Introduction

This unit is called “At work” because it is centered on the work of a caregiver. You will see different aspects of a caregiver’s working life as illustrated by the three texts that compose the unit.

The text in the first section deals with the tasks that caregivers usually do. You will also see the reports of two cases of people with disorders associated to aging. Finally, there is a list of the contents of a first aid kit. The second text describes the working conditions of caregivers and also the example of an old lady who suffers from arthritis; we can see the consequences of the disease and the treatment required. The third text includes some hints on how to write a curriculum in English in case you need it to look for a job in another country.

As far as the grammar is concerned, in the first section of this unit you will learn about a category of verbs called ‘modal verbs’. These form a group of verbs that have no independent meaning, but depend on the meaning of other verbsto make sense. Modals do not express actions, but indicate things like obligation, ability or possibility. In this section you will learn which are the modal verbs and their use and meaning. The first section also introduces the different ways of expressing the future, with their corresponding adverbials of time, and a verb form called ‘imperative’, which we use to give orders and instructions. The second grammar section describes some basic sentence structures, as for example, those of the statements, the questions, the imperative, and the passive. The passive voice is very important in English because it is more widely used than in Catalan or Spanish, so you will learn how to form and use the passive voice, and how to distinguish it from the active voice. The third section introduces two other types of sentences. On one hand, you will learn about the conditional sentences, which include a condition and the result if the condition is accomplished; on the other hand, we will introduce the relative clauses, which are always introduced by a relative pronoun and are mostly used to define a noun or explain some characteristic of that noun. Before this grammar section, you will see the storyline, where you can see some examples of the grammar points in context.

The ‘everyday language’ sections introduce more social language. In the first sections, you will find different ways of giving and responding to instructions. You do this when you must indicate other people what they must do. They are very similar to orders, and in fact, both functions use the imperative form of the verb. The first section is devoted to making and responding to requests. A request is an expression in which we ask other people to do something. It is like giving orders or instructions, but using more indirect, polite means. The emphasis will be on using the appropriate expression in each context. Finally, the third section is about making and responding to suggestions. We make suggestions when we think that other people should do something. We may also be included in the suggestion, as when we plan to do something together with other people. You will see the diffferent possibilities to make suggestions, with their corresponding sentence structure, and the ways of responding to a suggestion.

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Summary