10 “STEP” Phrasal Verbs in English: step up, step down, step in…

Hi. Welcome back
to www.engvid.com. I’m Adam. In today’s lesson we’re going to look
at phrasal verbs using the verb “step”. Now, first of all, what you need to understand,
again, phrasal verbs are verbs plus prepositions that have different meanings. And the verb “step” is a bit tricky because
we use “step” as a noun as well, and we often combine it with prepositions, and the preposition
and noun combination can be completely different from the verb and
preposition combination. So we’re going to look… Have to look at both of these when we look
at these combinations with prepositions. So we’re going to look at: “step down”, “step
up”, “step in”, “step inside”, “step around”, “step out”, “step on”, “step back”,
“step aside”, “step forward”. Let’s start with “down”. So, “step down”. So, before I start with any
of them, what is “step”? So a step is when you take
your one foot forward. Right? You’re taking one step. Or if you’re climbing the stairs, you take
one, two, three steps, four steps, five steps. It’s one foot in
front of the other. That’s the basic
meaning of “step”. “Step down”. So, of course, I can step down off the table
if I’m standing on a table or whatever. There’s always the literal meaning,
but “step down” can also mean resign. Okay? Resign means quit. So, for example, if I’m the president of the
company and I think that the company is not doing very well and everybody’s very angry
because the company’s not doing well, they want to get somebody new as
the president in my position. Finally I say: “Okay,
you know what? I will step down and let
the new guy come in.” Now, we’re going to see that again in “step
aside”, but “step down” basically means resign, give up the position. Now, if we’re looking at
the verb: “a step down”. If we’re looking at this as a… Sorry. As a noun, not a verb, “a step down”
means a lower position, or a lower value, or a lower rank. Okay? So right now I live in a five-bedroom house,
it’s a very big house, very, very expensive, but my financial situation is not so good, so I
had to sell that house and buy a two-bedroom condominium. Now, for many people a two-bedroom condominium
is very nice, but for somebody who has had a five-bedroom house, a condominium is a
step down in position, in stature, etc. Right? So a step down means a lower
level or a lower rank. “To step down”, “to
resign”, okay. Now, “step up” same idea. If we’re looking at the noun, “a step up” is
the opposite, it’s an increase in position. So I went from my two-bedroom
condominium to a three-bedroom house. That’s a big step up in terms of social situations,
social rank, depending on who you ask of course. But “to step up”, okay? As a verb. “To step up” means to
face the challenge. Of course, it literal
means to step up. Okay? But to step up to the challenge means somebody
has to come forward, show the courage, and do what is needed to overcome an
obstacle or to overcome a challenge. So think about sports. Okay? You have your favourite team and they’re in
the playoffs and they’re losing, so you… All the people say: “Well, the star
players, the best players need to step up.” They need to, like, show up, be courageous,
face the challenge and do what is necessary to win. Okay? So, “to step up”. Now, another
expression we have… This is a very common expression:
“Step up to the plate”. Now, “the plate”
comes from baseball. Okay? You… The batter comes in, there’s the home plate
and there’s the pitcher, you step up to the plate and you’re ready
to hit the ball. Right? So if we say somebody needs to step up to
the plate that means somebody needs to face the challenge, face the difficult
situation and take care of it basically. Okay, “step up”. Okay. “Step in”, now, again,
I can step in a room. Just one step. I’m not moving all the way in. I’m just taking one step,
that’s the literal meaning. To… The other meaning
is to get involved. Okay? So I see my brother and sister, they’re both
fighting and they’re not stopping, and I say: “Stop, stop”, and nobody’s stopping so finally
I have to step in, I have to get involved, I have to separate them. So, if somebody needs to step in they need
to get involved, or they need to interfere, or they need to stop
something from happening. They need to be part
of the situation. Now, “step inside” also means step inside,
but why wouldn’t somebody say: “Go inside” or “Come inside”? When we say “step inside” all we want to do is
emphasize that movement indoor, into someplace. Okay? So I’m a very big
boss and I say… And you want to do business with me,
and I said: “Step inside my office.” It basically means come in,
but it’s more emphasis. I want to show you how big
I am, how powerful I am. “Step inside my office.
