Phrasal Verbs for Organizing

Learn English Phrasal Verbs for Organizing Things

Learn the meanings of common phrasal verbs like tidy up, throw away, lying around, put away and lots more. In this video English lesson you’ll see Jay and Vicki organizing their props and costumes and see how they use the phrasal verbs in action.

Click here to learn 24 phrasal verbs for computers and technology
Click here to learn 10 phrasal verbs for food and eating
Click here to learn 8 very common separable phrasal verbs

Organizing Phrasal Verbs

Hi. Today we’re going to show you some of the props and costumes that we use in our videos.
It’s a bit of a mess so we’re going to organize them today.

This lesson is about phrasal verbs we use to talk about organizing things. The best way to learn their meanings is to see them in action so we’re going to play a game. Watch Jay and I talking about our props and costumes and see how many phrasal verbs you can spot. You’ll hear 13 of them.

Jay and I aren’t very tidy.
We don’t have one place in our house to keep all our props and costumes.
They’re scattered all over the house.
So it’s time to tidy up.
Yes, and I’ve got a prop box ready so we can keep them all in that.
We’ve laid out lots of our props and costumes so we can see what we’ve got.
Yep. Let’s start with this one.
Oh, a toy truck.
A toy truck. I don’t think we need it any more.
I don’t think we’ll ever use this again.
Throw it out.
I will throw it away.
OK, we’ve got lots of hats.
Ooh, this is my magician’s hat
Yes.
I used this hat to send you to Paris with this magic wand.
Yes, a magic wand is a magician’s stick. And your chef’s hat.
Oh, very good. Could you cook something for me?
Oh and you can be a king someday.
This is a crown.
And you’ve got… erm, OK, you’ve got cowboy hats as well.
Well now this is a cowboy hat that a criminal cowboy would wear, right?
What, the baddie?
Yeah, the bad guy.
OK, and that one?
And this would be a cowboy hat a good guy would wear. Right?
Yeah. Look. Do you remember that one?
Oh yes. Rachel wore this in one of our airport videos.
That’s right. And I wore this when I was a cop.
OK. Sort the hats out. Sort them out and we’ll put them together.
There we go.
OK.
Oh look. This is a crystal ball. Tell me the future.
I know. I want to do a scene with a fortune teller where they forecast the future, but I haven’t got round to it yet.
Well, maybe you’ll do it someday soon.
Ok.
Here is a white coat. Oh this is my doctor’s outfit.
It’s really useful that coat because it can be for a doctor or it can be for a shop assistant sometimes like in a chemist’s, or as you would say, a pharmacy.
This comes with a stethoscope, doesn’t it?
Yep, there you are. This is a stethoscope.
All right. Let’s see how this works.
Now, I’ll put this in the prop box, but we should hang that up…
Or else it will get creased, right?
Yep. Hang it up. Here you are.
No problem. Thank you very much.
Ooh. Look what I found.
This is Vicki’s wig, but I think I want to try it.
A wig is false hair. We bought this for the Halloween video that we did. Hang on, I’ll straighten it out for you. It’s very good. I love it.
Oh, is this a table cloth?
Yes, that’s for when we want to set up a restaurant scene.
Oh, we’ve done that.
Yeah.
We had Carter eating in a restaurant, didn’t we?
Yep, and also next time we can use some flowers and it can be a posh restaurant.
Ah, very good. Ooh, Look.
There’s one of these missing. There should be four of these.
There’s one lying around in kitchen.
Oh, right. We’re not very tidy. I’ve been looking for this.
That’s a magnifying glass. I came across this in my office. I use it to find things on my desk.
OK. Are we done?
No, there’s a slate here.
A slate. I… I think people call it a clapperboard as well, don’t they?
Right. It’s used to synchronize cameras and audio. Take one!
Ok, so give it to me and I’ll put it in the prop box.
No, it belongs in my office.
OK, well put it away then.
I shall.
OK, that’s it everyone.

How many phrasal verbs did you spot? The first one was tidy up. If we tidy a place we make it look nice because everything is arranged neatly and put in the right place. But we can also say tidy up. It means the same thing.

We don’t have one place in our house to keep all our props and costumes.
They’re scattered all over the house.
So it’s time to tidy up.
Yes.

You’ll also hear people say tidy away. It’s similar to tidy up. It means to put things in the place they belong.
OK, the next one was lay out. This means to spread things. We usually lay things out so we can see them easily, or so they’re ready to use.

We’ve laid out lots of our props and costumes so we can see what we’ve got.
Yep.

OK, the next two were throw out and throw away. They can mean the same thing. If you have something you don’t need or don’t want any more and you dispose of it or get rid of it, you throw it out or throw it away.

A toy truck. I don’t think we need it any more.
I don’t think we’ll ever use this again.
Throw it out.
I will throw it away.

Next was sort out and it can mean a couple of things in the context of tidying. One is simply to organize – so to arrange and tidy. And the second meaning is to separate different types of things. I used it to say we should separate the hats from the other props.

OK. Sort the hats out. Sort them out and we’ll put them together.
There we go.

OK, next one: to get round to. This means to find time to do something. Perhaps there’s a job that you’ve been meaning to do for a long time, but you haven’t got round to it. You haven’t found time to do it yet. Tell us in the comments.

