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  • Hello and welcome to News Review. I'm Georgina and joining me today is Catherine. Hi Catherine.

  • Hello Georgina and hello everybody. Now, Joe Biden is the projected winner of the US elections:  

  • he will be the next president. His running mate Kamala Harris will be the next vice president.  

  • She will be the first female and she will be the first black Asian American to hold the position.

  • Yes and don't forgetif you want to test yourself on the vocabulary you learn today,  

  • go to our website bbclearningenglish.com and you'll find a quiz.

  • Now, let's hear about this story from the BBC Radio 4 news headline:

  • Yes. Kamala Harris is the vice president-elect of the US. The word 'elect' means she hasn't  

  • officially taken up the job yet. She is femaleshe is black and Asian American: this is a first.

  • We've got three words and expressions to talk about this story.

  • Yes, we have: 'makes history', 'cements' and 'break new ground'.

  • 'Makes history', 'cements' and 'break new ground'. Catherine, can you give us our first headline?

  • Of course. We're starting in the Middle East with Al Jazeerathe headline:

  • 'Makes history' – is or does something so important that it will be recorded publicly and remembered.

  • That's right. And we've got a two-word phrase here. We have the first word: 'makes' – M-A-K-E-S.

  • And the second word: 'history' – H-I-S-T-O-R-Y.

  • Now Catherine, are we talking about something in the past,  

  • something that we would have learnt when we were at school?

  • Not now. It's interesting: what will happen in the future is that people will learn  

  • about Kamala Harris being the first female vice president in their history classes of the future.  

  • So, it isn't history now but it will be history, so we say, 'She is making history.'

  • The history of the future is being created by this event.

  • And are there any other synonyms we can use?

  • Yes, we can say that she has 'gone down in history', or she's 'going down in history'.

  • 'To go down in history' is pretty much the same as 'to make history'.

  • Yeah. So, it's a very historic event that's really just

  • or a historic situation that has just happened.

  • Right, let's have a look at our summary slide:

  • 'Makes history' is usingverb in the present tense  

  • and we have lots more videos about how to use present tenses correctly, haven't we Catherine?

  • We have. And to see just one of them, click the link and you'll go straight to the show.

  • Great. So, let's havelook at your next headline.

  • OK and we're back in the UK now, with LBCthe headline:

  • 'Cements' – makes a situation, an agreement or relationship stronger.

  • Yes. Now, we have one word here: 'cements' – it's spelt C-E-M-E-N-T-S.

  • Now, if you 'cement' your place in historyyou 'make history' or you 'go down in history'.

  • So, it's a really nice way of using the expression  

  • that we've just been talking about. It's almost a synonym.

  • That's really useful to knowbut 'cement' – isn't that used  

  • to talk about the stuff we put between bricks when we're building a house?

  • Yes, it is. And if you're watching the show – you're not listening to the podcastyou'll  

  • see behind me a brick wall, and this stuff between the bricks is called 'cement'.

  • It makes the building stronger: it sticks the bricks together.

  • And that's – excuse meand that's the idea of the verb 'cement': not used in a building sense  

  • but giving something strength and permanenceSo, Kamala Harris has made her place  

  • in history stronger and permanentAnd that's the idea of 'cements' here.

  • And what kind of words do we need to use 'cements' with? Is it 'cements' something?

  • Yes, you usually use 'cements' in this way with an object after the verb.

  • So, you can 'cement' a situation, you can 'cementan agreement, you can 'cement' a relationship.

  • Great. Let's have a look at the summary slide:

  • We've got lots more videos about female firsts, haven't we Catherine?

  • We have. We've even got one which is asking the question,  

  • 'Will the first person on Mars be a woman?' And to find out more about that story, click the link.

  • Great. So, let's havelook at your next headline.

  • And in the UK for this one, we're with The Guardianthe headline:

  • 'Break new ground' – do something completely different that has not been done before.

  • Yes. We have a three-word phrase this time. The first word: 'break' – B-R-E-A-K.

  • Second word: 'new' – N-E-W. And the third word: 'ground' – G-R-O-U-N-D. 'Break new ground'.

  • So, when I think about this, I think about when I moved into my new place

  • and I had a little patio at the back with a tiny bit of a, kind of, garden that I could garden.

  • And I got out my spade and I dug a big hole to put a plant in.

  • Is that what we're talking about, Catherine?

  • You were literally 'breaking the groundin your new apartmentin the garden?

  • Yes.

  • OK. So, this is more a figurative sense. When you 'broke new ground',  

  • you were digging a hole in a place that had never had that happen to it before.  

  • The idea is you're doing something new for the very first time.

  • Now, nobodyno woman has been the vice president of the USA before, so Kamala Harris is doing  

  • this and that's – in a sense, she's doing something new: she's 'breaking new ground'.

  • Yeah. In fact, she's breaking new ground in lots of areas, isn't she?

  • Yeah, absolutely. And it doesn't have to be something as big as being a vice president.  

  • You can 'break new ground' in your own life by doing something you've never done before:  

  • studying a topic at university that nobody in your family has done.

  • Maybe you're a family full of doctorsyou're going to break new ground by becoming an artist.

  • Ah, fantastic! So, let's have a look at the summary slide:

  • Catherine, could you recap the vocabulary, please?

  • Most certainly. We had: 'makes history' – is or does something so important

  • that it will be recorded publicly and remembered.

  • Then we had: 'cements' – makes a situationan agreement or relationship stronger.

  • And finally we looked at: 'break new ground' – do something completely different that has not been done before.

  • And you can test yourself on today's vocabulary with the quiz  

  • on the website bbclearningenglish.com. We're all over social media too. Thanks for joining us.

  • Bye. Bye!

Hello and welcome to News Review. I'm Georgina and joining me today is Catherine. Hi Catherine.

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Kamala Harris: First Female US Vice-President - News Review

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/10
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