In this episode we’re going to help you with the prepositions out, up and of and off and answer more of your questions.
Email feedback from Javier from Tolosa:
Hi Craig and Reza, another year has passed listening your good podcasts, but another new year will come with better ones for sure.
Have a good Christmas with your families because I hope like the ad of “El almendro”, you will go back home this Christmas.
The last question of this year, please. I send you a part of the e-mail from my friend Dino from Phoenix (AZ), and I do not understand why he put “the” talking about days but in one he did not put it, is this correct?
I thought that in English it was not correct to put “the” before days.
“This week we’ve been very busy. The next Monday Anne and Chris will be coming to our house for Christmas week. So we have been cleaning the house and preparing some of the food.”
“I suppose you and I have to eliminate the weekly call next Tuesday. Maybe we can do it on the Tuesday after the New Near.”
Bye and happy New Year.
Javier González, Tolosa
Email from Sergi from Barcelona:
How are you? I’m listening (to) you every week during my commute. I’m a little concerned about two English grammar expressions, therefore I would like to ask you about my problem.
I’m referring to this problem that you mentioned in episode 134 where you gave us the next example:
“How do you feel when someone catches you doing something you shouldn’t be doing?”
I felt very curious about the construction “you doing”, why not put the verb (to be) in the middle, for instance: “you are doing”.
The second one, is located at the end of the sentence. Why do you use the verb do + ING? Is it because it acts like an adjective/adverb, perhaps?
“You doing” is notr present continuous, it’s a participle clause.
“Be doing” is an infinitive. It’s a continuous infinitive and it’s correct after model verbs like ‘should’.
Email from Antonio Tenorio from Palencia
Hi Reza and Craig,
First af all I would like to wish you and your families all the best for the New Year and that your wishes will come true.
Secondly, I am feeling fair (it’s fair to say) to say to you how much I enjoy listening to your podcasts and learning English through the easy way you do it.
Moreover, (Also, Another thing is) I have to admit that after having listened (to) your whole collection of podcasts I have found out that I can help tuning it all the time (I can’t help tuning in all the time).
Finally, I can tell you how lucky I would feel in case we met someday just to touch base. From your friend in Grijota, Palencia.
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Johan Vega Chaverri send us a voice message about the prepositions out, up, of and off
There are many different uses and this is a difficult area to explain. There aren’t any rules and you need to learn the collocations of these prepositions with verbs, nouns, adjectives etc.
Here are some common uses:
go out – Reza didn’t go out last night, he stayed in.
walk out (the room, the door)
fall out (with)
to be out – He/she’s out (He/she’s not here)
I’m out of milk, biscuits (I don’t have any)
Out it often used with ‘of’
out of touch
out of town
out of the way
out of bounds (fuera del límite)
out of date
out of sight (“out of sight, out of mind”)
out of touch
get up (to work out – to do exercise)
to wake up
put up (with)
to ‘man up’ to be a man
time’s up! = finished
The secret of improving your English is constant and varied practice.
The highlight of this podcast is the end.
The first page of the book describes the author’s profile.
I always dreamed of being rich and famous.
I got married in the summer of 2000.
This is a picture of my dog.
I got a discount of 15 percent.
I’ve had three cups of coffee this morning.
A large number of people went to the demonstration.
I had only four hours of sleep during the last two days.
Word reference.com – uses of ‘of’: http://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=of
There are lots of different uses of ‘off’ here are some of them:
Difference in pronunciation between ‘of’ and ‘off’
I’m off now – I’m going/leaving
Does this milk smell off to you? Fish goes off quickly in August
get some money off (discount)
He/she’s off sick – take time off work
finish off the wine
sleep off a hangover
There are many uses of prepositions. Learn them one by one and don’t stress OUT!
An email from Gabriel Ruiz Cortés
I’ve got a question about the difference between “off” and “away” with movement verbs for example: drive off/away, walk off/away, go off/away run off/away…etc
hope you can help me!
to walk/run/drive/ride off = away from
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On next week’s episode: Quantifiers like ‘some’ ‘lots of’ ‘a few of’ etc
FULL TRANSCRIPTION by Arminda from Madrid (Thank you so much!)
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’
Hello! And in this episode, we’re going to help you with the prepositions out, up, of and off, and answer more of your questions.