I want to do a scene with a fortune teller where they forecast the future, but I haven’t got round to it yet.
Well, maybe you’ll do it someday soon.

The next one’s easy to understand. To hang up means put to clothes on a hanger or a hook.

I’ll put this in the prop box, but we should hang that up…
Or else it will get creased, right?
Yep. Hang it up. Here you are.
No problem.

Another phrasal verb with hang is hang on. Hang on is an informal way of asking someone to wait, or stop what they’re doing for a short time.
And the next one. To straighten out means to make something straight, so put it in the correct position so it’s not curved or at an angle. We could just say straighten, that’s the verb, but you’ll often hear straighten out too.

We bought this for the Halloween video that we did. Hang on, I’ll straighten it out for you.

Next one. Set up has several different meanings. It often means make necessary arrangements for something to happen, so you can set up a meeting or an appointment. And it can also mean get equipment or materials ready for use and that’s how we used it here.

Oh, is this a table cloth?
Yes, that’s for when we want to set up a restaurant scene.
Oh, we’ve done that.

OK, next one. If someone has left something somewhere in a careless way, an untidy way, we can say it’s lying around. Jay and are bad at putting things back where they belong so you’ll often find things lying around in our house.

There’s one of these missing. There should be four of these.
There’s one lying around in kitchen.
Oh, right. We’re not very tidy.

In British English we also say lying about. It means the same as lying around.
OK, we’re nearly finished. The next one was come across and it means to find or discover something by chance.

I came across this in my office.

And the last one. When we put something away, we put it in the place it should be kept. When we’ve finished using things we should put them away, so as to be tidy.

Ok, so give it to me and I’ll put it in the prop box.
No, it belongs in my office.
OK, well put it away then.
I shall.

And that’s it! If you enjoyed this videos, why not share it with a friend who’s also learning English? And if you’d like to learn some more phrasal verbs, click here and make sure you subscribe to our channel too, so you don’t miss our future videos. See you next Friday everyone. Bye.

Click here to learn 24 phrasal verbs for computers and technology
Click here to learn 10 phrasal verbs for food and eating
Click here to learn 8 very common separable phrasal verbs

explain or explain me

Explain or Explain me? Fix a common mistake

There’s a mistake students make with the verb explain that can sound funny. In this lesson you’ll learn how to use explain correctly.

You’ll see the verb in action and learn the different structures we commonly use. You’ll also learn how we can use it to describe people’s intentions, motivations and behavior.

Click here to learn about the verb suggest.
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Explain or Explain Me?

There’s a mistake students make with this verb when they’re learning English that can sound funny. In this video you’ll learn how to use ‘explain’ correctly and why you’ll sound funny if you don’t.
Let’s jump straight in and see the verb ‘explain’ in action.

Zap! And Kapow! It’s time for the Superhero Show.
Good evening everyone and welcome to the show where every week we meet a superhero and find out about their powers. And this week it’s Somnia man.
Hello and welcome. Come and join me.
Thank you. Thank you. I’m really excited to be here.
Somnia man, could explain to everyone what your superpower is?
Sure. I can send people to sleep in just a few minutes.
Ooo. That’s an unusual power. Explain how it works.
Well, when I start talking, everyone’s eyelids get heavy and then they fall asleep – fast asleep.
That’s really unusual. When did you discover you had this power?
Oh. I was on a first date with a beautiful girl and we went to a restaurant. She asked me asked me what I do for a living, so I said, ‘Let me explain’. But before I could finish, she was asleep in her soup. I didn’t get a second date and she never explained why. Hello.. Hello? Sorry everyone. I guess it’s happened again.
Next week meet Pizza Woman – the woman with the power see pizza toppings without opening the box.

OK. Did you notice how Somnia man talked in the video? His intonation was very flat. English is a musical language and if you don’t change the pitch of your voice, you’ll sound boring and unenthusiastic. You might send people to sleep! So, don’t do what Somnia man did when you’re speaking. Try to vary your pitch and intonation.
Right. Now, let’s look at how this verb works.
Explain can be an intransitive verb or a transitive verb. That means we can just explain or we can explain something.

She asked me asked me what I do for a living, so I said, ‘Let me explain’. But before I could finish, she was asleep in her soup. I didn’t get a second date and she never explained why.

When explain is transitive, we say what’s being explained and then there are two patterns we follow. Here’s the first one and it’s the most common.

Ooo. That’s an unusual power. Explain how it works.

So ‘how it works’ was the something here. We could have all sorts of somethings . This is the normal pattern so it’s the pattern you need to learn and remember. Explain something. Explain something. Explain something.
If you want to say who receives the explanation, you can add that too.
Is it necessary to say the to someone bit? No. You can add it if you think it’s helpful. It’s up to you.
So that’s the important pattern to learn. Explain something. The second pattern is very similar. The ‘to someone’ comes forward and we put it after ‘explain’. Let’s see that in action.

Somnia man. Could you explain to everyone what your superpower is?
Sure.

So we can say ‘to’ before the person who receives the explanation.
That happened in the first pattern too. We explain something and sometimes we say to who.
Now, I have a question. I’ll show you a different pattern and you tell me if it’s right or not. Is this possible? Notice there’s no ‘to’ before the someone here
And no! This is wrong and it sounds funny.
After explain we put the thing we’re explaining. If you put a person there instead, it sounds like your explaining a person. That’s weird.
So be careful because this is the mistake students make most often. They say ‘explain me’ or ‘explain us’ and that’s funny because we can’t explain people. However we might try to explain someone’s motivations or behavior. So let’s look at how we do that.

