Deep English Learning - Iceman (Normal speed)


Hi everyone. Dan here from

This is the normal version of this week's story lesson.

Make sure you listen to the end because I'll be talking about

some of the vocabulary you hear in this story.

Okay, let's listen.

Okay. Wim Hof. Pretty amazing guy.

Wim Hof can withstand extreme heat and extreme cold.

So this idea to withstand, to be able to resist

or to not be bothered by or to not be damaged by,

that really describes Wim Hof's ability.

He can withstand extreme cold.

Now, let's look at the opposite of 'withstand'.

Or not quite the opposite but a very different understanding of the word 'stand'.

We also can say 'you can't stand' something.

So if you say, "I can't stand extreme cold," or, "I can't stand heat."

"I can't stand the heat of summer," that means you dislike it.

You are bothered by it. You hate it. You can't stand it.

So that's really two different uses of the word 'stand'.

Withstand: to not be bothered by, to be able to resist, to not be damaged.

And to not be able to stand. I can't stand the heat. I am bothered by the heat.

In fact, I hate the heat. I can't stand it.

So the root word of both of these expressions is 'stand'.

So I'm sure everyone knows the word 'stand'.

It's the opposite of 'sit'. Stand up. Sit down.

Now, we use this word 'stand' in many different phrasal verbs

and idioms and expressions in English.

And often, often times, this word 'stand' has a feeling of strength.

For example, we also say 'to stand up'.

To stand up to something or to stand up to someone, means to fight back.

If someone is trying to hurt you or to damage you, you can stand up to them.

So for example, a bully. If you are being bullied, you can stand up to them.

I will stand up to that bully.

Let's take another example.

Imagine you are driving and a police officer stops you

and the police officer says, "You were speeding so I'm giving you a ticket."

But you know you weren't speeding.

So you can stand up to that police officer.

You can fight back in court, fight that ticket, stand up.

Stand up for yourself. Stand up to the police officer.

What would be another example to stand up to someone

who's trying to hurt you or damage you or take advantage of you?

Imagine your company, your boss decides, "We are going to lower your pay."

You could say, "I'm not going to accept that.

I'm going to stand up to my boss.

I'm going to tell him that I will not work for lower pay.

I will stand up to him."

Now, the opposite of standing up to someone or to something is to be passive,

to passively accept someone trying to hurt us.

And we use the opposite of 'standing'. Not 'sitting', but 'lying down'.

So we could say, "He took it lying down," means he passively accepted it.

Or she took it lying down. She didn't fight back.

Now, we often use this expression 'lying down' in a negative way.

"I'm not going to take it lying down."

"I'm not going to take this ticket lying down. I'm going to fight back."

"I'm not going to let my company pay me less money."

"I'm not going to take this lying down."

"I'm going to tell them, I'm going to demand they pay me a fair amount."

So to stand up for someone is to resist, to have a feeling of strength, to fight back,

and to take it lying down is to be weak and to accept somebody trying to hurt you

or to damage you or to take advantage of you.

So 'withstand': strength in the face of something that could damage other people

like extreme heat or extreme cold.

And 'can't stand': not able to resist, to be bothered by something, to hate something.

'To stand up for' or 'stand up to': to fight back.

'To take it lying down': to accept passively.

So what else?

There are actually many different expressions that use this idea, this word,

this root word 'to stand', to be strong, to resist, to challenge, to fight.

Another example would be to 'take a stand'.

So to take a stand means to choose a side and fight for it.

So for example, if you feel that nuclear power is very dangerous

and nuclear power is very bad for the environment,

you could take a stand.

You could say, "I'm going to fight against nuclear power.

I'm going to protest nuclear power. I'm going to take a stand.

I'm not going to sit back and just accept what the government does

or what big companies do. I'm going to take a stand."

It means I'm going to choose a side.

In this situation, I'm going to choose the side that is against nuclear power

and I'm going to do something about it.

So that's 'take a stand'.

So this idea of standing and strength,

another way we use the word 'stand' is to 'stand by someone'.

Imagine your friend is having a very difficult time

and he or she is not being supported by their family or friends.

You could say to them, "I will stand by you,"

which means I will support you. I will be there for you. I will stand by you.

Another situation could be a loved one, a husband or a wife who is very sick.

And maybe your husband or wife just feels very alone in the world.

And you could say, "You are not alone. I will stand by you. I will stand with you."

It means we are in this problem together. I will support you.

To stand by someone.

So again, it's this idea of strength. I will give you strength.

I will support you. I will stand by you.

So there you have it. Lots of different ways.

This is really just a few of the ways that we use 'stand' to show strength or resistance.

Withstand: to be strong.

Can't stand: to be bothered by, to be weak.

I'm sorry, 'can't stand' is not to be weak.

It is to be bothered by. To not be able to tolerate something.

I can't stand country music. I can't tolerate it. It makes me crazy.

Or I can't stand the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.

It makes me crazy. I can't stand it. I can't resist it.

But to withstand is to be strong in the face of things

that do bother other people, that do damage to other people.

And then again, to take something lying down is to be very passive

and weak and accept bad things happening to you.

And to stand up to is to fight back.

And to take a stand is to choose a side and fight for that side.

And to stand by someone is to support someone.

To support a friend or support a loved one through a difficult time.

Okay, there you have it.

We'll be back next week with another lesson.

See you.