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Thursday, June 21, 2012

To Borrow From

To Borrow From
Meaning: to take another idea and add it to your own

 Example 1:
Terri: I’m so excited! My cousin is coming in from out of town and I want to show her around LA, but I want to take her to someplace different, not just the typical tourist places.

Selma: What is she interested in?

Terri: Well, let’s see….She is actually studying architecture at New York University, but I can’t imagine LA has any interesting buildings compared to New York!

Selma: Actually, there are a few places you could take her that have really nice examples of Art Deco like The Wiltern, The El Ray Theater and even on the Queen Mary in Long Beach!

Terri: Art Deco? What exactly is it?

Selma: It’s a unique style of architecture from the 1920s and 1930s that borrowed styles from ancient cultures like Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

Terri: Really? Well, I’m sure that would be interesting for an architecture major, especially a style that borrowed from so many other cultures.

Example 2:

Ken: I just saw a really interesting report on TV.

Jolene: Really? What was it about?

Ken: Well, they were talking about how so many of the words in English are borrowed from other languages.

Jolene: I thought that English was the “international language” and that other languages borrowed from English.

Ken: That may be the case now, but originally English borrowed many of its words from Latin. Also, a large number of words were borrowed from Greek and French.

Jolene: Hmmm….interesting!

To borrow from means to take another idea from someone or something and make it your own idea. In example 1, the style “Art Deco” borrowed from other ancient styles to make its own unique style. In example 2, the English language also borrowed from other languages to form modern English.
This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook Reading Connections. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 3 Reading/Vocabulary classes. For more information, please visit:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

To Take Something Back

To Take Something Back

Meaning: to say that something you said before is not true

Example 1:

Terri: I feel just awful! I told some friends at a party last week that Cindy was cheating on her husband because I saw her having dinner with another man at a really nice restaurant. However, I just found out today that the man was her brother who was visiting her for the weekend.

Selma: Oh, no! How many people did you tell? It is going to be so hard to take it back. I bet people have been gossiping about this for a week!

Terri: Yes, I know! I really wish I could take back everything I said, but I’m afraid it’s impossible. But I’m going to try. I’m going to call everyone at the party to tell them I was wrong.

Selma: That’s going to take a lot of time. Good luck!

Terri: Thanks, I’ll need it.

Example 2:

Ken: Jolene, could I talk to you in private for just a moment?
Jolene: Umm…I don’t know, Ken. I’m still a little upset about last night.
Ken: I know. I just want to tell you that I had a little too much to drink at the restaurant and I didn’t mean the things I said.
Jolene: What? Do you really think you can take back what you said about me? Maybe your true feelings were showing when you said that I am just a spoiled little rich girl!
Ken: If I could take it all back I would! I really didn’t mean it, Jolene. Please believe me!
Jolene: I just can’t forget what you said! Maybe you should be more careful from now on. It’s so difficult to take back the things you tell people, especially the insults.
Ken: I know and I hope you can forgive me someday….

To take back means to say that something you said in the past is not true. In the first example, Terri told a lot of people that Cindy was having an affair. Those people will tell other people and pretty soon many people will think she is having an affair. However, it is not true, but it will be very hard to take back this piece of gossip because so many people have heard it. In the second example, Ken said something very hurtful to Jolene. Because of this, Jolene cannot forget his words and will not forgive him. Ken cannot take back his words.
This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook Reading Connections. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 3 Reading/Vocabulary classes. For more information, please visit: