Phần 4

Your English will go 'under the knife' as you learn about cosmetic surgery and what the cost is to people who have it. Hear a discussion about the subject and test your understanding of relative clauses.

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    Bài tập 1

Bài tập 1

Cosmetic surgery

At what price?

How good looking would you like to be? Would you be prepared to have surgery to improve your appearance and give yourself the perfect body? Cosmetic surgery is a medical procedure which some people believe is the answer to all their problems – it makes them look better and boosts their confidence. But it can cost a lot and be risky.

Listen to Rob and Neil discussing the subject and try to answer these questions:

Questions

1. What phrase do they use to mean 'to have an operation'?

2. What should a good surgeon do with a patient before performing an operation?

3. What's happened to the number of people in the UK having cosmetic surgery recently?

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Rob
Hello, I'm Rob…

Neil
… and hello, I'm Neil. Hello.

Rob
I don't want to get personal, but do you like your nose?

Neil
My nose?

Rob
It's quite big isn't it?

Neil
I can't believe you Rob! How dare you say that my nose it too big. Well actually, yeah you're right! My nose is pretty big.

Rob
Would you like to change it?

Neil
I think I would yes.

Rob
You'd like to pick another one?

Neil
I'd like to pick another nose!

Rob
OK, well I ask you this question because we're discussing cosmetic surgery and the cost – both financially and physically – to someone who chooses to go under the knife.

Neil
To 'go under the knife' – meaning to have an operation. And cosmetic surgery involves a medical operation in which someone's physical appearance is changed in some way.

Rob
Yes, like changing the shape of your nose.

Neil
Now of course, some people have plastic surgery for health reasons – they may have needed to get a tumour removed, or may need some part of their body changed in order to make it work better after an accident or something.

Rob
Yes but cosmetic surgery – some would argue – is about changing someone's appearance unnecessarily and it doesn't really change the person they are underneath their skin. So it's just about vanity – or being interested in your own appearance.

Neil
Or you could say it's just about aesthetics – looking good. But other may argue, improving how they look makes them feel better about themselves.

Rob
But for those tempted to improve their looks surgically, how safe are the procedures? There are risks involved and in the UK in 2011 a report by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death found that staff in some clinics were too inexperienced to be offering some cosmetic procedures.

Neil
Of course good surgeons – those are people who perform the operations - should talk through all the risks with any patient but The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, say problems have arisen because of the attitude towards cosmetic surgery – it has become trivialised. That means it's seen as less serious than it really is.

Rob
Yes, there are serious risks involved in having an operation and there can be long-term effects from having surgery. This is something Doctor Felicity Mehendale is concerned about. She is a consultant cleft and plastic surgeon. She thinks there are other alternatives to cosmetic surgery.

Neil
Well let's hear from her now and listen out for the phrase she uses to mean some people think cosmetic surgery solves all the problems…

Dr Felicity Mehendale, Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive & Cleft Surgeon, The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
While I wouldn't wish for a world where people didn't have the option for cosmetic surgery what I worry about is that people potentially rush headlong into cosmetic surgery unaware of the fact that they might just have other choices. And I think there is so much focus on cosmetic surgery as maybe being the fix-all.

Rob
So Doctor Mehendale describes some people's view to cosmetic surgery as a 'fix-all' – so people who have chosen to have it done think it will solve all their problems.

Neil
And she talked about people rushing headlong into having surgery – meaning doing it quickly without thinking. Sometimes, there are other options.

Rob
But there are still people who are prepared to pay the price for improving their looks. Celebrities such as Demi Moore, who was reported to have had a facelift, pay thousands of dollars to change their looks and keep looking young.

Neil
But in the UK at least, the numbers of people having cosmetic surgery in the last year has been decreasing. Simon Withey, a consultant plastic surgeon, says there are many reasons for this – but which one does he hope is actually causing it?

