We use idioms A LOT in conversational American English. Learn some of the idioms that relate to golf with the word ‘par’ in this video, shot with the help of my dad!
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In this American English Pronunciation video, we’re going to go over a few idioms relating to golf. Check out this swing.
So the word Par’ and some idioms around ‘par’ are used for things not relating to golf. ‘Par,’ let’s practice that together, like ‘car’ and ‘star’, it’s a little tricky. You have to let your jaw drop with your tongue forward for ‘a.’ ‘Par,’ -a-. Then the tongue will lift back and up for the ‘r’ sound. ‘Par.’ The tip shouldn’t be touching anything. Try it slowly, ‘Par,’ ‘par,’ ‘par.’ Keep listening to the word ‘par’ in this conversation.
But I think ‘par’ comes from golf. This is my Dad, everybody.
>> He just went golfing today.
>> Dad what does ‘par’ mean in golf?
>> ‘Par’ is the score for any given hole or for the whole 18 holes of a round, that would be an expectation for a very good golfer.
>> Okay. So can you give an example?
>> Well, holes are either…a fairly short hole is a ‘par’ 3 so a very good golfer should be able to make it in the cup within 3 shots.
>> Okay. So, let’s talk about what ‘par’ means in these idioms. We have the idioms ‘subpar’ or ‘below par.’
>> ‘Below Par’ in golf would be very good because, say, a round of 18 holes where ‘par’ might be 72, a very good golfer might do a 70.
>> Or ev–, 68, or even a 65.
>> So ‘below par’ is great in golf.
>> Because of course, the point is to do it in the fewest strokes possible.
>> That’s right.
>> But ‘below par’ or ‘subpar’ in…as an idiom…
>> Is usually a negative thing.
>> Right. Opposite meaning.
>> So, if you feel sort of sick you’re feeling a little ‘below par’ today…
>> You don’t feel real well.
‘Below par’ or ‘subpar’: great in golf because you want the lowest score possible. But as an idiom, ‘below par’ or ‘subpar’ is a bad thing, not meeting expectation.
A note on the pronunciation of ‘subpar.’ You don’t need to release the ‘B’ then make a ‘P’. That will make it choppy, ‘subpar,’ ‘subpar.’ Hold your lips in place and voice the vocal cords. Sub-, -b-, -b-, -b-, -par. Then go right into the ‘P’ sound. Don’t release the ‘B.’ ‘Subpar.’
Last night I was eating a cookie that wasn’t very good, happened to have the video camera running, and I used the idiom, let’s check it out.
>> These cookies aren’t very good, not up to par, subpar. I’m not going to eat the rest.
So another idiom would be ‘on par,’ right? Which basically just means meeting expectations.
>> Yeah, ‘par for the course’ means, it’s just sort of a normal thing, it wasn’t particularly great, it wasn’t particularly bad.
>> But it’s, it’s the normal.
On ‘par’: meeting expectations or equal to something. An example, let’s say Renee was a great employee who had to leave. Your friend asks, how is the new employee? And you say, she’s great, on par with Renee.
‘Par for the course.’ Note the stress pattern here. ‘Par’ and ‘course’ are stressed. ‘Par for the course.’ ‘For’ and ‘the’ are unstressed. For the, for the, for the. ‘Par for the course.’ ‘Par for the course.’ Listen again,
>> Par for the course [4x]
But how would you use it. So, when you think of saying something as ‘par for the course,’ and… I think it sometimes has a negative meaning like, this is what was expected and it’s not great. Like for example, we’re on vacation, it’s been raining every day, and you say Rachel what’s the weather forecast for today? And I say ‘par for the course,’ rain again.
>> I disagree with that.
>> That’s okay. Granted, you’re not the pronunciation expert that I am but…
>> This is true.
>> You have been speaking English longer than I have.
>> This is true also.
>> So what do you think about it?
>> I think it just means, it’s the normal, its average. So ‘par for the course,’ if you’re having great weather 5 days in a row and the 6th day is great weather, you say, well ‘par for the course’ for this week. It’s been great every day.
>> Okay, I, I agree that you can say it like that. But I think most of the time it’s used to reinforce a negative expectation. But we can agree to disagree.
>> Well, that’s ‘par for the course’ for you. You would disagree with what I have to say.
>> That’s true, great use of the idiom.
>> And that is a negative, it really is.
A couple other idioms, ‘above par’: that means above average or expectation. Sara’s work is ‘above par’ she’s fantastic. ‘Up to par,’ as good as expected or average. Examples: I’m not feeling ‘up to par’ today. Or Sally’s work is good, ‘up to par’.
>> Thanks, Dad, for joining me on this video. Guys if you liked my Dad, like the video, and share with everyone you know.
That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.