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Language focus: The Queen breaks her silence again over the crisis

The Queen of England caused a stir when she visited the Bank of England this month. Read the text to find out what happened then read the language focus to learn some of the phrases from the text and how to use them in other example sentences.
 

Her Majesty put several bankers on the spot with questions about the financial crisis. The Queen quizzed them about the causes of the crash and why they let it happen.
 
The bankers were surprised by her questions because her Majesty doesn’t normally express her views and become involved in these matters. The bank employees did their best to answer her. She then asked if the problem was people being too lax and complacent. This isn’t the first time she’s tackled the subject head on. 4 years ago her majesty accused financial experts of taking their eye off ball when the crisis happened.
 
Prince Philip, The Queen’s husband, asked if there is another crisis coming? The central bank employees said they will see the next one coming and they won’t let the country down. Prince Philip replied by telling them not to do it again.
 
The queen went further and said the Financial Services Authority lacked teeth and didn’t act effectively.
 

 

Language Focus

 

1)The Queen of England caused a stir
=To create interest/excitement/agitation in a group by asking questions or saying or doing something
 

Examples:
The Queen’s remarks caused a stir
When The Queen arrived for a surprise visit it caused a stir
 

2)Her Majesty put several bankers on the spot
=To force someone to make a decision or answer a question without preparation
 

Examples:
Prince Philip put bankers on the spot and asked them difficult questions
The bankers looked uncomfortable when the queen put them on the spot

 
3)The Queen quizzed them
=Asked them lots of questions

 
Examples:
Her Majesty quizzed several bankers about the crisis
The Queen didn’t find many answers when she quizzed the bankers
 

4)The problem was people being too lax and complacent.
Lax=Not firm enough
Complacent=Happy with the way things are and not interested in other things
 

Examples:
The bank was too lax with their finances
The bank managers were complacent and didn’t try to improve the bank
 

5)She’s tackled the subject head on
=Dealt with it directly

 
Examples:
The queen tackled the issue head on and asked many questions
The bankers didn’t think The Queen would tackle the crisis head on

 

6)Her majesty accused financial experts of taking their eye off ball
=No longer paying attention to something important

 
Examples:
The bankers took their eye off the ball and lost millions
People in finance should never take their eye off the ball

 

7)The central bank employees said they will see the next one coming
=Recognise early signs of a crisis
 

Examples:
Because of new financial measures, bankers will see the next crisis coming months before it happens
Experts say they have seen the next crisis coming and are getting ready
 

8)They won’t let the country down.
=Fail them
 

Examples:
The bank let their customers down when they lost their money
We were all let down by our banking system
 

9)The Financial Services Authority lacked teeth
=Not have the power or ability to punish someone for something
 

Examples:
The manager lacked teeth and didn’t fire his staff who lost the money
The government lacked teeth so they didn’t arrest the bankers

 

 

 

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