10 difficult words to say in British and American English

10 difficult words to say in British and American English

What words do you find hard to pronounce in English? In this video we look at 10 words that English learners find tricky and look at how we say them in British and American English.

Are there any words that you’re pronouncing wrongly in English? Let’s find out.
We’re going to look at ten words that are tricky, see how some English learners say them and see how Jay and I say them.
So in British and American English. Ready? First word…

Comfortables – ah, no ‘s’. Comfortable.
Comfortable.
Comfortable.

No, no, no. It’s comfortable. Comfortable. 3 syllables. We write it like it has 4 – comf-or-ta-ble, but the ‘or’ disappears.

Comfortable
Comfortable.

That’s the thing about English pronunciation. We often don’t say what we write. OK. Next one.

Months, months, months.
Months
Months.

Not bad. It’s hard to pronounce this word because it’s got the ‘th’ sound quickly followed by ‘s’. You have to pull your tongue back very fast. Months. Months. Be careful not to say month-es. It’s just one syllable. Months.
Now here’s a secret. If you say muns or munts, we’ll understand. We say that too when we’re speaking fast.

Muns.
Munts.

OK, next one.

Receep.
Receep.

Nope.

Recipe.

Nearly. It has three syllables but the stress is on the first syllable.

Recipe

Mmmm. This soup is delicious.
It was my mother’s recipe.

The next word looks similar.

Recept.
Receipt.
Recept.

No. We don’t pronounce the ‘p’. It’s silent.

Receipt
Receipt

A receipt is a document that shows you’ve paid for something. Let’s hear it in a sentence.

Yes?
I’d like to return this sweater.
Do you have the receipt?
No, I’m sorry. I lost it.
Did you pay by credit card?
No, I paid cash.
Then I’m sorry. I can’t help you.
But I just bought it this morning.

Next word.

Literature.
Literature.
Literature.

It’s hard. How many syllables does it have? Jay and I say it differently.

Literature.
Literature.

Did you hear the difference? In British English it just has three syllables and in American it has four.

Lit-e-ra-ture.
Lite-ra-ture.
Literature.
Literature.

There’s a great way to practise long words like this. It’s called backchaining. You start at the back of the word and work forward. ture-rature-literature. Try it. ture-rature-literature. Great. Next one. Let’s have something easier.

Busy.
Busy.

It’s nearly right but notice the vowel sound. It’s not ooo – and it’s not u like in bus. It’s /I/ like in bit.

Can we talk?
I’m a bit busy.

Busy.
Busy.

OK, next one.

Debt.
Debt.

No.

Debt.

Pretty close! A debt is money that you owe someone. You borrowed some money and now you’re in debt. But the letter b is silent. Listen.

Debt.
Debt.

Another word like that is doubt – when you’re not sure if something is true.
Yes. That has a silent ‘b’ too.
I doubt if you can say the next word.

Hierarchy.
Hierarchy.
Hierarchy.

No,that’s not right.

Hierarchy.
Hierarchy.

This word means a system where people are organized into different levels of importance. So like in a company with the boss at the top. Hierarchy.
Hi-er-ar-chy – it’s four syllables but sometimes we run the first two together so it’s almost three. Hier-ar-chy. Let’s back chain it. Say it with me. chy – archy – hierarchy. Great, next one. This one’s very common.

Aren’t.
Aren’t.
Aren’t.

No, all wrong. When you contract are and not, you have to make them one syllable. But Jay and I say this word differently. Listen.

Aren’t.
Aren’t.

My r is much softer and Jay’s is stronger.

Aren’t.
Aren’t.

Say it the American way!
It doesn’t matter which way you say it, but make sure it has just one syllable.
And sometimes we don’t pronounce the ‘t’.
Yeah. When we’re speaking casually we both put a stop on the t, so it ends abruptly. Aren’.
Aren’ – We aren’ finished yet.
That’s right. We aren’. Here’s the next word

Crisps. Crisps. Crisps.
Crisps.
Crisps.

