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Fame and fortune

1.- Introduction to Lesson

In this lesson, we are going to look at what it is like to be rich and famous.

In the grammar section, we are going to focus on verbs which are followed by gerund and verbs which are followed by the infinitive.


2.- Listening

Look at the following question and think about how you would answer these questions.

  • Would you like to be famous?
  • What are the positive and negative sides of being famous?
  • What would you buy with your wealth?
  • Would you give any money to charity?


3.- Key Vocabulary

Before listening to your teacher answer the above questions, try to learn the following items of vocabulary.

  • Wealth: riqueza
  • Charity: caridad
  • Privacy: privacidad
  • Extravagant: extravagante
  • To be high up (priorities): ser importante
  • To cope: soportar / poder con


3.1.- Now listen to your teacher respond to the previous questions (exercise 2) and note down her answers.

(Para ver la solución hacer doble click en texto; un click vuelve a posición original)




4.- Useful expressions

4.1.- Look at the tapescript and pick out any useful words or expressions which you could use to help you answer the questions.

(Para ver la solución hacer doble click en texto; un click vuelve a posición original)



4.2.- Tapescript

1. When I was younger I dreamed of being famous. Having the paparazzi follow your every move and having people of all ages admire you – to me seemed the perfect dream. However, nowadays I don’t like the idea. In fact, I hate the idea. I would hate to have my every move recorded and photographed. I would not have a private life and I think that would be awful. I don’t know how celebrities cope.

2. The positive things about being famous…let me think. Well, I guess money is definitely high up there. You have so much money that you can do whatever you want with it. I guess it’s like winning the lottery. However on the other hand, fame is not often long lived, so you could be famous for a couple of years and get used to a certain life style and then have it all taken away from you. When this happens, you have to adjust your life accordingly and I think this is when a lot of celebrities find themselves in debt as they have got used to extravagant lifestyles. Another negative point is that you don’t have a lot of privacy. You are always being watched. A bit scary I think.

3. I’d definitely buy a lovely house near the beach in Spain. I’m not sure which part of Spain but somewhere where there aren’t a lot of tourists just lots of lovely Spanish people, restaurants and bars.

4. This is a difficult question. I’m sure that famous people get hundreds of letters each year asking for them to donate money to different charities. So, the difficult comes in deciding which charity to support. I would definitely give money to charity but I would have a tough job deciding on the best charity to help.


4.3.- Now, it’s your turn to answer the above questions. Remember to stress the important words in each sentence and ensure that with each sentence, your intonation ends on a fall.


5.- Listening

You have heard your teacher talk about being famous. You are now going to listen to four celebrities talk about the pros and cons of being famous.


5.1.- Listen for a first time and see if any of them mention any of the points you talked about in 4.3.


5.2.- Before listening to the celebrities again, I would like you to revise the following verbs:

  • To fancy: apetecer
  • To postpone: posponer
  • To regret: arrepentirse
  • To give up: dejar de hacer algo
  • To carry on: continuar
  • To threaten: amenazar
  • To attempt: intentar
  • To pretend: fingir


5.3.- Now listen and fill in the gaps.

(Para ver la solución hacer click en texto; doble click vuelve a posición original)



5.4.- Look at the tapescript. Identify if the 8 previously taught verbs are followed by an infinitive or by a gerund. Complete the table.

(Para ver la solución hacer doble click en la tabla; un click vuelve a posición original)



5.5.- Tapescript

1. I love being famous because I have enough money to do whatever I want. If I fancy going to New York for the weekend I do it. If I want to postpone singing at a concert I do it. I have enough money to survive now forever so when I work it’s for fun not because I need the money.

2. When I became famous I had to give up going out with my friends to a club, eating in nice restaurants. Life is difficult because everywhere I go there are people hassling me. Sometimes I pretend to be someone else and wear different clothes and a hat. It’s quite sad, isn’t it?

3. I don’t regret becoming famous but sometimes life is very difficult. Last year I received a letter from an unknown and in the letter the person threatened to kill my pet dog if I didn’t give him or her tickets to my latest exhibition. Some people are crazy!

4. When I first became famous I tried to keep my life exactly the same as it was before and carry on going to my local gym with my friends and walking my dog in the park. But then things became difficult as my friends started getting annoyed with all the attention other people gave me. I have now changed my lifestyle but I always attempt to meet up with my friends once a month in a quiet place where hopefully nobody recognises me.


6.- Grammar Focus – Verb + Infinitive or Verb + Gerund

Some verbs, when followed by another verb, can either go in the infinitive of the gerund. Look at the example:

  • stopped working at 21:00 because I couldn’t concentrateanymore.

Stop + gerund
Can + infinitive

It is essential that you learn which verbs are followed by the infinitive and which are followed by the gerund.


6.1.- Verb + infinitive

Here are some verbs that are followed by the infinitive:

  • Offer
  • Decide
  • Hope
  • Agree
  • Plan
  • Aim
  • Refuse
  • Arrange
  • Aim
  • Ask
  • Remember
  • Fail
  • Manage
  • Promise
  • Attempt
  • Threaten
  • Pretend
  • Forget
  • Deserve
  • Learn


6.2.- Verb + gerund

Here are some verbs that are followed by the gerund:

  • Avoid
  • Enjoy
  • Stop
  • Consider
  • Finish
  • Risk
  • Carry on
  • Mind
  • Fancy
  • Put off
  • Imagine
  • Give up
  • Delay
  • Deny
  • Admit
  • Involve
  • Postpone
  • Regret
  • Practice
  • Keep on

If you do not understand the meaning of some of the words, please look them up in a dictionary.


6.3.- Practice

Complete the text with the gerund or infinitive form of the verbs in brackets.

(Para ver la solución hacer click en texto; doble click vuelve a posición original)

6.3 Practice


7.- Your turn…

Now you have heard some celebrities talk about how fame has changed their lives. Answer the following questions in as much detail as possible.

  • How do you think fame would change your life?
  • Would you refuse to go to a restaurant if it looked cheap?
  • Would you stop buying cheap products and buy more expensive recognised brands?
  • Would you try to avoid the paparazzi or enjoy the attention?


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