Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever been locked out of a great conversation?

Listen in on today’s episode with Lindsay and Aubrey as they share how to use the phrasal verb “lock out.”

They will talk about everything from your home to labor politics in English.

Also, learn how to participate in a conversation and build connections like a native English speaker.

Have You Ever Locked Yourself Out?

Aubrey asks Lindsay if she has ever locked herself out of her house or car?

Lindsay says yes.

She can’t think of a specific time but it definitely has happened to her.

Aubrey adds that it is very common and it happens to most people.

Her neighbors the other day locked themselves out of the house and they had to contact a locksmith to get back in.

She also shares her experience when she locked herself out of her car when she was living in Montreal.

It was challenging because this was before automatic door locks.

She had to walk to a telephone booth and contact a locksmith.

Lindsay then shares her story of when they accidentally threw away the remote control to their garage door.

They realized they threw it out when they woke up one morning and saw that the garage door was open.

It worried them because they thought of the possibility of someone with malicious intent entering their home.

Everyone has a story about being locked out or knows someone who does.

Lindsay and Aubrey mention that this is a perfect opportunity to make English conversation fun and interesting.

We had an All Ears English listener who sent through a question related to today’s episode.

Hi Lindsay and Michelle,

How are you? I have been listening to your podcasts since February 2018. I have improved a lot. I would give it 10 stars if I could. You are doing a great job, one of the best podcasts I ever listened to. I like your pleasant voices mainly because I like Lindsay’s laugh in between the conversations. It is very musical. I have one question. Could you please give some examples of the phrase (I locked myself out)? For example, I locked myself out of internet banking because I made some mistakes.

This is Cam from Australia.

Use the Phrasal Verb “Locked Out”

Lindsay and Aubrey discuss examples of scenarios where you get locked out.

Aubrey’s daughter get locked out of her online bank account because she entered the wrong passwords too many times.

Lindsay says she is worried about this when it happens to her.

It is a big hassle if you get locked out of your bank account.

You have to go to the bank and answer a bunch of security questions.

There are many other words that you can pair with the word “lock.”

These include lock in, lock up, lock away, lock onto, or lock into.

Lindsay and Aubrey give you clarity on using “locked out” specifically.

Here are a couple of definitions of “locked out:”

  • Closed or Preventing Entry

This the foremost meaning of the phrasal verb “lock out.”

This is what Lindsay and Aubrey share in their stories where they can’t enter their house, car, shop, or bank account because they got locked out.

It means there is a hindrance or a blockage which is why you can’t move forward or enter.

  • Prohibiting Employees from Working

“Lock out” can also mean preventing employees to work or report to work. Aubrey shares the difference between this and employees going on strike.

The lockout prevents employees from working while a strike is when employees refuse to work.

Aubrey then continues to share that in America, there has been news about the Major League Baseball Lockout ending last week.

This has been the 9th time that work has been stopped in Major League Baseball history.

Another incident of a lockout was in 2011 when the union workers at American Crystal Sugar plants in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa were locked out for 20 months.

Aubrey mentions that she’s interested in knowing if this happens in other cultures.

In America, it happens when there are disputes between employers and employees.


Aubrey and Lindsay do a quick roleplay to help you better understand how to use the phrasal verb “lock out.”

In this scenario, Aubrey and Lindsay are chatting over coffee and Lindsay wants to spice up the conversation.

Lindsay: Have you ever locked yourself out of something?

Aubrey: Yes! I got locked out of my car last summer at the lake!

Lindsay: Oh no! How did that happen?

Aubrey: I actually closed the trunk and then realized the keys were inside.

Lindsay: Oh no! What did you do? Aubrey: We had to call a locksmith. And then we waited three hours for her to show up!

Lindsay: Oh, that’s the worst! Was she able to help?

Aubrey: Yes, she got the lock open. And then we went home and realized we were locked out of the house!


Phrasal verbs can be confusing and difficult to understand.

Native English speakers use phrasal verbs regularly in daily conversations.

Take note of all the pointers Lindsay and Aubrey shared in this episode and do your best to practice using “lock out” when you get the chance.

There are many ways to use it.

You can start by asking your friends, family or colleagues to share stories of when they got locked out.

You can use the stories shared by Lindsay and Aubrey as references.

What other phrasal verbs are you struggling with?

Let us know in the comments below and we’d be happy to make another episode to help you.

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