Archive for November 26, 2010

separable phrasal verb: point out

how-to-point-out-mistakes-made-when-speaking-english

Today, I’d like to write about the phrasal verb “point out”. We use this expression in two ways in English.

1. to indicate where something is by pointing. For example:

I don’t know which building city hall is. Could you point it out to me please?

My new co-worker didn’t know who the boss was, so I had to point him out for her.

2. for someone to indicate a problem with someone else’s idea. For example:

It’s an interesting business idea you have. I hate to point this out to you, but you don’t have enough money to open a business.

It was pointed out to me that we don’t have enough money to open a business. (passive voice)

We decided to have dinner before the movie because my friend pointed out that it was about three hours long. It would be too late to eat dinner afterwards.

When we use this expression directly to someone, we often say “I hate to point this out, but…” because we’re going to say something negative and it’s softer to say it in this way.

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