Have you ever been to an airport or train station where the official language was English? What was your experience – easy, difficult or in between?
Today, we will explore some common phrasal verbs that can be useful as you travel to or through English-speaking places.
A phrasal verb is made of two or more words: a verb plus a preposition or adverb, or both. Together, the words get a new meaning. For example, the phrasal verb get inmeans to arrive at a place.
Listen to two friends talk about a recent trip. There are six travel-related phrasal verbs. Try to find them and think about their meanings.
Hey, how was your trip?
Well it was…great! But getting there was a pain. The airport was so crowded because of flight delays. We tried to check in at a kiosk but the machines were down. So, we stood in line for 45 minutes just to pick up the tickets.
Then, our flight had a two-hour delay. The plane finally took off at 9:00.
Flight delays can make travel more difficult, especially for language learners.
What time did you get in?
Around 4:00. Our driver picked us up on time and was super sweet. He dropped us off at the hotel and we checked in without any trouble. The rest of the trip was wonderful!
That’s great. I’m looking forward to my next big trip!
Did you find all six of the verbs? Before we look at each, here are some good things to know.
What is ‘transitive’?
Phrasal verbs in English are either transitive or intransitive.
A transitive verb needs a direct object to express a complete thought. A direct object is a person or thing that receives the action of the verb.
For example, the sentence “I brought my suitcase” is transitive. The words “I brought” do not make a complete thought without the direct object “my suitcase.”
An intransitive verb does not need a direct object to express a complete thought. For example, I can say, “The plane landed” and it makes perfect sense.
Are they separable?
Phrasal verbs can be separable or inseparable. But what does that mean?
If a phrasal verb is separable, the direct object may appear in the middle of the verb. If it’s inseparable, the direct object must come after. I’ll show you what that means today.
Transitive or not, separable or not – it sounds complex but it’s very simple, as you’ll see and hear shortly.
Airport kiosks usually make it easier to check in and pick up your plane tickets.
Check in Check into (something)
Our first verb is check in. Like many phrasal verbs, check in has more than one meaning. The one we are exploring today is intransitive – it gets no direct object. Listen again to how it was used:
We tried to check in at a kiosk but the machines were down.
The speaker also used it about the hotel:
…and we checked in without any trouble.
To check in means “to report to someone when you arrive at a place to let them know you are there.”
When we check in at a kiosk, the machine gives us a plane ticket. When we check inat a hotel, someone gives us a room key.
A verb with very close meaning and usage is check into. We use it for hotels, hostels, AirBnBs and the like.
The difference is that check into must have a direct object. But it’s inseparable. Have a listen:
We checked into the hotel without any trouble.
The direct object is “the hotel.”
pick up (someone) pick (someone) up
Next, you heard the verb pick up. It is transitive and separable.
We used two of its meanings today. Here’s the first:
So, we stood in line for 45 minutes just to pick up the tickets!
It means “to go somewhere to get something.” Note that the direct object “the tickets” comes after the verb. But, because it’s separable, we can also put the object in the middle, like this:
So, we stood in line for 45 minutes just to pick the tickets up!
You also heard the speaker say:
Our driver picked us up on time and was super sweet!
This meaning of pick up is “to let or put people or things into a car, bus, ship or something else.”
Note the wording “pick us up.” The pronoun direct object “us” is in the middle of the verb pick up. When a phrasal verb is separable, pronoun direct objects go in the middle.
It's nice to go away for the holidays. Are you looking forward to your next trip?
Okay, onto our next verb – take off. It’s a verb with many meanings but today’s meaning is easy: It is intransitive and means “to begin to fly.” Here’s how the speaker used it:
The plane finally took off at 9:00.
Next is the verb get in, another intransitive verb. Let’s hear how it was used:
What time did you get in?
You may remember that get in means “to arrive at a place.”
look forward to (something)
And finally we have look forward to. This verb is made of three words. It is transitive and inseparable. Here’s how you heard it used:
That’s great! I’m looking forward to my next big trip!
To look forward to something means “to expect it with pleasure.” The direct object is “my next big trip.”
Join us next week for Part II: useful travel words and phrases.
