#117 – TO PENCIL IN


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Definition
1. To arrange an appointment, meeting or date in a diary, but it’s not a fixed plan – it might change later.

Transcript
Hello, welcome back to “A Phrasal Verb a Day”. My name is Luke Thompson, and in this one I’m going to teach you the phrase PENCIL IN, TO PENCIL something IN. Well, what’s a pencil first of all? I imagine you know that. It’s a kind of thing that’s used to write with. It’s not a pen because pens have ink in them. A pencil has sort of like graphite or something like that in it.

Right, you know what a pencil is, of course you do. So, if you PENCIL something IN, really that means to put something in your diary, to put something in your agenda, your personal organiser or whatever, or in a calendar, to sort of write something into a calendar, but it’s not completely fixed, ok? It’s just like to put in a potential plan, noted down in a diary or something.
So, it’s very common in a workplace if you’re making sort of loose plans to do something. For example, if you go and see your boss and say “Do you mind if I have a word with you? Is it possible for us to arrange a little meeting? I’ve just got a couple of things I’d like to talk to you about. When’s a good time for you?” And the boss goes “Sure, of course, you can always talk to me. Let’s see, are you available maybe tomorrow morning about 10?” And you go “Yeah, that’s fine.” And your boss goes “Ok, so I’m going to PENCIL you IN for 10 o’clock. And just let me know if that suits you, just send me an email to confirm.” Ok, TO PENCIL someone IN.

Alright, so you know “I’ll PENCIL it IN.” You can also PENCIL somebody IN. “I’m going to PENCIL you IN.” “I’ll PENCIL you IN for like, you know, 4 pm, how about that? And also PENCIL somebody IN FOR something. So, “Could you just PENCIL me IN FOR lunch on Friday?” Ok, there you go. If you imagine British offices all over the UK, everyone’s just constantly going around PENCILING each other IN on things, you know. “I’ll PENCIL you IN.” No one actually ever PENCILS people out. You only ever PENCIL IN. So, there’s no actual expression for penciling someone out, so don’t make that mistake. But anyway, TO PENCIL someone IN, there you go. That’s another phrasal verb, and I’ll speak to you again soon with another one. But for now it’s just time to say goodbye. Goodbye.