Let’s talk.” Right? It’s a bit more
emphasis, that’s all it is. Okay. “Step around”, now, let’s say I’m a reporter
and you’re a politician, and I ask you a very difficult question and you don’t
really want to answer it… Answer it, so you step
around the question. You step around the issue, means
you avoid answering it directly. Another way we… We sometimes hear it
is “dance around”. Or you’ll hear “step around”
or “dance around the issue”. This is very common with politicians who
don’t like to answer questions directly. In fact, they don’t
like direct answer… Questions, so they just step around the question
and talk about something completely different. “Step out”, that
basically means go out. Okay? So I’m at the office and I say to my co-worker:
“I’m just going to step out for a minute.” Basically just go out for a short
time and then I’m coming back. Okay? “Step out” can also… We also have an expression: “Step out of…
Step out of line”. What does “step out
of line” mean? Means basically not following the rules,
not doing what everybody else is doing. So if you step out of line, means you did
something wrong or you’re doing something too independent and the people
around you might not be too happy. Those people around you are all in line and
you’re stepping out of that line and doing your own thing. You’re not following the rules. Okay? “Step out”. So, “step on”. Again, you can
step on something. If there’s a bug and you don’t like it, you
just step on it and it’s dead, no problem. But you can also
step on something. So, if you step on something,
means you’re applying pressure. You’re applying pressure or you’re
increasing whatever the situation is. Right? So, this person is not doing his
work so I tell the manager… I’m the big boss of the company, this
is a worker, I say to the manager: “Step on him. Get him
to work harder.” Okay? Just apply more pressure. Now, you can step
on someone’s toes. If you step on someone’s toes, a
little bit you’re offending them. Okay? So I’m the new guy in
the office, and I… Everybody has been there a long time,
everybody has their way of doing things. I’m the new manager. So for the first few weeks I don’t
want to step on anyone’s toes. I’m not going to tell
people what to do. I’m just going to watch how they work, take
notes, and slowly start making the changes that I want to make. Because if I go right away: “Okay, you need to do this differently,
you need to do this differently”, I will just be stepping
on their toes. They will feel offended like I’m walking all
over their toes, and it’s a little bit painful and not so comfortable. Now, “step on the gas”. “Step on the gas” means,
again, increase the pressure. Or if you’re thinking about a car, there’s the
gas pedal, “step on the gas” means go faster. Okay. And more common
expression: “Step on it”. “Come on, step on it.
We have to go. Hurry. Hurry. Let’s go, let’s go.” Or: “Step on it.” A very common expression when
you want someone to hurry up. Okay. “Step back”, so there’s “step back”, “step
forward”, which we’re going to talk about in a second. That’s the literal meaning. But sometimes you want to just step back,
where you have a certain situation. You’re not really sure you understand a situation,
you want to get a better idea of what’s going on, so you just step back, you get a broader
perspective, you get a different view. Okay? So if you take a step back you can have a
different view, and then you can come back and take care of it. Now, another way to say… To talk about “step back”,
when you’re making progress. If you’re making progress
you’re going forward. Right? You’re progressing. But sometimes there’s a little problem
and then you have a step back. So sometimes you’ll hear the expression:
“One step forward, two steps back.” It means you’re having a very difficult time
progressing with whatever the situation is. If you’re a scientists and… Scientist and you’re trying to
discover the cure for cancer… Okay? So you found something really, really good, a
new chemical or a new pill that can really help, so you apply it, but then you realize
that the side effect of this chemical is that the person gets a different
disease, a worse disease. Okay? So yeah, you’ve gone forward a little bit,
but you’ve actually gone back twice as much because you have a bigger
problem to deal with now. Okay? “Step aside”. So, step aside, step aside. So, literal means
move to the side. But “step aside…” Remember I said “step
down” to resign? “Step aside” is similar. It doesn’t necessarily mean resign,
but it means get out of the way. So, again, you can get out of the way so somebody
can pass or you can get out of the way so somebody can take your spot. So, for example, in the elections you have
two people running for the same party. Near the end of the primary season, near the
end of the campaign there’s one candidate or one nominee who’s
clearly ahead. So instead of fighting each other and not
fighting the other party’s person, you… One… The leader will
say to the other person: “You know, just step aside, let me have it, and
we can fight the real enemy, not each other.” So, “step aside”, make
way, get out of the way. “Step forward”. So, again, I can step
forward, I can step back. But “step forward” also means to volunteer or
to admit, or to take responsibility, depending how you’re looking at it. So, for example, anybody who’s interested in
helping out the poor kids in this country, please step forward. Basically make yourself known that you
want to volunteer, you want to help. Or: “Okay, I know one of you created all this
mess and one of you is the cause of all this problem. Will the guilty party
please step forward?” It means admit that you did it. Here’s a line of people all accused, I want
the one person who is responsible to take responsibility, to
step forward and say: “It was me. I did it.” Okay? So: “Step forward.” So, there we go. Sorry, I forgot about “step back”,
so you can also use that as a noun. It’s: “a step back” meaning the same,
like the opposite of progress. Okay, sorry. So, there we go. If you have any questions about
any of these phrasal verbs, you can of course ask
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learned, go there, practice as you will. And I’ll see you
again real soon. Bye-bye.

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