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PRONOUN AGREEMENT - Choose the correct form
Focusing on the thing affected: the passive voice
Using modals - The main uses of modals
The spelling and pronunciation of possessives
The past

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1. Read the following text and try to guess the new words from the context. 

The cargo is taken on board the ship in accordance with the cargo plan. This plan is drawn up beforehand and must be carefully considered by the captain. In planning the stowage of the goods, the captain gives the first consideration to the safety of the ship. That means he must see that the stowage of goods is planned in such a way that the ship will maintain her stability and seaworthiness after the cargo has been loaded. This entails another problem: the ship must be duly trimmed and the extraweights, if any, must be properly lashed or secured so that they will not shift when the ship encounters bad weather.

There are other considerations which should be taken into account, too. First of all, different kinds of cargo should be stowed in such a manner that they would not damage or affect one another by contact or proximity. Then, the cargo is shipped to several ports, each consignment must be arranged so that it might be easily and conveniently discharged in the appropriate port. In other words, it must be readily accessible and not “over-stowed” with other goods.

Thus, after the cargo plan has been approved and due notices of readiness to load have been handed over, the Chief Officer is first of all to get the holds ready. Then he is to look after the loading and stowage of the cargo.

The agent sends him a shipping note or a shipping order with each separate lot of goods. The Second officer arranges a careful tally of goods which are taken aboard. When the Chief Officer ascertains the exact quantity and condition of the goods received, he makes out the mate’s receipts. These are delivered to the shippers, to the stevedoring companies or direct to the agent, as the case may be.

On the basis of these receipts, the agent makes out bills of lading in which he is to insert all the remarks contained in the mate’s receipts.

Then the agent presents the issued bills of lading to the master for signature. The master calls for his second mate, verifies with him the accuracy of all the data, and then signs the bills of lading. As a rule, the second mate retains a copy of each bill for reference.

On no account should the master sign a post-dated or ante-dated bill of lading, for. By so doing, he may get into serious trouble as this may leave an opening for fraud; besides, contracts between shippers and receivers often depend on the date of shipment. A bill of lading should therefore be signed under date of shipment of goods.

A master is sometimes pressed by a shipper to sign a bill of lading, which is known to be false, in return for a letter of indemnity. The master should never accept such a letter, but should insist on qualifying the bills of lading so that they contain statements which are true in substance and in fact.

After loading has been completed, a stowage plan and manifest of cargo are compiled. These are rather important and useful documents. They are usually sent ahead of the ship to the port of discharge so that preliminary arrangements may be made as to the type of discharging gear required and as to the number of gangs to handle the cargo. After that a proper method of disposal is arranged. A copy of the cargo manifest is also kept on the ship to be presented to the customs house when required.

2. Role-play the following dialogues and then work out and perform dialogues of your own.

2.1.Dialogue 1.

FIRST MATE: I’ve been informed that there are two boxes of nonstandard size in that lot under your Shipping Order No.27. The numbers and the marks are the same. You’d better go and see them in Hold No. 2. We stowed them aside.

CHIEF STEVEDORE: No, that’s all right with those boxes. They belong to the next lot of bigger-sized boxes. With the next draft we’ll send up the two missing boxes and you may close up Shipping Order No. 27. Don’t forget only to tally those two boxes with the lot under Shipping Order No, 28 which will cover a separate bill of lading.

FIRST MATE: Never mind that. As to Shipping Order Nos. 25 and 26, our tallies agree and you may have my mate’s receipts.

CHIEF STEVEDORE: Well, if you don’t mind I’ll have them right now.

FIRST MATE: Here you are. Please have them.


2.2.Dialogue 2.

MASTER: How many copies of the B/L am I to sign Mr Agent?

AGENT: For B/L no.3782 you are to sign four copies; as to the rest, three copies will do.

MASTER: All right, here you are. Please have all the papers; they are duly and properly signed. When will you issue the rest of the bills of lading?

AGENT: What B’s/L do you mean Captain?

MASTER: Oh, I mean B’s/L for the rails and cotton. We are just completing loading and I think we may put to sea by tomorrow night.

