Some people prefer to live in a big city, while others would like to live in a small town or in the country. Those people who live in a big city and those who live in a small town or in the country lead different ways of life. We choose where to live according to our preferences and character.
There are a lot of advantages of living in a big city. Firstly, people have more opportunities to receive good education and to find a well-paid job there. In any city there are a lot of educational establishments and a great number of firms which need qualified specialists. Besides, there is a wide choice of entertainment in a big city. One can visit concert halls, theatres, museums, art galleries, cinemas, clubs, restaurants, cafes, discos and what not. To my mind, a big city gives people all modern conveniences and cultural opportunities.
However, it is well-known that citizens suffer from a great number of problems such as traffic jams, huge crowds of people, dirty public transport

and many others. Living in a big city is dangerous to your health. Factories emit tons of harmful chemicals; cars exhaust toxic gas and the air is so dirty that it is hard to breathe. That is why a lot of people prefer living in the country to living in a big city. In a village one can enjoy fresh air, beautiful nature and the quietness of provincial life.
To conclude, it’s up to you to decide whether to live in a city or in the country. But I think that if you are tired of noise, illumination and crowds, you can always leave a city and have a rest in the country to improve your health or just for a change of scene.

Some people say that it is impossible to feel lonely in a big city. However, others believe that quite a lot of citizens suffer from loneliness. It is rather difficult to live in the world of strangers, that’s why people need friends. They give us a sense of being protected, emotional comfort and moral support. But is it easy to make friends when you live in a big city?
To my mind, loneliness is a wide-spread problem nowadays. Living in a big city many people often feel that they are not noticed because of the fast pace of city life. You can stand on the street for several hours and nobody will pay attention to you. Sometimes you feel as if you suddenly became invisible. A big city is a place where millions of people live and work, but still it is very difficult

to find a devoted friend in this indifferent crowd. City life absorbs people and makes them forget about such essential things as rest, recreation or friendship. So you can feel lonely even if you are surrounded by hundreds, thousands or millions of people.
On the other hand, the city offers you a wide choice of places where you can relax and meet somebody. You can visit clubs, restaurants, cafes, discos, theatres, museums, art galleries, libraries, cinemas, parks, health clubs and what not. A sociable person can easily communicate with other people and make friends with them. So if you are a good mixer, if you are always optimistic and have a sense of humour, you will hardly feel lonely.
To sum up, I think that a big city gives you a lot of opportunities, but sometimes it can be cold, remote and indifferent. The main thing is not to despair, but to try to find friends.

Some people believe that English should be the only foreign language taught at school. Others think that German, French and Spanish should continue.
There are 6000 languages spoken throughout the world. Some of them including English, French, German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic are considered to be languages of wider communication around the world.
I think it is very difficult for an average pupil to learn two or more foreign languages because there are a lot of other subjects at school. To my mind, only English should be taught at all schools because it has long been accepted to be a global language. It is the language of science, culture, international politics and economy. Besides, it is the language of most international business deals and organizations. If you speak English fluently, you can communicate with people of different nationalities. I believe that it is better to know one language perfectly than to speak in broken German, French and Spanish.
But nowadays many people learn two or more languages. Some of them find it necessary to acquire a second language for practical purposes such as business. Other people are just interested in foreign languages. Furthermore, learning foreign languages has a great number of advantages. People who learn foreign languages expand their horizons and improve their thinking abilities. They enjoy social and employment advantages and they have the chance to get a better job than people who speak only one language. In addition, a person who speaks several languages sees the world from two or more perspectives.
To sum up, it’s up to you to decide whether to learn one or several foreign languages. Anyway, if you speak several languages, you have more chances to make a career and to be successful.

Most people say that the English language should be learnt in England. Others believe that one can easily learn English in one’s country. People have always tried to find the fastest and easiest way to learn languages. Is it better to go to the country whose language they study or to stay at home and read textbooks?
Nowadays millions of people learn English because it has become a global language. Personally, I think that it is easier to learn and improve your English in England. Firstly, you will not have an opportunity to speak your own language and you will enjoy “total immersion”. You will meet different people and have a lot of speaking practice. To my mind, speaking to Englishmen or listening to their speech is absolutely different from sitting in the classroom with a tape recorder and headphones and repeating some phrases after the speaker’s monotonous voice. What is more, while in England you will be able to see many places of interest and to learn more about the English traditions and lifestyle.
However, a lot of people don’t have an opportunity to go to England. So they have to learn English in their own country. Nowadays everybody can use the Internet to make friends with people from English-speaking countries and to write e-mails. It is also very useful to watch TV programmes and feature films in English. Besides, you should not forget about English books, magazines and newspapers.
In conclusion, I would like to say it is up to you to decide where to learn English, but if I had an opportunity I would certainly go to London to reinforce what I have learnt from books and to put it into practice.

A number of people believe that a country is successful if it is ruled by a clever politician. Others say that an only person doesn’t make the image of a country.
I have always wondered if an individual can create the image of a country. There were quite a lot of clever politicians in the world’s history, but it is difficult to say whether an only person can cause important changes in ordinary people’s lives.
In my opinion, the politician who rules a country has quite an impact on its politics, economy and culture. Every country needs a wise, powerful and intellectual politician at the head. There is no doubt that the leader of each country holds a lot of power in his hands. That is why he can make significant changes in different spheres of people’s lives such as education, health services, business and many others. What is more, the leader of a country plays an important role in foreign policy. He carries on negotiations with other politicians, maintains diplomatic relations with other countries, signs treaties and what not.
However, a lot of people are convinced that an only person can’t make the image of a country because every leader must take the opinion of his assistants into consideration and work in a team. Besides, even the cleverest politician can’t rule forever. For example, in our country the leader is elected every four years. But I think that if the leader of a country is a charismatic person, he has good chances to make ordinary people believe him and admire his personality.
To sum up, I believe that the image of every country doesn’t only depend on its leader, but also on many other people. And of course, it depends on ordinary people who take part in elections.

Some people don’t care about advertising, while others say that advertisements and commercials may be very harmful. Nowadays advertisements can be seen everywhere: in newspapers and magazines, on the sides of buses, walls of buildings, shopping carts, subway platforms and trains. Advertisements are often placed anywhere people can easily see them. Recently television, radio and the Internet have become major advertising media.
Personally, I seldom pay attention to advertisements and commercials. But some commercials are skillfully made and resemble short films. Consumers, TV stars, industry professionals and scientists are often asked to share their opinion about the product which is advertized. Broadcasters don’t want the public to switch the channel during commercials, that’s why they are becoming interesting and entertaining. However, no matter how tempting they are, ads and commercials will hardly win my confidence and make me buy some product.
Quite a lot of people find advertising rather obtrusive and annoying. Indeed, it is very unpleasant when your favourite film or soap opera is constantly interrupted by commercials. They reach and motivate large audiences and make people buy a lot of useless things. Advertisements and commercials can even be harmful. For example, cigarette or beer advertising can increase the consumption of these goods and cause problems with health. In the USA food advertising targeting children was an important factor in the epidemic of childhood obesity. As a rule children believe all advertisements as they can’t determine the truthfulness of the message. Some ads are untrue or even offensive.
To sum up, advertising is necessary for economic growth, but the government must regulate the content and the influence of ads and commercials. Advertising must be legal, decent, honest and truthful.

Some people prefer buying pirate CDs and DVDs. However, others say that piracy must be banned.
Nowadays selling pirate CDs and DVDs is a profitable business. Producing compact discs and digital video disks brings criminal dealers a lot of money.
To my mind, selling pirate CDs and DVDs is a kind of theft because people who sell them exercise one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder without authorization. Legal producers of CDs and DVDs suffer considerable losses. Buying pirate production consumers support the seller’s unauthorized actions. What is more, the quality of these disks usually leaves much to be desired. So if you don’t want to waste your money and to lose your good spirits, you’d better not buy bad production. I am sure that it is necessary for governments to provide criminal sanctions for selling pirate CDs and DVDs.
On the other hand, disks of good quality are usually rather expensive and not everybody can afford to buy them. Besides, pirates sell the latest records and so we are able to watch new films or listen to new songs. That is why a lot of people continue buying pirate CDs and DVDs. However, I think it is better to go to the movies or to buy qualitative CDs and DVDs if you want to enjoy good films or music.
To conclude, if we don’t buy pirate disks, their producers will not get a profit; bad CDs and DVDs will disappear and it will improve the country’s economy.