This is “Aprender inglés con Reza y Craig”. I’m Craig. And I’m Reza. And if you are a new listener to this award-winning podcast, welcome! With over 45 years of teaching between Reza and I, we’ll help you improve your English and take it to the next level. Oh! Yes! We’re going to grow your grammar, vocalize your vocabulary and Reza, what are we going to do with their pronunciation? Perfect your pronunciation. Exactly! Reza, do we have any feedback from anybody, this week?
We certainly do, we certainly do. We have an email from Javier, from Tolosa.
Javier from Tolosa? Hello, how are you again? Nice to hear from you. What does Javier say this week?
Hi Craig and Reza. Another year passed away (I don’t think that’s right, another year has passed, or has passed by) listening to your good podcast. But other new year will (I think you mean another, singular, another) new year will come with better ones for sure (I hope so).
We hope so, yeah!
Have a good Christmas, well thank you, it’s after Christmas now but we appreciate your thoughts. Have a good Christmas with your families because I hope like the ad of “El Almendro” (that’s a “turrón”, I think) you will go back home this Christmas. Yes, yes I did go back home and Craig went to see his parents just before Christmas I think.
Yeah! I spent Christmas with my parents this year for the first time in many, many years and it was a lovely Christmas meal with the family and a wonderful time. Did you see the ad, the advertisement of “El Almendro”.
I think it must be “Vuelve en Navidad … porque hoy es Nochebuena …”, is it that?
I didn’t see it.
“Vuelve, a casa vuelve, por Navidad”, is that the one?
Moving on swiftly.
Javier continues and says: the last question of this year, please, well, Javier I think is one of the first questions of 2017, he says, I send you a part of the email from my friend Dino from Phoenix, Arizona.
Oh! Phoenix, Arizona. Do you remember my singing of: Is anybody going … Don’t you remember that? This is a classic episode of “Aprender inglés con Reza y Craig”. Is anybody going to Tennessee or Phoenix, Arizona. Any place is all right as long as I can forget I’ve ever known her. Charlie Pride, oh! […] memories, sorry Craig. I will let you continue.
Javier continues: and I do not understand why he puts, that’s Dino, why Dino puts, “the” talking about days but in one he did not put it. Is this correct? I thought that in English it was not correct to put “the” before days. So, this is from the email that Javier received from his friend. Quote:
“This week we’ve been very busy. The next Monday, Ann and Chris will be coming to our house for Christmas week, so we’ve been cleaning the house and preparing some of the food.”
Well, that’s wrong, isn’t it?
Is it, though?
Shouldn’t not just be “next Monday” without “the”? “This week we’ve been very busy. Next Monday, Ann and Chris will be coming to our house”. We don’t need the word “the”.
We don’t need it but I’m not sure it’s completely wrong, because I’ve heard many times people say: “The next Monday I’m going to … “, because it’s, they’re making that Monday specific. One thing we said when we spoke about the article is that if you wanted to change it from something general to something specific, use “the”. For example, you’d say “the Tuesday after next”, because it’s a specific Tuesday.
Hold on. Though I agree with what you’re saying but I reckon we’re going to confuse the listeners if we, if we let them do it. And I’ll tell you what. Although what you’ve said is totally right, it’s better, I think, just to learn that if you are talking about “el lunes que viene” it’s “next Monday”.
I agree. Usually that’s true, usually that’s true. My point is, I think in this example from a native speaker, it’s possible that you would use “the” when you’re speaking about a specific Monday that’s coming next week. But I agree with you, so that we don’t confuse you, usually it will just be “next Monday”. Next Monday I’m seeing my friend, next Monday I’m going abroad. But in this example from Javier, I think it’s correct [..] from a native speaker.
I think is correct as well. But I think is optional, the word “the”. Whereas, what about this? November last year, the last Sunday of November, in the last Sunday of November I met my friend Bob. Then, on the last Monday, we said good bay.
Yeah, because it’s a specific Monday.
So, I would say that the word “the” there is absolutely obligatory.
Yes, because it’s specifying a Monday.
Right! Whereas, if it’s “el lunes que viene”, usually, but not always, we don’t say “the”.
So, it’s, when it’s “el próximo lunes”, I’m going to go into Spanish because I think it’s easier for Spanish people, “el próximo lunes” is “the next Monday” and “el lunes que viene” is “next Monday”.
Because “el que viene aún no ha venido” but, “el próximo lunes”, maybe it has come and maybe it hasn’t. “El próximo lunes”, as you say, could be in the future but it could be in the past, it could be anytime. You know what I’m saying?
No, I agree one hundred percent and I think the next example from Javier makes things a little clearer because Javier’s friend, Dino, continues in his email and he says:
I suppose you and I have to eliminate the weekly call next Tuesday. Maybe we can do it on the Tuesday after New Year.
Does that make things clearer?
For me, that has a much clearer sense, because there, on the first expression, next Tuesday, you cannot say “the”, it’s wrong, no “the”. Whereas, the second expression “the Tuesday after New Year” you must say “the”.
Because it’s a specific Tuesday next year. Yeah! So, I hope that’s clearer. I think your friend is absolutely correct, but his using the first example of “the next Monday” is unusual, but, also, we think acceptable.
And how do you say? I know it’s not your question but a typical mistake I often hear is how do you say in English “te veo el lunes”.
I’ll see you Monday.
I’ll see you Monday. Or you could say “on Monday” if you like, but “on” is not obligatory, but again no “the”. “Te veo el lunes” “I’ll see you on” or “I’ll see you Monday”, no “the”.
We have another email, Reza, from Sergi, from Barcelona. Could you read what Sergi has written?
How are you? I’m listening you, I think he should say, I’m listening to you every week, during my commute. I’m a little concern about two English grammar expressions. Therefore, I would like to ask you about my problem. I’m referring you about this problem began in the last episode. I’m referring you, No, I’m referring to this problem, I’m referring to this problem that began in the last episode or that you mentioned in the last episode. And, he actually means episode 134, 134, where you gave us the next example: How do you feel when someone catches you doing something you shouldn’t be doing?
Ah! That’s the episode on feelings: How do you feel when? How do you feel when someone catches you doing something you shouldn’t be doing?
And he asks: I felt a lot of curious, I think he means, I felt very curious. Curious is an adjective, we don’t say a lot of plus an adjective; we say a lot of plus a noun.
What’s the noun of curious?
I felt a lot of curiosity, you could say, about the construction “you doing”. Why aren’t you using the verb “to be” in the middle? For instance, “you are doing”. Ok. So, how do you feel when someone catches you doing something, he’s asking, why not say “how do you feel when someone catches you are doing”. Aha! Good question! The second one is located at the end of the sentence: why you are using? I think you mean to say: why do you use the verb “do”+ing. Something you shouldn’t be doing, it acts like an adjective, adverb perhaps? I don’t really understand what you mean by that, Sergi, adjective, adverb. But, I can answer your question, I think. How do you feel when someone catches you, they catch you and the is followed by ing, nothing else, because, Sergi, it isn’t a Present continuous tense, “you doing” is not a Present continuous tense, it’s a Present participle clause. But, you know what? It’s the same in Spanish! “Cómo te sientes cuando alguien te pilla haciendo algo?”, it’s the same in Spanish, “alguien te pilla haciendo”. You don’t say in Spanish “cuando alguien te pilla estás haciendo”, no, that’s wrong. “Cuando te pilla haciendo” so it’s just like Spanish. Is what we call a Participle clause, like Spanish. “Catches you doing something you shouldn’t be doing”, well, “shouldn’t” is a modal verb, right? And after modal you are obliged to use an infinitive, without “to”: should eat, shouldn’t eat, should come, must come, can’t run, might happen. “Be doing” is an infinitive, Sergi. It’s an infinitive, but it’s the continuous infinitive, which instead of “do” is “be doing”. Continuous infinitive of “eat”, “be eating”, “run”, “be running”, “stop”, “be stopping”. We call it the continuous infinitive, be plus ing.
We hope that answers your question, Sergi, and if it is not clear, please, let us know! Next, we have an email from Antonio Tenorio, from Palencia. It’s been cold in Palencia lately, it’s been very, very cold in Palencia. Antonio says:
Hi Reza and Craig! First of all, I would like to wish you and your families all the best for the New Year and that your wishes will come true. Thank you, Antonio. The same to you! Secondly, I’m feeling fair to say to you, I think it’s better to say “It’s fair to say”, Antonio. So, secondly, It’s fair to say to you how much I enjoy listening to your podcast, and learning English through the easy way you do it. Thank you!
Thanks very much!
Moreover, I have to admit. I think “moreover” in this is a little too formal, Antonio. You could say “also” or “another thing is” because it’s a fairly informal email. So, another thing is, I have to admit that after having listened your whole collection, remember the “to”, after having listened to your whole collection of podcasts, I have found out that I can help tuning it all the time.
I don’t know what he means by that.
Do you mean: I can’t help. Maybe negative. I can’t help means I can’t stop. Is that what you mean there?
Possibly. Yeah! Maybe it’s the negative. So, he’s listened to all of our collection of podcasts. That’s over a hundred and thirty. That’s a lot! Finally, I can tell you how lucky I would feel in case we meet someday just to touch base. That’s a nice expression. To touch base with someone means to make contact, to say hello, to communicate. To touch base with someone.
Oh! I’ve just realized what you mean when you say: I can or I can’t, I can’t help tuning in all the time. Tuning in it’s not the same as tune. To tune in, the phrasal verb means, “entonarse” in the radio or podcast. Ah! Now I understand. You can’t help tuning in all the time. Oh! Thank you, that’s a compliment.
Yeah! Thank you very much. And that comes from Antonio Tenorio, from Grijota, Palencia. Now, we had a few emails and comments asking how to listen to our podcasts. So, very quickly, how can you listen to our podcast? Well, possibly easiest is to go to the website, which is inglespodcast.com and click on the player. There’s a huge, big media player on the website and you can listen on your laptop, on your PC, on your mobile phone, it’s very easy. If you have a mobile phone and you want an application, we do have an Inglespodcast application in the Apple Store and in Google Play Music. So, you could listen through our App. Or, if you listen to other podcasts on IOS, which is the Iphone or Ipad, you go to the podcast app and search for “la mansion del inglés” and you’ll find inglespodcast. Or, you could listen through an app on Android Mobile or Android Tablet, using the Stitcher app, that’s s-t-i-t-c-h-e-r. It’s free and you can download that Stitcher app from the Google place Store and it’s a special app for listening to podcasts which it’s great because you can listen to Reza and I and you can listen to many, many other podcasts in English to improve your listening. And, something that would really help us, even if you’re listening through the website, even if you’re listening through Stitcher or a different podcast app, if you go to Itunes and you subscribe on Itunes, that really helps us to become more visible, so more people can find us and listen to our podcast. So, please, go to Itunes, subscribe and leave us a review and a few stars if you have time.
We’d like to tell you about our sponsor Italki. Italki, what is it? Well, it’s a one on one way of learning English, with a native speaker, a teacher, and you can choose who your teacher is going to be. You just go to the Italki website and you can look at the profile of the different teachers which tells you about their experience, their qualifications and also when they’re free, when they’re available to teach you, and therefore, you can find a time which is suitable for you. Even strange time, if you want to have a class at two o’clock in the morning, you can because your teacher might be in Australia. So, they might be Australian, or Irish, or American, or Canadian, or even British. And, so you can choose the accent you want. It’s also very affordable, in fact you choose the price because different teachers charge different amounts of money. What’s more, if you sign up to Italki, all you need is an internet connection and Skype. And if you do it through inglespodcats.com/italki, Italki will give you one hundred credits, which would probably pay for your first class free, so you can give them a try, see if you like them and if you do, well, just continue. Craig and I would like to thank Italki for sponsoring “Aprender inglés con Reza y Craig”.
Thank you Italki. Next, we have a voice message from Johan Vega Chaverri, who is asking us to speak about the prepositions out, up, of and off. So, here is Johan:
Hello Reza and Craig! This is Johan from Costa Rica. I hope you’ll be good. I have a question about out, up, of, and off, with double f. I know that this word is used in phrasal verbs, but sometimes I don’t know when I have to add this word to another word. I hope you’ll understand what I’m talking about. So, I would like you explain me and help me to learn how to use it in a good way because I always get confused and don’t understand how to use them. Thank you for the help and I hope you have a great New Year and that’s all! Good bye!
Well, Happy New Year to you also, Johan. Thank you for your message. Quite a wide area, quite an open question there from Johan, Reza, because as Johan said these prepositions are used in many phrasal verbs and there’re probably hundreds and hundreds of different possibilities to use them but we will try to speak about some of the more common uses of those prepositions.
Yeah! Johan, just let us say right at the beginning to make sure there’s no ambiguity, there are no fixed rules, we wish there were, but there aren’t. It’s a question of collocation. Certain prepositions go after certain words, certain nouns, verbs, adjectives. Not for any logical reason just because they do, I’m afraid to say. You have to just learn them.
So, let’s start by looking at out, o-u-t. Let’s look at some common uses of out, obviously with go, go out, is a very common use of out. I went out last night. Did you go out last night?
No, I didn’t. I stayed in.
Me too, because we worked this morning, so Friday night Reza and I usually stay in. We don’t go out. What other collocations go with “out”, Reza?
A very common one is walk out, walk out the room, walk out the door.
Also, fall out, has more than one meaning. Physically, something can fall out of your pocket or fall out of your hand, but if you fall out with someone, what does that mean? If we fell out, for example?
It would mean that we had an argument and we stopped having a good relationship, that’s to fall out.
So, you can fall out with your boss, for example.
Your friend, or worst of all, your partner.
Or your parents. To be out, it’s also very common, you can say he’s out or she’s out, that means he is not here or she’s not here. Where’s your sister? She’s out. I don’t know where she is. She’s gone out and I don’t know where she is. So, to be out, is another common use of out.
Although, to be out of something, is not the same meaning. If I say: I’m out of milk or I’m out of biscuits, it means I don’t have any milk or biscuits because I’ve used them all.
Actually, I am out of biscuits, so, it’s lucky you didn’t come this morning and you’re here this afternoon, because I wouldn’t have any biscuits for you. I’m out of biscuits. Out is often used with of, as we mentioned before, to be out of something. You can be out of touch with someone, which means out of contact, for example: over the years I’ve become out of touch with some friends. I used to be in touch with them before, but now, we’re out of touch, we’re not in contact.
If you’re not in your normal town or residence, we say, you’re out of town. I’m not at home, I had to go away on a business trip. I’m out of town.
You were out of town over the Christmas.
Out of the way, is another common collocation, to be out of the way. For example, if you want to go somewhere and it’s difficult to get there, you can say: This place is out of the way or this restaurant, it’s difficult to find because it’s out of the way. It’s away from the centre. Also, if you’re walking and somebody is in your way and you’re trying to walk, in the street, you could say: please, get out of the way, please move. You’re in my way. So, please, get out of the way.
What about the expression “out of bounds”, Craig?
Out of bounds, b-o-u-n-d-s, “fuera de límite”, out of bounds. You could use that in sport, for example, it could be out of bounds in cricket.
Or it can be used to describe being in a restricted area, an area where normally you’re not allowed to be, like a building with dangerous chemicals or something, it might say: out of bounds, that means, you cannot enter this room.
Yeah! Exactly. Don’t go inside, it’s out of bounds, it’s forbidden. Also, you could pick up your milk or pick up a package of food and you can see that it’s not good, because it’s old, “fuera de fecha o caducado”. How would you say that with out of?
Out of date.
This milk is out of date, for example.
Although you can also say that for fashion. Many of Reza’s clothes are out of date. They were fashionable five years ago but not now.
But if you wait long enough, they’ll come back in.
Because Reza is a bit out of touch. He doesn’t keep up with fashion so, he gets out of date quite easily.
But what happens when you get at my age and you need glasses. If Reza is sitting far from me I can’t see what he’s wearing because he’s out of sight, which means, I can’t see him, so to be out of sight is “fuera de la vista”.
But Craig, I’m maybe out of sight but I’m sure I’m not out of mind, am I?
Another collocation, to be out of mind. To think of, to not think of someone.
There’s an expression in English “out of sight, out of mind”.
What does that mean?
It means if you can’t see something or someone then you won’t think about it.
Do you think that’s true?
That’s what they say but I don’t think it’s true. Because we’ve got an opposite expression for every expression. “Out of sight, out of mind” and then the opposite “Absence makes the heart go founder”.
They completely contradict each other.
It’s the opposite. So, those are a few collocations with “out”, Johan. Let’s look at “up” and some phrasal verbs and collocations with “up”. For example, jump up. To jump up is “saltar” so if someone calls your name, you jump up, you “saltas”.
What about look up, Craig? What does that mean?
Different meanings. You could look up physically, which means you are working at your desk, somebody calls you, they call your name and you physically look up, “hacia arriba”, so you look up to see who’s calling you. Obviously, you can check the meaning of a word by looking it up in the dictionary or on line. So, I didn’t know the answer, I looked it up on the internet. Remember, the object, the pronoun it, separates the phrasal verb and goes in the middle when the meaning is “buscar”. So, “look it up” or “look the telephone number up”, or “look the address up”.
Do you think that 2017 will be a better year than 2016? Are things looking up?
I think not.
Based on what happen in 2016 but, I’m maybe getting a little bit pessimistic. Reza’s use there of looking up means improving. Do you think things are looking up this year? Or, will look up this year?
No, to be honest. We’re sorry to be so pessimistic, but, maybe things won’t get any worse, but they’re not really looking up, if you ask me. I’m talking about the general situation the world’s in, there are a lot of problems and wars. I feel a little bit apprehensive about it, if I’m honest. You too?
