safety and security

Safety and Security – a simple explanation of these two English words

Safety Security – The meanings of these two words are similar so how are they different? In this video lesson we define safety and security and show you how to use them in English.

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Safety and Security Video Script

We put Carter in this crate when we go out. It’s secure because he can’t get out.
And he’s safe. He can’t get injured or get hurt in here.

Safe and Secure – Safety and Security. These words have similar meanings. So what’s the difference. A simple answer is: Safety is about preventing accidents. And security is about preventing theft.

Ooh, is this ladder safe?
Actually, it’s not. We don’t want any accidents.

This is our home security system. We turn it on when we go out so the house is secure. A company’s safety officer will be concerned about workers using proper safety equpment. They’ll make sure that dangerous materials are stored properly. And they’ll check fire equipment. They’ll try to prevent anyone from getting hurt or injured by accidents. A company’s security officer will be concerned about who enters the building, and who has access to information. They’ll need to keep the company’s property and information safe. They’ll try to prevent people from stealing things. We also use ‘secure’ to talk about things staying in place and not moving. This ladder’s not safe because this platform is not secure. It can move around.

The lock on Carter’s crate isn’t secure.
He knows how to open it. So we have to use a bungee cord too. Yup. It’s secure now.

So safety – preventing accidents. Security – preventing theft.

We bought this car because of its safety features. It has seat belts, of course. And it has air bags all around the inside. It also has security features. It has central locking and a car alarm.

C’mon, crate! We put Carter in the crate when we go out. He’s secure in there because he can’t get out…heh, heh, heh. Heh.

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lend borrow loan

Lend and Borrow – What’s the difference?

Lend and borrow are very common verbs and they’re often confused by English learners.

In some languages just one word covers both their meanings. In English they describe the same action, but from two different directions. Lending is like temporary giving, and borrowing is like temporary taking.

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Lend Borrow Video Script

It’s raining. Can I borrow and umbrella?
Sure, here you are.

Can I borrow your car?

In many languages there’s just one verb for this action, but in English, there are two: lend and borrow.

Oh. Can you lend me your glasses?
Can I borrow your glasses?
Thank you. Yay.

Lending is like giving and borrowing is like taking, and they’re temporary activities.

Oh, well give me your number. Give me your pen. I need it. Just for a moment.
You’ll give it back?
I just want to borrow it. Sorry, what was that?

So lending – giving temporarily. And borrowing – taking temporarily. Borrow is a regular verb – borrow, borrowed, borrowed. Lend is an irregular verb – lend, lent, lent.

Did I lend either of you my ipod?
No. I can’t remember who I lent it to.

Banks lend people money, and the money they borrow is a loan.

How much does the truck cost?
One hundred thousand dollars.
One hundred thousand dollars?
We’ll have to borrow the money from the bank.
That’s right. I’ve already spoken to them.
They’ll lend us that much money?
How soon will they give us the loan?
How are we going to pay it back?
Well we could cut one of our staff?

So when we borrow money, we have to return it – pay it back.

Here’s that fifty dollars I borrowed.
Oh. Actually you owe me fifty five.
I thought you lent me fifty.
Five dollars interest.

So interest is the money we have to pay for borrowing money. And sometimes we need to leave security for a loan.

And finally this news from New York’s Bank of Southern Manhattan. Last week a British woman asked to borrow just twenty dollars, and offered to leave her three hundred thousand dollar Rolls Royce as security. The bank manager took the car and lent her the money. Today she repaid the loan and drove off in her Rolls. We asked her why she’d leave her expensive car as security for just a twenty dollar loan.
Well, how else could I find parking in New York for a week for only twenty dollars?

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english reading practice

Full Moon – a story by James Schofield.

