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

  • I'm Neil and joining me is Catherine. Hello, Catherine.

  • Hello, Neil. Hello, everybody. Yes, today's story:

  • the remains of a Chinese rocket have landed in the Indian Ocean. Now,

  • for a while it wasn't certain where exactly this stuff was going to land.

  • If you would like to test yourself on any of the vocabulary

  • you hear in our programme today,

  • there is a quiz on our website at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • Now, let's hear some more about that story from this BBC News report:

  • So, the remains of a Chinese rocket have landed in the Indian Ocean.

  • Now, there had been some concern from some people about where exactly

  • this rocket was going to land. They were worried about injuries.

  • China insisted that the risk was very low and, as it happens,

  • nobody as far as we know was injured after all.

  • Catherine, you've been looking at this story across the world's media.

  • You've picked out three words and expressions, which people will find

  • useful for understanding the story. What are they?

  • We have: 'debris', 'heats up' and 'gamble'.

  • 'Debris', 'heats up' and 'gamble'.

  • Let's start then with your first headline.

  • Yes, we are starting with the South China Morning Postthe headline:

  • 'Debris' – broken pieces of something larger.

  • Yes. Now, interesting pronunciation for this one.

  • The word is spelt: D-E-B-R-I-S.

  • Now Neil, you're a British-English speaker, are you not?

  • I am. So, how do you pronounce this word?

  • Well, I say – I think I say:'debris'.

  • 'Debris'. 'Debris', OK.

  • You will also hear British-English speakers saying 'debris'.

  • So, you can say 'debris' or 'debris',

  • but if you are a speaker of American English, you will say, Neil?

  • 'Debris'.

  • 'Debris' – notice the stress shifts. In British English,

  • it's on that 'deh-' or 'dey-' – the first part of the word.

  • In American English, it's the second part of the word: 'debris'.

  • But the 's' is always silent.

  • Yeah, OK. So, a bit of a complicated word here,

  • pronounced in several different ways, but the most obvious thing

  • is that we don't pronounce the 's' at the end. Why not?

  • Because it's a French word originally, as it goes.

  • And in French words often the 's' isn't pronounced,

  • but we have our British version of this word: 'debris' or 'debris'.

  • Yeah. Interestingthis word is neither

  • too formal or too informal; it's suitable for any use.

  • Yeah. You can use it anywhere, in any situation to describe,

  • basically, broken pieces of something that are often left scattered around

  • after an accident or some kind of violent event. So, after a storm when

  • the weather's really bad: there's lots of wind, there's lots of rain.

  • You go outsideyou will see your rubbish everywhere,

  • bits of trees, broken branches, kind ofbins have gone over.

  • Lots of rubbish in the street after a storm. That rubbish is 'debris'.

  • Yeah. And we can also use it in a slightly humorous way

  • to describe, basically, a really messy place.

  • Yeah, you can talk about the 'debris' that's left after a party.

  • So, it's not always natural disasters;

  • it can be createdyou know, just mess that's created.

  • And in this rocket case, they're talking about 'debris',

  • meaning pieces of the broken rocket scattered around.

  • OK. Let's get a summary:

  • If you're interested in stories about space, we have one about

  • a rocket that went into space and came back, made by SpaceX.

  • Where can our viewers find the story?

  • You can read about the...

  • you can watch the recycled rocket story by clicking the link.

  • OK. Let's have your next headline, please.

  • Yes. We are now in the US and our headline, from CNN, is:

  • 'Heats up' – becomes more extreme.

  • Yes. Two words now. First word: 'heats' – H-E-A-T-S.

  • The second word: 'up' – U-P. So, the verb 'to heat up' is a phrasal verb.

  • Now Catherine, I know what 'to heat up' means:

  • that's what I do with my leftovers.

  • I get them out of the fridge and I put them in a little bowl and I

  • put them in the microwave and I 'heat them up'. Is that the same?

  • To make food hot, yeah. No, it's not quite the same.