We’re looking forward to it!
I’m Alice Bryant.
Alice Bryant wrote this story for Everyday Grammar. Caty Weaver was the editor.
When was the last time you traveled? Did you have a good time? We want to read about your trip! Write a paragraph about it and use two or three of today’s phrasal verbs. Remember that some of the verbs take direct objects and some do not. And, placement of the direct object depends on whether the verb is separable.
A look at the best news photos from around the world.
1The flag-covered casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard in Spring, Texas, as it is placed on a Union Pacific train. The train will take about 2 hours to travel roughly 70 miles (113 kilometers) to the city of College Station, home to Bush's presidential library at Texas A&M University.
2People pay their respects as the train carrying the casket of former President George H.W. Bush passes along the route from Spring to College Station, Texas.
3A health care worker carries a baby suspected of being infected with Ebola virus in a hospital in Oicha, North Kivu Province of Democratic Republic of Congo.
4Protesters gathered across from Parliament demonstrate against Britain's Brexit split from Europe, in London.
A big snow is coming. Anna and Pete work all weekend to report on it. Have they both prepared for the blizzard? Let's find out!
Kelly: Hi, Anna. Why do you have all this weather stuff?
Anna: I love weather.
Kelly: Me too! Weather is so important.
Anna: It is. It affects people’s lives!
Kelly: Have you ever reported on a big weather event?
Anna: I have. I’ve reported on a blizzard.
Kelly: Do mean the one last weekend?
Anna: Yes! I had been waiting for that blizzard for years. When it came, I was ready.
Prof. Bot: Welcome to our most perfect lesson! Why is it perfect? Today we are reviewing the present perfect and past perfect verb tenses. These show that an action is completed.
Kelly uses the present perfect when she says,
Kelly: Have you ever reported on a big weather event?
Anna uses the past perfect when she says,
Anna: I had been waiting for that blizzard for years.
Listen for "have" or "had" and the past participle to find more sentences with the perfect tense. I'll color those words to help you.
Anna: I have wanted to report on a big weather event my whole life.
Kelly: Who hasn’t? Did you report all weekend ... by yourself?
Anna: No, no. I volunteered Pete to help me.
Pete: Why am I here on a Saturday? Why are you carrying things? Why? Why?
Anna: Pete, these are my supplies – food, a blanket; warm clothing. Where are your supplies?
Anna: Pete, Pete, Pete. This could be the “blizzard of the century.”
Pete: It’ll be fine.
Kelly: How else had you prepared?
Anna: Well, I had just bought the latest weather forecastingsoftware. So, I brought it!
Kelly: Do you mean The Weather Genie Pro?
Anna: You know it. Pete thought it was pretty great too.
Pete: Do you have any games on that thing?
Anna: Yes! I have the best weather survival game. Boom!
Pete: Sounds fun.
Anna: It is. But right now, Pete, this computer is a work tool. It will give us the temperature, wind speed, wind direction and amount of snowfall … in real time! Boom, boom!
Pete: I can’t wait.
Anna: Pete, we need a name for this blizzard.
Pete: No, we don’t.
Anna: All the great storms have names.
Pete: No, they don’t.
Anna: I know -- “The Big Snow!”
Pete: I am not saying “The Big Snow.”
Pete: Welcome to “The Big Snow.”
Kelly: The Big Snow broke all kinds of records, didn’t it?
Anna: Yes it did. And every time a record was broken, we celebrated!
Anna: So far, in Washington, D.C. 29 inches of snow has fallen. That, my dear listeners, is a record! (Honks horn)
Anna: We just broke the wind speed record! (Honks horn)
Anna: Snow has been falling for 30 hours straight! That’s another record! (Honks horn. Pete comes into room and breaks the horn.)
Kelly: By Saturday night, stores and restaurants had closed. Did you bring enough food?
Anna: I thought I had brought enough food. But I ran out.
Anna: Hey, Pete, where is my bag of popcorn?
Pete: Maybe you ate it already.
Anna: No, I didn’t.
Pete: I haven't seen it. (Pete has popcorn in his beard. Anna tries to hit him.)
