Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • At the Olympics, a Belarusian sprinter says that her

  • team tried to force her home after she criticised her coaching staff.

  • This is News Review from BBC Learning English.

  • I'm Neil and joining me is Roy. Hello, Roy. Hi, Neil and hello, everyone.

  • If you would like to test yourself on the vocabulary around the story.

  • All you need to do is head to our website

  • www.bbclearningenglish.com to take a quiz.

  • But now, let's hear more about that story from this BBC news report.

  • The Belarusian authorities say she was removed from the team because of

  • Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya

  • claims that her country's officials were trying to force her

  • to return home after she criticised her coaches. She is now in the

  • protection of the Japanese police and she is seeking asylum in Europe.

  • OK. Well, you've been looking around the world's media at this story.

  • You've picked out three really useful items of vocabulary that can help

  • people to talk about the story and understand it. What have you got?

  • We have a 'standoff', 'against someone's will' and 'kidnap plot'.

  • 'Standoff', 'against someone's will' and 'kidnap plot'.

  • OK, let's have a look at your first headline, please Roy.

  • OK, our first headline comes from the UK from The Mirror and

  • it reads: Olympic sprinter who criticised regime in airport

  • standoff as she refuses to fly home.

  • 'stand off' - situation in which neither side wants to agree.

  • OK. So this word is spelt S-T-A-N-D-O-F-F

  • and you'll notice there

  • I spelt it as one word. In the headline, it's hyphenated, but you

  • can use it in either way, you will see it in both ways - and it basically

  • relates to a situation in which two parties or two people cannot agree.

  • OK, Roy. I think I know this situation from various movies

  • I've seen - where you have one group of people one individual with a gun

  • and another one with a gun and they're pointing at each other,

  • and neither one of them wants to compromise.

  • Yeah. So it's all about that idea of neither willing to compromise and

  • you're absolutely right. It is quite commonly with two people with guns.

  • Neither one wants to leave the safety of where they are so they're

  • both stuck or staying in their position and they are in a standoff,

  • if you like. But in this situation, it more relates to a situation where

  • neither person wants to agree to the terms and neither person is moving.

  • It's not about guns in this case or in a film.

  • Yes, and probably most commonly guns and violence are not involved in

  • this when we're talking about standoffs. Can you give us another example,

  • maybe from the world of commerce or business?

  • Absolutely. So, yeah, as you say it's quite commonly used

  • in business and it maybe relates to a situation where two companies

  • or two parties from two different companies are trying to agree terms,

  • or maybe a deal or a takeover, but neither one is willing to compromise

  • or accept the other's term. So there is a standoff. They're not

  • willing to move. And it's also commonly used in other situations.

  • For example, legal situations. Perhaps a divorce where there

  • is a standoff between the two people that want to get divorced.

  • Neither one is willing to agree to the other's terms. Yeah.

  • OK, we can also see this word, well a very similar looking word,but

  • it's an adjective to describe a certain type of person - 'standoffish'.

  • Is that similar? Not really this is... Yeah, basically,

  • let me give you an example: The other day,

  • I went to an online party and I was really happy and I was

  • ready to celebrate, but nobody was speaking to me. Nobody,

  • nobody was talking to me. They were all being really unfriendly and very formal.

  • They were being a bit standoffish as you'd say. So it relates

  • to a person who is unfriendly, or being quite formal.

  •   The opposite type of person to you, Roy.

  • Thank you.

  • Shall we get a summary?

  • To hear another story about a standoff, we have one

  • about North and South Korea. Where can our viewers find it, Roy?

  • All you need to do is click that link.

  • OK, let's have a look at your next headline.

  • So our next headline comes from the UK again, from the

  • Telegraph, and it reads: Belarus Olympic sprinter 'forced to

  • airport against her will' after criticising coach.

  • 'against someone's will' - doing the opposite of what someone wishes.

  • Yes. So this expression is three words.

  • The first word 'against' is: A-G-A-I-N-S-T.

  • The second word, is that like, it can be like 'my',

  • 'your', 'his' or 'her' and the third word is 'will': W-I-L-L.

  • And it relates to doing something that somebody doesn't

  • want or somebody doesn't wish.

  • Yeah, now some people might be confused - that little word 'will' -

  • very common. People associate it with when we're talking about the future.

  • This is not the same word.

  • No, no. I will explain it. So that little word 'will' is everywhere.

  • And it's a modal verbs, as you say, commonly used to talk about the

  • future. Potentially, a decision made at the time of speaking.

  • So you say 'I'm going to the cafe.'

