By Terry Fredrickson

This is an amazing story. Watch the video once and you can't believe the man survived. You have to watch it very carefully to see just how lucky he was.

This video was part of a news report on Fox News in the United States. The two news anchors are not reading from a script. They are watching the video and talking about it. They realise, of course, that this is a past event, so they do use some past tense. But since they are actually seeing the accident happen, it seems so fresh that they also mix in the present. That is the way we talk in real life.

survive – to continue to live after a dangerous experience

news anchor – a news reader who stays in the studio, reads the news and introduces news stories from outside reporters

script – the written words of a play, movie or, in this case, a news broadcast

Watch the video and listen to them describe it . Then, read the transcript below. You might want to watch and listen several times.

Player will show here


Megyn Kelly: A Turkish man standing behind a box truck – watch this. A box truck that was stopped on the railroad tracks – watch it.

Bill Hemmer: Boom.

Megyn Kelly: A train ploughed into the truck, pushing it sideways and over the man. He was 32 years old. Somehow the guy survives and is unhurt. Only minor injuries.

Bill Hemmer: That is remarkable.

Megyn Kelly: He says he blacked out. He only remembers waking up and now he is telling reporters life is beautiful.

Bill Hemmer: Check out this angle.

Megyn Kelly: Guess what Bill. He's planning on proposing to his fiancé .

Bill Hemmer: Oh, I bet man – Buy a lottery ticket, do everything else.

Megyn Kelly: Seize the day.

Bill Hemmer: Look at this.

Megyn Kelly: Look at it.

Bill Hemmer: He gets knocked behind a blue truck, right?

Megyn Kelly: Yep.

Bill Hemmer: Just a couple feet away from the railroad track...

Megyn Kelly: And it looks like his head comes off. It just his hat, thank good for him. But the hat goes off to the right; the body stays put and amazingly, he's fine.

Bill Hemmer: The train stayed on the track every so much just to allow that guy to live. Man oh man.

plough into – to crash something into at high speed or with great force

black out – to become suddenly unconscious; to suddenly fall into a sleeplike condition because of an injury or illness

propose to his fiancé – to ask his girlfriend to marry him

A prepared news report

Here is a prepared script from another television news report. This time it is read, but since it describes the video, it also uses a lot of present tense.

Miracle survivor of Turkish crash

A man who escaped serious harm after a spectacular crash between a lorry and a train said he was celebrating a "new birthday".

Turkish security camera footage, released on Wednesday, shows a train ramming into a flat-bed truck, which then swept over a man, knocking him to the ground. But he survived with only minor injuries.

The video from an overhead camera, obtained and released by the Turkish Dogan News Agency, shows an aerial view of a truck driving slowly across railway tracks in the Mediterranean port city of Mersin on 25 February.

A train then appears, crashing into the truck and pushing it down the tracks before coming to a standstill. The 32-year-old worker Cem Tokac is standing by the tracks as the lorry drives past him.

As the train pushes the truck, Tokac suddenly disappears under the truck and is seen lying motionless.

Two figures are then seen rushing to Tokac's aid, followed by an ambulance a few moments later.

Tokac said later that he did not remember anything about the accident until he woke up "on the cement".

He told reporters he now truly valued his life, and promised to marry his fiancée.

miracle – something very lucky that would not normally be possible

spectacular – very sudden or extreme and attracting a lot of interest

footage – film or a particular subject or event

ram into – to plough into; to crash into

standstill – a complete stop

motionless – not moving

aid – help; assistance

ambulance – a vehicle for taking people to hospital

Showing off your own video

If you have a short video or an idea that you think would work to illustrate an English verb form, you can connect us through twitter or contact me directly at:

If you have a finished video, you can upload it to a site like Youtube so we can have a look at it. We can then embed it on a page on our site as well. Make a short lesson together with your video so users can understand the main point.

You can also point out videos that you find online that might be useful for understanding verbforms.

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