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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 7: Mars


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0:13

Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.

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Today on Study English, we're going to practise using the words 'some' and any'. We'll also

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build up our vocabulary with some words about 'space' and 'astronomy'.

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But first, we're going to meet a planetary geologist who is fascinated by the planet

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Mars.

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Mars is still a fascinating place. In the solar system, it's one of the most interesting

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places where there may be life, apart from the Earth.

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We want there to be Martians with spaceships, ET, flying saucers, UFOs. We want all of these

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things.

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It's frozen to a depth of about 7 kilometres at the equator, maybe 20 kilometres at the

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pole caps, so there is a very thick, frozen layer on Mars. The people who talk about cold

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the planet is.

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These scientists are hoping to find out about life on Mars. They're looking closely at the

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landscape, and similar landscapes, to try to understand everything they can about the

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planet.

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Listen to Dr Hoffman talking about how the landscape of Mars was formed. Pay special

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attention to how he uses the words 'some' and 'any'.

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Well, if we look at the picture here, cutting down through each of these gullies is a little

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black channel that's bulldozed its way through the snow, carved its way down and pushed the

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snow aside and each springtime, part of the snow collapses as it warms in the sun. It

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doesn't go through a liquid phase, it goes directly from solid to vapour, boils away,

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and falls down the slope and then you have this tumbling mass, a little avalanche of

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some snow, some rock, some sand, some dust, all churning up together.

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What I have shown with this work is that the structures that we see in Antarctica are a

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good place for life to be, if there is life on Mars. It would be very primitive microbes.

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There wouldn't be any sort of multi-cellular life there.

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In English, we use the words 'some' and 'any' to talk about 'how much' or 'how many' of

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something.

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'Some' and 'any' are called determiners.

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They tell us something about the quantity or amount we're discussing.

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Listen to how Dr Hoffman uses the word 'some'.

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It doesn't go through a liquid phase, it goes directly from solid to vapour, boils away,

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and falls down the slope and then you have this tumbling mass, a little avalanche of

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some snow, some rock, some sand, some dust all churning up together.

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He says 'some sand, some dust'.

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The word 'some' suggests an indefinite number or amount. It's not specific.

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We use it when it isn't important exactly how much or how many we mean.