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The Queen's Speech

On Sunday, April 5th, 2020, Queen Elizabeth II, the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom and the 16 Commonwealth realms, gave a speech to the nation about the coronavirus crisis. In our lesson today, let's take a look at some of the English terms she used in her address.

 

I'm speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time.

Caption 2, COVID-19 The Queen's coronavirus address in full

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The adjective "challenging" means "difficult and demanding" and is used to describe situations that test one's abilities.

 

A time of disruption in the life of our country, a disruption that has brought grief to some.

Captions 3-4, COVID-19 The Queen's coronavirus address in full

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The noun "disruption" means a break or interruption in the normal course or continuation of some activity or process.

 

Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.

Captions 19-21, COVID-19 The Queen's coronavirus address in full

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The verb "to tackle" is often used as a sports term in American football and soccer, but in this case means "to deal with" something.

 

...that the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humored resolve, and of fellow feeling still characterize this country.

Captions 26-28, COVID-19 The Queen's coronavirus address in full

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An "attribute," a noun, means a "quality, character, or characteristic."

 

This time, we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor.

Caption 53, COVID-19 The Queen's coronavirus address in full

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The noun "endeavor" means a "serious determined effort" or an "activity directed toward a goal."

 

Using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal.

Caption 54, COVID-19 The Queen's coronavirus address in full

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The adjective "instinctive" is used to describe something that "comes from natural instinct" or something that "arises spontaneously." The noun "compassion" is described by the American Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it" and by the British Oxford Dictionary as "sympathetic pity, and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others." It's interesting that the American definition additionally includes the urge to make the suffering stop, whereas the British definition defines it only as noticing another's suffering. I think we can safely presume that the Queen was including the American definition in her use of the word!

 

Further Learning
Watch the entire video of the Queen's address on Yabla English and test your comprehension using the Yabla Flash Card Game.

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Sous-titre 54, 53, 28, 27, 26, 21, 20, 19, 4, 3, 2
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