Learn English vocabulary to talk about the news. The coronavirus pandemic has now claimed the lives of more than half a million people worldwide. The United States is by far the worst affected country, with more than 125,000 deaths. Neil and Catherine look at the vocabulary in the news around this story.

Video chapters

0:00 – Introduction
0:48 – The story
1:30 – Headline 1: Coronavirus: Covid-19 death toll hits 500,000 worldwide
4:57 – Headline 2: World hits coronavirus milestones amid fears worst to come
8:36 – Headline 3: Dollar Retreats Even As COVID-19 Numbers Reach Grim Milestone
11:10 – Language summary

The story

More than half a million people worldwide have now lost their lives as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. By far the worst affected country is the United States, with more than 125,000 deaths.


death toll
number of people who have died because of a particular event
• The final death toll from the hurricane was 3,000.
• The real death toll is thought to be much higher than the official figure.

important events in the development of something
• Starting school is an important milestone in a young child’s life.
• Any successful career will contain many milestones.

• The latest economic forecast is grim. A recession is expected.
• Graduates are facing the grim prospect of unemployment.

To download the audio and test your understanding, go to our website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/newsreview/unit-13/session-149

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