English Reading Exercises for B1- Alternative living

1. Complete the compound nouns with the words below. Two are written as one word.

dining      front      housing      rain      rubbish      shipping      sky      sofa      solar      studio

1) _________ bed

2) _________ containers

3) _________ door

4) _________ dump

5) _________ estate

6) _________ flat

7) _________ panels

8) _________ scraper

9) _________ table

10) _________ water

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1) sofa   2) shipping   3) front   4) rubbish   5) housing

6) studio   7) solar   8) sky   9) dining   10) rain

2. Complete the sentences with compound nouns from exercise 1.

1) We’ve had ____________ fitted on our roof.

2) Joe lives on the 20th floor of a ____________

3) There are about 200 homes on the ____________

4) Can you open the ____________ for me?

5) Our guests slept on the ____________

6) uncle’s ____________ is small, but cosy.

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1) solar panels   2) skyscraper   3) housing estate

4) front door   5) sofa bed   6) studio flat

3. Read the texts. Look at the photo and match it with the correct text.

    Strange places to live in ___



Did you love going down the slide in the playgrounds as a child? Perhaps you secretly wish you still could? If so, then the Slide House in Japan is the house for you!

Japanese architects have designed an unusual three-storey house with a huge slide that connects each level. This fun house has two staircases on one side going up, and the slide on the other going down, and together they form a circular route around the central area of the house.

The house is in the suburbs of Tokyo, and it functions as a real family home.


Are you a skateboarding fan? Would you like to live in a house where you could skateboard everywhere? This is exactly what a former skateboard champion wants to build in California. It will be the first house that can be entirely used for skateboarding as well as living in.

A prototype of the house is currently on display in a French museum. It has three spaces: a living area, a sleeping area and a skateboard practice area. However, you can skateboard everywhere because the floor becomes the wall and then the ceiling in a continuous curve. You can also skate on and off all the furniture!


If you’ve ever wondered what it would feel like to live inside a seashell, then this house in Mexico City would be the home for you. This amazing shell-shaped house was designed and built in 2006. As strange as it looks, it’s a real home built for a family. The parents were tired of having a traditional house and wanted to live in a home that was inspired by nature.

All the walls and furniture in the house are curved and all the surfaces are smooth. There are round windows and doors, coloured glass walls and even flowers growing in all the rooms.

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Reading Strategy

When you find evidence in the text that supports an answer, underline it and note which question it refers to. If you do that, you can find it again easily when you are checking all your answers at the end.

4. Read the Reading Strategy. Then match the texts (A-C) with questions 1-4 below. One text matches two questions. Underline the evidence in the text that supports your answers.

In which text does the author ___

1) mention that the house isn’t built yet?

2) refer to an indoor garden?

3) make it clear that the house has more than one floor?

4) suggest that the house will suit someone with a playful nature?

Show answers

1) B   2) C   3) A   4) A

Extra exercises


In a multiple-choice task, at least one of the incorrect options is usually ‘almost’ correct. If you are undecided between two options, decide which one is the closest to what is said in the text.

1. Read the Strategy. Then read the questions followed by the text. Which option is correct according to the text? Which options seem correct at first? Why aren’t they correct?

Stephen bent down to pick up the fork, and when he stood up, he banged his head on the edge of the cupboard. It was not a light tap, but a powerful blow that nearly knocked him back down to the floor. Just managing to stay upright, he held his head with both hands and let out a shout. It wasn’t pain he felt so much as surprise and, even more, anger with himself. When would he learn to be more careful?

1) The blow to Stephen’s head

a knocked him down.

b almost made him fall down.

c happened as a result of falling down.

d occurred after he had fallen down.

2) What did Stephen feel as a result of the blow?

a extreme frustration

b extreme pain

c no pain at all

d embarrassment

Show answers

Correct: 1 B   2 A

Seem correct, but aren’t: 1 A   2 C

2. Now read the extract from a story. Circle the correct answer (A-D).

The Pennine Way is a 469-kilometre walking path which runs from the Peak District in Derbyshire to just inside the Scottish border. Other trails go further, but it is known as the most challenging. This is because of the nature of the landscape, which is hilly, rocky and often very muddy. Some people see this trail as an opportunity to take a pleasant day’s hike on a small section of the route, but eighteen-year-old David Lemming saw it as a challenge. ‘I’d come across a great account of hiking the whole trail, written a few years ago, and I was determined to do it self. A friend was going with me, but he changed his mind. So I promised parents I’d check in daily on mobile, and I’d also post pictures on social media page. I didn’t feel anxious – I was just excited to get going.’

Things went perfectly for the first week. David made good progress and was really enjoying the experience. Since many people use the trail, he was constantly meeting fellow hikers, so he never felt isolated. ‘But then it got really stor,’ he says, ‘so a lot of people gave up. I could go for hours without seeing anyone at all. But as long as I had mobile, I wasn’t really worried about anything bad happening.’

Unfortunately, something bad did happen. During a particularly heavy rain storm, David slipped in the mud, went off the edge of the trail and fell about ten metres down the hill. ‘I realised I’d broken arm immediately, but I knew location and thought I could still call for help. Then I found that mobile had fallen out of pocket. And when I tried to get up to look for it, I couldn’t stand up at all. leg was injured too.’

All he could do was to shout for help. ‘I yelled until throat was sore,’ he says. ‘And nothing happened. But then I saw a head at the top of the hill – someone had heard me. A man came down, saw the state I was in and called for help. And really, that was the most amazing part of the whole experience. At the hospital, even the doctors were impressed at how much of the trail I’d covered. I felt really proud.’ Will he try to walk the trail again? ‘Absolutely,’ he says. ‘It’s a fantastic place, and nothing can keep me away.’

1) The Pennine Way is

a the longest trail in Britain.

b located mainly in Scotland.

c not popular with inexperienced walkers.

d considered a difficult trail to walk.

2) Where did David get the idea of hiking the trail?

a from reading about it

b from his parents

c from hearing an account of it

d from being challenged by a friend

3) How did David get help after his accident?

a He called for help on his mobile.

b He spoke to a passer-by.

c He called out until someone heard him.

d He returned to the trail and found someone.

4) What is the best title for the article?

a A Foolish Adventure

b How a Mobile Saved a Boy’s Life

c Near Tragedy, But No Regrets

d Fear and Tragedy on the Pennine Way

Show answers

1) D  2)3) C  4) C