AGENT: Oh, that’s what you mean. Well, tomorrow by 3 p.m. I hope I’ll bring you the last B/L and the remaining shipping documents.

MASTER: That’s very good indeed. How many copies of the cargo manifest are you going to give us?

AGENT: I think three copies will suffice.

MASTER: Oh, no, they won’t. I would kindly ask you to give us five copies of the manifest and four copies of the stowage plan. You know we had some trouble with those copies last time. The Gibraltar Customs House asked us to present two copies of the cargo manifest and we had to type them ourselves. It took us a lot of time and put us to much inconvenience.

AGENT: Oh. I see. Well, don’t bother about that. I’ll do as you ask.

2.3.Dialogue 3.

MASTER: Are you the representative of the Oil Company, Sir?

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: I am Cargo Superindendent of the Kuweit Oil Co., Ltd. Where do you come from?

MASTER: We come from Haipheng.

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: Have you prepared notices of readiness?

MASTER: Yes, we have. Here they are. We are ready to start loading the cargo from 1.00 p.m. today. Will you sign your acceptance and state in its copy the time when the notice is served?

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: Yes, of course I will. And now we have to settle several points with regard to handling the cargo.

MASTER: Good. Shall we start with examining the tanks and signing the certificate of inspection?

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: I suppose we may do it right away. Have you already made connections to the submarine hoses?

MASTER: No, not yet. We are just picking up floating buoys and hoses from the submarine pipeline. Your mooring master is superintending the job. Wait a moment. I’ll call for my second mate to show you the tanks.

2.4.Dialogue 4.

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: I’ve examined all the tanks; they are dry and clean. Here is the certificate of inspection which I’ve already signed. Here are some more papers which you are to sign too.

MASTER: What papers do you mean?

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: First of all the declaration that your water ballast intended for discharging here is free of oil or other harmful contamination.

MASTER: That’s clear. Let me sign it. What else?

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: Here is another declaration that all the fire and safety regulations have been complied with.

MASTER: That’s also clear. Anything else?

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: Yes, there are two more papers. One is the declaration to the effect that all the necessary valves are open and that the vessel is in a proper condition to receive cargo. The other one is to the effect that ship’s seacocks are closed except those which are necessary for the normal running of the ship.

MASTER: Very well. Here you are. I’ve signed everything. Now, how can we arrange for the signals?

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: The signals are as follows: six short blasts on your whistle when you are ready to load. One long blast when you want to slow down the loading rate. Two short blasts when you want it at full speed, and three long blasts meaning “stop’.

MASTER: That’s settled. Besides, we’ll station a deck hand to relay orders by voice to your man at the shore terminal valve.

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: That’s very good. I’ll instruct my man accordingly. Will your deck hands relay commands in English?

MASTER: Yes, they will, but very briefly, like: “start”, “slow speed”, “full speed”, “stand by to slow down” and “stop”.


MASTER: When loading is completed send someone to take the soundings and the samples.

CARGO SUPERINTENDENT: Certainly , Sir., you needn’t worry about that.


seaworthiness = navigabilitate

shortage = lipsa

to make out = a intocmi, a redacta

to insert = a insera, a introduce

to retain = a retine

fraud = frauda, inselaciune

a letter of guarantee = scrisoare de garantie

a letter of indemnity = scrisoare de garantie

gang = echipa

to substitute = a substitui

mate’s receipt = ordin de imbarcare

burst = desfacut, plesnit {despre saci)

shed = spatiu de depozitare descoperit

entry = insemnare

to pertain = a se referi la, a fi de resortul

to superintend = a supraveghea, a controla

to comply with = a se conforma cu

to station = a plasa, a indica postul cuiva

power of attorney = imputernicire, procura

with regard to = considerind, avind in vedere.

To take into account = a lua in consideratie, a tine cont

As the case may be = in functie de caz/situatie

To get into serious trouble = a avea probleme mari

Our tallies don’t agree = pontajul nostru nu corespunde

The casks proved to be leaky = butoaiele prezinta scurgeri

To the effect that = in sensul ca

To relay orders = a transmite ordine/dispozitii

The notice is served = notisul a fost prezentat

4. Reading Comprehension

4.1. Read the text again and answer the following questions

In accordance with what document is the cargo taken aboard the ship?