Some people are sure that if we want to build relationships successfully, we must have good manners. However, others say that nowadays good manners are not as important as they used to be. If you don’t live on a desert island, you meet different people and communicate with them every day of your life. Everybody wants to build good relationships with his or her relatives, friends and colleagues. However, not everybody knows how to behave in order to win other people’s love and respect.
Personally, I think that it is very important to be well-bred and to behave properly in different situations. A person who has good manners always produces a good impression. Politeness and the ability to understand other people will help you build good relationships and they will make your life easier. To my mind, nobody wants to communicate with people who are always late, who can’t cope with their negative emotions, who don’t respect other people’s point of view and who are constantly irritated and moody. We should always remember that our words and behaviour may be offensive to other people and may hurt their feelings.
However, some people do not know how to behave well. What is more, they prefer to ignore the rules of etiquette. They often interrupt their interlocutor, speak on a cell phone during a meeting, point or stare at people and yawn in somebody’s presence. In my opinion, if a person is ill-bred and often forgets about politeness and punctuality, he or she is not likely to command other people’s respect.
To sum up, people should never think that the rules of etiquette are useless and unnecessary. Everybody is expected to have good manners. In this case our lives will become simpler and more pleasant and social interactions will run more smoothly and successfully.

Some people think it is important to be honest, while others say that there is hardly a person in the world who has never told a lie.
Lying is quite natural and people often do it in case of emergency, intentionally or even without any reason. Is it all right to tell a lie or must we be honest all the time?
I believe that a person who always lies, cheats and deceives other people will never have any real friends. At the same time it is very difficult to communicate with people who are very direct and say exactly what they think. Sometimes telling the truth may hurt other people’s feelings. For example, your friend has had her hair done and asks what you think of her hair-do. To your mind, she looks terrible. But I think that in such a situation it would be better to tell a white lie because it does not harm anyone. One may also tell a lie with the intention to help another person or even to save somebody’s life.
But unfortunately, most people lie to save their face, to derive some benefit or to avoid a punishment. Sometimes their dishonesty can be criminal. For instance, some people tell a lie after promising to tell the truth in a court of law. But lying often makes things worse, especially after it has been discovered. Discovery of a lie may spoil one’s reputation or lead to social or legal sanctions. Besides, you can’t lie all the time.
To conclude, if you want to be trusted and respected, you should be open and sincere. But in some cases truth may be blunt and rude, so it is better to tell a white lie in order to remain tactful and polite.

Some people have a lot of wishes and plans, but they think they will never come true. Others say that you must believe in yourself and success will come to you. Does success come to a person or does a person go to success? A lot of people believe that if you want to succeed, you must work hard. But sometimes it is not enough to be industrious and persistent.
Personally, I believe that self-confidence and the ability to convince people are necessary for every successful person. Even if you try to persuade people that your dog is cleverer than any human, you must be so sure about it that you can make everybody believe in what you are talking about. Belief in yourself is very important. If you stammer and look confused, if you doubt your own knowledge, skills and abilities, you will hardly succeed.
Many people want to make a career, to win fame, to invent something that will change our lives and to make the world a little better. But they think these are only dreams and they don’t believe that they are meant to be great. In other words, they don’t believe in their own success. Such people think that famous scientists, sportsmen, politicians and celebrities have achieved success because they are super-talented. But to my mind, they are not super humans. The most common thing about all well-known people is that they all have incredible belief in themselves. In my opinion, everybody has the potential to become whatever they want, but people have to do a lot to achieve their goal.
To conclude, you are the one responsible for whether or not you will succeed. You should develop your inner confidence because nobody can give it to you. And when you have developed it, nobody can take it away.

Some people think that time management skills are not important for success in both their work and home life. Others are convinced that it is essential to make good use of their time. According to some estimates, people waste about 2 hours per day. Others waste even more time and feel disappointed and dissatisfied. They find it difficult to keep appointments, meet deadlines or show up on time for personal engagements. Such people do not know how they can make their time more productive.
To my mind, time management skills are essential for personal and career success. If you don’t use your time wisely, you can never get it back. When you are late for an appointment, it can reflect badly on your reputation. What is more, poor management of your time can result in lost promotions, failed job interviews, constant fatigue and stress. Many people failed to make a career because they did not find the time to do it.
However, some people still think that learning time management techniques is difficult and unnecessary. So they continue wasting time on unimportant activities such as gossiping, watching TV, playing computer games, writing messages to their friends, taking coffee breaks and so on. As a rule it adds nothing to their lives and prevents them from doing things that are really important to them. I strongly feel that such activities are just a waste of time and energy.
To sum up, time management skills help you use the time that you have in better ways. They can also help you reduce wasted time and energy and become more creative and productive. Consequently, you will have more balance and fulfillment in your life. Remember that “time is money”.

