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 b---e a shine brightly
2 p-----y b state of being poor
3 s—t c pick out, recognize, see (one person or thing out of many)
4 c------d d confuse, feel with confusion
5 no a---l e without getting the effect you wanted or intended
6 make a----s f try to make a situation better after you have done something wrong
7 c---------e g ordinary, not unusual


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

Decide if these statements are true or false, or the information is not given in the text.

1. As a child Abel went to primary school.

2. Abel’s talent as a mathematician was perceived by his father.

3. Abel did well in all school subjects.

4. Abel’s school teacher Holmboe helped Niels Henric financially after the boy’s father’s death.

5. Abel knew mathematics better than his teachers at the age of 19.

6. Abel proved that there is no general algebraic solution for the roots of a quintic equation.

7. Abel was interested in physics as well as mathematics.

8. The great mathematicians, Abel’s contemporaries, recognized his mathematical talent.

9. The Paris Academy awarded Abel the Grand Prize posthumously.

What events/dates do the following numbers refer to?

1802      1815      16          1822

20          24          26          2002

HELP box

Grammar focus: So, because, but, although

●Use becauseto express a reason, e.g.: He was driving fast because he was in a hurry.  (a reason) ●Use so to express a result, e.g.: She was in a hurry so she was driving fast. (a result) ●Use but and although to show a contrast, e.g.: It was late but she couldn’t sleep. ●Although can go at the beginning or in the middle of the sentence, e.g.: Although it was a very warm day, she was wearing a coat. (a contrast)

A Match the sentence halves.

1 Although Abel’s father was a pastor, c a but he struggled in other subjects.
2 His progress in Mathematics was extremely rapid b but he was not received well.
3 Niels Henrik did extremely well in mathematics c he gave his children their first schooling with handwritten books.
4 Abel could travel in Europe d but still doing mathematics.
5 He hoped that talking to the great mathematicians would gain him entrance into mathematical circles,   e so he was encouraged to study the subject to an advanced level.
6 Abel returned home from his trip, poor and sick, f he always printed the result of his work himself
7 Although Abel had little money, g so he decided to give him private lessons after school.
8 Abel’s teacher spotted his talent in mathematics h because he received a small grant for it.
9 Abel was awarded by the Grand Prize in Mathematics i because he died at the age of 26
10 The career of this young talented mathematician was cut short j because he wrote the outstanding scientific works in the field of mathematics

B. Complete the story about a very famous young mathematics teacher with so, because, but, or although.

Taras was a very famous young mathematics teacher who delivered lectures on TV, but he was also very lonely. 1 ___ he knew a lot of people, he didn’t have any friends. Everybody knew Taras the lecturer, 2___ nobody knew the real man.

It was May and Taras was asked to deliver some lectures for students at Lugansk University. After his lecture, Taras felt very tired, 3 ___ he went back to his hotel. He was wearing his sunglasses 4 ___ he didn’t want people to recognize him. He got into the lift with a young woman. She looked at him 5___ she didn’t say anything. The lift started going up. A moment later the lift stopped. Taras and the woman waited, 6 ___ nothing happened. 7 ____ Taras pressed the emergency button 8 ___ it didn’t work. Taras looked at the woman. They were both very worried.

Taras took off his sunglasses. They began to talk together while they were waiting. ‘What’s your name?’ asked the woman. ‘Taras’, answered Taras. He was surprised, 9 ___ she didn’t know who he was. It was a nice feeling. They talked about books and television shows.

An hour later, the lift started working again. Taras got off at his floor. ‘Maybe I can see you again?’ he asked. ‘That would be nice,’ said the woman. Taras went back to his room. 10 ___ he was very tired, he couldn’t sleep. He felt happy. His life was about to change.


1. The adjective ‘abelian’ has become commonplace. Work in groups. Make a list of mathematical terms with this adjective. You can use a dictionary. After you have finished, compare your lists. Try to explain the terms you’ve already come across at your mathematics lessons .

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