字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com. Are you ready to learn something weird? Let's talk about it. Do you love phrasal verbs? A phrasal verb is a two-part verb, like try out or give up. And a lot of English learners feel a little bit stressed about phrasal verbs. Today, I would like to help relieve some of the stress by having some fun and slightly weird phrasal verbs that we use in daily conversation in English, and that you can use too, and hopefully have a little laugh. I chose these phrasal verbs because I felt like they're a little bit unusual, and the base verb, like to give up or try out, give or try, is a little bit different than what you would normally guess it should mean. So make sure that you pay attention to these weird phrasal verbs, because at the end of this lesson, there's a test. Let's get started with the first one. To squirrel away. I'm not going to tell you immediately what this means. Instead, I'm going to tell you a sample sentence and I'd like you to guess what you think it means. Well, I bought some Christmas presents in October and I squirreled them away until December. Hmm. Do you know what a squirrel is? It's this animal, and a squirrel is known for hiding its food until the winter. So during the warm months, during the summer, it finds acorns and walnuts and any kind of nut, and it buries it in the ground. It hides it for the winter time. So, we can take this same concept and imagine what this phrasal verb means. You are hiding something until you need to use it. You could say, "He squirrels away his money in a hole in the ground." This is kind of more literally like a squirrel, right? But it's that same concept, that you are hiding it until you need it. Weird phrasal verb number two is to scarf down. Hmm, a scarf is usually something that you wear on your neck to keep you warm in the winter, but what if I said this to you, "I was so hungry that I just scarfed down my food." Hmm? Are you eating a scarf? Are you cooking a scarf? No. Instead, this means that you're eating something quickly. You are scarfing it down. This is similar to another phrasal verb, to gobble up your food. So, you could say, "I woke up so late that I had to scarf down my breakfast while I brushed my hair," or, "I woke up so late that I had to gobble up my breakfast while I was brushing my hair." This idea of eating quickly because you're so hungry or out of necessity. Our next weird phrasal verb is to beef up. Hmm? Beef is a type of meat from a cow. What if I said this, "I wanted to beef up my waffles, so I added some dark chocolate and berries." Beef on waffles sounds awful, but the good news is that this phrasal verb has nothing to do with meat. Instead, it means that you're increasing or you're improving something. I wanted to improve my waffles, so I added some dark chocolate and berries and mixed it up, and then I made my waffles. This is definitely improving my waffles. Or we could say, "The security was beefed up during the presidential speech." So whenever there is an important public figure who is giving a speech and there's common people around, well, there's probably more security than normal, so we could say, "The security was beefed up during the presidential speech." So it was increased during the presidential speech. Our next weird phrasal verb is to butt in. Do you know what a butt is? It's your backside. We can imagine here, butt in. Hmm. Look at this sentence. The annoying guy at the party kept butting in and talking about himself. So annoying. He kept butting in. Is he pushing people with his butt? I hope not. This is the literal sense, but figuratively, we can imagine that he is interrupting with his words. Sometimes this is okay or necessary, but if you do it too much, it can be really annoying. We can use this as an informal way to apologize or interrupt someone in a more polite way. If you say, "Sorry for butting in, but can you tell me where the bathroom is?" So if you're at someone's house and some people are talking and you're not part of that conversation, well, if you need to ask them a question, you're going to need to interrupt them. So how can you interrupt them in a polite, but kind of casual way? You could say this phrase. You could say, "Sorry to butt in, but where's your restroom? Where's your bathroom?" Sorry to butt in. Sorry to interrupt, and that's very polite. Just don't butt in too much or you'll be like that first annoying guy who butted in too much. The next weird phrasal verb is to chicken out. Are you taking a chicken and throwing it out of the house? No. Instead, look at this sentence. I wanted to go skydiving, but I chickened out at the last second. Hmm. This means that I was at the skydiving place, I was all hooked up, and then I saw the airplane and I looked up in the sky and said, "No way. I can't do it. I chickened out." Hmm. That means that I was too scared to do something. Usually this phrase is used in a negative way when we're talking about someone else. If you said this sentence, maybe your sister would feel a little bit embarrassed. "My sister said that she would sing at karaoke, but when it came to be her turn, she chickened out." Hmm. This kind of implies that you think her fear is irrational. It's kind of like a stupid fear. "Why did you chicken out? I wouldn't chicken out if I sang karaoke. Why did you?" So if you say this about someone else, make sure that