For many people learning to speak English, numbers like 13 and 30, 14 and 40, and so on, are difficult to hear the difference. In today’s example, we have the number 40, but listen to how the ‘ty’ at the end drops off a little bit. Because native speakers don’t pronounce the ‘n’ of the teens (13, 14, 15, etc.), you have to learn to understand by pitch. To be honest, when speaking on the phone or in a loud area, native speakers also make mistakes and hear things wrong. So, if you are unsure, it is totally fine to ask!
Also, notice how the ‘if’ at the beginning is very soft. It almost just sounds like air. ‘If’ at the beginning of sentences rarely gets pronounced clearly. So just remember if you here something that just sounds like an ‘f’ sound, it is probably ‘if’!
Finally, listen to ‘bank on’, because this is a phrasal verb, the two words are blended so much that it almost sounds like it is one word. If you didn’t know the phrase, you might not pick out that it was two words. In any kind of listening practice you do, always listen for these kind of pairs. It will train you to pick them out better.
Listen to the audio and write your own notes. Then click ‘Compare’. Practice shadowing the audio with your notes.
Let’s focus on using the phrasal verb ‘bank on’ today. Here are some common ways you will hear it:
You can bank on (something).
I banked on (something), but (something else happened).
There are many other ways to express what the phrase ‘bank on’ does.
Here are all of the situations ‘bank on’ can be used in:
to hope, to have confidence in something, to plan for something, to expect something, and other phrasal verbs, ‘bet on’, ‘rely on’, and ‘something you can count on’.
The phrase is probably used because to put money in a bank was to put it in a safe place, so you could rely on the bank. Since today’s example is about getting money back from social security that we’ve paid in to, it is kind of ironic and clever to use ‘bank on’ in their sentence.
So, today’s example basically means,
‘If you’re under 40, don’t hope to get your social security money back.’
Pretty depressing news… I know America is not alone in this issue. Is your country in the same situation? What do you think is a good alternative to social security? Should we refuse to pay into a system that promises to protect us later in life, but will eventually fail to do so?
Let me know in the comments!
Situations & Examples
Read the situations, but write down your own sentence using today’s target. When you finish, click ‘Show Example’. Share your own sentences in the comments!
You’re watching the news one evening, and you see an interview with one of the star players of a college basketball team. The team had just won a playoff game, and was going to the final. The reporter asked the very confident, cocky star, “Your last three games, you’ve averaged 55 points. Do you think you’ll be able to keep this up in the final?” He replies,
Your friend just opened a flower shop a couple of months ago. You go in the day before Mother’s Day. The shop is a total wreck, it’s filled with people, and your friend is hectically running around the store. When you finally get to the register, you ask your friend if everything’s OK. She explains they thought they would get more orders, but they weren’t ready for this many. She says,
Review the lesson for Over the Holiday Season
You just finished running a 5 K race at a school track meet. You normally only compete in sprints, but this was your first long distance race. You planned to let the other runners run faster ahead of you, hoping that you would have more energy at the end to sprint by them. You were too far back on the last lap, though, and you couldn’t catch up. None of the other runners burned out (take a look at the Burn Out lesson to learn about this phrase). You explain to a team mate,
You and your wife have just taken up bird watching. You plan to go on a big bird watching hike together, but you hadn’t planned for an unexpected, late spring snow storm. Telling your friend about the experience, you say,