What are you doing?
Nothing.
You need to explain yourself.
I was trying to get ten dollars out of the box.
You were trying to steal ten dollars?!
Oh no! I didn’t explain myself properly. I put twenty dollars in the box and I was trying to get ten dollars change.
I’ll never understand you.
My mother says that too. She’s been trying to explain me for years.

Let’s look at three of the phrases we heard there.

What are you doing?
Nothing.
You need to explain yourself.

This is a phrase we say when we’re upset and we want someone to tell us the reason they did something. OK. Another phrase.

You were trying to steal ten dollars?
Oh no! I didn’t explain myself properly.

This phrase means I didn’t say what I meant clearly. I wasn’t clear enough. And the last phrase.

I’ll never understand you.
My mother says that too. She’s been trying to explain me for years.

This means Jay’s mother’s been trying to understand and explain his crazy behavior for years.
So in these phrases explain is followed by a person, with no ‘to’. How come?
Well, they all follow the standard pattern: explain something.
When I say ‘explain yourself’, I mean explain your reasons and intentions. That’s the something.
And if I explain myself properly the something is ‘what I meant to say’.
And when Jay says his mother is trying to explain him, he means she’s trying to explain his strange behavior.
So they follow the standard pattern. It’s just that the something is someone’s strange behavior, words or motivations.
Let’s check you’ve understood. I’ll show you a sentence, and you have to decide if it’s correct English or not. Ready? Here’s the first one. Right or wrong?
This is right! Explain can be intransitive or transitive, so we can just explain or we can explain something.
Next one. Right or wrong?
Wrong. We explain something – not a person. You could say this with ‘to me’, but it’s unusual. We generally explain something to someone.
Great. Next one? Right or wrong? It’s right. We explain something and the something here is ‘how you make people fall sleep’.
OK last one. It’s wrong. We’d say ‘could you explain what this words means’. This one is important if you’re taking a speaking exam, like Cambridge First Certificate or IELTS. If the examiner says something and you don’t understand, it’s quite all right to say, ‘Could you explain that?’. But don’t say ‘Could you explain me that’ because that’s wrong. It could be a mark against you,
And that’s it! Now you know how we use the verb ‘explain’. Now ‘suggest’ is another verb where we follow similar patterns and we’ve made another video about that so I suggest you watch it now. And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel. See you next week. Bye now!
Click here to learn about the verb suggest.
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Shakespeare phrases we still use today

Shakespeare phrases we still use today 2

William Shakespeare coined hundreds of English phrases and expressions that we still use today in everyday English. In this video we’ll learn some common ones like in stitches and all that glitters.

Click here to see our first video on common expressions coined by Shakespeare
Click here to see more vocabulary videos
Click here to see our videos on prefixes and suffixes
Click here to see videos with more everyday English expressions

Shakespeare phrases we still use today (2) script

To coin a phrase – this means to invent a new expression, especially one that lots of people start to use. William Shakespeare coined hundreds of English words and phrases that we’re still using today, 400 years later. Let’s learn some.
So we’re back with more phrases from Shakespeare that native speakers use today. When we say them, we often don’t know where they come from. They’re just things we say and we’re surprised when we learn they were coined by Shakespeare.
OK. Ready for the first one?
In this phrase a stich is a sharp pain in the side of your body. If you run a lot, you might get a stich. The other way we get a stich is by laughing. So if something has you in stitches it means it makes you laugh so hard that it hurts. We say it when we think something is hilarious – very, very funny.

We went to the movies last night, but it was a waste of time. It was supposed to be a comedy but it didn’t make me laugh. It wasn’t very funny, was it?
I thought it was hilarious. I was in stitches.
I was in stitches.

Next one. We use this phrase to stress that it’s important to do something. For example, if Jay comes into the house with mud on his shoes. I’ll say, take them off, for goodness sake. We generally say ‘for goodness sake’ when we’re annoyed about something. Annoyed means a little angry.

Oh for goodness sake, Jay.
Oh for goodness sake, Jay.

Here’s the next one. Do you know the word glitter? If something glitters it shines brightly with little flashes of light. Gold can glitter and diamonds can glitter and lots of shiny things can glitter. So this phrase means don’t rely on appearances. Just because something looks attractive, it doesn’t mean it’s really attractive. It might appear to be better than it really is.
Perhaps you have an expression like this in your language? Tell us in the comments if you do. And let’s see the phrase in action.

We once bought a boat you know.
Yes, we thought it would be fantastic.
Yes. We saw other people with boats having lots of fun.
We thought we’d take vacations sailing and fishing.
And hanging out with friends.
But then we discovered it was a lot of work.
Yes, it was expensive, too.
I’m really glad we sold that boat.
Me too. All that glitters is not gold.
All that glitters is not gold.

OK, the next one.
Shakespeare used this phrase in several plays to describe people whose finances changed – so people who were wealthy and had money in the past, but then things changed and they became poor. Today we use it to describe something that’s in poor condition. For example, Jay and I have a dirty old couch in our living room that’s seen better days. We need a new one.

