Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about some phrasal verbs that use the word "push." These are expressions that feature the verb "push," but have a slightly different meaning from the basic meaning of "push." Let's take a look.
Okay. Let's begin with the first expression, which is "push off." "To push off" means to begin moving. Usually, we use this with a boat. When we say "push off," it's like we're pushing away from some kind of safety or some kind of support. We typically use this for boats to mean moving away from like a dock, moving away from land, moving away from the part of the boat that's connected to some safety on land. We use this to refer to moving away from a safe place, but it tends to be used a lot in boats. An example of this, "We pushed off at 8:00 a.m." Here, it's the past tense, "We pushed off," and the time. "We pushed off at 8:00 a.m." means probably, the boat left the safe place at the dock at 8:00 a.m. "To push off" means to begin moving away from something, away from something, some kind of support.
Okay. Let's move along to the next expression. The next expression is "to push by." "To push by something" or "to push by someone" means to use a pushing motion to move past someone or something. We use these a lot with people in a crowded situation where you're near someone else but you would like to move past that person. You can use a slight pushing motion, a gentle pushing motion to move past that person. You don't want to, maybe, push them a lot but you can alert the other person. You can tell the other person you're going to pass them with this expression.
For example, "I'm going to push by you." "I'm going to push by you" shows I'm going to push myself or I'm maybe going to push something close to you, or I might push you a little bit. It refers to making a pushing motion to move somewhere. To push by someone. In this case, to push by you. In other words, I'm going to make a pushing motion and move past you. It's usually a small pushing motion, not a big one. This is just a quick kind of alert phrase you can tell someone as you move by them.
Okay. Let's move along to the next expression, which is "to push someone around." "To push someone around" means to bully someone. You can imagine this is in a situation where there's someone maybe higher level and someone lower level. This could be at school, it could be at work, it could be in groups of friends. When you push someone around, you are unkind to them. You make unkind comments to them. You ask them to do lots of things for you for no reason just to use your power over that person. We use the expression "to push someone around" to talk about bullying someone like this.
An example, "Don't let your boss push you around." In other words, "Don't let your boss bully you. Don't let your boss make you do so many things, or don't let your boss be rude to you." "To push someone around" is like you're using them or you're not treating them with respect. It's not a good thing; it's a negative expression.
Okay. Let's move on to the next phrasal verb. The next phrasal verb is "to push limits." You'll hear this a lot in technology, news, business perhaps as well. This expression means to work at the extremes. You can imagine that there's some kind of boundary, some kind of limit in your field, at your job, in your life. "To push those limits" means to work there and try to expand those boundaries. You're working at like the extreme part of your job or the extreme part of your industry, your knowledge, or whatever it is in your case, and you're trying to make that bigger. You're trying to expand that. We use the expression "push limits" to refer to that kind of thing.
A very common example is, "We're pushing the limits of technology." Here, it's the progressive tense. We're pushing the limits of technology. In other words, we're trying to make the limits of technology a little bit bigger, or we're trying to go to the next step kind of. We're pushing the limits. This is an expression we use to talk about like next generation things, or kind of evolution of some kind. Another way to think of pushing limits is like doing the impossible or working to do the impossible. Something that's not possible now may become possible through your efforts. It's like you're trying to do something that's not possible in the present, but you want it to become possible in the future. You're pushing the limits of what's available to you now.
Okay. Let's move along to the next phrasal verb then. The next phrasal verb is "to push ahead." I want to group this with the next one in the list as well. "To push ahead" and "to push along," these have quite similar meanings. "Push ahead" feels a little more like to make efforts to create forward progress; to push ahead to the next step with something, to push ahead in a project, to push ahead in your business idea. "To push along" is kind of like to cause someone else to make that forward progress. You can use it for a project as well, like to try to push along a project.
But when we use "push along," it's like you're trying to kind of help something or help someone else make forward progress. They tend to be used in very similar ways, but perhaps, there are some slight differences in nuance. We might use "push along" more with people than "push ahead." As I said, "push ahead" feels like making efforts to make forward progress, to move to the next step with something. And then we can think of push along as like moving something forward or causing another person to move forward as well.
Let's take a look at some example sentences. First, "Let's push ahead to the next step. Let's make efforts to move to the next step in the thing we are doing." In the second example sentence with "push along," I've used a person here. "Can you try to push him along? Can you try to motivate him, to encourage him?" "Try to push him along," meaning, get him, motivate him to do his tasks or to do the things he needs to do so we can go to the next step. You're trying to get someone moving here. Quite similar ideas, but maybe slight differences in how they are used.
Okay. Let's move along to the next expression, which is "push back." "To push back" means to resist something, to resist something or to oppose something. This is used a lot in politics and in business, in any kind of like discussion where there's a lot of disagreement. To push back against something, usually, you're opposing an idea, opposing a person, opposing a policy. "To push back" is to resist that or to oppose that. An example, "Management pushed back against our proposal. We made a proposal for something in the office and management opposed that. They did not want to do that thing. They resisted. They pushed back." You might also hear this used as a noun, "pushback," not to push back, but there was pushback against our proposal. You can hear this used as a phrasal verb or as a noun, but they both refer to resisting or opposing something.
Okay. One more then for this lesson. It is "to push for something." "To push for something" means to try to persuade someone of something. If you really, really want to get something, you're trying to convince someone, something is a good idea, or you're trying to convince someone to give you something, we can use the expression "push for that thing" to describe that. In this example sentence, it feels kind of like you're persuading yourself a little bit, like you're trying to motivate yourself, making efforts for yourself, for your future. You could also use this in talking to other people and trying to convince other people, like trying to push your boss for a raise, for example. It means you're trying to convince your boss or persuade your boss to give you a raise. A raise is increased salary, increased money at your job. Pushing for something is like you're trying to make efforts in order to achieve something, or to get something, or to convince someone of something, so "to push for a thing."
Okay. Those are a few examples of some phrasal verbs that use the word "push." I hope that you found something new here. Keep an eye out for these the next time you see them in writing. Of course, if you have any questions or comments or want to practice using one of these phrasal verbs, please feel free to do so in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again next time. Bye-bye!


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Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Thursday at 10:32 AM
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Hello Claudio and Medi,

@Claudio - Thank you very much for taking the time to let us know about this. I have passed this information on and we will endeavour to have it fixed up ASAP.

@Medi - Another way of saying 'leave willingly' would be: "pull out of" or "quit."

Please let us know if you have any questions throughout your studies.



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Wednesday at 04:45 AM
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So, could I use push off instead of leave willingly ?

Claudio Delgado Barroso
Thursday at 07:24 AM
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Transcript is wrong.

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:16 PM
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Hello everyone!

Thank you for leaving the comment!

If you have any questions, please let us know.๐Ÿ‘



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Sunday at 03:30 PM
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I gonna push for our lessons to teach someone.

Saturday at 01:50 PM
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Thank you Alesha, it was perfect and you'r explaining is so fluent.

Wednesday at 09:58 AM
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The lesson you give make me forward and try to learn more about my poor English ๐Ÿ˜

Wednesday at 12:54 AM
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No questions for the moment

Wednesday at 12:52 AM
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You're amazing, I like the way you explain and teach at the same time...I'm motivated to go forward and learn everything from you, thanks