(1)The passage is mainly about .
(2)What is the main point the author makes in the passage?
(3)Which of the following best reflects the main idea of the passage?
(4)What is the main topic for this passage?
(5)The proper subject of this article is .
(6)The best title for this passage might be .
(7)What the author tries to suggest may best be interpreted as .
(8)The passage was written to explain .
(1)From the first (2nd, 3rd, 4th，etc) paragraph, we learn that .
(2)From the last (1st, 2nd，etc) paragraph the conclusion can be drawn that .
(3)We learn from the first (last，etc)paragraph that .
(1)From the passage we learn (infer) that .
(2)What can be inferred from the passage?
(3)What the author tries to suggest may be interpreted as .
Much of the language used to describe monetary policy, such as “steering the economy to a soft landing” or “a touch on the brakes”, makes it sound like a precise science. Nothing could be further from the truth. The link between interest rates and inflation is uncertain. And there are long, variable lags before policy changes have any effect on the economy. Hence the analogy that likens the conduct of monetary policy to driving a car with a blackened windscreen, a cracked rear-view mirror and a faulty steering wheel.
Given all these disadvantages, central bankers seem to have had much to boast about of late. Average inflation in the big seven industrial economies fell to a mere 2?3% last year, close to its lowest level in 30 years, before rising slightly to 2?5% this July. This is a long way below the double-digit rates which many countries experienced in the 1970s and early 1980s.
It is also less than most forecasters had predicted. In late 1994 the panel of economists which The Economist polls each month said that America’s inflation rate would average 3?5% in 1995. In fact, it fell to 2?6% in August, and is expected to average only about 3% for the year as a whole. In Britain and Japan inflation is running half a percentage point below the rate predicted at the end of last year. This is no flash in the pan; over the past couple of years, inflation has been consistently lower than expected in Britain and America.
Economists have been particularly surprised by favourable inflation figures in Britain and the United States, since conventional measures suggest that both economies, and especially America’s, have little productive slack. America’s capacity utilisation, for example, hit historically high levels earlier this year, and its jobless rate (5?6% in August) has fallen below most estimates of the natural rate of unemployment—the rate below which inflation has taken off in the past.
Why has inflation proved so mild? The most thrilling explanation is, unfortunately, a little defective. Some economists argue that powerful structural changes in the world have up-ended the old economic models that were based upon the historical link between growth and inflation.(1997年 Passage 5)
From the passage we learn that .
[A] there is a definite relationship between inflation and interest rates
[B] economy will always follow certain models
[C] the economic situation is better than expected
[D] economists had foreseen the present economic situation
The full import may take a while to sink in. The NT Rights of the Terminally Ill law has left physicians and citizens alike trying to deal with its moral and practical implications. Some have breathed sighs of relief, others, including churches, right-to-life groups and the Australian Medical Association, bitterly attacked the bill and the haste of its passage. But the tide is unlikely to turn back. In Australia—where an aging population, life-extending technology and changing community attitudes have all played their part—other states are going to consider making a similar law to deal with euthanasia. In the US and Canada, where the right-to-die movement is gathering strength, observers are waiting for the dominoes to start falling.(1997年 Passage 1)
From the second paragraph we learn that .
[A] the objection to euthanasia is slow to come in other countries
[B] physicians and citizens share the same view on euthanasia
[C] changing technology is chiefly responsible for the hasty passage of the law
[D] it takes time to realize the significance of the law’s passage
Could the bad old days of economic decline be about to return? Since OPEC agreed to supply-cuts in March, the price of crude oil has jumped to almost $26 a barrel, up from less than $10 last December. This near-tripling of oil prices calls up scary memories of the 1973 oil shock, when prices quadrupled, and 1979～1980, when they also almost tripled. Both previous shocks resulted in double-digit inflation and global economic decline. So where are the headlines warning of gloom and doom this time?
The oil price was given another push up this week when Iraq suspended oil exports. Strengthening economic growth, at the same time as winter grips the northern hemisphere, could push the price higher still in the short term.
Yet there are good reasons to expect the economic consequences now to be less severe than in the 1970s. In most countries the cost of crude oil now accounts for a smaller share of the price of petrol than it did in the 1970s. In Europe, taxes account for up to four-fifths of the retail price, so even quite big changes in the price of crude have a more muted effect on pump prices than in the past.
Rich economies are also less dependent on oil than they were, and so less sensitive to swings in the oil price. Energy conservation, a shift to other fuels and a decline in the importance of heavy, energy-intensive industries have reduced oil consumption. Software, consultancy and mobile telephones use far less oil than steel or car production. For each dollar of GDP (in constant prices) rich economies now use nearly 50% less oil than in 1973. The OECD estimates in its latest Economic Outlook that, if oil prices averaged $22 a barrel for a full year, compared with $13 in 1998, this would increase the oil import bill in rich economies by only 0?25%～0?5% of GDP. That is less than one-quarter of the income loss in 1974 or 1980. On the other hand, oil-importing emerging economies—to which heavy industry has shifted—have become more energy-intensive, and so could be more seriously squeezed.
