8 The true story of the Titanic

The true story of the Titanic
Third conditional
Ships and disasters
a Do the quiz in pairs.
What do you know about the Titanic?
1 When did the Titanic sink?
a January 1910 b April 1912 c March 1914
2 Where was the ship sailing to?
a America b England c Canada
3 How many people were there on board (passengers and crew)?
a 2,207 b 4,532 c 1,263
4 How many lifeboats were there?
a enough for everybody b enough for most people
c enough for half the people
5 What was the name of the ship that went to help them?
a The Olympic b The Carpathia c The Californian
6 What happened to Bruce Ismay, the director of the company?
a He drowned. b He survived. c He killed himself.
7 When did the rescue ship arrive?
a about an hour too late b four hours too late c a day too late
8 How many people survived?
a about 1,500 b about 1,200 c about 700
The truth
about the
T8.1 Listen to a radio programme called The sinking of the Titanic and
check your answers.
c Listen again for more detail. In pairs, answer the questions.
1 What was the weather like on the night of the tragedy?
2 What were the passengers doing at 11.40 when the ship hit the iceberg?
3 How big was the hole it made?
4 What radio message did they send?
5 What did the orchestra do? Why?
6 Who did the Captain tell to leave the ship first?
7 What time did the ship sink?
8 Did the rescue ship find anybody alive in the water?
a Read the text and match the questions below to paragraphs 1–6.
Did the orchestra really play until the end?
Was Captain Smith to blame?
What happened to Bruce Ismay after the disaster?
Why weren’t there enough lifeboats?
Was there another ship which could have helped the Titanic?
Why didn’t the lifeboats go back to rescue survivors?
The sinking of the Titanic on its first voyage
has fascinated people all over the world for
nearly a hundred years. It is a story
surrounded by mystery and speculation.
5 Here we answer the questions most often
asked about the most famous of ships.
1 _______________________________
The regulations controlling the number of
lifeboats that a ship should carry were
10 terribly out of date. The Titanic only had to
have 16 lifeboats, enough for 962 people,
which was ridiculous as the ship could carry
3,511 people. Nobody would have died on
April 14th 1912 if the Titanic had had enough
15 lifeboats for all the passengers.
b Read the text again and underline any words or expressions you don’t
know. In pairs, try to guess their meaning.
c In pairs, cover the text and answer the questions in a from memory.
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45 Captain Smith is that he was not on the
5 ________________________________
bridge at the time of the collision. Perhaps if
he had been there, his ship would not have
hit the iceberg. Captain Smith and the ship’s
designer Thomas Andrews both drowned.
2 ________________________________
A small ship called the Californian was only
20 kilometres away from the Titanic. It had 55
stopped for the night because of the
20 icebergs. It was so near that the two ships
could see each other’s lights.The radio
operator had just gone to bed so he didn’t
hear the Titanic’s S.O.S message. Later,
sailors saw the Titanic’s eight white rockets
25 in the sky. They woke up their captain but he
didn’t do anything as he didn’t think the
rockets were important. If the Californian
had known the Titanic was sinking, it would 65
have rescued everybody. The captain of the
30 Californian was later blamed for not going to
help the Titanic and his reputation was
3 ________________________________
After the collision, the little group of
musicians started playing in the first-class
lounge to keep the passengers calm, but
75 later they moved up onto the deck. Some
survivors in the lifeboats said they could still
4 ________________________________
hear the musicians playing a waltz called
In the confusion of the evacuation, many
Autumn until just before the ship finally
lifeboats left the Titanic half empty. This was
sank. If they hadn’t continued playing until
partly because Captain Smith and his crew 80 the end, there would have been much more
found it difficult to persuade people to leave
panic on the ship. Not one of the orchestra
the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic. Many were terrified
at the idea of being lowered down into the
sea in a tiny lifeboat. When the Titanic finally
6 ________________________________
sank, some of the passengers in the
The public were extremely suspicious about
lifeboats wanted to go back and rescue
85 any of the 58 men who survived the
some of the people swimming in the
disaster, especially as about 150 women
freezing water. If they had gone back, many
and children died (mostly from Second and
more people might have been saved. But
Third class). But Bruce Ismay received the
other people in the lifeboats argued that they
most criticism. When his beautiful ship
had to put their own lives first and that if too
90 sank, Ismay, in one of the lifeboats, turned
many people in the water tried to get into the
his head so as not to see it. Later, numerous
lifeboats, they would overturn and
articles were written in newspapers
everybody would drown. Finally, only one of
attacking him for saving his own life. Ismay
the sixteen lifeboats went back to pick up
had to retire from the company and from
survivors. They only managed to rescue five
95 public life. Nobody was ever allowed to
people. Everyone else was dead.
mention the Titanic in his presence.
Although they had received several
35 warnings of icebergs from other ships in the
area, the Titanic was going at top speed.
