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Phrasal verbs list from A to Z in PDF free to download

Phrasal verbs from A to Z list free to download in PDF

Phrasal verbs are an important part of learning the English language. Use this list when you don't understand what the phrasal verbs means.

Download the list of Phrasal verbs in PDF

To download the list of phrasal verbs from A to Z click on this link

Phrasal verb list from A to Z in PDF

Phrasal Verb



Abide by

Accept or follow a decision or rule.

We have to ABIDE BY what the court says.

Account for

To explain.

They had to ACCOUNT FOR all the money that had gone missing.

Ache for

Want something or someone a lot.

My partner's been away for a fortnight- I am ACHING FOR her.

Act on

To take action because of something like information received.

The police were ACTING ON a tip from an informer and caught the gang red-handed.

Act on


The medicine only ACTS ON infected tissue.

Act out

Perform something with actions and gestures..

They ACTED OUT the story on stage.

Act out

Express an emotion in your behaviour.

Their anger is ACTED OUT in their antisocial behaviour.

Act up

Behave badly or strangely.

My computer's ACTING UP; I think I might have a virus.

Act upon

To take action because of something like information received.

The police were ACTING UPON a tip-off.

Act upon


The enzyme ACTS UPON certain proteins.

Add on

Include in a calculation.

You have to ADD the VAT ON to the price they give.

Add up

To make a mathematical total.

We ADDED UP the bill to check it was correct.

Add up

Be a satisfactory explanantion for something.

She explained why the work wasn't ready, but her story doesn't ADD UP.

Add up to

Have a certain result.

Trains delays are getting worse and with the high fares, it all ADDS UP TO misery for the commuters.

Add up to

Come to a certain amount or figure.

The total costs ADD UP TO several million euros.

Agree with

Affect- usually used in the negative to show that something has had a negative effect, especially is it makes you feel bad.

I feel terrible- that food didn't AGREE WITH my stomach.

Aim at

To target.

The magazine is AIMED AT teenagers.

Aim at

Intend to achieve.

They're AIMING AT reducing costs by ten percent.

Allow for

Include something in a plan or calculation.

You should ALLOW FOR delays when planning a journey.

Allow of

Make possible, permit.

The rules don't ALLOW OF any exceptions.

Angle for

Try to get something indirectly, by hinting or suggesting.

He's been ANGLING FOR an invitation, but I don't want him to come.

Answer back

To reply rudely to someone in authority.

Her mother was shocked when she started ANSWERING her BACK and refusing to help.

Answer for

Be held responsible for a problem.

The government should be made to ANSWER FOR their failure to sort out the problem.

Answer for

Speak on behalf of someone or from knowing them.

I can ANSWER FOR my partner because I know her position on this issue.

Argue down

Beat someone in a debate, discussion or argument.

The teacher tried to ARGUE the girl DOWN, but she couldn't.

Argue down

Persuade someone to drop the price of something they're selling.

She ARGUED him DOWN ten percent.

Argue down

Try to persuade people not to accept a proposition, motion, etc.

They tried to ARGUE DOWN the proposal.

Argue out

Argue about a problem to find a solution.

If we can't ARGUE our differences OUT, we'll have to take them to court.

Ask about

Ask how someone is doing, especially professionally and in terms of health.

He ASKED ABOUT my father.

Ask after

Enquire about someone's health, how life is going.

Jenny rang earlier and ASKED AFTER you, so I told her you were fine.

Ask around

Ask a number of people for information of help.

I have no idea, but I'll ASK AROUND at work and see if anyone can help.

Ask around

Invite someone.

We ASKED them AROUND for dinner.

Ask for

To provoke a negative reaction.

You're ASKING FOR trouble.

Ask for

Request to have or be given.

I ASKED FOR the menu.

Ask in

To invite somebody into your house.

'Jon's at the door.' 'ASK him IN.'

Ask out

To invite someone for a date.

He wanted to ASK her OUT but was too shy.

Ask over


They have ASKED us OVER for drinks on Friday.

Ask round

Invite someone.

We ASKED John ROUND for diner.

Auction off

Sell something in an auction.

They AUCTIONED OFF their property as they were heavily in debt.

Back away

Retreat or go backwards.

The crowd BACKED AWAY when the man pulled a knife.

Back down

Retract or withdraw your position or proposal in an argument.

She refused to BACK DOWN and was fired.

Back into

Enter a parking area in reverse gear.

He prefers to BACK his car INTO the garage.

Back off


The police told the protesters to BACK OFF.

Back out

Fail to keep an arrangement or promise.

He BACKED OUT two days before the holiday so we gave the ticket to his sister

Back out of

Fail to keep an agreement, arrangement.

She BACKED OUT OF the agreement at the last minute.

Back out of

Exit a parking area in reverse gear.

She BACKED the Rolls OUT OF its parking space.

Back up

Make a copy of computer data.

You should always BACK UP important files and documents so that you won't lose all your work if something goes wrong with the hardware.

Back up


The rest of the staff BACKED her UP when she complained about working conditions.

Back up

Drive a vehicle backwards.

Tom BACKED UP without looking and ran over his laptop.

Bag out


Don't bag out BAG OUT Australian English.

Bail out

Save, rescue.

The government had to BAIL OUT the airline because it was losing so much money.

Bail out

Remove water from something that is flooded.

The boat was leaking so they had to BAIL it OUT.

Bail out

Jump out of a plane because it is going to crash.

The pilot BAILED OUT when he saw that the engines had failed.

Bail out of

Pay a bond to release someone from jail.

I must BAIL my drunken brother OUT OF jail.

Bail out on

Stop supporting someone when they are in trouble.

Everybody BAILED OUT ON him when the scandal broke.

Bail up

Talk to someone and delay them.

I was late because he BAILED me UP on the phone and wouldn't shut up.

Bail up

Rob someone at gunpoint.

He was BAILED UP by a couple of muggers as he came out of the bank.

Ball up

Confuse or make things complicated.

The new project has BALLED me UP- I have no idea what to do.

Ball up

Roll or form into a round shape.

He BALLED UP his napkin when he had finished eating.

Balls up

Spoil, ruin.

He BALLSED the presentation UP.

Bang about

Move in a place making a lot of noise.

He's BANGING ABOUT in the kitchen.

Bang around

Move in a place making a lot of noise.

I can hear him BANGING ABOUT upstairs.

Bang on

Talk at great length.

He BANGED ON for half an hour but no one was listening.

Bang on about

Keep talking about something.

He's always BANGING ON ABOUT football.

Bang out

Play a musical instrument loudly.

She BANGED the tune OUT on the piano.

Bang up

Put someone in prison.

The judge BANGED him UP for eight years.

Bang up

Damage badly.

He BANGED his car UP last night.

Bank on

Count or rely on.

I'm BANKING ON your help; I can't do it alone.

Bargain down

Persuade someone to drop the price of something they're selling.

I BARGAINED her DOWN to half what she originally wanted.

Bargain for

Expect something to happen (usually negative).

I hadn't BARGAINED FOR so many people coming.

Bargain on

Expect something to happen (usually negative).

I hadn't BARGAINED ON him coming.

Barge in

Enter a place and interrupt.

He keeps BARGING IN and asking stupid questions when I'm trying to work.

Barge into

Enter a place and interrupt people rudely.

They BARGED INTO my office without knocking and started talking even though I was on the phone.

Bash about

Mistreat physically.

If you BASH your monitor ABOUT like that, it won't last long.

Bash in

Break, damage or injure by hitting.

The burglars BASHED the door IN to enter the house.

Bash out

Write something quickly without much preparation.

I BASHED the essay OUT the night before I had to hand it in.

Bash up

Break, damage or hurt by hitting.

They BASHED him UP in the fight in the pub last week and he had to go to hospital.

Bawl out

Scold, shout at someone.

She BAWLED me OUT for coming home drunk.

Bawl out


She BAWLED Raj OUT for getting there late.

Bawl out

Sing or shout unpleasantly loudly.

He BAWLED OUT our names at the top of his voice.

Be after

Try to find or get.

The police ARE AFTER him because of the theft.

Be along


The next bus should BE ALONG in the next quarter of an hour or so.

Be away

Be elsewhere; on holiday, etc..

She's AWAY on business for three weeks.

Be cut out for

Be suitable, have the necessary qualities.

She's not CUT OUT FOR this kind of work.

Be cut up

Be upset.

She was very CUT UP about coming second as she thought she deserved to win.

Be down

Be depressed.

He's BEEN DOWN since his partner left him.

Be down

Be reduced or less.

The firm's profits ARE DOWN by ten percent this quarter.

Be down on

Have negative feelings toward someone.

After the argument, James is DOWN ON his boss.

Be down with

Be ill.

Gul is DOWN WITH some bug and is off work today.

Be fed up

Be bored, upset or sick of something.

I AM FED UP of his complaints.

Be in

Be at home or at work.

They ARE never IN; I always get their answerphone.

Be in

Be submitted, arrive.

The application form must BE IN by 3pm on Friday.

Be in on

Be involved in.

Susan was the only one who WASN'T IN ON the plan.

Be not on

Be unacceptable.

The way he's behaving IS just NOT ON.

Be off

Be bad (of food).

This yoghurt must BE OFF; it smells foul.

Be off

Depart, leave.

I'm OFF home; it's five o'clock.

Be on

Be functioning (of machines).

The computer IS ON.

Be on

Take place.

The show IS ON for the next three months.

Be on

Take medication or drugs, especially when they affect the person badly.

He IS ON anti-depressants and has become very difficult to please.

Be on

Be at the top of one’s game, performing very well.

He IS really ON right now- three goals in five minutes!

Be on about

Mean, try to say.

I couldn't understand what he WAS ON ABOUT- it made no sense.

Be onto

Pursue, be aware of someone's true nature.

He's being very careful because he thinks the police ARE ONTO him.

Be out

Be absent from a place.

She IS OUT on a visit for the day.

Be out of

Have no more left.

We're OUT OF coffee so I'll have to go and get some.

Be out to


She IS OUT TO get him sacked because she hates him.

Be snowed under

Have too much work.

We're completely SNOWED UNDER at work because it's the end of the tax year.

Be taken aback

Be shocked or surprised.

I WAS TAKEN ABACK when I saw him because he's lost all his hair.

Be taken with

Like something.

I WAS very TAKEN WITH the performance- it was superb.

Be up

Be out of bed.

She's not UP yet.

Be up

Have increased or risen.

The company's profits ARE UP by fifteen percent.

Be up

When the time for something finishes or expires.

Time's UP, please finish your drinks and leave.

Be up for

Be enthusiastic about an upcoming event.

ARE you UP FOR the climb of Mt. Blanc?

Be up to

Be good enough.

He's not UP TO the job; get someone else.

Be up to

Doing something naughty or wrong.

What are those kids UP TO?

Bear down on

Move towards.

She spotted him on the other side of the room and BORE DOWN ON him.

Bear on

Influence, affect.

The judge's character may well BEAR ON the final decision.

Bear out

Confirm that something is correct.

Statistics BEAR OUT the government's positions on the issue.

Bear up

Resist pressure.

How are you BEARING UP under the strain?

Bear up under

Cope with something difficult or stressful.

He's BEARING UP UNDER the pressure.

Bear with

Be patient.

Please BEAR WITH me a moment while I finish this email.

Beat down

Strong sunshine.

The sun WAS really BEATING DOWN and we couldn't stay outdoors.

Beat down

Get someone to lower the price of something.

I managed to BEAT him DOWN to fifty Euros.

Beat out

Narrowly win in competition.

The marathon runner barely BEAT OUT his rival at the tape.

Beat up

Attack violently.

The mugger BEAT him UP and stole his wallet.

Beaver away

Work hard.

She's BEAVERING AWAY before her exams.

Beaver away at

Work hard doing something.

I have to BEAVER AWAY AT it or else I will fail the course.

Bed down

Sleep somewhere less comfortable than normal.

We had to BED DOWN on the floor for the night.

Bed down

Become established or successful over time.

The new government has found it hard to BED DOWN and become accepted.

Bed out

Move a plant outside.

I BEDDED the plants OUT when the weather warmed up.

Beef up

Make something stronger or more solid.

The company BEEFED UP their case when they saw that the public wouldn't accept their first explanation of the accident.

Belong to

Be a member.

He BELONGS TO a secret society.

Belong to

Be connected to a time, place, belief, thing, etc.

Their ideas BELONG TO the nineteenth century and seem old-fashioned now.

Belong with

Be in the correct or appropriate location with other items.

Does this disc BELONG WITH those on the shelf?

Belt out

Sing something loudly.

They BELTED OUT the national anthems before the game.

Belt up

Be quiet.

She told the students to BELT UP because they were making so much noise.

Belt up

Fasten your seatbelt.

I told the kids to BELT UP before I started the car.

Bend down

Lower the top half of your body.

I BENT DOWN to pick it up off the floor.

Bend over

Lower the top part of your body.

I BENT OVER to do my shoes up.

Bend over backwards

Do a lot to try to help or please someone.

I BENT OVER BACKWARDS for them and they didn't even thank me.

Big up

Exaggerate the importance.

He BIGS himself UP all the time.

Big up

Increase the size of muscles by exercise.

They work out a lot to BIG themselves UP.

Bitch up

Spoil or ruin something.

I BITCHED UP the interview.

Black out

Fall unconscious.

He BLACKED OUT and collapsed on the floor.

Black out

Lose light.

Everything BLACKED OUT when the power supply failed.

Blank out

Censor text so that words cannot be read.

The email addresses were BLANKED OUT in the documents shown to the court.

Blank out

Have a temporary memory failure.

I was so nervous in the interview that I just BLANKED OUT and couldn't answer their questions properly.

Blare out

A loud sound or music.

The music was BLARING OUT and I couldn't get to sleep.

Blast off

Leave the ground- spaceship or rocket.

The space shuttle BLASTED OFF on schedule yesterday.

Blaze away

Fire a gun repeatedly.

The shooters BLAZED AWAY at the pheasants.

Bleed out

Cause sufficient blood loss to result in death.

They BLED OUT their calves.

Bliss out

Be extremely relaxed and happy.

I BLISSED OUT on the beach all week.

Block in

Park a car and obstruct another car.

I couldn't drive here this morning because someone had BLOCKED me IN.

Block in

Shade or fill in.

He BLOCKED IN the events in his calendar.

Block off

Obstruct an exit to prevent people from leaving.

The police BLOCKED OFF the road after the murder.

Block out

Stop light from entering or leaving.

The trees BLOCK the sun OUT most of the day.

Block out

Try not think about or feel something because it is upsetting or painful.

It was so unpleasant that I try to BLOCK it OUT- otherwise, I'd just be angry all the time.

Block up

Fill a space so that nothing can pass.

The pipe's BLOCKED UP and no water gets through.

Blow away


He grabbed a gun and BLEW the police officer AWAY.

Blow away

Beat rivals or competitors by a large margin.

Their new product has BLOWN all the others AWAY.

Blow away

Impress greatly.

Her first novel BLEW me AWAY.

Blow away

When the wind moves something from a place.

The flag BLEW AWAY in the storm; we'll have to buy a new one.

Blow down

When the wind forces something to fall.

A tree was BLOWN DOWN in the storm.

Blow in

Arrive, sometimes suddenly or unexpectedly.

He BLEW IN from Toronto early this morning.

Blow off

Not keep an appointment.

We were going to meet last night, but she BLEW me OFF at the last minute.

Blow off

Ignore, not do something.

I BLEW the homework OFF and did badly.

Blow off

Expel gas from the anus.

He BLEW OFF in front of everybody.

Blow out

Extinguish candles, matches, etc..

She BLEW the candles OUT on her birthday cake.

Blow out

Defeat decisively.

The Broncos BLEW OUT the Raiders 55-0.

Blow over

When a scandal gets forgotten.

The scandal BLEW OVER within a fortnight when the press found someone else to attack.

Blow up


The bomb BLEW UP without any warning.

Blow up


The pressure was low, so I BLEW the tyre UP.

Blow up

Enlarge (e.g., photograph)..

BLOW UP that photo so we can see his face.

Blow up

The beginning of a storm.

A storm BLEW UP while we were out walking.

Blow up

Lose your temper, become angry.

They BLEW UP when they heard what I had done wrong.

Blurt out

Say something quickly without thinking, especially if you shouldn't.

I was really angry when he BLURTED OUT the secret.

Board out

Arrange for pets to stay somewhere while you're away.

We BOARD our dog OUT with friends when we go abroad.

Board up

Cover windows or doors with wood, metal, etc..

They BOARDED UP all the windows to stop people getting into the empty houses.

Bog down

Slow make progress.

Yasini got BOGGED DOWN in his research and didn't finish the project in time.

Bog in

Eat enthusiastically.

We were starving and BOGGED IN when the food was served.

Bog into

Eat something enthusiastically.

They BOGGED INTO the lunch.

Bog off!

Get lost.

He lost his temper and told her to BOG OFF.

Boil down

Simplify, reduce to the essentials.

The report's so long, I BOILED it DOWN into a two-page summary.

Boil down to

Amount to.

It all BOILS DOWN TO money at the end of the day.

Boil over

When a hot liquid spills out of a container.

I left the milk on the cooker and it BOILED OVER.

Boil over

When people lose their tempers and things get nasty.

The tension had been building up and it BOILED OVER in the meeting.

Boil up

Feel a negative emotion strongly.

The anger BOILED UP in me when I saw what they had done.

Boil up

Cook or heat something to boiling point.

I BOILED UP some water for a cup of coffee.

Bolster up

Give support, reinforce, strengthen.

We were all scared but she BOLSTERED UP our courage.

Bone up

Study hard for a reason.

I will have to BONE UP to get a good result.

Bone up on

Study hard for a goal or reason.

I need to BONE UP ON my French grammar for the test.

Book in

Make a reservation in advance.

I'll BOOK us IN at the Intercontinental.

Book in

Check in at a hotel.

WE took a taxi from the airport to the hotel and BOOKED IN.

Book into

Make a reservation in advance.

I've BOOKED us INTO a hotel in the centre of town for three nights.

Book into

Check in at a hotel.

We BOOKED INTO the first hotel we could find.

Book out

Leave a place in a hurry.

I don't like the look of the people arriving- let's BOOK OUT.

Book up


The flight's fully BOOKED UP; I'll have to go the following day.

Boot up

Start a computer.

He BOOTED UP the computer and started work.

Border on

Be located next to a place.

Portugal BORDERS ON Spain.

Border on

Be very nearly something.

What he did was BORDERING ON betrayal.

Boss about

Use excessive authority to control people.

She BOSSES everyone ABOUT.

Boss around

Use excessive authority to control people.

He BOSSES everyone AROUND.

Botch up

Ruin or spoil something.

I BOTCHED UP the whole project and it had to be cancelled.

Bottle away

Store up.

He kept his feelings BOTTLED AWAY.

Bottle out

Lack courage to do something.

She was going to tell her boss exactly what she thought, but BOTTLED OUT in the end.

Bottle up

Not express your feelings.

She BOTTLED UP her feelings even though she was furious with them and kept quiet.

Bottom out

Pass the lowest point and start rising.

The recession BOTTOMED OUT and the economy is recovering well.

Bounce into

Force someone.

They have BOUNCED the government INTO calling an early election.

Bounce back


The economy is BOUNCING BACK from the recession.

Bounce off

Test ideas.

They BOUNCED ideas OFF each other in a brainstorming session.

Bowl out

Hit someone's wicket in cricket with the ball.

He BOWLED the player OUT first ball.

Bowl over

Surprise someone greatly.

I was BOWLED OVER by the news.

Bowl over

Knock someone to the ground.

He was BOWLED OVER by the crowd rushing out.

Box in

Prevent something from moving, especially vehicles.

I was BOXED IN by the bus and couldn't change lane.

Box up

Pack things in boxes to move them.

At the end of term, I BOXED my books UP and sent them home.

Brace up

Feel more confident or optimistic about something.

You should BRACE UP and stop worrying.

Branch out

Move into a different area of business, etc..

The supermarkets have BRANCHED OUT into banking.

Break away

Leave an organisation, usually to form a new one.

The SDP BROKE AWAY from the Labour Party.

Break down

End negotiations unsuccessfully.

The talks between management and the unions BROKE DOWN acrimoniously.

Break down

Start crying.

He BROKE DOWN in tears.

Break down

Stop working.

My car's BROKEN DOWN, so I came by taxi.

Break down

Remove a barrier or obstacle.

He had to BREAK DOWN their opposition to his ideas.

Break in

Go into a building to steal something.

The burglars BROKE IN and stole the TV and video.

Break in

Interrupt something.

I'm sorry to BREAK IN on your conversation, but there's a problem.

Break in

Train a horse to be ridden.

It took ages to BREAK the horse IN.

Break in

Carefully use new products until they are fully functional..

I must watch my speed until I BREAK IN my new Volvo.

Break off

Break a piece from something.

She BROKE OFF a square of chocolate and gave it to her dog.

Break off

End a relationship.

She BROKE OFF their engagement when she found out that he'd been unfaithful.

Break out

Start (war, conflict).

They're worried that war will BREAK OUT.

Break out in

Sweat heavily, develop skin sores or irritation..

The measles caused me to BREAK OUT IN a rash.

Break out of


Three dangerous Category A prisoners BROKE OUT OF Wandsworth Prison last night.

Break through

Pass a barrier or obstacle.

The crowd BROKE THROUGH the police barriers and attacked the hunters.

Break up

Break into many pieces.

The plate BROKE UP when he dropped it on the floor.

Break up

Close an educational institution for the holidays.

Schools BREAK UP at the end of June for the summer holidays.

Break up

Finish a relationship.

They had been going out for a couple of years before they BROKE UP.

Break up

Become inaudible over the telephone because of interference.

You're BREAKING UP; I'll call you back in a minute and see if we get a better connection.

Breeze along

Move easily and quickly.

The film BREEZES ALONG for the first hour, then becomes rather dull and slow.

Breeze in

Enter a place quickly.

He BREEZED IN and started shouting at us.

Breeze into

Enter a place quickly.

He BREEZED INTO the room and switched the TV on.

Breeze through

Pass easily, succeed.

She BREEZED THROUGH her exams.

Brick in

Close or fill a space with bricks.

We BRICKED IN the side window.

Brick up

Close or fill a space with bricks.

We BRICKED the back entrance UP.

Brighten up

Improve (weather).

The day started cloudy but BRIGHTENED UP in the afternoon.

Brighten up

Become happier.

He BRIGHTENED UP when he heard the news.

Brighten up

Make something more attractive or pleasant.

We tried to BRIGHTEN the place UP by painting it.

Bring about

Make something happen.

The changes to the law were BROUGHT ABOUT by the government because so many people were ignoring the old one.

Bring along

Bring someone or something to certain place.

You can BRING your friends ALONG if you like.

Bring along

Help someone improve.

Her coach has BROUGHT her ALONG a lot in the last six months.

Bring around

Persuade or convince someone.

It took me ages to BRING him AROUND to my point of view.

Bring around

Bring something with you when you visit.

He BROUGHT some books AROUND when he came last night.

Bring around

Get someone talking about something.

He didn't want to discuss the details, but I managed to BRING him AROUND and he told me everything.

Bring back

Cause someone to remember.

Visiting my old school BROUGHT BACK memories of when I was a pupil there.

Bring back


He took the calculator home yesterday and hasn't BROUGHT it BACK yet.

Bring down

Make a government fall.

The vote of no-confidence BROUGHT the government DOWN.

Bring down

Make something cheaper.

The improvements in technology have BROUGHT the prices of computers DOWN considerably in recent months.

Bring forth

Produce something, make it known or visible.

The prosecution BROUGHT FORTH a lot of evidence against him.

Bring forth


She BROUGHT FORTH a surprising result.

Bring forth

Make something happen.

The report has BROUGHT FORTH a lot of criticism of the policy.

Bring forth

Remove something from where it is kept or hidden.

She BROUGHT FORTH the diary and showed it to us.

Bring forward

Make something happen earlier than originally planned.

The meeting has been BROUGHT FORWARD to this Friday instead of next week because some people couldn't make it then.

Bring in


The job BRINGS IN two thousand dollars a month.

Bring off

Succeed with something difficult.

No one thought she'd manage to do it, but she BROUGHT it OFF in the end.

Bring on

Cause something to happen or speed up the process.

Getting wet in the rain yesterday BROUGHT ON my cold.

Bring on

Make something appear.

BRING ON the dancers!

Bring out

Release or publish.

The band are BRINGING OUT a new CD in the autumn.

Bring out

Elicit a response.

Suzie BRINGS OUT the best in him.

Bring out in

Cause a health problem or reaction.

It was the lobster that BROUGHT me OUT in this rash all over my body.

Bring round

Make someone wake up from unconsciousness or an anaesthetic.

The doctors BROUGHT him ROUND a few hours after the operation.

Bring up


They didn't BRING the subject UP at the meeting.

Bring up

Raise a child.

My parents BROUGHT me UP strictly.

Bring up

Be officially charged with a crime.

He was BROUGHT UP on charges of public intoxication.

Bring Up


They didn't BRING the subject UP at the meeting.

Bring Up

Raise a child.

My parents BROUGHT me UP strictly.

Bring Up

Be officially charged with a crime.

He was BROUGHT UP on charges of public intoxication.

Brush off

Ignore, pay little attention.

The minister BRUSHED OFF the criticism.

Brush up

Improve a skill quickly.

She took a two-week course to BRUSH UP her Spanish before she went travelling around South and Central America.

Bubble over

Become very excited.

She BUBBLED OVER with joy when she heard her exam results.

Buck up

Hurry (either transitive or reflexive).

'BUCK UP - the taxi's waiting.'

Buck up

Smarten up, improve.

You had better BUCK your ideas UP, or you'll fail the course.

Bucket down

Rain heavily.

Take an umbrella; it's BUCKETING DOWN.

Buckle down

Start working hard, apply yourself.

We had to BUCKLE DOWN and study for the exam.

Buckle under

Accept something under pressure, against your will.

They didn't like the ideas, but had to BUCKLE UNDER or face the sack.

Buckle up

Fasten a seatbelt.

We were told to BUCKLE UP before take-off.

Budge up

Move to make space for someone.

We had to BUDGE UP to let the fourth person in the back of the car.

Buff up

Clear, clean or make something shine.

The silver candlestick looked lovely after I BUFFED it UP.

Buff up


After the scandal, the politician tried to BUFF UP his public image.

Buff up on

Improve your knowledge quickly.

I BUFFED UP ON my grammar before the test.

Bug off!

Go away.

I told her to bug off because she was annoying me.

Bug out

Open your eyes wide in surprise.

He BUGGED OUT when she turned up.

Bug out

Leave somewhere in a hurry.

They BUGGED OUT when the police arrived.

Build up

Develop a company.

She BUILT the business UP from nothing into a market leader in less than a decade.

Build up


Tension has been BUILDING UP ever since the government passed the unpopular law.

Bulk out

Make something bigger or thicker.

I BULKED the essay OUT with a few quotes to reach the number of word required.

Bulk up

Gain weight, develop bigger muscles.

He's BULKED UP a lot since he got those steroids.

Bump into

Meet by chance.

I BUMPED INTO Helen on the underground the other day.

Bump off


The drug dealer was BUMPED OFF by a rival gang.

Bump up


They BUMP UP the prices in the high season.

Bundle off

Send someone somewhere.

He BUNDLED the kids OFF to bed.

Bundle out


The barman BUNDLED the drunk OUT because he was annoying the other customers.

Bundle up

Put on warm clothing.

We BUNDLED UP before going out as it was snowing.

Bundle up

Wrap or tie things together.

I BUNDLED UP my newspapers and dropped them in the recycling bin.

Bunk off

Not go to school when you should.

I used to BUNK OFF school and go into town.

Buoy up

Make someone feel more positive.

After so much criticism, the positive review BUOYED him UP.

Buoy up

Keep afloat.

The lifejacket BUOYED me UP till the boat arrived.

Burn down

Burn completely.

They had to completely rebuild the museum after the old one BURNED DOWN.

Burn off

Remove by burning or similar process.

I BURN OFF a lot of calories in the gym.

Burn out

Lose enthusiasm and energy to continue in a demanding job.

Jennie BURNT OUT after ten years working as a futures broker and went to live in the country.

Burn up

Destroy completely by fire.

All his possessions were BURNED UP in the fire.

Burn up

Drive at high speed.

The bank robbers BURNED UP the roads but were soon captured.

