Peter:'How was your holiday?'
Juan:'Really good! We went walking in the mountains in a part of northern Spain called Picos de Europa.'
Peter:'I've never heard of the place before. What's it like?'
Juan:'It's really green and really beautiful. Here's a photo I took of the mountains with a lake at the bottom of them. Because the water doesn't move in the lake and it's big, it is safe to go swimming in the lake.'
Juan:'Here's another photo of a lake. You can see at one end of it there's a tall wall of stone stopping the water leaving. You call that a dam in English, don't you?'
Peter:'It's called a dam. But you don't call the water behind the dam a lake (although it looks like one), because it's artificial/man-made and the water in it goes to people's houses for drinking or washing. In English, we call that a reservoir.'
Juan:'I didn't know that. I have a question. What do you call a small lake in English?'
Peter:'If it's small and not very deep, we call it a pond in English.'
Juan:'So much vocabulary to learn. Anyway, back to my holiday. Everyday we went walking in the mountains. There are some beautiful rivers when you are walking up the mountains.'
Peter:'Were the rivers big or small?'
Juan:'Why do you ask?'
Peter:'We use different names in English depending on the size of the river. If it's big and wide, it's called a river. If it's small and not very wide, then it's called a stream.'
Juan:'They weren't big. So, there are some beautiful streams when you are walking up the mountains. I have a question Peter. What do you call the parts of a stream or river where the water in it is moving very fast over rocks and the water looks white?'
Peter:'They are called rapids in English.'
Juan:'Well, there are rapids in the streams there. And there is an amazing waterfall on one of the streams there. The water of the stream falls vertically in the air for 10 metres.'
Juan:'We stopped and had lunch there one day. We sat at the side of the stream below the waterfall.'
Peter:'In English, we don't normally call the land next to a river or stream the side. We call it a bank.'
Juan:'Ok, we sat at the bank of the stream then. One of the good things about Picos de Europa is that you can drink the water, so you don't have carry a lot of it when you are walking.'
Peter:'What! You drank the water from the streams or lakes? Isn't that bad for your stomach?'
Juan:'Not from the streams or the lakes, but from the places where water comes to the land surface from underground. Don't you call a place like this a spring in English?'
Peter:'Yes, you do. It's safe to drink the water from springs normally.'
Juan:'I have another question for you.'
Juan:'What do you call a river which is man-made? You have a lot of them in England.'
Peter:'We call that in English a canal. A canal is man-made and unlike a river, the water in it doesn't move.'