English Idiomatic Expressions: “I’ve Been Meaning to… Never Get Around to…”

By Robby

If you are new here please read this first.

Improve Spoken English

Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!

Video Transcript Below:

Hi guys. Here’s the funny thing. I’ve been meaning to record this particular video for a while now but finally, when I got around to it yesterday, all sorts of weird thing started happening. I tried to record it two times in a row but every time when I connected the camcorder to the laptop, there was nothing there. There were no files to be found and it was very weird to say the least!

And as you noticed guys, I actually used today’s phrases in this sentence. So this was the first sample sentence actually.

I’ve been meaning to do something and the second one is to get around to doing something”.

And depending on whether you refer to a past event or things in general, you will say either “got ‘round to doing something” or “get ‘round to doing something”. And you will also notice that I don’t say “get around,” I said conversationally. I shortened the word “around” to just ’round basically. I omit the “A” letter, just stick an apostrophe there and it becomes ’round. That’s what native English speakers say conversationally and that’s what I’m sticking with.

So do you want to find out more about these two idiomatic expressions “I’ve been meaning to do something” and “to get ’round to doing something”? Well, bear with me for a few more moments and everything is going to become crystal clear to you my friends!

Don’t Analyze These Phrases From the Grammar Standpoint!

Welcome back. So, I’ve been meaning to do something. Please guys, don’t start analyzing this sentence from the grammar standpoint. Don’t start thinking, “hold on, what kind of a tense is it? What voice is represented there?” I’ve been meaning to do something. Don’t analyze it at all! Just take it for what it is. It’s a phrase that simply means that you wanted to do something for a long time and just repeat it. “I’ve been meaning to do something. I’ve been meaning to. I’ve been meaning to.” And then it becomes your second nature. You can just produce it yourself when speaking obviously, whether you speak with someone else or do some spoken English self-practice. And you don’t need to analyze it at all. You don’t need to figure out what it represents. Okay? It’s immaterial.

And to tell you the truth guys prior to recording this video I was kind of thinking, hold on, maybe I should let my audience know what tense and voice it is but then I caught myself doing that and I realized, hold on a second Robby, if you were to do that, you would actually go against everything you stand for because the English Harmony philosophy is to get rid of the grammar concepts altogether. Okay? And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last number of years. And to tell you the truth, my grammar knowledge has actually all but disappeared. If you were to ask me a very simple grammar related question, maybe I wouldn’t even know that unless I did some deeper research into it. Okay?

Second Example Sentence: “I’ve been meaning to get in touch with an old friend of mine but…”

So yeah, without further ado, let me get down to business and give you the second example of the sentence. And as a matter of fact I’ve been meaning to get in touch with an old friend of mine but we never get ’round to doing it because either I’m very busy or he hasn’t got much time for it.

So we keep putting it off. And as a matter of fact we wanted to get in touch in early January and now it’s late February. Okay? So it’s been almost two months. So despite the fact that both of us have been meaning to get in touch with each other, we never get ’round to doing it, you know?

So I hope you get the drift, you start developing that feeling for how these phrases are to be used and just to solidify that knowledge just give me – let me give you the third example which is going to be; let me see, let me brainstorm something. I’m quite good at these things, aren’t I? I can brainstorm things on the spot.

Third Example: “I’ve been meaning to change my website design for a few years…”

So I’ve been meaning to change my website design for a few years and considering that I’m very busy teaching my students, running the blog and all that, I really never got ’round to doing it. Okay? And then one fine day I realized, “hold on a second, my current design is not bad at all. Even though it’s old, it’s like 7 or 8 years old or 6 years old or thereabouts, there’s nothing wrong with it!”

So I’d much rather focus on the content creation, writing good quality articles for you guys to enjoy and cranking out my daily videos – well, not daily really but you get the drift, right? – than spending thousands of dollars on completely redesigning the whole thing. Because good quality design costs an arm and a leg which is an English idiom meaning that it’s very, very expensive. So despite the fact that I had been meaning to change the website design and I never got ’round to it, finally I realized that there’s no need for it. Okay? So this was the third example.

So I hope that now everything is clear to you my friends. So you basically use these phrases to express the simple fact that you wanted to do something for a while but then you never got a chance to do it, okay? And bear in mind, you don’t necessarily have to use these phrases in combination. You can use one or the other depending on the situation. It’s just that I kind of stuck them together and they supplement each other, you know? It’s a very fitting situation of using these two phrases together because they express the concept of you wanting to do something and not being able to do it.

But you may as well use one or the other. For instance someone gets in touch with you and then you tell that person “I’m sorry that I never called you. I’ve been meaning to do it for a long time and I’m really sorry, I totally forgot about it. It slipped my mind.” Or you can just say things like “I’ve been meaning to do my homework or my essay or something for a couple of weeks now and now finally today is the last day. I can do it tomorrow after hand it in so there’s no excuse for me not do to do it tonight, you know.”

So I hope you get the drift, right? Use these phrases in your spoken English self-practice sessions. Use them when speaking with others by all means guys. So if you have any questions obviously, please post them in the comment section below. And thanks for watching this video and chat to you soon. Bye-bye!


P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System
  • English Harmony

    Hi Sophia! Yes, it’s ok to use it in that context.

  • Sophia Markoff

    hello Robby! I wanted to ask you if i can also use “I’ve been meaning to do sth” for a short period of time, like “I’ve been meaning to text you for a few days”

  • Thanks Zako, and it’s a great example of the expression in a sentence! 😉

  • zako ikay

    I’ve been meaning to engage in an English learning school. but i never get around to do it, because i found all what i need in your YouTube channel and your blog.
    thx robby