Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever had a hard time understanding something at first in English?

Did you feel as if you had to slow down and sort it out to make sense out of it?

We all find ourselves in these situations where something may come off as complicated or involved at first, and so we have to gain perspective and break it down.

Today we are talking about how to make something more “digestible”, how to break things down into smaller pieces, and how this can help us to comprehend and apply this to our lives in the best way possible.

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Today we have another question from Miho about another phrase that we use on the show.

Hi ladies,

It’s Miho again, and I have another question. I mentioned that I wanted to learn more about “down the rabbit hole” but I have another phrase that I’d like to learn more about. On the show, you also say things about digestion that I may not be understanding correctly.

I’ve heard you say “digestive” or “easy to digest” when you’re explaining something. This seems to pertain to when you are explaining something that isn’t easy to understand. Is that correct?

Is this a common thing to say in English? I kind of like this expression and want to try to use it, but I just want to be sure that I understand it correctly.

Thank you for your help with this!

Have a great weekend,


Understanding A Common Phrase

This is another great question, and we’re going to focus on this today.

You may not hear people say “digestive” too much, as it doesn’t seem to pertain to this type of situation.

You will however hear people say “easy to digest” or “digestible” and these are both common, and therefore something that you want to focus on.

Digest is what happens to food once you eat it—this is where the body takes it in and uses it however necessary.

So you can see that it’s about breaking things down when it comes to the process in your body.

This works much in the same way when you use similar words and phrases in conversation.

Though the words and phrases that we’re focusing on today have nothing to do with actual digestion, you can start with the concept of breaking things down.

We use this sort of phrase a couple other ways, but we will discuss the main one that it appears our listener is asking about today.

This is a great thing to focus on in your conversations, and you will find that it is applicable more often than you might realize.

How Would You Use This?

So let’s start by looking at the word digest or digestible as we started to above.

When you look at the words digest or digestible, this is about understanding something in a way.

It’s about adapting something from when you hear or read it into your head to develop your thoughts and try to understand it.

This is taking a concept, idea, or something that you hear and breaking it down into smaller pieces.

This is what your body would do to digest something that you eat so that your body can use it and process it properly.

So you are taking this idea or thing that you hear and breaking it down into smaller pieces so that you can fully understand it.

This word and the related phrases can be used in a variety of ways, as there are plenty of situations where you may find it applicable.

Here are a few ways that you may say this or use it in conversation to convey this sort of thought of breaking things down.

“I know this is tough news, but it will be easier to digest if you take a night to collect your thoughts.”

“The book was not easy to digest, so I found it frustrating to read.”

“This information will be more digestible if you write it down and review it later.”

“I will be able to digest more of the information if you use pictures to explain it as well as talk about it.”

All of these examples help you to see how you can use this word and phrase in the right situation.

The idea is always the same about breaking things down or trying to understand them better.

Integrating This Into Conversation

So you see this is about understanding something, picking it up, breaking it down, and therefore helping yourself to fully immerse.

This concept or idea may be difficult for you at first, but that’s the whole reason why you break it down so that it becomes easier moving forward.

There are some great conversation questions that you can think through and use in the right situation.

These are great for helping you to focus on this subject, and then thinking through how you might handle it.

These can also be great for getting a conversation going, as it’s something that we have all gone through.

  • What do you do when you need to digest something difficult?
  • How do you handle either a lot of information, or just something complicated?
  • How do you make it easier on yourself? -What sort of methods can you use to break things down?
  • How can you apply this to your life when a complicated or involved subject comes up?

You can talk about this very thing in a couple of different ways.

This illustrates how you get to understand something, often through a process or taking it step by step.

  • Learn or know something “like the back of my hand”: You want to get to know something as well as you would a part of your body. This will likely take time and focus, but it can be done with the right effort and determination.
  • Get a grasp of something: This means that you are trying hard to understand or work through the details of something. You will work at it until you fully comprehend it and know how to handle it moving forward. “She explained it so I could get a good grasp of the material before the presentation.”
  • Make sense of something: This is the most literal saying that means that you are trying to sort it out until it all makes sense. It may not come easily at first but it will because you are determined to sort it all out. “She didn’t understand at first, but I made sense of it for her by breaking down the main bullet points one by one.”

Roleplay To Help

In this roleplay, Lindsay is trying to teach Michelle a concept in math.

Lindsay: “Okay, so do you get it?”

Michelle: “No. I can’t seem to get a grasp of how X equals 32.”

Lindsay: “Look here. That’s a decimal point. Here, I think it will be easier to digest if we start with a clean sheet of paper. Throw that one out.”

Michelle: “Okay. Hey, thanks for trying to make sense of this for me.”

Lindsay: “No problem! I love math. I know this stuff like the back of my hand.”


This is a very useful topic and a helpful expression to use in the right situation.

You want to think about what you do when you need to digest a difficult concept.

Sometimes things may not come easily to us at first, but if you take the time to break it down it can work much better.

What methods do you use to break things down?

This can be helpful in so many areas of life, and it can help you to take it one step at a time when you feel overwhelmed.

This is a great life skill and a great conversational topic that can serve you well in a variety of different situations.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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