Burn up

To be or cause to be highly annoyed.

His undeserved win in the election really BURNS me UP.

Burst into

Catch fire very quickly.

The car BURST INTO flames and the driver died as he didn't have time to get out.

Burst into

Laugh, cry or clap loudly.

She BURST INTO laughter when she heard the joke.

Bust up

End a relationship, usually angrily or after arguing.

They BUST UP after a row last night.

Butt in


I hope you don't mind me BUTTING IN on your conversation, but I couldn't help hearing what you said...

Butt out

Not be involved in other people's business.

This is none of your business, so just BUTT OUT!

Butter up

Praise or flatter someone excessively.

I tried BUTTERING my tutor UP but she still wouldn\'t let me hand it in late.

Buy in

Force a CD or record into the charts by buying lots of copies.

Joe Meek's last hit, 'Singin' the Blues', was probably BOUGHT IN at number 40, but failed to go any higher.

Buy into

Accept an idea.

I never BOUGHT INTO the idea of a federalist Euopean Union.

Buy off

Pay someone to stop them causing trouble.

He BOUGHT the newspaper OFF by placing a lot of adverts.

Buy out

Buy somebody's share in a company.

His business partners BOUGHT him OUT to get rid of him.

Buy up

Buy all of something.

We BOUGHT UP all the shop had before the price went up.

Buzz around

Move quickly around a place.

Reporters were BUZZING AROUND the scene of the accident.

Buzz off

Leave somewhere.

I'm BUZZING OFF now- I have to meet some people.

Buzz off!

Go away (imperative).

He told them to BUZZ OFF because they were annoying him.

Call after

Name someone after somebody else.

She was CALLED Rose AFTER her late grandmother.

Call around


I CALLED AROUND but she wasn't in.

Call back

Return a phonecall.

I must CALL her BACK when we get to the office.

Call for


The Opposition party CALLED FOR the minister's resignation after the scandal broke.

Call for

Go to collect something.

The courier CALLED FOR your parcel, but I told him it wasn't ready yet.

Call for

Telephone for something.

I'll CALL FOR a cab right away.

Call for

Go and collect someone to take them out.

I'll CALL FOR you at seven, so be ready because the film starts at half past.

Call for


An emergency like this CALLS FOR some pretty drastic action.

Call forth

Make something happen.

The protests CALLED FORTH a strong reaction from the police.

Call in

Get someone to come and do a job.

We had to CALL IN a plumber because the sink was leaking and I had no idea how to fix it.

Call in

Stop and visit.

I CALLED IN on Jenny on my way home because she's not very well at the moment and I wanted to see if she needed anything.

Call off


The concert had to be CALLED OFF because the singer went down with a bad case of flu.

Call off

Order someone to stop attacking.

CALL OFF your lawyers; we can work something out.

Call on

Ask for help.

The President CALLED ON the wealthy countries for financial aid after the floods destroyed much of the country's agriculture.

Call on


As we were in the area, we CALLED ON my sister-in-law.

Call on


He CALLED the speaker ON several mis-statements of fact.

Call on

Ask someone to do something, especially to speak in public. (Formal).

I now CALL ON the other party to give their account of what happened.

Call out

Expose or accuse someone of wrongdoing or incompetence.

He CALLED them OUT over awarding contracts to family members.

Call round


I CALLED ROUND on my way home but no one was in.

Call up

Summon someone for military service.

The army CALLED UP the reserve soldiers when the war broke out.

Call up


I CALLED him UP as soon as I got to a phone to tell him the news.

Calm down

Stop being angry or emotionally excited.

When I lose my temper, it takes ages for me to CALM DOWN again.

Cancel out

Have an opposite effect on something that has happened, taking things back to the beginning.

The airport taxes CANCELLED OUT the savings we had made on the flight tickets.

Cap off

Finish or complete, often with some decisive action.

She CAPPED OFF the meeting with a radical proposal.

Care for


I don't CARE FOR fizzy drinks; I prefer water.

Carried away

Get so emotional that you lose control.

The team got CARRIED AWAY when they won the championship and started shouting and throwing things around.

Carry forward

Include a figure in a later calculation.

They CARRIED FORWARD their losses to the next financial year.

Carry forward

Make something progress.

They hope the new management will be able to CARRY the project FORWARD.

Carry off

Win, succeed.

She CARRIED OFF the first prize in the competition.

Carry off

Die of a disease.

Cancer CARRIED him OFF a couple of years ago.

Carry on


CARRY ON quietly with your work until the substitute teacher arrives.

Carry on

Behave badly.

The children annoyed me by CARRYING ON all morning.

Carry on with

Have an affair.

He's been CARRYING ON WITH someone at work for years.

Carry out

Perform a task.

The government is CARRYING OUT test on growing genetically modified crops.

Carry out

Food bought from a restaurant to take away.

I'm too tired to cook- let's get a CARRY-OUT.

Carry over

Continue past a certain point.

The meeting CARRIED OVER into the afternoon because there was so much to talk about.

Carry through

Complete successfully.

They CARRIED the reforms THROUGH despite the opposition.

Cart off

Take someone away, usually under arrest or to prison.

The police CARTED them OFF to question them.

Cart off

Take something away, especially if stealing or without permission.

The thieves CARTED OFF all the ticket receipts.

Carve out

Create or get a area where you can be special or successful.

She's CARVED OUT a career in photojournalism.

Carve up

Divide into smaller pieces.

They CARVED the company UP and sold a lot off.

Carve up

Overtake someone and then pull directly in front of a car.

The idiot CARVED us UP and forced me to brake hard.

Cash in

Convert shares, bonds, casino chips, etc, into money.

They CASHED IN their bonds and spent the money on a holiday.

Cash in on

Benefit or make money on something, especially if done unfairly.

The opposition party are CASHING IN ON the government's unpopularity.

Cash out

Illegally access a bank account or credit card and steal money.

A hacker got my credit card details from my computer and CASHED OUT a lot of money.

Cash out

Exchange something for money, collect winnings.

After winning, she CASHED OUT her chips.

Cash up

Count all the money taken in a shop or business at the end of the day.

After the shop closed, they have to CASH UP before they can go home.

Cast about for

Try to find something.

They're CASTING ABOUT FOR support.

Cast around for

Try to find something.

She was CASTING AROUND FOR people to help her.

Cast aside

Dispose, get rid of, ignore because you no longer like something or someone.


Cast off

Dispose, get rid of.

They CAST OFF any semblance of politeness and attacked us viciously.

Cast off

Untie a boat so it's free to sail.

They CAST OFF and headed out to sea.

Cast out

Expel, reject.

They CAST him OUT because of his behaviour.

Cast round for

Try to find something.

He CAST ROUND FOR any sign of his things.

Cast up

Be left on the shore by the sea.

The rubbish was CAST UP by the tide.

Catch at

Take or grab hold of something.

She CAUGHT AT my sleeve as I was leaving and said she needed to talk to me.

Catch on

Become popular.

Many critics were shocked when techno CAUGHT ON in the clubs.

Catch on

Finally understand what is going on.

Everyone else realised what was happening, but it took Henry ages to CATCH ON.

Catch out


The exam is designed to CATCH you OUT.

Catch out

Discover or prove that someone is lying.

He CAUGHT me OUT when he checked my story with my previous employer.

Catch out

Put someone in an unexpected and difficult situation (often passive).

We were CAUGHT OUT in the storm.

Catch up

Get work, etc, up to date..

I was ill for a fortnight and now I've got to CATCH UP on the work I missed.

Catch up

Reach someone who was ahead of you.

He started well, but I CAUGHT him UP on the third lap.

Catch up in

Become involved, often against one’s will.

The tourists were CAUGHT UP IN the violence of the revolution.

Catch up on

Do something that should have been done earlier.

I'm going home to CATCH UP ON my sleep.

Catch up on

Reminisce with an old friend after not seeing them for a while.

I hadn't seen her for years, so we spent the afternoon CATCHING UP ON old times.

Catch up with

Do something that should have been done earlier.

I'm going home to CATCH UP WITH my sleep.

Catch up with

Meet someone after a period of time and find out what they have been doing.

I CAUGHT UP WITH her at the conference.

Catch up with

When something negative starts to have an effect.

His criminal behaviour is starting to CATCH UP WITH him.

Catch up with

Punish someone after they have been doing something wrong for a long time.

The tax authorities CAUGHT UP WITH me for not submitting my tax returns.

Catch up with

Learn something new that many people already understand.

My mother's trying to CATCH UP WITH computers.

Cater for

To provide what is necessary.

The college CATERS FOR students of all ages.

Cater to

To provide what is needed, often seen negatively.

The film CATERS TO the audience's worst instincts.

Cave in


The roof CAVED IN because of the weight of the snow.

Cave in

Stop resisting or refusing.

The government has refused to CAVE IN despite the protests and demonstrations.

Chalk out

To cut a line of cocaine.

He went into the toilets to CHALK a line OUT.

Chalk up

To achieve something good.

The company has CHALKED UP its highest ever profits.

Chalk up to

Explain the reason for a problem.

They CHALKED the poor sales UP TO the lower numbers of tourists visiting this year.

Chance upon

Find something by accident.

I CHANCED UPON a very rare book in car boot sale and bought it for 65p.

Change over

Change a system.

The Irish CHANGED OVER to using kilometres in 2005.

Charge up

Put electricity into a battery.

I need to CHARGE my phone UP- the battery's dead.

Charge with

Accuse somebody of a crime.

She was arrested in customs last night and has been CHARGED WITH smuggling.

Chase down

Try hard to find or get something.

The press CHASED us DOWN when the story broke.

Chase off

Force a person to leave or go away.

The dog CHASED he postal worker OFF.

Chase up

Ensure that someone remembers to do something.

The librarian is CHASING me UP about my overdue books.

Chase up

Try to get someone to pay a bill, debt, etc.

I CHASED her UP as she hadn't paid for several months.

Chase up

Try to get more information about the progress of something.

I didn't get a reply so I have been CHASING them UP.

Chat up

Talk to someone you are sexually interested in to get them interested in you.

He spent the whole night CHATTING her UP.

Cheat on

Be sexually unfaithful.

She CHEATED ON me with my friend.

Cheat on

Deceive or betray, often in a sexual and/or emotional context.

She thought he had always been faithful to her, but he had been CHEATING ON her ever since their wedding day (with one of the bridesmaids).

Cheat out of

Get money from someone under false pretences.

I hate him- he CHEATED me OUT OF £100.

Check by

Visit a place to check something.

We CHECKED BY the office to see if the stuff was ready.

Check in

Register on arriving at a hotel or at the airport.

They CHECKED IN at the Ritz yesterday.

Check into

Register on arriving at a hotel or at the airport.

They CHECKED INTO the Ritz yesterday.

Check off

Mark something on a list as done.

She CHECKED OFF the candidates' names as they arrived.

Check out

Pay the bill when leaving a hotel.

She CHECKED OUT and took a cab to the airport.

Check out


She CHECKED OUT last week; the funeral's tomorrow.

Check out

Get information about or inspect something to see if it's satisfactory.

I CHECKED the new restaurant OUT as soon as it opened.

Check out of

Settle up and pay before leaving a hotel.

Guests have to CHECK OUT OF the hotel before midday.

Check over

Check something very carefully.

We CHECKED the contract OVER before signing it.

Cheer on


Their CHEERED their team ON throughout the match.

Cheer up

Be less unhappy.

Come on, CHEER UP; it isn't all bad, you know.

Chew off

Remove by biting.

The dog CHEWED OFF the man's face.

Chew on

Thinks about something carefully before deciding.

I'll CHEW ON it for a day or two and let you know what I think.

Chew out

Criticize someone angrily.

They CHEWED him OUT for being late.

Chew over

Think about an issue.

He asked for a few days to CHEW the matter OVER before he made a final decision.

Chew up

Cut into small pieces with your teeth.

The puppy CHEWED UP the newspaper.

Chew up

Damage something inside a machine.

The video CHEWED my tape UP.

Chicken out

Be too afraid to do something.

I CHICKENED OUT of the bungee jumping when I saw how high it was.

Chill out


I'm staying at home and CHILLING OUT this evening.

Chime in

Contribute to a discussion.

If it's OK, I'd like to CHIME IN because I think it's a good idea.

Chip away at

Gradually reduce something to make it less powerful, effective, etc.

They have been CHIPPING AWAY AT his reputation ever since he took office.

Chip in

Contribute some money.

Everybody CHIPPED IN to pay the bill.

Chip in

Contribute to a discussion.

If I could CHIP IN, there are a couple of issues I'd like to raise.

Choke off

Stop or restrict.

These guerilla attacks are CHOKING OFF our food shipments.

Choke out

Clog or overwhelm.

Water hyacinth is CHOKING OUT the native vegetation in our rivers.

Choke up

Become tearfully emotional.

Jeff CHOKED UP during his retirement speech.

Choke up

Grip a handle farther from the end for better control.

He CHOKED UP on the bat and hit the ball better.

Choose up

Form groups or teams.

We CHOSE UP to play the game.

Chop down

Fell or cut down a tree.

They CHOPPED DOWN most of the forest and now it looks like a desert.

Chop up

Cut into small pieces.

I CHOPPED UP the vegetables for the soup.

Chow down


Dinner's ready- CHOW DOWN!.

Chow down on

Eat something.

We're going to CHOW DOWN ON that barbecued pork.

Chuck away

Dispose of something you no longer need or want.

I CHUCKED AWAY all my old records years ago when CDs came out.

Chuck in

Quit something.

I CHUCKED my job IN to go travelling.

Chuck in

Make a comment.

I CHUCKED IN a few points at the end of the discussion.

Chuck out

Dispose of something you no longer need or want.

I CHUCKED OUT some stuff I found in the fridge that had gone bad.

Chuck up

Vomit, be sick.

He got ridiculously drunk and CHUCKED UP in the back of the minicab on the way home.

Chuck up

Quit something.

She didn't like the course, so she CHUCKED it UP after a few weeks.

Churn out

Produce, usually quickly or in large amounts without much regard to quality.

The government CHURNS OUT educational policies every few months.

Clag up

Make something sticky.

His arteries are CLAGGED UP because he eats so much saturated fat.

Clam up

Be quiet, refuse to speak.

Everybody CLAMMED UP when the Principal entered.

Clamp down on

Restrict or try to stop something.

The government are CLAMPING DOWN ON antisocial behaviour.

Claw back

Get money back.

The new tax will CLAW BACK what the government has given out in grants.

Claw back

Retake possession with difficulty.

The opposition parties are trying to CLAW BACK the voters they lost in the last election.

Claw back

Regain possession with difficulty.

They are CLAWING BACK their market share from their competitors.

Clean off

Remove dirt or something dirty.

After dinner, I CLEANED OFF the table.

Clean out

Tidy up thoroughly and throw away unwanted things..

I really must CLEAN the study OUT; there's stuff all over the floor and piles of paper everywhere.

Clean out

Cause someone to spend all their money.

The holiday CLEANED me OUT- I'm broke till the end of the month.

Clean up

Tidy and clean.

CLEAN this bedroom UP; it's a disgrace.

Clean up

Profit, sometimes suddenly.

At the horse races yesterday we really CLEANED UP.

Clear away

Leave a place.

We were told to CLEAR AWAY from the scene of the accident.

Clear away

Remove or tidy.

After dinner, I CLEARED AWAY the plates and dishes.

Clear off

Leave somewhere quickly.

As soon as the trouble started, we CLEARED OFF.

Clear out

Tidy up thoroughly and throw away unwanted stuff..

I spent the whole weekend CLEARING OUT the attic as it was full of papers and other junk.

Clear out

Leave somewhere.

I told them to CLEAR OUT because they were making so much noise.

Clear up

Cure or recover from an infection.

I took the antihistamines and the rash CLEARED UP right away.

Clear up

Tidy up.

I'd better CLEAR AWAY the mess before leave.

Clear up


Could you CLEAR these points UP before we go any further?

Clear up

Improve (weather).

The skies CLEARED UP and the sun came out.

Click through

Open an advertisement on the Internet.

Only a tiny fraction of users ever bother CLICKING THROUGH the banner adverts.

Climb down

Accept that you are wrong and change your position.

The Prime Minister had to CLIMB DOWN over his tax proposals because there was so much opposition from the members of his own party.

Cling on

Hold tight.

He told me to CLING ON as the motorbike accelerated.

Cling on to

Try to keep something.

They CLUNG ON TO power despite the protests.

Cling to

Try to maintain beliefs, hopes, etc..

They CLING TO their old way of thinking.

Clog up

Block, slow movement right down.

The traffic's so bad the roads get CLOGGED UP at rush hour.

Close down

Close a shop, branch or business permanently.

The banks have CLOSED DOWN a lot of branches in villages over the last few years.

Close down

Stop an opponent being a challenge.

He CLOSED the player DOWN and stopped him being a threat.

Close in

Surround, envelop.

The fog CLOSED IN and we couldn't see two yards in front of us.

Close in

Approach, get near.

The police were CLOSING IN so they decided to try to make a break.

Close in on

Get near someone.

The police were CLOSING IN ON the gang.

Close in upon

Get near someone.

The police were CLOSING IN UPON the gang.

Close off

Block a place to stop people entering.

The police CLOSED the road OFF after the explosion.

Close on

Get nearer.

She is CLOSING ON the leader of the race.

Close out

Bring something to an end.

We CLOSED OUT the meeting early and went home.

Close out

Close or stop using.

She CLOSED OUT the account and changed to another bank.

Close out

Ignore, exclude.

They always CLOSE me OUT of their plans.

Close up

Completely close something.

They CLOSE UP the building after everyone has left.

Close up

Join together.

The leaves CLOSE UP when it rains.

Close up

Move closer together.

They CLOSED UP when they saw the gang coming towards them.

Cloud over

Get very cloudy.

The morning started bright and warm, but it CLOUDED OVER around midday and poured with rain.

Clown about

Behave stupidly or waste time.

The students were CLOWNING ABOUT all lesson.

Clown around

Behave stupidly or waste time.

I couldn't concentrate because they were CLOWNING AROUND all afternoon.

Coast along

Do something without making much effort or trying to improve.

She's been COASTING ALONG all year and hasn't made a lot of progress.

Cobble together

Make, assemble or produce something quickly, without much care.

They COBBLED a few pages TOGETHER and submitted it.

Cock up

Ruin or spoil something.

It was so easy, but he managed to COCK everything UP.

Colour (Color) up


He COLOURED (COLORED) UP when he was caught stealing from the till.

Come about

Happen, occur.

The meeting CAME ABOUT because both sides were sick of fighting.

Come about

Shift direction (nautical).

The yacht CAME ABOUT to a heading of 240 degrees.

Come across

Find by accident.

I CAME ACROSS my old school reports when I was clearing out my desk.

Come across

Agree to have sex with someone.

I was surprised when she CAME ACROSS on the first night.

Come across

The way other people see you.

He CAME ACROSS as shy because he spoke so quietly.

Come along


May I COME ALONG on your trip tomorrow?

Come along

Move faster or keep up.

COME ALONG, we’ll never get there if you don’t keep up with us.

Come apart

Break into pieces.

It CAME APART when I tried to lift it off the floor and I had to glue it back together.

Come around

Recover consciousness.

It took several hours after the operation before he CAME AROUND.

Come around to

Agree with or accept something you had previously disapproved of or disliked..

They have started COMING AROUND TO our way of thinking and are less hostile.

Come back


I left work and CAME BACK home early.

Come before

Appear in court charged with a crime or offence.

He CAME BEFORE the court on charges of speeding.

Come by


I'll COME BY after work and see if you need any help.

Come by


How did you COME BY that Rolex?

Come down


Just look at the rain COMING DOWN! I'm not going out in that.

Come down


When you're next in London, COME DOWN and see us.

Come down on

Criticise heavily.

The management really CAME DOWN ON him for losing the contract.

Come down upon

Criticise, reprimand severely.

They will COME DOWN UPON us if we are late.

Come down with

Fall ill.

She CAME DOWN WITH a virus.

Come forth


The draft proposal CAME FORTH in April.

Come forth with

Provide information.

None of the witnesses CAME FORTH WITH an accurate description of the gang.

Come from

Country or town where you were born.

She COMES FROM Somalia.

Come in

Arrive for flights.

The plane CAME IN at two-thirty in the morning.

Come in

Place or ranking in a competition, etc..

I did my best but CAME IN last but one in the race.

Come in

Receive news.

Reports are just COMING IN of an assassination attempt on the President.

Come in for

Receive (criticism or praise).

Jack\'s COME IN FOR quite a lot of criticism of late.

Come into

Be important or relevant.

Money doesn't COME INTO it; I simply will not do it under any circumstances.

Come into


She CAME INTO a lot of money when her grandmother died.

Come into use

Start being used.

The computerised system CAME INTO USE at the end of last year.

Come off

When something breaks off.

I picked it up and the handle CAME OFF in my hand.

Come off

Be successful.

I was surprised when the plan CAME OFF so easily.

Come off it

I don't believe what you're saying; used as an imperative.

COME OFF IT; tell me the truth for goodness' sake.

Come on


COME ON; don't give up now when you're so close to finishing.

Come on

Start an illness.

I've got a bit of a headache. I hope it doesn't mean I've got flu COMING ON.

Come on

Start functioning (machines, etc).

The central heating COMES ON automatically an hour before I have to get up.

Come out

A secret is revealed.

The details of the scandal CAME OUT in the press and she had to resign.

Come out

Be published or otherwise available to the public.

The band's new CD is COMING OUT in September.

Come out

Disappear when washed.

The red wine I spilt just will not COME OUT of the carpet no matter what I try to clean it with.

Come out

Let people know that you are lesbian or gay.

She CAME OUT at university and has been living with her partner, Jane, for the last couple of years.

Come out

When the sun appears.

It started cloudy, but then the sun CAME OUT and we all went to the park.

Come out in

Have a rash or similar skin problem.

She CAME OUT IN a nasty rash after touching the poisonous plant by mistake.

Come out of

Recover consciousness.

After three years, he CAME OUT OF the coma.

Come out with

Make something available.

They have just COME OUT WITH a new version.

Come out with

Say something publicly and unexpectedly.

She CAME OUT WITH the answer when everyone was expecting it to remain unsolved.

Come over

Feel strange.

I CAME OVER all faint and weak because my sugar level was too low. (British)

Come over

Affect mentally in such a way as to change behaviour (possibly related to 'overcome').

I'm sorry about last night - I don't know what CAME OVER me.

Come round

Become conscious, wake up from anaesthetic.

She CAME ROUND and learned that the operation had been a complete success.

Come round

Change your opinion.

At first she didn't like the idea, but she CAME ROUND to our way of thinking in the end.

Come through

Arrive (messages and information).

News is COMING THROUGH of a major accident on the M25, where freezing fog has been making driving conditions extremely dangerous.

Come through

Communicate an emotion.

The anger she felt COMES THROUGH.

Come through

Produce a result.

They promised they'd do it, but they haven't COME THROUGH yet.

Come through with

Provide something needed.

He didn't COME THROUGH WITH the money and they went bust.

Come to

Become conscious, wake up from anaesthetic.

She CAME TO an hour after the operation.

Come to

Result in.

The two men started arguing but they soon CAME TO blows and started fighting in earnest.

Come up


I'll be late home tonight because something's COME UP at work has to be ready for tomorrow morning.

Come up

Rise (the sun).

The sun CAME UP just as we reached the outskirts of the town.

Come up against

Encounter problems or difficulties.

They CAME UP AGAINST a lot of opposition to their plans for an out-of-town supermarket development.

Come up with

Think of a solution, excuse, etc..

Nobody could COME UP WITH a satisfactory explanation for the accident.

Come upon

Find by chance.

I CAME UPON the book in a little second-hand bookshop in Dorset.

Conjure up

Create a picture or memory in someone's mind.

It CONJURES UP memories of my school days.

Conjure up

Create something without many resources.

I had to CONJURE UP a full weekend's entertainment for the visitors with no notice at all.

Conk out

Fall fast asleep.

I was exhausted and CONKED OUT on the sofa.

Conk out

Suddenly breakdown or stop working.

The printer CONKED OUT so I couldn't get a hard copy.

Contract in

Become involved or committed to something.

Since it started, many companies have CONTRACTED IN to lend their support.

Contract out

Give a contract for a service outside the company you work for.

They have CONTRACTED OUT their catering services to save money.

Contract out of

Formally leave and agreement.

I CONTRACTED OUT OF the deal years ago.

Cool down

Get cooler.

I left the tea for a minute until it had COOLED DOWN enough to drink.

Cool down

Become calm.

It took me ages to COOL DOWN after the argument.

Cool off

Become calmer.

We’ll talk to Fred once he COOLS OFF and can talk rationally.

Coop up

Confine in a small area.

They COOPED the dog UP in a tiny room.

Cop it

Get into trouble.

They really COPPED IT when they got caught shoplifting.

Cop off

Leave work or school early.

We COPPED OFF early on Friday because there was nothing to do.

Cop off

Kiss, pet or have sex with someone.

She COPPED OFF with Damian at the end-of-term party.

Cop out

Choose an easy alternative.

She was going to take a Master's degree but COPPED OUT and chose the Diploma course instead.

Cost up

Calculate how expensive some work is going to be.

The decorators are going to COST UP the work tomorrow.

Cotton on

To work out the truth.

It took me ages to COTTON ON to what they were planning.

Cough up

Lose possession of a ball, etc. in a contact sport.

He was checked so hard he COUGHED UP the puck in front of his own goal.

Cough up

Expel something from your lungs or throat by coughing.

He gave up smoking after he COUGHED UP some blood.

Could do with

Need or want something.

I COULD really DO WITH a cup of tea.

Count against

Affect negatively, make less likely to succeed.

Not having a university degree will COUNT AGAINST her.

Count among

Include someone or something in a group, category, etc.

I COUNT her AMONG my closest friends.

Count down

Wait impatiently or excitedly for something to happen.

I'm COUNTING DOWN the days till they leave.

Count for

Be recognised as important, worthwhile or valuable.

Experience COUNTS FOR a lot in decision making.

Count in

Include or involve.

If you're going on that skiing holiday, you can COUNT me IN; I'd love to go.

Count off

Say numbers aloud in a sequence.

They COUNTED the students OFF as they arrived.

Count on

Depend, rely.

You can COUNT ON them; if they have promised to do something, they'll do it.

Count on

Expect something to happen and base plans on it.

I was COUNTING ON the payment arriving last week and was really angry when it didn't arrive as I didn't have enough money to pay for everything.

Count out


I don't want to go- you can COUNT me OUT.

Count out

Count a certain amount of money.

He COUNTED OUT £250 and paid me.

Count towards

Be a part needed to complete something.

The coursework COUNTS TOWARDS the final grade.

Count up


COUNT UP the number of tickets sold, please.

Count upon

Expect something to happen and base plans on it.

I was COUNTING UPON their support and lost because they didn't vote my way.

Count upon

Depend, rely.

I COUNT UPON them to help me.

Cover for

Provide an excuse or alibi.

She asked me to COVER FOR her if anyone asked where she'd gone.

Cover for

Do someone's work while they are temporarily absent.

I COVERED FOR her while she was off sick.

Cover up

Conceal, try to stop people finding out.

They tried to COVER UP the incident but it got into the newspapers.

Cozy up

Make yourself comfortable.

It was cold and I COZIED UP by the fire.

Cozy up to

Make yourself popular with someone.

He's been COZYING UP TO our boss because he wants a pay rise.

Crack down on

Use more authority than usual.

The police always CRACK DOWN ON drink-driving offences over the Christmas period.

Crack on

Continue doing something with energy.

We had to CRACK ON to get everything finished on time.

Crack up

Have a nervous breakdown.

He CRACKED UP after his son died and had to take a couple of months off work.

Crack up

Have bad reception on a mobile phone.

You'll have to talk louder- you're CRACKING UP.

Crack up

Burst out laughing.

Everybody CRACKED UP when he told the joke.

Crack up

Damage a car badly.

He CRACKED his car UP last night when he came off the road.

Crank out

Produce a lot of something fast.

My boss keeps CRANKING OUT stupid memos.

Crank up

Inject non-medical drugs.

He's been CRANKING UP heroin for years.

Crank up

Start a machine, originally with a handle.

He CRANKED the saw UP.

Crank up

Increase, make something bigger.

I CRANKED the volume UP as high as it would go.

Crash out

Sleep at someone's house because you are too tired, drunk, etc. to leave.

