You're out at a bar on a date. There's a TV in the bar, with a soccer game on. You're trying to pay attention to your date, but you keep looking at the TV, so you say this.
Sorry, I can't help but get sucked in when there's a game on.
In the situation describe above, "Sorry" is probably not a strong enough apology. He should say something like:
I'm so sorry. Please, please forgive me.
Use this phrase to talk about something that you can't control.
A common word to follow "can't help but" is "wonder". This expresses something that really makes you curious:
I can't help but wonder what my life would have been like if I'd gone to college in the U.S.
When you use this phrase in the past tense, "notice" or "overhear" are common. They're a way to start a conversation with someone:
I couldn't help but notice that your t-shirt has some Korean writing on it. Do you know what it says?
I couldn't help but overhear you saying something about a film festival. Are you a filmmaker?
When something completely takes all of a person's attention, you can say that that person has been "sucked into" it. For example, you might get sucked into:
- a really addictive crime novel
- a long and complicated video game
- an exciting but very competitive industry, like the entertainment industry
- news about a famous murder trial
Another meaning of "sucked in" is to be fooled by someone's lies and false promises:
Don't get sucked in by credit cards offering free airline miles or other perks.
Being "sucked into" something is usually negative, whether it's used with the first or second meaning.
Saying that "there's a game on" means that there's a sports game being shown on TV:
A: Honey, do you want to go out shopping this afternoon?
B: Not today. There's a game on.
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