Anna: We had reported together for 48 hours straight!
Kelly: Wow. That must have been a great team-building exercise for you and Pete.
Anna: Yeah. You - you could say that.
Prof. Bot: I hope you found all the sentences with perfect tenses. Learn more on our website!
affect - v. to act on (someone or something) and cause a change
amount - n. a quantity of something
blizzard - n. a severe snowstorm that goes on for a long time
century - n. a period of 100 years
event - n. something (especially something important or notable) that happens
forecast - v. to predict (something, such as weather) after looking at the information that is available
record - n. a performance or achievement that is the best of its kind or at an extreme when measuring data
software - n. the programs that run on a computer and perform certain functions
straight - adv. without interruption
survival - n. the state or fact of continuing to live or exist especially in spite of difficult conditions
volunteer - v. to say that someone will do something without asking if he or she wants to do it
The learning strategy for this lesson Find and Apply Patterns. That means to look for patterns in what you are learning. For example, we use many patterns to communicate: groups of sounds, letters, and words get our meaning across.
In this lesson, Pete sees a pattern in Anna's celebration of the weather records. Each time a weather record breaks, she honks her horn to celebrate. Pete does not like the horn, so he breaks it before Anna celebrates the next record-breaking weather fact. He is applying his understanding of a pattern to make his life quieter.
How about you? How do you find and apply patterns? Can you see patterns in the way people use English? How about in literature? There are also patterns in math, science, history, music and social studies. Can you think of a time when knowing about a pattern helped you to learn something? Write to us in the Comments section or send us an email.
See how well you understand this lesson by taking a listening quiz. Play each short video, then choose the best answer.
6 Minute English
Why does 'x' mean 'kiss'?
EPISODE 181206 / 06 DEC 2018
6 Minute English discusses a letter from the English alphabet. It’s a letter which has a particular meaning when used at the end of a piece of informal writing such as emails, letters, texts and messages. Discover where the concept of putting an X to mean a kiss comes from, and learn some new vocabulary along the way.
This week's question
English has 26 letters. Which language has 74 letters?
a) Khmer (Cambodian)
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.
a penny a coin (100 pennies = 1.00 GBP)
the penny has dropped someone suddenly realises or understands something
clunk the noise of two heavy objects coming together
Inland Revenue the government department in the UK which deals with taxes
to dock to reduce the amount of money someone receives in their salary or wages, for example as a tax payment
a quid slang term for 1.00 GBP
Note: This is not a word for word transcript
Neil Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil.
Rob And I'm Rob.
Neil We're going to be looking at a letter from the English alphabet. It’s a letter which has a particular meaning when used at the end of a piece of informal writing such as letters, emails, texts and messages.
Rob I’m very EXcited.
Neil Ha ha, very good, very good Rob!
Rob My EXpectations are really high.
Neil Yep, that's another good one.
Rob Is it an EXtraordinary letter?
Neil OK, thank you Rob, that’s enough of your jokes. I’m getting EXasperated! Oh, now you’ve got me at it! Well, no prizes for guessing what letter we’re focussing on today?
Neil No, it’s not Y.
Rob No, I didn’t mean the letter ‘y’, I meant the word ‘why’, as in - why are there no prizes?
Neil Because of all the not so subtle clues you’ve been giving. The letter is X.
Rob Yes. Exactly.
Neil Alright, I think we get the idea! Before we go much further, let’s have a question. English has 26 letters. Which language has 74 letters?
a) Khmer (Cambodian)
b) Hindi or
Any ideas Rob?
Rob An excellent question but quite obscure, I’m going to say b) Hindi.
Neil Well, I'll have the answer later on. Now, Rob, what does the letter X all by itself at the end of a message mean?
Rob Well, it means a kiss. The more kisses, the more affection you are showing.
Neil Where does this concept of putting an X to mean a kiss come from? Dr Laura Wright is from the Faculty of English at Cambridge University and she appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme Word of Mouth. When does she say this practice started and where does it come from?
Dr Laura Wright, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge Well, we’ve been adding Xs for kisses at the bottom of letters since at least 1763. The very first one we know of had seven Xs. I have to say, I haven’t gone to seven ever. We get X from the Roman alphabet which got it from the Greek alphabet, pronounced /ks/ and the Romans...