Dave CRASHED OUT at a friend's flat after the end-of-term party.

Crash out

Fall asleep.

I CRASHED OUT in front of the TV last night.

Cream off

Separate the best or most talented people so that they can receive special or different treatment.

The private schools CREAM OFF many of the best pupils.

Cream off

Take money or divert funds, usually wrongfully or unfairly.

This means smaller banks can CREAM OFF excess profits during lending booms.

Creep in

Start to be noticeable.

He tried to stay calm, but you could hear the anger CREEPING IN.

Creep in

Get included despite attempts to keep it or them out.

Errors CREPT IN as the text got longer.

Creep into

Become noticeable in something.

An angry tone CREPT INTO her voice.

Creep out

make someone feel worried or uneasy.

He CREEPS me OUT when he gets drunk.

Creep out on

To do the same activity for a very long time.

He's been CREEPING OUT ON that computer game all day.

Creep over

Start to have a negative feeling.

Fear CREPT OVER me as I walked through the graveyard.

Creep up on

Approach without someone realising.

They CREPT UP ON their rivals and overtook them.

Crop up

Appear unexpectedly.

I'm going to be late tonight as something has just CROPPED UP at work.

Cross off

Delete, remove from a list.

She CROSSED him OFF her Christmas card list after they argued.

Cross out

Put as line through some writing to show it is wrong.

She CROSSED OUT her mistakes and wrote the correct answers above them.

Cross up

Confuse, deceive.

The treasure map was deliberately drawn to CROSS us UP.

Cruise through

Pass or succeed easily.


Crumb down

Clear a table in a restaurant.

The waiter CRUMBED DOWN before the coffee was served.

Cry off

To cancel an arrangement.

I've got to work tonight; can I CRY OFF going out for dinner?

Cry out

Shout because you are in pain.

He CRIED OUT when he dropped the box on his toes.

Cut across

Go across a place rather than around it to make the journey quicker.

It'll be quicker if we CUT ACROSS the park.

Cut across

Affect people of different groups, classes, etc.

The issue CUTS ACROSS social backgrounds as it affects us all equally.

Cut back


The firm CUT BACK production because sales were sluggish.

Cut back

Remove branches from a plant or tree to encourage future growth.

We CUT the tree BACK every winter.

Cut back on

Reduce expenditure.

The government has decided to CUT BACK ON spending on the armed forces.

Cut down

Consume less.

I'm trying to CUT DOWN the amount of coffee I drink during the day.

Cut down


A lot of soldiers were CUT DOWN by enemy fire as they stormed the airport.

Cut down

Reduce a vertical thing to ground level by cutting.

The logger CUT the tree DOWN.

Cut down

Cut something from a high position.

After Christmas he didn't carefully detach all the decorations, he just CUT them all DOWN.

Cut down on


Doctors advised her to CUT DOWN ON the amount of saturated fats in her diet.

Cut in

Start functioning.

The fans CUT IN when the engine starts getting too hot.

Cut in

Drive in front of another vehicle without warning.

A car CUT IN and nearly caused an accident.

Cut in


We were having a conversation when he came up and CUT IN.

Cut in

Include someone in a deal that makes money.

We had to CUT the police IN on the deal to avoid trouble.

Cut in

Mix fat and flour until the combine.

CUT the butter IN with the flour.

Cut it out

Stop your unfair or unreasonable behaviour.

Will you two idiots CUT IT OUT and keep quiet.

Cut off


The telephone's been CUT OFF because we didn't pay the bill.

Cut off

Isolate or make inaccessible.

The heavy snow has blocked many roads and CUT OFF a number of villages.

Cut out


I'm CUTTING OUT salt from my diet.

Cut out

When an engine or motor stops.

The car CUT OUT at the traffic lights just as they went green.

Cut out

Cut a picture or similar from a magazine, etc.

I CUT some pictures OUT to use as visual aids.

Cut out

Leave quickly.

We’d better CUT OUT, the security men are on the way.

Cut out

Separate livestock from a group.

They CUT OUT three prime bulls from the herd.

Cut out on

Let down, snub.

Although he'd promised to help, the star CUT OUT ON the charity when offered more money.

Cut up

Cut into smaller pieces.

After cutting the tree down, the logger CUT it UP into logs.

Cut up

Drive into a neighbouring lane, directly in front of another vehicle.

I was just driving onto the motorway slip-road, when a red Mini CUT me UP and I had to brake suddenly to avoid an accident.

Cut up


Her reaction really CUT me UP.

Cut up

Have a lot of small injuries.

I CUT my hand UP when I broke the glass.

Damp down

Calm or reduce feelings, emotions.

They tried to DAMP DOWN the anger over the announcement.

Damp down

Make a fire burn less.

They tried to DAMP DOWN the flames before the fire spread.

Damp off

When there is too much moisture and a plant is affected by fungal parasites.

The seedlings DAMP OFF in the spring if it's very wet.

Dash down

Write something quickly.

He DASHED DOWN a memo and sent it to everybody.

Dash off

Leave somewhere quickly.

It's late- I'm going to DASH OFF home.

Dash off

Do something quickly, especially writing.

He DASHED OFF the report in a couple of hours.

Dawn on

Finally realise or understand something.

The truth only DAWNED ON me much later.

Decide on

Choose, select.

Trevor spent a long time looking at flats before he bought one, but eventually DECIDED ON one near his work.

Decide upon

Choose, select.

Jane spent a long time looking at houses before she bought one, but eventually DECIDED UPON one near her office.

Die away

Become quieter or inaudible (of a sound).

The last notes DIED AWAY and the audience burst into applause.

Die back

When the parts of a plant above ground die, but the roots remain alive.

The plant DIES BACK in the winter.

Die down

Decrease or become quieter.

It was on the front pages of all the papers for a few days, but the interest gradually DIED DOWN.

Die for

Want something a lot.

I'm DYING FOR the weekend- this week's been so hard.

Die off

Become extinct.

Most of the elm trees in the UK DIED OFF when Dutch elm disease arrived.

Die out

Become extinct or disappear.

Some scientists say that the dinosaurs DIED OUT when a comet hit the earth and caused a nuclear winter.

Dig in

Start eating greedily.

We were starving so we really DUG IN when the food finally did arrive.

Dig in

Excavate a protective shelter (military).

Anticipating an artillery barrage, we quickly DUG IN.

Dig into

Reach inside to get something.

She DUG INTO her handbag and pulled out a bunch of keys.

Dig out

Find something you haven't used, seen, etc, for a long time.

I DUG OUT my old university essays.

Dig out

Dig to remove something or someone.

They had to DIG the survivors of the earthquake OUT from the ruins.

Dig up

Find something that is supposed to be secret.

The reporters eventually DUG UP the truth about the affair.

Dig up

Remove something from the ground.

The police DUG UP a body.

Dig up

Make a hole in a road, the ground, etc.

The council have DUG the road UP.

Dine out

Have dinner outside your home.

We DINED OUT because we couldn't be bothered to cook.

Dine out on

Tell a story repeatedly that is well received.

I've DINED OUT ON the story of his accident.

Dip in

Put something in a liquid for a short time.

I DIPPED the brush IN the paint and began painting the wall.

Dip into

Read parts of a book, but not all.

I've been DIPPING INTO the book, but haven't read it properly.

Dip into

Take money out of your savings.

I've had to DIP INTO my savings account to pay for the works on my house.

Dip out

Leave a place without telling anyone.

The party was so dull I DIPPED OUT.

Disagree with

Make someone feel sick or ill.

I feel dreadful; the prawns I had for lunch are DISAGREEING WITH me.

Dish out

Serve food.

I DISHED OUT the dinner.

Dish out

Give something, usually when you shouldn't.

Doctors have been DISHING OUT viagra to anyone who asks for it.

Dish out

Criticise, when you can't take criticism in return.

He DISHES it OUT, but gets all hurt when anyone responds.

Dish up

Serve food.

He DISHED UP a great dinner when we got back.

Dive in

Start doing something, usually without planning.

When we saw what was happening, we all DIVED IN to help.

Dive in

Start eating.

Dinner's on the table, so DIVE IN.

Dive into

Reach inside something quickly.

She DIVED INTO her bag and pulled out a lighter.

Divide up


They divided up the profits.

Divvy out

Divide, share.

The waiters and waitresses DIVVY OUT the tips at the end of the night.

Divvy up

Divide, share.

We DIVVIED UP the money equally.

Do away with

Abolish, get rid of.

The United Kingdom DID AWAY WITH the death penalty in 1965.

Do in


After he reported the gang, he feared they would DO him IN.

Do out of

Cheat somebody out of something that is rightfully theirs.

They lied on the reference and DID me OUT OF any chance of getting the job.

Do up

Close or fasten clothes, etc..

You must DO UP your safety belt in the back of cars and taxis now.

Do up

Repair and renovate.

It took them six months to DO UP the house before they could actually move in.

Do with

Wish for or ask for (usually after can or could).

I could DO WITH a cold beer about now.

Do without

Manage without something.

There's no sugar, so you'll have to DO WITHOUT.

Dob in

Report someone to teachers, authorities, etc.

He DOBBED me IN to the teacher.

Dob in

Contribute money.

Everyone DOBBED IN some cash to help.

Dob in

Pressure someone into doing something.

He needed some help, so DOBBED us IN.

Dole out

Give out, distribute.

They were DOLING OUT leaflets in front of the station.

Doss about

Spend time doing very little or being unproductive.

I couldn't get down to my work and DOSSED ABOUT all night.

Doss around

Spend time doing very little or being unproductive.

I spent the afternoon DOSSING AROUND.

Doss down

Sleep somewhere temporarily because you don't go home.

I was feeling really tired, so I DOSSED DOWN on his sofa for the night.

Double as

Have a second function or purpose.

My study DOUBLES AS a spare bedroom when we have visitors.

Double back

Go back the way you were coming.

When he saw the police, he DOUBLED BACK and went home.

Double over

Bend over at the waist.

She DOUBLED OVER in pain after being hit in the stomach.

Double up

Bend over at the waist.

He DOUBLED UP in pain after being hit in the stomach.

Double up

Share accommodation because there are too many people.

We had to DOUBLE UP because we hadn't booked enough rooms.

Double up as

Have a second function or purpose.

The display screen DOUBLES UP AS a solar panel.

Doze off

Fall asleep.

The movie was a bit boring and I DOZED OFF halfway through.

Drag on

Be unnecessarily long.

The meeting DRAGGED ON for two and a half hours.

Draw back

Retreat, move backwards.

He DREW BACK when the dog barked.

Draw down

Reduce levels.

The administration want to DRAW DOWN troop numbers as soon as they can.

Draw down

Get funding.

The college wants to DRAW DOWN extra funding for IT provision.

Draw down

To deplete by consumption or heavy spending.

Gas reserves were DRAWN DOWN in the recent cold spell.

Draw even

Equalize one’s competitive position.

The exhausted horse DREW EVEN at the finish line.

Draw in

Get dark earlier.

The nights are DRAWING IN now it's winter.

Draw in

Arrive at a station (for trains).

The train DREW IN and we got off.

Draw into

Get involved in something unpleasant.

I didn't want to take sides because I didn't want to get DRAWN INTO their arguments.

Draw on

Pass slowly (time).

As the lesson DREW ON, the students started to get bored.

Draw on

Inhale smoke from a cigarette, cigar, etc.

He DREW ON his cigarette and coughed.

Draw out

Make something continue longer than needed.

The director DREW the meeting OUT with a lengthy speech.

Draw out

Make a shy person more outgoing.

He was so quiet at first, but the teacher managed to DRAW him OUT and get him to participate.

Draw up

Prepare a contract.

The contract was DRAWN UP by our solicitor.

Draw up

When a vehicle stops.

The police car DREW UP alongside him at the red lights and asked him to pull over.

Dream of

Not think or consider.

I wouldn't even DREAM OF telling her that.

Dream up

Invent something, have an idea.

They DREAMED UP the scheme for the improvements and it was accepted by the board.

Dredge up

Discover things about someone's past.

The newspapers DREDGED UP the details of his affair with his research assistant.

Dress down

Dress casually.

The staff are allowed to DRESS DOWN on Fridays.

Dress down


She DRESSED me DOWN for being rude.

Dress up

Dress very smartly.

It's an informal party so there's no need to DRESS UP.

Drift apart

Slowly cease to be close to or friends with someone.

We were great friends at school but DRIFTED APART when we went to different universities.

Drift off

Start to fall asleep.

I was DRIFTING OFF when the noise disturbed me.

Drill down

Search through layers of information on a computer.

I really had to DRILL DOWN to get the answers from the database.

Drill down through

Get to the bottom of something, get detailed data.

They DRILLED DOWN THROUGH the information to find the truth.

Drill into

Repeat something many times to make someone learn it.

The teacher DRILLED the rules INTO the students.

Drink up

Finish a drink.

DRINK UP, please; it's closing time.

Drive away

Force an animal or someone to leave a place.

Their unfriendliness DRIVES customers AWAY.

Drive back

Repulse, force back.

The police DROVE the crowd BACK to give the rescue workers more space.

Drive by

Do something out of a car.

He was killed in a DRIVE-BY shooting.

Drive off

Drive away from a place.

She slammed the car door shut and DROVE OFF without saying a word.

Drive out

Force someone to leave a place.

The soldiers DROVE them OUT of their homes.

Drive up

Make something increase.

The market uncertainty has DRIVEN prices UP.

Drive up

Arrive in a vehicle.

They DROVE UP just as we were about to leave.

Drone on

Talk boringly for a long time.

The minister DRONED ON for an hour and the audience looked increasingly bored.

Drop around

Visit someone, often without making an arrangement.

We DROPPED AROUND to collect the stuff we'd left there last week.

Drop around


I DROPPED AROUND the things they needed.

Drop away

Become smaller- amount, numbers.

The numbers of people attending began the DROP AWAY after a few months.

Drop back

Move towards the back of a group.

He stared at the front, but got tired and DROPPED BACK as the race went on.

Drop by

Pay a brief visit.

He DROPPED BY on his way home from work.

Drop in

Visit without having made arrangements.

I was in the area so I DROPPED IN at the office to see her.

Drop off

Take something or someone to a place and leave it or them there..

I DROPPED the kids OFF at school on my way to work.

Drop off

Fall asleep.

I DROPPED OFF during the play and woke up when it ended.

Drop off

Decrease in number or amount.

Sales have DROPPED OFF in the last few months.

Drop out

Quit a course.

She DROPPED OUT of college and went straight into a good job.

Drop over

Visit for a short time.

I'll DROP OVER on my way back.

Drop round

Visit someone, often without making an arrangement.

We DROPPED ROUND their house on our way.

Drop round


I DROPPED the papers ROUND so she could read them before the meeting.

Drop someone in it

Get someone into trouble.

I really DROPPED him IN IT when I told them what he'd done.

Drop through

Come to nothing, produce no results.

The big scheme he was talking about seems to have DROPPED THROUGH.

Drown in

Cover excessively.

They DROWN the food IN sauce.

Drown out

Be so loud that another sound cannot be heard.

The music DROWNED OUT the sound of the phone ringing.

Drum into

To make someone learn or believe something by constant repetition.

They DRUM all the traps INTO you before the test, so you can't go wrong.

Drum out

Force someone out of their job or position.

They DRUMMED the minister OUT when she was caught lying.The minister was DRUMMED OUT of her post for lying. (The passive form with OF is more common)

Drum up

Increase support or interest.

They are trying to DRUM UP support for the referendum.

Dry off

Dry something quickly, or dry the surface.

I had a shower and DRIED myself OFF.

Dry out

Stop drinking or taking drugs when addicted.

He checked into a clinic to DRY OUT after being arrested for drink-driving.

Dry out

Dry something fully.

They DRIED the fruit OUT in the sun.

Dry up

Lose all the water from a river, lake, source, etc.

The lake DRIED UP because of the water extraction for cotton farming.

Dry up

Stop being supplied with something.

His income DRIED UP when cheaper options became available.

Dry up

Be unable to speak.

She DRIED UP in the press conference.

Dry up

Dry plates, dishes, cutlery, etc, after washing them up.

I washed and DRIED UP.

Duck out of

Avoid doing something.

He DUCKED OUT OF helping us last night.

Duff up

Beat or hit someone repeatedly.

He was DUFFED UP in a night club last night.

Dumb down

Reduce the intellectual level of something in search of popularity.

Television has been DUMBING DOWN the news for years.

Dump on

Treat someone badly.

Her boss DUMPS ON everyone when things go wrong.

Dump on

Criticize heavily, often unfairly.

She DUMPS ON her family a lot.

Dump on

Tell someone your problems.

When he';s depressed, he needs someone to DUMP ON.

Dwell on

Spend a lot of time on something.

The programme DWELLED ON little other than the scandal.

Dwell upon

Spend a lot of time on something.

She DWELT UPON the economic situation in her speech.

Ease off

Reduce pressure.

She EASED OFF the accelerator to let the car slow down.

Ease up

Relax, calm down.

She asked her teacher to EASE UP because she was feeling very stressed.

Eat away

Destroy slowly.

The disease EATS the liver AWAY.

Eat in

Eat at home.

We didn't feel like going to a restaurant so we ATE IN.

Eat into

Use something valuable when you don't want to.

We've had to EAT INTO our savings since I lost my job.

Eat out

Eat in a restaurant.

We couldn't be bothered to cook so we ATE OUT last night.

Eat up

Eat all of something.

If you don't EAT UP your greens, you won't get any dessert.

Eat up


This car EATS UP petrol.

Eat up

Consume something you don't want to be consumed.

The graphics EAT UP our bandwidth- they're costing us a fortune.

Ebb away

Disappear gradually.

His life was EBBED AWAY as the illness progressed.

Edge out

Gradually push someone or something out of their position.

The shareholders EDGED the CEO out because results were getting worse.

Edge up

Approach slowly.

She EDGED UP behind the bus at the red light.

Egg on


The other students EGGED him ON when he started arguing with the teacher.

Eke out

Make something like money last as long as possible.

Most students have to EKE OUT their income because they have so little money to live on.

Embark on

Start a project or venture.

Piere EMBARKED ON an MBA at Insead last autumn.

Embark upon

Start a project or venture.

Fernanda has just EMBARKED UPON a new professional challenge.

Empty out

Empty something completely.

I must EMPTY OUT the rubbish before I leave for work.

Empty out

Remove some things or everything from a container.

I EMPTIED some of the coffee OUT so I could pour more milk in.

End in

Finish a certain way.

It'll END IN tears.

End up

Become or do something unplanned.

We couldn't get tickets for Egypt so we ENDED UP going to Turkey instead.

End up with

Get as a result of something.

He tried hard but ENDED UP WITH a poor grade.

Enter for

Join or enter a competition.

They ENTERED FOR the national championship but weren't good enough.

Enter into

Become involved in or accept.

They ENTERED INTO an agreement with their rivals.

Eye up

Look carefully at someone.

The guy EYED the other man UP because he was behaving suspiciously.

Face off


The company FACED OFF the competition.

Face up to

Accept an unpleasant truth.

Many people find it hard to FACE UP TO the fact that they are getting old.

Faff about

Behave indecisively.

He told her to stop FAFFING ABOUT and make her mind up.

Faff around

Behave indecisively.

She told him to stop FAFFING AROUND and make his mind up.

Fall about

Laugh a lot.

We FELL ABOUT when we heard what she'd done.

Fall apart

Break into pieces.

The box FELL APART when I picked it up.

Fall apart

Become emotionally disturbed and unable to behave normally.

He FELL APART when they sacked him.

Fall back


The army FELL BACK after losing the battle.

Fall back on

Be able to use in an emergency.

It was good to have some money in the bank to FALL BACK ON when I lost my job.

Fall behind

Make less progress.

I was ill for a week and FELL BEHIND with my work.

Fall down

Fall on the ground.

I slipped on the ice and FELL DOWN.

Fall down

Have a weak point.

The argument FALLS DOWN when you look at how much it'll cost.

Fall for

Be attracted to somebody, fall in love.

He FELL FOR her the moment their eyes met.

Fall for

Believe a lie or a piece of deception.

He FELL FOR my story and allowed me yet another extension for the submission of my thesis.

Fall in


The ceiling FELL IN hurting a lot of people.

Fall into

Start doing something unplanned.

I just FELL INTO my job when an opportunity came up.

Fall off


The membership FELL OFF dramatically when the chairperson resigned.

Fall out

Argue and be on bad terms with someone.

They FELL OUT over the decision and hardly speak to each other any more.

Fall out

Lose hair.

He's started getting worried about baldness because his hair is FALLING OUT rather quickly.

Fall over

Fall on the ground.

I slipped on the ice and FELL OVER.

Fall through

Be unsuccessful.

The plans FELL THROUGH when planning permission was refused.

Fall under

Become controlled.

At first he was independent, but then he FELL UNDER their influence.

Farm out

Give or contract work to someone else.

The company wants to FARM OUT their maintenance.

Fart about

Waste time doing silly things.

The manager was angry because the staff were FARTING ABOUT.

Fart around

Waste time doing pointless things.

We were really bored in the lecture so we started FARTING AROUND.

Fasten down

Tie something so that it doesn't move.

We FASTENED it DOWN to keep the wind from blowing it away.

Fasten on

Give attention to something that confirms your beliefs.

They have FASTENED ON the speech as a source of inspiration.

Fasten onto

Follow someone closely, normally when they don't want your company.

He FASTENED ONTO the minister on his visit and asked him repeatedly about the scandal.

Fasten onto

Give attention to something that confirms your beliefs.

They FASTEN ONTO any figures that they think can support their case.

Fasten up

Close, attach.

FASTEN UP your seatbelts.

Fathom out

Understand something.

I couldn't FATHOM OUT what she wanted from me.

Fatten up

Give an animal a lot to eat to make it fat.

They FATTEN the cows UP before slaughtering them.

Fawn on

Praise someone in an excessive way to get their favour or something from them.

He's always FAWNING ON his boss to try to get promoted.

Fawn over

Praise someone in an excessive way to get their favour or something from them.

She FAWNED OVER the inspectors in the hope that they would give her a good grade.

Feed off

Eat a food as part of an animals diet.

The gecko FEEDS OFF mosquitoes and other insects.

Feed off

Use something to your advantage.

He FEEDS OFF people's fear of crime to get them to support his proposals.

Feed on

Grow stronger.

The opposition party's FEEDING ON the government's weaknesses.

Feed on

Consume in an animal's diet.

The bats FEED ON insects.

Feed on

Give someone a particular food.

He FEEDS his cat ON dry food.

Feed up

Give someone a lot of food to restore their health, make them bigger, etc.

She's been ill for a fortnight so we're FEEDING her UP.

Feel up

Touch sexually, grope.

Someone FELT me UP in the club as I was trying to get to the bar.

Feel up to

Feel capable of doing something.

I'm so tired. I don't think I FEEL UP TO going out tonight.

Fence in

Enclose an area.

They FENCED the whole garden IN.

Fence off

Enclose an area to keep animals or people out.

They FENCED OFF one side of the park to keep dogs out.

Fend for

Take care of yourself or someone with help from other people.

The children had to FEND FOR themselves after their parents died.

Fend off

Resist something successfully.

He managed to FEND OFF the criticism in the press.

Fend off

Push an attacker away.

She FENDED OFF the dog when it attacked her.

Ferret out

Search and discover something.

The investigation finally managed to FERRET OUT the truth.

Fess up

Confess, admit something reluctantly.

The company FESSED UP after they were exposed in the newspapers.

Fess up


FESS UP your share of the bill.

Fess up to

Confess, admit reluctantly to something.

They FESSED UP TO the crime.

Fiddle about

Waste time doing silly things, or doing things unsuccessfully.

We spent the whole afternoon FIDDLING ABOUT with the computer but couldn't get it to work.

Fiddle around

Waste time doing silly things, or unsuccessful things.

I FIDDLED AROUND with the phone but couldn't get any signal.

Fiddle around

Make small movements with your hands.

He FIDDLED AROUND for something in his pockets.

Fiddle away

Waste time.

He FIDDLED AWAY the afternoon.

Fight back

Defend yourself, resist an attack.

The army attacked the town and the inhabitants FOUGHT BACK fiercely.

Fight back

Try to control and emotion and keep it hidden.

He tried to FIGHT BACK the tears when he heard the news of her death.

Fight it out

Struggle to see who wins, both by arguing or fighting.

Their FIGHTING IT OUT to see who will become the next CEO.

Fight off

Fight an attacker and force them back.

The old lady managed to FIGHT the muggers OFF and they didn't get her purse.

Fight off

Resist an illness or emotion.

I'm FIGHTING OFF a cold.

Figure on

Plan, expect.

What job do you FIGURE ON doing when you graduate?

Figure out

Find the answer to a problem.

The police couldn't FIGURE OUT how the burglars had got into the warehouse.

File away

Put a document in the correct place for storage in a filing system.

I FILED a copy of the letter AWAY for my records.

File for

Apply for something legally, like divorce or bankruptcy.

They FILED FOR divorce after two years of marriage.

Fill in

Complete a form.

I FILLED IN the application form and posted it off.

Fill in

Substitute someone at work.

She's just had a baby, so we have hired someone to FILL IN for her.

Fill in for


I was away for a few days, so they had to get someone to FILL IN FOR me.

Fill in on

Give someone information.

I'm sorry I missed the meeting; could you FILL me IN ON what happened.

Fill out

Complete a form.

I FILLED OUT the application form and mailed it.

Fill up

Fill something completely.

I stopped at the garage and FILLED UP with petrol.

Filter in

Move into a lane of traffic without making other cars stop.

The slip lane allows traffic to FILTER IN at the junction.

Filter out

Remove something unwanted.

It FILTERS OUT all the impurities and chemicals in tap water so that it tastes better.

Find out


I went to the library to FIND OUT all I could about the life and work of Joe Meek.

Finish off

Finish completely.

They FINISHED OFF all the chocolates and had to go to the all-night garage to buy some more.

Finish off

Kill a person or animal, often when they have already been hurt.

The animal was badly hurt, so they FINISHED it OFF to end its suffering.

Finish off

Beat, make victory certain in sport.

The second goal FINISHED them OFF.

Finish off

Consume all.

We FINISHED OFF the coffee and had to get some more.

Finish up

Finally get somewhere, usually without planning to go there.

We went out for diner and FINISHED UP in a club.

Finish up with

Have or do something at the end or as the last of something.

We attended some workshops and FINISHED UP WITH the keynote speaker.

Finish with

End a relationship.

She FINISHED WITH him a few months ago.

Finish with

Stop dealing with someone.

He wanted to leave but I was furious and hadn't FINISHED WITH him.

Finish with

Finish using or requiring.

Can I read the paper when you've FINISHED WITH it.

Fink on

Give away secrets about someone.

He FINKED ON her to the authorities.

Fink out

Fail to keep a promise, arrangement, etc.

He said he'd come with us then FINKED OUT at the last minute.

Fire away

Ask questions.

What do you want to know? FIRE AWAY and I'll tell you.

Fire off

Send quickly, angrily or many (letter, emails, etc).

He FIRED OFF an email complaining about the report.

Fire off

Shoot, fire a gun (usually repeatedly).

The police FIRED OFF several rounds and killed the man.

Fire up

Start a computer.

She FIRED UP the computer and printed out a hard copy of the files.

Fire up

Excite, become excited.

Everyone was FIRED UP and desperate to get it finished in time.

Firm up

Make things clearer in a negotiation or discussion.

We need to FIRM UP some aspects of the contract before we sign it.

Firm up

Exercise to make muscles harder and remove fat.

I go swimming every day to FIRM UP my body.

Fish for

Try to get some information or to get someone to say something.

He's always FISHING FOR compliments.

Fish out

Remove something from a bag, pocket, etc.

She reached into her handbag and FISHED some coins OUT.

Fish out

Remove from water, such as the sea, rivers, etc.

It's fallen in the pool- I'll have to FISH it OUT.

Fit in

Get on in a group of people.

I didn't FIT IN with the other people working there so I left and found another job.

Fit in

Have enough time or space for something.

I didn't have time to FIT IN another appointment.

Fit in with

Be convenient or occur conveniently.

They're not arriving until Thursday, which FITS IN WITH my schedule for the week.

Fit in with

Occur or happen in a way that shows that plans or ideas have not changed.

His rudeness yesterday FITS IN WITH what I have always thought of his behaviour.

Fit into

Become part of.

