A Business Fairy Tale – Interactive Story

The Basic Story

There is a young man. He does an MBA course. The young graduate is employed by a large multinational biotechnology company. He works very hard but he experiences conflict with some colleagues. He learns about law-breaking and corruption in a company that is huge and complicated. The stressed-out manager has a nervous breakdown. Then he regains his health and publishes a book about his experiences. He becomes an activist. He campaigns against his former employer. He is sued by the company and the case goes to court. The judge decides in the whistle-blower’s favour. The honest individual triumphs and the evil corporation reforms. Everybody lives happily ever after.


There is – Existence

There is a young man. Are there any hairs on his chin? He lives in the city. Is there a lot of traffic in the city? He lives with his mother and his sister. How many bedrooms are there in their apartment? His father lives in another city. His father lives away from home. His father visits on the week-end. How many days are there in a week? The young man’s father has a job in another city. Is there a lot of work in that city?  There are four people in the young man’s family. How many people are there in your family? On the week-end the young man goes to a pizza restaurant with his family. Are there a lot of customers at the restaurant?


Be Verb with Adjectives and Noun Phrases

There is a young man. Is he tall? He lives in the city. Is it a big city? He lives with his sister and his mother. Is he on good terms with them? They live in an apartment. Which floor is it on? The young man’s father lives in another city. How far is it to the other city?  The father works in another city. Is his job interesting?  The father visits the family on week-ends. Is Friday afternoon part of the week-end? The young man goes to university. Is his course difficult? He studies business and economics. Are his grades good? The young man has a lot of friends. Are they all male?


Present Simple Tense

There is a young man. He lives in the city. Does the city have a ring road? He lives with his mother and his sister. Do they have a good relationship? His father lives in another city. Does he live in an apartment? His father lives away from home. Does your father live at home? His father visits on the week-end. What do you do on the week-end? The young man’s father has a job in another city. Does the young man miss his father? There are four people in the young man’s family. How many brothers and sisters do you have? On the week-end the young man goes to a pizza restaurant with his family. Do they all like pizza? Do you like pizza?


Present Continuous Tense

It is the week-end. What are you doing this week-end? A young man is waiting for his father. The young man’s father is coming home. Is he driving or taking the train? He arrives at the apartment early on Saturday morning. Is his wife cooking breakfast, when he walks in? HIs daughter is in her room. What is she doing, when he arrives? HIs son is in his room. What is he doing when the father arrives? The father talks to his family. What is he wearing? He talks about his work. Is he enjoying  his work? While the father is talking, the daughter’s telephone rings. Who is calling? The daughter goes into another room to take the call. What does the father do, while his daughter is talking on the telephone?



Present Perfect Tense

There is a young man. He is a university student. How long has he been a student? He lives with his mother and his sister. His father lives in another city. How long has his father lived in another city? His father works in another city. How long has his father worked for that company? The young man’s father visits his family on the week-end. They go to a restaurant. It is a pizza restaurant. Have they been to that restaurant before? The father orders a large family size pizza with anchovies. Has he ever eaten anchovies before? Have you ever eaten anchovies? Everybody eats and they all get sick. They get food poisoning from the pizza. Has the father ever had food poisoning before? Has the mother? Have either of the children? Have you ever had food poisoning? The whole family has to spend the night in hospital. Have any of them ever spent the night in hospital before? Have you?


Past Simple Tense

The young man recovered from his food poisoning. How long was he in hospital? He returned to university and the father went back to work. Did the father have to take any time off work because of his illness? The young man was a diligent student and he passed all his exams. Did he take a holiday after his final exam? The following year he enrolled in an MBA course. How long did he take to finish it? After that the young graduate got a job at a large multinational company. Did he move out of the apartment with his mother and sister? Did the father still live away from his family?