Who draws up the cargo plan?

What should be taken into account when planning the stowage of goods?

What properties should the vessel retain after loading the cargo?

On what condition may different kinds of cargo be stowed in one hold?

How should the cargo be stowed if it is consigned for several ports?

What document does the agent send to the ship with each separate lot of goods?

Who is to arrange a tally of goods when they are taken aboard?

What document does he make out when the goods are taken aboard?

To whom are the mate’s receipts delivered?

What document is made out on the basis of these receipts?

Why does the chief mate/first mate retain a copy of each bill of lading?

Why shouldn’t the master sign post-dated or ante-dated bills of lading?

When are a stowage plan and cargo manifest compiled?

4.2. Read the dialogues again and answer the following questions:

4.2.1. Dialogue 1

Did the shore ship’s tallies agree?

How great was the discrepancy between the tallies?

Did the chief stevedore find the eight missing bags?

For how many bags did he ask the second mate to make out a receipt?

Dialogue 2

What did the chief mate/first mate say about the size of two boxes?

To what lot did they belong?

What did the chief stevedore promise to do about the missing boxes?

Dialogue 3

How many casks were short-shipped under Shipping Order No.30?

What was wrong with these casks?

Had the first mate made a mistake in calculating the total number of bales?

What did he say when the agent offered him a letter of guarantee for the missing quantity?

Dialogue 4

What remark was the first mate going to enter in his mate’s receipt?

What did Mr Patterson say to that?

What were they to do with the bills of lading Mr Patterson had brought?

What remark did the first mate overlook in the Bill of Lading?

Dialogue 5

When was the agent going to bring the last bills of lading?

When did the captain expect to put to sea?

How many copies of the cargo manifest did he want?

What trouble did he have with those documents on his previous voyage?

Dialogue 6

I what document was the cargo superintendent to sign his acceptance?

What did they decide to examine first of all?

Had connections to submarine hoses been made by that time?

Who was superintending that job?

Dialogue 7

What certificate had the cargo superintendent signed?

What declaration did he want the master to sign?

What were the signals arranged between them?

Who was to relay orders by voice?

5. GRAMMAR: The Passive: general

5.1. Form

We form passive verbs with the different tenses of be (e,g, is,was,is being,have been) + past participle.

Present simple

Am/are/is+past participle

The office is locked every evening.

Present continuous

Am/are/is + being + past participle

The house is being painted at the moment.

Past simple

Was/were + past participle

My car was stolen last night.

Past continuous

Was/were + being + past participle

The bridge was being repaired last week.

Present perfect simple

Have/has + been + past participle

Sarah has been invited to the party.

Past perfect simple

Had + been + past participle

I thought that you had been told the news

Perfect continuous passives (have/has/had + been being + past participle) are very uncommon.

The past participle of regular verbs ends in –ed e.g. locked, painted. Irregular verbs have different past participle forms e.g. steal-stolen, tell-told

Compare these active and passive sentences:

Active: Someone locks the office every evening.

Passive: The office is locked every evening.

Active: Someone has invited Sarah to the party.

Passive: Sarah has been invited to the party.

Note that the object of an active verb 9e.g. the office, Sarah) becomes the subject of a passive verb.

The rules for choosing tenses in the passive are the same as in the active. For example, to talk about something that is in progress now, we use the present continuous.

The house is being painted at the moment.

5.2. Use

We often use the passive when we do not know who or what does something.

My car was stolen last night. (I do not know who stole the car.)

We also use the passive when we are not interested in who or what does something.

The factory was painted during the war.

Sarah has been invited to the party.

In these sentences we are interested in the factory and Sarah, not who painted the factory, or who invited Sarah.

We also use the passive when we do not want to say who or what does something.


Active: I made a mistake.

Passive: A mistake was made.

5.3. The passive: infinitive and –ing forms

There is a passive infinitive form: be + past participle. We use this form after modal verbs (must, can , will, etc.) and after a number of other structures (e.g. going to, have to, want to and would like to).

