Podcast #69 Phrasal Verbs with TALK

Published in the category Grammar and Usage, Phrasal Verbs

talk about: Talk about is not considered to be a true phrasal verb, but it looks like one, so we will start with it.  When you talk about something you are verbally sharing your thoughts or observations about a topic.

He talked about his childhood.

We can talk about that later.

Did you talk with your brother about the will?

We’re done here, there’s nothing more to talk about.

talk around: When you talk around a subject, you avoid talking directly about a topic. Note that in British English they say talk round, not talk around.

He was extremely embarrassed about asking for a raise. He talked around it but never said what he wanted.

It is frustrating to try to solve a personnel problem with my supervisor. She always talks around the main issue.

talk someone around: When you talk somebody around, you lead that person to your point of view, even though that person started with a different point of view.

She finally talked her mother around to taking a vacation.

Don’t try to talk me around to supporting your crazy ideas.

At first he was against the plan, but I talked him around.

talk at: When you talk at somebody, you are only interested in your own ideas.

You’re always talking at me and not with me!

Stop talking at me about how I should change.

talk back: When you talk back to someone who has authority over you, you are challenging something that person said and you are not trying to be respectful.

I got slapped if I talked back to my father.

Talking back to a police officer is not advisable.

She got punished for talking back to her teacher.

talk down:  To talk down to somebody means to talk to them in a way that suggests that person is not your equal or to give the impression that the person won’t understand you unless you use simplified language.

He was a good teacher who never talked down to his students.

She talked down to me as if I was a child.

A special use of talk down is to convince someone, by continuously talking to that person, to come down safely from a high place. There are two situations where talk down is most often used. One is when you convince somebody not to jump off a high place to commit suicide. The other is when you give detailed instructions to somebody who is flying a plane and is in some sort of difficulties.

The airplane’s radar controls were damaged by lightning. The air traffic controller talked the pilot down.

The man was standing on the ledge and threatened to jump. A police officer talked the troubled man down from the ledge.

talk out of:  When you talk a person out of doing something, you expend some effort to convince the person not to perform that  action.

They talked their son out of joining the army.

Don’t try to talk me out of emigrating.

I talked my landlord out of raising the rent.

When you talk yourself out of something, it can mean you convinced yourself not to do something.

I talked myself out of buying a new mobile phone

She talked herself out of asking her ex-husband for help.

When somebody talks himself out of something, it can mean he said the wrong thing at the wrong time, with the result that he lost the opportunity for something good.

At the job interview, I should not have been so forceful about my expectations. I think I talked myself out of a job offer.

My customer needed some time to think, but I just kept telling him why he should buy the car he was looking at. Finally he just left. I’m sure I talked myself out of that sale.

talk into: Talk into is the opposite of talk out of. When you talk a person into doing something, you expend some effort to convince that person to perform the action.

They talked me into going with them.

The doctor talked my grandfather into having some tests.

That woman can talk you into doing anything.

talk over: To talk over means to discuss.

Let’s talk over the plans at lunch.

Let’s talk the plans over at lunch.

I talked over the menu choices with the waiter.

I talked the menu choices over with the waiter.

talk through: To talk through is  to review with someone, in detail, a body of information or a set of procedures.

We have a well developed evacuation plan in case of fire. I’ll talk you through it.

Doctor, I am very nervous about my operation . Can you talk me through the whole procedure?

talk up: One meaning of talk up is to describe something only in favorable terms.

The director of tourism for the city of Phoenix, Arizona, gave a presentation to the group of travel agents. She really talked up the number of golf courses.

Be careful with the health advice you hear on daytime TV. They tend to talk up the latest fad in vitamins.

talk yourself out: You talk yourself out when you have said so much or spoken for so long that you have nothing more to say.

I have been explaining the company’s decision for three hours now. I think I’ve talked myself out.

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