Past Continuous Tense

One day the young man walked into a colleagues office. What was the colleague doing, when the young man walked in? He looked at some papers on the other man’s desk. Were they lying in the middle of the desk or on the edge of it? They were legal documents. Was the other man working on those documents? The other man was talking on the telephone. Who was he talking to? The young graduate manager waited for his colleague to finish the telephone call. Then he asked him about some tests for a new product. Some scientists at a nearby university were testing one of the company’s new products. It was a growth hormone. Were the scientists testing it at a lab at the university in the same city or in another city? The young man talked about the tests with his colleague. What was the young man’s sister doing while the man was at work? Was his father still living in another city? Were his mother and father having difficulty with their marriage?


Past Perfect Tense

The young man went back to his desk. He sat at his computer. How long had he worked at that desk? He read about the growth hormone on his computer. Scientists at his company had developed it. How long had they taken to develop it? They had developed it but they had not tested it. Had anybody tested it? Scientists at the university were testing it. Had they ever tested any products for the company before? That night the young man went to dinner with his colleague. His colleague said the tests were complete. The young man was surprised. The other man gave the results of the tests to the young man. The results had not come from the university. The results had come from the colleague. The colleague had falsified the results. Had he ever done this before? The colleague had bribed the scientists at the university. Had he ever bribed anybody before? The scientists had taken the bribe. There were three of them. Had the head researcher told the others to submit false results? The young man was shocked. He was shocked by his colleagues actions. Had he encountered bribery and corruption before?


A Cluster of Past Tenses

The young man called his father. What was his father doing when the phone rang? He told him about the bribery and corruption at work. Did he name names? The father listened carefully to his son. Had he ever heard anything like this before? He arranged to meet his son for dinner that night. The son took an inter-city train to meet his father. He took the express. It was expensive. Had he ever taken the express before? The father and son went to a restaurant together. Had the son been there before? Had the father been there before? It was a French restaurant. When they walked in a man was carrying a tray of flaming deserts across the room. Was he wearing a white apron? Was he wearing anything on his head? The father and son sat at a table by the window. The menu was in French. Had either of the two men ever studied French? The father ordered orange duck. Had he ever eaten that dish before? Have you?  The son ordered beef in burgundy sauce. Had he ever eaten that dish before? What was the special of the day? While the two men ate they talked about bribery and corruption in the biotechnology industry. Is there a lot of competition in the biotechnology industry? Has corruption always existed?


Past Simple Tense – Verbs of Five Senses

A young employee of a biotechnology company was having dinner with his father. They were eating at a French restaurant. There were fresh flowers in the room. The whole place smelled of jasmine. Does your room smell like flowers? The young man was wearing a woollen jacket. Did it feel too heavy for indoors? What was the father wearing? Does wool feel different to cotton? The father was eating duck. Did it smell good? Does duck smell different from chicken? The young man was eating beef. Did it taste good? Did it smell of red wine? Does red wine taste better than white wine? The young man looked at his father. Did his father look tired? He ran his eyes over the familiar features. Did his father look older than he was?  Does your father look younger than he is? The father asked the son about his work. Did he sound interested? The son spoke about some problems at work. Did he sound bitter or disappointed or upset in any way? Did the father seem upset by the son’s story? After the main course the two men ordered dessert. The father ordered ice cream. It smelled of alcohol. What kind of alcohol did it smell of? The son looked suddenly very tired. He felt tired and he looked tired. He was exhausted. The father looked at him. He said that he looked pale. Did he feel bad because of the food? Suddenly the son fainted. The father called an ambulance and they went to hospital. Had the son been to that hospital before? The son had a bitter taste in his mouth. The father felt bad too. Do you like the taste of lemon juice? At the hospital the doctor examined the son. He felt his chest and his back. Did his hands feel cold? He put his stethoscope on the young man’s heart. Did he take his heartbeat? Did the stethoscope feel cold to the touch? The doctor did not talk much. Did he seem cold and impersonal? Did he look kind and compassionate? Did he feel tired? How long had he been on duty when the young man came in? The father sat in the waiting room. Did the waiting room smell of human sweat and cigarettes? He looked worried. There was a dull vibrating noise. It came from his pocket. It was the father’s phone. He answered it. It was his wife. Did she sound worried? He talked about their son. Did the son look like the father or the mother? In appearance do you take after your father or your mother?