Their ideas didn't FIT INTO our plans.

Fit out

Provide with necessary equipment.

They FITTED OUT the boat for the race.

Fit out with

Provide someone with necessary equipment.

They didn't FIT the troops OUT WITH the necessary protective gear.

Fit up

Frame someone- make them look guilty of something they haven't done.

The police FITTED him UP for dealing drugs.

Fit up

Provide equipment.

They FITTED us UP with the latest IT.

Fix up

Make an arrangement.

He FIXED UP an appointment for me to see a specialist.

Fizzle out

End in an unsuccessful way.

The campaign started well, but FIZZLED OUT when they ran out of money.

Flag down

Signal at a vehicle to get it to stop.

The police officer FLAGGED the car DOWN because it didn't have its headlights on.

Flag up

Raise an issue, or highlight its importance.

We should FLAG UP working conditions at the meeting.

Flake out

Fall asleep from exhaustion.

I worked till midnight then FLAKED OUT.

Flame out


The company FLAMED OUT in the recession.

Flame up

Burn brightly.

The wood FLAMED UP in the fire.

Flare out

Get angry suddenly.

He FLARED OUT when he saw the dreadful report.

Flare up

When trouble suddenly appears.

The argument FLARED UP when he was rude to them.

Flesh out

Add more details or information.

The recent government report FLESHED OUT the draft proposals.

Flick over

Change TV channels quickly.

She FLICKED OVER to see if the news had started.

Flick through

Change TV channels repeatedly.

I FLICKED THROUGH the channels to see if there was anything worth watching.

Flick through

Look through something quickly.

I FLICKED THROUGH the magazine and decided to buy it.

Flip off

Extend your middle finger as a gesture of contempt.

When the police were walking away, he FLIPPED them OFF.

Flip out

Become very excited and lose control.

He FLIPPED OUT when he won the final.

Flip through

Look quickly through a magazine, book, etc.

I FLIPPED THROUGH the latest issue of the magazine in the shop and decided to buy it.

Flog off

Sell something cheaply to get rid of it.

The council FLOGGED OFF the land cheaply to a developer who had close links to a few of the councillors.

Floor it

Drive a vehicle as fast as possible.

She FLOORED IT when the police arrived.

Flounce off

Leave a place or walk away from someone angrily.

He FLOUNCED OFF when they laughed at him.

Flounce out

Leave a place angrily.

He FLOUNCED OUT when the press started criticising him.

Fluff out

Shake or pat a cushion so that it fills with air.

She FLUFFED OUT the sofa cushions.

Fluff up

Shake or pat a cushion so that it fills with air.

He FLUFFED UP the pillow before going to bed.

Fly about

Circulate (rumours, etc).

The rumour has been FLYING ABOUT for the past week, but no one has confirmed it.

Fly around

Circulate (rumours, etc).

There are a lot of stories FLYING AROUND about her past.

Fly at


The dog FLEW AT the cat when it came into the garden.

Fly at

Criticise or shout angrily.

He FLEW AT them for not trying hard enough.

Fly by

When time appears to move quickly.

As I get older, the years just FLY BY.

Fly into

Change emotion quickly.

He FLEW INTO a rage.

Fob off

Make or persuade someone to accept something.


Fob off

Lie or deceive someone.

He FOBBED us OFF with a really stupid excuse.

Fob off on

Make or persuade someone to accept something you don't want.

I FOBBED the work ON the others.

Fob off onto

Make or persuade someone to accept something you don't want.

I FOBBED the fake note ONTO a shopkeeper.

Fob off with

Make or persuade someone to accept something of lower quality than they wanted.

He FOBBED her OFF WITH some fake gold.

Focus on


The report FOCUSES ON the company's weak points.

Fold up

Make a sheet of paper smaller.

Darren FOLDED UP the letter and put it in an envelope.

Follow on

Leave to meet someone after they have left the place you're at.

He left an hour ago and I'll be FOLLOWING ON soon.

Follow on

In cricket, if the second team to bat doesn't score enough runs, it has to bat again.

They were over 200 runs behind and had to FOLLOW ON.

Follow on from

Be the part of something.

The film FOLLOWS ON from the original.

Follow through

Do what is necessary to complete something or make it successful.

The project went wrong when the staff failed to FOLLOW THROUGH.

Follow through

Continue moving limbs after hitting a ball.

You need to FOLLOW THROUGH smoothly when playing golf.

Follow up

Do something to check or improve an earlier action.

He FOLLOWED UP the meeting with a report.

Follow up

Find our about a problem and act.

The police didn't FOLLOW UP the allegations.

Fool about

Not be serious.

They were FOOLING ABOUT and wouldn't settle down.

Fool about

Be unfaithful.

Their marriage broke down because he kept FOOLING ABOUT.

Fool around

Not be serious.

The teacher was angry because the class were FOOLING AROUND.

Fool around

Be unfaithful.

She suspects her husband is FOOLING AROUND with one of her friends.

Fool with

Play with something dangerous.

Don't FOOL WITH that- it could explode.

Forge ahead

Make a lot of progress in a short time.

We've been FORGING AHEAD with the work and should be finished well before the deadline.

Forge ahead

Move forwards very quickly.

She FORGED AHEAD of the other runners and won.

Freak out

Become very disturbed or angry.

She FREAKED OUT completely when she didn't get the grades to get into university.

Free up

Make money or time available by not using it elsewhere.

If we get the work done tonight, it will FREE UP the weekend to go away.

Free up

Do work or a task for someone to make them available for something.

If you proofread this text, it will FREE me UP to get on with the next part.

Freeze out

Shut out or exclude by unfriendly treatment.

They tried to FREEZE me OUT of the conversation.

Freeze out

Force to retire or withdraw from membership, a job, etc.

After Jim was FROZEN OUT of the case, they hired a new lawyer.

Freeze over

Become covered with ice (lake, river, pond, etc).

The winter was very severe and the lake FROZE OVER.

Freeze up

Be blocked with ice.

The pipes all FROZE UP so no water came through.

Freeze up

Stop working because the parts of a machine won't move.

The gears had FROZEN UP.

Freeze up

When a computer stops working.

The computer FROZE UP; it showed me the blue screen of death and I couldn't reboot.

Freeze up

Be paralysed with fear.

WE FROZE UP when we heard the window break.

Freshen up

Wash quickly and improve appearance.

I'm going to the bathroom to FRESHEN UP before they arrive.

Freshen up

Add more alcohol to a glass before it is empty.

Here, let me FRESHEN UP your drink.

Freshen up

Quickly improve the appearance of something.

The magazine gives you tips on how to FRESHEN UP your home cheaply.

Frighten away

Scare someone so much that they go away.

The noise FRIGHTENED the birds AWAY.

Frighten away

Scare or worry someone enough to stop them doing something they had planned.

The strikes FRIGHTENED many visitors AWAY.

Frighten off

Scare someone so much that they go away.

The dog FRIGHTENED the burglars OFF.

Frighten off

Scare or worry someone enough to stop them doing something they had planned.

The crash in share prices FRIGHTENED investors OFF.

Front for

Represent someone, especially when covering illegal or wrongful activities.

The solicitor FRONTS FOR a number of criminal gangs.

Front off

Confront someone and let them know you are prepared to fight.

The two guys FRONTED each other OFF, but someone managed to calm them down before it got out of hand.

Front onto

Face (of a building).

My house FRONTS ONTO the main square.

Front out

Face up to someone, withstand criticism.

He accused her of lying, but she FRONTED him OUT

Front up

Appear somewhere for a short time.

I hate these occasions, but I'll FRONT UP for the first half.

Front up

Advance cash for something.

She FRONTED UP the money we needed.

Frown on


He FROWNS ON people making personal calls at work.

Fuel up

Put petrol or other fuel into a vehicle.

We stopped to FUEL UP before the car ran out.

Gad about

Visit a lot of different places for pleasure.

I spent the afternoon GADDING ABOUT in the West End.

Gad around

Visit different places for pleasure.

I spent the afternoon GADDING AROUND looking for some books.

Gag for

Want something a lot.

I'm GAGGING FOR a drink.

Gang up

Form a group against something or someone.

They GANGED UP to try to stop the new system.

Gang up against

Harass, bully (in a group).

They GANGED UP AGAINST me because I wouldn't accept their ideas.

Gang up on

Harass, bully.

They GANGED UP ON him because of the way he spoke.

Gear to

Organise or arrange something for a particular purpose, audience, etc. (Often passive).

It's not GEARED TO non-specialists.

Gear towards

Organise or arrange something for a particular purpose, audience, etc.

The project is GEARED TOWARDS older people.

Gear up

Get ready for a busy period.

The shops are GEARING UP for the New Year sales.

Geek out

Talk at length about computing.

Henry always GEEKS OUT at parties and bores all the people who don't know much about computers.

Get about

Visit many places.

I GET ABOUT a lot with my job- last years I visited eleven countries.

Get about

Become known.

It didn't take long for the news to GET ABOUT- everyone's talking about it.

Get about

Walk or visit places.

She can't GET ABOUT much, but she is in her eighties.

Get about

Have personal or sexual relationships with many people.

She GETS ABOUT a bit; she's always with some new guy.

Get above

Behave as if you are better or more important than others.

She's been GETTING ABOVE HERSELF since she got promoted.(This is normally used in progressive forms and followed by a reflexive pronoun, though 'get above your station' is also used.)

Get across

Communicate successfully.

I just couldn't GET my message ACROSS at the meeting.

Get across

Go from one side to the other.

It's impossible to GET ACROSS the road with all this traffic.

Get across

Move something from one side to the other.

How are we going to GET these bags ACROSS the river?

Get across to

Be convincing or make a good impression.

How can I GET ACROSS TO my audience?

Get after

Nag or exhort someone.

You should GET AFTER them to finish the work.

Get after


GET AFTER her and give her the message before she leaves the building.

Get ahead


Nowadays, you need IT skills if you want to GET AHEAD.

Get ahead of

Move in front of.

I work at home in the evening to GET AHEAD OF schedule.

Get along

Have a good relationship.

Why don't you two GET ALONG? You're always arguing.

Get along


It's late; we must be GETTING ALONG.

Get along


How's the homework GETTING ALONG?

Get along in


How are you GETTING ALONG IN the company.

Get along with

Have a good relationship with someone.

I don't GET ALONG WITH my sister- we have nothing in common.

Get along with

Deal with, handle.

How are you GETTING ALONG WITH the training course?

Get around

Become known.

It didn't take long for the news to GET AROUND once it got into the newspapers.

Get around

Visit many different places.

He GETS AROUND a lot- he's always flying somewhere different.

Get around

Walk or go to places.

He's finding it hard to GET AROUND since the operation and spends most of his time at home.

Get around

Avoid a problem.

It'll be tricky, but we will find a way to GET AROUND the regulations.

Get around

Persuade, convince.

She didn't want to accept my application because it was late, but I managed to GET AROUND her.

Get around

Have personal or sexual relationships with many people.

He GETS AROUND a bit; he's always with some new girlfriend.

Get around to

Finally manage to do something, make the effort to do something.

It always takes me ages to GET AROUND to replying to letters.

Get at


His boss is always GETTING AT him for arriving late.

Get at


What do you think she's GETTING AT? I've no idea what she wants.

Get at

Be able to reach, find, access.

It's on the top shelf and I can't GET AT it.

Get at

Use threats, payments, bribes, etc, to affect someone's testimony or decision.

The gangsters GOT AT the jury, who found them not guilty of all charges despite the evidence presented in court.

Get away


The robbers GOT AWAY in a stolen car, which the police later found abandoned.

Get away

Go on holiday or for a short break.

We love to GET AWAY from everything and relax in the country.

Get away

Move, leave somewhere.

He didn't come because he was stuck at work and couldn't GET AWAY.

Get away from

Go somewhere different or do something different.

Work's getting on top of me; I need to GET AWAY FROM it.

Get away from

Start to talk about something that is not relevant to the discussion.

I think we're GETTING AWAY FROM the point here- we need to concentrate on the main ideas.

Get away with

Not get caught, criticised or punished for doing something wrong.

Thieves GOT AWAY WITH two Picassos, which were never found.

Get away with

Achieve something, despite not doing it correctly or properly.

Do you think we could GET AWAY WITH using the cheaper product?

Get away!

An expression of disbelief.

"I passed." "GET AWAY! You couldn't have passed."

Get back


The train was held up so we didn't GET BACK home until midnight.

Get back

Return something.

Don't lend him any money; you'll never GET it BACK.

Get back


He was rude and embarrassed me, but I'll GET him BACK.

Get back

Move away.

The police told the crowd to GET BACK to allow the ambulance through.

Get back at

Take revenge.

I'll GET BACK AT her for landing me in trouble.

Get back into

Start doing something after stopping for some time.

I am GETTING BACK INTO my Khmer lessons after the summer break.

Get back into

Find a new enthusiasm for something.

I lost interest for a while, but I'm GETTING BACK INTO it.

Get back to

Respond to a contact.

I'll GET BACK TO you as soon as I hear any news.

Get back to

Respond when you know the answer.

I don't know at the moment, but I will GET BACK TO you as soon as I have the information.

Get back to

Start doing something again after an interruption.

It took me ages to GET BACK TO sleep after the phone rang.

Get back together

Restart a relationship.

We split up a few months ago but GOT BACK TOGETHER last week.

Get behind


All the students GOT BEHIND the teacher.

Get behind with

Be late paying instalments for something..

If you GET BEHIND WITH mortgage payments, you might lose your home.

Get by

Have just enough money to live on.

They're finding it increasingly difficult to GET BY since their daughter was born.

Get by

Not be noticed (problems, errors, etc).

I had checked it, but there still were a few mistakes that didn't GET BY the editor.

Get by on

Manage on a certain amount of money.

It's hard to GET BY ON my salary.

Get by with

Have enough of something to do the job.

We should be able to GET BY WITH three PCs, but four would be better.

Get down

Make someone depressed, unhappy, exhausted, etc..

The miserable weather in winter really GETS me DOWN.

Get down

Write, record.

I couldn't GET DOWN everything he said.

Get down

Manage to swallow.

The medicine tasted horrible and it was difficult to GET it DOWN.

Get down

Descend, leave a vehicle.

The trained pulled in and we GOT DOWN.

Get down

Leave the table after eating.

When they had finished dinner, the children asked if they could GET DOWN.

Get down


The doctor says I my GET my cholesterol levels DOWN.

Get down

Have an affair or sexual relations.

They GOT DOWN at the party last week.

Get down on


My mother used to GET DOWN ON us for not doing enough homework.

Get down to

Start working seriously.

I find it extremely difficult to GET DOWN TO doing any revision for examinations.

Get down to

Enjoy something a lot.

People were GETTING DOWN TO the concert.

Get in

Arrange for someone to do a job in your home, workplace, etc.

The air conditioning has broken down; we'll have to GET a technician IN to fix it.

Get in

Arrive (train, plane, etc.).

Her plane GETS IN at 2am our time.

Get in

Arrive home.

She didn't GET IN till well after twelve o'clock because she'd been out for a few drinks with her mates.

Get in

Enter a car or taxi.

The taxi pulled up and we GOT IN.

Get in

Buy or obtain supplies, like food.

We need to GET some coffee IN; we're completely out.

Get in

Arrive at work, school, home.

I GOT IN late today because the train broke down.

Get in

Enter a building or place.

I borrowed her pass to GET IN.

Get in

Be elected.

The government GOT IN with a very small majority.

Get in

Manage to say or do.

I couldn't GET a word IN throughout the meeting.

Get in

Be admitted to a university, club, etc.

He did badly in the entrance exam and didn't GET IN.

Get in

Bring inside a place.

It's raining; I'd better GET the washing IN.

Get in

Submit, apply.

We have to GET the forms IN by the end of this week.

Get in

Pay for drinks.

He GOT the drinks IN.

Get in on

Become involved.

The company tried to GET IN ON our market.

Get in with

Become friendly with, ingratiate with.

I tried to GET IN WITH them as I thought it would help me at work.

Get into

Become involved or interested.

She's been GETTING INTO dance music recently.

Get into

Become involved in something bad or criminal.

He GOT INTO drugs when he was at university.

Get into

Be accepted or admitted.

She did well and GOT INTO Cambridge University.

Get into

Become or be accepted as a member.

He GOT INTO the first team for football.

Get into

Start a habit or way of acting or behaving.

It took me ages to GET INTO driving on the left.

Get into

Be small enough to wear something.

I couldn't GET INTO the boots; they were too tight.

Get into


He GOT INTO me for doing it badly.

Get it

Be punished or scolded.

If you don't stop that right now, you'll really GET IT!

Get it off

Have sex.

They GOT IT OFF at the party.

Get it off with

Have sex with.

She GOT IT OFF WITH her friend's husband.

Get it on

Become interested or excited.

The talk was dull and nobody GOT IT ON.

Get it on

Have sex.

Did you two GET IT ON?

Get it on with

Have sex with.

Did you GET IT ON WITH him?

Get it together

Control things in your life to achieve your aims.

If I don't GET IT TOGETHER, I will never reach my targets.

Get it together

Begin a relationship.

They only GET IT TOGETHER at the very end of the film.

Get it up

Become aroused (of a man).

He couldn't GET IT UP and felt very embarrassed.

Get off

Escape punishment.

He GOT OFF on a technicality and left the court a free man.

Get off

Leave a bus, train, etc..

We GOT OFF the bus and walked to my house.

Get off

Finish, leave work.

I like to GET OFF early on Fridays.

Get off

Start a journey.

We need to GET OFF early to avoid the rush hour traffic.

Get off

Help a baby or child sleep.

I can't GET the kids OFF because of the noise from next door.

Get off

Orgasm, have sex.

We GOT OFF last night.

Get off

Manage to fire a gun.

She GOT OFF a few shots before she was arrested.

Get off

Stop talking on the phone.

Let me know when he GETS OFF the phone as I need to make a call.

Get off

Write or send letters, messages, etc.

I GOT three emails OFF before the meeting.

Get off

Say or write something funny.

She GOT OFF some jokes at the start of her presentation.

Get off it

A way of expressing disbelief, or telling someone that they're wrong or have an incorrect opinion.

I knew he was lying so I told him to GET OFF IT.

Get off on

Enjoy a drug.

He GETS OFF ON crystal meth every night.

Get off on

Become excited by.

She GETS OFF ON her power over us.

Get off with

Have casual sex with.

He GOT OFF WITH her at the party.

Get off!

Don't touch, leave alone.

If he bothers you, just tell him where to GET OFF.

Get on

Continue doing something.

The teacher asked the pupils to GET ON with some work quietly as she had to leave the classroom.

Get on

Enter a bus, train, plane, etc..

We GOT ON the train at Plymouth and went up to London.

Get on

Make progress, deal with something with a reasonable degree of success.

How are you GETTING ON with your Spanish lessons?

Get on

Have a good relationship.

We have always GOT ON well.

Get on

Become old, age.

He's GETTING ON now and doesn't work so hard.

Get on

Be late or near an arranged time.

I must get home now; it's GETTING ON.

Get on

Wear, fit.

I have put so much weight on that I couldn't GET my old suits ON.

Get on


I must be GETTING ON; I have other things to do this evening.

Get on at

Criticise unfairly.

He's always GETTING ON AT me when I haven't done anything wrong.

Get on for

Be near a time.

It's GETTING ON FOR midnight.

Get on to

Start to suspect.

It took the authorities a long time to GET ON TO the gang.

Get on with

Have a good relationship.

Fortunately, I GET ON WITH my boss.

Get on with

Continue or start doing something.

She told us to GET ON WITH our work.

Get onto

Start discussing a topic.

We didn't GET ONTO the third item on the agenda.

Get onto

Be elected, appointed.

He didn't GET ONTO the committee.

Get onto

Appear on the radio or TV.

He GOT ONTO every major channel after the accident.

Get onto

Contact someone because you need or want them to do something.

We'd better GET ONTO someone to fix this.

Get onto

Enter a plane, train, etc.

She GOT ONTO the plane just before it took off.

Get out

Leave the house to visit place and socialise.

She doesn't GET OUT much now she has her baby.

Get out

Become known when people want it to remain secret.

The truth GOT OUT despite the injunction on reporting the case.

Get out

Leave a place, escape.

The dog GOT OUT because I left the door open.

Get out

Remove something from where it is stored to use it.

I GOT the car OUT so that we could load up the suitcases.

Get out

Remove dirt or something unwanted.

I spilled some red wine on my carpet and can't GET the stains OUT.

Get out

Publish, make available for the public to see or buy.

We have to GET the report OUT by the end of the month.

Get out

Say what you want when it is difficult.

He was so upset he couldn't GET the words OUT.

Get out of

Avoid doing something you dislike.

I said I wasn't feeling well and GOT OUT OF the extra work.

Get out of

Leave a car, van, etc..

We GOT OUT OF the taxi and paid the driver.

Get out of

Stop a regular activity or habit.

If you GET OUT OF a routine, it can be hard to start again.

Get out of

Make someone confess or tell the truth.

The police couldn't GET any information OUT OF him.

Get out of

Make someone give something to you.

Did you GET a refund OUT OF the travel agency?

Get out of

Derive pleasure or benefit from something.

She's GETTING a lot OUT OF her university course.

Get out of

Help someone avoid doing something.

I GOT him OUT OF having to work at the weekend.

Get out!

Expression of disbelief.

'I got 100% on the test.''Get out!'

Get over

Recover from something, feel better.

It took me ages to GET OVER the bout of flu.

Get over

Solve, find a solution.

It took us a long time to GET OVER the problems with the computer system.

Get over

Communicate, make people understand.

He makes jokes to help GET his message OVER.

Get over

Be shocked or surprised that something if real or true.

I couldn't GET OVER how much weight he had put on.

Get over

Get to the other side.

We couldn't GET OVER the river because of the floods.

Get over

Come somewhere.

He said he needed help and ask me to GET OVER as soon as I could.

Get over with

Do something unpleasant that has to be done rather than delaying it any more.

I GOT the test OVER WITH rather than have to worry about it any longer.

Get round

Become known.

I don't want this to GET ROUND, so please keep it to yourself.

Get round

Find a solution.

We're nearly ready, but there are few little problems we have to GET ROUND before we finish.

Get round (around) to

Finally manage to do something.

It always takes me ages to GET ROUND to writing letters. (In American English 'around' is used)

Get round (or around)

Persuade someone.

She didn't want to let me do it, but I succeeded in GETTING ROUND her. (In American English 'around' is used)

Get through


I tried calling her mobile phone, but I couldn't GET THROUGH.

Get through


He GETS THROUGH two bottles of wine a day.

Get through


I'm going to take some work home because I haven't managed to GET THROUGH it all today.

Get through

Succeed in an exam or test.

My car didn't GET THROUGH its inspection.

Get through

Help someone or something succeed or pass a test or exam.

My teacher GOT me THROUGH the exam.

Get through

Endure or deal with a difficult experience.

We will have to be careful with our money to GET THROUGH the month.

Get through

Be accepted or passed (laws, proposals, etc).

If the proposal GETS THROUGH, it'll make things much better for us.

Get through

Manage to pass.

The water GOT THROUGH the roof and damaged the carpets.

Get through


The message didn't GET THROUGH.

Get through to

Make someone understand.

I explained it carefully, but I just couldn't GET THROUGH TO him.

Get through to

Contact, especially by phone.

I rang but couldn't GET THROUGH TO her.

Get through to

Reach a stage in a competition.

If they win, they'll GET THROUGH TO the quarter finals.

Get to

Annoy, irritate.

Don't let her GET TO you; she's just in a bad mood.

Get to


When I GET TO it, I'll look at the matter carefully.

Get to

Start discussing a topic.

We asked him to GET TO the point, but he just waffled away.

Get to

Have the opportunity to do something.

Last June I GOT TO visit Stonehenge.

Get together

Meet socially.

We GOT TOGETHER in the pub for a drink.

Get up

Get out of bed.

I GET UP at seven o'clock on weekdays, but lie in till noon at the weekend.

Get up


They GOT UP a list of two hundred people who were opposed to the local council's plans.

Get up to

Do something wrong or naughty.

The children are always GETTING UP TO some trouble or other.

Ghost away

Remove someone secretly of discreetly.

They GHOSTED him AWAY to a secret location before he could be arrested.

Gin up

Boost, increase or exaggerate.

The candidates tried to GIN UP support at the straw poll by transporting their supporters for free.

Ginger up

Make more lively.

They tried to GINGER UP the party to stop people leaving.

Give away

Entrust your daughter to her husband through the marriage ceremony.

He GAVE his daughter AWAY and told the groom to look after her.

Give away

Tell a secret, often unintentionally.

She didn't GIVE anything AWAY about the party so it came as a complete surprise to me.

Give away

Distribute something for free.

In this issue of the magazine, they are giving away a free DVD.

Give away

Give without asking for or expecting payment.

He decided to GIVE his new album AWAY in a magazine.

Give away

Give an advantage to your opponent in a sport by making a mistake, playing badly, etc.

They GAVE AWAY two goals in the first half.

Give away

Give an unwanted baby to people to bring up.

She had to GIVE her baby AWAY as she couldn't afford to bring it up.

Give away

Betray, report to authorities.

The gang GAVE him AWAY to the police.

Give away

Give a weight advantage to an opponent in boxing.

He is GIVING AWAY thirty pounds to the challenger.

Give back

Return something you've borrowed.

I GAVE the money BACK that she'd lent to me.

Give back

Return something that someone has lost.

Nothing could GIVE me BACK the way I felt before the scandal.

Give in

Stop doing something because it's too hard or requires too much energy.

I couldn't finish the crossword puzzle and had to GIVE IN and look at the answers.

Give in

Submit homework, etc..

The projects have to be GIVEN IN three weeks before we break up for the end of term.

Give in

Surrender, accept defeat.

They GAVE IN when the police surrounded the building.

Give in

Offer or submit for judgement, approval.

They GAVE IN their complaint to the court.

Give in to

Agree to something you don't like.

The government says it will not GIVE IN TO terrorists.

Give in to

Allow a feeling or desire to control you.

Eventually, I GAVE IN TO my anger and screamed at them.

Give it to

Criticise harshly or punish someone for something.

They really GAVE IT TO me for forgetting to turn up.

Give it up for


Please GIVE IT UP FOR our next guest.

Give it up to


Please GIVE IT UP TO our next guest.

Give of

Contribute without expecting anything in return, usually time or money.

He GIVE OF his free time to help the club.

Give off

Emit pollution or something else unpleasant.

The police stopped the van because it was GIVING OFF a lot of black smoke.

Give off

Behave in a way that makes people think of you in a certain way.

She GIVES OFF an air of nobility.

Give off


The company is GIVING OFF all over the country.

Give off

Follow or take one of 2 or more branches (instructions, in machine code) in writing a computer program (using system software for a programming language).

A particular application of a processing code can be GIVEN OFF while requiring minimal run-time support.

Give onto

Open into a place, for a door or window.

The French windows GIVE ONTO the lawn.

Give out


Somebody was GIVING leaflets OUT in front of the underground station.

Give out

Stop working, through age or overuse.

I'd been having trouble with my laptop and it finally GAVE OUT at the weekend.

Give out

Have no more of a supply.

The water GAVE OUT after a week in the desert.

Give out

Make public.

They GAVE the names of the winners OUT last night.

Give out


The factory GIVES OUT a lot of fumes.

Give out

End or finish somewhere.

The path GIVES OUT halfway around the lake.

Give out

Make a sound or noise.

She GAVE OUT a moan.

Give out

Read the wordings of a hymn or psalm aloud for congregational singing.

He GAVE OUT the psalm.

Give over

Stop doing something bad or annoying.

They were making a lot of noise so I told them to GIVE OVER.

Give over

Entrust, pass on responsibility.

We've GIVEN the premises OVER to the new company.

Give over

Stop an activity.

The police told the rioters to GIVE OVER.

Give over to

Dedicate, devote.

He GAVE himself OVER TO finding his son.

Give over to

Transfer responsibility.

After her death, they GAVE control of the estate OVER TO her niece.

Give over!

An expression of disbelief.

They've doubled your salary- GIVE OVER!

Give up

Stop doing something that has been a habit.

I GAVE UP taking sugar in tea and coffee to lose weight.

Give up

Stop being friendly, end relationships.

She GAVE UP all her school friends when she went to university.

Give up

Stop doing something.

I have GIVEN UP trying to help them.

Give up

Surrender, stop trying.

