30 day challenge! I challenge you to learn 30 phrasal verbs in 30 days: increase your vocabulary. Today we will learn phrasal verbs with PLAY: play around, play along, play back, play down, play up.
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This is the Rachel’s English 30-Day Challenge. Learn 30 phrasal verbs in 30 days. Jumpstart your vocabulary in 2017. Today is Day 7 and we’re studying “play” phrasal verbs.
I can’t play up enough the importance of phrasal verbs. They’re really used all the time in conversational and written English. Play up. Hmm. That sounds like a phrasal verb. Let’s not play around with these phrasal verbs.
To play around means to treat carelessly. Don’t play around with that, it’s fragile! It can also mean to act in a way that’s joking, that’s not serious. If you’re sort of teasing someone, and they say “stop it!” Or, “you’re being mean!”, or “you’re such a jerk!” You can say, “I’m just playing around!” Meaning, I wasn’t being serious.
It can also mean to test something, to try something out. Maybe you’re designing a logo and you’ve come up with five or six ideas, but you haven’t decided on the final version yet. You might say, I’m still playing around with the logo.
To play along is to cooperate with someone’s idea. For example, I know Santa’s not real, but I’m going to play along for the sake of the kinds. I’m going to pretend that Santa is real.
To play something back is to play something that has been recorded, video or audio. For example, say you’re listening to a podcast with a friend. You might say, I didn’t hear that sentence, can you play it back again?
To play something down is to try to make it seem less important. When the project failed, he tried to play down his role in it. She’s so talented, but she’s always trying to play it down.
To play something up is the opposite: to try to make something seem more important. In the job interview, play up your strengths.
To play someone off someone else is to make those two people disagree, oppose each other. She played her parents off each other after their divorce to get what she wanted.
To play on: this is a phrase we often use with fears. When you play on someone’s fears, you take advantage of what they are afraid of to get what you want. He played on her fear of burglars and sold her a very expensive security system.
When something plays out, it comes to an end. If two people are arguing, someone might say, should we intervene? You could say, no, let’s see how this plays out.
If you play with something, you’re constantly touching it. Like when someone plays with her hair. We also use this with ‘idea’ in the phrase ‘playing with the idea’. It means you’re thinking about something. You haven’t decided for sure. She’s playing with the idea of running for city council.
Play. A simple word, but so many ways to use it as a phrasal verb. ‘Play’ starts with the PL consonant cluster. Pl-. Lips part with a little burst of air, pp– pl—The tongue is already in position for the light L. Tip up. Pll—Pl– Plllll-ay. Then the AY as in SAY diphthong. Jaw drops more, ay, then lifts as the front part of the tongue arches towards the front of the roof of the mouth. Ayy– Play.
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Click the links in the description. This 30-day challenge is leading up to a phrasal verbs course that will be available on my online school on February 1. Rachel’s English Academy is a collection of courses focusing on English conversation,
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