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IELTS Preparation Series 1, Episode 8: Crocodile Tourism


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

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Today we'll look at some words that cause a lot of confusion - the relative pronouns

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'that', 'which' and 'who', and then we'll do some pronunciation practice.

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But first, let's listen to some people talk about a very dangerous tourist attraction

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from Australia's Northern Territory.

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People have always been fascinated with death. Most of the mysteries that you see on television,

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the films that you see, involve murder in one kind or another. Crocodiles are one of

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the last remaining dinosaurs and the idea of a crocodile coming out of the water and

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grabbing somebody is absolutely riveting.

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I read about the death of the German tourist who was taken by a crocodile. It didn't put

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me off coming to the Northern Territory, quite the opposite in fact.

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I think the NT is famous for its crocodiles and probably quite famous for its crocodile

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attacks and that tourists who come here would like to be, or feel as though they were, involved

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in that danger.

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Tourists want to have a story to take home and if they can say that they were in the

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Northern Territory where the German tourist was taken by the croc, then it adds to their

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own adventure.

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So he thinks people may actually be attracted to the Northern Territory because of the dangerous

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crocodiles.

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But now we're going to leave the crocodiles, and talk about something else that can be

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dangerous - the relative pronouns 'who', 'which' and 'that'.

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Listen for some relative pronouns here.

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People have always been fascinated with death. Most of the mysteries that you see on TV,

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the films that you see, involve murder of one kind or another.

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I read about the death of the German tourist who was taken by a crocodile.

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Most of the mysteries 'that' you see on TV involve murders.

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I read about the death of the tourist 'who' was taken by a crocodile.

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Relative pronouns are used to introduce relative clauses.

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They give more information about a subject.

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The subject here is 'mysteries'.

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The 'that clause' gives us more information about the subject - 'the mysteries that you

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see on TV'.

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'The tourist' is the subject. The 'who clause' gives more information - 'the tourist who

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was taken by a crocodile'.

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But how do you choose between 'who', 'which' or 'that'?

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Well the relative pronoun 'who' is only used with people.

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'Which' is only used with things.

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'That' is usually only used with things as well. Sometimes, in informal language, it

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can refer to people.

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But when you're learning English, it's probably best to avoid using 'that' for people.

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The most difficult thing with these relative pronouns is working out the difference between

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'which' and 'that'.

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As a general rule, we use 'which' when the clause does not affect the meaning of the

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sentence.

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A 'which' clause just gives us extra information.

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It can be left out of a sentence, and the sentence still has the same meaning.

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When 'which' is used in this type of clause, we put commas around it.

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'The hat, which is on the bed, is new.'

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Here, the clause 'which is on the bed', just gives us additional information.

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We can take it out, and the sentence still makes sense.

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There is only one hat, it's the hat on the bed. We take out the which clause, and the

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important information is still there:

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The hat is new.

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OK, now let's look at 'that'.

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We use 'that' for clauses that are a crucial part of the sentence. They are actually part

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of the definition of the subject.

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The hat that is on the bed is new.

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Notice 'that' clauses do not use commas, because they are a crucial part of the sentence.

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There are a number of hats that this sentence could be referring to. But the sentence is

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specifically talking about the hat on the bed, so we use 'that'.

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The 'that' clause cannot be taken out of the sentence.

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The hat is new.

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It doesn't make sense here, because it doesn't tell us which hat is being discussed.

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It will take some practice to get used to when to use 'who', 'which' and 'that'.

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