Talking | online-english-lessons.eu

1. To hush up something (or hush something up) is to try to prevent information or facts from being revealed to other people.

If someone (usually someone in authority) hushes up something, they try to prevent other people knowing about it.

Examples of use:

a) The government tried to hush up the mistake.

b) He hushed up the company’s illegal dumping of toxic waste.

c) They tried to hush up the phone hacking story.

d) News headline: Illegal kidney transplant hushed up.

e) His assassination was hushed up.

cover up has very similar meaning to hush up

hush money (noun) is money paid secretly to stop damaging information becoming public knowledge.

2. Hush up also means be quiet.

Examples of use:

a) Hush up! I’m trying to think.

b) I wish you would hush up and let me finish my homework.

infinitive
hush up
present simple
hush up and hushes up
-ing form
hushing up
past simple
hushed up
past participle
hushed up

Can you use hush up in a sentence?

Can you think of something that has been hushed up?

Image © Shawn Rossi

No comments

To have words with someone is to argue with them or scold them.

Examples of use:

1. She had words with her step-father two years ago, and they haven’t spoken since.

2. If they keep parking their car in my parking space I’m going to have words with them.

3. If her child doesn’t stop hitting my daughter I’m going to have words with her.

4. We had words with our next door neighbours because their dog barked all night.

Image © Nina Jean

No comments

If someone answers back (or answers someone back), they reply rudely to someone they should be polite and respectful to.

Examples of use:

1. Don’t answer your mother back!

2. (Mother to a child) Don’t answer me back when I’m talking to you!

3. The children are always polite and never answer their teacher back.

4. You must do as you are told, and not answer back.

infinitive
answer back
present simple
answer back and answers back
-ing form
answering back
past simple
answered back
past participle
answered back

Image by Paul Evans

No comments

To butt in is to interrupt someone who is talking.

Examples of use:

1. We tried to talk to Natalie at Sam’s party, but Peter kept butting in.

2. Arthur is so annoying. He always butts in when people are talking.

3. Don’t butt in while your father is talking to you!

4. He started to tell her about his day, but she butted in and talked about hers instead.

infinitive
butt in
present simple
butt in and butts in
-ing form
butting in
past simple
butted in
past participle
butted in

Can you write a sentence with the phrasal verb ‘butt in‘?

Do you think it is rude to butt in when people are talking?

Image by katiedee47

No comments

The phrase nineteen to the dozen refers to something that is happening very fast, or that is moving very quickly.

If someone is talking nineteen to the dozen they are talking very quickly.

Colloquial British English expression.

Examples of use:

1. She was so excited about passing her exam, she was talking nineteen to the dozen!

2. The car accident gave me such a shock. My heart was going nineteen to the dozen.

It’s thought that this phrase has its origins in eighteenth century Cornish tin mining. (Cornwall is a county in the south-west of England, UK)

Cornish beam engines were introduced to reduce flooding in the mines, and they pumped out 19,000 gallons of water for every 12 bushels of coal needed to operate the engines – a much faster and more efficient way of pumping water than the hand pumps they replaced.

If you would like to learn more about Cornish tin mining, the BBC Nation on Film site has some clips of archive film about Cornish tin mines, including interviews with Cornish tin miners.

Image © Angela Boothroyd

No comments