This door must be kept locked.

The job can’t be done.

He is going to be interviewed next summer.

The new motorway will be opened next summer.

I don’t want to be disturbed.

There is a passive perfect infinitive form: have been + past participle. We can use the form to talk about the past.

The newspaper may have been thrown away last night.

We should have been told about the dangers.

There is also a passive-ing form: being + past participle.

I don’t like being cheated.

He remembers being given the book.

5.4. Using get instead of be in the passive

We sometimes use get (+ past participle) instead of be ( + past participle) to make passive verbs. We do this, for example, when we talk about things that happen by accident or unexpectedly.

My flat got burgled when I was on holiday.

I was surprised that I didn’t get invited to the party.

My parents’ fence got blown down in the storm.

We use get mostly in an informal style.

5.5. Verbs with two objects in the passive

Some verbs e.g. give can have two objects.

Someone gave Jimmy the money. ( The two objects are Jimmy and the money)

In cases like this we can make two different passive sentences.

Jimmy was given the money. The money was given to Jimmy.

In general, it is more usual for passive sentences to begin with the person.

Other verbs which can have two objects include send, offer, show, pay, teach, promise and tell.

I was sent a telegram.

She will be told the news.

5.6. The passive with by and with

5.6.1. By + agent


Active: Marconi invented the radio.

Passive: The radio was invented by Marconi.

Active: The strong winds blew down a number of trees.

Passive: A number of trees were blown down by the strong winds.

We sometimes use the subject of an active sentence (e.g. Marconi, the strong winds)as ‘the agent’ in a passive sentence, When this happens, we use by to introduce the agent in the passive.

We only use by + agent when it is important to say who or what is responsible for something.

5.6.2.With + instrument

We use with to talk about an instrument which is used by the agent to do something.Compare:

I was hit with an umbrella.

I was hit by an old lady.

5.6.3. With + material

We also use with to talk about materials or ingredients.

The room was filled with smoke.

Irish coffee is made with whiskey.

5.7. It is said that he…/He is said to…etc.

When we talk about what other people say, believe, etc we can use two possible passive forms. Compare:

Active: People say that Mr Ross is a millionaire.

Passive (1) : It + passive + that-clause

It is said that Mr Ross is a millionaire.

Passive (2): Subject + passive + to infinitive

Mr Ross is said to be a millionaire.

We often use these passive forms in a formal style and with verbs such as:












It is believed that they own a lot of land in the north.

They are believed to own a lot of land in the north.

It is reported that the president is seriously ill.

The president is reported to be seriously ill.

It is expected that a new law will be introduced next year.

A new law is expected to be introduced next year.

When the belief, etc refers to an earlier action, we use the ‘perfect infinitive’ ( to have + past participle). Compare:

It is believed that the fire started late last night.

The fire is believed to have started late last night.

It was thought that two prisoners had escaped.

Two prisoners were thought to have escaped.

5.7.2. Be supposed to

We can use supposed to mean ‘said to’.

I’d like to read that book.It’s supposed to be very good.(= It is said to be very good)

He’s supposed to have been married before. (=He is said to have been married before.)

Supposed to sometimes suggests some doubt about whether something is true or not.

Note that we also use supposed to to say what people are expected to do because of an arrangement, a rule, or a duty e.g. I’m supposed to see Maria this afternoon.

5.8. Have something done

5.8.1. Form

have+object + past participle

I am having

a garage

built at the moment

How often do you have

your hair

cut ?

We had

our computer


Simon has just had

a suit


You should have

your eyes


Are you going to have

new carpets

fitted in your flat?


We use the structure have something done to talk about something which we arrange for someone else to do for us.

I’m having a garage built at the moment.


I’m building a garage at the moment. (I am building the garage myself.)

I’m having a garage built at the moment. ( I arranged for someone else to do this for me)

More examples:

We had the carpet cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner. We didn’t do it ourselves.

I usually have my car serviced at a garage in East Street.

We can also use have something done when we do not arrange for someone else to do something for us.

I had my leg broken in a football match.

