you do a matching task, follow these steps:

1) Read the text to get a general idea of the meaning. Do not worry if you do not understand every word.

2) Read the task and all the options carefully.

3) Read the paragraphs of the text carefully one by one and match them to the correct option.

4) Check that the extra options do not match any of the paragraphs.

4. Read the Reading Strategy. Then match the questions below with paragraphs 1-3 of the text. There is one extra question.

In which paragraph does the writer tell us ___

a when the first operation happened?

b why Lenkei needed an operation on his arm?

c what Lenkei did just before the operation on his arm?

d on what part of his body the third operation was?

e when Doctor Llewellyn-Check realised that Lenkei was not in pain?

f when Lenkei first hypnotised someone?

g what happens to pain signals in his body while he is hypnotised?

h when Lenkei had his second operation?

i how long the operation on his arm took?

j what the doctor did to Lenkei’s arm during the operation?

Show answers

a 3   b 1   c 1   d 3   e 2   f 3   g 1   h 3   i 2   j 2

Extra exercises


Read the text all the way through first so that you get a good general understanding before you try to answer the questions.

1. Read the Strategy. Then read the text in exercise 2. Choose the best summary (a-c).

a The text describes what teenagers believe makes them happy.

b The text gives tips for teenagers about different ways to be happy.

c The text gives some information about how young people feel.

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1)2) C  3) C

2. Read the text again. Circle the correct answer: True (T), False (F) or Doesn’t say (DS).

Happiness is ___ ? Your survey says ___

So you’re between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. What makes you happy? There have been lots of surveys about teenagers and happiness and they all come to different conclusions. Some surveys say that most young people are happiest when they spend time with their family. Others say it’s when they’re with friends. Some teenagers think that getting good marks at school and passing exams makes them happy and others feel that it’s having a boyfriend or girlfriend that improves their lives. The problem is that there isn’t just one thing that makes everyone happy. Happiness is something different for each of us, and what made us happy last week might not make us happy next week!

However, there are some things that can help improve our mood when we’re feeling unhappy. Experts believe that exercise can make you a happier person – but how? Exercise releases chemicals in your brain that are related to a feeling of pleasure. Many people who exercise say that the more exercise they do, the more they want to do. Now we know why! In addition to this, exercise is also good for our physical health. So, if we know that we’re doing something healthy, that should make us even happier!

There’s another surprising idea to help make us happier. Although you might think that eating chocolate is bad for you, it seems that it is good to eat chocolate when we’re feeling sad. According to some research, experts say that eating chocolate can make us feel happy. Of course it isn’t healthy to eat too much, but chocolate releases chemicals in the same way that exercise does – and for some people it’s easier and quicker than running several kilometres or working out in the gym!

It’s also important to remember that we can’t all be happy all the time. There are times in our lives when things are going well and we feel good. But we can also we happy for brief moments and we should value these as well. For example, perhaps you’re sitting on a beach watching the sun on the water, with friends around you, and you feel happy. Remember that moment! Or maybe your dog does something silly that makes you laugh. Remember it! And when you feel sad, go for a run or eat some chocolate – you’ll soon cheer up!

1) The surveys show that teenagers and parents have different ideas about happiness.   T   F   DS

2) The things that make us happy never change.    T   F   DS

3) The surveys show that teenagers who do exercise are happier.   T   F   DS

4) When we feel depressed it’s good to do something active.   T   F   DS

5) Exercise and eating chocolate can produce similar results.   T   F   DS

6) It’s important to value even short moments of happiness.   T   F   DS

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