English interjections:Push off!

Push off!


Push off is  a informal way, in UK,  of telling someone to go away.

Example: «I’m trying to work and you keep distracting me! Push off!»

And… Push

Full length side view of businesswoman pushing broken down car at countryside

Full length side view of businesswoman pushing broken down car at countryside

– To push means ‘to move something or someone away from yourself using force.’
– It is also used figuratively meaning ‘to urge someone to do something’ or ‘to      promote or demand something with energy.’
– Informally, to push means ‘to sell drugs.’
– As a noun, a push is the act of pushing, a strong and determined effort to achieve  something, or a military attack.


Example sentences
The father pushed his child on the swing.
My husband always pushes me to follow my dreams.
The politician really pushed her proposal for the new law.
Some addicts end up pushing to pay for their drugs.
Bill gave the door a push and it swung open.
I know you’ve all worked really hard and you’re tired, but if we make one last push we can get the project finished by the end of the month!
The general ordered a massive push for the following day.

Multi-word forms

Push someone around: try to make someone do what you want. Example: «I know he’s your boss, but he shouldn’t talk to you like that! Don’t let him push you around.»
Push something through: get approval for something. Example: «The government is trying to push through new security measures.»
At a push (UK): just about, if you really have to. Example: «I’m very busy at the moment, so I can’t do this work until Friday. At a push, I might manage to do it on Thursday, if you really can’t wait.»
When push comes to shove, if push comes to shove: when you are forced to take action. Example: «My brother and I don’t always get along, but when I lost my job last year, he really helped me out. I guess that when push comes to shove, he does really care about me.»

Did you know?

A word related to push is pushover, which is an informal term for someone who always gives in to what others want. For example, if a parent tries to send the kids to bed, but the kids beg to be allowed to stay up and the parent gives in, you could call that person a pushover.

Other forms

pusher (noun)


Push dates back to the second half of the 13th century and comes form the Latin word pulsāre (see pulsate), the Middle French word pousser, the Old French wordpo(u)lser, and the Middle English word pushen, poshen, or posson.

See full definition

Thanks to Wordreference dictionary for its section Word of the day.

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Hace ya un tiempo publiqué aquí una lista de marcadores del discurso, adverbios y locuciones adverbiales, aprovechando mis estudios para el examen de lengua inglesa. Ahora me toca una lista todavía más larga para el examen de interpretación.

Aprender a identificar rápidamente este tipo de marcadores, entradas de párrafo, conectores, etc. ayuda a realizar una interpretación rápida y natural, vamos… que no se note demasiado que estás traduciendo simultáneamente.

Para ilustrar esta entrada me ha apetecido poner una fotografía que representa una de las expresiones citadas en la tabla:

To put it in a nutshell

 To put it in a nutshell

To put it in a nutshell, que manera más poética para expresar que uno va a ser conciso. No podría decirlo de una manera más adornada en español. Invito a recibir más opciones en otras lenguas, tanto de esta expresión como de otras.




