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Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.
Today on Study English we're looking at adjectives. How do you use them, how do you order them,
and how do you use them to compare and describe things?
First, let's listen to some descriptions about the world under the sea, in the Gulf of Carpentaria,
off the north coast of Australia. It's quite an amazing place.
We know more about the surface of the moon or the surface of Mars, than we do about the
sea floor. The sea floor remains the last unexplored frontier. This is because it's
covered by this impenetrable ocean layer that we can't see through. The only way we can
see the sea floor is using sonar.
The largest reef they mapped is about 10 or so kilometres across. It's an oval-shaped
feature, so it covers around 100 square kilometres. Because of the fact that they are submerged
in 30m or so of water, the reefs are very hard to see. No one had realised that the
Gulf contained reefs just like the Great Barrier Reef.
Being able to describe things properly is an important communication skill.
You need adjectives for descriptions.
They usually come before the nouns they are describing.
The red car.
But when you want to accurately describe something, you often need to use more than one adjective
in a row.
What if the car is big, red, and made of plastic?
We call it the big, red, plastic car.
Notice that the adjectives are usually separated by commas.
But why don't we call it the red, plastic, big car?
How do you know which order to put the adjectives in?
Well, for native speakers, it's just that it sounds right, but luckily, there are some
rules.
It's called the royal order of adjectives.
Let's have a look at it.
First we have the determiner. That's articles: a, an,
the, numbers, or the word that describes the amount of something.
It can also be the owner, the person or thing who the noun belongs to.
So determiners can be: a
the many
some or a name, like John's.
So we have a car, many cars, John's car. The second type of adjective is opinion or
observation. This tells you something about the quality of the noun:
useful, cheap, ugly, beautiful.
Then we have size, for example: enormous, tiny, huge
followed by age. It could be old, modern,
7-year-old. Then shape, perhaps oval, circular or flat.
A colour, like white, black or blue. Then we have adjectives that describe origin,
where the noun is from, for example Thai, Indonesian, Australian.
Followed by material, what the thing is made of, like copper,
plastic or wooden. Lastly, is the qualifier. This is something
that's an integral part of the noun. Examples might be a rocking chair,
a wedding ring, an electric oven. There are of course a few exceptions to these
rules, but it's important that you learn them, and practice them whenever you can.
Have a look at these words, and see if you can turn them into a phrase:
wooden square useful box
Lily's Well, box is the noun, but what comes first?
The determiner. Whose box is it? It's Lily's box.
So Lily's comes first. Then that's followed by the observation: the
box is useful. Then, the shape. It's square.
Then, finally the material. It's a wooden box.
So we have Lily's useful, square, wooden box. Good. Now let's listen to some strings of
adjectives from the clip. The sea floor remains the last unexplored
frontier. This is because it's covered by this impenetrable ocean layer that we can't
see through. The largest reef they mapped is about 10 or so kilometres across.
He calls the sea floor, the last unexplored frontier.
Let's look at that phrase. Frontier is the noun. The others are all describing
the noun. First, we have the determiners 'the' and 'last'
Last expresses a number, so it goes second. Then unexplored. That's an observation. It's
a quality of the frontier. OK. Now what about this impenetrable ocean
layer? Well, layer is the noun. All the other words
are adjectives. This is the determiner.
Impenetrable is an observation. It describes a quality of the ocean layer.
Ocean here is the qualifier. Almost part of the noun, it's not just a layer, it's an ocean
layer. OK, now you try one.
Look at these words. They form a phrase that he used:
largest, reef, the. Well, reef is the noun, so it comes last.
'The' is a determiner, so it comes first. Largest describes the size, so that comes
after the. So we have the largest reef.
OK. There's another way adjectives can be used as well.
They can stand alone. They describe nouns by following the verb, to be.
When used in this way, adjectives are complements. Listen to one here:
The Gulf of Carpentaria is very flat and featureless. The Gulf of Carpentaria is very flat and featureless.
In a phrase, this would be the very flat, featureless Gulf of Carpentaria.
But used as a complement, the phrase becomes a full sentence.
The Gulf of Carpentaria is very flat and featureless. We can take the phrase the big red car and
turn it into a sentence. The car is big, red and plastic.
Notice that the order of adjectives still stays the same.
Now, let's look at how you go about describing things. It's often necessary to focus on particular
features, such as shape, size, dimension, weight, colour or texture.
The more you have built up your vocabulary of adjectives, the better your ability to
describe things accurately. So you might write up adjective lists according
to groups. To describe shapes we can say:
circular, triangular, rectangular, spherical, but we just say square.
It's also possible to describe something by saying it's like something common.
So we can say something is egg-shaped, or kidney-shaped.
Listen: The largest reef they mapped is about 10 or
so kilometres across. It's an oval-shaped feature, so it covers around 100 square kilometres.
When you're writing, you should always aim to make your descriptions as accurate as you
can. But sometimes you can't be exact, and you
need just describe something approximately. The largest reef they mapped is about 10 or
so kilometres across. It's an oval-shaped feature, so it covers around 100 square kilometres.
Because of the fact that they are submerged in 30m or so of water, they reefs are very
hard to see. Dr Harris uses the words about, around, or
so with numbers. About 10 kilometres or so.
Around 100 square kilometres. 30 metres or so.
Notice that the phrase 'or so', always comes after the number, but the others all come
before. You might also hear people say around about.
In formal language, we'd probably say approximately. These are all signs that the amount is not
exact. And now, it's around about time for me to
go. I'll see you next time for more Study English.
Bye bye.
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海床 (Study English - Series 1, Episode 15: Sea floor)

245 分類 收藏
大呆危 發佈於 2018 年 6 月 25 日
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