Keeping up with the news in English

If you want to keep up with the news, these may be useful sources of information:

To see the front pages of newspapers every day, you can visit these links:

You can also watch these news channels: 

Radio:

Further ideas: https://natalialzam.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/la-radio-como-recurso-en-el-aula-idiomas/

Words in the news: I’d rather be dead in a ditch

Boris Johnson is known for his shocking, non PC use of language, usually making sensational claims. And yet, it might prove interesting for English learners. For example, as the London mayor back in 2015 he said he would lie in front of the bulldozers to stop a third runway from being built at Heathrow airport.

This is what Boris Johnson said about  the prospect of yet another delay to Brexit in early September 2019, as the Prime Minister (start at 00.45′):

I’d rather be dead in a ditch (than ask for a Brexit extension).

Later in the year, in October, after a defeat in the House of Commons, whereby Johnson was forced to write to the EU asking for an extension, this is what Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader and Johnson’s political opponent, said:

‘The Prime Minister has not deigned to grace us with his presence today, but I’m reassured, Mr. Speaker, that despite his pledge, he is not to be found anywhere in a ditch.’

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0009kz3

Words in the news- Come what may, do or die

Listen to this clip from a news report about Boris Johnson’s take on Brexit. It contains some interesting expressions you may want to use:

Source

You can find the transcript to the clip below. Click on the links to find dictionary definitions or explanations for the words and expressions:

Come what may, do or die, and nothing ruled out in order to achieve it. Boris Johnson has been forthright in his promise to deliver Brexit by the deadline of October 31st, with or without a deal, should he become Prime Minister. And in recent days, Philip Hammond, who has long spoken of the risks of a no-deal Brexit, has become increasingly vocal [2nd meaning] in his warnings to a potential Boris Johnson government.

You can watch the interview where Boris Johnson makes these claims here (00’40”):

The first two expressions (‘come what may’ and ‘do or die’) are actually coming up regularly in the past few days in the media, in reference to Boris Johnson’s approach.

The Guardian

If you want a nicer context than politics to help you remember these expressions, you can also find the expression ‘come what may’ in the song by the same name featured in the film Moulin Rouge (2001):

Inversions after negative or restricting adverbs and for conditional clauses- examples in real language use

If you want to know how to use these expressions-typically used for emphasis-you can watch the video below:

  • No sooner had I …than
  • Seldom have I seen…
  • Little did she know…
  • Should you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact me again.
  • Had I known …I wouldn’t have…

You can find examples of these inversions in such TV shows as The Crown, The Big Bang Theory, Friends, or State of the Union:

Not only will I drive you there

Nowhere is it specified that…

Under no circumstance will you give her that engagement ring.

 

Never again do I want to meet anyone who’s trekked through the Andes on her own:

I wouldn’t have, had I known that complaining about the wet paper…

  • You can also find plenty of examples in the news:

Not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind. 

Only when the capsule has survived that (…) will people talk about success. 

Only then will they be able to agree to an extension. 

Never before has the Security State of Army, Police, intelligence and militias been forced to concede to the will of the people. 

Scientists (…) were prepared to cool the brains, should they show (=in case they showed) any signs of consciousness. Had they done, it would have been hugely significant. (=If they had done, …)

Rarely (in one night) can both main parties have suffered such a grim set of results. [Both the Conservatives and Labour have just lost a significant amount of votes in the recent local elections, in all likelihood as a consequence of the Brexit deadlock].

(On Theresa May standing down as Prime Minister) Perhaps, had she sought compromise much, much earlier (=if she had sought/ looked for compromise…), then Mrs May’s time in Downing Street need not have ended in such disarray and failure. 

 

Mary P. says she was forced into poverty when she became a full-time carer for her 30 year old son. She used to work to help people with autism before her son was diagnosed with the condition.

Nobody is going to employ me because at a moment’s notice I would have to go and deal with Adriano. And besides which, I’m exhausted. Had I been able to work to my qualifications, I would have been doing very well, thank you. I have more than enough qualifications to head a school, to be a headteacher in special education. But I will never be able to use my skills, I have to give them for free.

(Published 10.02.2019, updated 09.02.2020)

Samedis- Saturdays- Aragón TV

Saturdays- session 2

Fit and healthy:

Some years ago, a team of students from IES Cinco Villas, along with their Physics and Chemistry teacher, won an award with their research about the so-called “energy drinks”. You may find an article about it here.

A year or so ago, an American teenager’s death was alleged to be linked to her having drunk Monster, one of these “energy” drinks. You may find a news report about it here.

More videos related to fitness and health: http://watchinenglish.blogspot.com.es/search/label/health

Entertainment and the Media: