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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha.
Welcome back to Know Your Verbs!
In this episode, we're going to talk about the verb "beat."
Let's get started!
Let's start with the basic definition.
The basic definition of the verb "beat" is to hit repeatedly, to hit something repeatedly.
Examples…
"He was beaten until he was unconscious."
"I have to beat the dust out of this blanket."
Let's talk about the conjugations of this verb now.
Present: beat, beats
Past: beat
Past participle: beaten
Progressive: beating
Let's talk about some additional meanings for this verb.
The first additional meaning is "to defeat."
Some examples…
"I think Spiderman could beat Batman in a fight."
"Our team has never been beaten."
So, in both of these example sentences, we see "beat" meaning defeat.
In the first example sentence, "I think Spiderman could beat Batman," it means Spiderman could beat Batman in a fight. That's kind of the implied, the suggested meaning of this sentence. Spiderman could beat Batman equals Spiderman could defeat Batman, Spiderman would be better than Batman, Spiderman would win in a fight against Batman. Spiderman would beat Batman.
In the second example sentence, "Our team has never been beaten," it means our team has never been defeated, our team has never lost, our team has won every match, every game we have ever played. Our team has never been beaten. So, no defeats, pretty great. So, this is one meaning, "to defeat (something)."
Okay, let's go on to the second additional meaning for this verb.
The second additional meaning for this verb is "to act before something else happens." Examples…
"Let's beat the crowds and get tickets for the afternoon movie."
"I left the house early to beat rush-hour traffic."
Okay, so both of these examples show one action happening before some other like negative thing we want to avoid.
In the first example sentence, it's about avoiding, like big crowds of people at a movie theater. So, "Let's beat the crowds…" is the expression that's used there. So "beat the crowds" doesn't mean like hit the crowds of people. It means take action to do something before the crowd of people arrives, and that action will be to see the afternoon movie. "So "let's beat the crowds" means let's do something before this crowd of people.
In the second example sentence, it's, "I left the house early to beat the rush-hour traffic," we see "rush-hour traffic" is the thing to beat. So again, it doesn't mean hitting rush-hour traffic, it means doing something, in this case, leaving the house early to beat, in order to avoid rush-hour traffic So, we're doing something before this other negative thing happens. So in these examples, it's a large crowd of people and rush-hour traffic, so we do something to avoid that thing, to do something before that thing happens.
Okay, let's go on to the third meaning for this verb.
The third meaning for this verb is "to be more enjoyable than something else."
Examples…
"Enjoying some sun on the beach sure beats working in an office."
"Relaxing at home beats spending the day shopping."
So, both of these example sentences present two ideas, one of which is better than the other.
In the first example sentence, "Enjoying the sun on the beach," "beats" or is better than, is more enjoyable than working in an office. In the second example sentence, "Relaxing at home beats or is more enjoyable than spending the day shopping. So, we're comparing two things and the thing that is better, we use "beats" just after that. So, when you want to use this pattern, you can just say, "A beats B" where A is better than B. A is more enjoyable than B.
The fourth meaning here is "to have a regular movement" like to have a rhythmic movement that is regular in some way.
Examples…
"My heart was beating fast after my run."
"The bird's wings beat the air."
In the first example sentence, "My heart was beating fast after my run," it means the rhythm of my heart, the steady, regular rhythm of my heart was fast after my run. So the rhythm was constant, but it was quick.
So in the second example sentence about the birds wings, it's this motion. "The birds wings beat the air," so there's a rhythmic, a steady motion happening. "The bird's wings beat the air," meaning it's always, it's like going regularly here. So, we can see this use of beat as well to refer to a regular kind of rhythmic motion.
Let's move on to some variations and how we can use this then.
The first variation is "to beat someone to something."
"To beat someone to something" means to do something before someone else, so it kind of has that meaning of defeat that we talked about before.
Examples…
"I was gonna book tickets for the show, but you beat me to it!"
"All my coworkers beat me to the office this morning."
So in these expressions, "beat me to something" means someone did something before me.
In the first example sentence, "I was gonna book tickets for the show…" we see the past tense, "I was gonna," "I was going to book tickets for the show but you beat me to it!" So, this is quite common, "you beat me to it" means you did that thing I just talked about before me. So I planned to do it, but you did it before me. You beat me to it. This is quite a common expression to use.
In the second example sentence, "All my coworkers beat me to the office this morning," it means, all my coworkers got to the office before me this morning. So, when you want to talk about someone doing something before you, you can say, "They beat me to the office."
Keep in mind though that this kind of has the nuance, a little bit, of competition like there's something that you want to do before someone else, like there's a little bit of a competitive feel with this expression.
Okay, let's go on to the second variation here.
The next variation is "beat yourself up," to beat yourself up.
This means to be very negative or critical about yourself often for no reason or not for a big reason.
Example…
"Don't beat yourself up. It was just a small mistake."
"I think he's really beating himself up for declining that job offer."
Okay, in the first example sentence, "Don't beat yourself up," this is a very common expression. It means, don't be so negative about yourself. In this case, we followed this expression with, "It was just a small mistake." So, in other words, it's not a big problem, don't beat yourself up. Don't be so negative to yourself for such a small mistake.
In the second example sentence, "I think he's really beating himself up for declining that job offer," it means he's thinking really, really negatively about his decision. He's thinking about himself critically like, oh, it wasn't a good idea, I shouldn't have done that. He's really down, maybe disappointed in himself for declining the job offer, though maybe, it's not a big deal. It's not an important situation, so he doesn't need to beat himself up or he is beating himself up about it in this case. So, he's upset in other words, but maybe, he doesn't need to be.
Okay, so those are a few different ways that you can use the verb "beat." I hope that you found something new. Of course, if you have any questions, comments, or if you'd like to try out a different way of using the word beat, 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-bye!

5 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Can you make a sentence using the verb "Beat"?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 01:58 PM
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Hi there Cris,


Thanks for getting in touch!


Feel free to ask us any questions you have throughout your studies.


Sincerely,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

cris
Tuesday at 11:15 AM
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i beat all my coworkers in ping pong .

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:48 PM
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Hello David,


Thanks for the question. 😄❤️️👍


As with the famous Michael Jackson song 'Beat it' - it is a slang way of saying "leave" or "go away."


I hope this is helpful to you.


Cheers,

Eva

Team EnglishClass101.com

David
Tuesday at 07:51 AM
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HI,


What does it means when someone says "Just beat it " ?


Thank you in advanceand thank you for all the good work


:D