The human athlete has a special trick that no other animal has. It is called self-talk. Athletes talk to themselves to warm up, to focus and to help themselves believe they will win. A few simple words like “I can do it!” and “It is now or never!” can make the difference between winning gold or not.

Self-talk is also used by speakers, actors and other performers. Before a speech, politicians believe that their words will win votes. And, self-talk helps students stay calm even when stumped by hard exam questions. Self-talk is a life skill you can use wherever you are, whenever you need it.

The whole idea of talking to themselves seems strange to many people. Imagine your teacher saying, “For homework, talk to yourself for half an hour tonight.” You might think he is playing a joke on your class. Instead, adults teach kids all about talking to other people. There are many books on why, when, what and how to communicate with the rest of the world. Thus, you can grow up knowing a lot more about people around you than about yourself.

It is good to speak and listen to others. But there is great value in making time to listen to yourself. When you do, you get to know yourself better. Along the way, you may discover the power you have for using words well.

Such ideas are so exciting to psychologists that they have been trying to learn more about self-talk. In the study, people found certain lost items at home more easily when they talked to themselves while searching for the things.

1.By saying “It is now or never!”, the athlete means that “________”.

A. the time is valuable B. it is possible to win gold

C. I must try my best to win D. it is never too late to learn

2.What is the main idea of paragraph 2?

A. Self-talk makes a speech wonderful.

B. Self-talk is helpful for different people.

C. Self-talk helps the students pass the exam.

D. Self-talk is especially important for performers.

3.Why do many of us learn less about ourselves?

A. We don’t like doing the homework.

B. We don’t know how to talk to ourselves.

C. There are no books about ourselves.

D. We spend too much time in learning other people.

Americans drove more miles in 2015 than any year since the U.S. government started keeping records 45 years ago. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDT) recently reported that Americans drove a record of 3.148 trillion miles last year. In case you are wondering, that is enough to take 337 round trips from Earth to Pluto.

There are a number of reasons why Americans are driving more miles. The social experts agree that the first is the price of gas, which has dropped to the level of the year 2004 in the past year. The American Automobile Association (AAA) said that the average price of gas was just $1.71 a gallon. That could be the lowest price since 2004.

P.J. Sriraj, a director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Chicago, notes that the lower cost to fill up a car is just one reason. Another reason is that more Americans are back to work after the 2008 economic recession, and they drive to their jobs.

Besides, more Americans have to travel a long distance every day between home and the office. There are a lot of Americans who must travel more than 45 miles per day for their jobs. And as for many, there is not enough public transportation.

Because of the heavy traffic, roads are becoming more and more crowded. While modern cars are more fuel-efficient, the improvement is not enough to offset more cars on the road. “There is no doubt that driving more will make the air dirtier,” said P.J. Sriraj. And many Americans showed a great concern in a recent survey.

1.The USDT report shows that in 2015 ________.

A. Americans drove record-breaking miles

B. Americans drove 3.148 trillion miles a day

C. Travel to Pluto was popular with Americans

D. The government began to record driving miles

2.P.J. Sriraj thinks the reason why Americans drove more miles is ________.

A. the low prices of gas and cars B. the 2008 economic depression

C. the Urban Transportation Center D. more people’s coming back to work

3.What makes many Americans worried?

A. Having to drive far to work. B. Having no public transportation.

C. Too many cars’ pollution of the air. D. Small improvement of modern cars.

4.How is the whole passage developed?

A. By explaining causes. B. By giving examples.

C. By following time order. D. By making comparison.

Living among trees, plants and flowers can fill your life with beauty. And if you are a woman, it can also help you live longer. Researchers found that women who live in homes surrounded by plants appear to have lower death rates than women who live in areas with fewer plants.

Researchers at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health reported the finding. They looked at the information from one of the largest and oldest investigations of the women’s health: the Nurse’s Health Study. It began 40 years ago. It now has information on nearly 200,000 women.

For the new study, the team looked at the death rates of more than 100,000 women between the years 2000 and 2008. Then the researchers compared the death rates of these women to the plants around their homes. The researchers also considered other things, such as the age of the women, money they earn and race. They also looked at whether or not the women smoked.

The study found that the death rate among women who lived in the greenest spaces was 12% lower than those from the least green areas. The researchers were surprised to find such a strong connection between high vegetation levels and low death rates.

The study suggested that living among trees, flowers and other plants lowered levels of depression. Researchers said women in greener areas spent more time with other people and exercised more. It is common knowledge that plants can help the environment in many ways. The new finding also suggested ways to the government and the city planners to grow even healthier living areas.

