BBC News Review: Dam at risk of bursting 2022

June 22, 2022

A massive dam in California is in danger of bursting. Neil and Catherine look at the language the world’s media is using to discuss this story – and show you how you can use it in your everyday English.

[Cover image: GETTY IMAGES]

Key words and phrases

leave a place because of danger

spill liquid because there’s too much

race against the clock
try to complete something urgent in a short space of time

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  1. Neil has some good stories

  2. Nice session! I am learning new vocabulary from your class.
    Thanks for help.

  3. Nice session! Good for learning English 👍

  4. We can use "Move out" in place of Evacuate. Can't we?

  5. Why didn't BBC put the subtitles into the video ? 🙁

  6. Keep going

  7. So perfect

  8. Perfect

  9. Reply
    Thái Sơn Lương June 22, 2022 at 7:00 am

    Hi Neil, I really like your shirt, could you please tell me how should I describe your shirt to a shopkeeper in order to get the same as you?

  10. Treatens, no; threatens, yes.

  11. Reply
    Victoria Heredia Valero June 22, 2022 at 7:00 am

    excellent program

  12. the programma is well, especially for the transcription but i have a little confusion about the word beneath , I hear below

  13. Reply
    أروى حوّا June 22, 2022 at 7:00 am

    I knew all off them 😍😍😍

  14. you are great..

  15. Good job guys! Thank u for doing this program 😆😆 i really need this

  16. Is this program on doing on daily basis…

  17. This program is quite good : they study a lot of words that I didn't knew. I reccomend it for everybody (begginners or avanced)
    Thank you BBC

  18. Good video

  19. Thanks BBC Learning English. It is a very good program for learner.

  20. if BBC can add subtitle, the program can be better. sometimes i think they speak fast! i love the program!

  21. Compared with other programs,this program is too perfect.It is good for English learning.

  22. it was very utility

  23. When we  try to prevent brawls in public places like pubs we employ buddy guards,
    etc. when we want prevent the diabetes ,we punish victims ,but not the villains .Isn't that  a very sad irony !

  24. please speak naturaly its good for us to learn like a native

  25. Hello Neil and Catrin, I like your program, its excellent explanations of words

  26. this program is good.

  27. well performance of you both but some times your speed of talking is a bit fast for us English students.

  28. Reply
    Виталий Слонов June 22, 2022 at 7:00 am

    Great vocabulary lesson; words are right up my alley, I've got to say.
    The verb 'to evacuate' is originally derived from Latin and basically means 'to clear the contents of'.
    The related words are: evacuation, evacuative, and evacuee.
    Thanks for giving me food for thought. Much appreciated.

  29. Thank you.

  30. love your show!!! congratulations.

  31. hello bcc I don't know if I understood wrong at the beginning of the news I heard below instead of beneath, may you confirm that for me please?

  32. can you please tell me about "Post-truth" ???

  33. Hello and welcome to News Review the program where we show you how to use the

    language from the latest News stories in your everyday English.
    Hi, I'm Neil joining me is Catherine. Hi, Catherine? Hi, Neil?
    So, what is our story ,today?

    Today's story Neil is about potential disaster that people are working very hard to


    Ok,well,it sounds very serious. Let's hear some more from this BBC News report.

    So, A story from America there and there is a massive dam , and now Dam is a

    barrier which is made by people to hold a large amount of water in one place
    usually either on a river or a lake or a reservoir.

    Now this dam in Califonia looks like it's going to break
    this will cause a huge amount of water and all the people who are living in the

    path of this water have been asked to leave their home while they will try to fix


    Ok, well, you've been looking at this story online in the various news websites
    and picking out the vocabulary that you need to talk about this story.
    and what have you got come up with?

    We've got three really ussful expressions.
    The first one is "evacuate" , second is "overflow" and we have an expression "race

    against the clock"

    So, how are these appearing in the headlines?

    OK, well, let's go to BBC News first. and headline here is
    "Oroville Dam risk: Thousands ordered to evacuate homes."

    Ok,so, evacuate meaing leave a place because of danger.

    exactly that, yes and in this case people have to evacuate their homes
    because of the problem of the water that may come from the dam and kill everybody
    so they evacuate homes.

    but it's interesting words ,isn't it?
    who is ( ) evacuating or what's evacuating of , can be confusing.

    absolutely , in this case , our headline here, it says evacuate homes.
    the place that you're living becomes the object of the verb "evacuate"
    but you can also evacuate people. so we could say that headline could say

    "Califonia authorities evacuate people from their homes.
    so two ways you can use , you can work with this verb.

    So, it's as a verb there as you say.
    it's a also noun ,the noun being "evacuation"

    yes, the evacuation is happening right now in the Califonia as we speak.

    and people?

