AE 279 – Expression: To Hook Up

Learn Australian English in this Expression episode of Aussie English where I teach you to use TO HOOK UP like a native.

Download PDF + MP3

AE 279 – Expression: To Hook Up

G’day guys.

How’s it going? Welcome to this expression episode of Aussie English.

I’m back. I’m back from Lord Howe Island. I was there for a week.

I haven’t put up too much on YouTube or the podcast, obviously, in the last two weeks I think it is, because I successfully submitted my PhD, finally.

So that’s in. That’s gone. That’s out for review.

It’s been sent by the university out to two reviewers who I don’t know.

They’re anonymous.

They’re going to look at the PhD, my doctorate, my thesis, and read it.

They’re going to mark it.

And then, they’re going to send it back for me to make changes, probably a few changes.

Hopefully nothing too major.

It’ll take quite a bit of work if I have to run analyses on certain, you know, bits of data, and stuff like that, but hopefully, it’ll be rewording, rephrasing, maybe reworking a little analysis here or there.

We’ll see what happens.

And hopefully, I can get that back within the next three months.

So I’m hoping to get it back before… What will that be… Maybe October?

And then, make the changes and send it to the university as completed.

Aside from that, obviously, I went to Lord Howe Island. That was amazing.

I have put up a few videos so far on YouTube just for day one.

I just show a little bit about what we did and where I was staying on the island.

I also put up something about fig trees, a little video about the Lord Howe Ireland Banyan fig tree, which is an amazing fig tree that sends down roots from its branches that then turn into trunks.

And there’s some amazing facts in that episode on YouTube at the moment.

I will put it up on the podcast, but I’m hoping to sit down and do a sort of review episode of the entire trip, and put that on the podcast first.

Aside from that, I have some other really good news.

I’m going to be an uncle. I’m going to be an uncle. My sister is pregnant.

She got pregnant at the start of this year.

I think maybe around March.

So she’s about three or four months pregnant at the moment.

And she just told me about this before we left to go to Lord Howe Island.

So she’s told the family. She’s into her second trimester.

So she’s past her first trimester. The first three months. The second trimester is now.

And then the last trimester or the third trimester is the final three months.

So yeah, she seems to be pretty happy. She’s not showing yet.

So “to show” would mean that she isn’t getting obviously pregnant yet.

I can’t see any lump on her stomach. She’s not getting fatter.

If you want to put it a little unpolitically correct, I guess we could say there, but it will happen soon, and she’s going to start getting a bit of a belly.

So that was really cool.

But, one thing I have noticed is that every conversation that anyone has when she’s around ultimately comes back to children, to being pregnant, and to babies.

So that’s taking a little while to get used to. Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to.

That’s what I am up to at the moment in life. PhD’s done.

I had the nice holiday in Lord Howe Island for a week with the folks, with my sister and her boyfriend, and I have to get a talk ready for the next month for the PhD whilst waiting for it to come back.

But in the meantime, I’m just working, and I’m trying to do as much as possible for Aussie English.

So there’s some cool things coming up, but we’ll get to that later on.

Today’s expression episode is going to be covering the verb, the phrasal verb, “to hook up”.

So it comes from Will in the Aussie English Virtual Classroom.

He asked me to explain the phrasal verb “to hook up”, because it can be used in many many many different ways.

And so I thought I would make this episode a little bit different where we can focus on all the different meanings of “to hook up”, go through an exercise, and do a pronunciation and connected speech kind of breakdown at the end as usual.

So I should mention first, if you guys want to join the Aussie English Virtual Classroom you can do so when you sign up to the Aussie English Supporter Pack.

The Support Pack is for serious learners of not just English, but specifically Australian English, and it comes with more advanced exercises.

So I give you MP3s for each of these expression episodes that cover quite often phrasal verbs, as well as some listen and repeat exercises for your pronunciation and connected speech, because I want to help you sound like an Aussie.

It also comes with vocab lists, grammar exercises, and a slang exercise to help you use the slang that’s used in each episode.

So if you want to join up you can try it now for a dollar for a week.

The Aussie English Supporter Pack, and it supports me doing what I’m doing with Aussie English.

So I really appreciate everyone who has signed up.

Go and check it out. Let’s get into this.

So “to hook up”, to hook up with someone, to hook something up, to hook up something.

It can be used in quite a few different ways.

Let’s go through and define the words in “to hook up” first.

So a hook.

“H-O-O-K”, a hook, the noun, a hook is a curved piece of metal or wire quite often, and it’s in the shape of a U.

Sort of a U-shape.

Like the letter U it’s in that bent curved shape, and it’s quite often sharp at the end.

So if you think of what people attach to a fishing line and then put bait on in order to catch fish that is a fishing hook or just a hook.

You can use this as a verb “to hook”.

So this can mean to catch something with a hook.