I can't think of the answer; I GIVE UP.

Give up

Sacrifice or dedicate time, etc, to something.

I GAVE UP all my free time to the project.

Give up

Allow someone to sit in your chair, take your place, etc.

I GAVE UP my seat to a pregnant woman.

Give up

Allow or give away a run while pitching (baseball).

He has GIVEN UP 14 earned runs in 14 innings.

Give up on

Lose faith in or stop believing in something or someone.

I GAVE UP ON them when I heard what they were saying about me behind my back.

Give up on

Stop feeling hope.

I have GIVEN UP ON them; they never do what they promise.

Give up to

Denounce, report to authorities.

He GAVE his accomplices UP TO the police.

Give way

Stop to allow vehicles to pass.

You must GIVE WAY at this junction.

Give way

Collapse, break.

The dam GAVE WAY when the floods rose.

Give way to

Yield, surrender, retreat.

Don't GIVE WAY TO your worst fears about this.

Give way to

Relinquish position or ascendancy.

Night GIVES WAY TO day.

Give way to

Be replaced by something better, cheaper, more modern, etc.

Cottage industries GAVE WAY TO the big companies.

Give way to

Allow a vehicle to pass in front.

You must GIVE WAY TO oncoming traffic.

Give way to

Surrender to strong emotions.

He GAVE WAY TO his anger and started screaming at them.

Give yourself up

Surrender to the police or authorities.

The gang GAVE THEMSELVES UP last night.

Give yourself up to

Dedicate time, energy, etc, to something.

He GAVE himself UP TO his job.

Gloss over

Try to minimise the importance of something.

The Minister tried to GLOSS OVER the report that was critical of her department.

Gnaw at

Trouble, worry or annoy someone.

I know it was wrong and guilt has GNAWED AT me ever since I did it.

Gnaw at

Harm gradually.

The government's dishonesty has GNAWED AT people's trust in politicians.

Gnaw away at

Harm gradually.

Their behaviour GNAWED AWAY AT our trust in them.

Go about

Deal with something.

How should I GO ABOUT telling her the bad news?

Go about


A rumour is GOING ABOUT involving the Attorney General.

Go across

Move to another side or place.

He WENT ACROSS to the opposition.

Go after

Chase, try to get.

The cat WENT AFTER the pigeon, but it flew away.

Go against

Lose a decision or a verdict of a court.

If the decision GOES AGAINST me, I'll go bankrupt.

Go ahead


The construction of the bypass WENT AHEAD despite the protests from environmentalists.

Go ahead with


We now intend to GO AHEAD WITH the final stage of the project.

Go along with

Accept a decision or suggestion.

I didn't really agree, but I WENT ALONG WITH the decision because I was in the minority.

Go along with


I plan to GO ALONG WITH them as far as Los Angeles.

Go around


A rumour is GOING AROUND about the Attorney General.

Go around

Be or have enough of something.

There aren't enough jobs to GO AROUND for the numbers of people graduating nowadays.

Go around


I WENT AROUND for dinner at their house.

Go at

Attack or approach something with vigour.

She WENT AT her dinner like she hadn't eaten for days.

Go away

Leave a place or disappear.

This drug should make the pain GO AWAY.

Go back

Have a long history.

He and I GO BACK a long way- we were at school together.

Go back

Return to, start doing something again.

We WENT BACK to work after the break.

Go back on

Break a promise.

The government have GONE BACK ON their promise not to raise taxes.

Go before


We can´t ignore what has GONE BEFORE and pretend that everything has been OK.

Go below

Leave the top deck of a ship.

The captain told the passengers to GO BELOW when the storm started.

Go by

The passing of time.

Ten years WENT BY before we saw each other again.

Go by

Trust or depend on for correct information.

Don't GO BY my watch; it's usually a bit slow.

Go by

Pay a short visit, call.

Nobody was at home when I WENT BY yesterday.

Go down

Decrease, get smaller.

The price of scanners has GONE DOWN recently.

Go down


The Titanic WENT DOWN after it hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage.

Go down


The sun WENT DOWN at seven o'clock.

Go down

Be sent to to prison.

He WENT DOWN for ten years for armed robbery.

Go down

Become recorded as or known as.

It WENT DOWN as the worst day in the history of the company.

Go down

Be eaten or swallowed.

The medicine WENT DOWN easily.

Go down

Fall to the ground.

The boxer WENT DOWN in the second round.

Go down

Happen, take place.

The police thought that a big crime was GOING DOWN that night.

Go down

Stop working, especially computers.

The computer system WENT DOWN for an hour last night.

Go down

Become dimmer.

The lights WENT DOWN and the audience stopped talking.

Go down

Be received by people, in terms of their reaction.

My joke WENT DOWN very badly.

Go down on

Perform oral sex.


Go down to

Be defeated.

Chelsea WENT DOWN TO Arsenal in a thrilling game.

Go down with

Fall ill.

She WENT DOWN WITH a virus.

Go down with

Find acceptance.

Do you think the scheme will GO DOWN WITH the farmers in the area?

Go for


The neighbour's dog WENT FOR the postman and bit him.

Go for

Be attracted to.

She tends to GO FOR guys like him.

Go for

Choose, select.

I'll GO FOR the soup of the day, followed by the duck.

Go for

Try to get.

The player WENT FOR the ball but missed.

Go for

Have something favourable.

The play didn't have much GOING FOR IT and we left halfway through.

Go for

Pass for or serve as.

It's a couch that also GOES FOR a bed.

Go for it

Be assertive and ready to initiate action.(Related to the meaning 'attack').

He was not always successful, but whatever he tried to do he would always GO FOR IT.

Go forth

Leave a place.

He WENT FORTH and found a wife in another city.

Go forth

Travel abroad, leave a place.

They WENT FORTH to spread the word of the new religion.

Go forward

Move clocks ahead.

The clocks MOVE FORWARD an hour on Sunday.

Go forward


The top three teams GO FORWARD to the next round.

Go in

Go to hospital for treatment, surgery, etc..

He WENT IN for a triple bypass operation two days ago.

Go in


The cable GOES IN here.

Go in

Disappear, become obscured by a cloud.

The sun has GONE IN.

Go in


The troops WENT IN at dawn.

Go in for

Enter a competition or sit an exam.

He WENT IN FOR the photography prize, but didn't win.

Go in for

Support, advocate.

I don't GO IN FOR the claims being made about blogging.

Go in for

Like, have an interest in.

He GOES IN FOR classical music.

Go in for

Make a career choice.

Have you thought about GOING IN FOR teaching?

Go in with

Form a union or alliance.

They're going to GO IN WITH the Social Democrats.

Go in with

Join, enter.

Ask the other to GO IN WITH them on the plan

Go into

Discuss in some detail.

They refused to GO INTO exactly what was wrong.

Go into

Enter a profession, hospital, trade, market.

She WENT INTO banking after she'd finished university.

Go into

Begin a speech or description.

He WENT INTO a long attack on the way press had handled the issue.

Go into

Be dedicated or devoted.

A lot of time and effort WENT INTO this book.

Go into

Be contained in a larger number.

Five GOES INTO sixty 12 times

Go it

Behave in a reckless way.

Shouting at the boss like that is GOING IT.

Go it

Move or drive very fast.

After the traffic jam, he really WENT IT to make up time.

Go it alone

Do something without help.

He prefers to GO IT ALONE rather then working with the team.

Go off

Explode (bomb), start ringing (alarm).

The fire alarm WENT OFF because someone was smoking in the toilets.

Go off

Go bad.

The milk WENT OFF because I forgot to put it in the fridge.

Go off

Start to dislike.

I WENT OFF her when she lied to me.

Go off

Leave a place.

Please don't GO OFF until we have sorted this out.

Go off

Take place, follow a plan or pattern.

The party WENT OFF well.

Go off

Stop working (electric/electronic equipment).

The lights GO OFF automatically when the office is empty.

Go off with

Elope, run away with someone.

She WENT OFF WITH her friend's husband.

Go off with


He WENT OFF WITH my credit cards.

Go on


He WENT ON and ON talking and I was so bored.

Go on


There are loads of people out in the street; what's GOING ON?

Go on

Start doing or taking something.

She WENT ON the pill when she met him.

Go on

Be guided.

The investigators have no clues to GO ON.

Go on

Be nearly a certain period of time.

It's GOING ON ten years since we met.

Go on


They asked me how the project was GOING ON.

Go on

Spend money.

Most of my salary GOES ON my mortgage repayments.

Go on

Start working (electric/electronic equipment).

The alarm GOES ON when you close the front door.

Go on about

Talk too much.

He's always GOING ON ABOUT his kids.

Go on at

Pester, try to make someone do something by repeatedly asking or suggesting.

He WENT ON AT his parents until they bought him the game.

Go on to


We had dinner and WENT ON TO a few bars.

Go on with

Continue doing.

Please GO ON WITH your work.

Go one

A way of encouraging someone.

GO ON, apply for the job.

Go out

Stop burning, be extinguished.

The candle WENT OUT and left us in darkness.

Go out

Leave a place.

He WENT OUT last night.

Go out

Go on strike.

The workers WENT OUT for more money.

Go out

Become infashionable.

That sort of tie WENT OUT last year.

Go out

Move backwards, of a tide.

The tide GOES OUT in the evening.

Go out

Be eliminated in a competition.

England WENT OUT in the second round.

Go out

Be transmitted.

The item WENT OUT on the news yesterday.

Go out

Be sent.

The newsletter WENT OUT last night.

Go out


I didn't GO OUT to offend them.

Go out for

Become a candidate, apply for something.

She WENT OUT FOR a place on the team.

Go out to

Feel sympathy with someone.

Our condolences GO OUT TO all the families who have lost people in this tragic accident.

Go out with

Have a relationship with.

He's been GOING OUT WITH his girlfriend for around six months now.

Go over

Look at something, revise.

We WENT OVER our notes before the exam.

Go over


I hadn't seen her for a while, so I WENT OVER on Friday night.

Go over

Be approved or accepted.

My plans WENT OVER well.

Go over

Repeat or explain.

Could you GO OVER that point again, please?

Go over


I WENT OVER the living room with the vacuum cleaner before they arrived.

Go over to

Go on a journey.

I'm GOING OVER TO Hong Kong next month.

Go over to

Become converted.

She WENT OVER TO Islam when she was living in the Middle East.

Go over to

Change to something different.

I used to drink beer but I have GONE OVER TO wine.

Go past

Pass without stopping.

She WENT PAST me without saying hello.

Go round

Be or have enough of something.

There aren't enough jobs to GO ROUND for the numbers of people graduating nowadays.

Go round


There's a nasty rumour GOING ROUND about them.

Go round


I WENT ROUND last night to see them.

Go through


You wouldn't believe what I WENT THROUGH when I was ill!

Go through

Read again.

I WENT THROUGH my notes before the exam.

Go through

Examine, search.

I WENT THROUGH my desk looking for the letter.

Go through

Do something in a certain way or following certain procedures.

You must GO THROUGH the proper channels to get the approval.

Go through


He WENT THROUGH his ideas twice but I couldn't really understand them.

Go through

Be approved formally or sanctioned.

My divorce WENT THROUGH last week.

Go through


They said I could GO THROUGH the exam room.

Go through

Consume or spend.

We WENT THROUGH a fortune on our holiday.

Go through

Perform or carry something out.

I WENT THROUGH my work in a daze after I heard the news.

Go through with

Do or complete something you've agreed to.

He did promise, but I doubt that he'll GO THROUGH WITH it.

Go to

Allocate money.

About half of my income GOES TO pay the mortgage.

Go together

Harmonize or be compatible.

Drinking and driving don't GO TOGETHER.

Go towards


The money WENT TOWARDS my university fees.

Go under

Go bankrupt.

Many small shops are GOING UNDER because they cannot compete with the supermarkets.

Go under

Lose consciousness.

She WENT UNDER a few minutes after they administered the anaesthetic.

Go under


The ship WENT UNDER in a heavy storm.

Go up

Rise or climb.

The price of petrol has GONE UP sharply because of the increase in duty in the Government's budget.

Go up


We WENT UP and asked them for some information about the courses.

Go up

Be built.

Skyscrapers are GOING UP everywhere in the city centre.

Go up

Be heard.

A huge cheer WENT UP when the president arrived.

Go up

Be promoted.

The top three teams GO UP at the end of the season.

Go up to


She WENT UP TO him and asked him if he wanted a drink.

Go up to

Attend a university.

She WENT UP TO Cambridge after she finished secondary school.

Go up to


The book only GOES UP TO the start of the Second World War.

Go with

Combine nicely.

Does this tie GO WITH my shirt?

Go with


A lot of benefits GO WITH the job.

Go with

Accept, agree to.

We're GOING WITH our original plan in the end.

Go with

Date, have a relationship with.

She's been GOING WITH him since she was at university.

Go without

Not have.

I had to GO WITHOUT lunch today because I didn't have any time.

Go without

Cope without having something.

They're not coming, so we'll have to GO WITHOUT their help.

Goof around

Fool around, not be serious.

We spent the weekend GOOFING AROUND.

Goof off

Avoid or leave work.

We GOOFED OFF for the afternoon to watch the match.

Goof up

Mess, spoil.

They GOOFED UP our plans.

Grasp at

Try to take hold of something quickly.

He GRASPED AT the rail when he fell.

Grasp at

Take an opportunity without hesitation.

They GRASPED AT the chance to speak to her.

Grass on

Report someone to a person in authority.

He GRASSED ON us and got us into a lot of trouble.

Grass up

Report someone to a person in authority.

She didn't to GRASS them UP, even though they'd been bullying her badly.

Grey out

Disable a function in a computer program, leaving it visible but not working.

They GREYED OUT the print button to stop people using it.(In American English, 'gray' would be used.)

Grind away

Keep working at something.

Although I hated it, I GROUND AWAY until I had finished.

Grind down

Reduce or destroy someone's enthusiasm.

Their negativity GRINDS me DOWN

Grind into

Press or twist something hard into something else.

She GROUND her cigarette INTO the ashtray.

Grind on

Proceed relentlessly.

The war GROUND ON for years.

Grind on

Talk endlessly.

He was still GRINDING ON about football when we left.

Grind out

Produce something with great difficulty.

I find it very hard to GRIND OUT an original essay every week.

Grind up

Reduce to small pieces.

She GROUND the beans UP and made some coffee.

Grow apart

Become distant, stop having a close relationship because time, distance, interests, etc, have changed.

We used to be good friends at school but have since GROWN APART.

Grow away from

Become less friendly with.

I have GROWN AWAY FROM many of the people I grew up with.

Grow back

Grow again.

Nails GROW BACK quickly after you cut them.

Grow from

Result from a process.

A lot GREW FROM the peace talks.

Grow into

Grow to fit large clothes.

The jacket's a bit big, but she'll GROW INTO it.

Grow into

Mature or change into.

She's has GROWN INTO a lovely person.

Grow into

Develop or change over time to fit something.

It may seem difficult at first, but you will GROW INTO the job.

Grow on

Like something that you didn't like at first.

The painting has GROWN ON me; I used to ate it.

Grow on

Have a greater influence or degree of acceptance.

The plans sounded strange at first, but they have GROWN ON me.

Grow on

Become gradually more evident.

A feeling of distrust of them GREW ON me.

Grow out

Let hair, etc, with dyes, perms grow to get rid of the style.

I'm letting the perm GROW OUT.

Grow out of

Grow too large for clothes.

He GREW OUT OF those shoes in no time at all.

Grow out of

Lose interest as you grow older or become more mature.

He was obsessed with computer games but the he GREW OUT OF them.

Grow out of

Result or develop from.

The idea for the film GREW OUT OF an accident that happened to the director.

Grow to

Eventually do something.

We GREW TO like the neighbourhood.

Grow together

Gradually become attached, united or close.

We GREW TOGETHER while we were working on the same project.

Grow up

Mature, become adult.

He GREW UP in the West Country.

Grow up

Arise, emerge.

The industry GREW UP very quickly.

Grow up

Develop in a place or for a reason (city, town, etc).

The town GREW UP as a trading post.

Grow up on

Do or have something when you are a child.

We GREW UP ON cartoons.

Grow upon

Like something that you didn't like at first.

The book started slowly and was a bit dull, but it has GROWN UPON me.

Grow upon

Have a greater influence or degree of acceptance.

As we got nearer the date of the meeting, their idea GREW UPON me.

Grow upon

Become gradually more evident.

A feeling of distrust of them GREW UPON me.

Gun for

Try to destroy an opponent.

He's GUNNING FOR his rivals at work.

Gussy up

Dress smartly or improve the appearance of something.

They spent a fortune GUSSYING UP the house.

Hack around

Waste time.

I've been HACKING AROUND all morning because I can't get down to doing any revision.

Hack into

Break into a computer system.

He HACKED INTO the government database and stole a lot of data.

Hack off


He HACKS me OFF with his endless complaining.

Hack up

Chop or cut into small pieces.

They HACKED the table UP and burnt it.

Hack up

Expel by coughing.

I HACKED UP a lot of phlegm while I was ill.

Ham up

Perform or act in an excessive way to attract attention or amuse people.

He HAMMED the part UP to get the audience to laugh.

Hammer away at

Work relentlessly.

She HAMMERED AWAY AT her PC all night and finished the project.

Hammer into

Repeat something over a period of time to make someone remember it.

He HAMMERED the rules INTO me.

Hammer out

Negotiate and reach an agreement.

They HAMMERED OUT their differences and got the contract signed.

Hand back


The police officer checked my licence, then HANDED it BACK.

Hand down

Pass on to the next generation.

The jewellery has been HANDED DOWN in my family for generations.

Hand down

Give a formal decision.

The court HANDED DOWN its ruling yesterday.

Hand in

Submit work for appraisal.

I HANDED my homework IN late as usual.

Hand on

Give to someone else.

I HANDED the job ON to a colleague.

Hand on

Transmit knowledge to the next generation.

The secrets have been HANDED ON from generation to generation.

Hand out


The teacher HANDED OUT the worksheet to the class.

Hand over


The robbers told the clerk to HAND OVER all the money.

Hang about

Spend time somewhere not doing much.

They HANG ABOUT the station most of the day.

Hang about!

Stop what you're doing and pay attention to me.

HANG ABOUT! We're not allowed to do this.

Hang around

Stay in a place.

They HANG AROUND the station most of the day.

Hang back

Not move forwards to avoid doing something.

When they raced towards the entrance, I HUNG BACK till it was less crowded.

Hang back from

Delay or avoid doing something.

They were HANGING BACK FROM making the final decision.

Hang in there

Persevere, not give up.

Were were doing badly, but we HUNG IN THERE till we finished.

Hang it up

Retire, quit.

I’m getting too old for this- I’m going to HANG IT UP starting next month.

Hang on


Could you HANG ON for a moment till she's free.

Hang on

Hold tightly.

The driver told the passengers to HANG ON as the bus pulled off.

Hang onto


I HUNG ONTO my old records even though I never played them.

Hang out

Spend time socially.

He HANGS OUT in the pub The Monarch; he's there most nights.

Hang out for

Wait or refuse to do something until you get what you want.

She's HANGING OUT FOR a big raise.

Hang over

Worry or trouble.

I have a lot of financial problem HANGING OVER my head.

Hang together

Work together when things are difficult.

We have to HANG TOGETHER if we're going to finish this project.

Hang up

End a phone call.

I lost my temper and HUNG UP.

Hang up on

End a phone call with someone.

A telesales person called, so I said something rude and HUNG UP ON them.

Hang with

Spend time with.

He has been HANGING WITH them for a few months.

Hanker after

Want something a lot, especially if you shouldn't want it or can't have it.

I'm supposed to be on a diet and I can't stop HANKERING AFTER some chocolate.

Hanker for

Want something a lot, especially if you shouldn't want it or can't have it.

I have always HANKERED FOR a soft-top car.

Harp on

Talk repeatedly about something.

I was late twice last week and my boss keeps HARPING ON about it.

Hate on

Be jealous, abuse or have an active hatred of someone.

She HATES ON people who disagree with her ideas.

Have against

Dislike, disagree or hold a grudge (Usually negative).

I HAVE nothing AGAINST their proposals.

Have around

Entertain someone in your home.

I HAD the neighbours AROUND for dinner last night.

Have down as

Think of someone or something in a particular way.

I HAD her DOWN AS a liberal, but I was very wrong.

Have in

Have a supply of something in a particular place.

Do we HAVE any beer IN?

Have in

Get someone to do some work.

We HAD the decorators IN last week.

Have in

Entertain people in your home.

We HAD them IN last night for dinner.

Have it away

Have sex with someone, especially casual sex.

She HAD IT AWAY with him last Friday.

Have it in for

Hold a grudge.

He has HAD IT IN FOR me since I beat him last year.

Have it off

Have sex.

They HAD IT OFF after the party.

Have it out with

Discuss or argue an issue to improve a situation.

I'd been worried for ages, so I decided to HAVE IT OUT WITH them.

Have off

Take time off work.

I HAD a couple of days OFF last week to relax.

Have on

Be wearing.

What did Jennie HAVE ON at the party?

Have on

Have an electronic device switched on.

I HAVE my computer ON all the time.

Have on

Have an arrangement.

I HAVE a lot of meetings ON next week.

Have on

Tease, deceive.

They said they'd failed, but they were HAVING me ON.

Have on

Be in possession at a particular time.

I HAVEN'T any money ON me, but I can get some from the ATM.

Have on

Know something about someone that could harm them.

I HAVE a lot ON him because we used to work together.

Have over

Receive a guest.

Shall we HAVE them OVER for dinner?

Have round

Entertain someone in your home.

I HAD a few friends ROUND yesterday.

Have up

Make someone appear in court.

They HAD him UP for armed robbery.

Head for

Move or travel towards.

It's getting late- I'm HEADING FOR home.

Head off

Stop someone or force them to change direction.

The sheriff and his men HEADED the bandits OFF at the pass.

Head off

Prevent something bad happening.

The company made a better offer to HEAD OFF the moves for a strike.

Head off

Leave somewhere to go to another place.

After work, we all HEADED OFF to the pub.

Head out

Go out.

We're HEADING OUT at seven, so don't be late.

Head up

Be in charge.

He's HEADING UP the steering committee.

Hear about

Get to know some information.

Have you HEARD ABOUT the company takeover?

Hear from

Receive a phone call, email, letter or other communication from someone.

I haven't HEARD FROM them since we left university.

Hear of

Know of something or someone's existence.

I've HEARD OF the band, but don't know their music.

Hear of

Receive news, updates or information about someone.

I have HEARD nothing OF them since they moved house.

Hear of

In the negative, this can mean that someone refuse to accept, allow or acknowledge something.

I said it would be a positive step, but she wouldn't HEAR OF it.

Hear out

Listen to everything someone has to say.

I HEARD them OUT before I commented.

Heat up

Make food hot.

He HEATED the soup UP in the microwave.

Help out

Give assistance.

She really HELPED me OUT when I was going through my divorce.

Hide away

Put something in a place where it won't be found.

They HID the money AWAY in secret bank accounts.

Hide away

Go or stay somewhere where you won't be found or away from people.

I'm renting a cottage where I can HIDE AWAY for the summer.

Hide out

Go or stay somewhere to avoid being caught or found.

The police think he's HIDING OUT in the woods.

Hinge on

Depend very much or completely.

Everything HINGES ON the results of the negotiations; if they go badly, we'll be in real trouble.

Hinge on

Be an essential point for the development of a story.

The film HINGES ON his not being recognised when he's in disguise.

Hinge upon

Depend very much or completely.

Everything HINGES UPON the results of the negotiations; if they go badly, we'll be in real trouble.

Hit back

Attack or criticise.

The president HIT BACK at her critics in a speech last night.

Hit for

Get someone to pay or donate money.

They HIT the sponsors FOR a lot of money.

Hit it off

Have a good relationship from the first time you meet a person.

We HIT IT OFF immediately and became firm friends.

Hit it off with

Like someone from the first time you meet them.

I HIT IT OFF WITH her immediately.

Hit on

Have an idea.

I suddenly HIT ON the solution

Hit on

Talk to someone to try to attract them sexually.

She HIT ON him at the party and they went back to her house.

Hit on

Ask for money.

A beggar HIT ON me when I left the restaurant.

Hit out at

Respond angrily to criticism.

The government HIT OUT AT the media for their negativity.

Hit up

Inject drugs.

She's been HITTING UP for years.

Hit up

Ask someone for some money.

He always tries to HIT me UP for money when we meet.

Hit up on

Inject drugs.

He's been HITTING UP ON heroin for years.

Hit upon

Have an idea.

It took us ages to HIT UPON a solution.

Hit upon

Try to attract someone sexually.

He tried to HIT UPON her at the pub.

Hit with

Surprise someone with some information or news.

He HIT me WITH the details of their demands.

Hive off

Separate part of a company or service, often by selling it.

They HIVED OFF the retail operations.

Hold against

Have a grudge against someone, or little respect.

He was very rude, but I won't HOLD it AGAINST him.

Hold back

Not show emotion.

It was really hard to HOLD BACK the tears.

Hold back

Prevent something moving forwards or progressing.

Lack of funding HELD the project BACK.

Hold back

Not disclose information or make it public.

The government HELD BACK the findings of the report for fear of alienating voters.

Hold back from

Not allow yourself to do something.

I had to HOLD BACK FROM losing my temper with them.

Hold down

Keep a job.

He's so unreliable that he can never HOLD DOWN a job for more than a couple of months.

Hold down

Stop someone or something from moving.

It took four of us to HOLD him DOWN and stop the fight.

Hold forth

State your opinions about something, especially when talking for a long time and boringly.

The manager HELD FORTH on the topic for about twenty minutes.

Hold off

When bad weather doesn't appear.

The rain HELD OFF until we'd got back home.

Hold off

Stop someone from attacking or beating you.

Chelsea couldn't HOLD their opponents OFF and lost the game.

Hold on


Could you HOLD ON for a minute; she'll be free in a moment.

Hold on

To hold tightly.

We HELD ON as the bus started to move.

Hold on to

Hold tightly.

I HELD ON TO my luggage while I was waiting fr the taxi so that it didn't get stolen.

Hold onto

Keep as long as possible.

It tried to HOLD ONTO my cash during the holiday so I could buy some duty free stuff on the way back.

Hold onto

Hold tightly.

The mother HELD ONTO her daughter's hand to keep together in the crowd.

Hold out


When the enemy attacked, they HELD OUT for six weeks.

Hold out

Hold in front of you.

I HELD OUT my hand when she walked in.

Hold out against

Try to reject.

The staff are HOLDING OUT AGAINST the plans to reduce the workforce.

Hold out for

Wait for something better or refuse something now for something better in the future.

We are HOLDING OUT FOR a much better deal than the one offered.

Hold out on

Not pay someone or give them information.

He's been HOLDING OUT ON me for weeks and I really need the money.

Hold over


The meeting has been HELD OVER till Friday.

Hold over

To continue something for longer than planned.

It has been so successful that they have HELD it OVER for another fortnight.

Hold together

Not break up.

The society managed to HOLD TOGETHER despite the crisis.

Hold up

Delay when travelling.

I was HELD UP by the terrible traffic and arrived half an hour late for my appointment.

Hold up

Rob with violence or threats thereof.

Two armed men HELD UP the bank in High Street this morning and got away with £75,000.

Hold with

Accept (usually negative).

I don't HOLD WITH their plans.

Hole up

Hide to avoid detection or an unpleasant situation.

They HOLED UP in a remote cottage while the police were searching for them.

Home in on


The government is HOMING IN ON benefit fraud.

Hone in on

Target, focus.

The company HONED IN ON its rival and tried to take it over.(Some consider this verb to be wrong and that is confused with 'home in on.)

Hook into

Persuade someone to do something they don't want to do.

She HOOKED them INTO coming after all.

Hook up

Meet someone.

We HOOKED UP at the conference.

Hook up to

Connect to a machine.

He's HOOKED UP TO a ventilator in the hospital.

Hoon around

Act in a dangerous or reckless way, especially when driving fast.

He was HOONING AROUND in his new car last night and the police pulled him.

Horse around

Not be serious.

The class were HORSING AROUND when the teacher came in and told them to sit down.

Hose down

Use a hose to wet, clean or wash something.

They HOSED the patio DOWN.

Hose down

Invest heavily in or throw a lot of money at something.

They have HOSED DOWN an obscure start-up up with capital.

Hound out

Force someone out of a place, job, position, etc..

