Valentine’s Day: FCE Reading Part 1


How many words can you make in 5 minutes from the letters in VALENTINE'S DAY? EG: You can use 'tennis' because there are two 'n's, but not 'tent' because there is only one 't'.
  • Suggested Answers
aliens, ants, dates, days, deals, dies, east, eats, elves, ends, enslaves, envy, ideas, invades, ivy, laid, lanes, last, lays, late, least, lent, lit, let, nails, nasty, nest, seat, stains, steals, steel, tails, tales, teas, tease, teens, vast, veins, vines, years, yeast, yes. Well done if you got any others!!


In Reading and Use of English Part 1, you read a gapped text and choose the correct word from options A-D. Eg. Answer ‘0’ is option A.
The story has it that the Catholic priest Valentinus was martyred (0)________ time in the 3rd century AD for marrying Roman soldiers who were (1)________ from doing so. The emperor Clauduis II was having trouble (2)________ soldiers because they had to (3)________ 25 years in the army and most young men preferred to stay at home with their families and get married. Valentinus, who (4)________ with the emperor, continued marrying couples until he was caught and imprisoned. Another probably fictitious element introduced into the story is that on the night before his (5)_______, Valentinus restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer and even more unlikely, that he left her a note signed ‘From your Valentine.’ What’s certainly true, however, is that the romantic associations with February 14th have been around at (6)________ since the time of the Romans. The Goddess of purity and fertility, Juno Februtis was honoured that day, and the Roman festival of Lupercalia, celebrating purity, health and fertility followed on February 15th. While there is no direct connection between the Roman (7)________ and the modern celebration of St. Valentine’s Day, we do have the words ‘February’ and ‘fever’ from that time. It was believed that having a fever was a way for the body to cure itself of illness, with the end of fever (8)________ a return to good health. Both words come from the Latin ‘februo’ meaning to boil. If you’re celebrating St. Valentine’s Day this year, and at some moment during the romantic evening you start to feel hot and feverish, keep calm and remember it’s all a natural part of celebrating purity, health and er… fertility.
0.a) some b) anyc) ad) one
1.a) refused b) forbiddenc) promisedd) rejected
2.a) employingb) convincingc) promotingd) recruiting
3.a) earnb) employc) served) service
4.a) rejectedb) disagreedc) refusedd) prohibited
5.a) penaltyb) assassinationc) executiond) massacre
6.a) leastb) lessc) yearsd) once
7.a) festivalsb) partiesc) celebritiesd) fares
8.a) pointingb) sendingc) signingd) signalling

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