Learn English Online
Unit 12 - Lesson - 56
Beginnings, Endings and Delays
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This is the start of this lesson.
There are lots of words and phrases in English to describe things beginning and ending, but even the best laid plans can be upset by delays.
When you start something you begin it.
When you are born, your life begins.
When you start a race, you want to win it and you keep going to the finish.
To start a journey you need to set out before the journey can commence and you can actually set off on the trip.
You can begin a company, but first you need to set it up.
When you end something you stop it. When something ends it stops.
When you die your life ends.
When a race ends, you want to cross the finish line first, and definitely don't want to end up last.
On a journey you may halt or pause somewhere, or your journey may be delayed, and that can hold you back, but it could continue later. If your journey is postponed it is put off to a later date.
Some companies experience hold ups, or even discontinue products and cease production. If a company closes it winds up, and yet you wind up a clock to get it going.
When a party starts to wind down, it's about to stop.
When you are phoning a friend, you may get cut off, or they may hang up on you and end the call unexpectedly.
And when you're learning English, if things get really difficult you may quit, but as long as you don't give up, once you've started you'll never finish.
The Office Party
Things wind down towards the end of the year in the UK. As I write this Christmas is almost upon us, but we are already thinking ahead to the New Year.
In the UK the Christmas Office party season is in full swing, but what should you wear? And what happens if everything is delayed? Let's get this party started! :-
Here's the dialogue:-
Bridget - You don't think this is a bit much do you?
Lynne - No, not at all. The guys will love it!
Bridget - Yes, that's what I'm worried about. Maybe I could get changed quickly. What time does the party start?
Lynne - It's meant to begin in 30 minutes, then we can start opening our secret Santa presents.
Bridget - Oh yes. Maybe I should hand them out. Where is everybody else?
Lynne - Everything has been delayed. The sales meeting hasn't ended yet. It was held up because the Sales Director was stuck in snow. He was meant to lead off with a rousing speech. Now everything is late, and that means I'll probably miss my train, it's bound to leave on time for once.
Bridget - Oh well. I guess we can make a start on the wine. Now where did I put that bottle opener?
More English Lessons
Vocabulary Test (opens in new window) Which of these words and phrases do you know? Who might say them? Try to match the phrases to the person who might say them.
Practise Your English
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