Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rihanna, the queen of phrasal verbs.

Listening to Rihanna is educational and helps ESL students learn phrasal verbs.

I learned that on Saturday when we got together with a bunch of Cristina's friends (parents of Lucia's friends from school) and one of the women informed me she was taking English lessons from an Australian woman. She started speaking to me in English for some practice.

"The hardest part of English," she told me, "is...those odd verbs that don't translate. What are they called...oh, phrasal verbs."

Being a native in the English language, I had no idea what she was talking about. She asked Angela, another mom who takes English lessons, and they together informed me of the example of "get up."

The first mom, taking lessons from the Australian, told me that her teacher plays Rihanna music for them to find phrasal verbs. "Rihanna uses LOTS of phrasal verbs in her lyrics. Almost all her songs are filled with them!"

Aside from this conversation, I noticed how confusing they could be, when Marta was trying to find the English way of saying "Vete," which literally translates to "leave" or "go." She was trying to lightheartedly use it on her daughter to tell her to go play. I said "go" would be appropriate, or even "get out of here." The "get out of here" drew confused and "that is way too long of a sentence" faces from everyone, so they just stuck with "go."

So yeah, I found a link to a whole list of phrasal verbs, and then I found a link to some Rihanna lyrics. It is very true, especially in the song "Rude Boy." It's a graphically sexual song, although to a non-English speaker, maybe less so, since "get it up" does not immediately imply something sexual unless you know those phrasal verbs!

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