http://www.engvid.com/ These 5 phrasal verbs are used every day by native speakers to help them "catch up" with friends and "work out" problems at home and work. Study this video and you won't ever feel cut off in a conversation. Take a quiz on this lesson here: http://www.engvid.com/5-conversation-phrasal-verbs/
Okay, James. Product placement right about now. Apple Computers, take one. Hi. James from EngVid. Yeah. We're getting sponsored by Apple. "Sponsored" means someone is paying you to do something. No, it's not the case. And just so you know, this is the cheap version that's old. One of you guys made a guess last time I held it up. You're like, "It's the Apple 5 with retinal scan!" I don't even know what that is, so don't ask me. Okay? So -- but Mr. E and I, we get to work on my computer, and we're going to tell a story. Mr. E, ready? Okay. So "Mr. E helped to blank blank my new computer. It's not new. It something something well, and we finished early. However, it something something Mr. E had forgotten to pay his electric bill, so the power was something something -- wow, a lot of 'something somethings'. We sat in the -- excuse me. We sat in the dark" -- stop. The end. This is a stupid story. I'm going to try and do a better story. Mr. E, help me, okay?
Now, Mr. E -- first of all, I should tell you what this is about. I'm giving you five phrasal verbs that are commonly used in conversation that will help you have, you know, a more interesting conversation, but not just that. Because these are used commonly in conversation, you can understand what people are saying because I'm going to try and teach you not just one --no sirree Bob! We're having a sale today. James's sale -- you're going to get two for the price of one meaning, so you can understand this story, but when you're done, you can go back and actually build your own stories or usages, okay? So let's go to the beginning.
"Mr. E helped me to something at my new computer." Well laptops are different. You just put it in a room. In the old days and even now, some people buy big computers, and they have speakers and they have the box and, you know, the big screen. And you have to put it somewhere. Well, when you put it somewhere, you know, you want to arrange or build a system. We call that a "set up". You set it up. It means to put it or arrange it in a way you can use it. You "set up" a business, right? It's a system, you know. You know you buy; you sell -- it's a system. So setting something up is to arrange it or organize it or build a thing that you can use. That's one definition, "set up". What's the second one?" To place somebody in an awkward situation". Interesting. Sometimes you're watching the movies -- I'm sure you watch many of them -- someone will say, "He set me up that so-and-so." Well, what it means is they knew something about the person; they pretended they didn't know; then, they got other people to come around to expose or get the truth out. That's called a "setup". The police "set up" criminals all the time, right? They pretend to buy drugs. They pretend, but they don't actually want to buy them. The criminal sells them, and then they catch them. And they say, "It was a setup from the beginning", and the police go, "Yeah, and you fell for it." When you "fall" for something, you believe it's true even though it's not, okay? So "set up" here means two things: to arrange a system; that's one thing, and that's what we did with my computer system. It's not an awkward situation. We've arranged and built a system, right? So let's set up. Let's go back. Mr. E helped me to set up my new computer. That means we put it on a table, got the speakers, plugged it in, made it work. Cool, right?
Next, "It w___ o___ well and we finished early." "W___ o___ well" -- what could that be? W-o, w-o. Well, look. See this other arrow comes down here. What does that mean? Well, it means fix a problem -- or couples fix a relationship -- and come to a successful end. Well, what we're talking about is work because when you have a problem you must work, right? To come to a successful end means you must do some work first to come to the end. Running a race; making dinner; fixing a problem. Fixing a problem requires work. Couples have to work on a relationship. And we also have this "this worked out". And if you're like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you have big muscles because you work out. That's my best Arnold impersonation. Okay, so Arnold works out, but that's different. So we also say -- and I should've put it here -- "go to gym", right? Because a lot of times I hear foreign students say, "Teacher, we go exercising now." And I always go, "[laugh] You go exercise. Right." North Americans, English speakers, they "work out". That's what we do when we go to the gym. It is exercising, but that's our word. Be here we say, "It worked out well".