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专家解析大学英语四级考试历年阅读真题(三十)

发帖者 吴怀唐 On 下午12:01
  Passage Three

  Questions 31 to 35 are based on the following passage.

  When families gather for Christmas dinner, some will stick to formal traditions dating back to Grandma’s generation. Their tables will be set with the good dishes and silver, and the dress code will be Sunday-best.

  But in many other homes, this china-and-silver elegance has given way to a stoneware (粗陶)-and-stainless informality, with dresses assuming an equally casual-Friday look. For hosts and guests, the change means greater simplicity and comfort. For makers of fine china in Britain, it spells economic hard times.

  Last week Royal Doulton, the largest employer in Stoke-on-Trent, announced that it is eliminating 1,000 jobs—one-fifth of its total workforce. That brings to more than 4,000 the number of positions lost in 18 months in the pottery (陶瓷) region. Wedgwood and other pottery factories made cuts earlier.

  Although a strong pound and weak markets in Asia play a role in the downsizing, the layoffs in Stoke have their roots in earthshaking social shifts. A spokesman for Royal Doulton admitted that the company “has been somewhat slow in catching up with the trend” toward casual dining. Families eat together less often, he explained, and more people eat alone, either because they are single or they eat in front of television;

  Even dinner parties, if they happen at all, have gone casual. In a time of long work hours and demanding family schedules, busy hosts insist, rightly, that it’s better to share a takeout pizza on paper plates in the family room than to wait for the perfect moment or a “real” dinner party. Too often, the perfect moment never comes. Iron a fine-patterned tablecloth? Forget it. Polish the silver? Who has time?

  Yet the loss of formality has its down side. The fine points of etiquette (礼节) that children might once have learned at the table by observation or instruction from parents and grandparents (“Chew with your mouth closed.” “Keep your elbows off the table.”) must be picked up elsewhere. Some companies now offer etiquette seminars for employees who may be competent professionally but clueless socially.

  31. The trend toward casual dining has resulted in ________.

  A) bankruptcy of fine china manufacturers

  B) shrinking of the pottery industry

  C) restructuring of large enterprises

  D) economic recession in Great Britain(B)

  32. Which of the following may be the best reason for casual dining?

  A) Family members need more time to relax.

  B) Busy schedules leave people no time for formality.

  C) People want to practice economy in times of scarcity.

  D) Young people won’t follow the etiquette of the older generation.(B)

  33. It can be learned from the passage that Royal Doulton is ________.

  A) a retailer of stainless steel tableware

  B) a dealer in stoneware

  C) a pottery chain store

  D) a producer of fine china(D)

  34. The main cause of the layoffs in the pottery industry is ________.

  A) the increased value of the pound

  B) the economic recession in Asia

  C) the change in people’s way of life

  D) the fierce competition at home and abroad(C)

  35. Refined table manners, though less popular than before in current social life ________.

  A) are still a must on certain occasions

  B) axe bound to return sooner or later

  C) are still being taught by parents at home

  D) can help improve personal relationships(A)

  这篇材料讲的是生活方式的改变对精制陶瓷业的冲击。从这个核心内容出发,在布局时首先应该介绍的当然是生活方式的改变情况。作者也是这么做的,在开头两段,作者先是叙述了原有生活方式的状况:以圣诞节晚餐为例,人们遵循着奶奶那辈的传统,桌上摆放了精美的陶瓷器具和银器,衣着华丽。作者在这里虽然使用的是一般现在时,也就是说这一情况在现在依然存在,但从第二段所使用的But一词来看,这种情况应该是少数情况或者并非那么流行了。而后,又讲述如今很多家庭的做法:瓷器换成了粗陶,银器换成了不锈钢器具(a stoneware -and-stainless informality),衣服也成了便装。这样做的目的是出于简朴和舒适(greater simplicity and comfort)。然而这一变化却给精瓷制造商们带来了“艰难时世”(it spells economic hard times)。这第二段的最后一句恰好起到了承上启下的作用,预示着下文要开始讨论精瓷制造商们的苦处。

  作者从制造商裁员讲起。一家最大的制造商Doulton宣布裁员1000个职位,这个数字是其总职位的五分之一(one-fifth of its total workforce)。行业领袖尚且如此,可以推测,小型厂商实行裁员恐怕要更早一些(made cuts earlier)。

  作者罗列的这些事实是极具冲击力的,人们不禁要问,是什么原因致使行业衰微?随后的两段回答了这个问题。第四段给出了根本原因:剧烈的社会变迁(have their roots in earthshaking social shifts),而制造商们没能适时而变(has been somewhat slow in catching up with the trend)。不过如今制造商对这种变化是清楚的,他们首先谈到家庭内部的变化。他们知道现在的家庭聚餐的次数减少了,更多人是单独进餐,原因是单身或者想边看电视边吃饭(Families eat together less often, he explained, and more people eat alone, either because they are single or they eat in front of television)。

