29 ON and OFF - my American friend
M- Today we’re talking about “ON and OFF”
M- Cindy, how are you today?
C- Eh, not so great. I’m FEELING A LITTLE “OFF” today. I think I’m coming down with a cold.
M- Oh no! Really?
C- No, I’m fine. I was just kidding with you. I feel great!
M- Oh Good! So, if someone says they’re feeling…
C- a little bit off today- that means they’re not feeling well for some reason.
M- This leads us to our topic today: some common uses for the words ‘’ON & OFF’’.
C- My husband reminded me of this subject. His first language is Italian and he is great about reminding me of all the little oddities of English that, frankly, I would never notice at all!
M- Sounds useful! Let’s get started.
C- Ok, did you know you can use “off” when referring to someone who has suddenly become angry?
M- Like...an explosion?
C- Exactly- an explosion of anger! I’ll give you an example: Yesterday, we were listening to a lecture in my Chemistry Class when all of a sudden… a student’s cell phone began to ring!
M- Oh no! That’s so rude! What happened?
C- The professor WENT OFF! He lost his temper and started yelling at everyone in the auditorium!
M- Cindy, I know that’s a fake story- but I totally agree with your imaginary professor!
C- I know, right? I can’t stand it when people forget to silence their mobile phones! Okay, how about this one…listen carefully…
M- I’m ready.
C- Marta, shut the alarm off before it goes off.
M- That part I understood.
C- SHUT THE ALARM OFF… that means to turn off the alarm, or shut it down…before it GOES OFF. Shut the alarm off before it begins to ring.
M- Useful. Have another one for us?
C- Yes, for example, when the siren of an ambulance or a fire truck begins to sound we say ‘’THE SIREN HAS GONE OFF’’.
M- But it hasn’t gone off- it has actually turned on!
C- Precisely…and that’s why you and I are here to help clarify. Do you have an ambulance sound effect for us, Miss Sound Engineer?
M- Yes. I think so. Hang on a minute. Here you go.
C- Thank you, can you hear it? We would say ‘’the siren has just gone off’’…and now the siren has stopped. Thank you.
M- How about the word “off” used in relation to food?
C- Oh, that’s important! Ok, if I were to say: The milk’s gone off. Don’t drink it, just throw it away. That means the milk has spoiled and it’s no longer drinkable, if THE MILK HAS ‘’GONE OFF’’ that means it’s rotten.
M- Ok. We can also use “off” in more ways to relate to food, right?
C- Yes, we can also use “off” to say we are avoiding something. Here’s an example: My brother is trying to lose weight. For now, HE’S “GONE OFF” CHEESE AND PASTA. That means he’s avoiding, or not eating, cheese & pasta in an effort to lose weight. Hey Marta, speaking of cheese- do you like Taleggio cheese?
M- Oh no! Just the smell of it “puts me off”!
C- THE SMELL “PUTS YOU OFF”? That means the smell is unappealing and unappetizing to you. And just so you know, my husband loves that stuff! He’ll gladly take all your unwanted Taleggio cheese!
M- Good, I’ll hand deliver it to him!
C- All right, let’s talk a little about ‘’turn on’’.
M- Turn off the lights. Turn on the lights. We’ve all got that.
C- Probably the most common use of ‘’turn on’’ is of a sexual nature. If something is A “TURN ON” that means it is sexually attractive to you.
M – (Singing the song “Kiss” by Prince): You don't have to be beautiful, to turn me on...
C - But we can also use ‘’turn on’’ to mean ‘’you’ve brought something to my attention” …you've “TURNED ME ON TO” it.
M- Can you give us an example?
C- Sure…I could say something like: Hey, thanks for turning us on to that new restaurant in town! We ate there last night! The food was fantastic! Or : Thanks for turning us on to that new band! They’re awesome!
M: Or: We hope that our podcast has helped to turn you on to English!
C- Well said, my friend. Well said.
C - Thanks for listening everyone! We wish you all a great day ahead!
M: Thank you for listening and remember that you can find us on www.myamericanfriendblog.com. We're also on facebook, twitter, podomatic, youtube, iTunes. Thank you, bye bye!
C – Bye bye!
Let's sum up:
I’m FEELING A LITTLE OFF today (I'm not feeling well)
The professor WENT OFF! (explosion of anger)
SHUT the alarm OFF before it GOES OFF! (turn off the alarm before it begins to ring).
The siren has GONE OFF (it has turned on, it's ringing)
THE MILK HAS GONE OFF (it’s rotten)
He's GONE OFF cheese and pasta (he's avoiding cheese and pasta)
The smell PUTS ME OFF (it's unappealing)
TURN ON (sexually attractive)
You've “TURNED ME ON TO” something (you're brought something to my attention)
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