Monday, February 10, 2014

Work out

If something works out, it has positive results, it is successful. A synonym for work out is “turn out”. The final result.

1. Have you ever been in a relationship that didn’t work out? For some people it is the story of their lives. Often when someone wants to break up with a boyfriend/ girlfriend, they say, “This is not working out”. Why is it that many marriages don’t work out?

2. If you are curious as to the result of absolutely anything or how something went (for plans), you can ask the question, “How did it work out/ turn out?”

3. Many of my students are highly critical about Brazil’s preparation for the World Cup next year, but I always tell them that if it worked out for South Africa, it will work out for Brazil, no problem.

4. If you want to encourage someone, you could tell them, “Don’t worry, everything will work out just fine!

5. If something doesn’t work out we can also say that it’s a “flop”, which is a word that comes from baking. If you’re baking a cake, and it doesn’t turn out well, it’s a flop. Have any of your recent plans been a flop?

6. Is your career (or your studies) working out the way you planned, imagined or expected? Teaching private English classes in Brazil is working out a whole lot better than I originally anticipated.

7. How are your English classes/ studies working out so far? Do you feel like you’re progressing?

8. The United Nation’s “efforts” to bring peace or a ceasefire in Syria is not working out.

9. Have you ever had a crazy idea or plan that worked out really well?

10. If something doesn’t work out, is it usually your fault or is it someone else’s fault... or just the circumstances you find yourself in?


  1. Isn't just "work" suffice? Ex: It doesn't work for me. I am used to see "work out" as exercising.,

  2. Just "work" would be "funcionar". "Work out" is "dar certo"/ "sair bem" (in Portuguese). "Work out", as a phrasal verb, has at least 3 different meanings that I am aware of: (1) Calculate, (2) exercise and (3) turn out/ have a good or positive result. I hope this helps!

  3. Hi Kuno, haha! Thanks for the enthusiasm and eagerness! I posted every day for the last 2 weeks or so because I had (and still have) a backlog of "lessons" that I hadn't posted yet... I usually prepare 2 new lessons a week for my private English classes... And I calculated that if I spread them out and post on just Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays there will be 3 posts a week without fail for the rest of this year. So... The next post should come out tomorrow :)

    1. Morning! Hahah Yeah!
      Since I came across this blog I've been accessing it almost every day...
      I can imagine.. It must be a lot of work to come up with several different topics and examples and post them every day. Once again..Thank you !

    2. It's good to know that you are hooked on my material. Thanks!

  4. Hi,
    Love your blog! I did a lesson on this in my ESL class, and the students love it!
    Thank you for the good work!

  5. Hi Eileen,
    I just subscribed to your blog! I'm looking forward to following your adventures in future posts...

    The stuff I post here is actually material that I use in my own private English classes... That's why you'll see many examples about Brazil. I purposefully ask tons of questions, because those are the questions I probe my students with in class... including the wacky ones!

    I'm glad you found the material useful… Please feel free to use anything you want or reshape it in any form. Over time I've gotten good at asking questions that stimulate conversation... So I'm sure, as you've found, the questions are within most peoples' scope.
    Bye for now!

    1. Hi Frank,
      Thanks for subscribing to my blog. I'm not very consistent with posting, so please bear with me.

      Fifty percent of my students are from Mexico.Some are from Germany, S. America and SE Asia. They are soccer fans, and are very excited about the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. It's easier to understand the language using material that they are familiar with.

      One little problem - the twitter bird sometimes get in the way. How can I move it to the side?

      Thanks again for all the great materials, and for taking the time to respond.


    2. Wow! That sounds like fun! I will probably post more and more examples about soccer and the World Cup as the event draws closer!

  6. I may delete the twitter bird, haha! One thing you can do is scroll up or down and it will follow the screen a second or 2 later and reposition itself...