Lesson 39 Nothing to worry about

The rough road across the plain soon became so bad that we tried to get Bruce to drive back to the village we had come from. Even though the road was littered with boulders and pitted with holes, Bruce was not in the least perturbed. Glancing at his map, he informed us that the next village was a mere twenty miles away. It was not that Bruce always underestimated difficulties. He simply had no sense of danger at all. No matter what the conditions were, he believed that a car should be driven as fast as it could possibly go.

As we bumped over the dusty track, we swerved to avoid large boulders. The wheels scooped up stones which hammered ominously under the car. We felt sure that sooner or later a stone would rip a hole in our petrol tank or damage the engine. Because of this, we kept looking back, wondering if we were leaving a trail of oil and petrol behind us.

What a relief it was when the boulders suddenly disappeared, giving way to a stretch of plain where the only obstacles were clumps of bushes. But there was worse to come. Just ahead of us there was a huge fissure. In response to renewed pleadings, Bruce stopped. Though we all got out to examine the fissure, he remained in the car. We informed him that the fissure extended for fifty yards and was two feet wide and four feet deep. Even this had no effect. Bruce went into a low gear and drove at a terrifying speed, keeping the front wheels astride the crack as he followed its zigzag course. Before we had time to worry about what might happen, we were back on the plain again. Bruce consulted the map once more and told us that the village was now only fifteen miles away. Our next obstacle was a shallow pool of water about half a mile across. Bruce charged at it, but in the middle, the car came to a grinding halt. A yellow light on the dashboard flashed angrily and Bruce cheerfully announced that there was no oil in the engine!

【New words and expressions】 生词和短语

●rough                             adj. 崎岖不平的

●boulder                           n. 大石块

●pit                                   v. 使得坑坑洼洼

●perturb                           v. 使不安

●underestimate                v. 低估

●swerve                           v. 急转变

●scoop                             v. 挖出

●hammer                          v. (用锤)击打,锤打

●ominously                       adv. 有预兆的,不祥的

●rip                                   v. 划破,撕,扯

●petrol                             n. 汽油

●stretch                            n. 一大片(平地或水)

●obstacle                         n. 障碍

●clump                              n. 丛,簇

●fissure                            n. (石、地的)深缝

●renew                             v. 重复

●pleading                         n. 恳求

●gear                               n. (汽车)排档

●astride                            prep. 骑,跨

●crack                               n. 缝隙

●zigzag                            n. "之"字形

●shallow                           adj. 浅的

●grind                              v. 磨擦

●halt                                 n. 停

●dashboard                      n. (汽车上的)仪表盘






■rough adj. 崎岖不平的(having an uneven or irregular surface; not level or smooth)

Eg: A jeep is ideal for driving over rough terrain. 吉普车适合在高低不平的地面上行驶。

  Adj. 粗鲁的,剧烈的(not gentle or calm; moving or acting violently)

常用短语:be rough on sb. 对某人苛刻,无礼

Eg: The children are very rough with their toys. 孩子们不爱惜他们的玩具。

Don't be rough on your friends.

  Adv. 粗鲁地,严厉地(in a rough manner) 常用短语:cut up rough 发脾气

Eg: I hope he does not cut up rough when I tell him what I have done.

■perturb v. 使不安(to cause to worry)

常用结构:be perturbed about sth 为...而心神不安

Eg: His threats didn't perturb her in the least.


disturb 并非用心去扰乱,语气比perturb弱得多

Eg: It is disturbing to think that a dangerous wild animal is still at large in the quiet countryside. (NCE3 lesson 1)

plague 因病痛和类似的折磨而使人苦恼

Eg: The terrible disease plagued him

trouble 搅扰别人的舒适、安宁等

Eg: Sorry to give you trouble. / Sorry to trouble you.

worry 表达不安的心情到了忧虑的程度

Eg: He is worried about his son's safety.

fret 持续的忧虑、哀伤或焦急,表示烦燥的心情

Eg: He fretted himself all the time for news of her.

upset 内心忐忑不安

Eg: I feel upset now because I am afraid I hurt you.

dismay 使沮丧

Eg: We were all dismayed at his refusal to cooperate.

■scoop v. 挖出(to take out)

Eg: She scooped out some sugar.

  v. 抢在...之前发布独家新闻

Eg: She scooped all the national newspapers to get the story.

  n. 铲子,勺子 常用短语:make a scoop 走运,抢先得到新闻

Eg: That guy made a scoop.

■ominously adv. 有预兆地,不祥地


ominous adj. 不祥的,恶兆的 Eg: Look at those ominous black clouds.

omen n. / v. 预示,预兆

Eg: This is a good / bad omen.   The clouds omen rain.

■rip v. 划破,撕,扯(to cause to tear quickly and violently)

Eg: I have ripped my trousers. 我把裤子划破了。


rip one's mask away 撕下某人的假面具

let things rip==let things be 听其自然

rip into    猛攻,抨击

rip sth off  撕掉,偷窃       rip sb off 欺骗

rip up the back  背后说坏话

■petrol n. 汽油

词形联想patrol v. 巡逻

Eg: Doctors and nurses remained above ground while police patrolled the streets in case anyone tried to leave the shelters too soon. (NCE3 lesson 7 老版)

■stretch n. 一大片(平地或水),连续的一段时间

at a stretch 连续的,一口气的,不停顿的

a stretch of land 一大片平地

a stretch of water 一大片水域

a stretch of hill 连绵不断的群山

Eg: He worked for hours at a stretch.

