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IELTS Preparation Series 3, Episode 18: Labelling & Describing an Object

September 4, 2016

 

(Bấm vào đây để chọn bài học kế tiếp)

 

Xem lời thoại bên dưới:

 

0:12

Hello, and welcome to Study English, IELTS Preparation. I'm Margot Politis.

0:17

There may be questions about labelling and describing the parts of an object in the IELTS

0:24

Test, so it's useful to know the language for this.

0:27

Let's start by listening to a description of an object that is part of a robotic helicopter:

0:34

This is what we call a hat mirror. Why is it called a hat mirror? Well, because of the

0:37

shape. Look at it! It's shaped like a Mexican hat. And it comprises of two main mirrors

0:44

- the panoramic mirror at the top here and the circular mirror down the bottom which

0:50

does stereo imaging between this and the other mirror. Also there's the… a secondary

0:54

mirror so all the light from these two mirrors reflect up here and then back down into the

1:00

hole where there's a video camera sitting inside the mirror.

1:03

Why does he call it a hat mirror? Listen:

1:05

Because of the shape. Look at it! It's shaped like a Mexican hat.

1:12

The words 'shape', 'it's shaped' and 'like', which means 'similar to', are the clues. It

1:21

simply looks like a Mexican hat.

1:23

Because of the shape. Look at it! It's shaped like a Mexican hat.

1:26

Let's see how the parts of this hat mirror are described.

1:32

It comprises of two main mirrors - the panoramic mirror at the top here and the circular mirror

1:39

down the bottom which does stereo imaging between this and the other mirror.

1:44

It 'comprises' - it 'is made up of' - two main mirrors. Here, main is the word to notice.

1:53

If there are two main mirrors, or 2 more important mirrors, there must be another mirror. Listen:

2:00

And it comprises of two main mirrors - the panoramic mirror at the top here and the circular

2:08

mirror down the bottom which does stereo imaging between this and the other mirror. Also there's

2:13

the, a secondary mirror, so all the light from these two mirrors reflect up here and

2:17

then back down into the hole where there's a video camera sitting inside the mirror.

2:23

The other, 'less important' mirror is called a 'secondary' mirror. So there are 3 mirrors.

2:30

What were the main mirrors called?

2:33

And it comprises of two main mirrors - the panoramic mirror at the top here and the circular

2:40

mirror down the bottom which does stereo imaging between this and the other mirror.

2:46

They are the circular mirror and the panoramic mirror. Circular describes the shape of a

2:51

circle. A CD has a circular shape.

2:56

What does panoramic mean? Listen for the answer:

3:00

So the hat mirror does a couple of things. First of all, it gives the helicopter all-round

3:05

vision, so it gives the panoramic vision just like an insect so you can look at the horizon

3:09

all around you.

3:10

Panoramic is all-round vision or a view of a wide area, like this. People talk about

3:21

a panoramic view.

3:30

He tells you the position of the mirrors with the expressions 'at the top here' and 'down

3:36

the bottom':

3:36

And it comprises two main mirrors - the panoramic mirror at the top here and the circular mirror

3:44

down the bottom.

3:45

He also talks about the position of a video camera. Where is it?

3:50

there's a video camera sitting inside the mirror.

3:53

'Sitting inside the mirror'. Inside tells you that the camera is within the mirror.

4:01

Now listen for the words that allow you to follow the direction of things:

4:04

Also there's the, a secondary mirror, so all the light from these two mirrors reflect up

4:10

here and then back down into the hole where there's a video camera sitting inside the

4:15

mirror.

4:16

The light 'reflects up here' and 'then back down into the hole'.

4:22

He tells us the direction by saying 'up here' and 'down' and uses the word 'then' to tell

4:30

us the order in which things happen. Listen again:

4:34

so all the light from these two mirrors reflects up here and then back down into the hole where

4:39

there's a video camera sitting inside the mirror.

4:45

When introducing the parts of an object and describing something factual, the active voice

4:51

and the simple present tense are often used. Our speaker says 'it comprises':

4:58

And it comprises of two main mirrors - the panoramic mirror at the top here and the circular

5:05

mirror down the bottom.

5:06

In a more formal context such as a written description, you could use the passive voice

5:12

and say 'It is comprised of 2 main mirrors'. But notice that you still use the present

5:19

tense - it is comprised.

5:23

Does he use the passive voice here?

5:26

Look at it! It's shaped like a Mexican hat.

5:30

It's shaped like a Mexican hat. He's using the passive voice - 'it is shaped'.

5:37

He could have used the active voice and said:

5:40

It looks like a Mexican hat.

5:43

Or

5:43

It resembles a Mexican hat.

5:47

Now listen for how he describes what the light does. Does he use the active or passive voice?

5:53

…so all the light from these two mirrors reflect up here and then back down into the

5:58

hole.

6:00

'All the light reflects' - that's the active voice.

6:04

In formal writing this would use the passive voice, like this:

6:09

The light from these 2 mirrors is reflected up to the top and then back down into the

6:15

hole.

6:19

Let's review the sort of language you need to listen for when an object is described.

6:24

First there is shape.

6:27

Things are described as square. The panels on this video display are square.

6:36

Things that have a circle shape are described as round or circular. The bicycle wheels are

6:44

round.

6:46

Another common shape is a rectangle. Things that have this shape are called rectangular.

6:56

The billiard table is a rectangle. It has a rectangular shape. The windows are rectangular.

7:06

You'll often hear things described as oval such as these surfboards.

7:18

The next type of language describes position, such as in front of: the people are in front

7:25

of the building.

7:26

Between. The slide goes here, between the lens and the mirror which provides the light.

7:40

On the right or on the left. The dial on the right adjusts the focus.

7:52

Let's look at another description, this time of a much simpler device:

7:56

The naked flame of a candle can easily set fire to things. But it can be made safe by

8:02

covering it with wire mesh. Its shape is a simple tube. The wire mesh is made of bronze

8:09

so it doesn't melt. You can see that the flame goes up to the mesh and spreads below it but

8:15

it won't go through.

8:18

Again, the present tense is used - is, doesn't, see, goes, spreads and go. Listen:

8:32

The wire mesh is made of bronze so it doesn't melt. Its shape is a simple tube. You can

8:38

see that the flame goes up to the mesh and spreads below it but it won't go through.

8:45

The present passive voice is used to say that the wire mesh is made of bronze.

8:52

How would that be expressed in the active voice?

8:56

The wire mesh is bronze, so it doesn't melt.

9:00

Now listen for the position words:

9:02

It goes over the candle and surrounds the flame to prevent it from igniting anything.

9:07

'Over' and 'surrounds'. Something that surrounds is all the way around and something that is

9:17

over, covers.

9:19

It goes over the candle and surrounds the flame to prevent it from igniting anything.

9:30

That's all for now.

9:30

You can't know exactly what you are going to be asked about in the IELTS Test, but knowing

9:36

how a description of an object is structured will help.

9:40

To watch this episode again and all the Study English programs, visit our website.

9:45

The address is: australianetwork.com/studyenglish.

9:45

Good luck with your studies!

 

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