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Hi, everybody. Welcome back to Know Your Verbs. My name is Alisha, and in this episode, we're going to talk about the verb "lead." Let's go.
Let's look at the basic definition of this verb. The basic meaning of this verb is to control a group of people. Examples, "I've been asked to lead the meeting today. Do you think he'll do a good job leading the company?" Here are the conjugations of the verb. Present: lead, leads. Past: led. Past participle: led. Progressive: leading. Now, let's talk about some additional meanings of this verb. Meaning one. So, the first additional meaning for today is to be first or to be winning, meaning to be in first place. Example, "Our team is leading by 10 points. At halftime, the Brazilian team led by two points."
One point here, maybe you can see from the example sentences, this is commonly used in sports. So, to talk about a team or a person who is winning at something, some kind of competition. And when you want to talk about the score or the difference between the team winning or the person winning and the next person who is in second place or who is losing, we can use "by" as the preposition before the score or the time or whatever difference there is between the winner and the loser, or the winner and the second place person.
In the first example sentence, I used the expression, "Leading by 10 points." So that means our team is winning, is in the winning position by 10 points. So, there's 10 points difference between the winning team and the losing team. We see the same thing in the second sentence. In the second sentence, we saw, "The Brazilian team led by two points." So, "At the halftime mark, the Brazilian team led by 2 points," meaning they were two points higher or they had two more points than the losing team or the second place team. So, we can use the preposition "by" to explain the difference there.
Let's go to the second meaning for this verb. The second meaning is to cause someone to do something, and it's often kind of in a negative way. Examples of this, "He led me to believe I would make a lot of money on this deal. You led me to think you were interested in dating me." So in these examples, you can think of the verb "lead" as meaning caused here, and it's like you caused someone to believe something that is not true, or you caused some kind of action but it was not based on reliable information. It was somehow an untrue situation.
So there's kind of the feeling of being, what's the word, deceived. There's kind of the feeling of being deceived here. Like, "You led me to believe" or "You led me to think" or "You led me to," I don't know, something else, led me to believe, led me to think, led me to decide, I suppose, something like that but the idea is that there's some deceit involved, there's some misinformation. It's on purpose, too. This is kind of a negative way to use this verb. And the reason that we use "led" instead of "caused" is because "led" sounds like the person who is giving the information or the object that is providing information has somehow has control over the situation. There's intention included there. So, "led me to believe" is stronger than "caused me to believe" because "led me to believe" sounds like someone is actively making an attempt to change your point of view or to change your way of thinking.
Let's go to the third meaning then, the third meaning. The third meaning for this verb is to show someone the way, often, in front of a group or in front of someone else. Examples of this, "She led us to the conference room. They led us out of the building." With this meaning, as you'll see in the fourth meaning we'll talk about in just a moment, we can use a series of prepositions. So, we're talking about showing someone the way to something. Therefore, we're moving. So, we can use prepositions of movement to explain that movement. So, I said like, "She led us to the conference room," meaning, to a destination. We use the preposition "to," or they led us out of the building. So, out of the building. So, leaving a place. We could say "into." They led us next to, towards. So, we can use these prepositions of movement to talk about the way, so the direction in which someone leads us. So, shows us the way to a location.
Let's look at the fourth meaning. The fourth meaning is to go towards something. This means a person is not guiding, but rather it's like a path or a road or there's some other kind of sign or symbol that's moving in a direction, or there's like some kind of indication of movement in a path or roadway. Examples, "This highway leads to Los Angeles. A trail of crumbs led into the kitchen." All right. So, here, you can see too, even though it's not a person leading someone else, there's still some kind of movement suggested. So, we use these same prepositions of movement to talk about the situation. So, like, "A trail of crumbs led into the kitchen," meaning a trail of crumbs went from one area into the kitchen. So, we can sort of see there's some movement going into the kitchen in this example sentence, or this road leads toward Los Angeles. So, in the direction of Los Angeles. So, we can use these directional words along with "lead," in this case, to show where something is going.
Let's look at some variations of the verb "lead." The first one is to lead someone on. To lead someone on means to cause someone to believe you're romantically interested in them. "He led me on for three months. He just wanted information about my company." We see kind of negative situations or negative expressions along with "to lead someone on." "Leading someone on" means you're behaving in a way that makes another person feel you're romantically attracted to them, however, you're not.
So, there's usually some other motivation, there's some other goal. "He led me on for three months. His goal is actually to get information about the company." But "he" in the sentence makes the speaker, I think. "He is romantically attracted to the speaker." So that's sort of like a way of getting information that he wants. So, he's not actually romantically attracted. He just wants this information and he's using this person to get it. So, we say, "To lead someone on," to make someone think they're romantically attracted but they're actually not. Maybe they want some other benefit from you.
The next variation is "to lead with, to lead with something." So "to lead with something" means to place like the most important information or the most interesting information first. So, we use this a lot in newspapers or news reports or magazines. So, "leading with something," leading with the most important information. Examples, "The New York Times led with a story about the President. Tonight, the news is leading with a story about a terrible accident downtown." So in each of these, the implication, the idea is that the most important story in these example sentences is the first story. So, in the first example, "The New York Times is leading with a story about the President." So "leading with" means the New York Times thinks this is the most important story. It's about the President. They're starting their publication with the story about the President.
In the second example sentence, it's about the news. So, probably TV news. So, "The TV news is leading with a story about a terrible accident." In this case, that means they think that's the most important story or the most interesting story at that time. So, "To lead with something for a publication or a media outlet," means to put the most interesting or important information first.
Okay. So, that's everything for this lesson. I hope that you picked up some new meanings of the verb "lead" and a few variations, maybe. If you have any questions, if you know some other ways to use the verb "lead," or if you just want to try to make a sentence, please feel free to do so in the comment section. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Know Your Verbs and we'll see you again soon. Bye.
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