English Reading Exercises for B2 – Love is in the air

1. Complete the sentences with the words below.

genes      guinea pigs      immune systems      mate      offspring     organs      paper      proof

They asked for students to be ____________ for their experiment on sleep.

Dr Smith is presenting a ____________ on her new thermodynamic theory.

What ____________ have you got to show that your theory is correct?

All animals have developed ways of attracting a ____________

The illness can be avoided by modifying the ____________ in people’s DNA.

Our ____________ protect us against illness and infection.

Birds will protect and feed their ____________ until they are able to fly.

Hospitals need more donors so that they can replace damaged ____________

Show answers

1 guinea pigs   2 paper   3 proof   4 mate   5 genes

6 immune systems   7 offspring   8 organs

Reading Strategy

When you come across an unfamiliar word in a text, ask yourself if you need to know its meaning to do the task. If you do, first decide what part of speech it is. Then try to work out from the context what it might mean.

2. Read the Reading Strategy. Then read the text and try to guess the meanings of the underlined words from the context. Check your answers in a dictionary.

Love in 36 questions

[A ]   Although couples will rarely believe it, scientific factors have a lot to do with falling in love. Research has shown that scent plays an important role in choosing a mate. Other experiments have demonstrated the love is caused by combinations of chemicals in the brain. Furthermore, New York psychologist Arthur Aron applied the principles of science to demonstrate that the process of falling in love could be speeded up ___ to just 45 minutes!

[B ]   Some scientists claim that we take between ninety seconds and four minutes to decide if we fancy someone. However, the leap from being attracted to someone to falling in love with them is a big one, and Aron wanted to find out if the closeness associated with feelings of being in love could be created artificially.

[C ]   Aron produced a paper that included 36 questions designed to encourage intimacy if couples answered them together. The questions came in three sets with each set covering increasingly intimate ground. They covered many personal opinions and experiences; for example, ‘Would you like to be famous?’, ‘What does friendship mean to you?’ and ‘When did you last cry in front of another person?’ After answering the questions together, the couples were directed to stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes without saying anything.

[D ]   Aron tested his questions on pairs of strangers and then asked them to stare at each other. All of the participants reported feeling close to their partners and many of them swapped contact details after the experiment. So if you’re keen on someone and would like to get closer to them, it would seem that Aron’s questions could help you to achieve your objective.

Show answers

factor – noun: a fact or situation that influences the result of something;

fancy – verb; to be attracted to someone;

leap – noun: to make a sudden movement from one place to another;

intimacy – noun; a close relationship with someone;

swap – verb; exchange

3. Answer the questions about the article.

Which paragraph mentions ___

1 relationships being formed? ____

2 conversations about views, dreams and beliefs? ____

3 the science of love? ____

4 the aim of the experiment? ____

Show answers

1 D   2 C   3 A   4 B

4. Choose the correct answers (a-d).

Thanks to Arthur Aron, we have learned that

couples are mistaken about why they fell in love.

smell attracts people to each other.

love is the result of a chemical reaction.

people can fall in love quickly.

The aim of Arthur Aron’s research was to see

if people would fall in love after four minutes.

if there was a big difference between fancying someone and loving them.

if intimacy could be provoked.

how many questions it would take to make people feel close.

Aron explained that his questions

would make people famous.

should be done while people stare at each other.

would help people have experiences together.

d would make people feel that they had a connection.

4 The experiment that tested Aron’s theory resulted in

a some people hoping to stay in contact.

b a few marriages.

c all the participants quickly falling in love.

d only a few of the partners forming a connection.

Show answers

1 d   2 c   3 d   4 a