    They are evacuees.
    They are evacuees. which is not the same as refugee.

    No,no it's slightly diffe,,, there's a similar idea of people leaving.
    but evacuate generally go because of specific danger it's usually for a short time
    when the dangers past ,they return to their home.

    refugee has to do with war, it's often for a longer time.
    and in its specific situation of war in particular , yeah.

    and this word evacuated is also interesting because it's neither formal nor

    informal. isn't it?

    NO,no you can use it in any situation , in fact, if you try to think of a synonym

    for evacuee or evacuate
    there probably isn't one, unless leaving a place because of danger,
    if the fire alarm goes off now ,we'll evacate this studio.

    yes, yes, there's no like a less formal ,phrasal verb or something like that.
    they're often ( ) in English.

    no ,no, I think evacuate is a specific for this particular stuation.
    leave a place because of danger quickly, is evacuate.

    Have you ever been evacuated?

    No, I haven't , Have you?

    I have been evacuated, when I was a small boy, in the 1970's I believe that.
    I lived in Canada, and there was a rail accident, a train carring dangerous

    chemicals derailed. and in the middle of the night I believe that family had to

    come to us , they were evacuated, "to your house, right"
    to further away from where this accident happened.
    and then we were called and told to move as well. and then we were evacuated.

    Wow, so a massive evacuation.

    There was an evacuation.

    It sounds really exciting.

    It was. for a small boy. Yes.

    Shall we move on to our next headline?

    Ok, so, looking at CBN news we have, "CAlifornia Evacuates Residents as Flooded Dam

    Treatens to Overflow.

    to overflow, that means, well there's a situation where there's more water than can

    be contained.

    exactely that, yes,
    and it comes with word "over" often when we put it in front of another word ,
    it means too much of something.

    so overflow means to spill because there's too much.
    in this case the Dam is going to overflow
    so everyone have to leave.
    it can be a verb and it can be a noun.
    and the pronuncition changes slightly ,so let's do it as a verb first. Neil?

    to overflow,.

    very good, stress on the?

    final syllobal

    a,ha, and when it's a noun?


    with stress on the?

    first syllobal.

    very good, Neil, very good.

    and overflow, the overflow in your bathroom , you know you've got a sink
    in your bathroom, in your kitchen or bath,
    and there's a hole near the top of the bathroom sink,
    that's called an overflow.
    and when it gets too full of water, it will travel down that emergency evacuation


    yes, it's called overflow.

    and it's there to prevent overflowing.

    it is actually, ( ) yes.

    Ok, we also use this word in non literal sense.

    we can do, yes,

    special day , today, isn't it?

    Valentein's day.Neil, are you overflowing with love , ( ) ?

    I am, which explains why this studio is glowing red.

    so, emotional word. you can overflow with any emotion.
    you can be anger, you can be happiness, you can overflow with pride as a someone's

    but you can use, it means you've got a lot of lot of emotions you're really feeling


    Let's move on to our final headline.

    yeah,now we're looking at the Independent.

    so race against clock means try to complete something urgent in a short space or


    absolutely, this is perfect for this situation.
    this disaster, if it happens , will be really big.
    so they've got a limited amount of time to do two things.
    one is to evacuate all these people in danger.
    and second thing is to try and fix the damage
    so they're doing a lot of work , it's really urgent,
    and they haven't got much time.
    they're racing against clock.
    and you can also say race against the time.

    it's a very visual expression , isn't it?
    imagine people running to get things done and the clock ticking.

    yes, absolutely, it's really does conjure sort of great mental image as very

    and perfect to describe like this urgency of this situation , yeah.

    Do we have a race against time, Catherine?

    well, it's Tuesday, Neil, we've got to get this program out.
    you've been working all morning.

    I've been racing against the clock.

    and we're just about to get there , I think.

    just about to get it done, I think.

  34. wow both of ur explaining capability is superb.very didactic program.huge thanks

  35. i love teachers

  36. Great,,
    thanks for the video.

  37. Reply
    Дмитро Українець June 22, 2022 at 7:00 am

    nice program, I adore it, keep it up!

  38. Reply
    Canal Extraclasse June 22, 2022 at 7:00 am

    That news reminds me of Mariana – Brazil. But instead of water, what has overflowed throught the broken dam was mud! Terrible disaster!

  39. Reply
    Дмитрий С планшетом June 22, 2022 at 7:00 am

    this smile… hypnotizing

  40. I love this!!

  41. Thank you, I liked the "overflow" different stress depends using, name or verb.

  42. This is how I would like to learn English.
    Thanks for everything.

  43. Reply
    وسام وارد June 22, 2022 at 7:00 am


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