Study English – Series 1, Episode 1: Electronic Crime

Hello. I’m Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation. In this series, we look at the skills you’ll need to write formal, academic English, and you’ll have the chance to listen to people talking about topics you’ll find at colleges and universities. In today’s episode were going to hear someone talking about a new type of crime – electronic crime. Listen carefully to this police officer. Then we’re going to look at word families, and do some spelling.

It is a new frontier, and there are old, traditional forms of crime being committed electronically, and via computers and the internet, but there are also new crime types emerging. Electronic crime really does cross over a whole range of different crime types. You can imagine stalking offences that may be facilitated via email, harassment, threatening emails, small-scale fraud offences, right up through to large-scale frauds committed via the internet.

OK, so let’s have a closer look at that clip. We’re going to focus on vocabulary building, and word groups, but first, listen again to this sentence. See if you can hear the keyword, the main subject of the sentence. It is a new frontier, and there are old, traditional forms of crime being committed electronically, and via computers and the internet. He says there are old, traditional forms of crime being committed electronically. The keyword is crime.

That’s what the sentence is about. Crime is a noun. We say that a crime is committed, or done. To commit a crime is to do something illegal. Let’s have a closer look at the word crime. In English, many words can change to have different uses. In this way, they form word groups. Learning words groups is an excellent way to build your vocabulary. You should write them down in a table like this showing adjectives, nouns, verbs, and adverbs. Of course, there are often at least 2 different sorts of nouns – nouns for things, and nouns for people.

Let’s have a look at the crime word group. Crime is a noun. It’s a thing. A criminal is a person who commits a crime. Criminal is also the adjective. We can describe something by using the word criminal before the noun. That was a criminal act. And we have the adverb criminally. To behave criminally is to behave in an illegal way. There’s no verb from crime. We have to use the phrase to commit a crime. OK. Well come back to our table a bit later. Right now, listen to what sort of crimes are being committed these days – and listen for an -ly adverb.

It is a new frontier, and there are old, traditional forms of crime being committed electronically, and via computers and the internet. He says there are old forms of crime being committed electronically. Electronically is an adverb. It means in an electronic way, or using electronics. Electronics is the study of electricity and the things that use electricity. Listen to the way electronic is used here It is a new frontier, and there are old, traditional forms of crime being committed electronically, and via computers and the internet, but there are also new crime types emerging. Electronic crime really does cross over a whole range of different crime types. Electronic crime really does cross over a whole range of different crime types. He uses the phrases electronic crime, and committed electronically. Notice that electronic, the adjective, comes before the noun crime, but that the adverb electronically comes after the verb committed. Let’s look at the table again. We have electronic the adjective, electronically the adverb, and electronics, the noun.

You’ll notice that not all words take all these different forms. But where they do exist, you will be able to see patterns emerging. For example look at the adverbs criminally and electronically. They both end in -l-y, -ly. OK, so we’ve looked at electronic and its word family. These days, electronic is often used to mean relating to computers, or new technologies. It sometimes gets shortened to e. We have e-mail: electronic mail, e-business, electronic business. So we could call these electronic crimes e-crimes: crimes committed using computers and the internet. But what sorts of e-crimes are being committed? Listen for the two main types of crimes that he mentions. Electronic crime really does cross over a whole range of different crime types. You can imagine stalking offences that may be facilitated via email, harassment, threatening emails, small-scale fraud offences, right up through to large-scale frauds committed via the internet.

He mentions two main types of crimes: stalking offences and fraud offences. An offence is another word for a crime. Notice how you can build your vocabulary by looking at words on a theme. An offence is a crime, and offenders are criminals. But look at some other crime words. We’ve got robbery and robbers, burglary and burglars. And there are lots more – you should try to learn words in themes like this. See how many words you can find for different types of crimes and criminals. OK, now let’s have a quick look at some spelling. Spelling is very important in formal writing, but English spelling is very difficult.

They’re aren’t too many rules, and most of them can be broken. Notice that many words can have doubled letters, but you can’t tell by just listening to the words. In today’s story we’ve seen the words committed, electronically, different, cross, harassment and offences. They have all got doubled letters. There aren’t really any rules for spelling these words – you have to learn them all one by one.

When you come across new words, try writing them down a few times, and spelling them out loud. Notice in Australia and England, we spell doubled letters out by saying the word double before them. Double f, double s. But in the United States, they just say the letter twice – f-f, s-s. So you can choose either way, but you should learn to recognise both. Listen to this: Different: d-i-f-f-e-r-e-n-t, different Harassment: h-a-r-a-s-s-m-e-n-t, harassment Electronically: e-l-e-c-t-r-o-n-i-c-a-l-l-y, electronically Notice that even though English spelling can be very difficult, it’s very important to make sure you spell words correctly. It makes your writing look bad if you misspell words in essays. So you’ll need to work hard at it! So our lessons for today are: write down new words you find.

Check the spelling in a dictionary, to make sure you’ve spelt them correctly. See if you can find other words that belong to the same family – can the word be used as a noun or verb? Write all the word forms in your word family table. Don’t forget that it’s very useful to keep your words listed according to topics – like crime words, or business words, or computer words. And that’s all we’ve got time for today. I’ll see you for the next episode of Study English! Bye bye..

As found on Youtube