Present Simple Tense – Various Functions of Articles

There was a young man. Was he the oldest sibling in his family? He was an employee of a biotechnology company. Did that company produce agent orange for the Vietnam war? What do you know about the Vietnam War? The young man was stressed. He was in hospital. He was in a hospital bed. Was it a clean bed? The man’s father was sitting on a chair. Was it a comfortable chair? His mother was also sitting on a chair. Were they sitting on the same chair? The sister arrived. She sat down. How many chairs were there in the room? The doctor came into the room. Was it the same doctor as before or a different doctor? He wrote a note for the nurse. Nobody could read it. Doctors always have illegible handwriting. Do you agree that doctors always have illegible handwriting? Do most doctors work in hospitals or in small clinics?

Meanwhile in a laboratory at a large research institute two men were discussing the results of a test. The results were fake. Did the young man in hospital know about the fake results? The results were for a new product. Was it a growth hormone? Was it genetically modified? The new product was an additive for stock feed. Is the cow a carnivore? The additive increased beef production. Do cattle eat meat? Do growth hormones increase beef production? The two men were discussing the side effects of the new additive. Was the same additive banned in other countries?

Back at the hospital the mother was talking about food poisoning. Is food security a problem in your country? What threatens food security in the beef industry? The biotechnology company was a supplier to the beef industry. What is the name of the meat that comes from sheep? The son had had food poisoning from fish. He had not had it from beef.  What is the name of the meat that comes from pigs? Pork can be a source of disease, because the pig is an unclean animal. Are you a meat eater? Vegetables and rice are healthier than red meat. Are meat eaters more violent than vegetarians? The son groaned. The two corrupt scientists finished their meeting. Tell me the names of two famous scientists.



Present Simple Tense – Passive Voice – Describing Processes and Systems

The biotechnology firm has its head office in one city but it has branch offices all over the world. Is it listed on the New York Stock Exchange? There are research laboratories in several countries. Are the labs staffed by casual staffers or permanent employees? Are they required to sign contracts with non-disclosure clauses regarding their research to protect the company’s trade secrets? The research staff develop new products and then these products are produced in factories. Are they produced in factories in countries with low labour costs? The products are then shipped all over the world. How many countries are there on earth? The company has several divisions. Does it have a large legal department? It produces pharmaceutical products as well as agricultural products. Are all of its products eventually intended for human consumption, if you follow the food chain? Recently the company has come in for criticism as a result of side effects from its products. Has it produced any bovine growth hormone? It has also been criticised for marketing harmful pesticides. Is it responsible for birth defects in agricultural areas in India? When a product is made illegal in one country, the company takes it off the shelves, but it still sells it in other countries as they are outside the jurisdiction of the court ruling. Is this an unethical practice? What is the difference between an unethical practice and an illegal practice? What is corporate sustainability?


Future “will” Tense

A young man is lying in a hospital bed. Is he lying on his back? He has been in hospital for three days. Will he get out of hospital soon? He is thinking about his job. Will he be able to go back to work? His employer is a large multinational biotechnology company. Will one company eventually control the world food supply? The young man looks out the window. Will windows one day all have bars on them? He thinks about the world food supply. Will MacDonald’s eventually have a restaurant on Mt Everest? He thinks about his employer. Will his employer pay him compensation for his time in hospital? The young man does not want to go back to work. Will he be able to get his things from his desk without going into the office? He thinks about a different career. Will he be able to start a new career? He thinks about a new job. Will he be able to find a new job?


