Today’s expression is a phrasal verb and it is “turn over.” There are many ways to use this very versatile phrasal verb, but as usual we will focus on just one way to use it today. And that way is this: To turn something over is to give control of it to someone else.
You heard today about the James Webb Space Telescope . An international team developed and launched the satellite. But a very different part of the agency will operate it, now that it’s up there. The team that launched the satellite will turn it over to the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. That means, the team that designed, built, and launched the telescope will give control to a new team at the Space Telescope Science Institute. They will turn the telescope over to the new agency.
In the early days of Plain English, I used to put all the lessons on the web site myself. That was my responsibility. But a few years ago, I turned that responsibility over to JR. Now he’s the one in charge of making sure you get your full and complete lessons at the correct URL every Monday and Thursday. When I turned that responsibility over to JR, I gave him control over that part of our process.
What happens to a small family business when the founder is ready to retire? The founder can sell the business. In that case, he or she would turn the business over to whoever bought it. Other times, founders turn it over to the next generation. They turn their businesses over to their kids or someone else in the family to continue to run it.
Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 until 1997, with a brief exception during World War II. In 1997, the British government turned Hong Kong over to China. For over 150 years, Hong Kong was a British colony, meaning that it was part of British territory. But then the U.K. signed an agreement with China to give official sovereignty over Hong Kong to China.
As part of the process to turn Hong Kong over, the U.K. and China signed an agreement that “guaranteed” Hong Kong could live under its old system of government and commerce for 50 years. Just 25 years after Britain turned Hong Kong over to China, Hong Kong has lost the political freedom it once had. So much for the 50-year guarantee.
Harvey Weinstein is a former Hollywood producer. He was convicted of sexual assault in New York State in 2021. Now he is on trial in California. These types of crimes, in the U.S., are state crimes. So a state has custody of a suspect, a state prosecutes the defendant, and the state can imprison someone found guilty of the crime. After the New York trial, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison in New York.
But he is also facing charges in California. So New York turned him over to California to face trial there. He still has to go to jail in New York. But New York gave responsibility for him to California for his current trial. New York turned him over to California.
El Chapo, the former Mexican drug lord, was captured for the third and hopefully last time in 2016 in Mexico. Mexican police captured him. But they turned him over to the United States where he stood trial, was convicted, and is now serving a life sentence.
JR’s song of the week
Today’s song of the week is “Next to Me” by Emeli Sandé. This is a great song about the loyalty of her partner. She sings about a man that he won’t be drinking until late, gambling, or being unfaithful because “I’ll find him next to me.”
It’s a good song. It reminds me of another singer’s style, but I can’t put my finger on it. Have a listen, you may have heard it before. It came out about 10 years ago. “Next to Me” by Emeli Sandé.
See you next time!
All right, that’s it for today, lesson 491. Today is August 4, 2022, that’s the day this lesson will be released. And as I said on Monday, I want to do something special for lesson number 500, which is scheduled to come out on September 5, 2022.
That’s a month from now, so we have a month to get ready. And I have two things I want to do for episode number 500.
First, I want to live stream it to Instagram and Facebook. So you can watch me do it on video; I have never done that before, but we’ll do it for number 500. And the second thing I want to do is put together a video featuring all of you. Well, maybe not all of you; that would be a long video. A video with as many of you as possible, sharing your stories. I’ve talked a lot over 491 lessons, so I think it’s time to let some of you talk as well.
So to facilitate that, I’ve set up a special website at PlainEnglish.com/500. Normally that would take you to a lesson page, but this will be the exception. If you’re listening to this in August, that page will help you get ready for the 500th-episode special.
It will help you connect with us on Instagram and Facebook—your choice. And it will let you record a video to be part of the montage. It’s so simple, you can do it from your phone. Just two or three taps and you’ll be recording. PlainEnglish.com/500
And if you’re listening after September 5, 2022, that’s where you’ll find the big result of the celebration. PlainEnglish.com/500 will live forever. In August, that’s where you can be part of the celebration. In September 2022 and beyond, that’s where you can see the final result. Either way, your job is to go to PlainEnglish.com/500. Do that now: you won’t regret it!