Feb 29

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Leap Year – Listening Comprehension Quiz

A leap year is a year when we get an extra 24 hours of time, in other words, an extra day, in the month of February. But do you know why this is necessary? Watch the video to find out!

Leap Year Explained – Intermediate Listening Comprehension Quiz

Level: intermediate/ B2

Watch the video to learn about leap day and do the comprehension quiz below to see if you understood all the details.

STUDY TIP: You may read the script of the video and read the explanations of the key words below. If you have trouble understanding some of the text, it is a good idea to print the script and read it along while you’re listening to the video.


Answer the questions based on the video about leap year.





Ever feel like you just don’t have enough time?

Well, once every four years, in the month of February, we all get an extra 24 hours. 2016 is an election year, an olympic year and a leap year. To what do we owe this bonus day (= why is there a bonus day every 4 years in February?

We’ll break it down for you (= explain it to you).

There actually is a science behind this bonus day: While there are 365 days in a calendar year, it actually takes a little longer — 365.2422 days to be exact — for the Earth to complete its annual journey around the sun. This adds up to 365 days and 6 hours. Six times four? Twenty-four. So, to realign (= match) us with the Earth’s movement around the sun, an extra day — 24 hours — is built into the calendar once every four years.

Think that’s confusing (= complicated)? Up until Julius Caesar came along and created his own calendar, people observed a 355-day year with an extra month called Mercedonius. Caesar did away with (= got rid of) that complicated system by creating a new day, which we now know as Feb. 29. But his math didn’t quite add up (= the numbers weren’t correct) either. So, when Pope Gregory XIII reformed the system in 1582, he did some fine-tuning (= made more precise changes to the system) and gave Feb. 29 a permanent (= NOT changing) place on the new Gregorian calendar — once every four years.

The way the math works out, a century year (= for example, 1800, 1900, 2000) is a leap year only if it is divisible (= can be divided by) by 400.  So years such as 1700, 1800 and 1900 weren’t leap years. But, of course, 2016 is.

Leap day itself, Feb. 29, has long been the inspiration of folklore, most notably a tradition out of the United Kingdom of women proposing to their significant others (- asking someone to marry you).

And what about people born on Feb. 29? Technically speaking, their birthdays only roll around once every four years. So, that means this year, actor Antonio Sabato Jr. will have his 11th birthday, self-help guru Tony Robbins will have his 14th and rapper Ja Rule will be celebrating his 10th.

So, while others might feel “day”zed and confused (= not able to understand) on Feb. 29, at least you can say, “Now I get it (= I understand)!”



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