字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 The Netherlands goes into Christmas Lockdown due to the rise of the Omicron strain. Hello, I'm Rob and this is News Review from BBC Learning English and joining me today is Roy. Hello Roy. Hello Rob and hello everybody. If you would like to test yourself on the vocabulary around this story, all you need to do is head to our website bbclearningenglish.com to take a quiz. But now, let's hear more about this story from this BBC News report: So, a new lockdown has started in the Netherlands: just the essential shops are still open, with all other shops and institutions closed until the middle of January. This is due to the faster-than-expected spread of the Omicron strain. Yes, and we've got three words and expressions from the news headlines that we can use to talk about this story. What are they, Roy? We do. We have: 'stem', 'rule out' and 'on the table'. That's 'stem', 'rule out' and 'on the table'. Right. Well, let's look at your first headline please. OK. So, our first headline comes from the Evening Standard and it reads: That's 'stem' – stop something from increasing. OK. So, this word is spelt: S-T-E-M. It's a verb and it means to stop something from rising, increasing, or spreading. I'm familiar with the word 'stem': a 'stem' is the... the body of a plant, isn't it? Grows from the root – grows upwards and then the flowers come out of the side of it. The 'stem' is the... the main part of the plant, yes? Yes, it is. You're right, but you're using that word as a noun there and it's not really related to the word that we're looking at. 'Stem' in this case is talking about something undesirable that is spreading or increasing like a virus – so, we talk about 'stemming' the spread of the virus to stop the spread of the virus. And we quite often use it with expressions like 'stem the tide of' or 'stem the rise of' something. And we can also use it about 'stemming the rise in crime' or maybe the government might want to 'stem the number of protesters' in a... in a protest – that kind of thing. Yeah, it's talking about things that people see as undesirable, but there is another way that we use the word 'stem' and that can also mean – as a verb – it can also mean 'to originate'. It's a different meaning. It means to originate or come from. So, for example, the problem 'stems from' the lack of funding or it 'stems from' the lack of funding. So, meaning – as you say – it comes from. It originates from something and goes on to be a bad problem. Absolutely. And if you want another meaning of the word 'stem', you might sometimes hear it in relation to subjects at schools or universities, for example: the 'STEM subjects', which means Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. S-T-E-M subjects. Yes. Very good example there. Thank you. Yes, that's three meanings of 'stem'. OK. Let's have a look at the summary please: In a previous News Review programme, we talked about stopping the cyber-criminals, didn't we, Roy? We did, and all you need to do to see that programme is click the link in the description. Yeah, just click down below. OK. It's time now for our next headline please. OK. So, our next headline comes from CNN and it reads: That's 'rule out' – say something is not a possibility. OK. So, this word is a phrasal verb. First word: 'rule' – R-U-L-E. Second word: 'out' – O-U-T. And it is separable. So, you can 'rule something out' or 'rule out something'. And it basically means to say or declare that something is not a possibility. OK. Let's break this down. A 'rule' is something we're supposed to follow. It's a bit like a law – well, it is a law, I suppose – that we have to follow. Is that right? Yeah, that's right, but in the case of 'rule out' – when you add that preposition, it changes the meaning. So, you're saying that something is not a possibility. You're declaring or announcing that it's not an option. Now, in the case of the headline, it says the UK 'won't rule out a possibility'. So, it's saying that the UK won't say that extra measures are not an option. And we use this word or hear this word or expression used quite a lot in politics, don't we? We do. So, somebody... a politician may 'rule themselves out' of the running or the... you know, to go for the presidency, for example. So: 'She ruled herself out of going for the presidency.' But we don't only talk about this in politics; you can also talk about this in the case of work, for example. So, maybe there's a big promotion at work, but you decide that that job isn't for you, so you 'rule out' the chances of you going for it, or you 'rule yourself out' of going for the job. Yeah, and we've used this expression quite recently, when we were talking about trying to organise our Christmas party. Obviously, because of the risks around coronavirus, we had to 'rule out' the idea of a Christmas gathering this year, didn't we? We did. We 'ruled out' the possibility of meeting in person, but we... we still managed to have a little party online. ...which was very nice. We didn't 'rule that out' at all, did we? We had a good time. Good stuff. OK. Let's have a summary of that expression: Now, some of us might 'rule out' the idea of playing video games because they're maybe too complicated, but not Roy – you like video games, don't you, Roy? No, I love video games! I absolutely love them and we have a programme all about Super Mario for you to watch. All you need to do is click the link in the description. Just down below. Thanks Roy. OK. What is your next headline please? OK. So, our next headline comes from The Brussels Times. This headline comes from a paper in Belgium, one of the Netherlands' neighbours, and relates to this story. It reads: So, that's 'on the table' – available for consideration. OK. So, this is a three-word expression. First word: 'on' – O-N. Second word: 'the' – T-H-E. Third word: 'table' – T-A-B-L-E. And it basically means that something, like a plan or a part of a plan, is available for consideration or is being discussed. OK. Well, I mean, obviously I eat my dinner on a table, so does that mean we put food 'on the table' for consideration? Well, we do, but this isn't related to your eating habits, Rob. Now, if we continue with that idea of food, if there is food 'on the table', you can eat it. If there is no food 'on the table'... well, you can't eat it. Now, when we talk about something being 'on the table', it talks about an idea or a plan being available for consideration or discussion. It's quite commonly used in business. Yes, it's a business, kind of, related expression as you say. Going back to my idea of food on the table, I suppose there is food there... you know, you can choose. There's different... a consideration of which food you're going to eat. But, as you say, this is more about documents and contracts and important things related to business. Yes, if we return to the headline, the Health Minister is basically saying that a lockdown in Belgium is not 'on the table' at the moment. It's saying that the idea is... or the plan of a lockdown is not being discussed or considered yet. Yeah – yet. May change. Who knows? OK. Thanks for that, Roy. Let's have a summary of that expression: OK. Time now, Roy, to recap the vocabulary that we've been discussing today. Yes, we had 'stem' – stop something from increasing. We had 'rule out' – say something is not a possibility. And we had 'on the table' – available for consideration. And don't forget – you can test your understanding of these words and expressions in a quiz that's on our website, at bbclearningenglish.com. There's loads of other Learning English materials there as well and don't forget – you can always check us out on social media. Well, that's all for today's programme. Thank you so much for watching and have a happy Christmas! Bye for now. Bye!