  要注意上一段末尾使用了分号,也就意味着第五段所述的情形依然是制造商们的说法。除了家庭内部,受影响的还有晚餐会(Even dinner parties have gone casual)。因为时间紧,日程多,晚会主人情愿用外卖招待客人,这些外卖只要装盛在纸质的盘子里就可以了。人们不再期待perfect moment,不愿去熨烫精美的桌布,也不愿费力去擦磨银器。

  材料的核心内容到此基本论述完毕。最后一段附带说明了由正式转为随便后所带来的一些不利影响(the loss of formality has its down side)。The fine points of etiquette that children might once have learned at the table by observation or instruction from parents and grandparents (“Chew with your mouth closed.” “Keep your elbows off the table.”) must be picked up elsewhere——这句话虽然很长,但说明的意思却很简单:社会变迁使得孩子们的礼节意识无从培养。这个问题如何解决?作者举出了一个例子:一些公司开始召开礼节研讨会,以给在社交方面较为懵懂的人们提供帮助。

  31. The trend toward casual dining has resulted in ________.

  A) bankruptcy of fine china manufacturers

  B) shrinking of the pottery industry

  C) restructuring of large enterprises

  D) economic recession in Great Britain(B)

  这道题是问随意风格的晚宴的流行其结果是什么。Result in表示导致了什么样的结果。

  A,精瓷厂商的破产。

  B,陶瓷产业的缩水。

  C,大型企业的重组。

  D,英国经济的衰落。

  文章的前两段讲的是人们的生活方式是如何改变的,没有述及这种转变的结果。所以答案应该不在那里。第三段开始讲述新晚宴风格对精瓷厂商们的影响,答案选项的A和B均与此有关,可以判断答案很可能出自第三段。我们要做的就是比照第三段排除错误答案。

  精瓷厂商的破产——文中提到了此类厂商裁员的情形,从未提及bankruptcy一词,可以判断A错误。

  陶瓷产业的缩水——厂商集体裁员,意味着业务量减少,意味着整个产业的利润不能支撑原来的就业规模,也就是产业的缩水。

  大型企业的重组——文中没有此类说法,找不到与重组restructuring类似的内容,即使说到较大型的企业Doulton,也应该是限定在陶瓷产业,而不是笼统的large enterprises。

  英国经济的衰落,这一说法就离文意更远了。确实可以认为陶瓷产业的缩水使得英国经济缩水,但随着陶瓷业的缩水,像不锈钢器具制造、纸质器具等行业会相应得到发展,弥补了陶瓷业的损失,英国经济总体上不会衰退。

  32. Which of the following may be the best reason for casual dining?

  A) Family members need more time to relax.

  B) Busy schedules leave people no time for formality.

  C) People want to practice economy in times of scarcity.

  D) Young people won’t follow the etiquette of the older generation.(B)

  题目问下列哪一项可以作为随意风格晚宴的最佳原因。

  A,家庭成员需要更多的时间放松。

  B,繁忙的日程安排留给了人们太少的时间,来不及进行正式晚宴。

  C,人们想在困难时期实行节约。

  D,年轻人不想遵循老一辈的繁文缛节。

  题目问的内容似乎涉及的文章内容较广,如前两段就提到了风格转变的问题,后面的四、五段也有涉及。这里我们要记住一个要点,除了在每篇最后一题(有时是最后2题,但极为少见)可能出现总括式的问题外,其余问题所涉及的内容不会超出2个段落(如果是大段,通常不会超出本段)。另外要记住的是,已经考查过的段落,如果是中小段,一般不会再次出题考查,更不会考完一段后、跳过本段再去考查前面的一段。有了这层认识,我们就可以判断这道题不会考查前两段,原因是第一道题已经直接考查了第三段。

  这样的话,这道题的答案应该存在于第四、五段中。第四、五段分别从家庭内部和家庭外部(社交晚会)两方面讲述了晚宴风格的转变。其中家庭内部转变的原因是进餐的人为单身或是想边看电视边吃饭。家庭外部转变的原因是时间短和日常安排过紧,原文是long work hours and demanding family schedules,这里的long work hours不是强调劳动量大,而是强调下班回家后所剩的时间不多(因为工作时间太long,休息时间相应就短了)。

  四个选项中能够体现这两个原因的只有B。A似乎也对,但是要注意“需要更多的时间放松”和“想边看电视边吃饭”所表达的含义是不一样的,后者的意思是“想边看电视边放松”,而不是另外找出更多的时间来放松。

