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Last updated at 10:36 GMT, Tuesday, 05 March 2013

To take (something) on board


Li and Rob are going on a holiday and are getting ready at the airport. But Rob is very surprised to find Li carrying so many things that she is not allowed to take on board. Find out more with The English We Speak.

Airport security gate, Getty images

What can Li take on board?

The script for this programme

Li: Hello I'm Li, welcome to The English We Speak and today I'm at the airport with Rob. So Rob, here we are, about to fly off on a holiday of a lifetime.

Rob: Hmm, yes, but I don't think you'll be flying anywhere with those things in your hand-luggage.

Li: Why? What's wrong with this giant bottle of suntan cream - it was cheaper than buying a small one.

Rob: You can't take that on board - it's more than 100 millilitres - you won't get through security.

Li: Oh, I can't take that much liquid on board a plane.

Rob: And what do you need that penknife for?!

Li: In case I need to peel an apple?

Rob: Li! You can't take that on board either!

Li: Oh.

Rob: Honestly Li, don't you ever read the notices? Look, it says here, no sharp objects and no large bottles of liquid. I really think you need to do some preparation before you fly.

Li: Do some preparation? Oh OK, I'll take that on board.

Rob: Don't be stupid, you can't actually take 'preparation' on board. It's only objects... things... that you take 'on board' a plane, or a bus... or even a train.

Li: Rob, it's a phrase. "I'll take that on board". It means I will understand or accept a piece of information. So I'm not physically moving it.

Rob: But you could say you're moving some information into your brain?!

Li: I suppose so, but I think these examples will illustrate the phrase better...

  • If that shop wants to succeed it needs to take on board the views of all its customers.
  • My brain aches! I need to take on board so many concepts and ideas if I'm going to pass this exam.
  • Drivers are beginning to take on board the safety message that speeding kills.

Li: So there are some examples of using the phrase 'to take on board' - you understand or accept some information - so Rob, have you taken on board the meaning of this phrase?

Rob: Absolutely. And have you taken on board the safety and security information?

Li: Of course - so I'll just put these items in the bin. Gone.

Rob: Right, our flight's ready for boarding now.

Li: Good... but I've got a very large handbag. Would you mind carrying it on for me?

Rob: Sure Li... Oh, Li, this is extremely heavy. Ouch. This is something you really won't take on board.

Li: Oh really?

Rob: Yes. Your handbag can't weigh any more than 15 kilograms.

Li: I see. More information that I'll take on board!

Rob: Good, next time remember what I've told you before you get to the airport. Come on we'd better go home. Bye for now.

Li: See you next time for The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. Bye.


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