Views #1022 | Intermediate (B1)

Island Invasion

Cheryl talks about how some foreign animal and plant species have caused serious problems to her island.

Nick: In Australia, there’s a lot of snakes as well. Is there snakes in Guam?

Cheryl: Yeah, there’s plenty of snakes in Guam, one of which is very famous. It’s the brown tree snake. Now the brown tree snake was brought over to Guam a long time ago in cargo ships when it hid in the cargo and the cargo was unloaded onto the docks of Guam. So when these brown tree snakes were accidentally released onto Guam’s soil, they subsequentlydestroyed most of Guam’s bird population. Can you believe that?

Nick: That’s amazing. Yeah. Introductions like that can cause disasters for wildlife.

Cheryl: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And because these brown tree snakes destroyed most of the bird life on Guam we’ve lost a lot of beautiful tropical birds that used to live on Guam. Another thing that I can think of that was introduced to Guam, but isn’t a wild animal, is a wild plant and we call it a Japanese Bonsai Leaf, actually. And I believe Bonsai means suicide or something in Japanese but what these leaves do is they grow and grow and they look like vines so they cover loads and loads of trees and good wildlife that are out there. I mean, plant life and they keep these plant life from growing because they essentially ambush them and keep sunlight from ever reaching them.

Nick: That’s really interesting.

Cheryl: Yeah, so if you can imagine a building covered completelyin really thick vine, that’s how these Japanese Bonsai leaves work. They completely shroud and cover all of the good plant life that we have on Guam. So we’ve lost a lot of good plant life, beautiful different types of leaves, and bushes, flowers. So in addition to losing all of our bird life, we’ve also lost a lot of our plant life to this introduction of a foreign plant species in Guam.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson


imageTree snakes were accidentally released.

In English, we often use the word "accidentally" to talk about mistakes. If we do something that was unplanned and a mistake, we say it was "an accident" or we "accidentally" did it. Notice the following:

  1. I accidentally left the air-conditioner on.
  2. We accidentally sent your letter to the wrong address.


imageThey subsequently destroyed the bird population.

When something happens 'subsequently', that means it happens as a result of something else or because of something else. The adverb 'subsequently' is very close in meaning to the adverb 'therefore'. Notice the following:

  1. I ate pizza every day and subsequently gained a lot of weight.
  2. He cheated on his wife. Subsequently, she divorced him.


imageThe vines essentially ambush the plants and cover them.

Here the word 'essentially' means 'basically' or 'simply'. We use the word 'essentially' to express a simple idea for a more difficult concept. Notice the following:

  1. Because he was always joking around at work, he made the boss angry and 'essentially' lost his job.
  2. If you never save any money, you are 'essentially' risking your future.


imageThey keep sunlight from ever reaching them.

We use the word 'ever' to mean any time or at any time in the past, present or future. The word 'ever' is often not needed in the sentence but is used to add emphasis. Here are some samples.

  1. I don't ever buy the newspaper anymore. (don't ever = never)
  2. If you drink this soup, it will keep you from ever getting sick.


imageCan you imagine a building covered completely in thick vine?

The word 'completely' is used to mean 100% or totally. Below are some samples:

  1. I completely agree with you.
  2. My shoes were completely ruined by the rain.

Vocabulary Quiz

accidentally • subsequently • essentially
ever • completely
  1. The field was covered with snow. All you could see was white.
  2. We bought the wrong coffee.
  3. I forgot my map and got lost.
  4. My wife is my best friend.
  5. Do you wonder what life is all about?
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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