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  • Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English.

  • I'm Neil and joining me is Tom. Hello Tom.

  • Hello Neil and hello to our audienceAustralia is our story today.

  • Australia has been hit by the worst floods in 50 years

  • and today we're looking at the impact of these floods.

  • If you'd like to test yourself

  • on any of the vocabulary you hear in this programme,

  • there's a quiz on our website at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • OK. Let's find out about those floods from this BBC News bulletin:

  • So, there is extreme flooding in New South Wales in Australia.

  • More than 18,000 people have moved to escape the floodwater.

  • Political leaders say that these floods are the worst in 50 years

  • and there is a warning that rain and flooding could continue in the state.

  • Very serious situation there.

  • Now, you've been looking across the media at this story

  • and picking out words and expressions which are useful

  • for talking about it. What have you got?

  • I have: 'torrential', 'batterand 'kick in the guts'.

  • 'Torrential', 'batter' and 'kick in the guts'.

  • So, let's start with your first headline please.

  • Of course. My first headline todayNeil, is from CNN in the USAit says:

  • 'Torrential' – describes heavy, strong rain.

  • Yeah. So, 'torrential' is an adjective.

  • Spelling: T-O-R-R-E-N-T-I-A-L – 'torrential'.

  • And the stress is on the middle of three syllables: 'tor-REN-tial'.

  • 'Torrential' – am I right?

  • Yes, that's an excellent pronunciation of 'torrential', Neil.

  • OK. Now, it might be useful to think about the noun version of this word.

  • It is. The noun form is 'torrent' – that's T-O-R-R-E-N-T.

  • And a 'torrent' is a large amount of water which is moving very fast.

  • This is not as common as 'torrential'

  • but it's useful to understand where the adjective comes from.

  • Yeah. So, we could say 'torrential rain' or also a 'torrent of rain',

  • but 'torrential' is more common.

  • Yeah, we could say a 'torrent of rain'. We'd normally stick with 'torrential'.

  • We'd normally use the adjective form.

  • Some collocations for torrential:

  • we have 'torrential rain', 'torrential downpour'

  • and interestingly it's very common to use the word 'after' with this

  • because often we're talking about the impact of 'torrential rain',

  • so you'll see the word 'after' with it as well.

  • OK. So, are there any other expressions using this word 'torrent'?

  • There are, Neil, yeah. That's why I put it in.

  • A 'torrent' – OK. 'Torrent' – not that common in English,

  • but we have a common fixed expression, which uses the word.

  • The fixed expression is a 'torrent of abuse'.

  • Ah, a 'torrent of abuse'. Now, this is something that you might witness

  • you might see at a football match, for example.

  • Say a player makes a mistakethe crowd is often

  • not very friendly or forgiving about mistakes.

  • The player might be subjected to a 'torrent of abuse'.

  • Imagine... yeah, imagine getting hit by, like, a river of abuse:

  • it just doesn't stop. It flows and it comes down at you.

  • For example, Neil, you might give me a 'torrent of abuse'

  • if I make a mistake on News Review – like, 'Tom, what have you done??

  • You did this wrong! Your sound's bad! It's a huge mess!'

  • And if you continued it would be a 'torrent of abuse'

  • and I would be very upset.

  • You know I would never do that, but just as an example, I'll say yes.

  • Never on camera anyway...!

  • Australia has been very unlucky with natural disasters over the last year.

  • We have a story about the fires that were there last January.

  • Where can our viewers find it, Tom?

  • Our viewers can find it by clicking the link in the video.

  • OK. Let's have our next headline please.

  • Our next headline, Neil, is from Beef Central,

  • which is an Australian agricultural news websiteit says:

  • So, there's that word 'torrentialagain to describe rain,

  • but our vocabulary is 'batters'.

  • 'Batters' – strikes hard and repeatedly.

  • Yeah. So, 'batter' – 'to batteris a verb: B-A-T-T-E-R – 'batter'.

  • And you note the kind of schwa:

  • unstressed pronunciation at the end: 'batter'.

  • Yeah. Now, it might be useful

  • and you might actually recognise in this word 'batter'

  • a little clue to help you understand it or remember it:

  • the word 'bat'. Now, a lot of sports use a bat

  • and if you have a bat, you can 'batter' things with it.

  • Well, you can, yeah. So, cricketyou have a bat.

  • Baseballyou have a bat. And what do you do with this bat, Neil?

  • You hit things.

  • You hit things or you strike thingsSo, this is the sort ofwhere...

  • this is why they're using it here: it has this image of being struck or hit.

  • It's quite violent imagery which describes this strong storm.

  • Yeah. Now, apart from physically battering something,

  • you can... you can figuratively: you can...

  • you can attack someone with words and it would still be a 'battering'.

  • Definitely, yeah. It wouldn't be pleasant.

  • If you are 'battered' – say on social media,

  • if you do a post, which is very unpopular,

  • and you get lots and lots of posts which criticise you,

  • you could 'get battered' and here we have the collocation as well:

  • 'get battered' means, kind of, get attacked by people.

