Sport Scene 2 - Language Focus

Rob and Stephen look at examples of ‘text speak’ and the different meanings of the phrasal verb ‘work out’.

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Language level

Submitted by May Thida Su on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 06:35

Is ' work the problem out ' = ' solve the problem out ' ?

Hello May Thida Su,

The phrases are:

  1. work a problem out / work out a problem
  2. solve a problem


We use work something out to describe the mental process of finding a solution. It's about using logic and knowledge. When we work something out we understand it, but we may not have done anything other than think so far.


We use solve something when the problem is overcome. This could be a mental process (solve a maths problem, for example) or something physical (solve a problem with the engine). 



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abdullahomer on Mon, 08/03/2021 - 19:44

Hi Actually it's amazing scenes I really injoyed it ,and thank you for what u are offering us,but lookig for the meaning of the LoL

Submitted by Stephane on Thu, 30/11/2017 - 08:37

Thanks a lot, Kirk.

Submitted by Stephane on Wed, 29/11/2017 - 07:50

Good morning, Why did Ash say "on my way" and no "on the way" ? Best regards, Stéphane

Hello Stéphane,

The definite article ('the') in 'on the way' is often replaced by a possessive adjective such as 'my' (or 'his', 'her', 'their', etc.). It doesn't change the meaning -- it just shows more clearly who is en route. Ash could have said 'on the way' and it wouldn't have changed the meaning, though we tend to use the possessive adjective when we are en route at the time of speaking (whereas 'on the way' speaks more about the route in general, not the fact that we are on it at the moment).

By the way, although I've used the phrase 'en route' and it is in the English dictionary (follow the link to hear the English pronunciation of the phrase), we use 'on the way' more often than 'en route', which I imagine is an easy expression for you to remember!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team