The press HOUNDED the minister OUT after the scandal broke.

Hover around

Move about a place.

She was HOVERING AROUND to see what we were talking about.

Hunker down

Settle in a place as comfortably as possible to stay there.

The troops HUNKERED DOWN in the building.

Hunt down

Search for someone to punish or kill them.

The police HUNTED the killer DOWN.

Hunt out

Search until you find something.

It took me ages to HUNT OUT the photos.

Hunt up

Search for and manage to find something.

He HUNTED UP a copy the book in the British library.

Hush up

Try to keep something bad from becoming widely known.

The company tried to HUSH UP the scandal, but it still got into the newspapers.

Iron out

Remove small problems or irregularities.

The management team IRONED OUT the tax problems before they gave the project the OK.

Issue forth

Come out of a place.

New initiatives ISSUE FORTH from the government on a daily basis.

Jabber away

Talk fast or incomprehensibly.

They started JABBERING AWAY about file systems and lost me completely.

Jack around

Make trouble for someone, fail to keep promises.

Don't listen to him- he always JACKS people AROUND.

Jack in

Quit, give up.

I JACKED my job IN because my boss refused to give me a raise.

Jack up

Raise a car to be able to do mechanical work.

We JACKED the car UP and changed the tyre.

Jack up

Increase sharply.

They have JACKED UP the price of oil this month.

Jam on

Apply or operate something forcefully.

Jack JAMMED ON the brakes when the rabbit ran in front of his car.

Jaw away

Talk just for the point of talking rather than having anything to say.

That shows that your interest is not in helping the student, but in JAWING AWAY.

Jazz up

Make something more interesting or attractive.

The show was getting stale so they JAZZED it UP with some new scenes.

Jerk around

Cause someone trouble, treat someone badly.

He was JERKING us AROUND and wouldn't give us the facts.

Jerk around

Behave stupidly.

They were JERKING AROUND during the lecture.

Jerk off

Waste time doing unimportant things.

You should get your work done and stop JERKING OFF.

Joke around

Be funny, or try to.

He's always JOKING AROUND in class.

Jot down

Make a quick note.

I JOTTED DOWN her number on a scrap of paper and I can't find it now.

Juice up

Make something more exciting or perform better.

I need to buy some memory to JUICE my computer UP.

Jump at

Accept eagerly.

I'd JUMP AT the chance to go and live in Japan.

Jump in

Enter a conversation.

He JUMPED IN and told them exactly what he thought.

Jump off

Start quickly, often well.

The IPO JUMPED OFF on the first day.

Jump on

Criticize, attack.

Everyone JUMPED ON me when I raised the issue.

Keel over

Turn upside down.

The boat KEELED OVER in the storm and the crew drowned.

Keel over

Surrender, give in.

He was going to confront his boss, but KEELED OVER and didn't mention the matter.

Keel over

Fall to the ground.

The drunk KEELED OVER when trying to leave the pub.

Keep around

Keep something near you.

I KEEP a dictionary AROUND when I'm doing my homework.

Keep at

Continue with something difficult.

She found the course hard but she KEPT AT it and completed it successfully.

Keep away

Don't allow someone near something.

Medicines should always be KEPT AWAY from children.

Keep back

Maintain a safe distance.

The police told the crowd to KEEP BACK from the fire.

Keep down

Not vomit.

The food was so horrible that I struggled to KEEP it DOWN.

Keep from

Control yourself, refrain.

I couldn't KEEP FROM arguing with her.

Keep in

Not allow someone out.

The teacher KEPT the students IN after school because they had misbehaved.

Keep off

Not talk about.

She KEPT OFF the subject of her divorce.

Keep off

Not tread on something.

KEEP OFF the grass in the park, please.

Keep on


He KEPT ON trying and succeeded in the end.

Keep out

Not allow someone to enter.

The police KEPT the demonstrators OUT of the building.

Keep to

Stay within limits.

Please KEEP TO the path.

Keep up

Not let someone go to bed.

My neighbours KEPT me UP till after 4 am with their loud music last night.

Keep up

Maintain a continuous action, persist.

First I phoned you and left a message that you should phone me; then you phoned and I was out, so you left a message; then...! How long can we KEEP this UP without ever speaking to each other directly?

Keep up at

Continue, not quit.

Learning a language is difficult, but if you KEEP UP AT it, you'll succeed in the end.

Keep up with

Move at the same rate.

He walks too fast and it's really hard to KEEP UP WITH him.

Keep up with

Stay up to date.

It's hard to KEEP UP WITH all the latest improvements and breakthroughs in technology nowadays.

Key down

Relax, unwind.

I need to KEY DOWN before I go to bed.

Key in

Enter numbers or information into a computer or electronic system.

It took me ages to KEY IN all the information into the database.

Key in on

Focus attention on, single out.

They KEYED IN ON the person they believed had done it.

Key on

Target, focus on (sport).

We will KEY ON the opposing team's lack of skills on defense.

Key to

Plan things to fit or suit people or situations.

Promotions are KEYED TO people's abilities.

Key up

Make someone excited or nervous.

The noise got us KEYED UP.

Kick about


We KICKED the idea ABOUT at the meeting.

Kick around


We KICKED the idea AROUND.

Kick around with

Spend time with.

I used to KICK AROUND WITH them, but haven't seen them for a while.

Kick back

Pay someone illegally as part of the price.

I had to KICK ten percent BACK to the government official to get the contract.

Kick back


They KICKED BACK when we suggested downsizing.

Kick back


Rather than go out tonight, we plan to KICK BACK and watch television.

Kick down

Break something with your feet.

The police KICKED the door DOWN.

Kick in

When a drug starts to take effect.

Her hayfever didn't feel half as bad once the antihistamines had KICKED IN.

Kick in

Break something with your feet.

They KICKED his head IN.

Kick in

Contribute money.

I’ll KICK IN for some of the beer if you will buy the pizza.

Kick in

Start having an effect.

The budget cuts are starting to KICK IN and people are struggling.

Kick off

Start a game of football.

The match KICKS OFF at three o'clock.

Kick off


He KICKED OFF last month when he had a massive heart attack.

Kick off

When trouble starts.

The fight KICKED OFF when he insulted the guy's girlfriend.

Kick off

Argue, protest and refuse to co-operate.

He started KICKING OFF big time when the police tried to arrest him.

Kick out


The family KICKED the au pair OUT when they found out that she was planning to move to work for another household.

Kick up

Cause trouble or pain.

My back KICKS UP when it gets cold.

Kill off

Reduce or exterminate a population by hunting, pollution, development, etc..

There used to be a lot of wolves around here, but most of them have been KILLED OFF.

Kip down

Sleep away from your home, often without planning to.

It's too late to get the train, so can I KIP DOWN here tonight?

Kip down on

Sleep on something other than a bed.

There were so many of us that we had to KIP DOWN ON the floor.

Kiss off

Used to tell someone to go away.

He was bugging us, so we told him to KISS OFF.

Kiss off

Consider something to be unimportant or inferior.

He KISSED the criticism OFF.

Kiss up to

Try to get into someone's favour.

He's a creep and is always KISSING UP TO the director.

Knock about

Beat someone.

He KNOCKED his brother ABOUT after they argued.

Knock around

Discuss casually.

We KNOCKED the idea AROUND a bit, but decided not to bother.

Knock back

Cost someone a lot of money.

Your holiday must have KNOCKED you BACK a bit.

Knock back

Finish a drink quickly, drink a lot of alcohol.

The pub was closing so we KNOCKED our drinks BACK and left.

Knock back


It really KNOCKED me BACK when I heard they had been killed.

Knock down


They KNOCKED DOWN the old church and built a block of flats in its place.

Knock down

Hit and injure someone.

The car KNOCKED her DOWN and she broke her arm.

Knock it off!

Stop doing something annoying.

The were making too much noise, so I told them to KNOCK IT OFF.

Knock off

Finish work for the day.

We KNOCKED OFF early on Friday to avoid the rush hour queues.

Knock off

Reduce the price of something.

They KNOCKED ten pounds OFF when I asked for a discount.

Knock off

Reduce the time required to do something.

The new road KNOCKS an hour OFF the journey.

Knock off


He KNOCKED it OFF and sold it.

Knock off

Produce or create something quickly.

I KNOCKED the essay OFF in an hour.

Knock out

Hit and make somebody unconscious.

The reigning middleweight champion KNOCKED OUT the challenger in the fourth round of the fight.

Knock out

Sell, distribute.

They're KNOCKING hundreds OUT a day in the sales.

Knock together

Join houses that had been separate.

They KNOCKED TOGETHER two outbuilding and turned them into a home.

Knock up

Become or get someone pregnant..

She got KNOCKED UP when she was on holiday.

Knock up

Play a bit before a match to get ready.

The teams KNOCKED UP for a few minutes before the final.

Knock up

Produce or create something quickly.

They KNOCKED a model UP over the weekend.

Knuckle down

Make a great effort.

I've got my exams next week and I haven't done much work, so I'd better KNUCKLE DOWN.

Knuckle under

Submit to authority.

The teacher made the students KNUCKLE UNDER and hand their projects in on time.

Land in

Get someone into trouble.

He LANDED ME IN it when he told them what I had done wrong.

Land up in

Arrive, end a journey in a place, often without planning.

We set out for Manchester, but LANDED UP IN Liverpool.

Land with

Create a problem for someone.

He LANDED ME WITH the job of proofreading the whole thing.

Lap up

Appreciate something.

He LAPPED UP their praise.

Large it up

Have a good time when intoxicated.

They were LARGING IT UP in the rave.

Lark about

Behave in a silly way.

The children made me angry because they were LARKING ABOUT.

Lark around

Behave in a silly way.

The students wouldn't stop LARKING AROUND.

Lark it up

Enjoy yourself noisily and exuberantly.

After they won, they went to a bar to L ARK IT UP.

Lash down

Fall heavily (rain).

The rain was LASHING DOWN all day and the roads were flooded.

Lash down

Secure something with ropes or cords.

We LASHED the tarpaulin DOWN to stop the wind blowing it away.

Lash into

Criticise someone strongly.

He LASHED INTO them for messing thins up.

Lash out

Suddenly become violent.

He LASHED OUT and broke the man's nose.

Lash out

React angrily.

He LASHES OUT when things don't go his way.

Lash out

Spend a lot of money on luxuries.

I LASHED OUT in the sales last week.

Lash out against

Criticise something strongly.

The press has LASHED OUT AGAINST the policy.

Lash out at

Hit someone suddenly, usually without warning, or try to hit them.

He LASHED OUT AT me when I laughed at him.

Lash out at

Criticise someone or shout at them.

She LASHED OUT AT her colleagues when she was sacked.

Lash out on

Spend a lot of money buying something.

I LASHED OUT a lot ON a new car.

Latch on

Understand, often after a long time.

They were lying, but it took her ages to LATCH ON.

Latch on to

Understand something, often after a long time.

The police didn't LATCH ON TO what the crooks were doing for years.

Latch onto

Connect to something.

The gecko LATCHED ONTO the ceiling.

Latch onto

Decide or realise that something is good or profitable.

Oil companies have LATCHED ONTO environmental ideas.

Laugh off

Pretend something (an injury, news, etc.) isn’t important.

He LAUGHED OFF the sprained finger but it obviously affected his golf game.

Lay down

Establish rules or procedures.

The rules of the sport were LAID DOWN early in the nineteenth century.

Lay down

Kill, murder.

He got LAID DOWN in a turf war about supplying drugs.

Lay into

Criticise angrily.

His partner LAID INTO him when he arrived two hours late..

Lay off

Make an employee redundant.

The hotel LAID OFF twenty staff because tourist numbers were down.

Lay on

Organise, supply.

They LAID ON a buffet lunch at the conference.

Lay out

Spend money.

They LAID OUT thousands of pounds on their wedding reception.

Lead on

Falsely or cruelly raise hopes.

She LED HIM ON about her desire to get married.

Lead to

Result in.

The investigation LED TO the arrest of a number of suspects.

Leak out

Become public knowledge.

The company's plans to close the factory LEAKED OUT and they were very embarrassed.

Lean on

Put pressure on someone to get them to do what you want.

The government has denied LEANING ON the Attorney General to get his approval of the war.

Leap at

Take an opportunity enthusiastically.

He LEAPED AT the chance to visit.

Leap on

Show interest in or try to use something to your advantage.

They have LEAPT ON the bandwagon to increase sales.

Leap out at

Be very noticeable.

Her face LEAPT OUT AT me the second I saw the photo.

Leap upon

Show interest in or try to use something to your advantage.

They have LEAPT UPON a couple of errors in the document and want to invalidate the agreement.

Leave on

Not turn off.

LEAVE the TV ON; I want to hear the football results.

Leave out

Not include.

He was LEFT OUT of the side because he hasn't been playing too well lately.

Let down

Disappoint, fail to keep an arrangement.

She failed to turn up and I felt badly LET DOWN.

Let down

Make clothes longer.

He's grown so much, we'll have to LET his trousers DOWN.

Let in

Allow someone to enter.

The doorstaff didn't LET him IN the nightclub because he was wearing jeans.

Let off

Not punish.

The judge LET him OFF with a fine rather than a prison sentence since it was his first offence.

Let on

Tell a secret.

I didn't mean to LET ON about the party; I just said it without thinking.

Let out

Allow to leave or go out.

The convict was LET OUT of prison after serving five years of an eight-year sentence.

Let out

Make a sound.

He LET OUT a huge sigh of relief when he heard the results.

Let out

Make clothes bigger.

I've put on so much weight that I'm going to have to LET my suits OUT.

Level off

Stabilize the altitude of an airplane.

The pilot LEVELED OFF at 5,000 meters.

Level out

Stabilize the altitude of an airplane.

The pilot LEVELED OUT at 5,000 meters.

Lie around

Act in a lazy or unproductive way.

Most days he would usually just LIE AROUND the house.

Lie down


I'm going to LIE DOWN for a few minutes before we have to go out.

Lie with

Have the right to make a decision.

The decision about the contract LIES WITH the courts.

Lift off

Leave the ground- rocket or spaceship.

5-4-3-2-1- we have LIFT-OFF!

Light out

Leave suddenly.

When Zeke found out they were coming for him he LIT OUT for the border.

Light up

Light or start smoking a cigarette.

Asif LIT UP as soon as he got out of the building.

Light up


They LIGHT UP the streets at Christmas time.

Lighten up

Be less serious.

I told them to LIGHTEN UP but they continued complaining about it.

Limber up

Do some exercises to warm up before playing a sport or other physical activity.

The team LIMBERED UP for a few minutes before the game started.

Limber up for

Prepare for something that will require a great effort.

They are LIMBERING UP FOR the end of the financial year.

Line up

Arrange in a line.

The police got them to LINE UP against the wall.

Line up

Arrange something in a line.

He LINED the bottles UP against the wall.

Line up

Arrange events for someone.

We have LINED UP a lot of meetings for them.

Link up

Connect, join.

The train LINKS UP the cities.

Link up with

Connect with someone or contact them.

We LINKED UP WITH the firm over the web.

Listen out for

Listen for a particular noise or sound.

They put their coats on and LISTENED OUT FOR the minicab.

Listen up

Pay attention (often used as a command).

LISTEN UP, men! Here are your new assignments.

Live by

Follow a belief system to guide your behaviour.

He tries hard to LIVE BY the Bible.

Live down

Stop being embarrassed about something.

If I fail the test and everyone else passes, I'll never be able to LIVE it DOWN.

Live for

Believe something is extremely important.

He LIVES FOR football.

Live in

Live in the place where you work or study..

The university has a residential halls where students can LIVE IN.

Live it up

Have a good time by spending a lot of money.

She's been LIVING IT UP like crazy since she won the lottery.

Live off

Use money earned.

They find it hard to LIVE OFF the money they make.

Live off

Be financially supported.

He’s 40 and he still LIVES OFF his parents.

Live on

Use money for basic necessities.

They have to LIVE ON $200 a week.

Live on

Not be forgotten.

He's been dead for many years, but his name LIVES ON.

Live out

Stay somewhere until you die.

She LIVED OUT her final years in a nursing home.

Live out

Fulfill an ambition or fantasy.

Many parents try to LIVE OUT their dreams through their children.

Live out

Not live at the place where you study or work.

In my final year at university I LIVED OUT with some friends in a flat we rented.

Live through

Experience different times.

It was hard to LIVE THROUGH the recession, but we managed it.

Live together

Have a relationship and live in the same place without marrying.

We LIVED TOGETHER for a few years before we got married.

Live up to

Meet expectations or standards.

The concert didn't LIVE UP TO my expectations.

Live with

Accept something unpleasant.

It's hard to LIVE WITH the pain of a serious illness.

Live with

Have a relationship and live in the same place without marrying.

I LIVED WITH her for a couple of years before the relationship went sour.

Load down


I was LOADED DOWN with all the stuff I had to take there.

Load up

Take illegal drugs.

He's been LOADING UP for years.

Load up

Fill a machine or vehicle.

We LOADED the car UP and left for our holiday.

Load up on

Consume a lot of something for a particular purpose.

The athletes LOADED UP ON carbohydrates before the race.

Lock away

Lock in a safe place.

He LOCKED the gun AWAY in a drawer.

Lock away

Put someone in prison or a mental hospital for a very long time.

They LOCKED him AWAY for life after the murders.

Lock down

Make very secure.

If you lock down your computer properly, it is very difficult for people to access it.

Lock in

Lock a place to stop someone leaving.

They LOCKED him IN the room until he had calmed down.

Lock in

Commit someone in such a way that they cannot leave.

They are LOCKED IN now that they have paid their subscription.

Lock onto

Find a target and head for it.

The missile LOCKED ONTO the plane and blew it out of the sky.

Lock out

Close a workplace to stop workers entering.

The management LOCKED the staff OUT because they had turned down the pay offer.

Lock out

Lock a place to stop someone getting in.

I lost my key and LOCKED myself OUT.

Lock up

Close all doors, windows, etc..

She LOCKED UP after everyone had left and went home.

Lock up

Lock something in a safe place.

I LOCKED my money UP in the safe.

Lock up

Put in prison or a mental hospital.

They LOCKED him UP for burglary.

Lock yourself away

Go somewhere away from people to study or work.

I LOCK MYSELF AWAY for a few weeks before exams.

Log in

Enter a restricted area on a computer system.

I had forgotten my password and couldn't LOG IN.

Log into

Enter a restricted area of a computer system.

I LOGGED INTO the staff intranet to check my email.

Log off

Exit a computer system.

When she'd finished working on the spreadsheet, she LOGGED OFF and left the office.

Log on

Enter a computer system.

He entered his password for the college intranet and LOGGED ON.

Log out

Exit a computer system.

Danny closed the programs and LOGGED OUT when it was time to go home.

Look after

Take care.

Their auntie LOOKED AFTER them while their mother was in hospital.

Look back

Think about the past.

Old people often LOOK BACK on over their lives.

Look down on

Have a low opinion of.

He LOOKS DOWN ON his colleagues because he thinks he's better than they are.

Look for

Try to find.

I've been LOOKING FOR all their hidden files, but I can't find them anywhere.

Look forward to

Wait for or anticipate something pleasant.

I'm LOOKING FORWARD TO meeting you.

Look in

Make a quick visit.

I'll LOOK IN on my way home.

Look in on

Visit briefly to see if everything's all right.

I'm going to LOOK IN ON grannie on the way home tonight as she's been a bit unwell recently.

Look into

Research, investigate.

We'll LOOK INTO the problem and come back to you when we have the information.

Look on

Watch something like a crime without helping.

The crowd just LOOKED ON as the old lady was mugged.

Look on as

Consider, regard.

I LOOK ON her AS a close friend.

Look out

Be careful.

LOOK OUT; you're going to drop that!

Look out for

Take care of someone, make sure someone is cared for.

She LOOKED OUT FOR her sister when she started school.

Look out for

Keep alert and try to see.

We we told to LOOK OUT FOR any suspicious behaviour.

Look over


They came to LOOK the house OVER with a view to buying it.

Look round

Inspect a house.

We LOOKED ROUND the house and decided that we didn't like it enough to buy it.

Look through

Read quickly.

I LOOKED THROUGH the article.

Look to

Expect, hope.

The company is LOOKING TO increase its sales in Asia.

Look up

Consult a reference work (dictionary, phonebook, etc.) for a specific piece of information..

I didn't know the correct spelling so I had to LOOK it UP in the dictionary.

Look up


The economy is LOOKING UP.

Look up

Find, trace an old friend.

I LOOKED him UP when I went back to Cambridge.

Look up to


She's LOOKS UP TO her mother.

Look upon as

Consider, regard.

I LOOK UPON him AS a close friend.

Loosen up

Become more relaxed or comfortable.

He was very shy at first but has LOOSENED UP and is more talkative now.

Lord it over

Behave in a superior manner.

She loves to LORD IT OVER her employees.

Lose out

Be at a disadvantage.

Many people LOST OUT when the new regulations were enforced.

Lose out on

Not gain or have something advantageous.

Because I left the company, I LOST OUT ON my bonus.

Lose out to

Be less successful.

People without IT skills often LOSE OUT TO those with the skills.

Luck into

Get something by chance.

We LUCKED INTO getting the answer.

Luck out

Be very lucky.

I really LUCKED OUT when I met my partner.

Lust after

Be attracted sexually.

He secretly LUSTS AFTER his friend’s wife.

Lust after

Want something very much.


Magic away

Make something disappear quickly.

He MAGICKED the bill AWAY and paid for us all before I could get my wallet out.

Make after


The police MADE AFTER the stolen car.

Make away with


The thieves MADE AWAY WITH the painting.

Make do with

Accept something less satisfactory because there's no alternative.

There's no coffee, so we'll have to MAKE DO WITH tea.

Make for

Head in a certain direction.

We MADE FOR home when it started raining.

Make for

Produce a result or situation.

The low quality of the service MADE FOR a lot of dissatisfaction.

Make into

Change something into something else.

Many churches have been MADE INTO flats in recent years.

Make it

Arrive or get a result.

I thought you weren't coming, so I was really pleased you MADE IT.

Make it up to

Try to compensate for doing something wrong.

He tried to MAKE IT UP TO her, but she wouldn't speak to him.

Make of

Understand or have an opinion.

What do you MAKE OF your new boss?

Make off

Leave somewhere in a hurry.

They MADE OFF when they heard the police siren.

Make off with


Thieves MADE OFF WITH over a million dollars in the robbery.

Make out

Make a cheque payable to somebody.

Please MAKE the cheque OUT to RGM Productions Ltd.

Make out


He MADE OUT that he was ill so that he didn't have to go to school.

Make out


How are your children MAKING OUT at the new school?

Make out

Kiss and pet.

They were MAKING OUT at the party last night.

Make out

Discern a small detail.

I can just MAKE OUT the outline of a flying saucer in this photo.

Make out

Be able to see or hear something.

Can you MAKE OUT what she's saying?

Make out

Understand someone's nature or personality.

He's strange; I can't MAKE him OUT.

Make over

Change appearance.

The beauty salon gave her a MAKEOVER before the party.

Make over

Give money or possessions to someone in a legal way.

She MADE OVER her property to her children.

Make towards

Head in the direction.

We MADE TOWARDS the centre.

Make up

Stop being angry with someone.

They are always arguing, but they MAKE UP again very quickly.

Make up

Put on cosmetics.

She went to the bathroom to MAKE her face UP.

Make up

Invent a story.

They MADE UP an excuse for being late.

Make up for


I sent her a present to try to MAKE UP FOR my appalling behaviour.

Make up to

Increase a sum received to a higher figure.

The charity collected £24,517.57, and the anonymous donor MADE the total UP TO £25,000'

Make with

Give (usually used as an imperative).

MAKE WITH the money you owe me.

Man down

Behave without courage or conviction.

He MANNED DOWN and didn't come with us.

Man up

Behave with courage or conviction.

She told her anonymous critics to MAN UP and speak publicly.

Mark down

Give a student a lower grade for a particular reason.

Students who gave obviously rehearsed answers were MARKED DOWN, while those who spoke naturally were rewarded accordingly.

Mark down

Reduce the price of something.

I'll buy a lot more if you MARK them DOWN a bit.

Mark down as

Consider someone or something to be of a certain group, type, etc..

I MARKED them DOWN AS conservatives, but they're very liberal.

Mark off

Tick, cross out or otherwise mark something to show that it has been dealt with.

I MARKED OFF the items on the list as I finished them.

Mark out

Draw lines to enclose an area.

They MARKED OUT the pitch.

Mark out for

Show promise for the future.

His dedication MARKED him OUT FOR great things.

Mark out from

Stand out because of certain qualities.

Her speed MARKS her OUT FROM the rest of the group.

Mark up

Increase the price of something.

They MARK the goods UP by 25% before they sell them.

Marry in

Marry someone of the same ethnicity, religion, etc.

Many religions encourage their followers to MARRY IN.

Marry out

Marry someone of a different ethnicity, religion, etc.

Her parents disowned her and refused to speak to her when she MARRIED OUT.

Mash up

Crush something until it becomes a paste.

He MASHED UP some bananas for the dessert.

Mash up

Mix sources of audio, video or other computer sources..

She MASHED UP the songs into a single track.

Mash up

Break or damage.

He MASHED UP my MP3 player and lost my files.

Max out

Take something to the limit, reach a limit.

She MAXED OUT her credit cards.

Measure against

Evaluate or judge by comparison.

The work doesn't look good if you MEASURE it AGAINST what our competitors have done.

Measure off

Measure something and mark the point where it ends or will be cut.

The tailor MEASURED OFF the material for my suit.

Measure off

Mark a length on something to cut it.

He MEASURED OFF a metre of the silk.

Measure out

Measure or weigh the amount needed.

He MEASURED OUT the flour for the bread.

Measure out

Weigh or measure an exact amount.

She MEASURED OUT a hundred grammes of the powder.

Measure up

Find the size of something.

The estate agent MEASURED UP all the rooms.

Measure up

Be good enough, meet the required standard.

She didn't MEASURE UP in her probationary period, so we didn't extend her contract.

Measure up

Be good enough.

They made her a director, but she didn't MEASURE UP.

Measure up

Find out the size of something.

They MEASURED UP the room.

Measure up to

Be good enough or worthy of something.

I hope to MEASURE UP TO the confidence you have in me.

Meet with

Have something happen to you.

They MET WITH some problems they hadn't anticipated.

Melt down

Heat something solid, especially metal, until it becomes liquid.

They MELTED the gold statue DOWN and turned it into gold bars.

Mess about

Not be serious, not use something properly.

The children were MESSING ABOUT with the TV remote control and broke it.

Mess about

Treat someone badly.

He is always MESSING me ABOUT and never does what he promises.

Mess about

Have a sexual relationship outside marriage or a permanent relationship.

He's not faithful- he's been MESSING ABOUT since they were married.

Mess about with

Have a sexual relationship outside marriage or a permanent relationship.

She's been MESSING ABOUT WITH another guy she knows from work.

Mess about with

Try to improve something, usually making things worse.

The computer was working fine until he started MESSING ABOUT WITH it.

Mess around

Not be serious, play with something.

I was MESSING AROUND on the internet because I couldn't be bothered to do any work.

Mess around

Treat someone badly.

She is always MESSING me AROUND and never does what she promises.

Mess around

Have a sexual relationship outside marriage or a permanent relationship.

She's not faithful- she's been MESSING ABOUT since they got married.

Mess around with

Have a sexual relationship outside marriage or a permanent relationship.

He's been MESSING ABOUT WITH a woman he works with.

Mess around with

Try to improve something, usually making things worse.

The computer was working fine until they started MESSING ABOUT WITH it.

Mess over

Treat someone badly.

They MESSED her OVER when she applied for the job.

Mess up

Spoil or ruin.

They MESSED UP the discussions and the contract fell through.

Mess up

Make something untidy or dirty.

They MESSED UP the room and left stuff all over the place.

Mess up

Cause mental, physical or emotional problems.

He took a lot of LSD and it really MESSED him UP.

Mess with

Become involved in something damaging or dangerous.

He's been MESSING WITH cocaine.

Mess with

Annoy, bother.

Don't MESS WITH me or there will be trouble.

Mess with

Associate (negative).

He's been MESSING WITH some dangerous people.

Mess with

Try to repair or improve, usually unsuccessfully.

She's been MESSING WITH it for hours and it still doesn't work.

Mete out

Give people harsh punishments or treatment.

