GYG Day 58. The secret language of the natives (SLN)

I guess you are all thinking, what on earth the secret language of the natives is?

PHRASAL VERBS – things that separate the professionals from the amateurs in terms of knowledge and use of English! If you are already MAN enough to know the following – great if you are in your infancy or teenage years, this post will help you on the way to manhood.

A ‘phrasal verb’ is a verb + 1 or more prepositions (which are grammatically known as ‘adverbials’ because they add to verbs), e.g. to put (verb) something (sth) off (preposition). Here the something can be a meeting/ appointment/ event etc. because the phrasal verb is used to mean ‘to postpone’.

E.G. “The meeting has been postponed.” or “The meeting has been put off.”

The tricky thing for learners is that most phrasal verbs don’t make it easy to understand them. Everyone understands ‘put’ and ‘off’ but together, what can it mean? Add the word ‘meeting’, ‘put (the meeting) off’, then maybe you can guess what the phrasal verb means.

Other phrasal verbs, however, are easier to understand. Take ‘put sth down’ for instance. Every parent out there will be fluent in this phrasal verb, “put it down before you drop it.”

I bet you didn’t know though, that if you replace sth with an animal, e.g. “We had to put the dog (it) down”, it means to put the animal to sleep? Shocking the difference a word can make, eh? That’s why I call phrasal verbs the ‘Secret Language of the Natives’ (SLN).

To guess (hier: schätzen), “what on earth … ?” (Was zum Teufel ….?), to separate the professionals from the amateurs (die Spreu vom Weizen trennen), in terms of (in puncto), infancy (Kindesalter auch hier: Anfangsphase), manhood (zum Mann warden), to postpone (verschieben), to guess (hier: raten), for instance (zum Beispiel), be fluent in (fließend sprechen), to replace (ersetzen), to put an animal to sleep (einschläfern)

SPEAK, WRITE, THINK, NATIVE

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