So you could say, “I’ve hooked a fish on my fishing line. I’ve hooked it. It’s been caught on the hook”.

And it can also be used to mean to attach or fasten something to with hooks or a hook.

So for example, if you hang your coat up on a hook you can hook your coat up.

You’re hooking your coat up.

So that’s the verb “to hook”.

You can also use it in if you connect your caravan to your car for example or your trailer to your car, because it quite often involves a metal hook on the back of your car or on the trailer you can say that you are hooking the caravan to the car.

You’re hooking the trailer to the car.

The word “up”. I’m sure you guys know what the word “up” is.

You can use it when it’s something towards a higher place or position.

For example, “he jumped up” as opposed to “he jumped down”.

Or it can be at or to a higher level of intensity.

So for example, “I can turn the volume up”.

So it’s increasing in intensity, as opposed to “turning the volume down” or decreasing the intensity.

So let’s define the expression, well the phrasal verb, in this case “to hook up”.

This can be used in quite a few different ways guys, but before I define the specific ways that it can be used the basic idea behind cooking something up is connecting two things.

So I imagine like hooking something on to your car like a caravan or a trailer, or a fish getting hooked on a line.

It’s that idea of the thing becoming connected to it, attached to it.



So number one, it can be when something links or is linked to electronic equipment.

So for example, if I plug my light in to the power point I’m hooking it up to the power.

I’m hooking the light up to the electricity.


Number two is where “to hook up” means to be connected with something or someone.

Connected in that you are getting the thing or being given the thing.

So if I wanted to get say a good price on a car, and I go to a car salesman I could say to him, “Mate, could you hook us up with a deal? Could you give me a deal. Could you get me a deal. Can you hook me up with the deal on a car? I want a good price.”


Number three, it can be for people to meet and form a relationship.

So again, that idea of two people connecting, but this time meeting and forming a relationship.

So imagine that I went to France and I got a girlfriend in France.

I come home, and I could say to my parents, “We hooked up in France. That’s where we met. That’s where we started our relationship. Me and this girl hooked up in France. That’s where we hooked up.”


And fourth, it can mean similar to two people meeting and forming a relationship.

That’s that more sort of longer idea of a relationship a proper relationship.

It can be ways people engage in or form a casual sexual relationship.

So this is where it’s short term, and it’s quite often used when people have short term relationships usually over the period of a night or maybe even shorter than that at say a party or when they’ve met up while out clubbing or at some kind of social event.

And it can be anything from kissing to a one-night stand.

So sleeping with each other, having sex, someone stays the night.

That is “to hook up”.

So if instead of meeting this girl in France and hooking up and having a long-term relationship.

If instead I met her in France at a party and we had a physical relationship that night, whether it was just kissing or it could have been that we did sleep together and she stayed the night at my house, I could say there that I hooked up with a girl in France.

So it’s short term though in that case and again it’s that basic idea of two people connecting two people getting together, the idea of them hooking up.

So there are different ways that this phrasal verbal or this expression can be used guys.

And I want to do something a little differently today where I’m actually going to talk you through a story.

So I’ve come up with a kind of narrative, a story, here about someone building a house, getting their house built by tradies.

And we’re going to use the verb or the phrasal verb “to hook up” in all of its different cases in this story.

So let’s go through. Okay.

Definition number one you’re having a house built.

It’s a brand new house and you need to get electricity connected to your house, you need to get gas connected to your house, and you need to get water connected to your house.

So you get some tradies, you get some tradesmen, some tradies.

That’s a slang term in Australian English.

You get some tradies to hook up the utilities to your house.

And “the utilities” are electricity gas or water.

So you’re asking these tradies, whether it’s an electrician or a sparkie, which is the slang term in English “a sparkie” to hook up the electricity to the house.

You might ask a gas man to hook up the gas to the house.

And then, you’d ask a plumber to hook up the water to the house.

So it’s the basic idea of connecting the utilities to the house.

Hooking them up.

Number two, if you didn’t know any tradies, so you didn’t know any sparkies, any electricians, maybe you didn’t know any gas men, maybe you didn’t know any plumbers, you might ask your friends who know tradies or who are tradies, “Hey guys, can you hook me up with a good electrician, a good gas man, a good plumber? Do you know any good plumbers? Do you know any good gas men? Do you know any good sparkies? And if so, can you hook me up with them?”

In this case it means, “Can you connect me with these tragedies? Can you put me in contact with these tradies? Can you give me their contact information? Can you hook them up with me? Can you hook me up with them?”

So it’ll be giving me their number, their business card, their email their website, any kind of contact information.

You’re connecting the two people together.

You’re hooking them up.

So that one was in terms of connecting people with people.

So you’re getting connected with these tradies.

You’re getting hooked up with these tradies.

