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Read the text and try to guess the meaning of the underlined words from the context, and then complete the sentences below.

Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world. Despite this, there are many cases where criminals break into flats and commit burglaries. The "breaking into" a building is the essential characteristic of a burglary and distinguishes this type of crime from other types of theft. There are other types of stealing and each has its special features which differentiates it from other types. A hold up at a bank normally involves the use of a gun and it is this use of force that makes this type of theft a robbery. Where someone steals without using force, as in where someone runs off with a wallet left on a shop counter, is a simple theft. But if the owner of the wallet tries to stop the thief and the thief beats him up this becomes a robbery. It is probably obvious why a robbery is a more serious crime than a simple theft and the different punishments for these two offences reflect this. A simple theft can result in seven years in prison while for robbery one can be locked up for up to fourteen years.
In very minor cases the judge may decide not to punish offenders and let them off. This kind of discretion is sometimes exercised in cases where guilty persons surrender to the police and don't wait for someone else to find them and turn them in.

The problem with letting people off in such cases though, is that the thief does not always appreciate the fact that he has been given a chance to turn over a new leaf. Instead he might think that because he has got away with it once, he can always avoid punishment.

There are some crimes though, which are so serious that leniency would never be considered. Where a criminal does away with someone, that is to say, kills someone, it is very unlikely that a court would be lenient in any way. Another example of a very serious crime would be one involving the use of bombs or explosives where a criminal destroys a building or a car by blowing it up. In this day and age, where terrorists the world over are hell bent on striking fear into populations, this last type of crime would attract the least sympathy in any court.

Many verbs in English change their meaning depending on the preposition they are combined with. These are phrasal verbs. Match the correct phrasal verb with the sentences below.

  1. To use force to enter a building is to _________ a building.
    1. a) break out
    2. b) break down
    3. c) break into
  2. To steal money from a bank by using force is a _________.
    1. a) hold in
    2. b) hold down
    3. c) hold up
  3. To steal or take something without asking is to_________ the money.
    1. a) run off with
    2. b) do without
    3. c) do over
  4. To hurt some people badly by hitting or kicking is to_________.
    1. a) pull them over
    2. b) beat them up
    3. c) put one over
  5. To kill a person in informal English is to _________ with him/her.
    1. a) do away
    2. b) have away
    3. c) stay away
  6. To destroy something with a bomb is to _________.
    1. a) beat it up
    2. b) blow it up
    3. c) knock it over
  7. To take a criminal to the police is to _________.
    1. a) turn him/her over
    2. b) turn him/her in
    3. c) turn him/her down
  8. To put criminals in prison is to _________.
    1. a) lock them up
    2. b) do them in
    3. c) blow them up
  9. To not punish someone for a crime is to _________.
    1. a) give him/her over
    2. b) let him/her off
    3. c) put him/her away
  10. To succeed in not being punished for a crime is to _________ it.
    1. a) get away with
    2. b) make off with
    3. c) pick through

The phrasal verb “break into” used above means a burglary. Now look at some ways you can use the word break.

Break upa relationship
a fight
(n) end of school term
Break offa relationship
Break outconvict
break out in cold sweat
Break in/ intoInterrupt
BreakthroughA discovery
Breakdown of costs involved

Group 1: Verbs
to commit
to admit
to allege
to testify
Group 2: People Group 3: Punishment
a jury
a witness
a juvenile delinquent
the accused
the defendant
a verdict
a plea
to be arrested
to be accused
to be charged
to be convicted
to be prosecuted
to be put on probation
to be freed on bail
to be remanded in custody
to be imprisoned
a fine
a sentence
community service

Vocabulary practice.

Find the best word from the table above to complete the text below.

Exam cheat gets hands smacked

A secondary school student has been ordered to perform 90 hours of (a) community service for cheating during an examination.

Wong Mei mei, 19, currently studying in Form Seven, (b) admitted that she had asked one of her friends to sit an examination in her place during last year’s Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination.

Her friend, Chan Wai Kit, 20, earlier (c) admitted the charge, but changed her (d) plea on Tuesday, explaining that she had misunderstood the instructions given by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which (e) allegedly told her she was not to discuss the case with anybody else and, therefore, had not obtained legal advice initially.

Wong was (f) freed on bail of HK$1000, and her trial has been set for June 16.

Wong will not be allowed to sit this year’s Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations after the HKEAA stated that her examination results were not valid.

In giving his (g) sentence , Fanling magistrate Timothy Chow Hing-wai said he had been lenient because Yuen had admitted her guilt and shown remorse.

Chow said he also took into consideration the defendant’s age and his view that he believed that she would not (h) commit the same offence again.

After reviewing letters of reference from Wong’s school principal, teachers and friends, which (i) testified to her good character and her having attained good academic results, Chow said he believed this was a one off case.

“The (j) defendant has learned a lesson,’’ he said.

A spokesperson for the HKEAA said it accepted the court’s decision. She stated that it was important for examination candidates to understand that if they asked other people to sit their exams this would result in their being prosecuted for a criminal offence.

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