One more reason not to lose sleep over the rise in oil prices is that, unlike the rises in the 1970s, it has not occurred against the background of general commodity-price inflation and global excess demand. A sizable portion of the world is only just emerging from economic decline. The Economist’s commodity price index is broadly unchanging from a year ago. In 1973 commodity prices jumped by 70%, and in 1979 by almost 30%. (2002年 Text 3)
We can draw a conclusion from the text that .
[A] oil-price shocks are less shocking now
[B] inflation seems irrelevant to oil-price shocks
[C] energy conservation can keep down the oil prices
[D] the price rise of crude leads to the shrinking of heavy industry
Scattered around the globe are more than 100 small regions of isolated volcanic activity known to geologists as hot spots. Unlike most of the world’s volcanoes, they are not always found at the boundaries of the great drifting plates that make up the earth’s surface; on the contrary, many of them lie deep in the interior of a plate. Most of the hot spots move only slowly, and in some cases the movement of the plates past them has left trails of dead volcanoes. The hot spots and their volcanic trails are milestones that mark the passage of the plates.
That the plates are moving is now beyond dispute. Africa and South America, for example, are moving away from each other as new material is injected into the sea floor between them. The complementary coastlines and certain geological features that seem to span the ocean are reminders of where the two continents were once joined. The relative motion of the plates carrying these continents has been constructed in detail, but the motion of one plate with respect to another cannot readily be translated into motion with respect to the earth’s interior. It is not possible to determine whether both continents are moving in opposite directions or whether one continent is stationary and the other is drifting away from it. Hot spots, anchored in the deeper layers of the earth, provide the measuring instruments needed to resolve the question. From an analysis of the hot-spot population it appears that the African plate is stationary and that it has not moved during the past 30 million years.
The significance of hot spots is not confined to their role as a frame of reference. It now appears that they also have an important influence on the geophysical processes that propel the plates across the globe. When a continental plate comes to rest over a hot spot, the material rising from deeper layers creates a broad dome. As the dome grows, it develops deep fissures (cracks); in at least a few cases the continent may break entirely along some of these fissures, so that the hot spot initiates the formation of a new ocean. Thus just as earlier theories have explained the mobility of the continents, so hot spots may explain their mutability (inconstancy).(1998年 Passage 5)
The passage is mainly about .
[A] the features of volcanic activities
[B] the importance of the theory about drifting plates
[C] the significance of hot spots in geophysical studies
[D] the process of the formation of volcanoes
A history of long and effortless success can be a dreadful handicap, but, if properly handled, it may become a driving force. When the United States entered just such a glowing period after the end of the Second World War, it had a market eight times larger than any competitor, giving its industries unparalleled economies of scale. Its scientists were the world’s best, its workers the most skilled. America and Americans were prosperous beyond the dreams of the Europeans and Asians whose economies the war had destroyed.
It was inevitable that this primacy should have narrowed as other countries grew richer. Just as inevitably, the retreat from predominance proved painful. By the mid-1980s Americans had found themselves at a loss over their fading industrial competitiveness. Some huge American industries, such as consumer electronics, had shrunk or vanished in the face of foreign competition. By 1987 there was only one American television maker left, Zenith. (Now there is none: Zenith was bought by South Korea’s LG Electronics in July.) Foreign-made cars and textiles were sweeping into the domestic market. America’s machine-tool industry was on the ropes. For a while it looked as though the making of semiconductors, which America had invented and which sat at the heart of the new computer age, was going to be the next casualty.
All of this caused a crisis of confidence. Americans stopped taking prosperity for granted. They began to believe that their way of doing business was failing, and that their incomes would therefore shortly begin to fall as well. The mid-1980s brought one inquiry after another into the causes of America’s industrial decline. Their sometimes sensational findings were filled with warnings about the growing competition from overseas.
How things have changed! In 1995 the United States can look back on five years of solid growth while Japan has been struggling. Few Americans attribute this solely to such obvious causes as a devalued dollar or the turning of the business cycle. Self-doubt has yielded to blind pride. “American industry has changed its structure, has gone on a diet, has learnt to be more quick-witted,” according to Richard Cavanaugh, executive dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “It makes me proud to be an American just to see how our businesses are improving their productivity,” says Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute, a think-tank in Washington, D.C. And William Sahlman of the Harvard Business School believes that people will look back on this period as “a golden age of business management in the United States.”(2000年 Passage 1)
What can be inferred from the passage?
[A] It is human nature to shift between self-doubt and blind pride.
[B] Intense competition may contribute to economic progress.
[C] The revival of the economy depends on international cooperation.
[D] A long history of success may pave the way for further development.
首先，关于主题句的判断方法。第一，段落主题句的判断要看该段的第二句或第三句。如果它们是对第一句进行阐述，那么第一句就是主题句;如果是对第二句进行阐述，那第二句就是主题句;主题句也可能出现在末句。当最后一句是对全段进行总结时，该句就是主题句。对于主题句在句中的情况，当段落中出现转折时，该句很可能是主题句。文章主旨所在段落的判断与此相同。第二，作者有意识地反复重复的观点通常是主旨。第三，首段出现疑问句时，该问题就是全文探讨的内容，对该问题的解答就是文章主旨。第四，作者提出文章主旨时，常常伴有文字提示，如therefore，thus，but，however，in short 等等。