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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 "retire."
Let's get started!
Let's start with the basic definition of the verb "retire."
"To retire" means "to stop working due to advancing age," or it can mean to stop working because of an illness.
Some examples:
"My grandfather retired last year."
"When do you think you'll retire?"
Let's look at the conjugations for the verb "retire."
Present: retire, retires
Past: retired
Past Participle: retired
Progressive: retiring
Now, let's talk about some additional meanings for this verb.
The first additional meaning is "to go to bed."
To go to bed
This is a very old-fashioned meaning, but let's look at some examples.
"She retired early last night."
"We should retire soon!"
So, this is a rather old-fashioned use of the verb "retire." We don't use retire in this way in everyday American English at this point in time. If you watch movies from a couple of hundred years ago, by that, I mean the setting is a couple of hundred years ago, you might hear people using the word "retire" to mean "go to bed." We don't use that in everyday English now. If I told my friends, I'm going to retire now, it sounds really, really strange. It sounds too formal, too stiff, not good. But, if you're interested in historical movies or historical media, you might see this used.
So, in the first example sentence, "She retired early last night," it means she went to bed early last night.
In the second example sentence, "We should retire soon," it means, we should go to bed soon. That's all!
So, this is quite a simple way to use "retire," but it's not just used that much, nowadays.
Let's go on to the next additional meaning for the verb "retire."
"Retire" can mean "to leave a professional position."
To leave a professional position
Let's look at some examples:
"He retired from soccer at 34."
"I'm retiring from military service next year."
So, this use of the verb "retire" means to leave a specific position. We see this use of "retire" a lot in sports and in the military. The reason that it's used more in something like sports is because the length of time that a person can compete effectively as an athlete is rather short. So, depending on the sport, athletes can continue playing or can continue participating into maybe their 20s or perhaps their early to mid-30s, depending on the sport. Again, this might change, depending on the sport. But then there's a certain age where players might have difficulty continuing or their skills just aren't the same as they used to be. In those cases, we say that the athlete retires from that sport, which means the athlete chooses to stop competing in that sport and maybe they move on to a different profession or like, for example, they become a coach in that sport or they start teaching other people about that sport, something related to their original position.
But to retire from soccer, as in the first example sentence, means to stop being a soccer player only. So, it doesn't mean retiring from working life completely. It means to stop that position.
In the second example sentence, about retiring from the military, it means that when a person's military term, the period of time they're required to be a military service member, when that time has finished, maybe they can, well, they can...people can choose to continue in some cases, but in some cases, depending on age or depending on other situations, people might retire from military service, meaning they end their career doing military service and move on to another kind of profession or move on to something else, if that's not like retirement at like a specified retirement age.
So I should say, there are some cases where people continue military service until reaching a required age of retirement, yes, but some people choose to retire from military service prior to that. So, they conclude their term of service and retire from military service. They finish their job for the military. So, a lot of information there, but "to retire," essentially, it means to stop that specific position and go on to something else, not to retire from working overall.
Let's go on to the third additional meaning for this verb, which is "to go back" or "to move to a quieter location."
"They retired to the lounge after dinner."
"She retired to her room to read a book."
This use of "retire" sounds very formal. This is quite formal. It's not used a lot in everyday speech. If you want to sound extremely polite, if you want to sound like extremely important, I supposed too, or if you want someone else to sound extremely important, you can use "retired" to mean like move to a quieter location, like you retreated from something.
In the first example sentence, "They retired to the lounge after dinner," it sounds like the lounge is a more, like quiet or intimate space and they moved to the lounge after they finished their dinner in another room. So, they retired there. It sounds like they're relaxing. They're moving to the lounge to relax, specifically, or to find a quiet space.
In the second example sentence, "She retired to her room to read a book," the same thing. We have the same kind of feeling. It's like she moved from maybe a busier or noisier location, she moved from that place to her room, a quiet place, to read a book. So, there's something, kind of like intimate and quite nice about that. So, to retire can mean to move to a quieter place.
So now, let's look at the variation in the use of the verb "retire."
"To retire" can be used in the expression "to retire a jersey" or "to retire a number."
This means "to put away a famous athlete's jersey" (jersey means shirt), or "to put away a famous athlete's number," their player number when the player retires.
Some examples:
"Michael Jordan's jersey has been retired by teams he hasn't even played for!"
"Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson's number (42)."
So, in the first example sentence, "Michael Jordan's jersey has been retired by teams he hasn't even played for," that refers to his jersey, his shirt, his number as well, being put in a place of honor. So that means when a player's number or when a player's jersey is retired, it means other players on that team cannot use that number. So that means that Michael Jordan's number is forever his number for that team. No other player on that team can use that number because it's Michael Jordan's, the number has been retired. The jersey, the number has been retired. It cannot be used. So this is actually a story about the Heat. He never played for the Heat, but they retired his jersey. Interesting!
The second example sentence, "Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson's number." So, Jackie Robinson's number was 42. So, 42, being his number was retired across all of the league, so that means no player in the league is allowed to use the number 42. Jackie Robinson was a very significant baseball player because he broke color boundaries as a black player of baseball. So, he was a very significant person in the baseball league. For this reason and for, like his contributions to the sport, they retired his number (42).
So, these are examples of very famous individuals who participated in sports. When they concluded their period as players, the league or, in some cases, teams choose to retire their numbers, retire their jerseys as a sign of respect.
So, those are a few, I hope, new ways of using the verb "retire." If you have any questions, comments, or know a different way of using "retire," or just want to practice making some example sentences, please feel free in the comment section of this video.
Thanks very much for watching this episode of Know Your Verbs and we'll see you again next time. Bye-bye!