Yeah! I agree with you. And I don’t want to dig up the past, but I hope things are going to look up this year. To dig up means uncover something, you can dig up a dead body, for example, that’s buried under the ground, “enterrado”, so, you dig something up or you could dig up something from the past, a bad memory. It’s usually negative, isn’t it? Don’t dig up the past, don’t uncover something that happened years ago.
Craig, if you knew of someone committing a terrible crime, what would you do?
I would tell the police I would speak up. So, to speak up means to voice your opinion, to tell someone, to speak about it. If you’re speaking very softly like this, maybe someone says: can you speak up, can you speak up, can you speak louder? Can you speak up, please?
Reza, what time did you get up this morning because you taught in the British Council, didn’t you? You had a lesson. What time did you get up?
I got up at about ten past seven. What about you?
I got up at seven. Well, you got up at ten past seven and you got to work at five, ten to nine.
What were you doing for that two hours?
Do you think that’s a long time, yeah? It’s a long time!
Yeah! I got up at seven and I was there at eight o’clock.
Well, I’m going to add another expression with “out”. I was working out a bit.
I was doing exercises. I like to do some exercise, I like to work out a little bit. Maybe to say workout is an exaggeration because to work out is to do a lot of exercises.
You like to wake up.
I did a little bit of exercise. Maybe, maybe workout is an exaggeration, but I did some exercises. They take me twenty minutes in the morning, so that takes a little bit of time.
So, it takes you about twenty minutes to wake up.
What does put up mean?
Put up. Well, put up with is “aguantar o sufrir”, so you can put up with noisy neighbours, for example, you can put up with bad students, which means you suffer them. Can you think of another meaning of put up? You can put up somebody in your flat, you can give them a bed, let them sleep in your flat. Can you put me up for the weekend?
I like your story about the time you put up the mayonnaise man.
The mayonnaise man.
The mayonnaise man, “el hombre de la mayonesa”, yes. Craig, can you briefly tell the listeners the story about when you put up the person who gave you problems with the mayonnaise?
Yeah! He might be listening to this actually. So, if you’re listening, hello Ian. Name and shame. Ian stayed, I put up a friend a few years ago and I put Ian up for a few days. We went out for a few beers one night and had a drink and the next morning the kitchen was covered completely with mayonnaise. There was mayonnaise on the fridge, on the door of the fridge, there was mayonnaise on the kitchen cabinet, and mayonnaise on the cooker, everywhere, because Ian had made himself a sandwich. So, everything was covered with mayonnaise. But that does not mean I wasn’t happy to put Ian up. Go up. Can you think of an example with go up. That’s another common use of “up”.
Yeah! Prices always go up. They never seem to go down. In fact, I heard on the radio recently that the price of electricity in Spain has gone up seventy, that’s “setenta”, seventy percent in ten years. It’s a fact.
That’s a lot.
Somewhat prices have gone up, “subir”.
Everything is going up. Another use of up is to pick up, obviously if you drop something, then you need to pick it up, another phrasal verb you can separate with the pronoun it or with the object. Pick up your jacket or pick your jacket up. But, of course, there’s something else you can pick up, isn’t there?
Craig, have you ever picked up a girl?
What’s that now?
What’s that like?
No, what’s that now? I wouldn’t know what you’re talking about. You’d better explain it to me, I’m quite innocent about such things.
Pick up can mean “ligar”, so, you can pick up a girl or a man at a disco, in a club, in a bar, in a restaurant, you can pick someone up, which means you start speaking to them, you ask for their phone number, maybe you ask them to go out with you, have a drink with you. To pick someone up is “ligar”.
But another meaning of pick up simply means to collect someone in your car, like, my daughter is at her piano lessons. When she’s finished, I’m going to pick her up and bring her home, collect her in my car.
Exactly. And, of course, you can pick up your phone. If the phone’s ringing, please pick it up, answer it.
Have you heard the expression “Man up”, that’s become very popular specially in America. Man up and do it, means be a man, face your fears.
And don’t be frightened, don’t be soft, be like a traditional man who shouldn’t be frightened of anything.
Come on, man up! And time’s up is another use of “up”. If you say “time’s up” that’s finished, it means finished. Let’s move on to “of”, Reza. What uses can you think of with the preposition “of” that might help Johan?
Is that o-f or o-f-f?