  • Yeah. Similar to our first expression there – a 'torrent of abuse'.

  • Yeah, definitely. There's a lot of violent imagery in today's broadcast.

  • But, moving away from violence, there is another form

  • of 'batter' as well, which is very popular in the UK.

  • Absolutely. I love fish and chips and when I go to the fish and chip shop

  • I go and I get my cod 'battered'. Now that doesn't mean...

  • Yeah.

  • ...it doesn't mean that it's been beaten up by the

  • by the person running the fish and chip shop.

  • No. So, 'batter' as a noun – B-A-T-T-E-R.

  • This is the stuff that we put on our fish before we fry it.

  • Flour, waterput your fish in therefry it: it is a 'battered fish'.

  • And you can 'batter' lots of things, like bananas for example.

  • Yeah. Now, Tom you have got a really fantastic joke.

  • I know you're a dad, Neil, so I'm going to give you a dad joke,

  • which is a very unfunny joke in English. OK. Are you ready?

  • Neil, did you hear about the fight in the chip shop?

  • No, I didn't hear about the fight in the chip shop. What happened, Tom?

  • Two fish got 'battered'.

  • So, there we goBoth meanings of 'batter':

  • to put that flour and water coating on a piece of fish before frying,

  • but also to hit really hard, so...

  • Hysterical.

  • Absolutely. I think this is a good time for a summary:

  • Talking of fish and chips, we have a programme in which Tim,

  • our pronunciation expert, talks you through

  • some of the pronunciation issues connected with that phrase.

  • Where can our learners find it?

  • Once again, our learners can find it by clicking the link in the video.

  • Let's have your next headline.

  • My next headline, Neil, comes from Yahoo News Australiait says:

  • 'Kick in the guts' – extremely disappointing event or action.

  • We've got more, sort ofviolent imagery here, Tom.

  • Yeah. Yet more violent imagery here again, Neil, on today's News Review.

  • So, 'kick in the guts' is a verb phrase. Four words.

  • The first one: 'kick' – K-I-C-K. Next: 'in' – I-N.

  • 'The' – T-H-E. And 'guts' – G-U-T-S. A 'kick in the guts'.

  • And this is an extremely disappointing event or action.

  • Yeah. Now, the word 'guts' refers to the, sort of, stomach area in general

  • and if you imagine receiving some really, kind of, disappointing news,

  • you kind of feel it in that areain your 'guts', in your stomachdon't you?

  • You do and we actuallythere's an adjective that we have

  • in British English, which is 'gutted'.

  • If you feel very disappointed, you feel 'gutted',

  • so it hasyou know – a similar meaning.

  • Yeah. So, whereas if somebody actually kicked you in the 'guts',

  • the main sensation would be pain rather than disappointment,

  • but what we're talking about when we talk about 'guts'

  • is connected to disappointment and feelings.

  • Yeah, definitely. It's figurative and they've used it with this headline

  • you mentioned the Australian fires earlier in the broadcast

  • so, the headline is about an Australian family,

  • who saved their home from the fires

  • but then this time in the floods they have lost their home.

  • So, you can imagine there's a real sense of deep disappointment there...

  • Yeah. ...very upset.

  • Now, this is not the only expression in English

  • with a 'kick' in it and a part of the body:

  • there's there's one with teeth as well.

  • Yeah, a 'kick in the gutsmakes you feel disappointed;

  • a 'kick in the teeth' makes you... it's perhaps even worse.

  • It makes you feel disappointed and it's quite disrespectful as well.

  • Yeah. So, for example, Robhe stole one of your scripts, didn't he?

  • Yeah. Imagine Rob stole my script and then he won an award

  • and got journalist of the year.

  • Yeah. So, not only did he steal the script,

  • which wasyou knowdisappointing in itself;

  • he then went and won an award with it,

  • which was an extra disappointing, disrespectful...

  • Extra disappointing, extra disrespectful.

  • If I was married and my wife left me, that would be very disappointing,

  • but then if she married my best friend the next week,

  • that would be a real 'kick in the teeth' – very disrespectful as well.

  • Absolutely. It's time now for a summary, I think.

  • Yeah, I think so. On that happy notelet's have a look at the summary:

  • Time now then for a recap of our vocabulary please, Tom.

  • Of course. Today's vocabulary.

  • We have 'torrential' – describes heavy, strong rain.

  • 'Batters' – strikes hard and repeatedly.

  • And 'kick in the guts' – extremely disappointing event or action.

  • If you want to test yourself on this vocabulary,

  • you can find a test on our website: bbclearningenglish.com.

  • And you can find us all over social media.

  • Thanks for joining us and goodbye.

  • See you next time. Bye!

Hello and welcome to News Review from BBC Learning English.

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B1 batter kick disappointing headline battered fish

Australia's 'one-in-a-fifty-year' flood: BBC News Review

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/23
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