Presenter: That’s nearly a kiss, isn’t it?
Yes it is, isn’t it? I think a penny’s just dropped there.
Presenter: It has, clunk.
Neil What do we learn about the origins of the X for kisses?
Rob Well, it’s been used since at least 1763, and it comes from the Roman alphabet and they got it from the Greeks.
Neil And why did this come to mean a kiss?
Rob Well, Dr Wright suggests it’s because of the original pronunciation - /ks/.
Neil And at the point the presenter made the connection, didn’t he?
Rob Yes, he did. And Dr Wright used a phrase for when someone suddenly understands something, particularly something that is obvious to others. She said the penny has just dropped.
Neil And this has got nothing to do with a penny, which is small coin, actually dropping anywhere. But the presenter makes a joke by using a word we use for the noise of something falling, clunk.
Rob Although, to be honest, a penny would never really clunk. That’s more like the noise two heavy metal objects would make - the clunk of a car door, for example.
Neil Let’s listen to that exchange again.
Dr Laura Wright, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge Well, we’ve been adding Xs for kisses at the bottom of letters since at least 1763. The very first one we know of had seven Xs. I have to say I haven’t gone to seven ever. We get X from the Roman alphabet which got it from the Greek alphabet, pronounced /ks/ and the Romans...
Presenter: That’s nearly a kiss, isn’t it?
Yes it is, isn’t it? I think a penny’s just dropped there.
Presenter: It has, clunk.
Neil One thing to note about putting an X at the end of a communication is that it is not something you do for everyone. It’s usually only to friends and family members, people you might kiss in real life. Professor Nils Langer from the University of Bristol told a story about a colleague of his who wasn’t too familiar with this convention. What was her mistake?
Professor Nils Langer, University of Bristol A colleague of mine from Bristol, who... when she came over from Germany thought that X was just the normal way of closing a letter in England and so she would finish any letter with Xs, even a letter to the Inland Revenue. We never heard, really, how the Inland Revenue responded to these letters with these Xs.
Presenter: They docked her another 20 quid, I think!
Neil What was her mistake, Rob?
Rob She didn’t realise that you don’t put an X on every communication. So she even put it on business letter including one to the Inland Revenue, which is the government department in the UK that deals with tax.
Neil We don’t know how the tax people felt about the letter with kisses. But the presenter joked about what their response would have been.
Rob Yes, he joked that they probably docked her another 20 quid. To dock money is to cut the amount of money you are expecting to receive and a quid is a slang word for a British pound.
Neil Time now for the answer to our question. English has 26 letters. Which language has 74 letters? Is it… a) Khmer (Cambodian) b) Hindi or c) Armenian?
Rob I guessed b) Hindi.
Neil Well, I suppose it was a one in three chance, but not correct this time. The answer is a) Khmer. Very well done if you knew that. Now on to the vocabulary we looked at in this programme.
Rob We started with a penny. A penny is an English coin. A hundred pennies makes one pound sterling.
Neil The phrase, the penny has dropped, means that someone has suddenly understood something.
Rob A clunk is the noise of two heavy objects hitting each other.
Neil The Inland Revenue is the UK’s tax authority.
Rob If you dock money from someone, you reduce the amount of money you pay them. For example, as an employee in the UK your tax is automatically docked from your salary.
Neil And finally, a quid, which is a slang term for one pound sterling. Right, before they start docking our pay for being late, it’s time to say goodbye. Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, our App and of course the website bbclearningenglish.com. See you soon, goodbye.
Rob Bye bye!
Parties boycotting meeting are troublemakers: junta
politics December 07, 2018 01:00
By THE NATION
JUNTA LEADERS yesterday branded political parties boycotting today’s meeting as troublemakers, with the prime minister saying they were like boxers who refused to abide by the rules and would not listen to the referee’s explanations.
However, a political scientist said this only pointed to the junta’s failure in reconciliation efforts that have been constantly highlighted by the coup makers over the past four years.
