BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – To brush over something means to ignore something or miss it out.
Rob is hoping to decorate the studio but there are a few details he wants to ‘brush over’. Li thinks everything will be a mess until she finds out what ‘brushing over’ really means.
Li: Welcome to The English We Speak with me, Li…
Rob: (up a ladder) And me, Rob. Hello. Now, Li, would you just mind holding that ladder still please.
Li: I’m trying… but Rob, what are you doing up a ladder anyway?
Rob: I’m decorating!
Rob: Well this studio is really scruffy – you know, not that smart – so I thought I’d tidy it up and paint it, too.
Li: Hmmm. I don’t think it’s a good idea.
Li: For a start, you haven’t put any sheets down to stop the paint splashing on the carpet, … and you need to move the chairs outside… you’re wearing smart clothes, not ones for decorating in.
Rob: Well, no, err, that’s true. But shall we just brush over that?
Li: Brush over? You can’t brush over those things – you’ll get paint everywhere!
Rob: No, Li! When you say you will ‘brush over’ something, it means you will ignore it or not take it that seriously.
Li: I see. So Rob, you’re saying making the preparations for decorating is not important and you’re going to ignore it?
Rob: Well… I’m in a rush.
Li: I see. Let’s hear some examples, shall we?
- My teacher’s history lesson was fascinating, but he brushed over World War I and that was the bit I wanted to hear about most!
- We haven’t sorted the figures for the meeting, but we’ll brush over those and just talkabout the future.
- How old am I? Well, let’s just brush over that and say I’m as old as I feel!
Li: So, to ‘brush over’ something means to ignore something or miss it out. Rob, have you actually asked for permission to decorate this studio? It doesn’t belong to you.
Rob: Well… err…
Li: Are you brushing over that, too?! Anyway, even if you did get permission, shouldn’t you cover up the windows?
Rob: That’s true, Li. But before I do any of that, there is something more important to do.
Li: Oh yes?
Rob: Buy some paintbrushes!
Li: Ah yes, you can’t brush over that!
The English We Speak – To brush over Transcript Video
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