  • 'OK, I will come with you', but not in this sense. In this sense,

  • It's actually being used as a noun, and it has a very different meaning

  • and it's basically about wishes or intentions in this case.

  • Yeah. And we're talking about sort of strong wishes, we're not talking about, you know,

  • wanting to have a biscuit with your cup of tea or something like that.

  • No, no. So in the case of the headline,

  • it's basically saying that the athlete was being returned home,

  • but she didn't want to go back.

  • So it was against her will - that was her intention to not go back.

  • So this word 'will' is used in a word people may have seen connected to

  • people's strength of personality to complete something which is

  • perhaps a bit tricky: 'willpower'. What's 'willpower'?

  • Absolutely. So 'willpower', it relates to your

  • resolve or your ability to, your mental ability, to do something.

  • Let me give you an example we commonly use 'willpower'[when]

  • talking about overcoming something like smoking.

  • So if you decide to give up smoking. Many, many years ago,

  • I used to smoke cigarettes and I realised that one day,

  • they were not healthy for me, and I wanted to give up. And it's a very,

  • very sort of difficult process, or it was for me,

  • but I threw those cigarettes in the bin and I said no more and I had,

  • I had to use a lot of willpower there to get through that

  • because it was very difficult, but I had some,

  • I had a strong will - we can say it was that way as well. But

  • willpower is the thing that helped me overcome smoking.

  • OK. Yes, you might need a lot of will power to help you move

  • ahead with your English, but I'm sure you can do it.

  • Follow Roy's smoking example. Let's get a summary.

  • Now, talking about the other 'will' - the future

  • 'will', we have the perfect programme for you, don't we Roy?

  • Yes, we do. All you need to do is click the link in the description to

  • check out that episode of the Grammar. Gameshow.

  • Excellent stuff. OK, let's have your next headline.

  • OK, so our next headline comes from the Australian and

  • it reads: Tokyo Olympics 2021:

  • Krystsina Tsimanouskaya kidnap plot.

  • 'kidnap plot' - plan to take someone without their consent.

  • Yes, so this expression is two words. K-I-D-N-A-P. Second word

  • P-L-O-T. 'Kidnap plot' - and it's a plan to take somebody against their will.

  • Yeah. So that first word 'kidnap' - that is the taking someone bit,

  • isn't it? It is, yeah. I like to explain it to

  • my students as saying it's like stealing a person, when you

  • take that person and they don't want to be taken - to kidnap

  • them. And quite commonly, you see that connected with money

  • and the people who take the person:

  • the kidnappers, ask for money, which is commonly known as a 'ransom'.

  • However, in this case there is no implication of money being asked for.

  • Yeah. So we've got 'kidnap' which is stealing a person as you saya

  • and then we've got this word 'plot'.

  • Now, there were 'plot' is usually connected to stories, isn't it

  • Roy? Why is it being used here?

  • Well yeah, you can use the word 'plot' in terms of a story of a film or a book,

  • but that's not what it means in this case.

  • It's a different use of - it's a different word. 'Plot; in this case is a plan

  • or intention when a person or a group of people are coming up with a plan

  • and it's usually quite a negative plan. It's a plot against someone or

  • a government. So it's a negative plan, a dangerous plan to maybe take down

  • someone, or take down a government, potentially.

  • Yeah, you can use this if you're talking about someone who you think is

  • making a plan against you which is not going to be good for you.

  • You can say: What are you plotting? Are you plotting against me?

  • Yes, Yeah. You can use it as both a verb and a noun.

  • 'A plot' or 'to plot', exactly. I think a good example of that is Rob.

  • You know what he's like with his biscuits or my biscuits,

  • more like. The other day, I could see Rob looking at me eating my biscuits

  • and you could see in his eyes he was planning something. He was plotting

  • against me, and suddenly I received a little noise on my computer.

  • He had sent me an email saying: 'Look at this - you have won something.'

  • I looked, and then I looked back and my biscuits were gone.

  • That was his plot, You can't trust that guy, can you?

  • Not at all. Not with biscuits anyway. OK, let's get a summary.

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

  • We had 'standoff' - situation in which neither side wants to agree.

  • We had 'against someone's will' - doing the opposite of what

  • someone wishes, and we had 'kidnap plot' plan to take someone without

  • their consent. If you want to test yourself on the vocabulary,

  • there's a quiz on a website www.bbclearningenglish.com and we are

  • also all over social media. Thanks for joining us. And goodbye. Bye!

At the Olympics, a Belarusian sprinter says that her

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 plot kidnap headline commonly willpower standoff

Olympics: Sprinter seeks asylum - News Review

  • 8 1
    林宜悉 posted on 2021/08/03
Video vocabulary