We had our fence blown down in a storm last week.

We often use have something done in this way when something unpleasant or unexpected happens to someone.

Note that we can often use get something done instead of have something done, especially in an informal style e.g. I must get this jacket cleaned.

6. Grammar - Progress Test

  1. (I) Rewrite the sentences in the active, beginning with the words given.

Example: The phone is being repaired now.

They are repairing the phone now.

  1. A new motorway has been built. They….
  2. The information is kept on our computer. We…
  3. A man was arrested late last night. The police….
  4. The medicine should be taken after meals. You…
  5. The hotel will have to be sold. We…
  6. Mike doesn’t like being criticized. Mike doesn’t like people…..
  7. When I returned to town, my old school had been pulled down. When I returned to the town, they…
  8. As I was walking home, I thought  I was being followed. As I was walking home, I thought someone…

(ii) Rewrite these sentences in the passive, leaving out they or someone.

Example: They have sold the company.

The company has been sold.

They are interviewing the president on TV at the moment.

They deliver the post twice a day.

They took the old man to hospital.

They were repairing the traffic lights yesterday.

Someone has opened this letter.

I remember someone telling me the news.

They should reduce taxes.

Someone must have told Ann about the accident.

They had cancelled the 9.15 train, so I took a later train.

They are going to change the law soon.

(iii)Choose the correct answer.

The National Security Bank in downtown San Antonio…1.(robbed/was robbed) last night. A safe (blew open/was blown open) and around $ 800,000…3.(stole/was stolen). The robbery 4 took/was taken) place between midnight and 1.00am. The police 5 are looking/are being looked) for two men who 6…(saw/were seen) getting into a black car near the bank at about 1 o’clock last night. They 7 also want/are also wanted) to hear from Mr Joe Newman, 52, who 8…(worked/was worked) as a security guard at the bank. Mr Newman 9 disappeared/was disappeared) just before the robbery and he 10…(has not seen/has not been seen) since then.

Rewrite these sentences beginning with the words given.

Someone will give you the information later. You…

Someone sent me a letter. A letter…

Someone knocked me over in the street. I…

The president is expected to visit Moscow. It…

It is said that golf was invented in China. Golf…

The Queen of England is thought to be one of the richest women in the world. It…

It is claimed that beings from outer space have visited the earth. Beings from outer space…

People say that sunbathing causes skin cancer. Sunbathing is supposed…

Rewrite the sentences beginning with the words given

Example: They serviced Ken’s car yesterday.

Ken had his car serviced yesterday.

They’re repairing our roof at the moment. We…

They’re going to fit a stereo in my car. I…

Someone cleans Sue’s flat once a week. Sue…

Has anyone tested your eyes recently? Have you….?

Someone stole John’s briefcase last week. John…

7. Grammar Progress test –answer key


1,have built a new motorway; 2. Keep the information on our computer; 3. Arrested a man late last night; 4. Should take the medicine after meals; 5. Will have to sell the hotel; 6. Criticizing him; 7. Had pulled down my old school; 8. Was following me


1.The president is being interviewed on TV at the moment; 2. The post is delivered twice a day; 3. The old man was taken to hospital; 4. The traffic lights were being repaired yesterday; 5. This letter has been opened; 6. I remember being told the news; 7. Taxes should be reduced; 8. Ann must have been told the news; 9. The 9.15 train had been cancelled, so I took a later train; 10. The law is going to be changed soon


1.was robbed; 2.was blow open; 3. Was stolen; 4. Took; 5. Are looking; 6. Were seen; 7. Also want; 8. Worked; 9. Disappeared; 10. Has not been seen.


1.will be given the information later; 2. Was sent to me; 3. Was knocked over in the street; 4. Is expected that the president will visit Moscow; 5. Is said to have been invented in China; thought that the Queen of England is one of the richest women in the world; 7. Are claimed to have visited the earth; 8. To cause skin cancer


1. are having our roof repaired at the moment; 2. Am having a stereo fitted in my car; 3. Has her flat cleaned once a week . Had her eyes tested recently; 5. Had his briefcase stolen last week


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