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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 "deal."
Let's get started!
Let's start with the basic definition of this verb.
The basic definition of the verb "deal" is "to address a situation or to take action regarding something."
Some examples:
"The police are dealing with the case."
"I have to deal with some extra work this week."
Okay. Now, let's look at the conjugations for this verb:
Present: deal, deals
Past: dealt
Past participle: dealt
Progressive: dealing
So now, let's take a look at some additional meanings for this verb.
The first additional meaning for this verb is "to distribute portions (especially with cards)" like playing cards and card games.
Some examples:
"Deal 5 cards to each player."
"You dealt him only three cards."
So this use of "deal" refers to actually giving something like distributing a set amount of something to people. So we use this a lot when we're playing card games. You might also hear it in some other situations, like they're dealing out, I don't know, everyone's lunches perhaps, I don't know. It sounds kind of strange to me, but perhaps you would hear it in a situation like that. It does tend to be used in cards a lot, so this motion, anytime you make this sort of motion, we can say "deal" to describe that motion. So this looks very similar to giving people cards like at a casino or in a card game. So, if you're using this motion, like dealing out homework, maybe, for example, I don't know, like each person's individual portion of something, you can use the verb "deal" to describe that.
The second additional meaning for the verb "deal" is "to do business."
This sounds a little bit casual and it sounds kind of like you're doing something related to maybe retail or like the trading of goods.
Some examples:
"We deal in secondhand goods."
"They're dealing in imported food these days."
So, these example sentences show us the type of business that a company does. In the first example sentence, "We deal in secondhand goods," it means our business is related to secondhand goods. Maybe buying, selling, auctioning, I don't know. So, to deal in secondhand goods means that's the type of business, that's the nature of our business.
In the second example sentence, "They're dealing in imported food these days," it means that a company has maybe made its main business into imported foods. So maybe, they are sending and receiving food from other countries. Perhaps, that was not the situation in the past, but now, in these days, they're dealing in imported food. That's their business. Those are the kinds of transactions they do.
The third additional meaning for the verb is "to become comfortable with something" like to accept something, often like a negative situation.
"He doesn't know how to deal with the changes."
"We're having trouble dealing with the loss of our jobs."
Okay. So, in the first example sentence, "He doesn't know how to deal with the changes," using "deal with" before the "changes" shows us that maybe the changes are kind of negative, so it's hard to accept those changes. It's hard to become comfortable with those changes. He doesn't know how to deal, so he doesn't know what to do in order to accept that new situation.
In the second example sentence, the negative situation is the loss of a job or in this case, the loss of our jobs, a negative situation. So, it's difficult to become comfortable, it's difficult to accept that situation, so we can use the verb "deal with" like, "We're having trouble dealing with the loss of our jobs." So, we're having trouble accepting, we're having trouble becoming comfortable with this new negative situation.
So, when you hear "deal with," it tends to have a kind of a negative nuance, so be careful. Sometimes, I see this in talking like in customer service situations, so they'll say like, "Can you please deal with this person?" It sounds really negative, like this person is trouble, this person is like causing a negative effect on me, like please deal with this person. It sounds really bad, so I don't recommend using "deal with" for people.
All right! So now, let's continue to some variations on the verb "deal."
The first variation is "to deal out."
To deal out
"To deal out" means to exclude a player from a card game by not giving them any cards.
"I was dealt out of the card game when I lost my last chip."
"Deal me out next round; I'm gonna take a break."
So, "to deal someone out" means like they're not going to participate in the next round.
In the second example sentence, we saw "deal me out next round." So "a round" in a game of cards is like one turn of play, so like everybody plays their cards, the winner or loser is determined and the round is finished. It's one like turn in a card game. It's called a round. So, when we say "deal me out next round," it means I don't want to participate or don't include me in the next round of play. So "to deal someone out" means to exclude that person.
The next variation is "to deal a blow."
"To deal a blow" means to cause a negative effect on something. This is typically like an emotional or a mental effect.
"The failure of our new product dealt a blow to company morale."
"With every success, she deals another blow to her competitors."
So here, we see "deal a blow," "to deal a blow to (someone)" refers to causing a negative effect to someone or to something.
So, in this case, in the first example sentence, we saw "dealt a blow to company morale," so something negative happened, so this product failed, and that dealt a blow. It means it caused a negative effect on company morale. So "morale" means like the spirit, everyone's spirit in the company, their enthusiasm. So, "it dealt a blow" means it caused a negative effect. In other words, everybody was very unhappy because of the situation.
In the second example sentence, we see kind of a positive situation for one person. "With every success, she deals another blow to her competitor."
So, we see in this situation, there is a positive effect, yes. Her success is a positive effect. However, for her competitors, it's a very negative effect. Her success is good for her, her success is bad for her competitors, so it's a negative effect. We can use "deal a blow," so her success deals a blow to her competitors. It causes a negative effect to the competitors.
Okay. So those are a few ways to use the verb deal. I hope that you found something new or maybe found a new way to think about the verb. If you have any questions or comments or just want to try to make an example sentence, please feel free to do so 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!