These are crisps. The tricky thing here is the ‘sps’ at the end – sps. Try it. sps. sps.

Crisps
Crisps

But we don’t call these crisps in America. We call them potato chips. Say chips.
No chips are different. We have fish and chips.
They’re French fries.
OK, last word. This one’s very tricky.

Thoroughly. Thoroughly. Thoroughly.
Thoroughly. No, I don’t know.
Thoroughly. Je sais pa.

It’s very hard. It’s got a th sound and then an ^ vowel and then an r and an l sound.

Thoroughly.
Thoroughly.
Thoroughly.
Thoroughly.

Let’s back chain it. Say it with me. ly–oroughly-thoroughly. ly–oroughly-thoroughly. Could you say it?
And that’s it. We want to say a big thank you to our English learners: Remi, Fenando and Hugo.
They were such great sports.
Now let us know in the comments below what words you find hard to pronounce in English and perhaps we’ll make another video about them.
Or send us a video an we’ll see if you’re saying a word correctly.
See you all next week! Bye. Bye-bye.

Watch more videos on difficult words to pronounce:

Here’s one on ten more words that are hard to pronounce.

And here’s one on some English tongue twisters.

Pronunciation really matters, of course, but so does grammar and vocabulary.

 

think-in-english

How to think (and dream) in English and stop translating in your head

How can you think in English so you don’t need to keep translating in your head? Here are five practical steps you can take to develop the habits you need to make it happen.


Click here to learn 26 ways you can learn English for free
Click here to learn how you can remember English words more easily
Click here to learn about Fix it – our free checklist for avoiding mistakes

How to Think in English Video Script

Wouldn’t it be great if you could think in English – so you don’t have to translate and the English words you need are on the tip of your tongue when you’re speaking . Well, you can. In this video we’re going to show you how.
Let’s start with two reasons why you want to think in English.
First one.
Translating in your head takes time. You don’t want to keep people waiting.

D’accord. À bientôt. Salut!
Do you want some more coffee?
Yes … with…. three….sugars.

Second reason
You want your English to sound fluent and natural, like a native speaker. But that means you’ll sometimes need to structure your thoughts differently.

Excuse me. Can you help me?
Help you I can.
So yes, you can?
Yes, English I speak.

You want to follow English patterns of speech. Thinking in English will help you do that.
But what if your English isn’t very good yet? Can you think in English if you’re not fluent? Yes! I’m going to tell you five steps you can start taking today. Don’t wait till you’re advanced to begin. The sooner you start, the better.
Look around you – what can you see? Can you name everything in English?

Books, light.

You’ll know some words, but not others. So when there’s a gap in your vocabulary – look up the word.

Ah, surf board.

In this next step you’re going to make sentences. Very simple short sentences.

I have a lot of books. That’s a really tall surf board.

You don’t have to speak the words out loud so you can do this anywhere, whenever you have a free moment – on a train, on the bus, perhaps not when you’re driving though. That could be dangerous

That tree is tall. Argh!

OK, we’ve done words, sentences. The next step is thoughts. Think your normal thoughts, but in English.

I wonder, who won the match last night? Hey, I’m hungry. I think I’ll get some cookies. Oh no. I ate them all yesterday.

So put your thoughts into English. Remember, this is a great way to discover gaps in your knowledge. If you don’t know how to say something, look it up.
Now we’re going to move on to conversations. Imagine you’re with an English speaker – perhaps it’s your English teacher or perhaps it’s an English friend or an imaginary friend. Maybe they ask you a question like ‘What did you think of the game last night?’ or ‘Are you going on vacation this year?’ Imagine the conversation and rehearse it.

So are you going anywhere on vacation this summer?
Yes, we’re going to Cape May.
That’s funny. We went there last year.
Really? What was it like?
Fantastic!

