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Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha and welcome back to Know Your Verbs.
In this episode, we're going to talk about the verb "nurse." Let's get started.
Okay. So, let's start with the basic definition of the verb "nurse." The basic definition of the verb "nurse" is to care for someone or something. It means to care a lot or to give a lot of attention and care to someone. Examples, "Her family nursed her to health;" "He nursed his wife during her illness."
Okay, let's look at the conjugations of this verb. Present: nurse, nurses. Past: nursed. Past participle: nursed. Progressive: nursing.
Alright, now let's move on to some additional meanings for this verb. The first additional meaning is, "to provide or take breastmilk," as for babies. Okay, let's begin with a couple examples. "The baby is nursing well." "How long are you planning to nurse the baby?" So, in these situations, the example sentences are relating to either a baby drinking breastmilk or to a mother giving breast milk to a baby. In the first example sentence, "The baby is nursing well," it means the baby is eating or the baby is drinking well and that refers to breastmilk specifically. So, not anything else, but "nursing" refers specifically to having mother's milk. In the second example sentence, a question, "How long are you going to nurse the baby?" It means, how long are you going to provide breast milk for the baby? So, this is probably a question for mothers or I suppose it could be fathers, also, asking about the baby's care. But "nurse," in this way, when talking about newborn children refers to milk, either giving or taking if you're talking about the baby. Okay, let's move on to the second additional meaning for this verb.
The second additional meaning is, "to use something carefully to avoid pain or to avoid injury." Examples, "He's been nursing his hand all day;" "She's nursing her left foot, isn't she?" So, we see "nursing" used in the progressive tense in the "–ing" form in both of these. In the first example sentence, about nursing his hand, that means he's using his hand very carefully. Maybe because it's painful to use the hand regularly. So for example, if a person breaks their wrist, which I've done, it might be painful to move the hand properly. So, to avoid pain, people might nurse that wrist or might nurse the broken bone or might nurse their injury. Meaning that they're very careful like they move it slowly for example, or they don't move it very much, or they don't apply much weight to it. We see the same thing in the second example sentence, "She's nursing her left foot, isn't she?" That shows that perhaps she's not applying much weight; she's not stepping or standing a lot on her left foot, or she's being very careful about her left foot. So, nursing shows that they're taking some extra kind of care with an injured or painful part of the body. So, there's an additional meaning of the word, "nurse."
The third additional meaning is, "to consume over a long period." Sometimes, in unusually long periods. Examples, "You're really nursing that beer." "She nursed her tea by the window." Alright. So, we commonly see this with drinks actually. So, drinks, if you take a very long time to consume the drink, to drink the drink, someone might say you're nursing your drink. It just means you're taking an unusually long time to drink it. For example, as in the first sentence, "You're really nursing that beer," it's like your friends or whoever you're drinking with, they expect you to drink the beer more quickly than you're drinking it now. So, maybe you've had the same beer for an hour, or two hours maybe but your friends have had two drinks, for example. So maybe, you're taking an unusually long time. In the second example sentence, "She nursed her tea by the window," it's like she's taking a long time to enjoy her tea, for example. Maybe she's holding it and not drinking it quickly. It just means she's taking her time to consume the drink. So, "nurse" can have this meaning of taking a long time to drink, or eat, or consume something. But commonly used with drinks.
So, the verb, "nurse," doesn't actually have any particular phrasal verbs or idioms that are used along with it. But I hope that you were able to find a few new meanings from the additional meaning section of this video. So, if you have any questions or comments, or if you would like to try to make a new sentence using the verb, "nurse," please feel free to do so in the comments section of this video.
Thanks very much for watching this episode of "Know Your Verbs," and we'll see you again soon. Bye-bye.