The captain of the Titanic, like other
captains, was under great commercial
pressure to make the Atlantic crossing as
40 quickly as possible. Also Bruce Ismay, the
director of the White Star Line which owned
the Titanic, was on board and he wanted his
ship to beat the company record for the
fastest crossing. Another criticism of
Ships and disasters
a Cover the phonetics. Can you remember the words for these definitions?
1 sailors and officers on a ship
____________ /kru;/
2 go down in water
____________ /sINk/
3 save someone from danger
____________ /"reskju;/
4 die in water
____________ /drAUn/
5 a small boat used in emergencies
____________ /"[email protected]/
6 person who doesn’t die in an accident
____________ /s@"vaIv@/
7 a journey by sea
____________ /"vOIIdZ/
8 the floor of a ship
____________ /dek/
9 people who travel on a ship, plane, etc.
____________ /"p&[email protected]/
10 two things hitting each other
____________ /k@"[email protected]/
11 something telling you about possible danger
____________ /"wO;nIN/
12 leave a ship (because it’s sinking)
____________ /@"b&[email protected]/
b Look at the phonetics. How are the words pronounced?
c Cover the words and look at the definitions. Can you remember them?
4 M A K I N G C O N V E R S AT I O N
The Titanic
a Go to Communication The Spanish couple
and The French children,  p.124,  p.128.
b In pairs or groups, discuss these questions.
1 Who do you think was most responsible for
the disaster – the government, the company
which owned the ship, or the captain?
2 Have you seen the film Titanic? Did you
enjoy it? Did it tell the true story?
5 G R A M M A R A N A LY S I S
Third conditional
1 If the Californian had known the Titanic was sinking, it would have rescued everybody.
2 Nobody would have died if the Titanic had had enough lifeboats.
a Look at the sentences above.
Answer the questions and complete
the rules.
1 Did the Californian know the
Titanic was sinking? Did it
rescue anybody?
2 Did the Titanic have enough
lifeboats? Was everybody saved?
Make the third conditional with:
if + _________________
would ________ + _________________
! You can’t use would have after if.
If he had seen her… not If he would have seen her.
● You can use could/might instead of would (= less sure).
If the Californian had known the Titanic was sinking, it could have rescued everybody.
Use the third conditional:
● to speculate about something that happened in the past and how it could have been
Facts There weren’t enough lifeboats. Many people died.
Speculation If there had been enough lifeboats, nobody would have died.
b Find and write down three more examples in the text of the third conditional.
For each example, say who it refers to and what really happened.
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Sentence stress and weak forms
T8.2 Listen and repeat. Emphasize the stressed syllables, not the weak ones.
How do you pronounce had and have in these sentences?
1 If the Titanic had gone slower, it wouldn’t have hit the iceberg.
2 If the Californian had heard the S.O.S., it would have helped the Titanic.
3 They would have rescued everybody if they’d arrived earlier.
Listen and write six phrases.
a Match 1–6 with a–f.
1 If you hadn’t played so badly,
2 If my car hadn’t broken down,
3 If Jane had applied for the job,
4 If you’d told me earlier,
5 If Tom had told me he was ill,
6 If the weather had been better,
I would have gone to see him.
we would have had a picnic.
we wouldn’t have lost.
I wouldn’t have been late.
I would have been able to help.
she would have got it.
b Put the verbs in the correct tense to make third conditional sentences.
1 If I’d known the exam was today, I __________________________ last night. (not go out)
2 You would have had a great time if you __________________________ with us. (come)
3 You wouldn’t have been late if you __________________________ earlier. (leave)
4 I would have phoned you if I __________________________ your number. (have)
5 If it hadn’t been so windy, they __________________________ tennis. (play)
6 She wouldn’t have got the job if she __________________________ the boss’s daughter. (not know)
7 If I’d had more time, I __________________________ something special. (cook)
8 If you hadn’t reminded me, I __________________________. (forget)
6 G A M E : T E L E PAT H Y
a In pairs or small groups, complete the sentences
below. Your teacher is going to do the same.
Try to ‘telepathize’ and write exactly the same
sentence as your teacher.
You get two points for exactly the same sentence.
one point for a different but correct sentence.
no points for an incorrect sentence.
1 If you’d told me it was your birthday,…
2 If she’d known what he was really like, she…
3 I would have written to you if I…
4 If he hadn’t insulted the boss, he…
5 They wouldn’t have got lost if they…
6 We would have missed the plane if…
An incredible coincidence?
In 1898, fourteen years before the Titanic sank, a
little known novelist Morgan Robertson wrote a
novel about an imaginary ship. It was the newest,
biggest, most luxurious ship in the world and was
‘unsinkable’. It was travelling across the Atlantic to
New York on its first voyage and was carrying some
of the richest people in the world. On a freezing cold
night in April it hit an iceberg and sank. There weren’t
enough lifeboats for everyone so most of the
passengers and crew drowned.
The name of the ship?
…The Titan.
b Read out your sentences. How many were the same?
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