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40. Health / Feeling ill – Phrasal Verbs & Expressions


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This episode is filled with vocabulary relating to health, feeling ill, catching a cold and common symptoms. Luke’s English Podcast is a free service for people who are learning English as a foreign language. Download each episode free. Subscribe to the podcast using iTunes. Use it to practise listening, develop vocabulary and learn about the culture of the English language. Luke is well qualified and has lots of experience of teaching English for general life and for business/legal purposes. This podcast is designed to be useful, but also entertaining and fun.

Here are the lyrics to the “Feeling Sick Rap”

I’m sick, I’m sick
I’m under the weather
But in a few days
I’m gonna feel better

I’ve been coughing and sneezing
all day and all night
But don’t worry about me
I’m gonna be alright

Cos (because) I think I’m coming down with a cold
It gets worse and worse, the more you get old

My doctor told me
It’s gonna be fine Luke
It’s just a cold
You’re not suffering from swine flu!

Here’s a list of the phrasal verbs and expressions I teach in this episode.

To be under the weather – To feel a bit ill / have a cold because of the weather
To be off colour – To feel a bit ill
To pick something up – to catch something “I picked up a cold last week”
To come down with something – To catch something “I think I’m coming down with a cold”
To look after someone – To take care of someone
To fight something off – To try your best to get better “I’m trying to fight off my cold by going to work”
To shake something off – To try to get better “I’ve been trying to shake off this cold for days and days”
To pass out – To faint / suddenly fall asleep from weakness or sickness
To throw up – to vomit / to puke
To swell up / swollen – to expand because there’s a problem with it “My glands have swollen up”

Here’s the conversation which includes the list of symptoms. To get definitions of the symptoms, you’ll have to listen to the podcast:

Friend: Hi, how’s it going?

Luke: Oh, not too good really

Friend: No, you sound a bit ill

Luke: Yeah, I’m a bit under the weather actually

Friend: Oh really? What’s the matter?

Luke: Oh, I think I’ve got flu or a cold or something, I don’t know

Friend: Really? What are your symptoms?

Luke: Just the usual things, you know. A sore throat, a headache, a cough, aches and pains, cold chills, a stomach ache, it hurts when I swallow, my glands are swollen up, I’ve been throwing up quite a lot, I’m sneezing all the time, I’ve got a stiff neck and a bad back, my lips are dry, I feel a bit dizzy, I’m losing my voice, I’ve got gas and indigestion, I’ve got diarrhea, my joints ache, I’ve lost my appetite and I don’t have any energy or enthusiasm for anything really, my hands are shaking, I feel drowsy, I’m wheezing quite a lot, I’ve got a lot of phlegm and catarrh, I get cold sweats at night, I’ve got lots of mouth ulcers and I feel quite de-hydrated, I can’t sleep properly or get comfortable when I sit down, I keep sniffing and blowing my nose and I’ve got a cold sore on my lip, and to top it all off I’ve got athlete’s foot, and a sprained ankle and a broken leg as well. That’s it really.

Friend: Uh huh? Have you seen a doctor?

Luke: Um, no. No I haven’t. That’s a good idea. I’ll do that then.

Friend: Yeah, you should do that because you sound really really really ill.

Luke: Oh ok, I’ll go to the doctor’s. Thanks for your advice.

Friend: That’s no problem. Have a nice day.

Luke: Thanks, you too. Bye bye *coughs* bye bye bye

Here’s the link to the BBC’s information page about swine flu. news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8021958.stm

33. Money Money Money – 12 Phrasal Verbs & more…


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Vocabulary and listening on the subject of money and the economy. Luke’s English Podcast is a free service for learners of English. Use this podcast to get exposure to natural British English. Listen to it wherever and whenever you want to. Luke is a well experienced and qualified English teacher, with plenty of other interests. Improve your English with this podcast, and have fun!

Hello everyone, this podcast is all about MONEY – cash, pounds, dosh, currency, capital, loot, notes, coins, credit, loose change, deniro – call it what you like – we all love to get it and then spend it on STUFF!

In this podcast you’ll hear me talk about money and the economic crisis. I use 12 phrasal verbs. Can you find them? I also discuss a few idioms, sayings and quotations about money.

