The Story of One

PART 1: The Ishango Bone (1:00-6:25)

Watch the first part of the video and answer questions to Exercise A.


Say whether the following statements are TRUE or FALSE and justify your answer.

1. The origins of one are unclear.

Check answer

2. Experts think that human beings started counting 150,000 years ago.

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3. The first evidence that one existed dates from 12,000 years ago.

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4. One was first represented as a scratch on a bone found in the Congo.

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5. There are 50 scratches along each edge of the Ishango bone.

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6.The Ishango bone definitely marks a defining moment for mankind.

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7. Other mammals can count beyond four.

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PART 2: One Gets Civilised (8:34-10:56)

Watch the second part of the video and answer questions to Exercise B.


Choose the correct answer.

1. What happened that would change one's story forever?

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2. What civilisation gave one its independence?

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3. How did the Sumerians represent one?

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4. What did this enable the Sumerians to invent?

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5. This breakthrough happened there because...

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PART 3: Records (10:56-11:08)

Watch the third part of the video and fill in the missing words in Exercise C.


Fill in the gaps in the transcript.

Sumerian mathematicians were now able to keep (1) of their calculations and these could become more complex than ever before. Only a (2) were initiated into the mysteries of numbers and they were (3) . They became a powerful and (4) that we still pay homage to today. That's right, the Sumerians' great gift to the world: the chartered (5) !

One was now disciplined and organized as never before. He (6) empires.

Check answers


- Watching
  • The Story of One
- Exercises
  1. True/False
  2. Choose the right answer
  3. Fill in the gaps
- Grammar: Passive voice
  1. Complete
  2. Build sentences using the passive


Due to COVID-19, the listening test (20% of the final mark) has been cancelled. Check new assessment procedure below.

TEST (100%)
(January 2021)
  •   Reading comprehension
  •   Culture landmarks 1-6
  •   Grammar
  •   Writing


Terry Jones

Terry Jones (1942-2020), was a Welsh actor, writer, comedian, screenwriter, film director and historian. He was a member of the Monty Python comedy team.
Image from Wikipedia.org.



Map of Congo showing the area where the Ishango bone was found.
Image from Wikipedia.org.


The Ishango bone

The Ishango bone.
Image from Wikipedia.org.



Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson


The passive voice explained

GRAMMAR: The passive voice

Pronunciation -ed

Image from tes.com.


Complete using the correct passive form of the verb in parentheses.

1. The Earth by the gravity of the Sun and orbits around it.

2. The first feature length comedy film by Charlie Chaplin.

3. The award for best video later this evening.

4. By the time you read this, I for murder.

5. I don’t know whether our tests yet or not.

6. Radio waves by Marconi.

7. Your application and we will let you know as soon as we’ve made a decision.

8. The roof of the car can by pressing this button here.

9. Chess ) for around 2,000 years now.

10.Two men at this moment by police in connection with the burglary.

Check answers

-ed vs -ing adjectives


Write sentences in the passive.

1. Our car / service / a mechanic / at the moment.

Check answer

2. A man / shoot / an air gun / outside the petrol station last night.

Check answer

3. Gunpowder / invent / the Chinese.

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4. At the surgery yesterday, I / examine / Dr Peterson / and I / give / a prescription.

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5. I went to see it because I / tell / it was a good film / all my friends.

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6. This photograph / take / my grandfather.

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7. It looked like the window / break / a hammer / some time before.

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8. Our dog / give / an injection / a special syringe / the vet.

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9. The winning goal in last night's match / score / Donatello / a brilliant free kick.

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10. Your cheque / send / last Friday and / should / deliver / to you tomorrow.

Check answer


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