They METED OUT savage penalties to anyone who broke the law.

Mill around

Walk around without going anywhere.

There were a lot of people MILLING AROUND waiting for the bus.

Miss out

Not do something enjoyable or rewarding.

It'll be great; you'll be MISSING OUT if you don't come.

Miss out

Not include.

Make sure you don't MISS anyone OUT when you call their names.

Miss out on

Lose a chance, fail to achieve.

Trudy MISSED OUT ON the promotion.

Mix up


I always MIX those two sisters UP because they look so like each other.

Mix up

Make something lively.

The DJ MIXED UP the night with some hard techno.

Mock up

Make a model of something to show or test it.

They MOCKED UP an example to show us what they would look like.

Moggy off

Leave ('moggie off' is also used.).


Monkey around

Not be serious.

The police officer told the drunks to stop MONKEYING AROUND and go home quietly.

Mooch about

Spend time doing little or nothing.

I MOOCHED ABOUT the whole afternoon because I didn't feel like working.

Mooch around

Spend time doing little or nothing.

I MOOCHED AROUND the house all day.

Mop up

Resolve a problem.

He was left to MOP UP the mess after they resigned.

Mop up

Kill or capture the last few enemy soldiers after a victory..

After the battle, it took them a couple of weeks to MOP UP the remaining rebels.

Mop up

Eat a sauce with bread to finish it.

The sauce was so delicious that I ordered some bread to MOP it UP.

Mop up

Remove a liquid that has been spilt.

I used a cloth to MOP UP the coffee I had knocked over.

Mope about

Move around being miserable.

She didn't get the job and has been MOPING ABOUT all afternoon.

Mope around

Move around being miserable.

He's been MOPING AROUND since his girlfriend left him.

Mount up

Increase over time.

My debts MOUNTED UP while I was at university.

Mouth off

Speak angrily about something.

I always get angry and start MOUTHING OFF when the news is on TV.

Move ahead

Make progress, often after a pause or delay.

The construction can MOVE AHEAD now that permisson has been granted.

Move along

Tell someone to move from a place.

The police told the people watching to MOVE ALONG.

Move along

Develop or progress in a reasonable or satisfactory manner.

The project's MOVING ALONG and everything should be ready on time.

Move away

Leave the area where you have been living.

I MOVED AWAY when the factory shut down.

Move away from

Stop doing or using something to change to something different.

They're MOVING AWAY FROM Windows and are using Linux.

Move down

Move a student to a lower level.

He was finding the course too difficult so they MOVED him DOWN.

Move in

Start living in a place.

The house was empty for ages, but some new tenants MOVED IN a few weeks ago.

Move in on

Approach, often stealthily.

As he watched, the hyenas began to MOVE IN ON the hapless wildebeest.

Move into

Start living in a place.

They MOVED INTO the house as soon as it was ready.

Move on

Change the subject or your job.

She MOVED ON to another company where the salary was considerably better.

Move on

Make people move from a place.

The police MOVED the crowd ON because they were holding up the traffic.

Move out

Leave a place you live or work in.

She's tired of living there and is MOVING OUT.

Move out


The president said they would MOVE the troops OUT next year.

Move out

Change lane or position to pass a vehicle.

I MOVED OUT to overtake the bus.

Move towards

Make preparations for something.

The government are MOVING TOWARDS free elections.

Move up

Move to make space.

Could you MOVE UP and let me sit down?

Move up

Move to a higher level.

They MOVED her UP to senior management.

Muddle along

Continue without a clear aim or plan.

If you're ambitious, you cannot MUDDLE ALONG.

Muddle through

Do or achieve something without knowing what is required or having a plan.

We didn't know what to expect and just MUDDLED THROUGH.

Muddle up

Take things that are ordered or sequenced and mess them up.

My cleaner MUDDLED UP my books and I can't find anything.

Muddle up

Mistake a person or thing for someone or something else because they look similar.

I MUDDLE her and her sister UP.

Mug up

Study quickly, revise.

I have to MUG UP before the exam.

Mug up on

Study something quickly, revise.

I need to MUG UP ON my history for the test.

Mull over

Think about an issue or problem.

She said that she'd had to MULL IT OVER before deciding what was

Muscle in

Become involved in something when your involvement is not wanted.

We tried to exclude him of the committee, but he MUSCLED IN.

Muscle in on

Become involved in something despite opposition to your involvement.

She MUSCLED IN ON the deal even though we wanted to do it without her.

Muscle into

Become involved even though there is opposition to your involvement.

They are MUSCLING INTO our market and there is very little we can do to stop them.

Muscle out

Use power, contacts, etc, to force someone out.

They used their contacts in local government to MUSCLE the competitors OUT.

Naff off

Get lost, go away (used as imperative).

He was making a fuss, so I told him to NAFF OFF.

Nag at

Repeatedly criticise someone verbally.

My boss is always NAGGING AT me about my arriving a few minutes late for work.

Nail down

Succeed in getting, achieve.

They are having trouble NAILING DOWN the contract.

Nail down

Understand fully.

I can't NAIL DOWN what's wrong with their idea, but I'm sure it won't work.

Nail down

Get full information from someone.

I can't NAIL them DOWN about when they're going to finish the project.

Nail down

Succeed or achieve something.

I NAILED the job DOWN in the first interview.

Name after

Give someone a name to remember another person.

I was NAMED AFTER my uncle who died in the war.

Narrow down

Remove less important options to make it easier to choose.

I am not sure which university to apply to, but I have NARROWED my list DOWN to three.

Nerd out

Play safe and avoid taking a risk.

I'm going to NERD OUT and not go on the river trip.

Nerd out

Discuss something in great detail.

I had to NERD OUT when they asked about conditionals and deontic modality.

Nip off

Go somewhere quickly.

I'm NIPPING OFF to get some milk.

Nip out

Go somewhere quickly.

She'll be back in a minute- she's just NIPPED OUT to the shops.

Nod off

Fall asleep.

I NODDED OFF during the speech.

Nod through

Pass a law, regulation, etc, without considering or debating it seriously.

Parliament NODDED the bill THROUGH.

Nose about

Look for something hidden or secret.

The police are NOSING ABOUT to see if they can find anything against the gang.

Nose around

Look around for evidence.

The boss keeps NOSING AROUND our office when we are out at lunch.

Nose out

Find out, discover- usually information, secrets, etc.

He NOSED OUT their plans.

Nose out

Narrowly beat someone.

The other candidate NOSED him OUT by a few votes.

Note down

Write something short like a phone number for future reference..

She NOTED DOWN my fax number so that she could send me the documents when she got to the office.

Nut out

Find an answer to a problem.

The management and unions had a meeting to NUT things OUT.

Occur to

Enter one's mind.

Didn't it OCCUR TO you to help me when you saw how much trouble I was in?

Open up

Start to talk freely about something.

She hates to OPEN UP and discuss her feelings.

Open up

Open a shop or business for the day.

They OPEN UP at seven in the morning.

Open up

Allow goods into a market.

Before they joined the WTO, they had to OPEN UP their markets.

Operate on

Perform surgery.

She was OPERATED ON for eight hours.

Opt for


I OPTED FOR an endowment mortgage and lost a lot of money.

Opt in

Choose to be part or a member of something.

If you want them to notify you of updates, you have to OPT IN.

Opt into

Choose to be a member or part of something.

I OPTED INTO the scheme.

Opt out

Choose not to be part of something.

The UK OPTED OUT of a lot of EU legislation on working hours and conditions.

Owe to

Be the reason for something.

She OWES her success TO hard work and determination.

Own up


Nobody OWNED UP to breaking the window.

Pack away

Put something where it belongs.

I PACKED AWAY the suitcases in the loft after we had emptied them.

Pack in

Stop doing something.

I'm trying to PACK IN smoking.

Pack in

End a relationship.

She PACKED her boyfriend IN.

Pack in

Fill a venue.

They really PACK them IN at the club- it was so crowded it was impossible to move.

Pack in

Break down, stop working.

The photocopier has PACKED IN again.

Pack it in

Stop doing something (used as an imperative).

The kids were making a fuss, so I told them to PACK IT IN.

Pack off

Send someone away.

His boss PACKED him OFF to a regional office.

Pack out

Fill a venue.

The stadium was PACKED OUT.

Pack up

Stop doing something.

You should PACK UP smoking.

Pack up

Finish work.

We had nothing left to do, so we PACKED UP early.

Pack up

Break down, stop working.

My printer PACKED UP last night- I'll have to get a new one.

Pack up

Collect things and put them where you keep them.

At the end of the presentation, I PACKED UP my laptop.

Pad down

Sleep somewhere for the night.

I'm too tired to come home; can I PAD DOWN here tonight?

Pad out

Make a text longer by including extra content, often content that isn't particularly relevant.

I couldn't think of much to write, so I PADDED the essay OUT with a few lengthy quotes.

Pair off

Begin a romantic relationship.

They PAIRED OFF shortly after starting university.

Pair off

Introduce people, hoping they will start a relationship.

I tried to PAIR him OFF with my sister.

Pair off

Form pairs.

The class PAIRED OFF to practise the exam interviews.

Pair off with

Form a pair with someone.

I PAIRED OFF WITH Trish for the test.

Pair up

Form a pair.

We PAIRED UP for the last activity

Pal about

Be friendly and spend time with someone.

We used to PAL ABOUT when we were at school.

Pal around

Be friendly and spend time with someone.

We PALLED AROUND at university.

Pal up

Become friends.

We PALLED UP when I started working with her.

Palm off

Get someone to accept something that isn't true.

He tried to PALM me OFF with a pathetic excuse.

Palm off

Pretend something is better than it is in order to sell it.

He tried to PALM his computer OFF as the latest model.

Pan out

The way a situation develops.

I don't know how things will PAN OUT now the company's been taken over.

Paper over

Try to conceal a problem without really fixing it.

The government tried to PAPER OVER the problems in the proposal, but the press were very critical.

Pare back

If you pare something back, you reduce the size or numbers..

They have had to PARE BACK the services they offer as their funding was reduced.

Pare down

Reduce, decrease.

They have PARED DOWN the number of employees as they haven't been doing well.

Part with

Give something away, especially when you don't want to.

I found it very hard to PART WITH my old CDs when I digitized my collection.

Pass around

Give out to everybody there.

The teacher PASSED the handout AROUND.

Pass as

Be believed to be something.

Although not qualified, he managed to PASS AS a doctor for years.

Pass away


Sadly, Georgia's uncle PASSED AWAY yesterday after a short illness.

Pass back


I felt awful when the teacher started to PASS BACK the exam papers.

Pass by

Go past without stopping.

I was just PASSING BY when I saw the accident.

Pass by

Visit briefly.

I was PASSING BY her house the other day when I heard about it.

Pass by

Miss an opportunity.

The chance for promotion PASSED me BY.

Pass down

Transmit information or give property to younger generations.

The tales were PASSED DOWN for centuries without changing ay of the words.

Pass for

Be accepted as something, usually when not.

You'd be surprised at what PASSES FOR good cooking in many restaurants.

Pass off

Convince something that something is real.

I managed to PASS OFF the fake money in the market.

Pass off

Happen in a certain way.

The demonstration PASSED OFF peacefully.

Pass on

Give a message to someone.

I'll PASS the message ON when she gets here.

Pass on

Decline an invitation or opportunity.

I think I'll PASS ON dinner tonight- I'm not hungry.

Pass on


Her husband PASSED ON last year.

Pass on to

Change topic or subject.

Let's PASS ON TO the next item on the agenda.

Pass out

Faint, lose consciousness.

He got so drunk that he PASSED OUT.

Pass out


The protesters PASSED OUT leaflets to the growing crowd.

Pass over

Ignore someone and give a job, reward, etc, to someone more junior.

They PASSED him OVER and made his assistant the new director.

Pass over

Ignore, refuse to discuss.

Let's PASS OVER what they said and get on.

Pass round

Distribute, give to people present.

They PASSED ROUND copies of the handbook.

Pass through

Visit a place without stopping or only stopping briefly.

I didn't see much as I was only PASSING THROUGH the town.

Pass to

Give ownership or responsibility to someone.

The shares PASSED TO his daughter when he died.

Pass to

Become owner of or responsible for something.

The property will PASS TO her when they die.

Pass up

Decline a chance.

She PASSED UP the opportunity to go to university because she'd been offered a job.

Pat down

Search or frisk someone.

The police PATTED them DOWN for weapons but found nothing.

Patch together

Create or assemble something quickly without much planning.

They PATCHED TOGETHER a coalition after the election.

Patch up

Fix or make things better.

I tried to PATCH things UP after the argument, but they wouldn't speak to me.

Patch up

Give an injured person basic medical treatment.

After the accident, they PATCHED her UP and sent her to hospital.

Pay back

Repay money borrowed.

I PAID BACK the twenty pounds I'd borrowed.

Pay back

Take revenge on.

I'm going to PAY him BACK for that insult.

Pay down

Pay a debt over time.

The British government can't PAY DOWN the national debt.

Pay for


I PAID twenty pounds FOR the book.

Pay into

Deposit money.

I PAID the cash INTO my account.

Pay off

Completely repay a debt.

The mortgage will be PAID OFF in twenty-five years.

Pay off

Produce a profitable or successful result.

Their patience PAID OFF when he finally showed up and signed the contract.

Peck at

Eat very small amounts.

The food wasn't very nice, so I PECKED AT it to look polite.

Peel away

Leave a group by moving in a different direction.

Some of the crowd PEELED AWAY to get out of the crush.

Peel away from

Leave a group by moving in a different direction.

They PEELED AWAY FROM the crowd and went down a side road.

Peel off

Leave a group by moving in a different direction.

When the police blocked the road, a few protesters PEELED OFF and left the march.

Peel off from

Leave a group by moving in a different direction.

They PEELED OFF FROM the demonstration when the police arrived.

Peel out

Accelerate rapidly from stationary.

Fearing the police, he PEELED OUT in a cloud of tire smoke.

Peg away

Keep working at something.

I PEGGED AWAY for weeks before my exams.

Peg down

Fasten something to the ground.

We PEGGED the tent DOWN to stop the wind blowing it about.

Peg it


After a long illness, she finally PEGGED IT yesterday.

Peg out

Put washing outside to dry.

I PEGGED the washing OUT after it stopped raining.

Peg out


He PEGGED OUT last night from a heart attack.

Pencil in

Make a provisional appointment.

I'll PENCIL Thursday night IN, but if anything comes up, give me a ring..

Pep up

Make something more interesting.

You need to PEP your writing UP.

Pep up

Make someone more enthusiastic, energetic or interested.

Her talk PEPPED us UP.

Perk up

Feel better or happier, make someone feel better or happier.

She was ill in bed with flu, but she PERKED UP a bit when some friends dropped by.

Peter out

Lose impetus and stop.

Everyone was keen at first, but the enthusiasm PETERED OUT when they saw how long it would take.

Phase in

Introduce gradually.

They are PHASING IN the reforms over the next two years.

Phase out

Remove gradually.

They have introduced a compact edition of the newspaper and are PHASING OUT the broadsheet edition over the next few months.

Pick at

Eat unwillingly.

I wasn't very hungry so I just PICKED AT my food.

Pick at


There were a few problems that could be PICKED AT, but it was generally good.

Pick off

Target individuals to change a group.

There were many rebels against the policy, but the government PICKED OFF the leaders.

Pick on

Bother, annoy, criticize or make fun of someone.

My friends always PICK ON me because I don't sing well.

Pick out


She PICKED OUT the ones she wanted to take and left the rest.

Pick out

Identify from a picture.

The victim couldn't PICK OUT her attacker from the photos the police showed her.

Pick through

Search something that is disordered for something.

The police have been PICKING THROUGH the wreckage for clues.

Pick up


Sales PICKED UP a bit during the Christmas period.

Pick up

Learn quickly.

She PICKED UP Spanish in six months.

Pick up


While you're in town, can you PICK UP my trousers from the Dry Cleaner?

Pick up

Receive (a broadcast).

When we rent a holiday cottage in Cornwall, we can't PICK UP Channel 5.

Pick up

Collect (a person). This differs from the 'collect a thing' meaning - as that means 'collect and bring back' whereas this means either (i) 'collect and drop off on your way' or (ii) 'collect and bring to the same destination'..

i) Can you PICK me UP and take me to The George when you go to the party?ii) Can you PICK UP some friends of mine on your way to the party? They're going too.

Pick up after

Tidy a mess someone else has made.

I always have to PICK UP AFTER him because he leaves things all over the office.

Pick up on

Correct someone when they say something wrong.

My teacher PICKS UP ON any mistake I make and corrects me.

Pick up on

Notice something that most people don't.

He's very quick to PICK UP ON new trends.

Pick up on

React to something.

The government has PICKED UP ON the reports in the media.

Pick up on

Comment on something said earlier in a conversation.

I'd like to PICK UP ON the point that Jill made.

Pick yourself up

Recover from a fall or problem.

It took him a long time to PICK HIMSELF UP after his wife left him.

Pig off

Used to tell someone to get lost or leave you alone.

He told them to PIG OFF and leave him in peace.

Pig out

Eat a lot.

The food was great, so I really PIGGED OUT.

Pile in

Enter a place quickly, in a disorganised way.

The coach stopped and we all PILED IN.

Pile into

Enter a place quickly, in a disorganised way.

We PILED INTO the shop when it opened.

Pile on

Add or give more or something.

Work's crazy- they keep PILING ON the pressure.

Pile on

Exaggerate or talk in a way to affect someone's feelings.

It wasn't very serious, but they PILED ON the guilt.

Pile out

Leave a place quickly, in a disorganised way.

The train eventually arrived and we all PILED OUT.

Pile up


Work just keeps on PILING UP and I really can't manage to get it all done.

Pile up

Accumulate in a pile or heap.

The ironing's PILING UP as I hate doing it.

Pin down

Get a fixed idea, opinion, etc, from someone..

I've asked him to set a date, but he's a hard man to PIN DOWN and won't give a definite answer.

Pin down

Discover exact details about something.

The government can't PIN DOWN where the leak came from.

Pin on

Attach the blame to someone.

The police tried to PIN the crime ON him.

Pin up

Fix something to a wall, or other vertical surface, with a pin.

I PINNED the notice UP on the board

Pine away

Suffer physically because of grief, stress, worry, etc.

He's been PINING AWAY since his wife died and is a shadow of his former self.

Pipe down

Be quiet (often as an imperative).

The lecturer asked the students to PIPE DOWN and pay attention.

Pipe up

To speak, raise your voice.

At first, no one answered, then finally someone PIPED UP.

Pit against

Compete or force to compete.

The war PITTED neighbour AGAINST neighbour.

Pit out

Go into the pits (car racing).

He PITTED OUT in the twentieth lap.

Pitch for

Try to persuade someone to give your work, business, a job, etc.

He PITCHED FOR the job, but they gave it to someone else.

Pitch in

Work together to help achieve an objective.

We were behind schedule, but the others PITCHED IN and we got it done in time.

Pitch into

Criticise severely or attack someone.

The shareholders PITCHED INTO the management about their pay rises at the meeting.

Plant out

Put a young plant that has been grown in a pot or greenhouse into the ground.

They need to be PLANTED OUT in the spring.

Plate up

Put food onto a plate to serve.

PLATE UP and drizzle with salsa verde.

Play along

Pretend to agree or accept something in order to keep someone happy or to get more information.

I disagreed with the idea but I had to PLAY ALONG because everyone else liked it.

Play around

Be silly.

The children were PLAYING AROUND and being annoying.

Play around

Be sexually promiscuous or unfaithful.

I PLAYED AROUND a lot at college.

Play at

Pretend to be something.

He just PLAYS AT being a lawyer- he never wins a case.

Play away

Be sexually unfaithful when away from home.

He travels abroad a lot and his wife thinks he PLAYS AWAY.

Play back

Listen to or watch something you've recorded.

We PLAYED the recording BACK to see if it was OK.

Play down

Try to make something seem less important.

The Government has tried to PLAY DOWN the importance of the minister's resignation.

Play off

Play a game to decide who the winner is.

As both teams had the same points, they PLAYED OFF to decide the winner.

Play off

Make people compete against each other so that you benefit.

He PLAYED them OFF against each other to get the best deal.

Play on

Continue playing a sport though there might be a reason to stop.

It looked like a foul, but the referee told them to PLAY ON.

Play on

Continue playing music.

The band PLAYED ON for another hour.

Play on

Exploit a weakness.

They are just PLAYING ON our fears to get us to do what they want.

Play on


The advert PLAYS ON the slogan

Play out

Progress, often till it finishes.

Let's see how things PLAY OUT.

Play out

Pretend that something is real and reduce its effect.

Computer games allow people to PLAY OUT their violent urges.

Play out

Play something to the end.

Rain stopped them PLAYING the game OUT.

Play out

Unwind (e.g., fishing line).

When he hooked the swordfish, his line rapidly PLAYED OUT.

Play up

Behave badly.

The children PLAYED UP all evening and drove the babysitter mad.

Play up to

Flatter someone.

I'm PLAYING UP TO my boss at the moment because I want the promotion.

Play up to

Behave in a way expected.

He's got a reputation for being trouble and PLAYS UP TO it.

Play upon

Exploit a weakness.

They are PLAYING UPON people's concerns to get their way.

Play with

Touch and move something to occupy your hands.

He can't stop PLAYING WITH his beard.

Play with

Not eat much of a meal.

I wasn't hungry, so I just PLAYED WITH the food.

Play with

Consider something, but not seriously.

We PLAYED WITH the idea, but decided against it.

Plead out

Plead guilty to get a reduced sentence or fine.

The CEO PLEADED OUT and blamed the CFO for the fraud.

Plough back

Re-invest money you have made into a business.

We PLOUGHED BACK all the profits to grow the company.

Plough into

Collide into at speed.

The bus skidded and PLOUGHED INTO the bus stop.

Plough on

Continue doing something you don't want to.

It was really boring, but we PLOUGHED ON.

Plough through

Eat a big meal.

We PLOUGHED THROUGH all seven courses.

Plough through

Read something that is difficult or takes a lot of time.

It took me ages to PLOUGH THROUGH 'Ulysses'.

Plough through

Move through somewhere where there is little space or there are obstacles.

The boat had to PLOUGH THROUGH the ice.

Plough up

Break the surface of soil.

The tractor PLOUGHED UP the field so they could sow the seed.

Plow back

Re-invest money you have made into a business.

We PLOWED BACK all the profits to grow the company.

Plow into

Collide into at speed.

The bus skidded and PLOWED INTO the bus stop.

Plow on

Continue doing something you don't want to.

It was really boring, but we PLOWD ON.

Plow through

Eat a big meal.

We PLOWED THROUGH all eight courses.

Plow through

Read something that is difficult or takes a lot of time.

It takes me ages to PLOW THROUGH any of Henry James' novels.

Plow through

Move through somewhere where there is little space or there are obstacles.

The police car had to PLOW THROUGH the crowd.

Plow up

Break the surface of soil.

The tractor PLOWED UP the field so they could sow the crop

Pluck at

Pull or fiddle with something nervously.

He was PLUCKING AT his cuffs during the interview.

Pluck up

Muster, acquire, gather.

They PLUCKED UP the courage to complain.

Plug in

Connect machines to the electricity supply.

He PLUGGED the TV IN and turned it on full blast.

Plump down

Put something in a place without taking care.

He PLUMPED his bag DOWN and kicked his shoes off.

Plump for


I PLUMPED FOR the steak frites.

Plump up

Make something like a cushion bigger and softer by shaking it.

I PLUMPED UP the pillow and lay down.

Plump yourself down

Sit down heavily.

She PLUMPED HERSELF DOWN next to me and started asking me what had happened.

Point out

Make someone aware of something.

He POINTED OUT that I only had two weeks to get the whole thing finished.

Poke about

Move things around or search in a casual way to try to find something.

I POKED ABOUT in my CD collection to see if I could find it.

Poke around

Move things around or search in a casual way to try to find something.

I POKED AROUND in my desk to see if the letter was there.

Polish off

Finish, consume.

She POLISHES OFF half a bottle of gin every night.

Polish up

Improve something quickly.

I need to POLISH UP my French before I go to Paris.

Pony up

Pay for something.

I had to PONY fifty dollars UP for the meal.

Poop out

Get too tired to do something.

I was going to write my essay, but I POOPED OUT and went to bed instead.

Poop out on

Fail to keep an appointment.

We were supposed to meet yesterday, but she POOPED OUT ON me at the last minute.

Pootle along

Travel in a leisurely way.

We were POOTLING ALONG at thirty miles an hour.

Pop in

Visit for a short time.

He POPPED IN for a coffee on his way home.

Pop off

Talk loudly, complain.

He's always POPPING OFF when things don't suit him.

Pop off

Go out for a short time.

He's just POPPED OFF for a break but should be back in a few minutes.

Pop out

Go out for a short time.

I'm just POPPING OUT to the shops. Do you need anything while I'm out?

Pop up

Appear, like windows and boxes opening on a computer screen..

The dialogue box POPPED UP up when I pressed Enter.

Pop up

Appear unexpectedly.

I'm going to have to work late tonight because something has POPPED UP.

Pore over

Read, look at or study carefully.

She PORED OVER the report looking for mistakes.

Potter about

Spend time doing little things for pleasure.

On Saturday mornings, I POTTER ABOUT the garden if the weather's fine.

Potter around

Spend some time doing little things for pleasure.

I POTTERED AROUND, sorting out my CDS and a few other things.

Pour down

Rain hard.

It POURED DOWN all day so we had to remain indoors.

Pour forth

Emerge from a place in large numbers.

Useless statistics POUR FORTH from him.

Power down

Cut the electricity supply to a computer or electronic device.

I POWERED DOWN my computer and went for lunch.

Power off

Cut the electricity to a computer or device to turn it off.

You mustn't POWER it OFF while it is updating.

Power up

Turn a computer or electronic device on so that it is ready to use.

I POWERED UP my laptop and started work.

Prattle on

Talk too much.

Geoff just PRATTLED ON instead of giving a straight answer.

Press ahead

Continue with something.

They PRESSED AHEAD with the elections despite the violence.

Press for

Apply pressure to get permission or to obtain something.

The workers are PRESSING FOR better pay and conditions.

Press forward with

Continue or go ahead with a project, process, plan, etc.

The government are PRESSING FORWARD WITH the new law.

Press into

Bring or force into use.

When the line was breached, reserve troops were PRESSED INTO service.

Press on

Continue with something.

We PRESSED ON to get to our destination before night fell.

Press upon

Pressure someone to accept something offered.

The invitations were PRESSED UPON us and it was hard to say no.

Prey on

Catch and kill an animal for food.

Spiders PREY ON insects.

Prey on

Exploit or harm.

They PREY ON older people.

Prey upon

Catch and kill an animal for food.

Cats PREY UPON birds and mice.

Prey upon

Exploit or harm.

They PREY UPON people's fears about immigration.

Price in

Include the affects of possible future events when assessing the value of something.

Speculators have PRICED IN the risk of a war breaking out.

Price up

Charge more for something.

In rural areas where they have a monopoly, some garages PRICE UP fuel because there's nowhere else to buy it.

Print out

Make a hard copy of a computer document.

He PRINTED OUT the letter and checked through it carefully.

Prop up

Support something, both physically and financially, politically, etc..

The council have PROPPED UP the museum for years with grants.

Psych out

Work out or anticipate someone's intentions.

We have to try to PSYCH OUT our rivals.

Psych out

Make someone less confident.

Boxers try to PSYCH their opponents OUT before the fight to gain an advantage.

Psych up

Prepare someone mentally.

I PSYCHED myself UP for the exam.

Pucker up

Move your lips into position to receive a kiss.

She PUCKERED UP when he leant forwards to kiss her.

Pull ahead

Overtake, move in front.

The lorry was going slowly but we managed to PULL AHEAD.

Pull apart

Destroy an argument, theory, etc.

My tutor PULLED my essay APART.

Pull apart

Stop people or animals fighting.

A fight broke out in the pub and it was hard to PULL the people involved APART.

Pull apart

Make someone unhappy or upset.

It PULLED me APART to see them arguing so much.

Pull away

When a vehicle moves from a place.

The car PULLED AWAY from the lights at high speed.

Pull back

Score a goal or point when losing.

They were two-nil down until five minutes before the end, when they PULLED BACK a goal.

Pull back

Move away from a place, especially when talking about soldiers.

They have PULLED the troops BACK from the front line.

