Today’s example gives you a little practice for speaking big numbers. As you’ve probably noticed before, numbers get blended together, a lot! Notice how the ‘nine-hundred-and-fifty’ has a lot of sounds that get lost. It sounds a lot like, “nine-undred-n-fifty.”
Saying ‘insect species’ might not be that important, but it is a good chance to practice a difficult sound combination. The ‘ct’ at the end of ‘insect’ can be a little difficult to pronounce clearly as it is spoken at a fast speed. For this reason, native speakers usually drop the ‘t’ and just say the ‘k’ sound.
Practice listening several times, and work on shadowing just like you hear it.
Listen to the audio and write your own notes. Then click ‘Compare’. Practice shadowing the audio with your notes.
Do you remember the lesson we had for the phrasal verb ‘account for’? In that lesson, I showed you many ways you can use ‘account for’ to show an explanation of something.
Today’s example tweet also uses the phrasal verb ‘account for’, but it is used to talk about a part of a total like:
“…account for (some of the total) of the (total number) [the group].”
This is also a very common way to use the phrase ‘account for’.In fact, this is a much more professional way of saying,
“[X number] of the [total number] [what the group is] are [smaller group].”
So, today’s example is very simply saying: “950,000 of the two million identified species on Earth are insects.”
You can also say this with the phrasal verb “make up”: “Of the two million identified species on Earth, 950,000 of them are made up of insects.
Also, when giving statistics, it is common to turn big numbers into smaller numbers. We do this by saying, “1 IN EVERY 10.” Today’s example could be changed to, “Insect species account for almost 1 in every 2 species on Earth.”
This most likely would not be said, though. Do you know why? Because ’1 in 2′ is half, so we would just say, “half of all the species on Earth.”
Situations & Examples
Read the situations, but write down your own sentence using today’s target. When you finish, click ‘Show Example’. Share your own sentences in the comments!
You want to move your family to America. You have family in California and they like it because there are many international families already living there. They tell you 130,000 of the 620,000 immigrants who became citizens in 2010 were living in California. Later, you explain this to your English teacher like,
One of your friends doesn’t have a Facebook account. You try to convince him to create an account. You heard that 500 million people use Facebook, so you say,
You’re sitting in a university lecture. The professor is talking about how humans’ big brains require a lot of resources. One example he explains is about the brain using 20% of all the oxygen your body needs, so he says,
Your son has just turned 13. You think he has been drinking too many sodas and eating too much sugary cereal. Concerned about his health, you research a little online. You find a video explaining that the average American boy between 12 and 19 eats 2700 calories a day, and 442 of those are from sugar. The video had said,