Comedy in English – US Style

This will help English learners to understand American stand-up comedy.
Please remember to click on “captions” as the video has English subtitles.

Idioma Extra

Bill Burr- Stand-up Comedy

Bill Burr is an American stand-up comedian from Massachusetts.

Watch his stand up set above, which has been subtitled in English for English learners. It also has some explanations of terms or phrases that may be new.

Feel free to use this dictionary for any other unknown words you hear. Enjoy!

If the video does not load above, click here to play in on youtube.

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Hang in There, Hagar!

Hägar Language School

When you’re in a difficult situation and you’re losing hope, a friend might say to you, “Hang in there – I’m sure it will get better soon.”

So, “hang in there” means “don’t give up when you’re in a difficult situation.”

hang in there

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Phrasal what?

The term phrasal verb is commonly applied to two or three distinct but related constructions in English: a verb and a particle and/or a preposition co-occur forming a single semantic unit. This semantic unit cannot be understood based upon the meanings of the individual parts in isolation, but rather it must be taken as a whole. In other words, the meaning is non-compositional and thus unpredictable. Phrasal verbs that include a preposition are known as prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs that include a particle are also known as particle verbs. Additional alternative terms for phrasal verb are compound verb, verb-adverb combination, verb-particle construction, two-part word/verb, and three-part word/verb (depending on the number of particles), and multi-word verb.
Source: Wikipedia

Paul Simon Thomas

I’m not a huge fan of using the somewhat vulgar and attention seeking using of ‘WTF’ but this is good video with clear and concise explanations of practical commonly spoken phrasal verbs used by English speakers such as myself. Enjoy.

…and as ever the British Council website also makes for some impressive reading.

Some verbs are two part verbs (see Clauses, Sentences and Phrases). They consist of a verb and a particle:

  • grow + up
    >> The children are growing up.

Often this gives the verb a new meaning:

  • take + after
    >> She takes after her mother
    = She looks like her mother, or She behaves like her mother.
  • count + on
    >> I know I can count on you
    = I know I can trust you, or I know I can believe you.

Some transitive two part verbs (see Clauses, Sentences and Phrases) have only one pattern:

N (subject)…

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Apart from Verbs…

English phrasal verbs

fall apart [fɔl ə’pa:t]

If an organization, system or relationship falls apart, it no longer works effectively and eventually fails or ends completely.

Examples:
– Their marriage began to fall apart.
– The conference was to have taken place yesterday, but it fell apart when one of the most important investors refused to participate.
– Their love began to fall apart.

Obrazek

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Weekly Phrasal Verb

ACET

BLUE IN THE FACE

Have you ever felt like you have been doing or saying something repeatedly but getting no results?? Well then you could say that you are blue in the face from doing it!

So for example, if you are always telling your children to wipe their feet before they step inside but they don’t, you are blue in the face from telling them!

Blue face

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Being “tied up”

Confessions of the Linguistic Spy

to be tied up meaning Photo credit: irez.me

This week I learnt another useful phrase – it was in an email rather than in a conversation, but it doesn’t make it less authentic, I’m sure. I was going to arrange to speak to somebody on Skype to save us sending each other another half a dozen of emails. I mentioned I could call right not, but the reply was ‘I’m tied up at the moment, shall we Skype later today?’

The meaning is quite obvious, really, but I think it’s one of those ubiquitous (but handy!) phrasal verbs that can express so much in so few words!

Some more useful examples:

– Oh, is it eleven o’clock already? I got so tied up with sending out these invitations that I didn’t even notice (phrasemix.com).

– Sorry, I’m kind of tied up at the moment. Can I call you back? (phrasemix.com).

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