1.How did the researchers divide the women in the study?

A. By their money. B. By their different ages.

C. By their habit of smoking. D. By the number of plants around them.

2.It can be inferred from the last paragraph that ________.

A. more and more women will plant trees

B. it will be a must to build houses with trees around

C. the new finding may influence future living conditions

D. the government will take action to make women healthier

3.What is the best title of this passage?

A. Women should grow flowers at home

B. Plants may help women live longer

C. Women must exercise more to keep healthy

D. The bad environment causes high death rates

Compliments can be sent in all shapes and sizes. They can range from congratulating co-workers on their hard work to telling someone how good that shirt looks on him or her. 1. In other words, compliments, no matter how small or great they are, can make anyone feel good. Next time, if you want to give someone some compliments, keep these tips in mind.

• Perfect your compliments. People feel much more appreciated when you say exactly why you think that person deserves some praise. That’s to say, back your compliments up with examples of why you think that person did a good job. 2.

• Don’t put it off. Too many people wait until what they think is the perfect moment to send a compliment. 3. What you have in your head as a perfect moment may never happen. If you feel that a compliment is appropriate, the best time is now.

4. Don’t ever tell someone that something he or she has done is great and then point out what he or she was doing beforehand wasn’t so great. Compliments are meant to make people feel good, and that’s it. Don’t bring other things into them because comparing the present and the past can just make someone feel bad about themselves.

• Be selfless. 5. Not only is this very selfish, but it destroys all of the sincerity right out of the compliments. If you think someone’s hair looks nice, say so — but don’t do it just because you’re having a new hairstyle and want some validation (确认) for your own look.

A. Give a 100% compliment.

B. Don’t be one of those people!

C. It’s always a nice idea to give a compliment with a smile.

D. The best compliment leaves no room for any misunderstanding.

E. Your sincere compliments can make someone’s entire day better.

F. Never compliment someone because you want a compliment back.

G. Adding examples makes your compliments more sincere and effective.

Krystal was ten when her parents divorced (离婚). By the time she was 12, her mother ________ and they lived in Cloverport, Kentucky. Danny, her new stepfather (继父), drove a truck. When he was home, he tried ________ to be friends. But teenage Krystal was like ice. “The divorce really made me________. I was heartbroken.

In the summer of 1984, Danny stopped at a Texas rest stop around midnight when he ________ a purple tour bus. The printed name “Prince” caught his eye. He’d heard of this Prince and knew Krystal and her friends ________ his songs. He knocked on the bus door. Prince himself stepped down the stairs. “My stepdaughter likes your ________. Can I ask you for your autograph?”

With no ________ on hand, Prince reached for the purple bandanna (头巾) on his head and ________ it. Danny called Krystal’s mom ________. “Krystal likes Prince, right?” “Of course, Danny. She’ll love it.” Mom hung up the phone and ________ Krystal. Then Krystal told all 13 people in her class _______. By the time Danny pulled up to the house a few days later, the entire population of Cloverport ________ the purple bandanna that was making its way to Krystal.

But no one knew what had ________ after Danny hung up the phone. After ________ Prince, he’d been walking back to his truck when another trucker ________ him. “Hey, man, my son is a huge fan. Are you willing to make a ________?”

Arriving home in Cloverport that summer day, his hands behind his back, Danny stepped out of his truck. “I hope I made the ________ decision.” Danny said. “I know you like Prince, ________ I thought you’d like a Walkman (随身听) more.” When her stepfather presented his offer of ________, Krystal was moved to tears.

“From then on, I grew to love him not only as a father but as a friend. All he ever wanted was to make me ________,” said Krystal.

1.A. remarried B. left C. moved D. returned

2.A. again B. hard C. lightly D. violently

3.A. nervous B. surprised C. tired D. sad

4.A. saw B. drove C. took D. missed

5.A. hated B. remembered C. liked D. wrote

6.A. music B. movie C. book D. car

7.A. ticket B. money C. paper D. pen

8.A. showed B. sold C. threw D. signed

9.A. at once B. on time C. just now D. once more

10.A. heard B. told C. praised D. answered

11.A. secretly B. weakly C. nervously D. excitedly

12.A. knew about B. worried about C. prepared for D. looked for

13.A. Changed B. Appeared C. found D. happened

14.A. bothering B. catching C. meeting D. helping

15.A. treated B. stopped C. followed D. hit

16.A. decision B. mistake C. trade D. wish

17.A. right B. final C. difficult D. different

18.A. and B. so C. but D. or

19.A. hope B. love C. joy D. trust

20.A. happy B. lucky C. brave D. confident

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