Paco travels to South Africa: Paco arrives in South Africa


In this topic we will review some English verb tenses: the Present Simple, the Present Continuous, the Past Simple and the Past Continuous. We will also learn to compare people or things and we will see how the order of words in English sentences is more fixed than in Spanish sentences. To do so, we will see, for example, how when the adjectives are placed in front of a noun (attributive position), they frequently follow a unchangeable order. Finally, we will learn some vocabulary related to feelings and clothes, too.

Although it may seem easy for you, read all the texts very carefully, pay as much attention as possible to the examples and have a good time doing the exercises and activities provided in order to learn the English language not only in an effective but also in an enjoyable way.
Icono IDevice Reading activity


As you know, Paco has already left the United States and his next stop is Africa. He wanted to visit all the continents not only to meet new people but also to know new cultures and customs. Although he has improved his English a lot in the United Kingdom and the United States, he has chosen a country where English is one of the eleven official languages, South Africa, to begin his visit in this interesting huge continent.


Paco en avión

At the moment he is flying to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. The plane took off a long time ago and in a couple of hours he will arrive at the airport. He gets really excited whenever he has to travel by plane. He prefers to travel by train, car or coach. However, he knows that the plane is safer and faster than any other means of transport. Unfortunately, if he wants to visit all the places he is thinking of in Africa, he will have to take the plane more than once during his stay. The first time Paco flew was when he went from Madrid to London, and he didn't like the experience very much. Although it was a safe big British plane, he felt really nervous from the beginning to the very end of the flight. And he is as nervous now as he was then.

He is sitting next to a smart medium-aged American business man who has realized Paco is nervous wreck. The man is wearing a grey suit and a flamboyant blue and green tie. He has got short dark hair, thick eyebrows, and a hooked nose. When Paco sat down, the man was reading a book and Paco noticed he was clean-shaven.

Man: Is this your first flight?

Paco: Oh, no, it isn't. But I can't help getting highly strung when I fly.

Man: Don't you worry! It's really safe to fly nowadays. In fact, it's said that flying is the safest way of travelling. It's better than trains or coaches, and faster, of course. Although it's also much more expensive, isn't it?

Paco: Yes, it is. However I feel less nervous when I use the train or the coach. Fortunately, I don't mind how expensive it is, but it's the quickest way of travelling from the States to Johannesburg. In a couple of hours, I'll be on solid ground, at last.

Man: Look! The more worried and nervous you are, the worse for you. If I were you I'd try to have a nap before landing. You'll feel far better when you wake up.

Paco: Thanks a lot. I'll try!

Read the text carefully paying attention to the tenses used, and the word order in sentences. If you need any help, have a look at Click here.

In this topic, your main aim is to identify and recognize verb tenses (Present Simple, Present Continuous, Past Simple and Past Continuous), comparative adjectives and adverbs, as well as comparative sentences. Pay attention to the adjectives in front of nouns, that is, adjectives in attributive position, too.

After reading the text, say if the following sentences are true or false. Identify a sentence in the text that justifies why they are true or false. 

1. Paco decided to go to South Africa because the official language is English.

Verdadero Falso

2. Paco is keen on flying.

Verdadero Falso

3. Paco is more nervous now than when he travelled to London.

Verdadero Falso

4. Paco can't avoid getting nervous on planes.

Verdadero Falso
Let's go on to the next section to remember and recognize two important tenses in English, the Present Simple and the Present Continuous. But before clicking to go there, please make an effort and try to remember how these tenses are formed.