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Apr 30, 2018

A Phrasal Verb a Day #123 - TO PIECE TOGETHER

1. To collect lots of bits of information and put it together in order to understand the full situation


Hello, my name is Luke Thompson
This is ‘A Phrasal Verb a Day’. Here is another phrasal verb for you. This one is ‘to piece together’. Piece like P-I-E-C-E, like a piece of cake. Piece together, okay? And you can ‘piece something together’.

Now, let’s go with this meaning. And it’s to, kind of, work out the truth of a situation by considering all of the different pieces of information together. So, imagine, like, working out a situation by taking all of the little bits of information you have putting them all together in order to work out exactly what is going on.

So you could say, you know, detectives are still piecing together the details of the incident, for example, all right, You could…

If you want to work out what someone had done last night, for example, if the police are looking for a missing person. They will get all of the details about what that person did from eyewitness reports, from friends or family who’d say ‘Yeah, I saw him leaving the pub at like 10.30’. Another person would say ‘Yeah, I saw him in a chip shop at 11.00. And another person would say ‘Yeah, he seemed to be upset or sad about something’ and, you know, the detectives will piece all the information together and work out that he’d been to the pub and then he got some fish and chips and then he was upset about something. Okay, that wasn’t the best bit of detective work ever, but taking lots of separate bits of information, putting it together in order to understand the whole story, okay?

Like, for example, in an investigation, you piece together all information in order to work out what’s going on. All right. There you go. There is another phrasal verb for you to piece something together. You know what I feel like I need to give you a better example of that. So I am going to actually type in “piece together” into Google here, in speech marks, so we get the whole phrase working together and let’s do a News search, that’s usually a better way of doing it…, okay.

Okay well, the big story at the moment is the Paris terrorist attacks which happened on Friday. I am going to be talking about that on an episode of Luke’s English Podcast soon. But, looking in the news for the phrase ‘piece together’. Of course, there is loads of stuff about the terror attacks. And let’s see… So, here is a headline from The Huffington Post and it goes like this: “Paris death toll rises as officials piece together information on suspects”. So obviously, the officials, let’s say the police have got lots of different bits of information about the suspects, the people who are suspected to have organized this series of attacks and so they’re getting all the information and they are piecing it together in order to work out who did it. Okay, there is that one.

Another one, South African scientists piece together new dinosaur species. So here we are talking about literally piecing it together using fossil remains, putting all the fossil remains together in order to create a dinosaur. So, in the same way that you would piece together some IKEA furniture by getting all the different pieces and putting them together. Here we have some South African scientists who are piecing together a new dinosaur species, based on lots of little bits of evidence in the form of fossils.

Let’s have one more and..
Police… Here’s something from… Is this a New Zealand newspaper? It goes like this:

‘Police piece together homeless man death’, so apparently a homeless man was killed in an attack and the police are kind of collecting all the information in order to work out what happened. So the police are piecing together the death of a homeless man.

Okay, that’s the end of this episode of ‘A Phrasal Verb a Day’. I’ll speak to you again soon but for now – goodbye.