Again, you can speak out loud or have silent conversations in your head. And don’t worry if this is hard at first. It gets easier with practice. And don’t worry about making mistakes. The important thing is to develop the habit, so thinking in English becomes automatic and takes less effort.
And that brings us to the last step.
Dream in English. Yeah! Really! Now you can’t force yourself to do this, but it is possible and it sometimes happens. When you surround yourself with English words, sentences, thoughts, conversations, they start to fill your brain. You’ll find your brain processes the English while you’re asleep. You don’t have to do anything and you’re practising English! Fantastic, eh?
I hope it’s a nice dream and not a nightmare.
Many of my students have dreamt in English so I’m sure some of you can too.
Follow these steps, and practice thinking in English as often as you can. When you’re in the shower, when you’re having a coffee – do it every day as often as you can.
Another great way to surround yourself with English is to watch our videos. They’ll help you learn new words, fix some common mistakes, and think in English too. So make sure you subscribe to our channel and happy dreams everyone.

Click here to find other great tips for making your English learning faster and more efficient.
Click here to learn about Fix it – our free checklist for avoiding mistakes

hints indirect requests

Why it’s sometimes hard to understand English speakers (Hints)

One of reasons it’s hard to understand English speakers is we don’t say what we mean. Really! We often say one thing, when we mean another!

In this video you’ll learn how to understand English speakers when they drop hints and make indirect requests. We look at some common ambiguous English phrases and explore the social benefits that ambiguity can bring.


To learn the key phrases you need to ask for things more directly, click here .
To learn lots of polite everyday English phrases and expressions, click here.

Hints and Indirect Requests Video Script

There are lots of reasons why English speakers can be hard to understand and today we’re going to look at one of them. The thing is sometimes we don’t say what we mean. We say one thing but we mean another. This lesson is going to help you understand us, even when we’re indirect.
Let’s look at an example.

Is that pizza?
Yeah, come and have some.
Oh thank you.

Look at what Jay said here. Did he really mean ‘Is that pizza?’ Of course it was pizza. He really meant ‘I want some pizza’? So what’s happening here is Jay’s dropping a hint. A hint is something we say that suggests something indirectly.
When people want things, they often drop hints. Let’s look at some more examples. Lisa’s going to ask three questions. What does she really mean?

Are you going past a mail box on your way home?
Oh, are you going to get coffee?
Have you got a moment?

Did you understand her? Let’s see what she really meant.

Are you going past a mail box on your way home?
Yes, do you want me to post something for you?
Yes, I would like that.

So she meant ‘I want you to post a letter for me’. OK, next one.

OK, I’m off
Are you going to get coffee?
Yes, would you like me to get one for you too?
I would like that very much.

So she wants me to get her a coffee. OK. Last one.

Have you got a moment?
Yes, how can I help?

She wants some help. Now notice Lisa’s questions were all ambiguous. They might mean one thing, or they might mean another.
Maybe she wanted to know my route home. Maybe she wanted to know where I was going. Maybe she wanted to know how much time I have. Her questions weren’t 100% clear. They were ambiguous.
Researchers have found people are often ambiguous when they make requests and it seems to have two important social benefits. Firstly, being ambiguous can create the appearance of agreement and harmony. We like to agree with one another if we can.
Suppose you have a tray of biscuits and I say, ‘Mmmm. Those biscuits look nice’ What will you say? I hope you’ll say ‘Oh, please have one’, then I’m happy because I get a biscuit and you’re happy because you want to give me one. We both get what we want and the world is harmonious.

Oh those cookies look really good.
Have one. Jason, have one too.
Thank you

Now the other reason we’re ambiguous. It’s because it makes it easier to say ‘no’. Let’s see how it works.

Oh those cookies look really good.
Yes, I made them for Jason’s kids.
How old are your kids Jason?
Oliver’s eleven and Lola’s six.

So do you see what happened there? We could all pretend that Jay hadn’t asked for a cookie and I didn’t have to say no.
Here’s another example.

