Come into contact

Lesson #
March 26, 2020

If you “come into contact” with someone or something, you’ve touched it.


Transcript

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Come into contact

Today’s expression is to “come into contact.” You heard earlier that a basketball player “came into contact with” dozens of other players on other teams in games over the past few days. That simply means that he touched dozens of other players. Unlike golf, for example, where the players don’t touch each other a lot, basketball is a very physical sport. They don’t wear helmets and their uniforms are shorts and tank-top jerseys. They’re sweating, touching each other, bumping into each other—there’s a lot of physical contact in basketball, more so than in most sports.

So when one player announced he had tested positive, other people started asking themselves, did I come into contact with this player? If so, when did I come into contact with him?

Why do we say, “come into contact with” instead of just “contact”? Contact can mean physical contact, like touching, but it can also mean calling someone on the phone, emailing, texting, whatever. So when you want to specify physical touch, you can say “come into contact.”

For example, the sentence, “I contacted the police” means that you called the police. But “I came into contact with an infected person” means that you touched that person.

The mayor of Miami tested positive for coronavirus after coming into contact with a member of the Brazilian president’s staff, who also has the virus. What kind of contact did they have? They probably shook hands. That same staffer was also near President Trump, and his staff is evaluating whether the President himself came into contact with this staffer. As a precaution, the White House is taking the temperature of anyone likely to come into contact with the President in the future. That would be anyone going to a meeting with him, members of the press, staff, servers, people like that. (Surely, they’ll take into account the latest findings on the “normal” body temperature, which is about a degree higher than previously thought.)

I typically do a Google News search for the expression just to find some good examples. I got to the eighteenth page of Google News and every example of “come into contact with” was coronavirus-related! So I’ll have to make up a few non-virus examples for you.

If you have a rash on your skin, your doctor might ask you if you’ve come into contact with any unusual chemicals in the last few days. You might have had a negative reaction to a new kind of cleaning solution, or maybe something at work. Did you come into contact with anything new? Did your skin touch any new chemicals that might have caused a reaction?

Do you remember the lesson about the “ghost species” discovered in human DNA? This ghost species likely came into contact with the Neanderthals and early humans, leaving traces of its DNA in modern humans. This species came into contact with early humans—and, given the evidence, that contact was more than just a handshake!

We talked about the hippos in Colombia. Most people in Antioquia don’t come into contact with the hippos, but they are nevertheless nervous about potential run-ins with the large animals.

If you come into contact with a stray dog or another animal, you might want to see a doctor for either a rabies test or just to get checked out. Animals often carry diseases that can damage humans. You want to avoid contact with non-domesticated animals. But if you do come into contact with an animal for some reason, you will want to see a doctor right away.

You can use “come into contact” when describing war or battles. You might say that troops came into contact with the enemy. In that case, they didn’t shake hands or personally touch, but they exchanged fire or they had a battle up close. They didn’t touch each other personally, but the two sides fired ammunition at the other, and the contact happens that way.

These are all various ways of saying “come into contact with,” but by far the most common way—not just now—but the most common way to use this is to describe touching another person, generally in the context of the transmission of diseases.

JR’s song of the week

Despite all the negative headlines, there are some moments of levity. And the singer Gloria Gaynor has provided one. She is the voice behind the song, “I Will Survive,” often described as a breakup anthem. Over the years, it has been used to cheer up women—and men, but mostly women—after a breakup, telling them that they will survive the breakup. Well. Gloria Gaynor has challenged people to sing the main chorus of her song while washing their hands for 20 seconds. She demonstrated this in a video on Tik Tok, saying, it only takes 20 seconds to survive.

And so the latest Tik Tok sensation is people washing their hands and taking a video of themselves singing “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. “As long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive,” the song goes.

So think about that, sing along maybe, as you wash your hands for 20 seconds, singing this week’s song of the week, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.


That’s all today. I hope you’re all staying safe, avoiding public places if possible. A good time to stay home, connect with friends and family, and slow down the pace of modern life, if that is an option for you. As for us, JR and I are safe, healthy, and working hard to bring you two new lessons each week—this show will go on.

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¿Hablas español?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into Spanish. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

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Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

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Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

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你说中国话?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

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Parlez-vous français?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

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Você fala português?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

日本語は話せますか?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Parli italiano?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Sen Türkçe konuşmayı biliyor musun?

The transcripts of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Turkish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Mówisz po polsku?

The transcript of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Polish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

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