Use of English


Read the following passage and choose the correct word to use in each blank.

Sugar was for a long time a luxury and in the opinion of the medical profession it still should be. During the nineteenth century, however, manufacturers discovered (1) of producing it in vast quantities and it has since become (2) of the staple articles of diet, particularly (3) the lower social classes. It has the advantages of (4) comparatively cheap, easily digested, rich (5) energy and useful for flavouring. It’s major (6) are that it lacks every nourishing quality (7) that of giving energy, and (8) of its attractive flavour it (9) to displace other much more valuable foods (10) the diet. Most serious of all is its adverse (11) on health, since excessive consumption can cause heart (12) , obesity and dental decay. The latter is widespread among the inhabitants of western countries. From the very young to the very old, (13) anyone escapes. Yet if parents (14) drastically reduce the (15) confectionery they allow (16) children to eat, the extent of dental decay would soon be checked. And (17) they were to (18) down their own consumption of sugar, they would suffer much (19) from ailments resulting directly or indirectly from their (20) overweight.


1) ways
2) one
3) for / among
4) being
5) in
6) disadvantages / drawbacks
7) except
8) because
9) tends
10) in / from
11) effects / influences
12) diseases
13) hardly
14) would
15) quantity / amount
16) their
17) if / although
18) cut
19) less
20) being


staple: basic (ES: básico, esencial)

nourishing: nourishing (ES: nutritivo)

dental decay: (ES: caries)

cut down: reduce (ES: reducir)

almost everybody vs hardly anybody

  • faults: Defectos de las personas
  • defects: Defectos de las máquinas

were to… : Used for emphasise. (ES: se ha utilizado esta forma para enfatizar)

  • If he worked harder, he would get better marks
  • If he were to work (de esta manera se enfatiza la imposibilidad, si el trabajara)


  • If she didn’t smoke so much she’d be in better conditions
  • If she weren’t to smoke …


  • Were he to work harder he would get better marks. (En esta inversión desaparece el if)
  • Weren’t she smoke so much she’d be in better conditions

Both, the emphasize improbability

Se usa “were to” para todas las personas, y solo vale para la 2da condicional.


She insists on me coming (more formal, She insists on my coming)

She is used to her working (more formal, She is used to her working)

I object to them smoking (more formal, I object to their smoking)

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