Simon Withey, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Royal Free Hospital, London
The news is good news, if it is that people are taking a more considered approach to this and are thinking more carefully and in some cases are deciding that it's not right for them – and patients are wiser and better informed. It's perhaps less good news if it means that patients are choosing a cheaper or less reputable, less experienced option. I'm an optimist so I hope it's that patients are becoming better informed and are making more considered and careful decisions.

Rob
Simon Withey is an optimist – so a person who has positive and hopeful thoughts – and he hopes that people are becoming better informed and taking a more considered approach. That means they have given it a lot of thought before making a decision.

Neil
That's better than a patient going straight for the cheapest option in which someone with less experience operates on them.

Rob
So knowing what is involved with cosmetic surgery is better than just rushing into it. Well I won't be rushing into it because there's something I know for sure – no amount of money will improve how I look – you see Neil, what you see is what you get!

Neil
Yes – you're not perfect Rob and you're not going to change - I'm well aware of that.

Rob
Shall we talk about your nose again? Have you thought anymore about that back street operation for a few pounds?

Neil
Yeah, after having this discussion, you know Rob I think I'm going to keep my huge nose.

Rob
Good choice. We like you as you are.
Well that brings to the end of our discussion about cosmetic surgery. We hope you've enjoyed it. See you again soon.

Both
Bye.

Answers to the questions

1. The phrase that means 'to have an operation' is 'to go under the knife'.

2. A good surgeon should talk about the operation to the patient before it is carried out.

3. The number of people having cosmetic surgery in the UK has decreased recently, according to official figures.

To do

Listen again and try to answer the next set of questions. They test your understanding of the discussion in the recording and your knowledge of relative clauses. Good luck!

10 statements about cosmetic surgery

10 Questions

Decide if these sentences are correct: factually and grammatically! Drag each sentence to correct or incorrect box. Do the whole activity before you check your answers. 

Chúc mừng bạn đã hoàn thành Trắc nghiệm
Excellent! Bạn làm rất tốt! Bad luck! Điểm bạn đạt được:
x / y

10 statements about cosmetic surgery

10 Questions

Decide if these sentences are correct: factually and grammatically! Drag each sentence to correct or incorrect box. Do the whole activity before you check your answers. 

Chúc mừng bạn đã hoàn thành Trắc nghiệm
Excellent! Bạn làm rất tốt! Bad luck! Điểm bạn đạt được:
x / y

End of Session 4

That's it for this session. In Session 5 you can journey back to Victorian London with us for the eighth episode of The Importance of Being Earnest. It's time for the men to admit they're not called Ernest. How will Gwendolen and Cecily react?

Phần Ngữ pháp

    • Defining relative clauses

      These relative clauses give the information that directly identifies what is being talked about.

      The house that we were thinking of buying has been sold.
      We need to fix the window that I broke.
      The girl who was hit by the bike wasn't seriously hurt.

      Without the relative clause the sentences wouldn't be complete and we wouldn't know what was being talked about.

      Non-defining relative clauses

      These relative clauses, which add more information about nouns, do not identify the noun being talked about. 

      My car, which I've had since I was a teenager, was stolen last night. 
      She gave me her number, which I wrote on a piece of paper.
      His dad, who is 78, goes for a 5 mile walk every day.

      Without the relative clause the sentences are still complete and we know what is being talked about.

Session Vocabulary

  • cosmetic surgery
    operation done to improve someone’s appearance

    to go under the knife
    to have an operation

    vanity
    being interested in your own appearance.

    aesthetics
    (here) how beautiful you look

    surgeon
    a person trained to perform operations, usually in a hospital

    fix-all
    situation where everything is sorted out

    headlong
    doing something quickly without thinking

    pay the price
    face the consequences of taking a risk

    facelift
    (here) a medical procedure where loose skin is tightened to make the face look younger

    considered
    given a lot of thought

    what you see is what you get
    accept what you see as it's not going to change