Dangerously cold weather is enveloping more than half of the US – ABC News

LISTENING ACTIVITY

The following listening activity is based on an ABS News video. If you are preparing for  IELTS or CAE this will be a great exercise to test not only your listening comprehension but your vocabulary knowledge too. The video is about the frigid conditions in the US at the end of December.

Before watching the video, read the following words and try to guess their meaning if you don’t know it yet.

SKIN – THREATENING  – BUNDLED – PLOUGH – FORECAST – TO DIG – COLD SNAP – SNOW BLOWER – ICICLES – DANGEROUS CHILL – TO TURN – DEADLY –  UNBEARABLE – TO DUMP – OVERFLOWING – TO DROP

After that, try to fill in the gaps (you have to conjugate the verbs), even not knowing the meaning of all the words. Think if the missing word is a verb, a noun, an adverb, or an adjective, this will help you.

The following step will be watching the video. This isn’t an easy one, they all speak really fast, so probably you won’t be able to fill in the gaps while watching the first time.

You can find the answers in the PDF file.

SKIN – THREATENING  – BUNDLED – PLOUGH – FORECAST – TO DIG – COLD SNAP – SNOW BLOWER – ICICLES – DANGEROUS CHILL – TO TURN – DEADLY –  UNBEARABLE – TO DUMP – OVERFLOWING – DROP

  1. We begin with that ___________________________ taking hold of half the country tonight.
  2. Part of Pennsylvania and New York still _____________________ out from under five feet.
  3. And now the Arctic invasion across most of the lower 48 states. This fountain you
    see right there behind New York Public Library, mostly ___________________ to ice.
  4. And take a look at the _____________________ for New Year’s Eve, the coldest in more than 50 years.
  5. When the ball ___________________ in Time Square the wind chill could meet minus 4 and for millions feeling the cold there’s much worse snow in the forecast as well.
  6. Tonight the 200 million Americans _____________________ from head to toe.
  7. That dangerous ________________________gripping more than half the country.
  8. The cold could be __________________, especially for the very young and the very old.
  9. Extreme weather is more than an inconvenience, it remains a serious and
    potentially life _________________________
  10. Shelters __________________________ with people trying to escape the frigid temperatures.
  11. And in Cotton, Minnesota, an _______________________ 41° below 0.
  12. It feels like your __________________ is gonna be on fire.
  13. Dave S. had to hire a ___________________ to unbury his car.
  14. Heavy snow packed on rooftops, ______________________ nearly everywhere you look.
  15. N. today pushing his _________________________ clearing his home.
  16. All day truck after truck, we’ve seen them coming here, ______________________ their loads. Some of these piles are 12 feet high.

Downloadable PDF version (without answers): Listening activity – weather vocabulary – Free English Materials For You

Downloadable PDF version (answers): Listening activity – weather vocabulary – Free English Materials For You – answers

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TO CUT BACK ON

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Example sentences from the web: 

  • People are not having as many hours to work and they are being cut back on their working hours because of this issue.
  • You’ve drastically cut back on calories, but your body doesn’t stop burning them, so you may feel weak.
  • In recent years, the state began cutting back on costs because of the economy.

 

Teaching with TV series – MAKE IT OR BREAK IT

I’m currently teaching English to a 15-year-old girl and she is fond of gymnastics. This is why I’m teaching her English with Make it or Break it, an American television drama series set in the world of competitive gymnastics. Usually I make a vocabulary list for her, than we watch 15 minutes of one episode without subtitles. While we’re watching I ask her questions in order to check if she’s understanding everything. Then I give her 10-15 sentences with some gaps she’s to fill in and two sentences to translate from Italian into English. After learning English with this method for one year she got a B2 certification, so I must say I’m proud of her and I verified this is actually an effective method. Of course, I’m not just teaching her English with this TV series. Sometimes, we read newspaper articles or we watch a TED-Ed video, etc. but in my opinion, teaching with TV series is the most effective way to get teenagers focusing on learning English without getting stressed. She is not getting bored and she’s learning kind of easily. 

Season 2, episode 8:

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TO BE ON THE FENCE => unable to decide about something.

Another example sentence: I was on the fence till you showed up, but thanks for helping me decide.

Season 2, episode 9:

to-get-a-hold-of-somebody-meaning-vocabulary-femfy-free-english-materials-for-you

To get hold of somebody: to contact or find somebody.

Another example sentence: I got hold of the father, and he said the boy wasn’t there, and he doesn’t know about this yet.

Frenemy – English Slang

Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? It happened to me in the past and I must say, it’s pretty awful! Unfortunately, it’s something common and there are several ways to refer to this kind of people:

frenemy meaning - English vocabulary slang- Free English Materials For You - femfy (1).jpg

Image source

Example sentences from the web:

  • “What do you think about frenemies?”
    “I say, keep your friends close, and your frenemies closer.”
  • Zack is John’s frenemy. They get a long in the office but both of them work on internal competing teams.
  • Gwyneth had a frenemy once and was troubled at the joy she felt when thisperson suffered a terrible public humiliation.

“Frenemy” on the Web: How to Deal With Frenemies

P.S.: I’m sure you got it, but if you didn’t … This term is a combination of the words “friend” and “enemy” ;-).

 

 

“To hit the hay” – English idiom

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Image source: 1; 2.

Another way to say it is TO HIT THE SACK ;-).

This is a nice comic on this idiom made by Ploopikoosy:

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More example sentences from the web:

  • I have a busy day tomorrow, so I think I’ll hit the hay.
  • Time to go home and hit the hay!
  • I’m tired, I’m gonna hit the hay.
  • Well, I’m going to hit the hay, I’m feeling pretty tired. Good night!

Here, you can read about the origin of this idiom: The meaning and origin of the expression: Hit the hay

“Truce” – What does it mean?

 

truce meaning - English vocabulary - Free English Materials For You - femfy.jpg

Example sentences from the web:

TO BREAK A TRUCE => To start fighting again breaking a previous agreement of peace.