Are you wearing that jacket again?
Yes.
You need to buy a new one.
But I love this jacket.
But it’s old and dirty.
I’ve had it ten years.
Exactly. It’s seen better days.
It’s seen better days.

I think this next one is a lovely expression. A wink is when you shut one eye quickly – like this. These days we say I haven’t slept a wink, or I didn’t get a wink of sleep and it means we haven’t slept at all. Perhaps because we were too excited or it was too noisy, but it means no sleep at all.

Have some coffee.
We’re looking after our grandson this week.
He’s lovely. He’s only six months old.
He never sleeps. He keeps us up all night.
He’s just a baby.
We haven’t slept a wink all week.
We haven’t slept a wink all week.

OK, the next one’s interesting. This expression is the only place you’ll see the word ‘bated’. So you don’t need to learn the word. You just need to know the phrase.
If you wait for something with bated breath, it’s like you hold your breath, because you’re very anxious or excited about it. For example, if you’re waiting for your exam results to come out and you don’t know if you’ve passed, you might wait with bated breath.

I had a job interview last week.
They’re going to call him today and tell him if he’s got it.
I really want this job.
He’s very nervous and excited.
We’re waiting with bated breath. (Phone rings) Maybe it’s them … Oh, hi Mom.
We’re waiting with bated breath.

Let’s have one more. Back in Shakespeare’s time, there was a phrase ‘to edge the teeth’ and it described the sharp feeling you get if you taste a lemon or something very acidic. We don’t say that now, but we do use this expression. It describes a really nasty taste or sound – something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

I hate the sound of the drill at the dentist’s. It sets my teeth on edge.
I hate the sound of the drill at the dentist’s. It sets my teeth on edge.

Are there any tastes or sounds that set your teeth on edge? Let us know in the comments. And please tell us if you enjoyed these phrases from Shakespeare and if you’d like more.
We produce videos every Friday so subscribe to our channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss them. And maybe you have a friend who’s also learning English. Please send them the link.
Bye now and see you next Friday.

computer terms phrasal verbs

24 essential phrasal verbs for computers and technology

If you need to learn computer words and computer terms, you’re going to love these phrasal verbs. They’re also useful if you need English for work or for using the internet.
Watch the video and learn the meanings of 24 computer phrasal verbs. And best of all – you get to practice them in a funny story.

Click here to see another video on separable phrasal verbs.
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Computer Terms Phrasal Verbs Video

This lesson’s about phrasal verbs we use to talk about computers and technology. We’re going to look 24 common ones, learn their meanings and then we’ll have a story, because the best way to learn phrasal verbs is to see them in action.
Before we begin, there’s something you need to know about English phrasal verbs. Some are separable and some aren’t. So sometimes we can separate the verb from the other little word and sometimes we can’t.
For example, ‘plug in’ is a separable phrasal verb, so you can plug in a device or you can plug it in.
We say it in both ways but we don’t say ‘plug in it’. If you’re not sure about that, we’ve made another video about it. I’ll put a link here.
Inseparable phrasal verbs are different because we can’t separate the words. They stick together. For example, ‘get into’ is inseparable in this sentence and it means enter. If you can’t access the system, you can’t get into it. But you can’t say ‘get the system into’. Get and into stick together.
OK, now you know that, let’s look at some phrasal verbs and see what they mean.
First one. Before you use your computer you have to hook it up – connect the cables and give it power.
Next one? This is easy – you turn the computer on. Press a switch so it starts working. And what’s the opposite? It’s turn off, of course.
And here’s a very similar one. Power up means preparing a machine to work by supplying it with electricity. And the opposite? Power down.
When you turn on your computer it boots up. It starts working and loads a program so it’s ready to be used. Sometimes we just say boot.

I’m waiting for my computer to boot.

But often we say boot up.

It takes ages to boot up.

And the opposite of boot up is shut down. It means to stop it operating.

Sometimes I forget to shut down my computer before I go home. It means it’s running all night.

Next one? Or next two! They both mean the same thing – connect to a network. Usually we need a password to log in. You can say log in or log on – it’s the same. So what’s the opposite? Log off or log out. That’s when you disconnect from a network.
Now look what happens when there’s an object. The preposition changes and we say log into, log onto, log off of or log out of. They’re all inseparable so the verbs and the other little words stick together.
However we can also log someone into a system – that’s when we do it for them.

Can you log me onto the network?
Yeah. Do you have a password?
No.
You’ll need to create one first.

Next one?
‘Put in’ means type. Sometimes we say ‘key in’ as well – it means the same thing. It’s when you enter data.

OK, I’ve got my password.
Then put it in.

OK, we’re in the system now and we’re working on our computer, then a message suddenly appears – it pops up. Maybe it’s an advertisement or a warning. They pop up a lot.

I hate the ads that keep popping up.
Yeah. Click on the red cross and they’ll go away.

Click on – this means move your mouse onto something and click. Another thing we do with our mouse is scroll.

There are so many ads.
Can you scroll down past them?

Scrolling down means moving the screen down and the opposite is scrolling up, of course. We can also zoom in and make things larger. And the opposite? Zoom out.
Next one. It’s always a good idea back up your files. Make a copy of them so you have a second version if the first one fails
And, I have just one more for you. This is when people get into a network secretly, without permission. They look at information, and maybe change or steal it.

Hey, do you think someone’s hacked into our system?
I hope not!

Great, now let’s see some of these verbs in action. Are you ready for a story. Watch it and see how many phrasal verbs you can spot. Here we go.

Computer help desk.
I need your help. I can’t log into the system.
I can help you with that. You need to hook up your computer. Plug it in and power it up.
I’ve already done all that.
So you’ve turned it on?
Yes, it’s on. I need you to log me onto the network.
You want to get into the system.
Yes. I can’t get in.
Then I need you user ID.
It’s 46821. Please hurry up because I’ve got a conference call starting in five minutes.
OK. I just sent you a link.
Really?
Click on the link and then scroll down.
Ah. A message just popped up.
What does it say?
‘Are you a robot?’ It wants me to type two words in a little box.
Oh. Are you a robot?
No, of course not!
Sometimes robots try to hack into our system.
I’m a human being!
Then just put in the words. Key them in.
It’s impossible. I can’t read them.
Sorry then. I can’t help you.
Why not?
You’re a robot.
I’m not a robot. It’s impossible to read these words.
Sorry, I can’t help robots. Bye.
Ah well. Mission failed. Mission failed. Mission fail. Mission fail. Mission fail. Mission…

How many phrasal verbs did you spot? Let’s watch again and this time we’ll see them pop up.

Computer help desk.
I need your help. I can’t log into the system.
I can help you with that. You need to hook up your computer. Plug it in and power it up.
I’ve already done all that.
So you’ve turned it on?
Yes, it’s on. I need you to log me onto the network.
You want to get into the system.
Yes. I can’t get in.
Then I need you user ID.
It’s 46821. Please hurry up because I’ve got a conference call starting in five minutes.
OK. I just sent you a link.
Really?
Click on the link and then scroll down.
Ah. A message just popped up.
What does it say?
‘Are you a robot?’ It wants me to type two words in a little box.
Oh. Are you a robot?
No, of course not!
Sometimes robots try to hack into our system.
I’m a human being!
Then just put in the words. Key them in.
It’s impossible. I can’t read them.
Sorry then. I can’t help you.
Why not?
You’re a robot.
I’m not a robot. It’s impossible to read these words.
Sorry, I can’t help robots. Bye.
Ah well. Mission failed. Mission failed. Mission fail. Mission fail. Mission fail. Mission…

If you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up and share it with a friend. If you haven’t subscribed to our channel yet, make sure you do and click the notification bell so you don’t miss our future videos. We’ve got some good ones in the works, so you don’t want to miss them.
See you next Friday. Bye now.

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William Shakespeare phrases

Shakespeare phrases that we still use today 1

William Shakespeare is the greatest English poet and writer who’s ever lived. Although he died 400 years ago, there are hundreds of words and phrases Shakespeare invented that we still use today. Native speakers use them all the time, without realizing where they come from. Let’s learn some!


Click here to see another video with expressions from Shakespeare
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Phrases Shakespeare Invented Video 1

We have something different this week. We’re looking at phrases invented by William Shakespeare. Yeah, really. You’re going to learn from Shakespeare.
William Shakespeare is the greatest English writer and poet who’s ever lived. He died 400 years ago, but here’s the thing. We’re still using phrases and expressions that he invented today.
So let’s look at some. First one.
We often use this phrase when we’re telling a story. It means quickly and unexpectedly. Shakespeare used it to talk about how fast we can fall in love because that can happen quickly and suddenly.
Falling in love is a nice surprise, but we can use this phrase with bad surprises too – things that shock us. For example, all of a sudden, an alarm went off.

The lights went out and all of a sudden, I someone grabbed my neck.
The lights went out and all of a sudden, I someone grabbed my neck.

Next one?
Shakespeare wrote a play about a man called Macbeth. Macbeth was a murderer. He killed four people and his wife, Lady Macbeth, encouraged him to do it. She said, ‘Go on kill them. It’ll be good for us’. So he did, but after the murders, Macbeth felt badly about it and his wife wanted to comfort him, so she said ‘What’s done is done’.
Can you guess what she meant? We say this when we want to point out that you can’t change something that’s already happened. So if you spill some milk, there’s nothing you can do about it, and I might say ‘Forget it. Move on. What’s done is done’.

That’s great, Sally. Bye. Sally’s coming to our party.
You invited Sally?
Yes.
Oh no.
What’s the matter?
Well Peter’s coming. He hates Sally. She dumped him.
Well it’s too late now. What’s done is done.
What’s done is done.

OK, here’s another expression from the play Macbeth. One of the characters gets tragic news – terrible sad news. All his family have been killed at once – all of them at the same time, in one go.
And that’s the meaning of ‘in one fell swoop’. We say it when a lot of bad things happen at the same time, as the result of a single action.

I’ve got terrible news.
What’s happened?
You know I told you there’s new management at the company.
Yeah?
Well, they let everyone go.
Everyone?
Yes. They laid off 300 people in one fell swoop.
Oh my.
They laid off 300 people in one fell swoop.
Oh my.

Let’s have a happier phrase now. We use this expression to say something happened by chance. These days we normally say ‘as luck would have it’, so we drop the word ‘good’. It means by lucky chance. Let’s see it in action.

We’ve had a difficult month.
Yes. First the car broke down.
That cost a thousand dollars to fix.
And then we had medical bills.
Another thousand dollars.
We didn’t know how we were going to pay the electric bill.
But as luck would have it, I won a prize in the lottery.
Amazing!
Two thousand dollars!
But as luck would have it, I won a prize in the lottery.

OK, I’ve got two more for you. Here’s one Shakespeare used in several plays. Now here the word ‘fair’ means treating people equally, in the right way. If a game is fair, then everyone has an equal chance of winning. And playing fair – that means following the rules of a game and not cheating. So if someone cheats, it’s not fair play.

Oh hurry up Jay.
Just a second.
Hey, what are you doing?
I’m looking in the dictionary.
But that’s cheating. He has no sense of fair play.
He has no sense of fair play.

Our last phrase is the opposite of fair play and Shakespeare invented this expression too. Foul play is when you do something dishonest and unfair. Footballers are sometimes sent off because of foul play. But foul play has another common meaning today. If someone dies and it wasn’t an accident or natural death, it’s foul play. So it’s is some kind of violent criminal action that results in a death.

What do you think?
He’s dead.
Yes, but what happened?
Hmm. Maybe it was suicide.
Really? I think there was foul play.
You think?
I think there was foul play.
You think?

Now there’s an interesting thing about all these phrases and expressions. Native English speakers just say them, and we don’t normally know that they come from William Shakespeare. And there are hundreds more phrases that he invented, so we’re planning to make another video on this topic. Let us know in the comments if that’s a good idea. And if you enjoyed this video please share it with a friend who’s also learning English. And make sure you subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss our future videos. See you next week everyone.

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economy economic economics

Economic, Economy, Economize – an English word family

This lesson’s about economy words, so an English word family: economy, economize, economic, economical, economist, economics. They’re words you’ll often see in the news and they’re going to be useful if you’re using English at work or taking an exam.
Let’s compare their different meanings, uses and pronunciations.



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Economic, Economy, Economize etc. Video script

Come on over here everyone. Come on up front. Get your words here. Six words for the price of one. It’s a bargain!

Here’s a family words that you’ll often hear in the news. They’re useful if you need English for work or business, or if you’re taking an exam. They all come from the same root and they all mean something to do with money.
Let’s start with economy. This is about a system where money and goods are produced by a country. All countries want to grow their economies.
Hi everybody. Our top priority as a nation must be growing the economy. Creating good jobs and rebuilding opportunity for the middle class.
Now in a lot of languages people talk about the economy of company too, but English is different. When we’re talking about how much money a company has and how its managed, we usually say finances instead.

Jay.
Yes?
We need to talk about the company’s finances.
How are we doing?
Not good. Sales are down.
Well the economy’s been bad for everyone.

So we generally talk about the economy of a country and the finances of a company. Remember that. OK, next up we have a verb.

We’re spending too much money. We need to economize.
Impossible!
Do you really need to fly first class all the time?
Absolutely! I love the champagne they serve.
Well, we’ve got to cut down somehow.

So economizing means cutting down and trying to use less money than normal. So that’s a new meaning. It’s about trying to save money.
Great. Let’s look at two adjectives now. Economic and economical. They mean different things. We can say economic or economic and we can say economical or economical, but they mean different things.

And now financial news. Despite difficult economic conditions in Europe, the global economy continues to grow.

Economic means relating to the economy – production, trade, managing money. Economical is different.

You know we should buy bigger bags of pistachios.
Mmm. It would be more economical.

Economical is about using money carefully, so there’s no waste. So we’ve got these two different meanings again – money and saving money.
OK, just two more words. First one. What’s an economist?

And now for $100, can you name the economist who wrote the wealth of nations?
Ooo. I can. I can. It was Adam Smith.
You’re right for 100 dollars. Congratulations.

An economist is a person who studies economies. And the subject they study is… economics. The study of how money and goods are produced.
Economist. Economics. Notice the pronunciation. The stress moved. Let’s check all the words for that. Say them with me.
eCONomy
eCONomize
ecoNOMic
ecoNOMical
eCONomist
ecoNOMics
Now there are other words and meanings you can add to this family but you’ve got the basics here. Just remember there are two different ideas going on – money and saving money.
So that’s it for this week everyone. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, if you haven’t already and see you next Friday! Bye!

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Trump tax audit

English words for money, tax and taxes – learn with Donald Trump

Learn English vocabulary for money, tax and taxes from a conversation with Donald Trump. We look at the meanings of words like tax, accountant, income, expenses, tax return and audit, along with other words and expressions.
We have also created a free worksheet to practice words and phrases in the video that you can find here:

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Talking Tax and Taxes with Trump Script