you say it lightly with a light heart. But of course, you could say it about yourself, "Yeah, I chickened out before I went skydiving," and it's much softer because you're just talking about yourself. Our next weird phrasal verb is to clam up. Do you know what a clam is? It's this thing. It's got two sides of a shell, and what happens if it clams up? Take a look at this sentence. The robber clammed up when the detective asked him where he hid the money. So someone, the robber, has stolen money and the detective is trying to figure out where it is. Well, do you think that the robber is telling him where he hid the money or is he clamming up? He is keeping the information inside him. He is hiding that information. So we're using the phrasal verb clam up to mean that your mouth is closed. You are not telling some information. Or in a more lighthearted way, we could say, "My sister clammed up when I asked her where my favorite dress was." Hmm. Maybe I suspect that she took my favorite dress and either it got ripped, something happened to it, it got a big stain and she's embarrassed to tell me about it, or she's scared to tell me about it. So when I ask her, "Hey, what happened to my favorite dress? It's not in my closet," maybe my sister closes her mouth and says nothing. She clams up. The next weird phrasal verb is to flip out. You might say, "My mom is going to flip out when she realizes what happened to her dishes." Maybe we threw a ball in the house and all of her dishes crashed and broke. Oh no. Do you think my mom is going to say, "Oh, that's okay. We'll just buy some new dishes." No, she's going to flip out. That means that she is going to get very angry. Now, we can use this in a positive sense to say really excited and it all depends on the context. Let's take a look at another sentence. I flipped out when I realized that my team won the championship. Am I really angry that my team won? No, of course, I'm really excited. So here, we're talking about that loss of control of your emotions. You're not in control of your emotions anymore. You're either really angry, "Oh, you broke my dishes. My mom is going to freak out," or flip out. We use both of these interchangeably, or I'm losing control of my emotions in a positive way. "I flipped out when my team won." We can, like I said, exchange the phrasal verb, freak out. This is a little bit stronger. "I freaked out," and it's maybe a little bit more crass. This means a little bit more rude than flip out. I would say that, first, flip out is more normal in daily conversation and freak out is a little bit more rude. Not really rude, but just a little bit more, but they both have a similar meaning. You're losing control of your emotions. Our next weird phrasal verb is to gross out. Make sure that you pronounce this word correctly, gross, gross. You could say, "I was grossed out when my cat threw up on my shoe." This is disgusting. It's not a good situation. I was grossed out. I went, "Oh, that's not good." I was grossed out. Or if you have a younger or older brother, you might say, "My brother is always trying to find new ways to gross me out. He thinks it's so funny, but I don't." He's trying to make me feel disgusted, maybe showing me different worms that he finds or different strange things that he's doing. He thinks it's entertaining, but I don't think it is. He's trying to gross me out. Our next weird phrasal verb is to lighten up, to lighten up. Notice the pronunciation of this word, lighten, lighten. A lot of English learners ask me about T-E-N at the end of words. This might be a word like threaten, button, lighten. I have a whole English lesson about these really difficult T words in English. You can check out that lesson up here. I think it's called, 106 Difficult English Words to Pronounce, and it includes these words. So we're going to kind of swallow the last sound, lighten, lighten, to lighten up. Hmm. Take a look at this sentence. The conversation was getting too serious, so I tried to lighten it up with a joke. Hmm. Here we have a conversation that's very serious and I want the conversation to become less serious. Well, the opposite of serious is light. So we're going to use this phrasal verb. I tried to lighten the conversation up, lighten it up with a joke. We can also use this phrasal verb to provide some kind of encouragement to someone else, especially for situations where they're feeling a little bit sad, but it's not too serious. So you could say, "Hey, lighten up. Things could be worse." So let's imagine that your cat threw up on your shoe. Pretty gross, right? Well, maybe your friend says, "Hey, lighten up. Things could be worse. Your shoe could be in the middle of a cow pasture and a cow could have pooped on your shoe." Oh, that's worse. Oh, that's awful. So your friend is trying to give some encouragement for this light, not too serious situation. I definitely do not recommend using this in a serious situation. So let's imagine that your friend's dog dies and your friend is really sad. They're having a really difficult time with this, understandably. Dogs can be like family members, right? Well, if you're trying to comfort your friend, you should not say, "Hey, lighten up. Maybe you can find another dog," or, "Oh, lighten up. Let's go kick around a soccer ball." This is too serious of a situation, so I recommend only using it to comfort someone in a very non-serious, sad