#56 – TO HAMMER OUT


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TRANSCRIPT
Hello everybody, welcome to another phrasal verb episode.
This is number fifty six and this phrase is “to hammer out”.
“Hammer out”. It’s often used in a passive form by the way.
Hammer. Yes. Like a hammer. Something you would use to hammer a nail into a wall.
Okay, you know those things. They’ve got a wooden handle and a metal head.
And you use it to bang, bang, bang, bang, hammer a nail into a wall. Hammers are good if you need one to hammer a nail into a wall.
But if someone else is hammering a nail into a wall, let’s say your next door neighbor, it can be pretty annoying.
Anyway, that’s just extra information, it doesn’t really apply to the meaning of this phrasal verb which is “to hammer out” or “to be hammered out”. Okay. To hammer something out means to reach a decision or an agreement after discussing it or arguing about it for a long time. Okay.
It’s a bit like to thrash out, to hammer out a deal, to hammer out the terms of a contract.
Okay. To hammer out a contract, to hammer out a deal, to work really hard discussing something in a tough way, arguing about it maybe.
Imagine a tough negotiation in some kind of government office in which there’s a Government Committee. They meet to discuss something very important and they stay up late at night, you know, they undo their ties, they’re all sweating while arguing, fists are being beaten down on tables and finally after hours of hammering out the agreement they emerge with a deal, making sure that, I don’t know what if, biscuit prices get fixed for the next twelve months or something. Okay. So, hammer out, to hammer out a deal.
Again you might hear this one on the news. You know, something like, “A Government Select Committee yesterday agreed to meet in order to hammer out the terms of a new deal in order to set biscuit prices for the next twelve months. Our biscuit correspondent Luke Thompson has this report. Thanks Luke. That’s right. Here at the House of Commons. Ministers have been talking for almost fifteen minutes in order to hammer out the terms of a new deal which looks set to fix the price of biscuits for the next twelve months. That’s the end of the story, it’s back to you Luke in the studio. Thanks Luke. Well, that was an unnecessary story. Let’s move on with the next story.”
Okay. That would be an example of if I had my own news program and there was no news and I was just making it up. It would probably sound a bit like that.
Anyway, you get the idea of “to hammer out a deal”, “to hammer out an agreement”, “to thrash out a deal”. There’s another one. Okay. We often say “to hammer out an agreement”, “a compromise was hammered out between the parties”, “hammer out a deal”, “hammer out a plan”, “new policy was hammered out this afternoon that may affect the biscuit industry,” for example, strategy. “The board of directors met early on Friday morning in order to hammer out an emergency strategy to deal with the new biscuit legislation which was passed last week by Parliament.” Yeah. “The CEO was said to have stated very clearly that the new terms would have to be fixed in line with recent legislation.”
I realise that I’m not making much sense now. These are just sort of big sounding important business and political words.
Anyway, to hammer out a deal, to hammer out an agreement, a plan, a strategy, a contract. Yes! That’s it for this one. Speak to you again soon. Bye for now.

  • Alier

    I had been hammering out a plan to increase the production of Coca Cola in my factory.

  • Denis Paraschuk

    We had been hammering out a plan for several hours when our chief got back to office.

  • María José

    We can´t carry on this way any longer, we need to talk properly about it and hammer out any solution.

  • Kamil

    The Government has failed to hammer out some sensible solutions. As a result, the people of the country will suffer. I’m nuts about learning English. My friend and I are trying to hammer out some really good ways to improve my English quickly. Unfortunately, we haven’t trash out anything so far. I reckon we should listen to Luke’s advice. He always has something sensible to say in his podcasts. As a member of the National Defence Committee I can assure you that in two days we’ll hammer out plans and solutions for improving our defence system.

  • Andrzej

    Jeff’s gone to the Biscuit Crisis Convention to hammer out some solutions… or just overslept again?