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VOA慢速英语2021--Dots and Spots

时间:2021-11-25 03:09来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

Dots and Spots

And now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning1 English.

Today we talk about dots and spots.

Now, both "dot" and "spot" can be used as a verb2 or a noun3. And both have several meanings and can be used several ways.

Here is the most common definition4 of a dot: a small, perfectly5 round circle. A spot is small part of something that is different from the main part.

Recently, we learned6 on this program the idiom "a leopard7 never changes its spots."

Now, spots on a leopard are not perfect circles. They are small areas on the animal that are a different color. If we said the leopard had dots, it would mean the animal was covered in perfect, small circles. It would look as if it were wearing polka-dotted clothing. Clothing with polka dots are marked with little circles. But there is no such as thing as polka spots.

However, both words are used with "on the" – "on the dot" and "on the spot." But they mean totally different things.

If you are "on the dot," you arrive someplace at exactly the time you were expected to arrive.

"On the spot" means8 right away. For example, if you are hired for a job on the spot, you are hired immediately.

Spot can also mean a certain place. For example, many people remember the exact spot of their first kiss. That is ... if it was a good one.

"X marks the spot" means an exact place you want something or where something is to be found. You might see this on a treasure map. The X on the map marks the spot where the treasure is buried. So, that definition is important to know.

Sometimes the spot is in our bodies. For example, if something like food or drink "hits the spot," it is much needed and comes at the perfect time. Other things can hit the spot. A warm room when you are cold or a night out with friends when you have been unhappy could both hit the spot. You needed them both.

However, more often than not, we use "hit the spot" for food and drink. For example, if you have been walking in the desert you might really need some water. In that case, a big drink of water would really hit the spot. And again, we do not say hit the dot.

But we do say "connect the dots." This means to understand something by piecing together little bits of information. You figure out something by connecting the dots. This expression comes from a children's activity called, not surprisingly, connect the dots. You draw lines connecting numbered dots, and a picture starts to appear.

Finally, a dotted line is made up of very small dots. And when you sign on the dotted line, you officially agree to buy something or do something by signing a document. So, read a document carefully before you sign on the dotted line.

Now, let's hear some of these expressions used. Since we already talked about treasure maps, let's stick with that situation.

Two friends are out in the woods looking for a buried treasure.

How long have we been walking in these woods?

I don't know. Just keep walking.

How much farther9 does the map say to go?

We started up here near on this hill. This map says the treasure is buried on the other side. So, we have to keep walking.

How do you know??

Look at the map! X marks the spot ... right there!

I think we passed that spot an hour ago.

No we didn't. We have to keep walking north.

I am so thirsty!

Then drink some water and stop complaining.

Ahhh! That water really hit the spot.

Don't drink all your water! We still have hours of walking to do.

Hours! We told Jimmy we would be at the secret meeting spot at 10pm on the dot.

I did not agree to a specific10 time. So, Jimmy is just going to have to wait.

What if he leaves?

You know, I don't care if Jimmy leaves. We're doing all the work out here ... walking in the woods ... looking for a buried treasure. You know what I think?


I think if we find the treasure ... we should just keep walking. Keep it for ourselves!

I don't know. If Jimmy goes back to the boss without us and without the treasure ... I think he'll be able to connect those dots pretty quickly. And then we're dead!

Good point. Man! Why did we sign on the dotted line and agree to do this?? There has got to be an easier way to make a buck11.

Yeah. Maybe we could open a bookstore or something.

Words in This Story

polka-dot – n. a dot in a pattern of regularly12 distributed13 dots in textile14 design

treasure hunt – n. an act of searching for treasure

thirsty – adj. needing water

complain – v. to express grief15, pain, or discontent

boss – n. the person at a job who tells workers what to do

buck – n. a sum of money especially to be gained


1 learning wpSzFe     
  • When you are learning to ride a bicycle,you often fall off.初学骑自行车时,常会从车上掉下来。
  • Learning languages isn't just a matter of remembering words.学习语言不仅仅是记些单词的事。
2 verb OiywI     
  • The sentence is formed from a verb and two nouns.这句子由一个动词和两个名词构成。
  • These are the finite forms of a verb.这些是一个动词的限定形式。
3 noun JHux3     
  • What kind of noun is this?这是哪类名词?
  • This word is a collective noun.这个词是个集体名词。
4 definition YxjxE     
  • The book attempts a definition of his role in world politics.该书要阐明的是他在世界政局中的作用。
  • I made a definition for this word.我给这个字下了定义。
5 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
6 learned m1oxn     
  • He went into a rage when he learned about it.他听到这事后勃然大怒。
  • In this little village,he passed for a learned man.在这个小村子里,他被视为有学问的人。
7 leopard n9xzO     
  • I saw a man in a leopard skin yesterday.我昨天看见一个穿着豹皮的男人。
  • The leopard's skin is marked with black spots.豹皮上有黑色斑点。
8 means 9oXzBX     
  • That man used artful means to find out secrets.那人使用狡猾的手段获取机密。
  • We must get it done by some means or other.我们总得想办法把它干完。
9 farther olHxM     
  • I can throw the ball farther than you can.这个球我能比你扔得远。
  • The farther hill is five kilometres away.那座更远的小山在五公里以外。
10 specific Qvfwp     
  • The money is to be used for specific purposes.这笔钱有专门用途。
  • We haven't fixed a specific date for our meeting.我们会议的具体日期还没有定下来。
11 buck ESky8     
  • The boy bent curiously to the skeleton of the buck.这个男孩好奇地弯下身去看鹿的骸骨。
  • The female deer attracts the buck with high-pitched sounds.雌鹿以尖声吸引雄鹿。
12 regularly aVuxw     
  • Check the engine oil level regularly.要时常检查机油量。
  • We meet regularly to discuss business.我们定期会面讨论事务。
13 distributed 8201b6e3d88dd2de76c3ccec9fcc3f8a     
adj.分布式的v.分配( distribute的过去式和过去分词);散发;分销;[常用被动语态]将…分类(into)
  • The organization distributed food to the earthquake victims. 这个机构向地震灾民分发了食品。
  • During the war, all foods were distributed in a planned way. 在战争中,所有的食品都按计划分配。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 textile cpxwP     
  • Japan imports textile materials from Britain.日本从英国进口纺织材料。
  • He haunted textile mills, and learned all he could.他常到纺织厂去,尽可能多学点东西。
15 grief DfHxP     
  • Don't allow yourself to sink into grief,it can do no good.不要使自己陷入悲哀之中,这样一点好处也没有。
  • After her mother died,she abandoned herself to grief.母亲死后,她沉浸于悲痛之中。
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