But imagine that the tradie that you end up getting hooked up with is having trouble getting an item they need to use, some kind of tool that they need to use.

So if they couldn’t find a hammer at a good price they might call up another friend who’s a tradie, or maybe even someone who sells hammers, and they might say to them, “Hey mate, can you give me a good price? Can you give me a deal? Can you give me a cheap hammer? Can you hook me up with a hammer? Can you hook me up with a good deal or can you just simply hook me up?” So, “Can you hook me up mate? Do you know where I can get hooked up with this stuff? Do you know anyone who can hook me up?”

That’s getting hooked up with something as opposed to two people being hooked up together.

Number three.

So I imagine, okay we’re talking about these tradies again, imagine that one of these tradies is someone that you really get along with and you start forming a relationship with them as they’re building your house, and maybe you end up in a very long term relationship.

If other people ask, “How did you guys meet?” you could say, “Oh well, we hooked up when he was building my house or when she was building my house. That’s where we met. We went on a few dates after that. We connected. We started a relationship. That was when and that was where we hooked up.”

And number four, finally, if you did effectively the same thing as number three, where you met this tradie working on your house, but instead of forming a long term relationship you had a short casual sexual relationship with them, whether it was kissing, you know, having a pash, and “a pash” is slang for kissing.

So whether it was kissing that person, having a pash, or it was having a one-night stand, you know, you slept with them.

They came to your house.

That is also hooking up with someone so someone might ask you, “Did you guys hook up last night?”, and you could say, “Yep. We just hooked up. It was just a casual thing. He came to mine. She came to mine, and we hooked up.”

So those were the four main ways of using the phrasal verb to hook up guys.

And we’ll go through them just one more time defining them.

It’s where something is linked to something like power or electricity or gas.

So you might hook up the stove to the gas.

You might hook up the house to the electricity.

Number two, it’s to be connected with something or with someone.

So you might ask someone for a deal on a car or a hammer or something, and you might say, “Can you hook me up with a good price?”.

Number three it’s for people to meet somewhere and then form a relationship.

“We hooked up in France on a holiday, and it’s been an amazing relationship for the last five years ever since.”

Or it could be a very short term form of casual sexual relationship anywhere from having a pash, so kissing, to having a one night stand.

“Yeah, she came over to mine and we hooked up last night, and I haven’t spoken to her since.”

Or “Yeah, I met him at a bar, and we hooked up and had a pash in the alley, and I don’t even know his name.”

So that sort of short-term thing or long term thing like the previous one.

So they’re the different ways to use it, guys.

As usual we’ll go through a little listen and repeat exercise where this is your chance to practice your pronunciation.

So listen and repeat exactly as I do.

Let’s go.

Listen and repeat:

I hooked up the machine.

You hooked up the machine.

He hooked up the machine.

She hooked up the machine.

We hooked up the machine.

They hooked up the machine.

So as usual guys, let’s go through a pronunciation and connected speech tip for the previous listen and repeat exercise, guys.

In this one, when you go back and listen I want you to notice the fact that I say, “hooked_up”.

So I join the two words.

This is because the word “up” starts with a vowel, and the word “hooked” ends with a consonant, a “D”.

And so I say “hooked_up”, “hooked_up”.

This happens in many languages not just English, but it’s something that you definitely want to pay attention to if you want to sound a lot more like a native, and you want your English to be a lot more fluid, to be a lot more connected, and for it to just sound a lot more natural.

So we’ll go through this exercise one more time guys.

First I’m going to emphasise the “d_up”, “hooked_up”, first and then I say it naturally again.

Let’s go.

Listen and Repeat:

I hooked_up the machine.

You hooked_up the machine.

He hooked_up the machine.

She hooked_up the machine.

We hooked_up the machine.

They hooked_up the machine.

Now let’s do it again at native speed, at (in*) native pronunciation.

Listen and Repeat:

I hooked_up the machine.

You hooked_up the machine.

He hooked_up the machine.

She hooked_up the machine.

We hooked_up the machine.

They hooked_up the machine.

So there you are guys, I hope by now that you get what the phrase “to hook up” means.

This is really cool and nifty phrasal verb that when you use it you’re going to sound a lot more like a native as opposed to using other ways of explaining the same thing like saying, “to connect”.

Anyway, this has been a really long episode.

Guys thanks for sticking with it.

I hope you’re Aussie English is improving at light speed guys, and I will chat to you next week.

All the best.

Peace out.

itunes-logo (1)
spotify-small (1) (1)
icon-stitcher (1)

Get more out of every episode!

Here's what you get when you sign up!

  • Read while you listen using the Premium Podcast player.
  • Understand every word in every episode.
  • Download all PDF transcripts and MP3s for 600+ episodes.
  • Get access to bonus member-only episodes.

Download my eBook!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    Recent Podcast Episodes

    Related Articles


    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.