  • But when you 'heat food up', you make it hot: you take it from a

  • cold state to a hot state. Now, if we think about this more metaphorically,

  • we often use the idea of 'getting hot' or 'heating up' to describe

  • a situation which is getting more serious, more pressured,

  • more anxious, more important, more tense, often more angry.

  • So, the space race is 'heating up': it means it's getting more intense.

  • It's getting more serious. There's more pressure.

  • So, we could use words like 'intensify' or 'agitate'.

  • Yeah, good. Good synonyms. Good synonyms.

  • So, if you think about yourself at work, you know: you've got an

  • important meeting, there's a job to be done, the deadline's coming,

  • more and more people are asking you questions about it.

  • You know that if this job isn't done properly,

  • there's going to be some problems, so you can say that

  • 'the situation is heating up' or you can say that 'the heat is on'.

  • Yeah, definitely. 'The heat is on'. And we use, as you said, 'heat'

  • metaphorically to describe, sort of, uncomfortable situations.

  • If you can imagine something being too hot, you don't feel good.

  • Yes, exactly. 'Too hot to handle' – we talk about that when there's

  • a situation that is really serious and you don't want to get involved,

  • or if you are involved there's going to be trouble.

  • OK. Let's get a summary:

  • If you would like to watch another story about a situation

  • where things really 'heated up',

  • we have the perfect one for you about the Royal Family.

  • Yes, we do, so just click the link to find out more.

  • Now, time for your next headline please, Catherine.

  • Yes, we are in the UK now with the Telegraph:

  • 'Gamble' – a plan that has both a risk of failure

  • and the chance of success.

  • Yes. G-A-M-B-L-E.

  • Now, it's a noun in our headline, but it can also be a verb.

  • That's right, yes.

  • And people probably know the verb 'to gamble' connected to betting. So...

  • Yes, yes. ...you know: casino,

  • horse racing, that kind of thing.

  • Yes. Where you put some...

  • you place some money on the result of something – a race or a game

  • of cardsand if you guess or predict the result correctly,

  • you get more money back. If you got it wrong, you lose your money.

  • Now, the idea of gambling is about risk, isn't it?

  • You take a risk: you might have a good outcome, you might have a bad

  • outcome, but essentially you don't know for sure what's going to happen.

  • And that's the sense that's being used here, isn't it? It's not

  • about putting money on something in the hope of winning more money.

  • No, it's abouthere they're referring to the idea that it

  • wasn't certain where this rocket 'debris' was going to land,

  • and the 'gamble' was: will it land in the ocean?

  • Or will it land in a populated area and cause some damage?

  • Now, China said that this wasn't a big risk, but some other people said:

  • 'Well, actually there was a big risk here.

  • There could have been a lot of damage.'

  • And that's why they're saying: 'China won the gamble.'

  • Because there was no damage eventually.

  • Yeah. We use set expressions of this as well:

  • 'take a gamble' and 'a bit of a gamble'.

  • Yes, absolutely, and it's where you do something

  • not really knowing whether the outcome will be good or bad.

  • Yeah. Now, a person who 'gambles' is a 'gambler',

  • but that doesn't mean that this is a person in a casino or in

  • a bookmakers, putting bets on horses.

  • It can describe a type of personality that enjoys risk.

  • Yes, it can. Obviously, I mean, if you are a 'gambler',

  • you can say: 'I'm a gambler. I like going to casinos.'

  • But you can also just use it about your attitude to life.

  • You know, if you think, 'Well, I'm gonna do this thing at work.

  • If it goes... if it goes badly, there'll be trouble,

  • but if it goes well, everybody'll say I'm fantastic.'

  • Then your personality type is: you like a 'gamble', you're a 'gambler'.

  • OK. Well, let's get a summary:

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

  • Yes, we had: 'debris' – broken pieces of something larger.

  • 'Heats up' – becomes more extreme.

  • And 'gamble' – a plan that has both a risk of failure and chance of success.

  • If you'd like to test yourself on the vocabulary, there's a quiz on our

  • website at bbclearningenglish.com and we are all over social media.

  • Join us next week and stay safe. Goodbye.

  • Bye!

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

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China Rocket lands in ocean - BBC News Review

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/05/11
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