We drove fast on a stretch of open field.

He is unable to work for long stretches.

  v. 张开,伸展,延伸,连绵,扩展

He stretched out his hand to get the apple.

There are forests stretching for hundreds of miles.

Transport was rather stretched in the Spring Festival. 春节期间交通已经到了极限。

■obstacle n. 障碍(物),妨碍(物)(thing in the way that either stops progress or makes it difficult)

Eg: Lack of education is an obstacle to success.


constitute an obstacle to 构成...的障碍

remove/ overcome an obstacle 克服困难

put obstacle in sb's way 妨碍某人的发展

注意:obstacle to 介词to,英语中有好多常用名词要与介词to搭配:

key; answer; shred; advantage; disadvantage; admission; damage + to

辨别obstacle 阻于途中的物体,也指受阻碍的状况

obstruction 障碍物,阻塞通道的东西

hindrance 阻碍事物发展的人或物,重点在妨碍事物的发展

Eg: Lake of education is obstacle to success.

There must be an obstruction in the pipe.

You are more of hindrance than help.

■grind v. 磨擦

grind wheat into flour

grind sth to pieces 把......弄成碎片

grind one's teeth in anger 气得咬牙切齿

■halt n. / v. 停止(stop)

Eg: They halt for a few minutes.

比较stop 最普通的用语,可替代halt, cease

cease 非常正式的用语 Eg: There are rare instances when justice almost ceases to be an abstract concept. (NCE3 lesson 35)

pause vi. 暂停 Eg: He paused for a breath. 他歇下来喘口气。

halt 表示暂时停顿 Eg: They halted for a few minutes.

Vocabulary exercise:

Read this text, then Choose the one word or phrase that best completes the sentence.

When Charles and Bruce entered the African Car Rally, 2,000 miles of hard driving and obstacles, they did not underestimate what they had taken on. Most of the route was along  (1)  roads covered with small stones, and pitted with holes while large boulders often marked corners. As they raced along, stones kept hammering  (2)  on the underside of the car and they were very much afraid that one would puncture the petrol tank.

    It was a rough ride and they were always being  (3)  up and down in their seats by the constant movement and were in danger of knocking their heads on the roof. They knew too that sooner or later they would almost certainly have a problem with a wild animal. After all, this was Africa, and they were surrounded by them.

    One day they stopped to rest and to  (4)  the map, not because they were lost, but because they wanted to know what the large  (5)  of water was that they could see in the distance to their right. Suddenly they saw a movement behind a clump of bushes. Then, before they had time to move, an animal charged at them. It was a huge rhinoceros. Luckily, it did not reach them because for some strange reason, when it was about 20 meters away, it  (6)  to one side and went on running in a different direction, finally coming to a halt a few hundred meters away.

    To this day they have no idea why the rhinoceros turned away from them and their car at the last minute. Perhaps it was the color of the car, or perhaps it just took pity on them! Who knows?

1. (a) cruel          (b) rough      (c) hard       (d) tough

2. (a) ominously  (b) angrily     (c) fully       (d) wildly

3. (a) leapt          (b) bumped  (c) moved    (d) jumped

4. (a) look           (b) watch      (c) consult   (d) glance

5. (a) stretch       (b) trail         (c) lot          (d) sea

6. (a) ground      (b) swerved  (c) drove     (d) steered

Answer: 1. rough 2. ominously 3. bumped
4. consult 5. stretch 6. swerved

1. rough adj. 崎岖不平的
cruel adj. 残忍的,残暴的(比较级、最高级要双写l)
Eg: a cruel boss, master 残暴的老板,主人
tough adj.
① 能耐劳苦的,不易击败的 eg: You need to be tough to survive in the jungle. 为了能够在丛林中生存,你需要能吃苦耐劳。
② 粗暴的,凶恶的 eg: one of the toughest areas of the city
③ 严厉的,强硬的 eg: tough measures to deal with terrorism 对恐怖行为的严厉措施
④ 困难的 eg: It's tough finding a job these days.

2. ominously adv. 有预兆地,不祥地
wildly adv.
① 狂野地,激动地,卤莽地,轻率地 eg: rushing wildly from room to room 激动地闯进一个又一个房间 talk wildly 胡扯,瞎吹
② 极其,特别 eg: In the nineteenth century, a novelist would bring his story to a conclusion by presenting his readers with a series of coincidences - most of them wildly improbable. (NCE3 lesson 36)

3. bump v. 颠簸地行驶
leap v. 跳,跃,冲,跳过 (过去式、过去分词leapt or leaped均可)

4. consult vt. 查阅,参考 eg: After consulting my railway time-table, I noted with satisfaction that there was an express train to Westhaven. (NCE3 lesson 37)

5. stretch n. 一大片(平地或水)
trail n. 痕迹,踪迹,小道,崎岖小路 eg: Wherever it went, it left behind it a trail of dead deer and small animals like rabbits. (NCE3 lesson 1)

6. swerve v. 突然转向
steer v. 驾驶 eg: The Culty Sark rolled from side to side and it became impossible to steer her. (NCE3 lesson 26)