INTRODUCCIÓN To begin with, to start with,

as an introduction,

first and foremost,

at the beginning

Para comenzar/empezar,

como preámbulo, primeramente,

a modo de introducción,

en primer lugar, antes de nada

AÑADIR INFOMACIÓN Besides, to say nothing of,

furthermore, moreover,

what is more,

in addition to, not to mention, so on,

and so on, and so for, whatnot,

whatever, what have you, let alone

Potra parte, por no hablar,

lo que es más, incluso,

y así sucesivamente,

entre otros

RESUMIR To sum up, in short, on balance,

to put it in a nutshell,

in a word

Resumiendo, para resumir,

en suma, en conclusión,

para concluir,

en pocas palabras, y acabo,

para finalizar



Not only… but also,

for one thing, for another,

either… or, neither… nor,

I don’t know whether, or,

I wonder where

Y no solo sino también,

de una parte,

de un lado

ESPRESAR CAUSA Because, owing to, as,

since, this is due to,

due to,  because of

Porque, debido a, así que,

puesto que, ya que,

de modo que


for that reason, accordingly,

as a result, consequently,

hence, this is the reason why,

thus, for all, so that, therefore

Por (lo) tanto, así pues,

por todo lo anterior,

por esta razón, por este motivo,

por consecuencia

EXPRESAR CONDICIÓN If, as long as, unless,

in the event of, provided that,

assuming that, at all events,

in any event

Si, siempre que, a menos que,

en caso de que,

en cualquier caso,

de todos modos/formas

EXPRESAR COMPLICIDAD Obviously, as you know,

you are well aware of,

you must be acquainted with

Evidentemente, obviamente,

como sabrá, como bien sabe,

como es consciente,

debe tener en cuenta

EXPRESAR CONTRASTE Nonetheless, conversely,

whereas, nevertheless,

in contrast, instead of,

on the other hand,

by contrast, but, unlike,

on the contrary

Sin embargo, no obstante, pero,

mientras que, por un lado,

por otro lado, en contraposición

a diferencia de, por una parte,

por otra parte

EXPRESAR CONCESIÓN Still, regardless of the fact,

no wonder then, in point of fact

in actual fact, actually, yet,

just as well, assuming that, whereas, though, despite,

in spite of, in fact, indeed,


Por contra, a pesar de,

como contraposición,


por el contrario,

de hecho


in comparison,


En comparación con,

comparado con

de igual manera, igualmente

ORGANIZAR ELEMENTOS at the beginning, first(ly),

second(ly), third(ly),

at the end

En primer lugar,

en segundo lugar, …

Para acabar/finalizar

DAR EJEMPLOS For instance, such as,

for example, namely,

about like

Por ejemplo, tales como,

a modo de ejemplo,

es decir, a saber

GENERALIZAR Generally speaking,

by and large,

roughly speaking,

all told

Por lo general,

en términos generales,

a grandes rasgos, en general,

como suele ser el caso,

dicho esto

APROXIMAR Particularly, then,

all things considered,


En particular, en concreto,



EXPRESAR OPINIONES To my mind, I believe,

as far as I’m concerned,

as I see it, personally,

I think, in my opinion, I guess

En mi opinión,

bajo mi punto de vista, personalmente, creo que,

pienso que, a mi parecer


(hacer un paréntesis)

By the way, anyway Por cierto, en cualquier caso,

de todos modos



In other words,

as a matter of fact, in a word,

that is, that is to say,

what I mean is that

En otras palabras, es decir,

o sea, esto es

CONCLUIR Finally, in the end,

last but not least,

as a conclusion

Finalmente, para concluir,

en conclusión,

y con esto acabo




See the picture on explosm.net

In the first post about punctuation and style we learned something about the use of commas in subject. Important issue when we have to do inverse translations (Spanish into English), reviews, academic texts, and so on.

Remember, on the basis that the normal word order in an independent clause is SUBJECT + PREDICATE, and talking specifically about the predicate:

  • Never put a single comma between a subject and its verb.
  • Use commas with verb modifiers displaced from their normal word order.

Take into account that, although noun modifiers have to stay near their head nouns, verb modifiers can wander about in the sentence. When they have a normal position do not require internal punctuation.

1.- Normal order for verb modifiers, NO PUNCTUATION needed:

SUBJECT            ADVERB            VERB      OBJECT

The judge          reluctantly           sentenced the thief.

SUBJECT     SPLIT VERB PHRASE (adverb following the first auwxliary verb)   OBJECT

The judge                                       had relunctantly sentenced                              the thief.

SUBJECT           VERB    OBJECT            ADVERB

The judge        sentenced  the thief          reluctantly.


The judge       sentenced the thief           in a quick speech.


The judge        cleared the court           to hear the objection.


The judge       sentenced the thief        because he was guilty.

Notice that you normally don’t put verb modifiers between a verb and its object.

