Speaking in English about starting again
Today’s example shows us how to speak about something that starts again after taking a break.
We can use it to talk about our hobbies and activities. It can also be used for something we like (a TV series, for example), that comes back after we thought it was cancelled. We see this English sentence patten in the news a announcements a lot.
For the New Year, are you planning to start something again? Tell us about it in the comments
- in fact - in reality; really; actually.
- hiatus - A hiatus is a break in doing something. It can also be a long interruption in something.
- maternity leave - A woman who gives birth to a baby usually takes maternity leave from work to be with her baby.
- youth hostel - An inexpensive place to stay when you travel. They usually lack a lot of hotel comforts, but are good options for people traveling a long time.
Have you ever taken a long break from doing exercise that you used to do a lot? When you start again, it can be really difficult and your body hurts. This example is talking about that feeling.
Notice that ‘training’ is used with Taekwon-do. Specific sport names will usually be used with ‘training’, but broader types of exercise will be used with the plural, ‘classes’, if the person is going to a class. For example, “…returning to aerobics classes…’.
For general hobbies that are also verbs, we add ‘-ing’ to it like this: “…returning to painting…”.
For hobbies that are nouns, we just need to say the word: “…returning to photography…”.
English has many variations like this that can be difficult for students learning how to talk about hobbies, sports, and activities. If there is anything you want to know how to say, please comment on the website.
One more thing you should known is that you can also replace ‘returning to’ to ‘going back to’ or ‘coming back to’.
Use ‘going back to’ when you are talking about yourself, and ‘coming back to’ when talking about someone or something else.
Looking at this sentence, I think it will be good practice for people who have difficulties pronouncing L’s and R’s. You need to be sure to be careful saying ‘learned’. If saying the ‘r’ in the middle is difficult, you can also say it like ‘luhned’. If you make the beginning sound too much like ‘lah’, it could sound like ‘land’ to the listener. Also, because the ‘d’ sound of ‘learned’ is followed by ‘that’, many speakers probably won’t say the ‘d’ sound very strongly. It will most likely sound like ‘learn that’.
Other than that, I don’t think there is anything else that should give you too many problems. If you have any questions, though, please let me know.
Try to pronounce it like this with intonation added in the bold places:
“This week I learned-that returning-tuh-Taekwondo training-afterseven years is painful. In fact, exercise-is painful.”
Using the Language
When you, someone, or something has taken a long break and then started again, you want to use this pattern:
“(Who or What) is returning to X after (time).”
In today’s example, the speaker adds an adjective at the end to describe more about the process of starting something again after a break.
One thing to remember. Even though we use ‘-ing’ with returning, it doesn’t mean it is returning right now. In today’s example, the speaker begins with “This week I learned…”. Because he starts with the past tense, he has already gone back to Taekwon-do training.
As you’ll see in our examples below, though, using ‘returning’ without the past tense means something will happen soon, but has not happened yet.
The second sentence in today’s example uses the idiom ‘in fact’. This shows that the speaker is going to add more information to the statement he or she just finished. The example tells us that not only has the speaker taken a break from Taekwon-do, but also other forms of exercise. So, all exercise, he says, is painful.
- “Russia is returning to Mars after a 15-year break.”
- “Survivorman is returning to TV this month after being on hiatus for more than three years.”
- “Returning to work after two years maternity leave is really challenging.”
- “I’m returning to America after taking 18 months to travel abroad.”
When to use these examples
Using Example #1 - You and your friend are talking about the future. You wonder if humans will ever go to Mars. Your friend says,
“Did you hear? Russia is returning to Mars after a 15-year break. Maybe they’ll try to send people sometime.” (Take a look at this article here)
Using Example #2 - Your roommate loved the show ‘Survivorman’ on the Discovery Channel. He was very sad when it stopped airing. One day, you are sitting on the sofa watching TV. He is sitting across the room looking at his laptop. Suddenly, he gets excited and reads from his screen,
“Survivorman is returning to TV this month after being on hiatus for more than three years. All right!”
Using Example #3 - You run into your friend at the supermarket. She has just returned to work after taking care of her baby for two years. She looks really tired, so you ask her how she is doing back at work. She says,
“Returning to work after two years maternity leave is really challenging.”
She then tells you about having to get up early in the morning, getting her child ready for kindergarten, planning dinners, and all the other household chores that she and her husband must do with limited time everyday.
Using Example #4 - You are sitting in a youth hostel, talking to a fellow traveller. You want to tell her about your travel experience and your plans for going home. You start by saying,
“I’m returning to America next week after taking 18 months to travel abroad.”