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  1. #1
    caesar1983 is offline Junior Member
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    Default computer idioms and phrases

    Hi teachers,
    I'm studying computer vocabulary and in particular I'm focusing on idioms and phrasal verbs generally used with a computer. And I have done some sentences trying to use what I have learnt. Could you give me please you opinion about what I have written and tell me if a native speaker would use these verbs the way I did?

    1) Click on the link below to visit this website.
    2) Select "options" from the pop up menu.
    3) The printer didn't work well because I had forgotten to switch it on!
    4) I stuck a print-out of the email on the wall.
    5) Close all programs before you shut down ( I think also "turn off" could work in here) your pc.
    5) You can scan in your pictures and email them to your friends.
    6) Back up vital data on a floppy disk before there's a power cut and they get wiped out.
    7) The pc sometimes takes ages to go on (can I say "come on" too in this sentence?) when I turn it on.
    8) You need a password if you want to log in.
    9) A teenager succeded in hacking into the bank's main database.
    10) I hope the laptop doesn't boot up again or I'll never finish my work.
    11) Scroll down the page till you get the item you want to.
    12) Type in the password and go onto the Internet. (Is ""key in" a password the same?)
    13) You need to wait. The computer is sifting through the data.

    Do you think all the sentences make sense in this way?
    How would you define "boot up" relating to a computer?

    Thank you very much for your opinions.

  2. #2
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Default Re: computer idioms and phrases

    Mostly okay, but a few suggestions-
    3. Doesn't make sense. If you forgot to switch the computer on, it wouldn't work at all, not "not well".
    5. You have two number 5's. In the second one, I think you don't need the word in. 'You can scan your pictures and...'
    6. Does anyone use floppy disks anymore? Also, I usually think of baking up to media. "Wiped out" may be too colloquial. Better to use 'lost'.
    7. Maybe you should use 'boot up'.
    10. I think 'reboot' would be better.
    11. "till you get to the item..."
    12. Yes, the same, in my opinion.

  3. #3
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    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: computer idioms and phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by caesar1983 View Post
    Hi teachers,
    I'm studying computer vocabulary and in particular I'm focusing on idioms and phrasal verbs generally used with a computer. And I have done some sentences trying to use what I have learnt. Could you give me please you opinion about what I have written and tell me if a native speaker would use these verbs the way I did?

    1) Click on the link below to visit this website.
    2) Select "options" from the pop up menu.
    3) The printer didn't work well because I had forgotten to switch it on!
    4) I stuck a print-out of the email on the wall.
    5) Close all programs before you shut down ( I think also "turn off" could work in here) your pc.
    5) You can scan in your pictures and email them to your friends.

    Acceptable, but the "in" is often omitted.

    6) Back up vital data on a floppy disk before there's a power cut and they get wiped out.

    Antiquated. I haven't seen a floppy in years. And people tended to say "Back up data to" rather than "on." Also, data is usually treated as a singular noun in contemporary English, although of course in Latin it is the plural of datum.

    7) The pc sometimes takes ages to go on (can I say "come on" too in this sentence?) when I turn it on.

    "Boot up" is the computerese phrase.

    8) You need a password if you want to log in.
    9) A teenager succeeded in hacking into the bank's main database.
    10) I hope the laptop doesn't boot up again or I'll never finish my work.

    This one is hard to understand. Perhaps you mean "reboot itself?"

    11) Scroll down the page till you get the item you want to.

    till you get to the item you want.

    12) Type in the password and go onto the Internet. (Is "key in" a password the same?)

    I think "key in" is the same, but would not use it myself.

    13) You need to wait. The computer is sifting through the data.

    Do you think all the sentences make sense in this way?
    How would you define "boot up" relating to a computer?

    "Boot up" is jargon for the way a computer starts up. It is hard-wired to load a small program when it first receives electricity. In a PC this small initial program is stored in ROM. That small initial program enables to computer to find and load larger programs which eventually comprise the operating system. The phrase comes from the idiom "to pull oneself up by one's own bootstraps."

    Thank you very much for your opinions.
    You're welcome.
    Last edited by probus; 21-Nov-2013 at 13:32.

  4. #4
    caesar1983 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: computer idioms and phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    You're welcome.
    Thank you very much for your help. It has been very useful.

    Just a few questions about your corrections:
    1) you suggested the construction "to back up something to"...is it correct to say: I have to back this picture (or document) up to my memory stick (or a couple of decades ago, to a floppy disk") ?
    2) Saying "the computers has been giving me lots of problems recently, it takes a lot to boot up/ start up. Are they both acceptable and easy to undestand?
    3) In sentence 10) I hope the laptop doesn't boot up againg or I'll never finish my work, the one which you corrected with "reboot", I actually tried to explain when a computer is not working properly and, by way of an example, while I'm doing something on it, maybe writing an essay or something, it starts getting cut out or blocked for a few seconds or even some minutes, as if it's loading something but actually it is not, and everything is blocked and I cannot press any button ( sometimes an arrow shows up on the screen)...is that "to reboot"?

    Thanks

    Last edited by bhaisahab; 21-Nov-2013 at 13:41. Reason: Remove unnecessary links.

  5. #5
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: computer idioms and phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by caesar1983 View Post

    1) you suggested the construction "to back up something to"...is it correct to say: I have to back this picture (or document) up to my memory stick (or a couple of decades ago, to a floppy disk")?

    Yes, exactly. You could also back it up to your phone or your tablet. To transfer a copy of something to another device is to back it up to that device.

    2) Saying "the computers has been giving me lots of problems recently, it takes a lot to boot up/ start up. Are they both acceptable and easy to undestand?

    Now you've dropped your basic English competence. "The computers has"? And don't make a run-on sentence.

    The computer has been giving me lots of problems recently. It takes a long time to ... Both boot up and start up are correct. Boot up is more common among geeks like me.

    3) In sentence 10) I hope the laptop doesn't boot up againg or I'll never finish my work, the one which you corrected with "reboot", I actually tried to explain when a computer is not working properly and, by way of an example, while I'm doing something on it, maybe writing an essay or something, it starts getting cut out or blocked for a few seconds or even some minutes, as if it's loading something but actually it is not, and everything is blocked and I cannot press any button ( sometimes an arrow shows up on the screen)...is that "to reboot"?

    No, that's a hang-up. An involuntary reboot occurs when your computer decides to shut itself down and restart the operating system from scratch. On the other hand a hang-up occurs when your computer refuses to comply with your instructions. That pretty well always means it is busy doing something else. There are many possible reasons for hang-ups. Common causes today are that you have acquired a virus, or that a process is demanding more of your system than it can deliver; in other words your computer is too old and feeble to do what you are asking it to do. Trust me on that last one. I am typing this on just such an obsolete computer.

    Thanks

    You're welcome.
    Last edited by probus; 22-Nov-2013 at 06:14.

  6. #6
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: computer idioms and phrases

    For me, when my computer simply stop taking any commands, I can't type anything or do anything at all (except eventually force a shutdown), then the computer "freezes". I have to force a shutdown and reboot.

    I don't know if calling it a "hang-up" is specifically Canadian English, but it's not used in British English (unless it's by IT technical people - I'm coming at it simply from the point of view of a user).
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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