Shipping using the Suez Canal has been subject to long delays after a large ship called the Ever Given became stuck on 23rd March. The blockage in the busiest global shipping route has caused massive queues and other ships to be re-routed. Tom and Catherine have the vocabulary you need to talk about this story.

Video chapters:
0:00​​​​​​​​ – Introduction
0:29​​​​​ – Story
1:45​ – Headline 1: Syria forced to ration fuel as stricken ship keeps Suez Canal blocked
4:43 – Headline 2: Megaship blocking Suez Canal budges for first time
8:03​​​​​​ – Headline 3: Suez Canal blockage stretches to a fifth day, in pictures
11:28​​​​​​​​ – Language summary

The story
Another tugboat has arrived to help the growing effort to refloat the giant container ship which has been blocking the Suez Canal since last Tuesday.
There are now twelve tugs trying to dislodge the Ever Given, which has stopped all shipping along one of the world’s most important trade routes.

Key words and phrases:
strongly affected by problems

  • The rescue team finally reached the stricken survivors.
  • Her face was stricken with grief throughout the funeral.


  • Can you help me move this table? It won’t budge!
  • The sellers of the house refuse to budge below the asking price.

becomes longer than before

  • Be careful! This jumper stretches easily, but it is very delicate.
  • It will be a stretch to get all this work finished by Thursday!

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