Hello, I am Jacek Olender and this is PoLoop Angielski podcast. For more materials for learners of English and a transcript of this episode, go to my website poloopangielski.pl.
Most phrasal verbs are made up of two words. Sometimes, however, two is not enough, and besides a verb and a particle, we have one extra preposition at the end. And in this episode, I'll introduce a few of these three-part monsters. I'll be introducing them in context, because I believe that this is the way which ensures that you will remember them better, they will stick in your memory.
I don't know about you, but what I don't like about myself is procrastination. You know, when you put off doing things you should be doing right now. Of course, I delay things because they are usually unpleasant, boring and mundane. And I do understand that the sooner I get round to an unpleasant task, the sooner I'll get it over with, but I always find many excuses, not to. When you get round to doing something, you find the time to do it. And when you want to get something over with, you want to do something, finish it and forget about it. So I know it would be better to get round to doing something at the first opportunity and get it over with, b ut sometimes my procrastination gets the better of me. As I said, the things that we want to get over with unpleasant but often necessary. The most common object used with the expression is "it" because it is clear from the context what the unpleasant but necessary activity actually is. Let's look at some examples. "At first, I thought I might postpone the surgery, but now I just want to get it over with." "We've got so much work, so let's get it over with." "This step in the process is the most difficult one, it's better to get it over with and move on." Recently, a student of mine, who is soon going to get married, told me that she's not really looking forward to her wedding. For her and her fiance the wedding ceremony is a mere formality, something to get over with as quickly as possible. I suspect she doesn't like her future mother-in-law, and I can only imagine in future, her saying to her future husband: "Darling, if we must visit your parents today, let's go early and get it over with".
For those of you who think that "get over with" is too short, there is a similar, longer version of that phrase, "get over and done with". Just like "get over with", it means to do something necessary but unpleasant. And with this expression, there is an additional focus on the idea that you want to do something once and for all, perfect for such objects as "work", "chores" and "formalities" . When you're asked to fill in a lengthy form, you might say: "Let's get all this paperwork over and done with, and go off somewhere to have a drink". A mother could say to her son: "Instead of complaining about having to tidy up your room, you might as well get it over and done with."
So, back to my procrastination. A lot of things we put off are simply unpleasant, and that's why we postponed them. But sometimes we face a different problem. We might even like the things we put off, but don't have the confidence or energy to do something. And that's why we procrastinate. We simply don't feel up to doing something - another three part phrasal verb. When you feel up to doing something, you feel able to do it. And when you don't feel up to doing something, you don't have the confidence or energy, and are incapable of doing it. You might, for example, say to a colleague who's invited you out for a drink on a Friday evening: "Sorry, mate, but I just don't feel up to having a pint tonight." Or another context -I'm often encouraged to start jogging, especially in the morning before I start my work, but I don't think I will ever feel up to dragging myself out of bed, putting on my running gear and spending even half an hour jogging. And it's not that I'm lazy. But I'm simply not one of those people who go in for running. When you go in for something, by the way, you like it and do it regularly. The same phrasal verb can be used to talk about choosing one's career. You could say, for example, that your daughter has gone for medicine, which means she has decided to become a doctor.
When it comes to outdoor activities. There is one I always look forward to, and it's cycling. When you look forward to doing something, you're excited about it because you know you will enjoy it. I'm sure you must know the phrasal verb "look forward to" from emails; you must have seen the sentence: "Looking forward to hearing from you," countless times. Personally, I don't like it because it's so often used. I have a feeling that anyone who is putting in the email "I'm looking forward to hearing from you" does it automatically, and is not really looking forward to hearing from me at all, and probably hopes, I will not bother them with any future emails. My advice is, if you need to use "look forward to" at the end of the message, consider first the alternatives, such as: "Let me know what you think." "Keep me posted." "I hope to hear from you soon." If you want to go for a more formal style, you can write: "Please keep me informed of any developments." "I'm eagerly awaiting your response." or "Your prompt response would be appreciated."
So as I said, I'm a bit of a procrastinator, and I don't like it about myself, but even more, I don't like it in others. It's hard for me to put up with procrastinators and their behaviour. When you can't put up with something or someone you can't tolerate something or someone. The most common objects of the phrasal verb include noise disturbance, somebody's bad manners was somebody's inconsiderate behaviour. I might for example, say that I can't put up with the way someone talks down to me. Another three-part monster. When someone talks down to you, they use a tone of voice or an attitude that shows that you are less intelligent, less educated, or from a lower social class.
So, so far, we've looked at a few three-part phrasal verbs "get round to", "get over with" and its longer equivalent "get over and done with", "feel up to", "go in for", "look forward to", "put up with", and "talk down to". Let's now see if we could use all of them in an imaginary context. Let's imagine your boss talks to you as if you were a child or an idiot. Which three part phrasal verb can you use to describe this kind of attitude? Of course, "talk down to", so you can say: "He's always talking down to me." By the way, please note that the use of present continuous tense with adverb always gives us this extra focus on the fact that you find it annoying. So, "he's always talking down to me". Now tell your boss you can't tolerate him or her talking down to you. Of course, using another three-part phrasal verb. What would you say? "I can't put up with you talking down to me like this." "I can't put up with you talking down to me like this" Finally, you've decided to change the job. Which three-part phrasal verb would you use to tell your friends about how eagerly you expect to hand in your notice. "Look forward to" is a good option. "I'm really looking forward to handing in my notice." "I'm really looking forward to handing in my notice." Unfortunately, you don't have enough energy and confidence to start looking for a job,. so you can say: "I don't feel up to looking for a new job right now." "I don't feel up to looking for a new job right now." You can't even find time for updating your CV. So you can say that: "I can't get round to updating my CV". "I can't get round to updating my CV." The idea of doing it is not really appealing. But finally you decided to .... Yeah, you decided to get it over with. You've got your CV updated, but you haven't yet applied for a new job. And your friend thinks that this is only because you don't like your current profession. She also knows that you like cooking and she suggests you should choose a catering career. Which phrasal verb could she use? "Go in for", she could say: "You should go in for catering and become an owner of a Michelin-star restaurant." And you do, and you have a very successful career as a restaurant owner and a chef.
By the way, this method of using new expressions in a story I find very useful. In my opinion, it's much better than trying to learn words and expressions in isolation, especially phrasal verbs. I hope you agree. Okay, this brings us to the end of this episode. Hope you've learned something new. Talk to you next week. Bye