Can I have some of that pizza?
Errr, I bought it for the internet team.
Oh, no problem
Sorry.

Now that conversation was more difficult. Jay asked directly and Kathy had to say no. She felt bad. But what if Jay’s ambiguous.

Is that pizza?
Yes, it’s for the internet team. They’re going to be working late tonight.
Oh, is there a problem?
Yeah, the servers down.
Oh my.

That conversation was easier. He and Kathy both pretended he’d never asked.
So if you ask directly, you go on record. People have to say no. But if you’re ambiguous you can take back the request and the conversation can take a different path. Ambiguous requests can be good for relationships and that’s why people are often indirect.
OK, now it’s your turn. You’re going to see Jason making four indirect requests – dropping four hints. You have to decide if Jay’s answers are appropriate, and if not how should he reply? Are you ready?

Is that door open?
Yup.
Is it cold in here or is it just me?
It’s just you.
Is that today’s paper?
Uhuh.
Vicki said you’re going to the movies tonight.
Yes, we are.

Were Jay’s answers appropriate? No. What should he have said? Let’s see.

Is that door open?
Oh yes. I’ll close it.
Is it cold in here or is it just me?
Ooo. I’ll put the heating up.
Is that today’s paper?
Yeah, here you are.
Ah, thanks.
Jay said you’re going to the movies tonight.
Yeah, do you want to come too?
Oh I’d love to.

Did you get them right? That’s great. Then now you should know how to understand English speakers when they don’t say what they mean.
If you want to say what you mean very clearly in English, we have lots of videos with natural English conversations to help you. Make sure you subscribe to our channel and check out some more of our lessons.

To learn the key phrases you need to ask for things more directly, click here .
To learn lots of polite everyday English phrases and expressions, click here.

airport English check in

How to Check In at an Airport and Answer Security Questions in English

Learn the English phrases you need to check in at an airport in this video, including security questions and how to answer them.

We made this video with our friend Rachel of Rachel’s English. She has a terrific website and YouTube channel on American English pronunciation.  

Click here to find lots more practical videos for everyday situations.
Click here to learn how to use the words Travel, Trip and Journey.

Airport Check in English Video Script

This bag’s too big for carry on
Well yes.
Where’s the check in desk?
I think we have to use the machines.
The machines? I hate the machines.
It’s not working
Let’s go to the check in desk.

We’re going flying in today’s lesson and we have a very special guest. Rachel of the wonderfulo Rachel’s English channel is here to help us. If you haven’t subscribed to Rachel’s YouTube channel yet, do it right away. It’s the best place to improve your pronunciation. OK, let’s check in for our flight.

Good afternoon
Hi. Hi, we need to check in.
The machine didn’t recognize my passport.
I can help. Where are you flying to today?
Rio Recife
We’re flying to Rio and then we have a connecting flight to Recife.
What are you looking for?
My reading glasses.
They’re on your head.
Oh. I had a bottle of water.
I threw that away. Why? You can’t take liquids on the plane.
Are you checking any bags?
Yes, just one
Can you put it on the scale?
Sure. Did you pack my gloves?
Gloves?
Well it could be cold.
No, it’s summer in Recife.
Oh, of course. Can you check our bag through to Recife?
No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs.
And then we have to check it in again for Recife?
That’s right
How much time do we have? How long is our layover?
About two and a half hours.
That’s plenty of time.
I need to ask you some security questions. Who packed your bags?
Me. Me. We both did
When did you pack it?
Last night.
And has it been with you since you packed it?
Yes. Yes.
And are you carrying anything for anybody else?
No. No.
Great. Here are your boarding passes. Thank you.
Your flight leaves from gate 19 and boarding begins at 11:20.
11.20. Yes. Your seat numbers are 16E and 16F.
Do we have an aisle seat?
Yes, you have an aisle seat and a middle seat.
And how do we get to the gate?
You follow the signs to Departures
OK. Thank you very much.
Have a great trip. We will.
I’ve got another security question.
What?
Did we lock the front door?