Hello and welcome to Simple English Videos where today we’re looking at English words for money and taxes. And we have an expert to help us – President Trump. Mr. President, thank you so much for joining us today.
Well, it’s a pleasure to have you here.
We’ll have to see what happens.
OK, the first word is tax? It’s an interesting noun because it can be countable or uncountable. And it means the money we must pay to the government, right?
I think I can agree with that.
Great.
I think the rules are unbelievably archaic and slow moving and in many cases unfair.
So you think the tax system is old fashioned and we should change it?
It’s just a very, very bureaucratic system.
Bureaucratic – another useful word. It means it involves a lot of complicated rules and processes. That’s why many people employ an accountant to help. Could you explain what your accountant does?
Well, it’s a … it’s a tough job.
Yes, keeping financial records, calculating taxes…
I have a very big tax return. You’ve seen the pictures. My tax return is probably higher than that from the floor.
Tax return – another useful expression. That’s the form we all complete for the government that contains our financial information. Your accountant completed your tax return.
He was able to do it, so obviously he’s a pretty smart cookie.
A smart cookie. So you think he’s bright and intelligent.
I have… I really have, you know, no comment on him. People are saying ‘Is he sane?’ I have no idea.
Really?
When you look at other people’s tax return, even other wealthy people, their tax return is this thick. My tax return is this high.
Yeah, yeah, because you have a lot of income. Income – the money we make from our work or investments. If we receive more income – we pay more tax.
I think it’s very unfair.
But, before we pay our tax we can deduct our expenses – deduct – take away and expenses – the costs. The money we have to spend in order to earn money. We can deduct expenses.
Much, much more than people understand.
So you think we can deduct more money?
Well, I have a problem
What’s that?
I’m under audit.
Oh
I think it’s a very unfair thing because I have been under audit almost like, since I became famous. OK?
Well, let’s explain. An audit is when officials examine your financial records to see if they’re true and correct. Nobody wants to be audited.
I would much prefer them not to do that, that’s right.
Because of your deals with Russia?
The concept of Russia with respect to us is a total phony story.
So it’s not true. And you mean a totally phony.
Of course it’s a total phony story.
Totally phony. Totally phony. Well, thank you so much for talking to us, Mr. President. We’re really grateful to President Trump for talking to us this week. See you next Friday everyone. Bye.

Hi everyone. If you’d like more practice with words and expressions you heard in this video, we’ve made a free worksheet for you. I’ll put a link in the description below. If you liked this video, please, give it a thumbs up, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel. Bye now and happy studying.

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actual

Actual and Current – learn how to use these false friends

The English words ‘actual’ and ‘actually’ are false friends in many languages, so English learners often think they mean one thing when in fact they mean another. Let us help you get them right. And learn how we use the word actually in spoken English. Watch this video.

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Actual and Current Video Script

These are very useful words in English. Use them correctly and they’ll help you to sound more natural and polite. But be careful. If you use them wrongly and you could confuse everyone.
Lots of languages have words that look and sound like these words, but mean something different, They’re false friends. You think you know what they mean, but actually they mean something different so they cause misunderstandings. In English actual and actually mean real and really.

The tap in our bathroom stopped working.
So we bought a new one. It cost $100.
And then we had to pay for shipping, so the actual cost was higher.
Yes, we actually spent $120.

So we use actual and actually to say things are really true. They mean something like ‘in fact’. We don’t use them to say things are happening now or existing now. Some languages have similar words with that meaning, but in English they don’t mean currently or at present.

We currently have five sales offices in Asia and we don’t expect that to change. We have no present plans to expand.

So could you change these words and say actually and actual here? If you did, you would change the meaning. If you want to say something is happening at the current time, you need to use expressions like these.
So that’s very important. Actually means in fact or really, not currently. Another example.

Jay. What are our sales like?
Fantastic! We’re doing really well.
Can I see the actual figures?
Sure. I have them right here… Actually, they’re not as good as I thought.

So when I say ‘the actual figures’ do I mean the current figures, the up-to-date ones? No! I mean the real figures. I want to know the exact sales numbers. Now notice how Jay says actually here. He’s telling me he’s surprised by the figures.

It must be really cold outside.
Actually it’s quite warm.
Oh, I’m surprised.

If we think information is going to be a surprise, we often introduce it with actually.

It looks expensive, but actually it’s quite cheap.
Really? How much is it?
I think it’s about 50 bucks.
Really?

So you can use actually to contrast what’s really true with what someone thinks is true. Let’s look at another example and this time, try to work out why I say actually.

Would you like some more coffee?
Oh, actually I’m going to leave in a minute, so no thanks.
Oh, OK.

So why do I say actually here? It’s because I think Jay is expecting a different answer and my answer will be a surprise. Another example. What’s happening here?

Have you got time to talk?
Actually, I’m pretty busy at the moment.
OK. I’ll come back later.

So why does Jay say actually? Same reason as before. He thinks his answer will be a surprise. But something else is happening here too. Jay thinks I might not like his answer. When you’re saying no to a request or giving an answer the other person doesn’t want, you can say actually to soften it. It’s a polite way of giving unpleasant information.

Actually, I’m pretty busy at the moment.
OK. I’ll come back later.

Now there’s one other very common way we use this word. When we say something wrong and we want to correct ourselves, we can say actually.

Do you have some scissors I can borrow?
No, sorry.
OK.
Oh wait a minute. Actually I have one here.
Oh, thank you very much.
You’re very welcome.

So actually shows I’ve changed my mind. You can use it to take back what you said before.

And how long have you been doing karate?
For two and a… For two years.
Uhuh.
Actually one and a half.
Uhuh.

So we use actually to correct ourselves if we say something wrong, and it’s also useful for correcting other people.

We have new rules for cell phones in our office.
Yes, well actually we have one new rule. We have to turn them off in meetings.
Our boss goes crazy when they ring.
Well actually it is annoying for everyone.
Well, actually it rang eight times. I think she was very nice about it, considering.

