blow away: meaning and explanation

If something blows you away, it amazes or impresses you.

It is more common for this expression to be used in the passive, e.g. I was blown away by the quality of support I was offered.

However, it can also be used in the active voice, e.g. The quality of support I was offered blew me away.

Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Micro-listening #1

Accent: North America

Laura Michael .
Laura Michael by the generosity the guests .

About the sentence

…Laura and Michael were blown away

When the word were is spoken naturally as part of a sentence, it is pronounced quickly and weakly as /wə/.

If someone is speaking quite quickly, it can sound almost the same as are, pronounced /ə/.

In this situation, you need to think about the context to decide whether you have heard were or are (e.g. in this example, the speaker is talking about a past event, so were is more likely).

Micro-listening #2

Accent: Scotland

I by the feedback appraisal last .

About the sentence

…at my appraisal…

An appraisal is a formal meeting with your boss or manager, in which you discuss your performance for the previous period (usually a year). e.g. I’m worried about my appraisal next week – I’ve missed my target again and I think my boss is running out of patience with me.

Micro-listening #3

Accent: England (RP)

. .

speechless her sing time. Her voice .

About the sentence

…I was speechless

Speechless is an extreme adjective, which can mean very impressed, suprised, shocked, etc. It can have positive or negative connotations depending on the context. e.g. I was absolutely speechless when I saw the mess that the house was in after the party.

Extra practice

Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:

  • Can you remember a time when you were amazed or very impressed by something? Describe it using the expression ‘blown away’.