Every language has got its own distinct features. English language isn’t any exception to that. This world-wide spoken language is a complicated one yet easy. In order to learn English properly, you need to have knowledge on several aspects of it. One of these is phrase which plays a big role in having command over the language. So let us try to juggle several common phrases used widely in conversation.
A. Catch Up On (Something)
Meanings : To do something that left undone for some time now. (To do something that you have not been able to do recently). Look at the examples below :
1. I was abroad on a business tour for a week. So I need to catch up on my writing habit now.
2. We were very busy with business dealings over the last few days. Now we have to catch up on family issues.
3. I have not been able to communicate with you for the last one week due to final exam. The exam’s over. Now I want to catch up on the relation with you.
B. Hit The Brakes
Meanings 1 : To slow down or to stop something one is doing (Non-literal meanings). Let’s see the examples to be clear on this topic :
1. Now it’s time for you to hit the brakes on smoking as it’s a bad and expensive habit.
2. We had to hit the brakes on our plan of establishing a small farm as we were going through some financial difficulties.
3. Finally the ever soaring default loans in Bangladesh have hit the brakes on some measures taken by the finance ministry. (meaning it is slowing down).
Meanings 2 : To press a vehicle’s brakes to slow down or stop (literally). See the sentences below :
1. The driver had to hit the brakes when he saw a child moving onto the street carelessly.
C. Work Something Out
meanings 1 : To solve a sum or an issue or crisis or to determine an amount by calculation. Take a look at the following sentences :
Example : 1. Trump now thinks India and Pakistan themselves are able to work the Kashmir crisis out. (Meaning to solve the crisis).
2. I sometimes try to work things out on my way to office.
3. We need to work out first how much we can spend on the programme. (meaning calculate an amount).
Synonyms : calculate, compute, solve etc.
Meanings 2 : make a plan in detail. Look at the examples below :
1. We need to work out how we can celebrate 50 years anniversary of the country’s independence.
Synonyms : devise, formulate, draw up, put together, develop, prepare, construct, arrange, organize, plan, think up etc.
meanings 3 : To come to an agreement with someone; to figure out with someone a way to do something. See the examples below :
1. Finally the USA and Taliban have worked their differences out and found a way to make peace in the region.
2. I think India and Pakistan can work outstanding issues out and pave the way for dialogue between them .
3. The authorities are sure that we can work the problem regarding salary hike out.
D. Back Off
Meanings : To retreat on a particular idea or course of action. See some examples :
1. US President now backs off from his previous stance on the Kashmir issue.
2. The Chinese authorities are getting tougher on the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. So I think the demonstrators need to back off from what they are trying to achieve. Otherwise the situation will get worse in the days ahead.
Meanings 2 : To get back or move backward away from something. See the examples :
1. please back off the edge of the wall in case you fall down.
Meanings 3 : Go away! Stop bothering me! Look at the examples below :
1. I have got no interest in watching movies. So back off please!
2. You need to back off, dear. I’ve told you I’m not interested in what you plan to do.