Looking or free English reading practice? Here’s a very funny short story by James Schofield that provides excellent vocabulary practice. You’ll love the clever twist at the end.
James is an English teacher and a very talented writer. This story was first published in print in Find out about James’ latest writing project at

Full Moon Short Story Video Script

Nick Samuel was 48, married to Claire, and had two nice children at an expensive private school and was worried that he was about to lose the job that paid for them all. He was the Human Resources director for Topfoods plc and normally enjoyed his work. Until the day the Chief Executive Officer of Topfoods, Jerome Jones (or JJ as he was called) discovered diversity.
“Diversity?” asked Nick when JJ called him into his office.
“Yes, Nick. Do all people in this company have equal opportunities for promotion? Or is it only white middle-class males like you?”
And you, thought Nick. He pointed out that 45% of Topfoods managers were women, 32% were ethnic minorities and that the offices and factories had all recently been redesigned to allow wheelchair access.
“It’s not enough, Nick. What about gays? Or single parents? Did you know that scientists somewhere have proven that culturally diverse teams produce better results than unmixed teams?”
“Yes,” said Nick. “I read that article in the London Business Journal last month.”
“Good. Well, the Journal is giving an award to the CEO who provides the best example of diversity in action and I want to win it.
“I want someone spectacularly diverse in a senior job.”
“Doesn”t that depend on their skills, JJ?” asked Nick nervously.
“Oh, we’ll find a job where they can’t do any damage. Perhaps say goodbye to somebody who’s been too long in one area.”
“So it’s just about winning this diversity award is it?” asked Claire that evening.
“Definitely. Perhaps I should tell JJ about… you know…”
“Oooo. Too risky,” she said. “Just do as he says and find some interesting candidates in the company. I bet there are lots!”
So for the next three weeks Nick interviewed people and produced a file of twelve high-potential possibilities for JJ.
“Why are these profiles anonymous?” “I only got this information from the individuals on the basis of anonymity. If you decide you want to offer one of them something, I can arrange a meeting with you. Shall I begin?”
”Candidate A is 32 and has qualifications in marketing. She’s divorced and has a 3-year old son and a girlfriend.”
“Excellent! Is she pretty? Would she look good in photographs?”
“That’s sexist JJ, don’t say that at the awards, but yes, she is. She is also a practising witch and can turn …”
“Wait a minute … a witch?” “Yes. Black magic. Very useful in the strategy department.” “You’re kidding!” “No really, JJ. She’s well-known in witch circles.”
“We can’t promote a witch!”
“Well, it makes her very diverse.”
“I’m not interested in weird diverse, Nick. I want award-winning diverse. What about the next one?”
“Candidate B is a 28 year old junior accountant who went partially deaf three years ago …”
”Good so far …”
“… and is a very skillful mind-reader. He knew exactly what I’d planned for the weekend. He could be head of auditing.”
“I do not want a mind-reader next to me in meetings! Next!”
And so it went on for another ten candidates. There were four who communicated with ghosts, three who could move furniture with their thoughts, two more mind-readers and one genuine zombie.
“I know that guy, Nick! I saw him eating a cat at lunchtime down in the garage a month ago but I thought I was mistaken. This is terrible!”
“I’m sorry JJ,” said Nick. “It’s amazing how much diversity there is in the company.”
“This award was a crazy idea of yours, Nick. What did you say to these weird … I mean the people you interviewed? Are they expecting something?”
“No. I just said that we might promote somebody on the basis of their special skills.” “OK, let’s forget about this and destroy that information. If the newspapers find out about this…”
Nick went home early that evening.
“You were right of course,” he said to Claire over supper. “Lucky I didn’t say anything about my … um … special feature.”
Claire laughed. “Oh, don’t forget the time. The moon will be out soon.”
Nick scratched his chin, which badly needed shaving. “Yes, such a bore. Thank goodness it’s only one night a month. Shall we go for a walk after I’ve changed?”
“That would be nice”, said Claire. I’d like some fresh air.”
So half an hour later, with a bright full moon shining in the sky, Claire Samuel could be seen walking down the street while her husband trotted behind her and sniffed the bottom of all the lampposts.

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raise rise transitive and intransitive

Raise and Rise – Transitive and Intransitive verbs

Raise and rise – these verbs have similar meanings. Learn how we use these transitive and intransitive verbs differently.
Raise is a regular verb and rise is irregular (rise, rose, risen). And importantly, raise is transitive and rise is intransitive. That means raise has a direct object. We always raise something. Rise, on the other hand, has no direct object. You can’t rise something. See lots of examples and learn how to use these verbs in this video.
You’ll also learn a British and American difference: pay rise and pay raise.

Learn more about transitive and intransitive verbs.  Click here for a video on the verbs grow and grow up and click here for a video on the verbs lie and lay.

Raise Rise Video Script

And now ladies and gentlemen, Vicki will rise into the air. She’s rising. She’s risen. She rose.
Oooh. What happened?
I used my magic powers to raise you into the air.
What else can you do with that?
Oh anything. I can even make you disappear.

Both of these verbs describe upward movement, but they mean slightly different things and we use them in different ways. In this video you’ll learn how to use them correctly.
Raised is a regular verb – raise – raised – raised. When we raise something we lift it or move it to a higher position.

Raise your arm.
Raise your other arm.
Raise your leg.
Like this?
Yes, now raise your other leg.
But that’s impossible.
Ooo! This is amazing!

So what kinds of things do we raise? We might raise our hand when we have a question and when we’re surprised we might raise our eyebrows. We can also raise our glasses. So raise means move to a higher level – and it could be a higher level of importance.

And in technology news the government is launching a campaign to raise awareness of internet security.

If we raise awareness we bring something to people’s attention. At a meeting we might raise a question. Or we might raise concerns – bring up our concerns so they get attention. Another thing we raise is children – we bring them up, care for them, parent them. Great, now let’s look at rise.

She’s rising. She’s risen. She rose.

Rise is an irregular verb. Rise – rose – risen – and it means go up – increase in level. Temperatures rise. Pressure rises. When we fill balloons with hot air, they rise into the air. So here’s the big question. How are ‘raise’ and ‘rise’ different?

Apple won its law suit against Samsung in the United States. As a result Samsung may raise the price of its Galaxy phones and tablets.
The price of gas has risen by 10 cents in the last month. Oil companies are blaming bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico.

Companies raise prices. Companies increase them. Prices rise. They go up on their own. Raising is putting up, but rising is going up. The sun rises in the east. Nobody puts it up. It goes up on its own.
Raise is transitive verb so it has a direct object. We always raise something. Rise is an intransitive verb, so it has no direct object. You can’t rise something. Things rise or rise up or rise into the air but they don’t rise something.
Now maybe you’re thinking hey Vicki, into the air? Isn’t air an object? Good question. But it’s not a direct object. Look there’s a preposition there.
Let’s look at another example. When we make bread and we put it in the oven, does it raise or does it rise? It rises. Nobody puts it up – it goes up on its own.
So if you’re not sure which verb to use, here’s a handy way to think of it. Rise is like go up. But raise is like lift up or put up.
Raise and rise are verbs but they can also be nouns. They both mean an increase in pay or salary, but there’s a little difference between British and American English. See if you can spot how we use them differently.

Hey, I’ve got some good news. They’re increasing my salary.
I’m getting a raise this month.
Yes, we all are.
You’re getting one too?
Yes, I always get a pay rise in September.
Did you spot it? Jay’s American and I’m British. Jay said ‘raise’ and I said ‘rise’. Watch again.
I’m getting a raise this month.
Yes, we all are.
Oh, you’re getting one too?
Yes, I always get a pay rise in September.
I’m getting 3%.
What are you getting?

And that’s it! So now you know how to use raise and rise in English. Let’s finish with another magic trick. But first, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel so you catch our next video.

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Learn more about transitive and intransitive verbs.  Click here for a video on the verbs grow and grow up and click here for a video on the verbs lie and lay.
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