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C5. A long-distance flight

take for time duration

A group of mathematicians from the University of London were travelling to a conference in Delhi.
    At check in, one of them asked, 'How long does the flight take?'
    'It takes nine hours, sir', the clerk replied.

Soon after take off, the captain made an announcement. announced that one engine had failed.
    'One of the plane's engines has unfortunately failed. Your safety is not a problem,' the captain told the passengers, 'because the plane has four engines, but the journey will take longer with only three engines. I'm afraid that the flight will now take ten hours.'

Not long after that, the pilot made another announcement that these was a problem with another of the engines and now the journey would take a total of twelve hours. Everything was quiet for an hour, but then the pilot made another announcement.
     'Please remain calm. There is no cause for alarm, but our third engine has also developed problems. Unfortunately, the journey will now take a total of sixteen hours.'

A mathematician turned to one of his colleagues and said, 'Well, if the last engine breaks down it will take us a whole day to get there!'

Cartoon joke

Grammar: describing duration

When you talk about the duration of an activity, process or journey, you can use take or It takes + object pronoun + infinitive.

The journey takes an hour.
This won't take long.
You've taken a long time to read that book.
It takes me ten minutes to drive to work.
How long will it take us to get there?

Put these jumbled words into the correct order to make sentences.

1.   job   long   It   finish   to   won't   take   this  
2.   take   How   shower   a   does   you  it  have  long    to   ?
3.   time   understand   to   took   It   a   long   us
4.   an   hour   drive   about  It  to   takes   there
5.   to   get   there   Does   take   it   long   ?

Match the broken sentences.

   6. It always takes me... A. so long to reply to your email.
   7. Did it take you long.... B. it won't take you a long time to finish.
   8. I'm sorry I've taken... C. a long time to wake up in the morning.
   9. With the bad weather... D. it took us nearly an hour to get to work.
   10.  The book is exciting so... E. to find the place?

Vocabulary exercises

Choose the correct verb to complete the sentences.

break          remain          get          develop          make

Please ________ calm. There is no cause for alarm.
    2. My car engine is making a strange noise. I hope it's not going to ________ down soon.
    3. I bought a new computer a month ago and I'm worried it's starting to ________ some problems.
    4. The pilot decided to ________ an announcement, telling the passengers to stay in their seats.
    5. How long do you think it will take for us to ________ to the station and back?

Match the words with the definitions.

   6. a conference
A. a public statement about a fact
   7. an announcement B. a machine to convert power into motion
   8. an engine C. someone you work with
   9. a colleague D. the place in an airport where you register as a passenger
   10. check-in E. a formal meeting of people with a shared interest