Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Know Your Verbs.
My name is Alisha and in this episode, we're going to talk about the verb "save."
Let's get started!
Let's begin with the basic definition.
The basic definition of this verb is "to rescue something from danger or from loss."
"She saved him from a shark!"
"My helmet saved me from a head injury."
Let's look at the conjugations for this verb.
Present: save, saves
Past: saved
Past participle: saved
Progressive: saving
Now, let's talk about some additional meanings for this verb.
The first additional meaning is to keep something for use in the future, so you keep something because you think you are going to use it or you might need it in the future.
"Do you save all of your receipts?"
"He saved a little money every month."
So here, we are holding onto something. We're keeping something because we think we might need it or we're planning to use it in the future. In the first example sentence, a question, "Do you save all of your receipts?" it means, do you keep all of your receipts for some reason in the future? For example, for accounting or tax purposes or, I don't know, maybe you just like receipts to collect, I don't know. That's kind of weird, but anyway. So, do you save, do you save all of your receipts? Save refers to the act of keeping it for use in the future.
The second example sentence, "He saved a little money each month," refers to keeping some money each month, so a small amount of money each month for use in the future, maybe to buy something in the future or just for safety purposes, for example. So, it means keeping something.
The second additional meaning is "to prevent money, time, effort, etc. from being wasted."
"If you have an energy-efficient refrigerator, you'll save 5% on your electrical bills!"
"I bought a used camera instead of a new one and saved so much money!"
So here, we're seeing the verb "save" used to mean like preventing or avoiding some kind of wasted effort or wasted money.
In the first example sentence, it's saving electrical cost, so you're saving 5% on your electrical costs in that case, so that means you are not wasting money on, like higher electricity bills.
In the second example sentence, it's the same, so you're saving money by buying a used camera. "Saving money" means not spending other money, not spending more money, so we can use "save" to refer to not wasting your time, your effort, some kind of resources, space, whatever. So like, save space on your hard drive by cleaning up your files regularly, for example, so avoiding all waste.
The third additional meaning is "to store data somewhere."
"Make sure to save your work often!"
"I saved the files to an external hard drive."
So this just means the place where you keep your data. This is usually like a computer or maybe a memory card, USB, flash drive, for example. We usually use this for, like digital data, so you save your data somewhere on some kind of machine or on some kind of card, some kind of memory device.
Now, let's talk about some variations for this verb.
The first variation is "can't do (something) to save my life."
This refers to being totally unable to do something. It's something you just can't do. And here we see, "can't do (something) to save my life" meaning even if my life depended on this one action, I would not be able to do it. This sounds quite extreme, but that's not actually the kind of situation we use it in. We use this expression quite casually, actually.
So, let's take a look at some examples:
"I can't wake up early to save my life."
"He can't cook to save his life."
So this means that, in the first example sentence, "I can't wake up early to save my life," it means waking up early is really, really difficult for me. It's so tough for me that if I had to do it to save my life, I might not be able to. So again, it's quite extreme, but it means that thing is so tough for me, I can't do it.
In the second example sentence, "He can't cook to save his life," it means cooking is extremely difficult for him or he's terrible at it.
So "can't do (something) to save my life" means that thing is very difficult or I'm really bad at that thing.
The next variation is "to save (one's) breath."
This expression means you should not use your energy talking to someone like you don't need to use your breath, so your breath is the air coming from your lungs as we talk. So to save your breath means to keep it because using your breath in talking to a specific person or talking about something would be a waste.
"Save your breath; he's not going to listen to you."
"We should save our breath and find a different solution."
So in the first example, it's a stubborn person, like you should save your breath, don't talk to him, he's not going to listen to you. So in other words, there's no point in talking to that person. It's going to take time and energy and it's a waste.
In the second example sentence, same thing in a group situation, "We should save our breath and find a different solution." So we should not argue. We should not talk about this. Let's find a different solution to the problem.
That's it, great! So, I hope that you found a new way to use the verb "save." Of course, there are other ways to use the verb. Let us know if you have any comments, questions or example sentences in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Know Your Verbs and we'll see you again soon. Bye-bye!