A sense of humour is usually considered to be one of the most important human features. However, some people say that humour is not always good. The ability to understand and enjoy funny things is called a sense of humour. A person’s understanding of humorous things and situations depends on his or her age, gender, nationality, education, intelligence, culture and mood. Many people wonder if we can we live without humour.
I think we can’t. When you are in a tight corner, when you feel tired or irritated, when the atmosphere becomes tense and it is necessary to break the ice, the best way out is to joke. Jokes will help you settle a conflict, reduce tension between people and change something horrible into something funny. It is always interesting to communicate with a person who has a sense of humour. He or she can tell you an amusing story, an anecdote or a joke. What is more, there is an old saying that laughter is the best medicine. Scientists have found out that it can reduce the risk of heart disease and it makes the body release pleasure chemicals. So people who often laugh are healthier, happier and live longer.
However, humour is not always appropriate. A joke may provoke a quarrel and hurt other people’s feelings. Sometimes jokes can point at a problem better than any serious statement. In some situations humour may be completely misunderstood. Some jokes are silly, rude and even offensive. What is more, a bad joke may even turn best friends into sworn enemies
To sum up, a sense of humour is important for everybody. People who lack it are often dull and grumbling. To my mind, humour makes our lives more interesting and helps us cope with many difficulties and problems,

Some people believe in luck, while others say that it doesn’t exist. We often wish each other “Good Luck!” Some of us believe that there is the power which is supposed to be the cause of all events. At the same time many people say that it is silly to believe in luck.
Personally, I think that certain objects or rituals can bring me luck. I often wear a “lucky” sweater to attract fortune, use a special pen during tests or cross my fingers. It helps me to be more optimistic and to have better moods. I also believe that some people are luckier than others.
But a lot of people are rather skeptical. They say that it is silly to wait for something good to happen. According to them, it is better to work hard and to listen to your intuition if you want to be happy and successful. Besides, you should be optimistic and have a relaxed attitude to life. If you don’t think about bad things, everything will be all right. In my opinion, it is good to rely only on our own powers, but it is very exciting to believe in some supernatural power that may change your life for the better.
To conclude, it is up to you to decide whether to believe in luck or not. Anyway, you should “put your trust in God and keep your powder dry”.

Some people say they don’t care about philosophy. Others are convinced that it helps us to live. Philosophy is the love of wisdom. It deals with general and fundamental problems. A lot of famous writers, poets and scientists were philosophers too. However, nowadays some people say they don’t understand why we need philosophy. So is philosophy really important and could we live without it?
I strongly feel that philosophy is an essential part of people’s lives. Most of us have a philosophy on life. Everybody has an idea of what is right and what is wrong. A lot of people believe somebody else’s philosophy. We often share the ideas of some religious or political leaders. Some people are true philosophers: they want to know what we live for; they spend much time thinking and asking questions.
But philosophy can also cause misunderstanding and conflict between people. Some of us choose one philosophy to believe, while others choose a different philosophy. As a result, people begin arguing and try to make others change their mind. It prevents them from working together and slows down progress. But I believe that the existence of different philosophical schools proves that people have always tried to gain a better understanding of nature and the essence of life.
To sum up, philosophy helps us understand ourselves and other people better. In my opinion, it encourages people to think, to understand different subjects more deeply and helps them make right decisions.

Some people say that one should analyze the situation before making a decision. Others believe that it is better to rely on one’s intuition. Intuition has been the subject of study in psychology, as well as a topic of interest in the supernatural. Many people wonder whether it is worth relying on their intuition.
I strongly feel that the guiding role of intuition should not be ignored or underestimated. It helps us pattern our behaviour and make right decisions in uncertain situations and unknown areas. People of different nationalities, professions and ages use intuitive judgment. Minor or major decisions are often made based on instinct and feeling, even when the reason for the feeling is unclear. We sometimes have an impulse that we should or shouldn’t do something. And these sudden decisions that are difficult to explain turn out to be the best ones. Besides, in some situations intuition can save people’s lives.
However, not everybody recognizes and trusts his intuitive information. Some people don’t believe that it is worth relying on intuition. They think that it is eccentric and irrational. Of course, there are many situations where analysis and rationality are superior to intuition. For instance, intuition may not be helpful in determining another’s personality. The situation may not give the observer an opportunity to see the traits that would indicate the personality. But to my mind, there are many situations when our intuition can help us find the right answer to the most complicated question.
To conclude, I think that people should listen to their inner voice which is sometimes an excellent guide. We should also develop our intuition and try to understand how it operates and analyze the situations when it helped us.