On the second hand, verb modifers which don’t follow the normal word order have to be grouped separately from the rest of the sentence with commas.

2.- Displaced verb modifiers, PUNCTUATION needed:

ADVERB,        SUBJECT      VERB          OBJECT

Reluctantly,    the judge sentenced        the thief.


In a quick speech,                        the judge sentenced        the thief.


The judge           ,in a quick speech,                setenced the thief.


To hear the objection,      the judge         cleared the court.


The judge        ,to hear the objection,         cleared the court.


Because he was guilty,     the judge     sentenced        the thief.


The judge     ,because he was guilty,     sentenced        the thief.

The last two sentences are ambiguous: they both suggest that the judge is the person who was guilty. This situation occurs in many example sentences, and this is a problem in pronoun reference which can be easily corrected by reordering the pronoun and the noun:

Because the thief was guilty, the judge sentenced him.

The judge, because the thief was guilty, sentenced him.

But another problem can appear, like in the second sentence above: it is better not to separate the subject from its verb with a lengthy adverbial (example in bold), your readers may forget what the subject is when they reach the verb. It is not a grammar rule, in fact it is a grammatically correct sentence, it is a matter of common sense; always make things as easy as possible for your readers.

In a next post I’ll write about other internal punctuation in clauses.

For further information check A Writer’s Guide, Easy ground rules for successful written English, by Jane Walpole. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632.



See the picture on onestopstamps

I’m going to approach to the topic about internal punctuation in sentences, particularly the use of commas in subject and predicate. Important issue when we have to do inverse translations (Spanish into English), writing academic texts, reviews, and so on.

On the basis that the normal word order in an independent clause is SUBJECT + PREDICATE and talking specifically about the subject, there are three principles that we have to keep in mind:

  • Never put a single comma between a subject and its verb.
  • Don’t use commas with restrictive noun modifiers / use comas with non-restrictive noun modifiers.
  • Use commas with noun modifiers displaced from their normal word order.
    Let’s focus on each point:
  1. Never put a single comma between a subject and its verb

The judge sentenced the thief                             (wrong) *The judge, sentenced the thief

It is important to emphasize single comma because it is true that we can use double commas or parentheses in some cases. We are going to see it in a moment.

  1. Don’t use commas with restrictive noun modifiers

    That is: a restrictive clause or phrase provides essential information about the subject, so it must be included in because the meaning of the sentence would be altered without it:

The judge hearing the case sentenced the thief

(It is important to say that he is the judge who is hearing the case and not another one)

The painting dated 1894 is a forgery; the one dated 1892 is genuine

(‘dated 1894’ and ‘dated 1892’ cannot be written between commas because they are essential for understanding, if we detached them from the sentence its meaning would be unclear).

Instead, non-restrictive noun modifiers can be put between commas because their information is not necessary for understanding the sentence, they just give additional information:

The judge, banging his gavel, sentenced the thief

(It is not necessary to know if the judge is banging the gavel in that moment or not)

But sometimes it’s difficult to decide logically whether a modifier is restrictive or non-restrictive, in these cases reading aloud can help you. As Jane Walpole says in his book, A Writer’s Guide, after considering this example:

 My next-door neighbors, who love rock music, had a party on their patio last night. People who love rock music shouldn’t have outdoor parties.

You might argue that, taking the two sentences in sequence, the first clause is also necessary to their combined meaning. But punctuation is by individual sentences, not sequences. You would just be muddying the water with your logic. Here is where voice contours can help. If you read these two sentences aloud, your voice (…) clearly reveals the presence or absence of commas. (…) When you write a sentence and you aren’t sure whether you intend the modification to be restrictive or non-restrictive, read the words out loud and listen. (…) Your voice can tell you what you mean to say. Follow its contours.

  1. Use commas with noun modifiers displaced from their normal word order

By punctuating displaced modifiers we are warning the reader that these words are out from their normal word order:

 (remember: on the basis that the normal word order is SUBJECT +PREDICATE)


Banging his gavel, the judge…


The judge, stern and humourless, . . .