  33. It can be learned from the passage that Royal Doulton is ________.

  A) a retailer of stainless steel tableware

  B) a dealer in stoneware

  C) a pottery chain store

  D) a producer of fine china

  这道题问从文中可以得知Royal Doulton是……

  A,不锈钢餐具零售商。

  B,瓷器经销商。

  C,一家陶瓷连锁店。

  D,精瓷生产商。

  这是一道送分题,非常简单,所以它在题目中的顺序也有些随意。首先要正确区分几个关键词:retailer(零售商),dealer(经销商),producer(生产商),chain store(连锁店)也属于经销商和零售商的范畴。其次要看生产或销售的到底是什么产品。文章第三段最后一句讲到“For makers of fine china in Britain, it spells economic hard times.”意思是对于英国的精瓷考试*大]生产商来说,经济困难时代来临了。下一段马上介绍了Royal Doulton的裁员,可见Royal Doulton属于精瓷生产商。此外,第三段讲完它裁员后,又说到其他企业裁员更早:Wedgwood and other pottery factories made cuts earlier。这里使用了factories(工厂),可以推断这些企业都是生产商。D的说法最为精确。(D)

  34. The main cause of the layoffs in the pottery industry is ________.

  A) the increased value of the pound

  B) the economic recession in Asia

  C) the change in people’s way of life

  D) the fierce competition at home and abroad(C)

  本题问陶瓷业裁员的主要原因是什么。Layoff有“临时解雇, 操作停止,活动停止期间,失业期”等意思,在文中应该是裁员、解雇的意思。

  A,英镑的升值。

  B,亚洲经济衰退。

  C,人们生活方式的转变。

  D,来自国内外的激烈竞争。

  根据篇章分析可知,第四、五段讲的是瓷业衰落的原因。第四段开头第一句话涵盖了很多信息。Although a strong pound and weak markets in Asia play a role in the downsizing, the layoffs in Stoke have their roots in earthshaking social shifts——虽然英镑强势和亚洲市场萎靡是规模缩水的一个原因,但裁员的根源还在于剧烈的社会变迁。此后的内容均是在解释社会是如何变迁的。

  可以看到,在这里没有提到D的说法,可以首先排除D。A、B、C的内容均有所涉及,应该选择哪一个呢?需要注意两点,一是题目问的是main cause——主要原因,二是第四段开头所用的转折句式,这种句式意味着后半句的内容要更为重要。那么可以得出结论,earthshaking social shifts才是主要原因,而A和B都只是次要原因。应该选择C。

  35. Refined table manners, though less popular than before in current social life ________.

  A) are still a must on certain occasions

  B) ar e bound to return sooner or later

  C) are still being taught by parents at home

  D) can help improve personal relationships

  题目问优雅的餐桌礼仪在当今社会生活中虽然不及过去流行,但……

  最后一道题无非是考查全篇或是文章的最后部分。从题目问的内容来看,应该不是对全篇的考查,那么答案就只能存在于最后一两段。最后一段还是比较长的,从这里出一道题非常有可能,所以可以不看第五段,直接从最后一段中寻找答案。

  最后一段一共三句话。第一句是说正式礼仪的失去也有消极的一面。

  第二句很长,需要慢慢消化理解。The fine points of etiquette that children might once have learned at the table by observation or instruction from parents and grandparents (“Chew with your mouth closed.” “Keep your elbows off the table.”) must be picked up elsewhere。首先可以发现主语是The fine points of etiquette,that引导了一个从句(一直到括号部分),是对这个主语的修饰。谓语部分是must be picked up。基本结构就是etiquette must be picked up elsewhere——礼节必须在别的地方重拾。从句部分的意思是“孩子们在餐桌上通过观察和父母、祖父母的指导学到的礼仪”。

  第三句是说一些公司开始召开礼节研讨会,以给在社交方面较为懵懂的人们提供帮助。

  这三句的逻辑顺序是这样的:社会不能丧考试*大]失正式礼仪,因为它有消极的一面。过去孩子们可以在餐桌上学到正式礼仪,现在因为习惯改变已经学不到了,那么这种正式礼仪必须通过别的方式学习。有些公司开始召开礼节研讨会,以给在社交方面较为懵懂的人们提供帮助,这就是一种学习方式。

  A,在某些场合还是必须的。文中强调正式礼仪必须“重拾”,可见是必须的。A的说法正确。

  B,迟早还要回归的。文中没有类似说法。

  C,父母们依然在家中教授孩子这种礼仪。根据上面的分析,实际情况与此恰恰相反,孩子们在餐桌上已经学不到正式礼仪了。

  D,有利于促进个人关系发展。文章讲到礼仪研讨会可以帮助不懂社交的人,那么应该是有利于他们的社会关系的发展,而不是个人关系。

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