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Enjoying the world's natural beauty

Do you to travel to new places? Do you enjoy nature? Would you also like to help people? Then this unit is for you! Find out about ecotourism – travelling to beautiful natural places without damaging the environment.

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6 Minute Vocabulary

Re- pre- and pro-

Do you recycle your rubbish? Do you buy prepacked food? How proactive are you in protecting the environment? Listen to Neil and Catherine talk about words with the prefixes re, pre and pro in 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Here's a question for while you listen: what could you do with these bottles?

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Hiển thị văn bản ghi âm (hay video) Giấu văn bản ghi âm (hay video)

Catherine
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Catherine…

Neil
And I’m Neil. You know, Catherine, 6 Minute Vocabulary is great because you can listen to each programme again and again…

Catherine
You can, Neil. You can reuse them…

Neil
You can! And the word reuse is a clue to today’s topic…

Catherine
It is, we’re talking about prefixes – those are the two or three letters we can add to the beginning of words to change their meaning …

Neil
…like re-, in reuse.

Catherine
We’ll tell you more about re- later and we’ll also tell you aboutthe prefixes pre- and pro-.

Neil
We’ll explain what all three prefixes mean and give you lots of examples.

Catherine
There’ll be a quiz at the end …

Neil
… and a top tip for learning vocabulary.

Catherine
But first, let’s hear from Katie. She’s an environmental campaigner. While you listen, try to answer this question: What do teachers do with cereal boxes? Here’s Katie.

INSERT
Katie
Most food in supermarkets nowadays is prepacked in plastic and cardboard. This creates so much waste. Takeaways and precooked meals also use a lot of packaging. We have to re-educate people to cook for themselves so they don’t just reheat meals … and people really need to become more proactive in recycling materials. Teachers in preschool are great at this – they reuse cereal boxes to make fantastic models of robots and spaceships with the kids.

STING

Catherine
So we asked you: What do teachers do with cereal boxes?

Neil
And the answer is: They reuse them to make models of robots and spaceships.

Catherine
That’s right. They make something new with the boxes. But instead of saying ‘they use the boxes again’, Katie said the word reuse. Now, the prefix re-, spelt r-e, in front of a word means again.

Neil
So re- plus use means use again. We also had re- plus cycling, which also means to use again. Listen out for more words with re- in this clip.

INSERT CLIP 1
We have to re-educate people to cook for themselves so they don’t just reheat meals.

Catherine
Katie used the word re-educate. That’s re-, which means again, plus educate, so re-educate means educate again. And in this case, re-educate means teach people to behave in a different way so they start to cook for themselves.

Neil
Another other word with re- was reheat. That’s re- plus heat, making reheat, which means heat again.

Catherine
Let’s have another clip. See if you can spot a different prefix.

INSERT CLIP 2

Most food in supermarkets nowadays is prepacked in plastic and cardboard. Takeaways and precooked meals also use a lot of packaging.

Catherine
We heard prepacked and precooked. Both start with pre-, spelt p-r-e, which means before or already. So a lot of the food in supermarkets is already packed in cardboard and plastic – it’s prepacked.

Neil
And you can buy meals that have been made and cooked before you buy them. Pre- plus cooked means already cooked

Catherine
And the children Katie talked about were in preschool.

Neil
That’s pre- plus school, that’s preschool. It’s a place children go before they go to proper school.

Catherine
So that’s re- and pre-. Now let’s talk about pro-, spelt p-r-o.

Neil
Katie said people need to be more proactive in recycling. Pro- means in support of or in favour of something.

Catherine
So being proactive: pro- plus active - in recycling means making more effort to recycle things. Neil, are you a proactive recycler?

Neil
Yeah. Well, we’ve got two bins. One for recycling and one for all the food. So, I suppose I am.

Catherine
Very good.

Neil
Now, another word with the prefix pro- that is used a lot when talking about food is probiotic. Probiotics are good bacteria that help to keep you healthy.

IDENT
You’re listening to BBC Learning English.

Neil
And we’re talking about the prefixes re-, pre- and pro-.

Catherine
And now for a quiz. Number one: Which prefix goes before the word school to make the word for a place for very young children. Is it a) re- b) pre- or c) pro-?

Neil
And the answer is b) pre: it’s preschool.

Catherine
Good. Number two: What would you do with a ready-made meal? Would you a) preheat it b) reheat it or c) proheat it?

Neil
And the answer is b) re: that’s reheat it.

Catherine
Great. And, number three: If you want to improve your English, should you be a) reactive, b) preactive or c) proactive when you’re learning new words?

Neil
And the answer is c)it’s pro: that’s proactive.

Catherine
And that’s the end of the quiz – well done if you got them right.

Neil
And now, here’s today’s top tip for learning vocabulary: try to group new words by their prefixes. This will help you to remember their meaning.

Catherine
There’s more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Both
Bye!

Did you get it? It was recycle. We can recycle glass bottles, which means to collect and change them so that they can be used again.

Download

Remember that you can download 6 Minute Vocabulary on our Unit 24 Downloads page (size: 8.5MB) and you can subscribe to the podcast version so you don't miss an episode!

End of Session 1

That's it for this session. We hope you've learnt some new eco-vocabulary and feel more comfortable using different words with prefixes. Join us in Session 2 where we'll study the grammar of the second conditional. See you there!

Session Vocabulary

  • precooked
    already cooked or partly cooked

    prepacked
    wrapped, often with plastic or in a box, before being sold

    preschool
    nursery school

    proactive
    taking action in support of something

    probiotic
    containing good bacteria that keeps you healthy

    recycle
    to collect and change rubbish so that it can be used again; to use something again for a different purpose

    re-educate
    to teach someone to think or behave in a different way

    reheat
    heat again

    reuse
    to use again