Phrasal Verbs with ‘Drop’


Last week I showed you some phrasal verbs with ‘pop’. Today I’ll show you some phrasal verbs with ‘drop’.

Drop off

  1. Fall asleep
  2. I can never fall asleep at night but I have no problem dropping off in college classes.

    It takes me an hour before I drop off to sleep at night.

  3. Take someone to a place, usually by car
  4. It’s raining. Get in the car and I’ll drop you off at the station.

Drop in/Drop by/Drop round

Visit casually and usually without planning.

I’ll drop by the Student Union to see if anyone wants to play pool.

Drop out

To quit an activity or a place of education.

We were going to go rafting but Andy and Jane dropped out so there aren’t enough of us, now.

The course is too hard so I’m going to drop out of university.

Drop someone a line

Write to someone.

If you have any news while I’m on holiday, drop me a line at the hotel.

If you have any questions about ‘drop’ verbs, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll drop by later with a reply.

Describe Games


People love playing games. Human beings and dolphins are the only animals with a sense of leisure. We love to play because it is a way to develop rapport, or a way of dealing with each other.

If you want to play with someone, you have to be able to describe games. To do this you need to talk about:

  1. items needed,
  2. main rules, or how you win, and
  3. special rules, or what’s not allowed

Items Needed

What kind of game is it? Is it played on a field? On a board? Is it a computer game? How many players are there?

Chess is played by two players on a squared chequered board of eight by eight squares. There are sixteen pieces per player, which are:
eight pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, one queen and one king. The pieces are black or white.

Tennis is played by two players (singles) or four players (doubles) on a grass or clay court separated in the middle by a net. Each player or pair’s half is divided in half parallel to the net and the front half closest to the net is divided in half again. There are two short sections on either side of these halves that are only used in the doubles game.

Main Rules

As I said before, this is how you win. It is the main point of the game. If you can describe this, you can start playing and explain the rest of the rules as you play on.

The point in chess is to create a situation called checkmate where one’s opponent is unable to move without his king being captured.

In tennis, you take the first shot, called a serve, from the back half of the court and hit it between the net and the halfway line, called the serve line, in your opponent’s half. You hit the ball back to your opponent. Shots are played that land anywhere within the main lines in singles or the side lines in doubles. If you let the ball bounce more than once in your half or if you hit the ball at the net or out of the lines, your opponent wins a point.

Special Rules

These are the difficult rules that are best explained while playing.

In chess, you can make a move called ‘castling’ if you haven’t moved your king or a rook that you use in this move and if your king is not in check (a possible capture situation). You move the king to the square in the middle of the quarter on the rook’s side and the rook to the square in the middle of the quarter on the king’s side of the back line. It should be empty, king, rook, empty on the left side or empty rook, king, empty on the queen’s side.

When you serve, you get two chances to serve correctly. If you mess up both serves, your opponent gets the point.

Phrasal Verbs with ‘Pop’


There are a lot of phrasal verbs with ‘pop’ and most of them have a meaning related to ‘appear’. Here are a few.

Pop up

Appear suddenly or unexpectedly.

A new bookshop has popped up in the town.

Pop in/Pop by/Pop round

Visit casually and usually quickly.

Hello, Mum. I just popped in to see if you wanted anything.

Pop out

  1. Appear unexpectedly or quickly
  2. When I was riding my bike to work my lunch popped out of my bag.

  3. Go out
  4. I’m sorry but Ms. Chopra has just popped out to deal with a technical problem.

Pop one’s clogs

Die. Always used casually and not solemnly.

If I keep eating junk food I’ll pop my clogs earlier than I want but I just can’t resist it.

If you have any questions about ‘pop’ verbs, pop to the comments and I’ll pop by later with a reply.

How to Talk About Predictions


This Summer the Football World Cup will take place in Brazil. Now, most of the provisional squads have been named so people are starting to make predictions.

To make a prediction you need to use an adverb of probability.

  • Certainly/Definitely
  • This is 100% probable. It will happen.

    Brazil are certainly going to make it to the last four.

    Iran have a tough group. They are definitely not going to play after the group stages.

  • Probably
  • This is about 70% probable. It has more chance of happening than not happening.

    Belgium are probably going to do well because they have a good balance of youth and experience.

    Japan probably won’t go further than the group stages unless they have a surprising result against Greece or Colombia.

  • Likely
  • Likely is about 60% probable.

    The USA have a hard group so they are likely to play a heavily defensive game.

    Côte d’Ivoire are likely to play very aggressively to tire the opposition.

  • Unlikely
  • This is only around 10-20% probable.

    Honduras are unlikely to get past the group stages.

    Germany are unlikely to be knocked out before the semi-finals unless they have injury problems.

  • Not a cat in hell’s chance
  • 0% probable. This is never going to happen.

    Every four years they are overconfident but England don’t have a cat in hell’s chance of winning the World Cup.

    They are an excellent team but Cameroon don’t stand a cat in hell’s chance of beating Brazil in their own country.

Why not leave a comment with your predictions for the World Cup?

Useful Phrases for Chairing Meetings

Business English

Chairing a meeting means that you have to be in charge of keeping the meeting on topic and on schedule so that important information can be given and decisions can be made. Here are some useful phrases.

  • Starting the meeting

  • You need to make sure that everybody knows it is time to start and it is best to keep the meeting friendly so use a friendly but authoritative phrase like:

    Now everyone is here, let’s get started.

    If there is a lot of noise from continuing small talk, especially in a large meeting, you may want to be more direct:

    We have a lot to get through so let’s start.

  • Inviting people to speak

  • As the chair of the meeting, you shouldn’t be doing much of the speaking yourself but you should be inviting others to present their information or opinions following the meeting’s agenda. This could be formal:

    First, I’d like Mr. Said to give us his analysis of the first quarter’s revenues. Would you begin, please?

    It could also be informal:

    Next, Molly’s going to run through the new IT policy. Molly.

  • Maintaining order

  • If there is a lot of disagreement, people may keep interrupting. This is not always bad but it may become chaotic. If this is the case, saying something similar to the next example may help. Please note that this is not a question. You are giving instructions, not making a request.

    Mr. Arnold, I understand that you have something to say but I’d like to give Ms. Capello the opportunity to finish. I’ll come back to you soon.

    To come back to the speaker who was interrupting is very simple.

    Mr. Arnold, could you give us your ideas, please?

    If the meeting has become chaotic, give a reminder.

    I’m sure everyone would appreciate it if we avoided talking over one another.

    If all else fails, why not give everyone a break.

    I think we all need to take time out. Could everyone come back by twenty-past ten, please?

Don’t forget that there are other posts to help you, too:

I hope this helps. Remember, if you have any questions or requests, send them in the comments, by emailing me or sending a tweet.