O-f. There is a difference with the pronunciation. If there’s one “f”, of, then there’s vibration in your throat. So, you should be able to put your hand, do it now, put your hand on your throat, “garganta”, very gently, and say the word “of”, of, of. Can you feel the vibration? That’s with one “f”. Now, if there are two “f”, off, it’s just air passing your teeth, passing your lips. So, there’s no vibration in the throat. Listen: of. Of and off, completely different.
When you’re touching, feeling your throat to do this, don’t put too much pressure on. We don’t want to be responsible for you strangling yourself. “No te estrangules”. Yeah. We don’t want legal problems. Just touch your throat very gently, please.
I can see the headline in the newspaper: Death of a student.
Two podcasters under investigation for strangulation via internet.
The secret of improving your English is constant and varied practice. So, it’s the secret of something. The secret of improving your English. Remember, when you have a verb after preposition it’s always a gerund, it’s always -ing. So, the secret of improving your English. Can you think of another example with “of”?
The highlight of something, the best part. The highlight of this podcast is the end, for some people.
Another example: the first page of the book describes the author’s profile. So, the first page of something.
Craig, why do we say the first page of the book, “la primera página del libro” but then, we say the author’s profile. Why don’t we say the profile of the author? And why don’t we say the book’s first page, because in Spanish the first one is “de” and the other one is “de”, “la primera página del libro”, “el perfil del autor”. I would say it’s because, generally, we use the word “of” when it’s not a person, the first page of the book. But when it’s a person we tend to use apostrophe “s”, the author’s profile. No?
Yes. As a possessive, so it’s the profile of the author, the author’s profile or Craig’s profile or Reza’s car, for example.
Craig, have you ever dreamed of anything?
I’ve often dreamed of being rich and famous.
Well, you could say you are famous, because of the podcast, but I know you are not rich because of the podcast. But famous perhaps!
I don’t think so.
Slightly, to a few thousand people, anyway.
Possibly. Also, when you’re speaking about dates, for example, or times of the year, you can say I got married in the summer of 2000, the year 2000, so the summer of a particular year or the winter of a particular year, is another use of “of”. When speaking about pictures you can say, this is a picture of my dog or this is a picture of my wife. And when you’re speaking about percentages and numbers you can sometimes use “of”. For example, I’ve got a discount of fifteen percent. Or I’ve got a reduction of ten pounds on the price of something.
Craig, have you drunk much coffee this morning?
I’ve drunk what I usually drink which is three cups. So, I’ve had three cups of coffee this morning. That’s the similar use in Spanish, three cups of coffee, two cups of tea, a glass of beer, for example. A large number of people went to the demonstration. That’s another use of “of”, a large number of something, or a small number of something, similar to a percentage of something.
Craig, you know, I haven’t slept at all recently. I had only four hours of sleep during the last two days.
Only four hours of sleep, really? Why have you been sleeping so badly?
I’ve just been so busy, lots of things to do and also, I’ve planned my time badly. Bad time management.
That’s not a very good start of the year. I think 2017 should be the year of [MOS?] sleep. There are, of course, many, many more uses of “of” and I’ll put a link in the show notes which would be at inglespodcast.com/139, a link to wordreference.com, where you can find many more uses and examples of “of”.
Finally, let’s look at “off”, with no vibration, “off”. And again, there are many uses of “off” and I have a link in the show notes at inglespodcast.com/139 where you can see more uses of “off”. But let’s look at some of the more common ones. I can say I’m off now, which means I’m going, I’m leaving. What time are you off? What time are you off today, Reza?
Whenever you throw me out. “Cuando me echa”.
Whenever I throw you out. Something can go off, which means it goes bad, “caduca”. So, I could say, does this milk smell off to you, does it smell of, does it smell bad?
Maybe when it’s out of date.
Exactly. When it’s out of date it goes off. In August, in Valencia fish goes off very quickly. Any more uses of “off” you can think of?
Yes, a few. Set off is a common expression. You can set off many things. You can set off an alarm, set off a bomb, set off a chain of events. It means start something happening.
And take off is another phrasal verb with “off”. You take off your clothes, you can take off a person, which means impersonate, speaking their voice and of course an aeroplane takes off, “despegar”.
Craig, you can take off your clothes if you like, but keep your hat on, as they say in a film song, do you know it?
Yeah, you can keep your hat on.
You can keep your hat on but take off the rest of your clothes.
Who sings that?
I don’t know who the original is.
Don’t worry, if we ever take off our clothes, we will keep our hats on, and we’ll warn you about it beforehand. Don’t worry.
We would probably turn off the lights. Turn off or switch off is “apagar”, which is another common phrasal verb.