A Business Fairy Tale – Interactive Story – Future “going to” Tense

It is a warm afternoon in the human relations office at a large multinational biotechnology company. Is it going to rain in the afternoon? The sun is shining in the windows. All of the people in the room have taken off their coats. Everybody has taken off his coat except the public relations manager. She is from Hawaii. Is she going to take off her coat? The boss is worried about a corruption scandal. Is the story going to be in the newspapers? Some lawyers from the government have visited with federal police. Is there going to be a national inquiry? The weather is warm and the sun is warm and the room is warm and everybody in the room is hot but the boss is cool. The boss is not going to take her coat off. She is from Hawaii. She is from Hawaii and she likes hot weather. The air conditioning is broken but she does not mind. She is not going to faint. She is not going to melt. She is not going to experience any discomfort. She likes hot weather. She enjoys high temperatures. She is a beach girl. Are you going to go to the beach this afternoon?

Meanwhile in the hospital there is a young employee of the biotechnology company. He is lying in bed. Is he going to get out of hospital soon? He has had a nervous breakdown. Is he going to need counseling? He is on medication. How long is he going to be on the medication? Actually the young man is not planning to go go back to work. He is not going to work for that company any more. He is going to do something different with his life. he is going to look for another job. He is going to follow his conscience. Money is not going to be the most important thing in his life. he is not going to be ruled by money. Is he going to be able to get along with no money at all? Is he going to be visited by a representative of his employer? Is he going to be told to keep his mouth shut about bribery? Is he going to be told to keep quiet about fake results of lab tests? Is he going to be offered a bribe? Is he going to regain his health and fight for justice?


A Business Fairy Tale – Interactive Story – Future Continuous Tense “will”

Back at work, one of the people in the conference room mentions a manager who is in hospital. Will he be staying in hospital for long? The media relations manager asks if the young planning manager knows about the company policy on scandal. She is told that he does not. Will he be meeting representatives from the media? He has not been briefed. Will he be briefed? He has not been briefed on the company media relations policy. Will the company be going to court over this? The boss must get to him. She must give him instructions. It is the only way to protect him from the media. If the media interviews him, he will not know what to say. If the media interviews him he could give the game away. Will the media relations manager be briefing him as soon as possible?

A Business Fairy Tale – Interactive Story – Future Continuous Tense and Future Perfect Tense – Relative Clauses

It is early in the morning. A woman is getting dressed. She is from Hawaii. Is she going to be going back there one day? She does not like cool weather. Is she going to be experiencing a lot of cold weather in her new job? She likes the beach. Is she going to live by the beach one day? She is putting on warm clothes. The boss has a busy day ahead of her. She is going to be leaving her home in a few minutes. She looks at her schedule. Then she calls her office. She talks to her secretary about her plans for the day.

She is going to be leaving the house in a few minutes. She is not going to be back until late evening. She is not going to be coming in to the office today. She is going to be driving out to a hospital. She is going to be seeing a manager. He has had a nervous breakdown. She is going to be briefing him about the current scandal. Her company is involved in a scandal.

She is going to be taking a tax at around eight thirty. By nine she will have arrived at the station. Will she be having coffee at the station?

She is going to be taking the train at nine thirty. By ten thirty the train will have arrived. Will she be eating breakfast on the train?

She is going to be taking another taxi to the hospital. By eleven she will have arrived. Will she be meeting any doctors? She will be seeing the manager, who has had a nervous breakdown. How much time will she be spending with him? Will she be discussing the company policy on media disclosure and practices which are harmful to the company? Will she be offering the young manager a bribe?

By mid-day the public relations manager will have finished her business with the manager who will have agreed not to speak to the media. Will she be taking a taxi back to the city or will she be taking the train?

The public relations manager, who comes originally from Hawaii, is going to be traveling to the research and development laboratories. She is going to be meeting with the some scientists. She is going to be briefing them on company policy regarding media releases. By two pm she will have arrived at the research centre. She will be meeting with the head of the centre for coffee. What will she be discussing? Is she going to be offering any financial incentives?

By three the public relations manager will have left the research centre. She will be taking a train to the western part of the city. She is going to be meeting with some farmers. Is she going to be eating with them? She is going to be discussing health concerns. She is going to be assuring the farmers that biotechnology products are safe. Are biotechnology products safe?

Interactive Story – Relative Clauses

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