Hi, this is Peter from the Yamashina Smiths School of English. Today I would like to look at a few more phrasal, or two-part verbs. As I mentioned in my last post, we commonly use these verbs in everyday conversation. They can have more than one meaning, depending on context, so let’s have a look at some examples. The root verb this time is ”turn.”
Turn down has two main meanings. The first of these is to reduce the output something, for example the volume of a tv, or the temperature of a room.
”Please turn down the tv, I’m trying to study for my test.”
The office was too hot, so the manager turned the central heating down.
Th second common use is to refuse or reject an offer, request or invitation. For example,
I offered to help him with his report, but he turned me down.
I had other plans for the weekend, so I had to turn down his invitation to the barbeque.
Turn up also has two main definitions, the first is the opposite to turn down. Here we express increasing the output of an appliance, for example an air conditioner, tv or radio. If the room is too hot, we would want to turn up the air conditioner. When a favorite song is playing on the radio, you may turn up the volume.
The second use of turn up is to appear or arrive for an appointment or scheduled activity. It is often used in a negative form, for example,
Although I waited for almost an hour, my friend didn’t turn up at the coffee shop.
Turn out can take three main meanings depending on context. Firstly, it can describe the production of goods from a factory. You may see or hear reports of a company turning out two thousand units a day at a shareholder’s meeting for example.
Secondly, turn out can refer to the attendance at some kind of event. Here the same word can be used both as a verb or as a noun. For example, as a verb we could talk about several thousand people turning out for baseball team victory parade around the town. Alternatively, used as a noun, we could describe the turn out for the victory parade was several thousand.
Another use of this verb is to describe an unexpected or unpredicted outcome. When I got up this morning it was cloudy and looked as if it would rain later in the day, Later, to my surprise, it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day.
Here too, this verb can be used in two different ways. It can have the meaning of going to bed, as in, he turned in early after a particularly busy day at work. Turn in can also mean to submit or hand something or someone in. For example, the student turned in her assignment late because she had been in hospital. We may hear about a suspect in a crime handing themselves in to the police.
These are just four examples of phrasal verbs based on turn, there are others such as turn away, turn over and turn against but I will let you make your own examples if you are interested. I’m sure your Smiths school teacher will be happy to check anything you come up with.