So actually is a gentle way to correct someone. OK, are you ready for a quiz?
I’ve got three questions for you. First one. Have a look at this sentence. What the missing word here? Is it currently or actually? Let see.

May I speak to Kathy, please?
I’m afraid she’s currently assisting another customer. Can I help?
No, that’s all right. I’ll call back later.

The missing word is currently. When we’re talking about things that are happening now we say currently or at present. Next one. What’s the missing word here? Let’s see.

It was a thriller about love and revenge.
It was based an actual event where a wife killed her husband.
It was very scary.

So the answer is actual. It means the event happened in real life. OK, last question. What’s the missing word here? Well, it could be either, but the meanings would be different. If we’re talking about an up-to-date, present amount, it could be currently. But if we’re talking about a mistake and this is a correction, then the missing word is actually. Let’s see.

You’ve written thirteen dollars, but actually it’s thirty.
Oh, is it?
Actually, that’s my coffee. That’s yours.
Oh.

It was actually. We can use actually to correct what someone says in a gentle way when we want to be polite.
Great – so now you know what these words mean and how we use them in English. Are they false friends in your language? And do you have other false friends? Write and tell us in the comments. Hey, maybe we can make a video about them.
Please make sure you subscribe to this channel so you catch our future videos and see you next Friday! Bye now.

Follow the links to see more videos on common false friends: sympathetic and nice, story and history, miss and lose, sensible and sensitive.
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clothes

British and American words for clothes – they’re different!

I had to learn some new words when I went shopping for clothes in the US. I’m British and I had some puzzled looks from shop assistants when I used my English words. Here’s a short video that goes through some of the different words we have for clothing in British and American English.

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Closet.
Wardrobe.
Pants.
Trousers.
Pants.
Underwear.
Knickers.
Panties.
Vest.
Undershirt.
Vest.
Waistcoat.
Suspenders.
Braces.
Suspenders.
Cuffs.
Turn ups.
Cuffs.
Cuffs.
Galoshes.
Wellies. It’s short for wellington boots.
Sneakers.
Trainers.
Jumper.
Sweater.
Diaper.
Nappy.
Fanny pack.
Bum bag.
Bath robe.
Dressing gown.
Bathing suit.
Bathing suit.
Swimming costume.
Derby.
Bowler hat.

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Realize, Notice and the phrasal verb Find out

Realize, Notice and the phrasal verb Find out

These verbs have very similar meanings so English learners often don’t realize their meanings are different. Realizing is about cognitive events that happen in our brain, while noticing is more physical. Find out is a very common phrasal verb that means get information.
You’ll find these verbs often come up in Cambridge exams like First Certificate and IELTS and American exams like TOEFL and TOEIC and they’re useful for everyday conversation too. This video will help you understand the differences and find out how to use them correctly.

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Realize Notice Video Script

Oh, I didn’t notice you were there. Do you know the meanings of these verbs? Maybe you don’t ‘realize’ they mean different things? You’re going to need these verbs. Don’t worry. In this video you’re going to ‘find out’ how we use them.
Realize means to understand or become aware of a particular fact or situation. If you realize something, you know about it.

So sales have fallen by ten percent. Are you listening?
Yeah.
You do realize this is a serious problem.
Yep.
I don’t think you realise how serious this is.

So if we don’t realize something, we’re not aware of it. We don’t know about it. Realizing means to know and understand something in your mind. It’s a cognitive event – something that happens in your brain.

Oh. I’ve fixed your computer. I deleted a lot files. It’s running much faster now.
I don’t understand. There’s nothing wrong with this computer. It’s that one that has the problem.
Oh, I didn’t realize.
What files did you delete?

When we realize something it usually happens fast. So we don’t usually use ‘realize’ with progressive tenses. We don’t use continuous forms of the verb because happens fast.
OK, so realizing happens in your mind, in your brain. But what about noticing? Well that’s more like a physical event. It means you see, hear or feel something. It’s more physical.

Where’s Kathy?
Oh, I don’t know.
Has she left?
I didn’t notice her leaving. Oh look she in the other office.

So noticing is about seeing, hearing or feeling and becoming aware in a physical way. You might notice a smell.
Or notice that something looks different. We often notice changes.

Hey, you got your hair done, Vicki
Yes
It looks great, doesn’t it Jay?
Oh, yeah.
He never notices.
You know I noticed my hair is turning gray this morning.
Well yes. It’s been turning grey for a long time.
Really. I hadn’t noticed before.

Notice is a verb an it’s also a noun – a thing. A notice can be a sign that you see like ‘Don’t walk on the grass’, or ‘No parking’.

I just got a ticket for parking out front.
But there’s a big sign that says no parking.
I didn’t notice it.
They put it up yesterday.
They why didn’t you tell me?
I knew you’d find out.

So what about ‘find out’? What does it mean? Find out is a phrasal verb and it means to get information.

What time does the meeting start?
I don’t know.
Well can you find out?
Yes, I’ll send them an email.

We often find out information after we’ve tried to discover it. So if you want to know the meaning of a word, you can ‘find out’ by looking in a dictionary.
If you want to know more about the videos we make, you can ‘find out’ by subscribing to our channel.
In fact that’s a great idea. Why don’t you subscribe now and then we can meet again next week. Until then, happy studying!

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