And if we do take off our clothes, listeners, just consider yourselves lucky that this is only audio and not video. You’re very lucky.
If you get something discounted you can say you got money off. So, I’ve bought something recently and I got some money off, I got a discount. And if you take time of work, you can say that you are off sick. If you’re ill, from work, and you don’t go to work because of illness, you could say: he’s off sick or she is off sick. To be off work means to be away from work.
Craig, if I say to you: I’m going to finish off the wine. In fact, that’s a bit late, I did finish off the wine, didn’t I?
You did finish off the wine.
I’ve already drunk the wine earlier today. I finished off the wine. What does that mean?
That’s using “off” as the idea of completeness, so, you’ve finished it completely, so there’s no more left. It’s completely gone.
Because I suppose I could just say: I’ve finished the wine.
Yes, you can.
But by adding the word “off” it gives emphasis to the fact that I finished all of it. There’s none left.
All half bottle. It was only a very small bottle because if it were, if it had been a bigger bottle then, maybe, tomorrow Reza would have a hangover, which he would have to sleep off. To sleep off a hangover means to recover from a hangover by sleeping late.
What’s a hangover?
“Resaca”. Too much wine, you get a hangover, you need to sleep it off.
We could have put hangover in our previous episode about compound nouns, couldn’t we?
We could have, but we [..].
It’s a compound noun in English, but in Spanish it’s just “resaca”, but in English is hangover, something that hangs over you, “que lo tienes como colgado encima, como algo de mala suerte, algo pesado”.
What’s the past of hang?
Hang, hung, hung. Hangover. I was hungover yesterday. There are many, many more uses of these prepositions but don’t stress out about it Johan, just learn them gradually, make a list, keep learning them, one by one, “poco a poco” and don’t stress out.
So, Craig, I believe we have another email from one of our listeners, Gabriel Ruiz Cortés.
Yes, Gabriel says:
I’ve got a question about the difference between “off” and “away” with movement verbs. For example, to drive off and drive away; to walk off and walk away, to go off and go away or to run off and run away, etcetera. Very similar to what we’ve been speaking about. Hope you can help me.
That’s from Gabriel. What do you think?
That’s a difficult question, Gabriel. They’re kind of similar.
They are, aren’t they? They’re very, very similar.
What could be a difference? Well, maybe “off” means away from, like “The car drove off” means the car drove away from where it had been, away from. Would you agree with that?
Yeah, but looking at this I can’t really see a big difference in meaning. I think they’re very, very similar. Obviously depending on the context, but I’m trying to think of sentences and examples and everyone, the meaning is very, very similar. I had an argument with my girlfriend and I drove away angrily. I had an argument with my girlfriend and I drove off angrily. I mean, the meaning is pretty much the same. I walked away slowly, I walked off slowly. Is there a difference?
Not really, no.
The thief stole my wallet and run away. The thief stole my wallet and run off. I think they’re the same. I really do think they’re the same. Unless you can think of a difference.
But in reality, it doesn’t make a big difference, does it?
I don’t think so, Gabriel. I think they’re very, very similar and I wouldn’t worry about a difference. Unless you can think of a specific example in a context and then, please, send it to us, if you think they might be different and we’ll confirm it or not.
And now it’s your turn to practice your English. If you have a question or an idea for a future podcast, please let us know by voice message and tell us what you think. You can send your messages via speakpipe, that’s speakpipe.com/inglespodcast, or send an email with a comment to me email@example.com, or to me Reza at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more detailed show notes of every episode that we’ve made so far, if you’d like to support us for that go to patreon.com/inglespodcast.com, and we’d like to thank our lovely sponsors who are:
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The other Manuel, so Manuel García and Manuel Tarazona, Mariel, Maite and Lorena.
And a special thanks to Arminda from Madrid who has been transcribing some episodes for us and you can find those on inglespodcast.com, they are available for all listeners of this podcast.
If you are a patron supporter, one of the people on the list that we’ve just mentioned, Craig has sent you a free copy of his latest e-book “How to pass a job interview”, and if you have any problems downloading the book you can send an email to Craig at email@example.com and he’ll help you to get it via your dropbox.
Yes, you can pick up that, you can find that e-book and the audio that goes with it on the patron page at patreon.com/inglespodcast.
On next week’s episode, Reza and I would be speaking about quantifiers like words like some, lots of, a few, a few of, etcetera. So, join us next episode and until then it’s goodbye from me and I’m offski.
Both of us are off, we’re going.
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called “See you later”.