Find the words or phrases (1–7) in the text above which are explained / defined (a–g)? The first and the last letter are given to help you.

1 s----t a immaterial, intellectual or moral part of a man
2 r-----e b demand, to insist upon
3 c----------s c state of being complete
4 r----r d strictness
5 c---------y e the state of always being the same in thought, behavior
6 take l----g to f be fond of
7 e-------e g give hope, courage or confidence to; to support


Test yourself. Cover the dictionary meanings and look at the words. What are the meanings?

Match the paragraphs 1–5 with the headings A–E.

A. Maths is everywhere.

B. What’s needed to become a good maths teacher.

C. Why mathematics?

D. There are no bad pupils – there are bad teachers.

E. The subject matter of mathematics.


Answer the questions on the text.

1. What can mathematics be compared with according to the text?

2. What does pure maths deal with?

3. What is applied maths?

4. How are the results in pure maths appreciated?

5. Why is maths the queen of sciences?

6. Why do many people dislike mathematics?

7. What is the main task of a mathematics teacher?

8. What makes a good teacher of mathematics?


HELP box

Grammar focus: Past simple and Past continuous

Past Simple Past Continuous
yesterday last year (day, week…) in 1945 two days ago
V (-ed) ? did - didn’t                           

Use the past simple for finished past actions, e.g.:

He finished school last year.

Did he finish school two years ago?

No, he didnt.

  at 4 o’clock from 7 till 9
was / were +V(ing) ? was / were - wasn’t / weren’t


Use the past continuous to describe an action in progress and a specific time in the past, e.g.:

He was writing a letter at 7 in the evening.

Was he writing a letter at 7 in the evening?

No, he wasn’t.

A Underline the correct verb form.

1. He was working/worked in the lab, when she was coming/came in.

2. Helen was teaching/taught Mathematics when he first was seeing/saw her.

3. I was proving/proved a theorem when the teacher was calling/called my name.

4. While he was living/lived with Anna, he was meeting/met Noemi.

5. Kate was having/had a party when she was introducing/introduced Sam to him.

6. She was cooking/cooked a cake when the telephone was ringing/rang.

7. We were driving/drove fast when the police was sopping/stopped us.

8. It was raining/rained when we were leaving/left the pub.

9. While she was studying/studied logical structures, he was thinking/thought about their application.

10. They were solving/solved a very difficult problem when someone was nocking/nocked at the door.

B Complete the story with the past simple or past continuous of the verbs in brackets told by the teacher of Maths who was invited to deliver her lectures.

When Alex Petrenko 1arrivedat Kiev International airport she 2 _____ (look) around but she 3_____ (not see) anybody there to meet her. A lot of people 4_____(hold) cards with names on them, but they 5_____(not wait) for her.

She 6_____(not know) what to do, but it 7_____(be) a beautiful, sunny day so she 8____(decide) to go to the hotel on her own. She 9___ (go) outside and 10_____ (look) for a taxi. A lot of people 11___(wait) so she 12____(catch) the airport bus going to the centre of the city. The bus 13___ (stop) quite near her hotel, and she 14____ (get) off. She 15___ (walk) into the hotel and 16___ (give) her name, Alex Petrenko. She 17_____(talk) to the hotel receptionist when suddenly a man 18___(run) up to her. He 19_____ (carry) a card which 20____(say)’Mr Petrenko’.

‘Mr Petrenko? Im terribly sorry! I 21____ (wait) for you at the airport but I 22____ (think) you 23____(be) a man!’ ‘That`s OK,’24____ (say) Alex. ‘It happens to me all the time!’


Do you agree with the following statements? Give your reasoning .

a. Mathematics requires a great deal of imagination.

b. Mathematics is like poetry.

c. Many people don’t like maths because they were not encouraged at school.

d. All people have a capacity for mathematical thinking.

Here are some quotes about mathematics and mathematicians. How do you understand them? Do you agree with them? Give your reasons.

‘The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple’. /S. Gudder/

‘But mathematics is the sister, as well as the servant, of the arts and is touched with the same madness and genius’. /Harold Marston Morse/


‘Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house’. /RobertHeinlein, Time Enough for Love/

‘Although he may not always recognize his bondage( зависимость , подчинение ), modern man lives under a tyranny of numbers’. /Nicholas Eberstadt, The Tyranny of Numbers?/

‘I used to love mathematics for its own sake, and I still do, because it allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness ( неопределённость , неясность )...’. /Stendhal (Henri Beyle), The Life of Henri Brulard/

‘As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality’. /Albert Einstein, Sidelights on Relativity/

‘One cannot escape the feeling that these mathematical formulas have an independent existence and an intelligence of their own, that they are wiser than we are, wiser even than their discoverers...’ /Heinrich Hertz/


‘Pure mathematics is the world’s best game. It is more absorbing than chess, more of a gamble( азартная игра ) than poker, and lasts longer than Monopoly. It’s free. It can be played anywhere – Archimedes did it in a bathtub.’ /Richard J. Trudeau, Dots and Lines/

‘The man ignorant of mathematics will be increasingly limited in his grasp ( способность быстрого восприятия ) of the main forces of civilization.’ /John Kemeny/


‘A mathematician is a machine for converting coffee into theorems’. /Paul Erdos/

‘Mathematicians are born, not made. ’ /Henri Poincare/

‘ Mathematicians stand on each other’s shoulders ’ . /Carl Friedrich Gauss/

‘ Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries; for mathematics, the cultural world is one country.’ /David Hilbert/


Learn mathematics in English

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