Let’s look at some language again. Passengers often check in at machines that print their boarding passes – the document they need to get on a flight.
Passengers can take small bags onto the plane with them as carryon luggage – but not big ones.

This bag’s too big for carry on. Well yes.

Large bags must be checked in.

Are you checking any bags?
Yes, just one
Can you put it on the scale?
Sure.

Bags are usually checked through to the final destination, but not always.

Can you check our bags through to Recife?
No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs.
And then we have to check it in again for Recife?
That’s right

We had connecting flights with a layover. A layover is a short stay between parts of a journey.

How much time do we have? How long is our layover?
About two and a half hours.
That’s plenty of time.

The check in clerk asks security questions. They could be WH- questions, so questions that begin with words like these.

I need to ask you some security questions. Who packed your bag?
Me. Me.

Who packed your bag?
When did you pack it?
Where was it packed?

Other times they ask questions you need to answer yes or no.

Has your bag been with you since you packed it?
Yes
Are you carrying anything for anyone else?
No.

Listen carefully. Here are some more questions you’ll need to answer ‘no’.

Has your bag been out of your sight at any time?
Does it contain any prohibited or dangerous articles?
Are you carrying anything for anyone else?
Has anyone given you anything to carry for them on this flight?

She told us the gate number. A gate is the place where passengers wait to get on their flight.

Your flight leaves from gate 19 and boarding begins at 11:20.

The boarding time is the time passengers start getting onto the plane.

Do we have an aisle seat?
Yes, you have an aisle seat and a middle seat.

We will have an aisle seat and a middle seat. We won’t have a window seat. But first we need to go to departures.

And how do we get to the gate?
You follow the signs to Departures
OK. Thank you very much.
Have a great trip.
We will.

And that’s it. Now you’re ready for your flight!
Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel and to Rachel’s channel too. Together we’re going to help your English take off.

Click here to find lots more practical videos for everyday situations.
Click here to learn how to use the words Travel, Trip and Journey.

black socks

Black Socks Never Get Dirty Song – an English jazz chant

Black Socks Never Get Dirty is a fun jazz chant to practice English pronunciation. You have to say a different number of words in each line but maintain the same rhythm. It’s also a great illustration of how English is a stress timed language.
Click here for more information on English rhythm and stress timing.

Jay, you need to put these socks in the wash.
But they’re black.
So?
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet, not yet, not yet.
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet.
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet.

don't care don't mind

I don’t care and I don’t mind: An American and British difference

The phrases I don’t care and I don’t mind are very common and useful, but they can cause offence and/or confusion when Americans and Brits use them together. In the USA they mean one thing and in the UK they mean another.

When an American says I don’t care to a Brit, they can sound negative and apathetic. And when a Brit says I don’t mind to an American, they can appear to avoid the question, and answer another different question – which makes no sense. Learn how we use these phrases differently on both sides of the pond in this video.

To see more of our videos on American and British differences, click here.
To see more videos about what’s polite in everyday English conversation, click here.

Don’t care – Don’t mind Video Transcript

Would you like tea, or coffee?
I don’t mind. I don’t care.

This video’s about a curious difference between American and British English.
I’m American.
Yes, Jay’s American and I’m British.
And this video’s about a family argument.
Yes. It’s about how Jay uses the phrase ‘I don’t care’.
No, it’s about how you use the phrase ‘I don’t mind’.
Do you want to tell them or shall I?
I don’t care.
Then let me begin.

When you offer us two alternatives, two possibilities, British and American people respond in different ways.

Would you like tea, or coffee?
I don’t mind.
I don’t care.

We both mean we’re happy with either alternative, but our responses are different. So same intentions but different responses – that can lead to misunderstandings.

Let’s go to the cinema tonight.
You mean the movies.
There’s that comedy with Sandra Bullock, and that one with Robert De Niro.
Which do you fancy. I don’t care.
You don’t want to go then?
No, I don’t care.
All right then. We won’t go.
What did I do?

