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This is shaking, it's a dance. The shake is the dance, what's a dance... okay!
Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Know Your Verbs! My name is Alisha and in this episode we're going to talk about the verb "shake." Let's get started!
The basic definition of the verb "shake" is to move up and down in quick short movements.
Some examples:
“shake the ingredients together in a bag.”
“She confidently shook his hand.”
So now let's take a look at the conjugations for this verb.
present - shake, shakes
past - shook
past participle - shaken
progressive - shaking
So now let's talk about some additional meanings for the verb "shake."
The first additional meaning is to move around because of physical or emotional disturbance.
Some examples:
"The buildings shook in the earthquake."
"His voice shook as he told the sad story."
In these example sentences, we see that there's some kind of disturbance that's happening. So in the first one, it's a physical disturbance so the buildings shook in the earthquake, there was some physical disturbance and the buildings shook. So the meaning, the buildings moved, like, side to side or maybe up and down, so this motion we refer to as shaking because of some kind of disturbance. In the second example sentence though, it's someone's voice, so a person's voice shook, his voice shook when he told the sad story. So in this case, it's not like physical motion but it's like the voice sounds unsteady, so this is related to an emotional disturbance, so it's a sad story, he feels emotional so his voice is shaking. it's like you're you're struggling not to cry or you're struggling to hold back emotions, like you can hear a person's voice change when they're trying to hold in, to not release kind of strong emotions; so we refer to that as like a shaky voice, to use the adjective form; but we can also use a verb, shook, in this case, past tense. His voice shook when he told the sad story.
The second additional meaning for the verb shake is to get away from something or to become free from something.
Some examples:
“I can't shake the feeling I'm being watched.”
“She finally shook her habit of snacking.”
So in these example sentences, we see that “shake” is being used to refer to getting free of something, to shake something. So in the first example sentence, we see a common expression "I can't shake the feeling," so I can't shake the feeling means I can't get free, I can't escape from this feeling that I have. In this case, I can't shake the feeling I'm being watched, that means I feel always like someone is watching me, so probably not a good feeling. I can't shake the feeling or like I can't shake the feeling that this was the wrong thing to do, so some kind of feeling you can't escape from, we could say I can't shake the feeling. In the second example sentence, we see "shake" used to talk about a bad habit. So the example is "she finally shook her habit of snacking" or we could say her bad habit of snacking. So to shake a habit means to escape from or to be free from a bad habit, some negative thing that you don't want to do anymore. You might have heard this meaning applied in that song from Taylor Swift where she says "shake it off," she repeats the expression "shake it off" where shake it off is like negativity; shake it off there means just let it go, like break free from it, escape from that negative feeling. So to shake something off is just to let it go, shake it off. So imagine like it's like dust on your body and you just make a shaking motion and it comes off, like, you're free you're escaping from that negativity, that's the kind of image that she's trying to suggest in that song, to shake it off. The next additional meaning for the verb shake is to upset someone. So to upset means like to cause their emotional stability to be disturbed. So this can mean to cause someone to be angry or to be sad, to be disappointed, usually angry or sad though. Let's take a look at some examples. The awful story really shook me. He was shaken by the sudden changes at work. So in both of these example sentences, "shake" is being used to refer to a feeling of like unhappiness of anger of sadness some kind of change from regular emotional stability. In the first example sentence, the awful story really shook me, it means like that story was so awful that it affected me, it upset me emotionally, so like I felt really sad or I felt really angry or maybe unhappy in some way. So to feel shook by a story is like something really affected you, like strongly affected you so you feel quite upset. It's not just like a common "I feel sad" or something, it's more like a strong kind of deeper feeling. Wow! that shook me. In the second, what was the second one, "he was shaken by the sudden changes," that were okay in the second example sentence "he was shaken by the sudden changes at work," it means sudden changes at his job caused him to feel very upset so all these new things happened and he felt like really surprised or really unhappy or really stressed out, so they upset him from his regular-like emotional stability, he was shaken. He was shaken, so we can use that to refer to a strong emotional disturbance. The fourth additional meaning is to decrease stability. To decrease stability, this is slightly different from the third meaning, which was to upset someone; this one is specifically about decreasing stability. So it can mean in like some kind of belief or it can mean in an organization. Let's look at some examples, "the bad news shook her confidence." This is a scandal that could shake the entire government. So in the first example sentence, the bad news shook her confidence, so here it's not just her but what is being upset, what is decreasing in stability here, her confidence, so maybe the other parts of her personality are fine but confidence is affected in this case. So the bad news shook, the bad news decreased the stability of her confidence; so in other words, her confidence kind of decreased, she didn't feel so confident after hearing the bad news. In the second example sentence, the scandal could shake the government, it means this scandal is probably so big that it could decrease the stability in the government so that means something really terrible happened and because of that the government's regular functions or the government's regular ways of doing things might not continue. So it's decreased stability, that's the nuance of this use of "shake." One more small point about this one is that this is sometimes used with "up," so like in the second example sentence, "this scandal could shake up the entire government," to shake up something is like to kind of change a known idea, like we thought we knew everything before but this new information has shaken everything up, has shaken up the government, like, oh it's caused some changes. So, like, we lost some stability, this could be a good thing though, like to shake up a scientific field, for example, like maybe some new discovery shakes up a scientific field. But in that moment of like discovery or like in my second example of like a scandal in that moment maybe stability decreases but it could it could lead to something positive in the future, so you really have to pay attention to the situation to understand is this a positive thing or a negative thing. The first variation is to shake one's head. To shake one's head, it's this motion. It's this, it's this side-to-side motion that means you disapprove, it means "no" generally. So let's look at some examples of this: He shook his head when I asked if he was okay. Don't shake your head at me. So to shake your head just means to say "no," like you don't have to say anything you can use this motion to mean "no" or to show just disapproval, to show like rejection of something. So in the first example sentence, he shook his head when I asked if he was okay means he did not say anything but he shook his head he made this motion meaning "no." I asked "are you okay?" and his response was this, meaning no, so we use that to talk about that action. In the second example sentence, it's a command, so "don't shake your head at me," maybe a mother would say this to her child or father might say this to his child, like a child shaking their head like this, like, I don't want to do that or rejecting something, their parent said, the parent might say don't shake your head at me, so meaning don't say "no" to me. So the next variation I put these two together because they're very similar, they are "to shake loose" or to shake something out. So these expressions mean to use a shaking motion to remove something, so to shake loose or to shake something out. Let's look at some examples. She shook her bag loose from the hook. Shake the dirt out of the rug. So in the first example sentence, she shook her bag loose from the hook, it's like her bag is attached to a hook, so a hook is like this sort of thing you hang your bag here; if the bag is stuck maybe or there's some problem or I don't know, you can't reach it easily, in this case, she shook her bag meaning she made this shaking motion to remove her bag from the hook. So "she shook her bag loose," we use loose to talk about that but you can use this expression if there's some like, I don't know, maybe you go to buy candy from a vending machine and it gets stuck when you buy the thing so you might shake it, you might shake your candy loose from the vending machine in that case too. So to shake something loose means to get something out of a jammed situation. In the second example sentence though, we see "shake out." So the second example sentence was "shake the dirt out of the rug," it means again make a shaking motion to remove dirt from a rug, so means do this and get the dirt or whatever else is in the rug out, so remove the dirt from the rug by shaking it, so to shake something out of something else.
Okay, so those are hopefully a few new ways for you to use the verb "shake". I hope that you found something new. If you have any questions or comments or would like 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-bye!