Turn-idioms[powerpress url=http://blog.myhappyenglish.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Turn-phrasal-verbs1.mp3]

It was a rainy night.  Joe was driving for a long time and he was tired. He saw a motel, but they were full and so they turned him away. When Joe found out they didn’t have a room, he turned away from the clerk in shock. Joe had to turn back to the highway and keep driving. To help him stay awake, he turned on the radio in his car. One of his favorite songs was playing, so Joe turned up the radio. Then an old love song came on the radio. That song reminded Joe of a lost love. Joe asked her to marry him, but she turned him down. Joe couldn’t stand hearing that song anymore, so he turned down the radio. He finally found a motel with a vacancy. He pulled in to the parking lot and turned off the car. It was time to turn in for the night.

Dialog

Jack: I started driving out of town last night to go see a friend, but the weather was so bad I had to turn back.

Jen: I don’t like to drive long distances at night because I always get sleepy.

Jack: That’s not a problem for me. I just turn on the radio and turn the volume up loud.

Jen: So will you still get to see your friend?

Jack: I don’t know. I invited him to come see me here in New York, but he turned me down. He’s got a really busy job.

 Let’s look at the vocabulary:

When you turn [someone] away, you refuse them. You can be turned away from a theater if the show is sold out.

  • …and so they turned him away.

When you turn away [from someone], you move your body so your face is not looking at them. If you are disappointed with someone, you might just turn away from them.

  • He turned away from the clerk.

When you turn back, you return. You can turn back when you have gone the wrong way.

  • Joe had to turn back to the highway.

When you turn on a machine, you push the power button to the “on” position. You can turn on a light, an iPod, or any other electric appliance.

  • He turned on the radio in his car.

When you turn up music or sound, you increase the volume. You can turn up a TV, or a stereo.

  • Joe turned up the radio.

When you turn down someone, you reject them. You can turn someone down if they ask you for a date.

  • She turned him down.

When you turn down music or sound, you decrease the volume. You can turn down a TV, or a stereo.

  • He turned down the radio.

When you turn off a machine, you push the power button to the “off” position. You can turn off a light, an iPod, or any other electric appliance.

  • He turned off the car.

When you turn in, you go to sleep.

  • Time to turn in for the night.

Other meanings:

If you are turned on by something, you are excited by that thing.

  • I am turned on by TV shows about space.

If you are turned off by something, you don’t feel good about that thing.

  • I am turned off by raisins. (yes, true!)