moment, like a cat puked on your shoe. You're trying to make the situation funny because it's not so serious. So if you are trying to comfort in a serious situation, you can avoid lighten up. Our next weird phrasal verb is to screw up. Do you know what a screw is? It's this, something that you use when you're building something. But is this phrasal verb related to building, to screw up? If I say, "Ah, I screwed up," does it mean I'm building something? No. Instead, take a look at this sentence. I screwed up the recipe and added too much salt. Oh no. This means that I ruined the recipe. I did something awful that destroyed my meal. I screwed up the recipe. Or we could simply say, "I screwed it up. Sorry guys, we're going to have to order pizza, because the meal I was making is ruined." Or you might say, "If you screw up, it's best to admit your mistakes and try to make it better." If you screw up. Just a little note, this phrasal verb is very casual, so I do not recommend using this in a business situation. If you forgot about a project that you were supposed to have finished at work, do not say, "Sorry, boss. I screwed up." It's a little too casual. Maybe if your work atmosphere is very, very laid back, very casual and relaxed, maybe you could say that, but overall, I recommend using this only for daily conversations. "Oh, I screwed up. How can I make it better?" Our final strange phrasal verb is to space out. Hmm, space is air or space is outer space, something beyond the Earth's atmosphere. The moon, the sun, Mars are in outer space. All of the stars are in outer space. Hmm, to space out. Does this mean you are an astronaut? No. Instead, take a look at this sentence. I spaced out in class and when the teacher called on me, I didn't know the answer. You can imagine you're sitting in class. You're not paying attention. You're just staring off into space, that's what we say. Staring off into space and then the teacher says, "Vanessa, what's the answer?" Oh, oh, I don't know. You spaced out and you're not present. Your attention is not in that moment. Or we could say, "The politician's speech was so long and boring that almost all of the audience stopped paying attention and just spaced out." Maybe they looked into space, so they closed their eyes. Hmm. I hope that this lesson was not too boring and you didn't space out. I hope it was interesting. If you spaced out, well, now it's time for a test. Hmm. So I hope that you'll be able to at least guess some of the correct answers. I'm going to be telling you three sentences and there will be a blank in the sentence. You need to guess, what is the best phrasal verb to go in the sentence? Let's take a look at the first one. Number one, I'm totally, I just saw a bear walk close to me in the dark. I'm totally flipping out or I'm totally clamming up. Hmm. What do you think is the best phrasal verb for this sentence? This actually happened to me. I was staining our deck outside. This is like a paint, like an oil paint that you put on wood. And it was late at night, nine or 10:00 PM. I was just trying to finish it. And I heard a sound like that, very deep sound. And I looked up and there, right in front of the deck, was a huge, huge bear. And where I live, bears are black, they're black bears. So in the dark, it's almost impossible to see them. Thankfully, I was on the deck, but it was a little too close to me. And I ran inside and said, "Dan." That's my husband. "Dan, there's a bear outside. Go look." And we looked outside, the bear crossed our driveway, crossed through our front yard, and it just walked into someone else's yard. There are many bears around where I live, but it's not common to see them because usually they're shy. They don't come out in public much, except to dig through your trash and stuff like this. But the original sentence is I, Hmm. What do you think I did? I am totally flipping out. "There's a bear! Oh my goodness, let's go see it! Oh, it was so close to me!" This is a very shocking situation. All right, test sentence number two. I should, this essay because it's only one paragraph. I should scarf down this essay or I should beef up this essay. What is the best weird phrasal verb for the sentence? I should beef up this essay, because it's only one paragraph. If you gave your teacher an essay that was only one paragraph, they'd probably look at it and say, "Did you forget to write this? Why is it so short?" So you need to improve it. You need to add more to that essay. You need to beef it up. Test sentence, number three. To speak confidently in English, I need to take a deep breath and, about my mistakes. And screw up about my mistakes or, and lighten up about my mistakes. Which weird phrasal verb feels the best? Hmm. Well, you need to lighten up about your mistakes. Don't feel too serious about making mistakes. It is part of learning. So I'd like to know, tell me in the comments, what was your score on this little phrasal verb test? Let me know in the comments and don't chicken out. Tell me. Well, thank you so much for learning English with me and I'll see you again next Friday for a new lesson here on my YouTube channel. Bye. The next step is to download my free ebook, Five Steps to Becoming a Confident English Speaker. You'll learn what you need to do to speak confidently and fluently. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more free lessons. Thanks so much. Bye.