 Stern and humourless, the judge . . .

Once again, if you read aloud you will hear your voice rise and pause at each of the indicated commas. Our voice is reflecting the punctuation.

In a next post I’ll write about punctuation in predicate, verb modifiers.

For further information check A Writer’s Guide, Easy ground rules for successful written English, by Jane Walpole. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632.


Hoy he tenido que estudiar una lista bastante larga de marcadores del discurso, adverbios y locuciones adverbiales de la lengua inglesa. Escribirlas aquí me ayuda a retenerlas mejor, además de organizarlas (no quisierais ver ahora mismo el estado de la fotocopia donde las he ido marcando y estudiando) y compartirlas, por supuesto.

  • Talking of                                         Hablando de…

    To change the direction of the conversation, but making link with what has just been said:

    Talking of Henry, did he get the job he applied for?

  • By the way / Incidentaly              A propósito / por cierto

    To  change the subject of the conversation completely: 

    So let’s meet at five o’clock then. By the way, could you possibly lend me some money until the weekend? 

  • Actually / In fact /                         En realidad / de hecho /

    As a matter of fact                          por otra parte 

    To introduce additional surprising or unexpected information:

    Did you see the match last night? No, I didn’t. Actually I don’t really like football.

  • In any case / Anyway                    En cualquier caso / en todo caso

    To introduce the  idea that what you said before is less important than what you are going to say:

    We didn’t go away at the weekend, to much work. Anyway the weather was awful.

  • At least                                              Al menos / por lo menos

    To introduce a positive point after some negative information:

    It was a bad accident. At least nobody was killed, though.

  • As I was saying                               Como iba diciendo / como decía

    To return to a previous subject:

    As I was saying, if Mark gets the job we’ll have to reorganize the department.

  • On the whole                                  En general / en términos generales

    To generalize:

    On the whole, I think that women make better journalists.

  • All in all                                           En conjunto

    To say you are taking everything into consideration:

    I like both flats, but all in all, I think I prefer the one next to the school.

  • After all                                           Después de todo / al fin y al cabo

    To introduce a strong argument that the other person may not have taken into consideration:

    I think we shoild buy them. After all, we’ll never find them anywhere cheaper than this.

  • Besides                                             Además

    To add additional information:

    I won’t come to Nick’s party. It will finish very late. Besides, I won’t know many people there.

  • Basically                                         Básicamente / esencialmente

    To introduce the most important or fundamental point:

    Basically, my job involves computer skills.

  • Obviously                                       Obviamente / evidentemente

    To introduce a fact that is very clear to see or understand:

    Obviously you can’t get a real idea of life in Japan unless you can speak the language.

  • I mean                                             Quiero decir

    To make things clearer or give more details:

    She’s very selfish. I mean, she never thinks about other people at all.

  • In other words                               En otras palabras / por tanto

    To say something again in another way:

    A lot of people booed, and some people even left early. In other words, it was a complete disaster.

  • Otherwise                                        De otra manera / si no / por lo demás

    To say what the result would be if something did not happen:

    Please try not to make a mess when you make the cake. Otherwise I’m going to have to clean the kitchen again.

  • As far as —– is concerned /          Respecto a — /

    as regards —-/ regarding —–        por lo que respecta a —

    To introduce a new topic or to announce a change of subject:

    That’s  all you need to know about the travel arrangements. As far as accommodation is concerned / Regarding accommodation, the options are living with a family or living in a hall of residence.

  • That is to say                                     Es decir

    To introduce an explanation or clarification:

    The goverment are going to help first-time buyers. That is to say, they are goinf to make mortgages more easily available.

  • On (the) one hand — on (the) other hand   Por un lado — por otro lado

    To balance contrasting facts:

    On (the) one hand more young people today carry knives. On (the) other hand the total number of violent crimes has dropped.