English Idiomatic Expression: “Along the Lines of…”

By Robby

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Hi guys, hello boys and girls, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers! It’s Robby here obviously from EnglishHarmony.com and today I’m bringing you another daily English idiomatic expression video.

Well, I guess by now you would have noticed that these idiomatic expression videos are not being published on a daily basis. That was the original intention a few years ago but as you can imagine I just haven’t been able to keep up with that production schedule, publishing one video a day simply because of my Fluency Star students and everything but I just stuck with the name daily English idiomatic expressions, right?

So I’m just going to give you a new one today, right? Because God only knows when is the next one going to come up, when I decide to publish the next one. But to tell you the truth I have a bunch of them recorded and then I publish them as I see fit, every now and then I would publish another one for you guys.

Anyhow, today we’re going to look at the following English idiomatic expression “along the lines of”, right? And obviously if you want to find out what exactly it means, when you can use this particular phrase then bear with me for a few more moments and everything is going to become crystal clear to you my friends!

Example Sentence #1

Welcome back. So “along the lines of.” What exactly it means. Well, let me give you an example and that will paint a pretty clear picture and you’ll figure it out for yourself what exactly it means and when you can use it in your speech, right?

So here’s reported  speech, basically something that someone told me or something that I just overheard being said by someone else, right? And you are the person I’m talking to and I’m saying what I’ve heard the other person say, right?

“Listen, I was passing by when Julie was talking to Mark today and I can’t actually remember word by word what she said but it went something along the lines of listen Mark, I’m fed up with your attitude and I’m done with it, you know what I mean. I’m not going to put up with it for much longer!”

So that’s what she said. Just like I said I can’t remember exactly what she said but it went something along the lines of I’m fed up with you Mark. I’m not going to put up with you anymore so I’ll leave the rest to yourself, to your imagination to understand what exactly was going to happen next, right?

So as you could clearly see in this particular example I used the English idiomatic expression “along the lines of” to describe reported speech that I wasn’t quite sure exactly how it went, exactly what words were used but I’m just paraphrasing, right? So that’s the type of situation when you may want to use this particular idiom.

So how you use it? You use it by sticking “it went” in front of it so it went along – or something as well, right? So it went something along the lines of. So that’s how you describe particular person’s speech that you’re not a 100% sure of but you’re just putting it in your own words.

Example Sentence #2

So I’m not really sure what Mike said to Jodie but I think it went something along the lines of “Jodie, you’re the best worker so I think you deserve a pay rise. Just don’t say it to anyone else, right?” But I happened to be passing by the door and I didn’t even want it but I just heard that conversation and just like I said it went something along the lines of “Jodie, rest assured that your wages are going to be increased but not a single word to anyone else because others are going to ask me if the same thing, right? They will ask me for pay rise but I can’t afford it. I can only remunerate you like that because you’re the best employee, right?”

So that was the second example. It’s all about reported speech as you could clearly see and when else would you be using this particular idiom?

Example Sentence #3

It’s when you want to remember something in the exact words for instance, a saying, a phrase or an English idiomatic expression for that matter but you can’t remember exactly how it’s said, right? But this particular situation kind of demands that you remember how it was said. For instance if I couldn’t remember the phrase “along the lines of” so I could have used that expression to describe how I remembered it.

So “it went something along the lines of” obviously this particular example doesn’t even make sense because obviously I know how to use it but let me just give you an idea of what I’m trying to say here. I know this phrase but I can’t actually remember the exact words but it went something along the lines of… with the lines of if you know what I mean, right?

So I was trying to describe that phrase not being exactly sure what way it was put, what words were used. And then normally when you would describe something to the other person like this, with almost the exact words it would make the other person maybe remember what exactly you are trying to say, right? Whether it’s a phrase or some quote for example.

Let’s say for instance you’re talking about songs and song lyrics and you’re saying “I can’t actually remember the chorus part of that song but I think it went something along the lines of… And then you’re saying it and the other person will probably help you out with that in case they remember the exact words, right?

And on the finishing note let me just tell you that you can use it – I mean you can use this particular idiom “along the lines of” in combination with some other words. It doesn’t always go with “it went something along the lines”. You can say it was something – no, sorry. It was along the lines, right? It was along the lines, yeah, you can say that, surely, right?

And obviously there’s a whole lot more ways of using it. I just can’t think of them all and that’s a very well-known phenomenon, right? If you’re asked to come up with all ways of doing a certain thing, surely you can’t do it because it’s only the context that will bring out that particular thing that you’re looking for, right? And in this example if I were to speak and use that phrase in a different way, that’s when I would remember it, right?

But suffice it to say that these example sentences that I’ve given to you today should paint a pretty clear picture of how to use this particular English idiomatic expression so please make sure to use it in your daily spoken English practice sessions and also real time – real life should I say conversations with other people, right?

So thanks for watching this video, thanks for your time and don’t forget to like the video obviously if you liked it and don’t forget to subscribe for my channel if you haven’t already done so my friends. Thanks and chat to you soon. Bye-bye!

English Idiomatic Expressions

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