Speak Life

In another post, the respected Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh talks about the three elements of wholesome action: right thought, right speech and right action. In this song, the singer Tobymac also sings about the importance of right speech, when he calls out for people to 'speak life'.


As the lyrics say;

Look into the eyes of the broken hearted

Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope

You speak love, you speak

You speak life,


So, for me, this is another dhamma song, that reminds us to be mindful, to be aware that our words can bring hope or hurt, love or loss, peace or pain. A reminder to always try and 'speak life'.

Talking about 'speaking' offers another opportunity to learn some idioms and phrasal verbs.

  1. Below are eight idioms and a phrasal verb that use 'speak', with an example sentence for each.

  2. Read the sentences and try and understand the meaning of the idioms/phrasal verb. You can use a dictionary to help you, if you need to.

  • speak your mind

'When you meet the State Counsellor, do not be afraid to speak your mind because she wants to know your opinion'

  • speak out of turn

When you are with your superiors, it is important not to speak out of turn as this can be understood as being rude or disrespectful.

  • speaks volumes

The manner in which a person acts when they are stressed speaks volumes about their meditation training.

  • speak of the devil

"Did you know that my English teacher has a website?"

"Really?"

"Yep. Well, speak of the devil, here he comes now"

  • speak ill of (someone)

I was always told by my father that I should not speak ill of people who are absent and that I should never speak ill of the dead.

  • speak for yourself

"Myanmar people don't like to eat cheese"

"Speak for yourself, I love cheese!

  • speak too soon

"I think I'll get the highest score in my class in the final exam"

"Don't speak too soon, some of your classmates are improving quickly."

  • spoken for

I was really attracted to a girl in my village and I wanted to marry her but she was already spoken for.

  • speak up

When you are answering a question in class, you need to speak up so that the teacher can hear you.


When you are ready, match the idioms with their meanings in the sheet below.

If you want some help with pronunciation, go to - https://pronunciationstudio.com/speak-idioms/

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