In American ‘I don’t care’ means I’m happy with either possibility. You can decide because I like both alternatives.
If we say ‘I don’t care’ in British English, it means we’re apathetic – we’re not interested. ‘I don’t care’ sounds negative.

So what would you like for dinner? Spaghetti or an omelette?
Oh I don’t care.

I don’t care is often rude in British English. We’d say ‘I don’t mind’.

So what do you want for dinner?
Spaghetti or an omelette?
I don’t mind.
What?

‘I don’t mind’ makes no sense in American English. It’s the answer to the question ‘Do you mind…?’ like ‘Do you mind if I have the last cookie?’ You can answer ‘No, I don’t mind’, or ‘Actually, I want it’. But if I ask ‘Do you want this or that?’ and you answer ‘I don’t mind’ you’re answering a question I didn’t ask, and it drives me crazy.

Would you like red wine or white wine?
I don’t mind.
But which do you want?

OK everyone, we’re finished. Let’s go and see that movie.
You want to see it?
Yeah.
Great!
Do you want to walk or take a bus?
I don’t mind.
Well make up your mind!
Why? You can choose.

Click here to watch this video with a clickable transcript.
To see more of our videos on American and British differences, click here.
To see more videos about what’s polite in everyday English conversation, click here.

Lay Lie – Lie Lay – What’s the difference?

Lay Lie – Lie Lay – What’s the difference?

Is it lay or lie? Even native English speakers sometimes have to think about this one, and sometimes they mix these verbs up. The two verbs mean different things, one takes and object and one doesn’t, and just to make things more tricky because the past tense of lie is lay.

Wow! That’s confusing, but we can help.


Click here to see more grammar videos
Click here to see more vocabulary videos

Lay or Lie Video script

Native English speakers sometimes muddle these verbs up. Do you know the difference? Watch and see.

Um, so how old are you, Vicki?
I’m, umm… thirty two.
Really?

Lie’ has two meanings. If we lie we don’t tell the truth.

Can they help us?
No. What are we going to do?
I don’t know.
Is there a problem?
Oh no, no. We’re great.
You’re lying.
Yes. We’re lying.

In this meaning ‘lie’ is a regular verb: lie – lied – lied. Easy, huh? OK, let’s forget that meaning and look at another one.
This is Xsenia, and she’s lying down here. She’s in a horizontal or resting position.
This meaning is similar to the verb ‘lay’, but when we lay something we put it down.
Now here Xsenia is laying down Carter’s toys, placing them on the floor. So ‘lie’ means be horizontal and ‘lay’ means place something down.
So now it’s time for some grammar.

Are you OK?
No, I’ve got a headache.
Why don’t you go and lie down?

‘Lie’ is an intransitive verb and it has no object. We can lie on something. We can lie in something. We can lie under something, but we can’t lie something.
‘Lay’ is a transitive verbs so it has an object. We always lay something.
We can lay roads – build them by laying down asphalt. We can lay carpets – put them on the floor.
We can lay bricks to build walls. Birds lay eggs and then they sit on them till they hatch. In British English we lay the table.

Oh you’ve laid the table!
Thank you. In America we say set the table.
We can say that in British English too.

Hey! Stop that man. Put up your hands and lay down your weapon.

Now here’s a tip for when you’re not sure which verb to use. If you can also use the verb ‘place’ then the verb you need is ‘lay’.
So Jay lays his book on the couch – he places it there. Lay down your weapon – place it on the ground.
Now both of these verbs are irregular and here’s a tricky thing. Look at the past tense of ‘lie’. It’s lay. Urgh! Sometimes English is so confusing.
The good news is we rarely say ‘lain’ these days, so let’s forget about that. Trust me. You probably won’t need it.
Let’s start with ‘lie’ and we’ll look at these two verb forms first.

