When you think of scientific English words, I am sure it sends shivers down your spine. Don’t worry, in today’s English Vocabulary with your English teacher Michelle, you will learn some useful scientific English words used in daily English conversations. Practice these words as you learn them in your Everyday English speaking to advance your English level and speak fluent English confidently.
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Complete Video Transcript –
Welcome to the laboratory everyone. Today, we are in a science laboratory where we are going to find out which of these solutions that you can see is acidic or basic but how are we going to find that? So, here is a strip of paper which is reddish in colour and this strip is called a litmus strip and the solution which is acidic when we put it in the acidic solution, this trip is going to turn blue. Let’s find out together. Okay, so it does not turn blue. So, this means that the solution is not acidic okay. Let’s check it for the next solution. Wow! So this time the strip has turned blue and this means that this solution is acidic in nature because this is a soap solution. Welcome to the class, my friends. The way you’ve seen I used the litmus strip to talk about a scientific experiment. I can use the same word litmus to talk about something in my everyday life. So you know what, toilets are the litmus test for a school’s quality. So if it’s a good school the toilets will be good but if it’s a bad school and they do not do not provide good quality then the toilets will be bad and the litmus test means that it tells us about the quality. In this lesson, you’re learning some fun words, scientific words which you can use in your everyday conversations. So stay tuned with me I’m Michelle and let’s start.
All of you few people who are experts of science please forgive me if I go wrong anywhere but I’m going to quickly touch upon the scientific meaning of all these words and also I’m going to tell you how can you use these words in your everyday conversation when you’re speaking in English. So the first word that you must have heard before in your science classroom, maybe in grade 6 or 7 and this word is called metamorphosis. So metamorphosis means that when an immature or an infant insect, let’s say a butterfly grows from an infant to an adult form from an immature form to an adult form. So for the butterfly, it starts from the egg goes on to being the larva which is also called caterpillar and then finally the butterfly. So there are stages of growth from an immature to a mature adult and that means metamorphosis. But how can we use it in English? In English metamorphosis means the same thing which means the change of form for a person in this case. Maybe in a person’s nature or in their physical appearance. So my friend Chet when he started exercising regularly his body underwent a huge physical metamorphosis, which means a change of form. Did you ever think you could use this word like that? Now you must.
The next word that we have is camouflage. So this is also a scientific term. This is a trait and a character of a chameleon. So whenever you see a chameleon on a tree it looks green but if you see the chameleon on the trunk of the tree, the chameleon looks brown. How does that happen? Because the chameleon changes its colour so that it can hide itself from the enemy. The same way we can also camouflage. I mean you can, you’ll often hear this term in the military, where you’d see that a caravan possibly you know it was covered with branches and it was camouflaged from the enemy. So this means that the enemy could not see the caravan because the caravan was covered with the branches. It was hidden under the branches. So something that is disguised or hidden. It’s usually used for changing colours. Thanks to Mister Chameleon for the idea of camouflage. It’s magic for sure.
The third one that we have is to expand something. Expand means to increase the size of something. So we know that the universe is continuously expanding which means that it’s continuously growing in size in scientific terms but you can use this word in English as well. You can use this word to talk about something that is; you want to elaborate on something. So let’s say that the minister in his speech expanded on the government’s proposal which means he explained the government’s proposal. So to elaborate on or to explain.
Coagulate so to coagulate means when something which is liquid turns solid or semi-solid. so when you get a cut on your hand and there’s blood oozing out if you don’t wipe the blood off or if there are certain stains of blood still on your hand even after you’ve wiped off, what happens? The blood starts drying or the blood starts coagulating. It’s better to say coagulating rather than saying that it starts drying because it goes on from being liquid to solid. Have you seen coagulation in everyday life? I have, in the kitchen. So when you poach the eggs in the boiling water, it coagulates, which means it forms small, small solid and semi-solid parts that you love eating and you call it a poached egg. So that’s coagulated egg or poached egg.
The next word that we have with us is a variable. Okay, I need to write an equation for that. Okay don’t get into solving it because I don’t know what the answer is but what I’m trying to tell you is, that the word X and the letter X and the letter Y both of these are variables here means they can have a different figure. They can have a number of figures which we don’t know what they are. So it’s a mathematical term or a scientific term which is often used but we can also use the word variable in English. How? So variable means possibilities or factors involved. So if you ask me that is Donald Trump going to win the US elections this year? I could say that there are many variables. It’s hard to give a clear answer to that question. So this means there are many factors, I cannot predict the answer. In English it means factors. So variable comes from the word vary which means something that is constantly changing. You could also use this word to talk about the quality of something. So the quality of the hospital food is variable which means it keeps changing. Sometimes the quality is very good sometimes the quality is very bad. So let’s not limit variable to math or science. Let’s bring it into English.
The next set of words that we have is something that is, the first word; sorry the first word is volatile. What is volatile? So volatile is a sort of a negative word. It talks about a rapid change, usually towards something negative. So a volatile reaction is a very active reaction that can be very harmful. It could be an explosion, a volatile explosion which means something very dangerous. So a dangerous change. And if you want to use it in your everyday English, you could say that the political situation of the country was getting volatile which means that it was getting more dangerous and we could expect maybe a war or a riot.
The next word that we have is also from chemistry. It’s borrowed from chemistry. This word is called a catalyst. So like I was doing a chemical reaction. A catalyst is when a particular substance increases the chemical reaction scientifically but it does not undergo any changes by itself. For example chlorine for the breakdown of ozone. Don’t get into the details if it’s too hard for you. So in English, when we use the word catalyst we use it for something that is promoting another thing. So you could say that the comment of the Prime Minister acted as a catalyst for the national debate. So it promoted the national debate on a particular issue. So catalyst in English means to promote something, wonderful.
So here we have the next word which is pronounced as Mirage, not myrige or migraine. No, it’s mirage, the stress is on the word rage. It’s not rage, mirage, it’s mirage. So mirage in scientific terms is actually when there’s refraction. When there’s a very hot area. Let’s say there’s a hot area. Maybe you’re in a desert a desert and you’re standing very far and from far off you can see a sheet of water on the sand but it’s not there. In reality, it’s not there you can only see it it’s an optical illusion, which means an illusion that you can see but it’s not actually there. So that is what mirage is. It always happens in hot areas sometimes when you’re driving on the road and from far off you think that there’s water on the road but actually there’s no water when you reach there that’s what Mirage is but we can also use this in English. You can use this to talk about your hopes which you thought would never come true. So you could say that my plans of establishing my own company were initially a mirage but now they are a reality, which means that initially I thought but now it has happened. So mirage is something illusionary, something which appears to be there but it’s not there in reality.
The next word that we have with us is a hazard. So a hazard is a danger or a risk. For example the hazard of childbirth. Right, so you can have natural hazards also related to vaccination. So that’s also where you can use this word hazard.
The next word that we have with us is surrogate. You must have heard this word before. It’s a word borrowed from medicine. Surrogate means something that is used in replacement or that is used as a replacement. So ideally in medicine, it means when a woman gives birth to a child on behalf of a couple
That cannot reproduce. So that’s where you use the word surrogate in medicine but in English, it’s used as used in place of the word replacement. So you could see that the painting was a surrogate for the original piece which means the painting was a replacement for the original piece.
The last word that we have is extinguish. You must have heard this word before when we talk about a fire extinguisher which means to cease the fire or to put the fire down, to put down the fire or to stop the fire in other words. That’s where we can use the word extinguish but we can also use the word extinguish for something that is slowly dying, that is slowly ending or destroying. So you could say my hope was extinguished step by step. So slowly your hope was extinguished means it came to an end, slowly ending.
So here are the words for you, scientific words that you can use in your everyday English vocabulary, in your everyday conversations. Thank you so much for staying with me. I’m surely going to come back with more lessons where new words will be borrowed from different subjects and different disciplines and you’ll be able to use them in your everyday conversation. I hope this was fun for you take care bye, bye.