Throw Caution to the Wind
Jan 26 2016
People who study new languages usually like adventures. They like to learn new things and go after their goals. This isn’t easy. Learning to speak a new language fluently takes time, and beginners often feel awkward when they communicate. Living in a country that uses your new language is a good way to learn quickly. But you will probably feel homesick and experience culture shock. Still, many people are happy when they throw caution to the wind and follow this dream.
To throw caution to the wind is to take a risk. You must be very brave and not afraid of failing. When you throw caution to the wind, you stop worrying about the bad things that might happen. Instead, you only think about the best possible result, and you change your life to get this result. This is a big step, and it’s difficult for most people. However, you will feel wonderful when you reach your goal.
Brian has decided to throw caution to the wind in order to be with Lily. Find out what Gary thinks about this in today’s English lesson.
Brian: I’ve made a decision.
Gary: What’s that?
Brian: I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go after Lily.
Gary: What do you mean, “go after”?
Brian: I’m moving to Paris.
Gary: What about your life here? Wait, what about our business?
Brian: Being with Lily is my first priority.
Gary: Do you even speak French? You are going to experience major culture shock.
Brian: How different can it be?
Gary: First, there’s the language. Until you speak French fluently, even simple conversations are going to be very awkward.
Brian: Learning to speak French will take time, but people are patient when talking to a beginner.
Gary: What if you can’t find anything to eat? What if you don’t like French food?
Brian: I’m pretty sure people in France eat a lot of the same foods we do. Even if they don’t, I can learn to like new things.
Gary: It’s going to be very exciting at first, but you’re going to feel homesick.
Brian: That’s true. And there’s no way around it. But there’s email and Skype, so it’ll be easy to see and talk to everyone back home.
Gary: This is a big step, Brian. Are you sure you want to throw caution to the wind like this?
Brian: I know. But yes, I am. Seeing Lily again is worth it!
Gary: OK, but I’m going to drive you to the airport.
Brian: Thanks for everything, Gary.
Brian is going to throw caution to the wind and move to France. He misses Lily and wants to be with her. In fact, this is his top priority. He tells Gary about his plan. Gary is worried about their business, and he’s worried about Brian. He tells Brian that he will feel awkward in Paris until he learns to speak French fluently.
Brian understands that he will experience culture shock and feel homesick when he moves. These things are a normal part of living in a new place, and there’s no way around them. But Brian can also use technology to talk to his friends and family. Moving to Paris will be a big step, but he is excited for the change.
When do you feel homesick? Have you ever experienced culture shock?
Brian is telling Gary about his decision to move to Paris. He says, “I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go after Lily.” He uses a phrasal verb.
Phrasal verbs include a verb + a preposition or adverb that changes the original meaning of the verb. For example, a lot of phrasal verbs use the preposition “out.” Examples include break out (get away from), hand out (give to people), and, of course, make out (kiss a lot).
Some phrasal verbs are non-separable, which means the preposition must directly follow the verb. In Brian’s quotation, the phrasal verb go after is non-separable. It is correct to say, “I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go after Lily,” but it is not correct to say, “I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go Lily after.
On the other hand, drop off is separable. You can say, “I have to drop off my son at school,” or, “I have to drop my son off at school.”
Which is correct, “It’s time to pick up the kids,” or, “It’s time to pick the kids up”?
Where will Brian move?
Cape Town, South Africa.
Gary is __ Brian’s choice to move.
Which of these is not part of culture shock?
Experiencing something new.
Feeling relaxed and calm.
Which sentence does not use a phrasal verb correctly?
Tina wants to go her boyfriend after.
I will go after my dream of being a dancer.
Can you drop off the papers at the office?
I will drop them off in the morning.