At last firemen have put out a big forest fire in California. Since then, they have been trying to find out how the fire began. Forest fires are often caused by broken glass or by cigarette ends which people carelessly throw away. Yesterday the firemen examined the ground carefully, but were not able to find any broken glass. They were also quite sure that a cigarette end did not start the fire. This morning, however, a fireman accidentally discovered the cause. He noticed the remains of a snake which was wound round the electric wires of a 16,000-volt power line. In this way, he was able to solve the mystery. The explanation was simple but very unusual. A bird had snatched up the snake from the ground and then dropped it on to the wires. The snake then wound itself round the wires. When it did so, it sent sparks down to the ground and these immediately started a fire.



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  1.At last firemen have put out a big forest fire in California.消防队员们终于扑灭了加利福尼亚的一场森林大火。
  (1)at last(终于,到底)表示经过一番努力之后。
  (2)put out可以表示“扑灭”、“熄灭”、“关掉”等含义:
  Please put the light/ fire out.
  2.…they have been trying to find out how the fire began.……他们一直试图找出起火的原因。
  (1)短语动词find out表示经过研究、努力等“发现”、“找出”、“查出”:
  I'll try and find out the name of the person who saved my life yesterday.
  (2)how the fire began是find out的宾语,它是一个由疑问词how引导的名词从句。
  3.They were also quite sure that a cigarette end did not start the fire.他们还十分肯定火灾也不是由烟头引起的。
  (2)be sure后面跟的是名词从句。that引导的这个名词从句也可以写成that the fire was not started by a cigarette end。但这里强调的是引起火灾的原因(不是碎玻璃或烟头),所以用烟头作主语。
  4.…a fireman accidentally discovered the cause.……一个消防队员偶然发现了起火的原因。
  I don't know who discovered America.
  5.He noticed the remains of a snake which was wound round the electric wires of a 16,000-volt power line.他发现了缠绕在16,000伏高压线上的一条死蛇。
  (1)the remains表示“尸体”、“残骸”,必须用复数形式:
  The villagers were surprised to see the remains of an aeroplane near the lake.
  Did you wind this piece of wire round the tree?
  6.When it did so…当它这样做时……



hot adj. 带电的,充电的
fireman n. 消防队员
cause v. 引起; n. 原因
examine v. 检查
accidentally adv. 意外地,偶然地
remains n. 尸体,残骸
wire n. 电线
volt n. 伏特(电压单位)
power line 电力线
solve v. 解决
mystery n. 谜
snatch v. 抓住
spark n. 电火花




  A What happened: began(1.2);examined(1.4);were not able to find(1.5);did not start(1.6);discovered(1.7); noticed (1.8);was wound(1.8);was able to solve(1.9);dropped (1.10); wound(1.11); it did so(1.11); sent(1.11); started(1.11)
  What has happened: have put out(1.1)
  What has been happening: have been trying to find(1.2)
  C Jack looked at his watch for the twentieth time. Suddenly Jill arrived.
  ‘I've been waiting for over an hour,’he said angrily.‘You never come on time.’
  ‘Oh, is that so?’Jill answered.‘Were you here at 2.30?’Jack went red.‘Well,’he said,‘I go here five minutes late myself, but you weren't here.’
  ‘I came here at exactly 2.30,’Jill said,‘and I waited for five minutes, but you didn't come.’
  ‘What have you been doing since then?’Jack asked.‘I've just been to the hairdresser's,’Jill answered brightly.
  a Look: you threw the potato-peeler away by mistake.
  The shepherd threw some food to his dogs.
  The teacher threw some chalk at a boy who wasn't listening.
  b I'm quite certain these are my glasses.
  The children are very quiet. What's going on?
  c The cause of unemployment is complicated.
  Can you explain the reason for changing our arrangements?
  He reasoned that we would have to comply, even if we didn't wish to.
  d Please don't drop that vase!
  It fell from my hands and broke.
  1c 2d 3a 4c 5c 6c
  7d 8c 9d 10 a 11c 12 c