Wanwichit Boonprong said the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has now become part of the problem.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the parties “are like boxers who will not respect the rules or listen to the referee. If they don’t come, then they should just stop boxing”.
General Prayut, who heads the ruling NCPO, also said that people should themselves decide on what should be done with politicians who refuse to join a meeting that aims to explain the “rules and regulations” of the upcoming elections.
The national vote has been tentatively scheduled for February 24.
Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also defence minister, said yesterday that parties boycotting the meeting were troublemakers.
“They are just making trouble, but I don’t think there will be any impact. We have invited them for a discussion. There is no reason not to come,” he told reporters at Government House.
General Prawit, who is a key junta figure in charge of national security, was referring to the main political parties Pheu Thai and Democrat, as well as some new parties including Future Forward, Thai Raksa Chart and Puea Chat that have boycotted the meeting.
He said the meeting was being held for the parties to have their queries about the election answered. “We are ready to explain whatever they want to know,” Prawit said.
Wanwichit, meanwhile, said the stance the two key parties have taken indicates failure right from the start. He said this decision could stem from a couple of reasons: the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party stealing former MPs from other parties; and an electoral system that clearly favours Phalang Pracharat.
This is why many parties are feeling uncomfortable about joining today’s talk, Wanwichit said.
Also, he said, their participation in the event could be seen as a move to legitimise Prayut’s plan to retain power, which is why they have rejected the invitation.
He said that instead of sorting out the issues that led to the 2014 coup, the coup makers are now seeking to maintain their political power. Political parties are also feeling victimised, as the junta leader is manifesting his political ambitions, while holding the reins of the election, he said.
105 parties invited
Meanwhile, NCPO spokesperson Colonel Sirichan Ngathong said yesterday that the junta has invited 105 political parties to the meeting.
“The NCPO wants all parties to cooperate so the elections can be held without any problems,” she said. “We call on them to be open-minded and take part in the discussion.”
Also, she said, the NCPO wanted all sides to hear relevant information about the vote. “The authorities will also hear suggestions from the political side,” she added.
As for parties boycotting the meeting, Sirichan said she hoped they would change their minds.
Jarungvith Phumma, Election Commission (EC) secretary-general, said yesterday that some 60 parties had accepted the invitation.
The EC is scheduled to report its preparedness for the election as well as relevant laws and regulations at the meeting.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, meanwhile, said he expected the NCPO to set an election date at the meeting, and hinted that a |“surprise” will also be disclosed at the event.
“What I can say is that certain things will be unveiled at the meeting. We have a lot in store,” he told reporters.
The junta, its organs and the EC is scheduled to meet with political parties today at the Royal Thai Army Club. This venue was where General Prayut, as Army chief, had held mediation talks with conflicting political groups in May 2014, but ended up seizing power after failing to secure an accord.
In December last year, Prayut, in his capacity as NCPO head, had issued an order empowering the junta to “work with” the EC and relevant authorities to set an election date.
Political parties, meanwhile, are calling on the junta to lift political restrictions put in place since the 2014 military coup.
Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand
River Kwai Bridge Week and Kanchanaburi Red Cross Fair 2018
Travel log November 29, 2018 09:15
One event not to be missed and not that far to travel from Bangkok is the annual River Kwai Bridge Week and Kanchanaburi Red Cross Fair. The River Kwai Bridge is one Thailand’s more recent historical attractions built during the Second World War. The bridge today commemorates the sacrifice of British, American, Australian, Dutch, and New Zealand prisoners of war, in addition to many Thai, Myanmar, Chinese, Vietnamese, Malay, and Indian labourers, who were among the estimated 61,700 people who died there.
This year’s River Kwai Bridge Week and Kanchanaburi Red Cross Fair 2018 takes place from November 30 to December 9.
This event pays respect to their memory while also balancing the freedom of all who attend. It is known for staging one of Thailand’s most spectacular light and sound shows which relates the history of the bridge. Many other archeological exhibitions, folk shows, food stalls and more and a complete schedule of actives and events round out the fair.
For more information, contact the TAT Kanchanaburi Office on Tel. (0) 3451 1200, (0) 3451 2500 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com