Some people say that ambitiousness is a wonderful quality, while others believe that it is not so good to be ambitious. Ambitious people have a strong desire to gain a particular objective. They want to succeed or to gain fame, power and wealth. In the history of humankind there are many examples of people who were extremely ambitious, for better and for worse.
Personally, I think that society cannot survive without ambitious people. Ambition implies work and discipline to achieve goals. Ambitious people always know what they want and work hard in order to succeed. For instance, such people as Bill Gates, Condoleezza Rice or Tiger Woods have become famous, rich and powerful because they are ambitious and hard-working.
On the other hand, it is considered that the ambitious person ignores the collectivity. Such people are socially detached, they are on their own. They wish to rise above other people. The ambitious man or woman sees the world as a battle. Rivalry is his or her principal emotion. Ambitious people sometimes believe that what they want for themselves is good for everyone and that the satisfaction of their own desires is the most important thing. The ambitious individual is also convinced that the rewards of ambition – wealth, success, power – are worthy of the sacrifices made on ambition’s behalf. But I believe that a person should not sacrifice his or her family or health for distinction or material goods.
To conclude, it is difficult to imagine the world without ambitious people. Our lives would probably become better: without disappointments, conflict, anxiety, tension and stress. People would be healthier and they would live longer. Time would stretch on and on, with ambition long departed from the human heart. And our life would become extremely boring.

A lot of people would like to become famous actors, singers or musicians. Others say that publicity can be a terrible thing. Most people dream of being famous. They admire different celebrities whose photographs are published on almost every page of many newspapers and magazines. The mass media has created “the cult of celebrity”. But is it really wonderful to be well-known?
On the one hand, famous people have expensive cars and luxurious houses. They spend their time travelling, meeting interesting people and having crazy parties. They lead exciting and glamorous lives. Besides, celebrities enjoy everybody’s admiration. In my opinion, it is rather pleasant to be recognized by ordinary people and to receive much attention.
On the other hand, if you are a star, you can forget about privacy. Paparazzi follow famous people around, newspapers and magazines publish unreliable information and spread rumours. The life of celebrities may be spoilt by fans that get their telephone numbers, wait for them after concerts, send messages and love-letters to them and follow them everywhere. Famous people often have to disguise themselves and spend much money on security. What is more, celebrities often get tired of their stressful lifestyle and feel depressed. That is why they begin smoking, drinking and taking drugs.
To sum up, publicity doesn’t only lead to success, admiration and richness. It is also the reason for envy, stress, extreme fatigue and the impossibility to escape public attention. Many stars would like to become common people at least for one day so that not to be recognized in the

Most people admire glamorous celebrities and want to lead the same lives they do. However, others say that glamour is not as magical as it seems to be. Nobody heard anything about glamour some years ago. But the situation has changed drastically lately. Today many women and girls buy fashion magazines and dream of becoming glamorous and alluring. But is glamorous life as wonderful as it seems to be?
When I hear the word “glamour” I think about a person who is beautiful and extremely fashionable and who excites everybody’s admiration. To my mind, glamour is the power of attraction, fascination and enchantment. Hollywood movie stars are often seen as particularly glamorous. I admire their beauty, elegance and style. Stars wear expensive clothes and jewellery, drive luxurious cars and live in wonderful mansions. They lead glamorous lives: travel all over the world, meet famous people, dine in the best restaurants, go to expensive beauty salons and spas and have crazy parties.
However, a glamorous person produces an impression which is usually better than the reality. Most stars wear bright make-up, fashionable hairdos and clothes that make them more attractive, but many of them are not so beautiful in real life. These glittering social butterflies only pretend to be glamorous. Their beauty is artificial and some of them don’t really like their image. When their fans and paparazzi don’t see them, celebrities put on plain jeans and a T-shirt and you will hardly recognize them if you run into them in the street. Nevertheless, most ordinary people envy celebrities and their way of life.
To conclude, glamour is a by-product of show business. A glamorous life may be not as dazzling as we think. Some celebrities are really tired of their glamorous lives.

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