talk into: meaning and explanation

If you talk someone into something, you persuade or convince them to do something.

Talking someone into something might involve changing their mind, e.g. My plan was to have a quiet night in, but my friends talked me into going out with them.

It could also communicate the idea of encouraging or motivating someone to do something. e.g. I didn’t think I had any chance of getting the job, but my friend talked me into applying for it. I’m so glad she did!

It’s also possible to use this phrasal verb reflexively, meaning that the subject and object of the verb are the same person. Most often, this is used to talk about persuading ourselves to do something. Maybe part of us has doubts about something or is feeling lazy, and another part encourages, motivates or persuades us to do something. e.g. I knew I couldn’t afford the car, but I talked myself into buying it.

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: Australia

I let you signing up dive.

About the sentence

…I can’t believe…

This introductory phrase is used to say that something is so amazing, strange or unexpected that it is hard to believe. e.g. I can’t believe you passed your driving test! I was 99% sure you would fail.

The phrasal verb to sign up for something means to decide to join or participate in something, usually by registering.

Micro-listening #2

Accent: North America

, .
I’ve tried into working less, won’t .

About the sentence

…she won’t listen…

One of the functions of the modal verb will is to communicate willingness such as when making offers, e.g. Don’t worry, I’ll drive you to the airport if no one else will. In its negative form, this communicates refusal. e.g. I’ve asked politely but my neighbour won’t keep the noise down.

Micro-listening #3

Accent: Scotland

, .
dead set on leaving, you’ll be able to it.

About the sentence

…He seems to be dead set on leaving…

If you are dead set on doing something, then you are absolutely determined to do it and nothing is going to change your mind. e.g. I think he’s mad, but he’s dead set on quitting his job and writing that novel he’s always talking about.

Extra practice

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

  • Can you remember a time when someone talked you into doing something? What about you talking someone into doing something?
  • Have you ever talked yourself into doing something?

Photo by Filipe Dos Santos Mendes on Unsplash