Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Protests in Tunisia: the prime minister is removed from office after violent protests about the government's handling of COVID-19.

  • This is News Review from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

  • Joining me is Roy. Hello Roy.

  •   Hi Neil! And hello everyone.

  • If you would like to learn more about the vocabulary around this story, all you need to do is head to our website bbclearningenglish.com for a quiz.

  • But now, let's hear more about this story from this BBC News report:

  • The president of Tunisia, Kais Saied, has sacked his prime minister, Hichem Mechichi, and suspended parliament following nationwide protests against the government's mishandling of the worsening coronavirus crisis.

  • Addressing an emergency meeting of military commanders, Mr. Saied said the measures were aimed at saving the state.

  • The Tunisian president has removed the prime minister and suspended the government, following a weekend of violent protests across the country.

  • Now, these protests relate to the government's handling of a recent massive increase in COVID cases in the country, along with a general feeling of unrest at the country's economic status.

  • OK. Well, you've been looking at this story.

  • You've picked out some really useful vocabulary for talking about it. What have you got?

  • We have: 'dismissing', 'woes' and 'ousts'.

  • 'Dismissing', 'woes' and 'ousts'. Let's start with your first headline.

  • So, our first headline comes from Al Jazeera and it reads:

  • Tunisia's president accused of 'coup' after dismissing PM.

  • 'Dismissing' – removing someone from their position.

  • Yes. So, this word is spelt: D-I-S-M-I-S-S-I-N-G.

  • It's a three-syllable word and the stress is on its second syllable: 'dismissing', 'dismissing'.

  • And, as you said, it means to remove someone from their positionfrom their job for examplebut it's quite a... it's quite a formal word.

  • Now, we do have more, sort of, informal wordscommonly used wordsdon't we, Neil?

  • We do, yes. So, you would probably hear informally, when people are talking, that someone had been 'sacked' or 'fired': 'fired' more popular in North America and 'sacked' is quite BritishUK English.

  • Yes. But as we say, 'dismissing' – it's quite... or 'to dismiss', as a verb, is quite formal, and it's used to remove someonean employee or a positionfrom a position of power or a position of responsibility.

  • However, it isn't always about removing somebody from their job.

  • So, when we were children, years and years and years agovery long time agowe used to go to school and, one day a week maybe, we'd have something called an assembly, where everybody would group together.

  • All of the students and the teachers would group together, and we would listen to maybe the headmaster or headmistress tell us about news of the school.

  • And at the end of that, what would they say, Neil?

  • They'd say: 'You are dismissed.'

  • Yes. Again, it's quite a formal word and it means to end a meeting or a session.

  • So, you quite commonly hear it in films about the army, things like thatlike 'officer dismissed' or 'class dismissed' at the end of a class or a formal session. It's formal, though.

  • Yeah, but you probably wouldn't hear this in a work environment.

  • It sounds too formal, too strict.

  • It's kind of restricted to those situations we talked about: school, the army, places where discipline's really important.

  • That's right, yeah. And we also have another meaning of 'to dismiss' and it basically relates to when somebody thinks an idea or a person is just ridiculous: you 'dismiss' that idea.

  • Neil, have you ever had an idea that was 'dismissed'?

  • Well, Roy, I had this idea for a number of years.

  • I thought it would really work well on our website: English for Cats.

  • And, you know, my bosshe 'dismissed' the idea.

  • He said, 'This is nonsense. Nobody's going to be interested in that.'

  • I begged him to make the... to make the programme and I made it.

  • And he was right: it was rubbish and everybody hated it.

  • And he... so he was correct to 'dismiss' that idea.

  • Fair enough, but I loved it and so did my dog Leia and I tell you whatif ever you want to make the sequel, English for Dogs, Leia and I are ready to go.

  • We are there to support you. We will not 'dismiss' that as a terrible idea.

  • OK. Well, watch the website on the first of April: see what happens...!

  • Let's get a summary:

  • If you would like to watch a News Review programme about this idea of 'dismissing' things, we have one about the former president Donald Trump. Where can our viewers find it, Roy?

  • All our wonderful viewers need to do is click the link in the description below.

  • OK. Let's have a look at your next headline please.

