Change and variation in English What is Old English and what are its most important characteristics? (about 100 words)
Old English (OE) is the stage of the language that goes from 700 to c. 1150 AD. It refers to the dialects spoken by the Germanic tribes that settled in the British Isles and forced the Celtic populations to move to the West and to the North. OE was a synthetic language where grammatical relations were mostly expressed through inflections in nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs. Words were arranged freely. The lexis was mainly Germanic with some influence of Latin and Scandinavian languages. The Germanic runic alphabet was gradually substituted by the Latin alphabet under the effect of Christianisation (100).
Where in the world is English used as a native language? Briefly mention the historical causes of its spread. (about 100 words)
English is used as a native language in The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and in the Irish republic. This language gradually conquered the British Isles reducing the Celtic languages to minority languages. English is used in the United States, where this language spread with the establishment of new colonies in the 17 th century. English is spoken in Canada (along with French), Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (along with many other languages), as a result of the process of the British expansion in the 18 th and 19 th centuries.(92)
The grammar of English Identify clause functions (S, P, O, C, A) and grammatical classes (NP, VP, etc.) in the following sentence, illustrating with a tree-diagram. My friends sent me an invitation to their wedding.
clause S:NP P :VP Det H:n VP:v Oi:NP Od:NP H:n Det H:n Mod:PP H:prep C:NP Det H:n [My friends] [sent] [me] [an invitation [to their wedding]]
Explain the difference between active and passive clauses and give significant examples in good English (about 100 words)
In active clauses the subject is normally the agent, while the object is the affected entity or patient. In passive clauses the object becomes the subject and the subject becomes an adverbial introduced by a by-phrase. E.g. Everyone admired Jill’s garden (active) – Jill’s garden was admired by everyone (passive). The adverbial phrase may be omitted if the agent is unknown or irrelevant, e.g. a man was murdered. The passive voice is widely used in academic and scientific discourse in order to take an objective stance (e.g. the results have been checked several times...) or disclaim responsibility (The article was taken from...).  In active clauses the subject is normally the agent, while the object is the affected entity or patient. In passive clauses the object becomes the subject and the subject becomes an adverbial introduced by a by-phrase. E.g. Everyone admired Jill’s garden (active) – Jill’s garden was admired by everyone (passive). The adverbial phrase may be omitted if the agent is unknown or irrelevant, e.g. a man was murdered. The passive voice is widely used in academic and scientific discourse in order to take an objective stance (e.g. the results have been checked several times...) or disclaim responsibility (The article was taken from...). 
Pronunciation. Transcribe the following passage. Add punctuation and capital letters
Breakfast is really the most important meal because it helps set the tone for the rest of the day. Researchers have repeatedly shown that people who eat breakfast have a better chance of losing weight. In fact, when you skip meals you’re so hungry that later you eat too much. People who eat breakfast tend to be in better moods and do better on tests than people who skip it. A hungry person can be disinterested and irritable. Breakfast can get you started for a good day.
Group the following words according to the diphthongs they contain: / / or / / near, beer, bear, clear, share, dare, dear, here, square, chair.
LEXIS AND PHRASEOLOGY What are the most frequently used words in English and how can they be counted? (about 100 words)
The most frequently used words in English are grammatical (or functional) words such as determiners (the, a/an), prepositions (of, to), conjunctions (and/that ), personal pronouns (he /I) and auxiliary verbs (is/was). The most frequently used lexical words are general and often polysemous words such as “time, year, people, thing”. Words can be counted through the new resource of corpora, that is, the collections of electronic texts that are selected so as to represent the whole language, such as The British National Corpus (BNC). (83)
What are “false friends”? Provide some examples of false friends between English and Italian. (about 100 words)
False friends are words in two languages that are similar in form but completely, or partially, different in meaning. There are several examples of this between English and Italian such as: “eventually”, which does not mean “eventualmente”, but “at the end of a period or process”; “argument”, which does not mean “argomento”, but discussion, debate or reasons to support an opinion; “vocabulary”, which means “all the words in a language”, and not “dictionary”; “agenda”, which does not mean “agenda” but “ a list of things that need to be done or covered in a meeting” (96)