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Thursday, February 16, 2012

"to follow up"

Example 1:

Boss: (to her staff at a meeting) Hi everyone! I want to follow up on the new policies we talked about at our last meeting.... How is everything so far?

Employee 1: I think the changes are good!

Employee 2: Maybe, but some of the new policy information hasn't been sent to me yet.

Boss: Ok, thanks for letting me know. I'll have my office get that to you right away.

Example 2:

Jerry: I can't believe it! My bank charged me an extra fee for a service I never asked for!

Mark: Oh, that's not good. Did you contact them about it?

Jerry: Yes~ the customer service representative apologized and told me they would reverse it.

Mark: Good. If I were you, I would follow up with them to make sure they give you your money back.

Jerry: For sure! If I don't see the money returned to my account tomorrow, I'll give them a call.

Meaning: to check on something after the first action. It also means to discover more about something.

In Example 1, the boss wants to check that everything is ok with her staff after they discussed new policies at their last meeting. And she probably wants to discover if her staff has any problems, questions, or input.

In Example 2, the idiom is used to make sure that everyhting is ok, as in Example 1. It also shows how important it is to check and make sure that someone does what they say they will do.

Usage notes: We use this idiom with the prepositions "on" or "with."

Example 1: to follow up on something
Example 2: follow up with someone

Also, when using this idiom after a modal verb (can, could, may, might, will, would, should, etc.), remember to omit "to."

CORRECT: I need to follow up. (need is not a modal verb)
CORRECT: I will follow up.
CORRECT: I will follow up with them.

INCORRECT: I will to follow up.
INCORRECT: I can to follow up.

The idiom "to follow up" was taken from Unit 9 (The Speed of Romance) in LSI's textbook Reading Transitions for Level 4 Reading/Vocabulary classes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"to be head over heels"

Example 1:

Jane: Wow, Sarah and Todd are inseparable!

Steve: I know.... I never hang out with Todd anymore. And when I do see him, he always talks about Sarah.

Jane: They must be head over heels! Sarah's constantly talking about Todd as well.

Steve: That's awesome. They're very happy together. Happy Valentine's Day!

Example 2:

Teacher: Have you seen Mike?

Student: No, but I heard he's head over heels in love...!

Teacher: Uh-oh... I hope he remembers his priorities. He's very young to get into a serious relationship....

Student: Yes, I am worried about him. He shouldn't be missing school because of his girlfriend.

Meaning: The expression "to be head over heels" has been used for hundreds of years and is still very popular today. It means to "be crazy in love" or to "be so excited that you want to turn cartwheels." This idiom is usually used when a relationship is new and two people have just fallen deeply in love. They can't think of anything or anyone else but each other! Therefore, this expression can be either positive or negative.

Example 1 is positive. Two people have found each other and want to spend all their time together. Maybe they don't have time for their old friends now, but that's normal when you fall in love. Who knows? Maybe they'll become engaged and get married.

Example 2 is negative. This young man is losing himself in a relationship that he's probably not ready for. He is not attending school and seems to have lost his focus. He is probably too young to understand what love really is.

Usage notes: be + head over heels (in love) should not be confused with the adverb "head over heels" which means to fall or tumble upside down. Example: When I tried snowboarding, I fell head over heels down the mountain!

The idiom "be head over heels" was taken from Unit 8 (Relationships) in LSI's textbook Speaking Savvy for Level 5 Listening/Speaking classes.

Happy Valentine's Day!!