  • So, my next headline comes from France 24 and it reads:

  • Protesters in Tunisia demand government step down amid COVID-aggravated economic woes.

  • 'Woes' — worries; big problems or issues.

  • 'Woes' — this word is a noun and it is spelt: W-O-E-S.

  • And it relates to serious problems or issues that someone or something is facing, and we quite commonly see this relating to countries or governments: a government's 'woes' – maybe economic 'woes', economic problems or struggles, or something like that.

  • Now, it's quite a formal word, isn't it Neil?

  • It is. And as you say it refers to really big problems, you know.

  • 'Woes' are not things like forgetting your keys or, you know, running out of petrol in your car. 'Woes' are the really big issues that affect you.

  • And it is quite, sort of, old-fashioned and sounds... and formal-sounding, but it does have that sense of a really big problem.

  • Yeah, and... I mean obviously, like, if you wanted to be really dramatic, you could say, 'Ah, what a... Woe is me!' or something like this, when you've lost your keys, but normally we say something like you 'add to somebody's woes'.

  • So, for example, if you're waiting for me to... you're having a bad day, Neil, and you're waiting for me to to record News Review with you and I suddenly say, 'Sorry, I'm off on holiday,' I add to your problemsyour big dayyour big problematic day and I 'add to your woes'.

  • Yes, we can use it like that.

  • And, and we also have 'woe' as a, sort of, general concept.

  • Yeah, this one is more, sort of... it's... you can find this more in literature and it's a little bit old-fashioned but it basically means a great sadness.

  • So, you could say somebody's face, when they look very sad, their face is 'full of woe'.

  • But like I say, this is... I'd say it's a little old-fashioned now: you might see it in something like the works of Jane Austen, but 'woe' means a great sadness.

  • Yeah. And 'woe' perhaps is over-represented in headlines because it's short and that's always helpful for a headline writer.

  • Absolutely.

  • OK. Let's get a summary:

  • Talking about 'woes', we have a 6 Minute English all about sad music and why people like it. Where can our viewers find it, Roy?

  • All our wonderful viewers need to do is click the link in the description below.

  • However, that is not the only thing we need to say about 6 Minute English, is it Neil?

  • No, 6 Minute English is now available twice a week, but you have to get the extra episode on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. It's available there exclusively.

  • So, if you want more 6 Minute English, go to our website and you can find it there.

  • Let's have a look at your next headline, Roy.

  • OK. My next headline comes from Reuters and it reads:

  • Tunisian president ousts government in move critics call a coup.

  • 'Ousts' – forces someone to leave their position.

  • OK. So, this word is spelt: O-U-S-T-S. And it's, kind of... it sounds kind of aggressiveto 'oust' someone.

  • It sounds kind of... like, it's really kind of an aggressive thing and means to remove somebody from their position of authority, or their position, and it usually meansit means by force, so it's not exactly...

  • They don't want to be removed; they are removed by force.

  • That's right. It starts with that 'ou-', like 'out', and it's got that same 'ou-' sound. Maybe it's useful to remember that – 'oust' and 'out'.

  • It's got this idea of forcing someone 'out'.

  • Absolutely. But it's not always just about removing somebody from their job or their position of authority.

  • Sometimes we use it to remove somebody fromby forcefrom a place, or a location, or even a competition.

  • So, for example, in a sporting event, maybe one of the athletes does something wrong and they are 'ousted' from the competition, or somebody in an office is being very rude and they are 'ousted' from the room.

  • So, it's not just confined to removing somebody from their job.

  • No, just can... it can also mean removing them physically.

  • Absolutely.

  • OK. Let's get a summary:

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

  • Yes, we had 'dismissing' – removing someone from their job.

  • We had 'woes' – worries; big problems or issues.

  • And we had 'ousts' – forces someone to leave their position.

  • If you want to test yourself on the vocabulary, there's a quiz on our website bbclearningenglish.com and you can find all sorts of other things there to help you improve your English.

  • Of course we are all over social media as well.

  • Thanks for joining us and goodbye.

  • Bye.

Protests in Tunisia: the prime minister is removed from office after violent protests about the government's handling of COVID-19.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 formal headline woe position removing dismissed

Tunisia's prime minister fired after protests - News Review

  • 602 16
    林宜悉 posted on 2021/09/06
Video vocabulary