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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 "pat." So, let's get started.
Let's start with the basic definition of this verb. The basic definition of the verb "pat" is to lightly touch to show affection, usually. So, it's this motion, to lightly touch something, usually to show affection or like that you're happy or there's something good that happened. So, this is "to pat," basic definition. Examples, "The little boy patted the dog's head." "She patted her mother on the shoulder."
Let's look at the conjugations for this verb. Present: pat, pats. Past: patted. Past participle: patted. Progressive: patting.
Now, let's talk about some additional meanings for this verb. The first additional meaning for the verb "pat" is to smooth something with light touches. So, the idea is that there's some kind of wrinkled fabric or there's some kind of wrinkled material. It's bumpy or rough, not smooth. And we use this motion somehow to make it smooth. So, examples, "Pat the dough into a rectangle." "She's patting out the wrinkles in the cloth." So, both of these example sentences refer to this kind of light touching motion to create a smooth surface or to create like a smooth shape. So, in the first example sentence, it's about patting the dough to become a rectangle shape. So, that means the dough originally is like a ball shape, perhaps, and we use this motion, a patting motion, to create a rectangle from that dough. In the second example sentence, "It's about a wrinkled fabric or a wrinkled cloth of some kind." So, kind of bumpy, it's not smooth. We use this motion again to create a smoother fabric. So, the fabric eventually becomes a smooth surface. Okay. Let's move on to the second additional meaning for this verb.
The second additional meaning is "to hit gently with a tool." So, it's not a hard strike. It's not a really, really rough motion. It's something very, very gentle, like maybe for a fragile item or something kind of soft. So, examples, "We patted the dirt in the flowerbed with our shovels." "Pat the drum during this song." So, in both of these examples, we see there's some kind of tool used along with something else. So, in the first example sentence, it's, "We pat the flowerbed with our shovels." So, maybe after planting flowers in soil, in dirt, we pat the ground around those, like to smooth the ground around it. So, we use a shovel, this is the tool in this case, to pat the soil or to pat the flowerbed, the place where the flowers are resting. We use this motion with the tool, the shovel. In the second example sentence, there's a mallet or some kind of hammer-like object we use to lightly hit a drum during a song. We can use "pat" just to describe that. So, "Pat the drum during this song." I would probably imagine in most cases, we say like "beat the drum," or like, "strike the drum," I don't know.
Okay. So, now, let's talk about some variations for this verb. The first variation for this verb is "to pat down." So, we use the expression "pat down here" because this sort of thing happens usually from the top of the body, like starting with the shoulders maybe, and it makes this patting motion across the body checking for items under the clothing, and then it moves down the body, this patting motion moves down the body. Of course, I suppose in some cases, maybe it starts at the feet and moves up, but we still use the expression "to pat down," to check for things under people's clothing. Examples, "I hate getting pat down at the airport." "Excuse me, we need to pat you down."
The second variation is "to pat someone on the back." This means to tell someone they did a good job. So, this can actually mean physically patting someone on the back, it can mean actually touching someone on the back and saying, "Good job. Well done." Or it can just mean using your words to express your appreciation, to express approval. You could say like, "A pat on the back." You could actually say that, or just, "Good job. Nice work. Great." something like that. So, this could be physical, this could just be with words. Examples, "My boss gave me a pat on the back for all my hard work the last few weeks." "Pat yourself on the back! Great work!" So, that second example sentence, "Pat yourself on the back! Great work!" refers to another person telling the listener, "You did a great job. You should be happy for yourself. You should be proud of yourself." So, pat yourself on the back. You should be happy with yourself. Pat yourself on the back.
So, those are a few different ways that you can use the verb "pat." I hope that you found something new from this lesson. Of course, if you have any questions or comments or want to practice making a sentence, please feel free to do so in the comment section of this video. Thank you very much for watching this episode of "Know Your Verbs" and we'll you again soon. Bye-bye.
Like the little squares, that's a pat of butter. That's the counter word used. Isn't that weird?
Female: Is that why there's a pate?
Alisha: No. Pat, pat, pat. Okay.