12 Phrasal Verbs

Here is the transcript of the part of the podcast in which I use 12 phrasal verbs connected to money:

These days, many of us are living in tough times. The economic crisis is making life difficult for many people in this country. We’re all having to economise and cut back on our spending. Nowardays there is less credit available in the money markets and this is having a knock-on effect in our lives.

Unemployment is going up and house prices have gone down over the last few years. The Bank of England used tax payers’ money to bail out many of the banks which were facing insolvency due to their poor investments in so-called ‘toxic assets’ (many of them originating in the American sub-prime real estate markets). The government lowered interest rates to help people pay off their bank loans and mortgages. VAT was lowered to 15% in order to encourage us to splash out in shops up and down the country, and inject more money into the economy.

Some people are not being affected so seriously; particularly the wise individuals who have saved up their money in secure savings accounts. When they need to, they can just dip into their savings in order to pay for an unexpected household repair or a much needed holiday. But for many of us, we just have to get by every month on our monthly salaries. It’s not easy though, particularly in London when everything is so expensive. We try to pay off our loans and mortgages while trying to avoid taking too much cash out of the many cash machines which are available to us all over the city.

The energy companies in particular seem to be ripping everyone off with the price of oil and electricity. It’s almost as though they’re using global warming as an excuse for charging us extortionate amounts for our energy, even though wholesale market prices have dropped in recent months. There’s something rotten going on somewhere.

Big companies and banks seem to get protection from the state, while the average tax payer has to pick up the pieces by working harder, cutting back on our spending, moving into more modest accommodation, or accepting badly paid work because we have no choice. Perhaps it has to be that way – the big companies have to be protected in order to support the economy. It just seems a little unfair that’s all, and I’m sure there are some CEOs and directors who are still doing very well while the rest of us struggle to get by.

Still, it’s not all bad. The lower interest rates on bank loans and mortgages mean we don’t have to pay back so much money each month, and there is now so much freely available entertainment on the internet that it’s quite easy to have a good time without reaching too deep into our pockets.

So, take advantage of free internet content like this. But, if you’re doing okay for money at the moment, and you’re feeling generous – you could always donate some money to me via PayPal!

Did you find the phrasal verbs? Here they are:

1. to cut back on spending – this means to spend less than before. To try and reduce your spending. E.g. “I’m going to have to cut back on my spending in order to save up some money”
2. to go up – this means to increase
3. to go down – this means to decrease
4. to bail someone out – this means to save someone by giving them money. It’s usually used when the government gives money to a company or bank in order to save them from insolvency. E.g. “The government bailed out the banks by giving them £5billion of tax payers’ money”
5. to splash out – this means to spend quite a lot of money in a care-free way when you go shopping. E.g. “I was feeling a bit depressed, so I went to the shopping centre and just splashed out on some new clothes”
6. to save up – this means to save money. E.g. “I’m saving up for a holiday in Italy next year”
7. to dip into savings – this means to go into your savings account, and take a bit of money out. E.g. “I can’t afford to pay my electricity and telephone bills this month. I’m going to have to dip into my savings”
8. to get by – this means to survive, usually on a small amount of money. E.g. “Students in London find it difficult to get by on money they earn from part-time work”
9. to pay something off – this means to completely pay a loan or debt. E.g. “YEAH!!! I’ve finally paid off my student loan!”
10. to take some cash out – this means to withdraw money from a bank or cash machine
11. to rip someone off – to charge too much money for something. To give a bad price. E.g. “You always get completely ripped off in Harrods. You can by the same stuff in other shops for much less money. The prices are just high because it’s Harrods.”
12. to pay something back – to give money back. When you have borrowed money, you have to pay it back each month.

Here are the idioms, sayings and quotes I talk about in the podcast too:

“They say the best things in life are free” – This just means that the most important things are free; like friendship, love, trust, etc.

“Money makes the world go round” – This means that financial transactions, trade & business are what makes everything happen in the world.

“Money doesn’t grow on trees” – This means that you have to work for money. You can’t get it without working.

“Money is the root of all evil” – This means that most of the bad things that people do are the result of their greed for money.

“Money money money: it’s a rich man’s world” – This is a quote from a song by the Swedish pop group, Abba.

“Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems” – This is a quote from a song by Notorious BIG featuring Puff Daddy and Mace.