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Mar 26, 2018

A Phrasal Verb a Day #60 - to hang on


Hi everyone,

This is Luke and this is the 60th phrasal verb episode that I’ve done and so this really is the 60th phrasal verb. You know that at the beginning of this process I decided I’d do one every day. I haven’t quite managed to do that. So, by the end of the year, unless I manage to do more than one a day nearer the end of the year, I don’t think I will have completed 365 by the end of this year but, let’s see what I can do.

Now from your side, I wonder how you’re managing to keep up with all of this. I suppose you’re able to listen to them all. Maybe you listen to them every day or maybe just wait and listen to, like, a few of them in one go. You know when you’re eating your breakfast or something like that. So you might be able to listen to them all, but I wonder if you can remember them or learn them or just kind of get a grip on all of these phrases (I assume, here Luke means whether we are able to use all the phrasal verbs he introduced us or we just have an idea of them but still not able use).

It’s actually a very large undertaking. Now, I often go on about the challenge for me to actually record and upload these episodes but, actually it’s, the challenge is probably more, it’s probably greater for you. Yeah, obviously it takes me time and effort to do these but, it also takes time and effort for you to learn them all.

Now, you’ve got to, I suppose think about some strategies for how to learn them if you’re going to do that. I think that, I don’t really have time right here & now to go through some of those strategies.

So, what I’d like to do is to do a proper long episode all about strategies for learning phrasal verbs and then perhaps give you a kind of phrasal verb review of the ones I’ve already done. That’s an idea which I’m just, you know, planning at the moment, but anyway I’m just thinking about that, and I wonder what your strategies are for learning these phrases and if you can remember them all. We’ll come back to that subject but, for now, I need to teach you another phrasal verb, don’t I?

You’ll know that I’m into the letter h here and I’ve got to the word ‘hang’ in my dictionary. I’m using the Macmillan Phrasal Verb Plus dictionary, which is a very good book and, you can obviously buy the dictionary online but you can also use their website. I’m not just, I’m not just giving them a plug here (*plug = A way of advertising a product, event, etc. by talking about it, especially on radio or television.)

I think it is probably fair enough for me to mention the fact that I am using a phrasal verb dictionary, the Macmillan phrasal plus dictionary, which I won actually about 2 years ago in a competition. You can get this book but, you can also just use their web site I think it is, and they have an online dictionary which will give you the definitions and examples, which I use here. Sometimes I just read out their definitions. I hope there’s no copyright issue related to that, but most of the time I’m just making up my own definitions and kind of improvising examples, things like that. Anyway, Macmillan phrasal verb plus dictionary or for more information, basically.

And I’ve got the word hang and now I noticed that there are loads of phrasal verbs with the word hang. We’ve got hang around, hang around together, hang around with, hang back, hang in, hang on, hang onto, hang out, hang out of, hang over, hang round, hang together, hang up and hang with. That’s so many and I can’t do them all because it would just be too overwhelming for you, wouldn’t it? All these phrases with hang. I think that’s what happened last month with get.

After a while you just ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’ (= not being able to see the whole picture because of focusing on details too much) because there are so many phrasal verbs with get that they all mix in together and you just, you can’t identify them. I can’t go through all of these hang expressions. So I’m just gonna do, well, let’s see…

Okay, I’m going to do hang on, Alright? I might come back to hang later on but let’s just do hang on.

And hang on has got, really, 5 meanings.

(1) One is to hold something very tightly. For example, if you are rock climbing, you’re climbing up a mountain side and you need to hang on, you know, you really need to hang on tight, so that you don’t fall off. Okay, there you go, hang on, so just literally just to hold something very tight. “I hung on as tightly as I could” for example.

(2) Okay, next one means to, to wait or be patient. Okay, that’s quite a well known one. Hang on. I think we should probably hang on and see the end of the game. Okay, because it only takes a second to score a goal doesn’t it? Hang on, wait a minute, I’ve left my keys in the car, damn! Okay, just hold on, hang on a second!

We often use hang on or hold on as a way of interrupting someone who’s speaking. We’re just, hang on a second! And then you’d say what you’d want to say or just hold on and then you say something. So, it just means wait.

(3) Hang on can also mean to continue doing something and achieving success even though there are difficulties. Okay, so just to hang on for a victory, Okay? For example, Arsenal hung on to their one goal lead for the rest of the second half. Okay, so, you know, at the beginning of the game Arsenal scored a goal in the first half and then they hang on to that that lead for the rest of the game. Okay?

(4) Another one would be to depend on something, to rely on something. Everything hangs on the result of the blood test, for example. Everything, you know, like, the future of Scotland hangs on the result of the referendum which is taking place in September. Okay?

Let’s see, what else..

(5) We use “hang on a minute”. Hang on a minute! to show that you’ve realised something, you’ve just realised. Hang on a minute! You, that’s not the dress you were wearing earlier on, What’s going on? Yea, hang on a minute, where is my wallet? For example.

Okay, and there is a phrase to fix the expression. Well, two of them.
One of them is to hang on somebody’s every word. So, for example, the student, you know, I started telling the students about my breakfast and they all sat around silently hanging on my every word. Okay? That’s just an example of a bad teacher who talks too much, although his students seem to be very interested in him.
And also to hang on by your fingernails. Okay, the company is hanging on by its fingernails. That means the company is just managing to survive. It’s just hanging on by its fingernails.

Okay, this has been a particularly long episode but it’s a kind of an anniversary episode, isn’t it? It’s the 60th phrasal verb episode. It’s the diamond jubilee phrasal verb episode but it’s now going end. I’ll speak to you again soon. Bye for now.