Audio Notes #573 Into City

brain drain


England does not have a problem with brain drain.

Brain drain is a problem poorer countries often have with their educated work force going to foreign countries to earn higher wages. For example, a software engineer in India might choose to work in Australia in order to earn a higher salary. The opposite of brain drain is brain gain. Notice the following:

  1. To stop brain drain, the government is trying to improve opportunities at local universities.
  2. One country's brain drain, is another country's brain gain.

internal problem


We have an internal problem of everyone going to London.

Internal means inside. So when a company or organization has a problem inside the company, it is an internal problem. If a family has a problem inside the family, we say it is a family matter. Notice the following:

  1. The company has an internal problem of low motivation among its staff.
  2. The company did not want its competitors to know of its internal problems.

rural areas


People are moving from rural areas to the city.

Rural means the countryside and urban means the city. A rural area would be a place with lots of nature and open space. Notice the following:

  1. Crime is usually lower in rural areas.
  2. Young people tend to move from rural areas when they come into adulthood.

decades ago


Farming was profitable decades ago.

A decade is ten years, so something that was decades ago, happened at least ten years ago and probably much more. Notice the following:

  1. Decades ago, I used to be a good athlete.
  2. Decades ago, that song was popular, but not now.



The city is subdivided into three parts.

When you subdivide something you break it up into parts, and each part is then considered to be a separate unit, often with a name, address, or marking.

  1. The house was subdivided into three apartments.
  2. The city is subdivided into the old center and commercial district.

one of the ...est, I've ever ....


One of the coolest things I've ever seen.

This is a common construction in English. When speakers want to communicate how special something is, they often say it is one of the best "somethings" they have experienced. Notice the following four examples:

  1. He is one of the coolest guys I've ever met.
  2. She is one of the smartest people I've ever encountered.
  3. It was the funniest movie I have ever seen.
  4. He is the oldest man who's ever worked here.