Stay up

To “stay up” means to stay awake.

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Stay up

Today’s expression is a phrasal verb, “stay up.” This is an easy one to use—it just means to stay awake, and it usually means to stay out of bed.

Let’s start with two ways to use “stay up.” If you “stay up for” something, you stay awake so that you can do something late. And if you stay up “until” a certain time, that means you were awake at that time.

So here’s an example: On New Year’s Eve, a lot of people stay up for the ball dropping ceremony in Times Square. They stay awake so that they can see the ball drop high over Times Square in New York City. That’s easy for people in Los Angeles: the ball drops at 9:00 p.m. on the west coast. But if you’re on the east coast, you have to stay up until midnight to see the ball drop.

So, people in New York stay up until midnight and they stay up for the ball-dropping ceremony. You can also say they stay up to see the ball dropping ceremony.

Earlier today, we were talking about teenagers and their circadian rhythm . Their bodies are telling them to stay up until about 11:00 p.m. That means, their bodies are tell them to stay awake until about 11:00.

You can also say “stay up until” something happens. Have you ever stayed up until sunrise? I have…although I do that less and less these days! If you have a teenager and your son or daughter goes out at night, what do you do? Do you go to bed and see them in the morning? Maybe, but I bet you stay up until they get home. That’s very common for concerned parents. They stay up until their kids get home.

Baseball, you guys know, is my favorite sport. And unlike many sports, there is no clock in baseball. If the game is tied after nine innings, they keep playing until there is a winner. I used to like to stay up until the end of the game; I hated going to bed without knowing the winner. But now, I only stay up until the end if the game is really good—I have my own new circadian rhythm to think about these days.

In Plain English Plus+ , we do live calls several times per month. And we change the time zones so that everyone has a chance to join at least two per month. But sometimes I join the call, and it’s the middle of the afternoon here, and a Plus+ member from Asia is on the call. That’s rare, but it happens. When it’s 1:00 pm here, it’s the middle of the night in Asia. Once in a while, a Plus+ member will stay up really late for the live conversation calls.

JR’s song of the week

It’s Thursday, so JR has a song of the week. It is “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. Jack Daniels is made in the state of Tennessee, for background. The song was released in 2015 and has a blues style, guitar, drums, vocals. The song is about someone who was a hard drinker, but met someone who rescued him from hitting bottom with his drinking. It’s a sweet song. One line is, “You’re as smooth as Tennessee whiskey.” Great song this week, JR, thank you. Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton.

See you next time!

I’m not a liquor drinker, so I don’t think any liquor tastes smooth. But that’s just me.

Earlier this week, we were talking about being an active learner. It was that Socrates quote, “Let me do and I understand.” And that really got me thinking about how we as learners can put that Socrates quote to work.

So I researched the difference between active and passive learning specifically related to languages. And I put together a great 30-minute training video about that. The video is great, I just recorded it. At the beginning, we talk about what passive and active learning is. Then we talk about ways to be a more active learner, and a lot of those ways are free.

That training is free to you, free to everybody, at PlainEnglish.com/active. It’s easy to remember, active, a-c-t-i-v-e, PlainEnglish.com/active. And the video is right there, you can watch it all at once, you can pause it, you can watch it twice, no problem. PlainEnglish.com/active and you’ll get that great 30-minute training 100 percent for free. You can do it over the weekend, and you’ll have even more Plain English in your life than normal. How about that? PlainEnglish.com/active.

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Story: School starting times