I’m tired. I think I’ll go and lie down. I didn’t sleep at all last night.
Really?
I lay awake all night.
I thought I heard you snoring.
Not me. It must have been Carter.

So ‘lie’ means be horizontal here, be in a resting position and the past form is lay. Now let’s look at two verb forms of ‘lay’.

Has the mail come?
Yes, I laid it on your desk.
Thank you.

Hey Vicki. Have you seen the dry cleaning?
Yes, I’ve laid it on the bed.
Ah, thank you.

So we have the past and the present perfect here and the verb form is laid in both tenses.
Now the most common mistake people make with these two verbs is they say ‘laying’ when they mean ‘lying’.
If something is just sitting somewhere, use the verb ‘lie’. Here are some examples.
After you have laid a book on the couch – placed it there – then it’s lying there, not laying there.

Have you seen my book?
I think I saw it lying on the couch.
Oh, thank you. Now how did it get there?

So is Jay lying or laying on the sofa here? Well first he lays down on the sofa – places himself there. But now he’s just lying down. He’s in a horizontal position, at rest.
If you see something lying on the ground, it’s just sitting or resting there. It’s only laying there if it’s doing something else, like it’s a chicken that’s laying eggs or something.
And that’s it. That’s the difference between ‘lie’ and ‘lay’. Now don’t forget, the past tense of ‘lie’ is lay.

We’re just back from holiday where I got a wonderful suntan. Unfortunately Jay lay in the sun too long.

Click here to see this video with a clickable transcript
Click here to see more grammar videos
Click here to see more vocabulary videos

‘Turn it on’ and other common separable phrasal verbs

‘Turn it on’ and other common separable phrasal verbs

Many English phrasal verbs are separable. Separable means the verb and the other little word (the preposition or particle) can be separated.
This video’s about eight very common separable English phrasal verbs. Watch and learn how they work.

You can see these exact verbs used in rap which we recorded with Jason R Levine, Fluency MC. Click here to watch it.
Click here to see more English grammar videos.
Click here to see Vicki and Jay doing more cooking.

Separable Phrasal Verbs Video Script

Hi Jason.
Hmmm?
I’m your surgeon.
My surgeon?
And this is your appendix.
My appendix?
We had to take it out.

We’re making smoothies with our blender.
We’ve put pineapple in.
And strawberries. Another strawberry?
Yes, put it in.
And banana.
Banana’s fattening.
Now we’re going to turn on the blender and make a smoothie.
Wait. Don’t turn it on yet. I’m going to put in some spinach.
Spinach! Take it out.
No, it’s good for you.
OK.
Turn it on.
Spinach?
I’ll turn it on.
I think you can turn it off.
OK, Jay. It’s a green smoothie. What do you think?
Mmmm. It’s not bad.
And it’s good for us.

Another strawberry? Yes, put it in.
I’m going to put in some spinach. Spinach! Take it out. Spinach?
I’ll turn it on. I think you can turn it off.

Many English verbs have two parts: a verb and another small word.
We can say ‘put the strawberry in’ and ‘put in the strawberry.’ But notice what happens if we sat ‘it’.
Put it in. We can’t say ‘put in it’. This is wrong.
We can say ‘turn the blender on’, ‘turn on the blender’, turn it on. But we can’t say ‘turn on it.’
There are lots more verbs like this. Let’s look at some.

We’re going out tonight. I’ll wear my new bow tie. I’ll put it on.
What are you wearing?
That’s my new bow tie. Don’t you like it?
Take it off and put a proper tie on.

Here’s that video. Can you hear it?
No.
I’ll turn it up.

Ahhh. Yeah, turn this up. Turning it down.

Is that your jacket on the floor?
Yes.
Well, pick it up.

Where’s my hairspray. I thought I put it down here.

Click here to watch this video with a clickable transcript
You can see these exact verbs used in rap which we recorded with Jason R Levine, Fluency MC. Click here to watch it.
Click here to see more English grammar videos.
Click here to see Vicki and Jay doing more cooking.