Hey, there, English language fans! This is our second delivery on phrasal verbs, and we chose one that is closely related to sports: “To work out”! Phrasal verbs are a great way to express an idea. Most of them are easy to remember and, with a couple of words, you can express what otherwise may need many more. In short, the English language helps you save on words (for an economics lesson, dial 1 right after the tone).
The phrasal verb “to work out” has different uses and meanings. Fortunately, the variety among meanings is not that wide and difficult to remember. However, it can be used in diverse areas and, thus, help you out when you need to express yourself. Throughout this article, you will see the different ways of applying this phrasal verb, along with synonyms and examples to make it even clearer for you.
This is the use of the phrasal verb “to work out” which is mostly related to sports. It means to exercise, that is, to do something to tune up your body. It may be aimed at musculature, elongation, or any other goal. Training is a way of working out, as it involves doing physical activity. Some people work out at the gym, others at a club, and some others even do it at home, or in the street! Crazy tip: working is not a way of working out. English, right?
Some synonyms for this use of the phrasal verb “to work out” may be to (do) exercise, train, lift weights, or whatever activity you do to tune up your body. Although phrasal verbs tend to be of informal use, this meaning in particular may be used in different situations without altering the tone. This is a good thing to know when delivering essays or having a conversation with your boss or coach.
Whenever you face a math problem, the objective is to work it out. This, you do it by calculating and getting to a result. A teacher at school or university may ask you to work out a problem, meaning that you need to do some calculations and get to a final result. This, unfortunately for those who are not cut off for numbers (and I am definitely including myself in this category) does require a lot of work to do!
Other things other than a school exercise that you can work out are taxes, for example. They require calculations to see if you are required to pay something extra, or not. Remember that some countries require each citizen to work out their taxes, while others just tell you how much you need to pay. In this second alternative, it is the state or the official tax entity that works it out for you!
But problems are not only related to numbers, as we will see in this meaning of the phrasal verb. People can have an issue that is not related to math or taxes, and they can still work it out! They can be of any type, such as emotional, spiritual, financial, psychological, you name it (and then, do your best to work it out). By working it out, you find a solution to this problem.
Moreover, when we talk about “solving” something, we can refer to a crossword puzzle, a riddle, or a difficult question. Whatever the issue, by finding out an answer, we work it out. Synonyms for this use of the phrasal verb may be to solve, answer, figure out, sort out, among others.
So, these are three different uses of the phrasal verb “to work out”. Have you ever heard of it, or used it in the past? What was the meaning you replaced when doing so? Share your experience with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive tips, updates, and news on English related to sports! See you next time!