Subscribe [iTunes] [AudioBoo] [RSS] Download Small Donate Button
1. to disappoint – “You’ve let everyone down!” – you’ve disappointed everyone
2. to feel disappointed – “I feel a bit let down”
3. (noun) a disappointment – “it was a bit of a let down to be honest”


Hi everyone. How are you? This is Luke here and it’s time for another phrasal verb defined with some examples improvised for you today. Okay, so, what’s today’s phrasal verb? It’s ‘to let someone down’, okay? ‘To let someone down’ and there’s kind of three things I’m going to teach you in this one. The first one is just the phrasal verb ‘to let someone down’ or ‘to be let down’. The other one is the expression ‘to feel let down by something’ and the third thing is the noun ‘a letdown’ or ‘It was a bit of a letdown’. Okay.

Right. Let’s start with the phrasal verb. ‘To let someone down’ means ‘to disappoint someone’, okay? Imagine someone’s got high expectations for you and you do something that doesn’t meet their expectations and what happens is that they’re disappointed in you and you have let them down, okay? Now, like… several examples. One of them is something that your parents might say when you’re a teenager and the other example is from a song by The Beatles which you might know. Right, let’s stick to the first example. Here we have a teenager who has failed his exams and his parents are very angry and they tell him off, okay? They tell of the teenager. Let’s imagine you’re the teenager and your parents say to you:

– Look, we’re very disappointed. We’re not angry. We’re just disappointed because you’ve let the mother down, you’ve let me down and worst of all you’ve let yourself down.

Okay? That’s exactly the sort of thing that parents in the UK say.

– You know, I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed.

So, ‘to let someone down’. (You’ve let…)

– I feel really bad because, you know, I feel like I let my dad down.

– I feel like I let everyone down.

OK, there you go. I disappointed everyone. The other one was that song by The Beatles that goes:

– Don’t let me down

for example. No, I’m not going to sing any more because my voice isn’t good enough. But you know that song by The Beatles ‘Don’t let me down’ written by John Lennon. He felt a bit disappointed at that point of his life. He felt a bit depressed and unhappy. He had quite difficult life. He felt like everyone in his life in some way had let him down and he was singing this song to Yoko Ono who was the love of his life. He was basically saying:

– Yoko, I love you. I need you to save me. Please, don’t let me down like everyone else has.

And did she let him down? No, she didn’t despite the fact that everyone seemed to criticize Yoko and no one liked her but ultimately she never let him down, did she? No, she didn’t.

The other thing is ‘to feel let down’ okay? That just means ‘to feel disappointed’, alright? So…, let’s see…

– How do you feel? How do you feel?
– Well, I just feel a bit let down to be honest. I thought it was going to be better than this. I feel a bit let down.

Which is obviously something that you never think when you’re listening to Luke’s English Podcast. Oh no!

The third thing I was going to teach you was the noun ‘a let down’, you know?

– It was a bit of a letdown to be honest.

– Hey! Did you see the new ‘X-Men’ film? What did you think?

– Oh, I thought some parts of it were really good but generally it was a bit of a letdown

There you go. Three phrases in one, basically, in this episode. I sincerely hope you don’t feel let down by this particular episode. How could you?! Really! That’s it. Alright. Good. Speak to you again tomorrow. Bye.