Interpretation Questions

My Mistake

John and Tom were drinking beer and talking about their old times. John was still single, but Tom was married, although he didn’t seem to be very happy about it. Tom was telling his friend how one mistake sometimes affected the whole life of a man, when John interrupted him. He was impressed by the strange appearance of a woman who was walking towards them. The woman was extremely ugly and she was dressed like an alien. She was wearing an old-fashioned dress and had a funny hat on her head.

JOHN: “Look at that terrible monster! It is coming near us!”
TOM: “Don’t worry, John! It’s my wife” – answered him, in a low voice.
Then John realized that he made a big mistake and began to apologize for it.
TOM: “It’s not your mistake, my friend,” “It’s mine!”.

(Adapted from Marques, A English 1, 33 ed. São Paulo, Ática, 1994)

Mistake – erro
Wear – vestir
Realize – perceber
Apologize – desculpar-se


           According to a recent Health Authority survey, eating habits among the great majority of teenagers are changing for the better. However, the habit of eating too many sweet foods still persists.

           The report found that a third of 11-year-old boys and two-thirds of 11-year-old girls are on a diet. However, two out of three boys still eat fried food at least every other day, although a surprising seventy-five per cent now prefer to eat healthier cereal and wholemeal bread for breakfast. In addition, almost all young people appear to be cutting down on food such as hamburgers and sausages. Nevertheless, over half of those interviewed still eat meat every day.

           The report concluded that, despite much more awareness of healthier eating among the 11-16 age group, sweet snacks are still the weakness for most young people. Four out of five teenagers still find fizzy drinks, crisps and chocolate irresistible, and hardly any of the teenagers said they would give them up.

From:  Intermediate Matters. Jan B. R. Gower, Longman, 1991. p. 109. (adapted).

health: saúde
every other day: dias alternados
wholemeal bread: pão integral
nevertheless: contudo
despite: apesar de
awareness: consciência
give up: desistir
fizzy drinks: bebidas gasosas

UDESC inverno 2017

Dilbert Classics by Scott Adams. Available at: (accessed on March 27th, 2017)