Pull back

Move away from someone.

She PULLED BACK when he tried to kiss her.

Pull back

Decide not to do something or not to be involved with it any longer.

They PULLED BACK from the deal.

Pull down


They PULLED the old cinema DOWN to build a new shopping mall.

Pull down

Make someone depressed.

Losing her job PULLED her DOWN.

Pull down


He's PULLING DOWN a fortune.

Pull for


Who will you be PULLING FOR in the final?

Pull in

When a train arrives at a station.

The train PULLED IN and we rushed to meet her as she got off.

Pull in


Their last tour PULLED IN millions of fans.

Pull in

Stop a car by the side of the road.

I PULLED IN to let the passengers out.

Pull in

Areest or take someone to a police station for questioning.

The police PULLED them IN after the trouble.

Pull off

Manage to do something difficult or tricky.

No-one thought that she would be able to do it, but she PULLED it OFF in the end.

Pull off

Start moving (vehicles).

When the lights turned green, the car PULLED OFF.

Pull on

Put clothes on.

I PULLED ON a jumper when the sun went in.

Pull out

Start moving (train).

The train was PULLING OUT when I got there.

Pull out

Move into traffic.

The traffic was so bad that it took me ages to PULL OUT.

Pull out


The project was going badly and they decided to PULL OUT

Pull out

Remove soldiers from an area.

People want the government to PULL the troops OUT.

Pull over

Stop by the side of the road.

The police PULLED the car OVER

Pull over

Make a vehicle stop.

The police PULLED the car OVER and tested the driver for alcohol.

Pull through

Recover from and illness or problem.

At one stage it looked as if she was going to die, but she PULLED THROUGH in the end.

Pull to

Close a door or window that has been left open.

Could you PULL the door TO, please?

Pull together

Work together as a team.

If we all PULL TOGETHER, we'll have it finished in no time.

Pull up

Slow and stop a car.

The cab PULLED UP outside my house and I got out.

Pull up

Inform someone that they are wrong.

He PULLED me UP because I had got my facts wrong.

Pull yourself together

Become calm or regain control of your emotions.

He was so angry that he couldn't PULL HIMSELF TOGETHER.

Push in

Get in a queue without waiting.

She just PUSHED IN the queue in front of me at the supermarket checkout.

Put across

Communicate, convey a message.

He found it difficult to PUT ACROSS what he wanted to say at the meeting.

Put away

Put something back in the correct place.

He PUT the dictionary BACK on the shelf after he'd finished the crossword.

Put away

Put someone in prison.

The judge PUT him AWAY for ten years for robbery.

Put back

Rearrange something for a later time.

The AGM has been PUT BACK until July the seventeenth.

Put by

Save for the future.

I try to PUT some money BY every month towards our summer holiday.

Put down

Kill an animal because it's old, ill, etc..

He had his dog PUT DOWN because it was in a lot of pain from its tumours.

Put down

Stop holding (but withdraw support gently).

PUT the gun DOWN slowly and keep your hands where I can see them.

Put down for

Commit to make a payment.

PUT me DOWN FOR 50p per mile.

Put down to

Give as an explanation.

He didn't score many, but we can PUT that DOWN TO inexperience

Put in


They had to PUT IN a whole new central heating system because the house was so cold.

Put in for

Make a request.

He PUT IN FOR a transfer to the new branch.

Put off


The concert's been PUT OFF until next month because the singer's got a throat infection.

Put off

Stop liking something or somebody.

I was really PUT OFF by the way he eats with his mouth open.

Put on

Get fat.

He's PUT ON a lot of weight since he gave up smoking.

Put on

Deceive, lie.

I am not PUTTING you ON.

Put on

Start wearing.

I PUT my coat ON before we went out.

Put out


Several charities PUT OUT an appeal on TV for money for the victims of the flooding in Mozambique.

Put out

Disturb or trouble someone.

Would it be PUTTING you OUT greatly if I asked to change to another day.

Put out

Extinguish a cigarette, fire, etc..

He PUT OUT his cigarette before entering the building.

Put over

Successfully execute (a scam, trick, etc.).

They PUT OVER a clever practical joke on us.

Put through

Connect someone by phone.

Could you PUT me THROUGH to extension 259 please.

Put towards

Make a financial contribution.

She PUT $250 TOWARDS the cost of the repairs and we had to pay the rest.

Put up

Allow someone to stay at your house for a night or a few days..

She PUT me UP for the night because I'd missed the last bus and there were no night buses running.

Put up

Increase prices, taxes, duties, etc..

The government has PUT tuition fees for undergraduate students UP again.

Put up

Show skill or determination in a contest, competition, fight, etc.

They PUT UP a great fight but lost.

Put up to

Encourage someone to do something.

His friends PUT him UP TO stealing it.

Put up with


I can't PUT UP WITH my neighbour's noise any longer; it's driving me mad.

Quarrel out

Argue with someone about a specific subject.

The girl's mother was QUARRELING OUT with her daughter about the party.

Quarrel with

Dispute or disagree with something.

I am not QUARRELLING WITH their idea, but I think there are other possibilities.

Queer up

Mess up, ruin.

I QUEERED the exam UP.

Quieten down

Fall silent.

The audience QUIETENED DOWN when the lights were switched off in the auditorium and the play was ready to begin.

Quit on

Stop working, associating or being friends with someone, especially when they need support.

They QUIT ON me just when things got rough.

Quit on

Stop working or functioning.

My phone has QUIT ON me- can I borrow yours?

Race off

Hurry away, leave somewhere quickly.

They RACED OFF when the police arrived.

Rack off

Used to tell someone to go away because they're annoying you.

He told her to RACK OFF.

Rack out

Sleep, take a nap.

I'm tired- I'm going to RACK OUT.

Rack up

Acquire a lot of something.

He's RACKED UP a number of convictions for speeding.

Rack up


They RACKED UP the car in an accident.

Rain down on

Fall in large numbers.

Bombs RAINED DOWN ON the city all night.

Rain off

Be postponed or stopped by rain (usually passive).

The match was RAINED OFF.

Rain out

Be postponed or stopped by rain (usually passive).

The game was RAINED OUT.

Rake in

Earn, make money easily.

She's RAKING IN thousands a day.

Rake it in

Make a lot of money.

It's the only shop in the area and they're RAKING IT IN.

Rake off

Cheat someone by charging them too much.

They RAKE tourists OFF all the time.

Rake over

Talk, think, etc, about something negative in the past.

They keep RAKING OVER the rows we had last year.

Rake up

Bring something back to people's attention.

The press have RAKED UP some scandals from her past.

Ramble on

Talk at length without getting to the point.

Quit RAMBLING ON- I’m tired of listening to you.

Ramp up

Increase price, speed or power of something.

The company has RAMPED its prices UP because of higher oil prices.

Rap out

Say something firmly and loudly.

She RAPPED OUT the command.

Rat on

Inform authorities about someone's wrongdoings.

She RATTED ON her neighbours to the police because they were smuggling alcohol from France.

Rat on

Fail to keep a promise.

He always RATS ON his promises.

Rat out

Inform the authorities about someone.

He RATTED me OUT to the police.

Rat through

Look for something hurriedly.

I RATTED THROUGH the papers on my desk but couldn't find the letter.

Ratchet up


The media are trying to RATCHET UP the pressure on the president.

Rattle off

Quote figures rapidly.

She RATTLED OFF loads of statistics which nobody could understand.

Reach out

Stretch your arm to get something.

I REACHED OUT and caught the ball.

Reach out for

Try to achieve something difficult.

They are REACHING OUT FOR major economic reforms.

Reach out to

Ask for help.

I REACHED OUT TO you when I was in trouble and you were a great help.

Reach out to

Offer help.

Charities are REACHING OUT TO those who lost their homes in the floods.

Reach out to

Try to communicate and establish good relations with people.

The candidates are REACHING OUT TO the poor to get their votes.

Read off

Read a list aloud for someone to write down.

I READ OFF the figures and she wrote them down in her notebook.

Read out

Read aloud rather than silently.

The teacher READ OUT the names of the students who'd passed.

Read up on


I've been READING UP ON Japan as I'm going to live there next year.

Reason out

Come to a conclusion or solution after some thought.

He REASONED OUT the answer to the math problem.

Reckon on

The minimum expected.

Jeff says we can RECKON ON there being at least fifty people there tonight.

Reel in

Catch a fish on a line and pull the line to land.

He REELED IN a ten-pound salmon.

Reel in

Attract people, especially customers, to get them to do what you want them to.

They hope the discounts will REEL people IN.

Reel off

Quote statistics or facts rapidly.

The minister REELED OFF a load of figures to support her position.

Reel off

Score a lot of points or win a lot of games one after the other.

They REELED OFF five victories and became the champions.

Reel out


I REELED OUT the hose and watered the lawn.

Rein in

Control someone or something to stop them causing more trouble.

They had to REIN the minister IN after her dreadful performance on TV.

Rent out

Let, grant a service or allow usage for a fee.

They RENTED their house OUT while the were abroad.

Ride off

Go away on a bike, horse, etc.

She got on her motorbike and RODE OFF.

Ride on

Depend on.

His reputation is RIDING ON this deal working out.

Ride out

Survive a difficult time.

They managed to RIDE OUT the recession.

Ride up

Move higher on the body (of clothes).

Her skirt RODE UP when she sat down.

Ring back

Return a phonecall.

I phoned and left a message this morning but she still hasn't RUNG me BACK.

Ring in

Telephone to inform or confirm something.

I RANG IN and told them I would be late.

Ring off

Finish a phone conversation.

Dave RANG OFF guiltily when he saw his boss coming.

Ring out

Make a sudden loud sound.

Two shots RANG OUT and then we heard a scream.

Ring round

Telephone a number of people, usually to try to get some information.

I RANG ROUND to see if anyone knew where she'd gone.

Ring up


Helen RANG me UP earlier.

Ring up

Achieve an amount or number.

They RANG UP several victories.

Ring up

Enter figures into a till or cash register.

They RANG UP the bill for the groceries.

Ring with

When a place is full of a loud sound.

The room RANG WITH their laughter.

Rip off

Charge excessively or obtain money unfairly.

Tourists get RIPPED OFF a lot when they don't speak the language.

Roll back


The army ROLLED BACK when they came under attack.

Roll back

Reduce or remove.

The government want to ROLL BACK the freedom of the press.

Roll by

Pass (time).

The years ROLLED BY.

Roll in

Arrive somewhere, especially if late.

They ROLLED IN very drunk at three o'clock in the morning.

Roll in

Arrive in large numbers, for military vehicles.

The tanks ROLLED IN and took control of the capital city.

Roll on

When something continues to happen.

The competition ROLLED ON despite the administrative problems.

Roll on!

Said when you can't wait for something nice in the future.

Roll on Friday! It's been a dreadful week.

Roll out

Launch or introduce a new product, initiative, etc..

The company ROLLED OUT its takeover plans last week.

Roll up

To appear in large numbers for an event.

Thousands ROLLED UP to see the stars at the film premiere.

Roll up!

An imperative used to attract people to a public event.

Roll up! Come and see the circus tonight.

Romp in

Win easily.

In the first race, the favourite ROMPED IN.

Romp through

Do something easily or quickly.

We ROMPED THROUGH the tasks because they were so simple.

Room in

To keep a mother and baby together after the birth.

Nowadays, most hospitals have a policy of ROOMING IN mothers and their babies.

Root about

Look in a place to try to find something.

He ROOTED ABOUT in his briefcase, trying to find a pen.

Root around

Look in a place to try to find something.

I ROOTED AROUND my flat trying to find the letter.

Root for


Everyone was ROOTING FOR Arsenal to win the Champions League.

Root out

Look for and find.

The police ROOTED OUT the informer.

Root out

Find the source of a problem and remove it.

They are trying to ROOT OUT the troublemakers.

Root up

Dig a plant out of the ground.

He ROOTED UP the plants and replanted them.

Rope in

Get somebody to help.

The teacher ROPED her students IN to carry her stuff when she had to change classroom.

Rope into

Get someone to help or become involved, usually when they don't want to.

I got ROPED INTO helping them set the stall up.

Rope off

Extend ropes or barriers across or around an area.

The celebrity entrance was ROPED OFF from the general public.

Rough up


The mugger ROUGHED him UP when he refused to hand his wallet over.

Round off

Finish something in a satisfactory manner.

Winning the FA Cup ROUNDED OFF a wonderful season for Arsenal.

Row back

Retreat from a position.

The prime minister refused to ROW BACK and lost the vote.

Rub along

Have a reasonably good relationship.

They're not friends, but we RUB ALONG.

Rub down

Dry or clean something with a cloth.

She RUBBED the horse DOWN with a towel after riding it.

Rub down

Massage or rub someone to help them relax.

The trainer RUBBED her DOWN after the race.

Rub in

Apply a substance like cream or ointment and rub it until it is absorbed.

He applied the steroid cream and RUBBED it IN.

Rub it in

Emphasise how bad a situation is to make someone feel worse.

Even though the minister had resigned, the press RUBBED IT IN by publishing more details of the scandal.

Rub off on

Pass a quality or characteristic to people.

His enthusiasm RUBS OFF ON everyone around him.

Rub out

Delete ink or pencil with an eraser.

He RUBBED OUT the figure and wrote the correct one in.

Rub out


The gangsters RUBBED him OUT for stealing from them.

Rub up against

Touch someone in a sensual or sexual way.

The cat RUBBED UP AGAINST my leg purring.

Rub up on


I need to RUB UP ON my Portuguese before I go to Brazil.

Rule out

Exclude a possibility.

The police have RULED OUT suicide and are treating it as a case of murder.

Run across

Meet or find accidentally.

I RAN ACROSS an old friend in the library.

Run after

Chase, pursue.

The police RAN AFTER the guy who'd stolen it, but he was too fast for them.

Run after

Try to become romantically involved with someone.

He was RUNNING AFTER her for ages never managed to get a date.

Run against

Oppose, make difficulties.

Opinion is RUNNING AGAINST his policies and he has very little support.

Run along

Go away, leave (often as an imperative).

They kept disturbing him, so he told them to RUN ALONG and leave him in peace.

Run around

Be very busy doing many things.

I'm exhausted- I've been RUNNING AROUND all day.

Run away

Escape from people chasing you.

He RAN AWAY from his attackers.

Run away

Leave home because of problems with other family members or to elope.

She RAN AWAY to avoid a forced marriage.

Run down

Hit a pedestrian with a vehicle.

The minicab RAN him DOWN on the zebra crossing.

Run down

Lose energy or power.

You should only recharge the battery when it has fully RUN DOWN.

Run down

Criticise, disparage.

They're always RUNNING me DOWN and I am sick and tired of it.

Run down

Find the source or origin of something.

The police RAN DOWN all the leads they had and caught them.

Run for

Campaign for a position.

She's thinking about RUNNING FOR the presidency.

Run in

Arrest, take to police station for questioning.

They RAN him IN last night.

Run in

Drive a new car carefully in order not to damage the engine.

She RAN the car IN for a thousand miles.

Run in

Pay a casual visit.

We RAN IN and chatted for an hour.

Run in


He RAN a graph IN next to the text.

Run into


The project has RUN INTO millions of dollars without any prospect of a return on this investment.

Run into

Meet by accident.

I RAN INTO James in a bar in the City on Friday.

Run off

Make photocopies.

Could you RUN OFF two hundred copies of this report, please.

Run on

Be powered by.

The van RUNS ON diesel.

Run out of

Have none left.

We've RUN OUT OF sugar; I'm going to the shops for some.

Run over

Explain quickly.

Could you RUN OVER that point again; I'm afraid I didn't quite understand it.

Run over

Hit with a vehicle.

The driver couldn't stop in time and RAN the fox OVER when it ran in front of his car.

Run over

Exceed a time limit.

The meeting RAN OVER by twenty minutes.

Run through

Practise a dramatic work like a play quickly.

The cast RAN THROUGH the play the day before it opened to the public.

Run through

Stab or wound deeply with a knife, sword, etc..

The musketeer RAN his enemy THROUGH with a sword and killed him.

Run to

Go to someone for help.

Whenever he gets into debt, he RUNS TO his parents for help.

Run to

Include in things you like.

His musical tastes RUN TO the Residents, who are hated by most people.

Run to

Have enough money to buy something, often negative.

Things are a bit tight and won't RUN TO going abroad for a holiday.

Run up

Move quickly to where someone is.

He RAN UP next to me and started shouting.

Run up

Hoist, raise a flag.

They RAN UP the Union Jack.

Run up

Do or make something very quickly.

He RAN UP a few examples for them to look at.

Run up

Spend a lot of money on credit.

He RAN UP a lot of bills at the hotel.

Run up against

Encounter problems, often unexpected.

They RAN UP AGAINST a lot of opposition to the construction.

Run up on

Approach someone without their knowing.

Robert was sitting in his car and a guy RAN UP ON him and shot through the car but missed.

Run with

Keep company, normally bad.

She RUNS WITH some dodgy characters.

Rush away

Leave a place in a hurry.

They RUSHED AWAY when the police arrived.

Rush into

Do something too quickly.

They don't want to be RUSHED INTO giving an answer and have asked for more time.

Rush off

Depart in a hurry.

Zac RUSHED OFF to get to his medical appointment.

Rush out

Release or put something on sale quickly.

They RUSHED the single OUT after it started getting airplay.

Rustle up

Make something quickly without much preparation.

We RUSTLED UP dinner from what was in the fridge.

Saddle up

Put a saddle on and prepare an animal to ride.

She SADDLED UP the horse and rode off.

Saddle with

Give someone a task or responsibility that is difficult or hard work.

They SADDLED me WITH preparing the visit.

Sag off

Not go to school or work, or leave early when you shouldn't.

I was bored so I SAGGED OFF work early and went home.

Sail into

Criticise angrily.

He SAILED INTO me for turning up an hour late.

Sail through

Pass easily, succeed.

He SAILED THROUGH the final test.

Sally forth

Leave somewhere safe or comfortable.

The townspeople SALLIED FORTH to fight the invading army.

Sally out

Leave somewhere safe or comfortable.

Though it was pouring with rain, we SALLIED OUT to meet her.

Salt away

Save money.

She's making a lot of money, but SALTS it AWAY rather than spending it.

Save on

Reduce or avoid consumption to cut costs.

I use Skype to SAVE ON my phone bills.

Save up

For money for a particular purpose.

He's SAVING UP to buy a car.

Save up

Collect or store something for future use.

I'm SAVING UP the receipts to claim on them all at once.

Saw off

To remove something by cutting it with a saw.

He SAWED OFF the legs of the chair.

Saw up

Cut into pieces with a saw.

We SAWED the plank UP to make the shelves.

Scale back

Make something smaller than originally planned.

They had to SCALE BACK the project because of the costs.

Scale down

Make something smaller than originally planned.

They have had to SCALE DOWN the project because of the costs.

Scale up

Increase, make bigger.

They are SCALING UP the programme because it has been so successful.

Scare away

Frighten someone some much that they go away.

The cat SCARED the birds AWAY.

Scare off

Make someone so frightened that he or she away.

The vicious Doberman guard-dog SCARED the burglars AWAY.

Scout about

Look in different places for something.

The company is SCOUTING ABOUT for new staff.

Scout around

Look in different places for something.

We SCOUTED AROUND to find the best price.

Scout out

Search for something.

The researcher spent months SCOUTING OUT the answer.

Scout round

Look in different places for something.

I SCOUTED ROUND for a bargain.

Scout up

Try to find someone for a task or requirement.

We'd better SCOUT UP a replacement for her.

Scrape along

Manage with little money.

I've been SCRAPING ALONG on temporary work since I lost my job.

Scrape by

Just manage to pass something.

I thought I was going to fail, but SCRAPED BY with 51%.

Scrape in

Just get enough to succeed, pass or be accepted.

The government SCRAPED IN with 51% of the votes cast.

Scrape into

Be accepted somewhere, but only just.

She got mediocre grades and just SCRAPED INTO university.

Scrape through

Pass a test but only just.

I did no revision and only just SCRAPED THROUGH the final exams.

Scrape together

Manage to collect enough of something you need, usually money.

I had to search my flat for money to SCRAPE TOGETHER what I needed.

Scrape up

Manage to collect enough of something you need, usually money.

It took me ages to SCRAPE UP the money for the tickets.

Screen off

Separate a part of a room with something like a curtain, screen, etc..

We SCREENED OFF the area where we had the discussion from the rest of the meeting.

Screen out


Applicants without the right qualifications were SCREENED OUT.

Screen out

Block light.

The sun cream SCREENS OUT UV light.

Screen out

Stop noticing something.

There are so many notices and signs that I have started SCREENING them OUT.

Screw around

Waste time.

He spent the afternoon SCREWING AROUD and got nothing done.

Screw around

Be sexually promiscuous.

He SCREWED AROUND a lot at university.

Screw over

Treat harshly or cheat.

The IRS really SCREWED him OVER.

Screw up

Do badly or fail.

David SCREWED UP his oral exam but still managed to scrape a pass.

See about

Arrange, consider.

I'll SEE ABOUT whether we can manage it.

See into

Accompany someone into an office.

Her secretary SAW me INTO her office.

See off

Chase somebody or something away.

A cat came into the back garden but the dog soon SAW it OFF.

See off

Go to the airport, station, etc., to say goodbye to someone.

I went to the station to SEE them OFF.

See out

Accompany a guest to your front door when they are leaving your house.

Are you sure you're going? I'll get your coats and SEE you OUT.

See through

Continue with something to the end.

They had a lot of difficulties in implementing the project, but the team SAW it THROUGH successfully.

See through

Realise someone is lying or being deceitful.

The police quickly SAW THROUGH her disguise and arrested her.

See to

Deal with something.

He SAW TO the arrangements and everything ran smoothly and efficiently.

Sell off

Sell a business or part of it.

They SOLD OFF their research subsidiary.

Sell off

Sell something cheaply because you need the money or don't need it.

She SOLD OFF her furniture before she emigrated.

Sell on

Convince someone.

We managed to SELL him ON the expansion plans.

Sell on

Buy something then sell it to someone else.

We buy them wholesale and SELL them ON to the public.

Sell out

Have no more of something left because it has been bought.

The tickets for the Primal Scream concert at the Brixton Academy SOLD OUT in a couple of hours.

Sell out

Lose all artistic integrity in return for commercial success.

Most bands SELL OUT when they sign to a major record label, and forget all their principles when pursuing chart success.

Sell up

Sell a house or business to move somewhere or do something different.

We want to SELL UP and move to the country.

Send back

Return something.

I SENT my food BACK because it was overcooked.

Send for

Ask someone to come and help.

I had to SEND FOR a plumber because the radiator was leaking.

Send in

Order people into a place to handle a problem.

The police were SENT IN to quell the riot as the protesters had started burning cars and wrecking shops.

Send in

Write to get information.

If you want to enter the competition, you have to SEND IN for an entry form.

Send off

Expel a sports player from a match.

The football striker was SENT OFF for arguing with the referee's decision.

Send off

Post a letter.

I must SEND this letter OFF today otherwise it won't get there in time.

Send off for

Order something by post.

I SENT OFF FOR some jeans that I liked in the catalogue.

Send out

Send something to a lot of people.

They SENT OUT a mailshot to all their existing customers.

Send out for

Order takeaway food by phone.

We couldn't be bothered to cook, so we SENT OUT FOR a pizza.

Send up

Imitate/impersonate for comic effect.

The mischievous schoolboy was standing at the front of the class, SENDING the teacher UP, when the teacher opened the door behind him.

Set about

Start doing something.

We SET ABOUT the cleaning and got it done before lunchtime.

Set about


The gang SET ABOUT her as she left the bank.

Set apart

Distinguish, be better than or different from others.

The quality of their work SETS them APART from their rivals.

Set aside

Overturn a court verdict or decision.

The Appeal Court SET ASIDE the guilty verdict because the evidence was unsatisfactory and declared her not guilty.

Set back


The car repairs SET me BACK eight hundred pounds.

Set back


The accident SET the project BACK several months.

Set forth

State or outline an opinion.

He SET FORTH his ideas in his autobiography.

Set forth

Start a journey.

We SET FORTH at daybreak for the summit of the mountain.

Set in

Change season noticeably.

Winter has SET IN; it's started snowing.

Set off

Explode a bomb.

Terrorists SET OFF a car bomb in the city centre last night. Fortunately, no-one was hurt or killed.

Set off

Ring an alarm.

The smoke SET the fire alarm OFF.

Set off

Start a journey.

We SET OFF for work at seven-thirty.

Set off

Counterbalance a debt.

The company SET OFF its overseas debts against it profits at home.

Set off

Provide a visual contrast that looks good.

The dark frame SETS the pale drawing OFF well.

Set off

Cause, trigger events.

The pay freeze SET OFF a wave of strikes.

Set on


He was SET ON when he left the bar.

Set out

Display, show.

The figures are SET OUT in the council's annual report.

Set out

Start a journey.

The explorers SET OUT for the South Pole yesterday morning.

Set out

Arrange, organise.

The contract SETS OUT all the details of the agreement.

Set to

Work hard or enthusiastically.

If we all SET TO, we should be able to finish this in a few hours.

Set up

Prepare equipment, software, etc., for use.

The technician SET UP the computer network perfectly.

Set up

Start a company.

They SET UP a dot com company, floated it a couple of years later on the Stock Exchange and made an absolute fortune.

Set up

Provide someone with the money needed to live.

Winning the lottery SET them UP for life.

Set up

Trick, deceive.

The police SET them UP.

Set upon


They SET UPON her when she was in the car park.

Settle down

Start living a fixed and routine life.

After years of partying and drinking, she finally got married and SETTLED DOWN.

Settle for

Accept whatever is available.

We were upset not to win and had to SETTLE FOR the second prize.

Settle in

Get used to.

It took him a while to SETTLE IN when he moved to Japan.

Settle on


They couldn't agree at first on a name for their daughter, but finally SETTLED ON Alice.

Settle up

Pay a debt.

Let's SETTLE UP for the dinner the other night.

Sex up

Change information to make it more attractive to the reader or listener.

The government denied that they had SEXED UP the report to make the front page.

Shack up

Live with someone when you are in a relationship..

They SHACKED UP a few months after they started going out.

Shack up

Live somewhere temporarily.

We had to SHACK UP with friends while our house was being decorated.

Shade in

Make a part of a picture darker.

She SHADED IN the area under the tree.

Shake down


The police SHOOK the house DOWN looking for drugs.

Shake down

Extort or cheat money from someone.

He SHOOK the guy DOWN with some story about needing the money for an operation.

Shake off

Get rid of an illness.

It took me ages to SHAKE OFF the cough.

Shake out

Shake clothes, cloths, etc to remove dirt or creases.

He took the tablecloth outside and SHOOK it OUT after dinner.

Shake up

Upset or shock.

The news of her death really SHOOK me UP.

Shake up

Make major changes to improve or save a company, organisation, etc.

The management are SHAKING things UP and getting rid of a lot of workers.

Shake up

Mix things in a container by shaking hard.

Pour the ingredients into a container and SHAKE them UP.

Shape up

Develop in a positive way.

Things are SHAPING UP at work- everything's going well again.

Shape up

Improve to reach an acceptable standard.

If they don't start SHAPING UP, they're going to lose their jobs.

Shave off

Shave completely.

He has SHAVED OFF his moustache and looks much younger.

Shave off

Reduce by a small amount.

He SHAVED a few thousand OFF the budget for the year.

Shell out

Spend money on something, especially when you think it's too expensive.

I had to SHELL OUT a hundred pounds on the dinner.

Ship off

Send someone away, often because of a problem.

He was causing a lot of trouble, so they SHIPPED him OFF to another branch

Ship out

Send goods to a place.

We SHIPPED the order OUT two days ago.

Ship out

Leave a place.

If you've finished your work, I'm ready to SHIP OUT.

Shoot away

Leave somewhere quickly.

He SHOT AWAY as soon as the bell rang for the end of the lesson.

Shoot back

Return quickly.

I'm SHOOTING BACK home to pick up some things I forgot to bring with me.

Shoot for

Have as a goal.

I’m SHOOTING FOR nothing less than the presidency.

Shoot off

Leave promptly and quickly.

I'll have to SHOOT OFF as soon as the lesson finishes, otherwise I'll miss my train.

Shoot out

Go out for a short time.

I'm SHOOTING OUT to the shops for a paper.

Shoot up

Increase quickly.

The share prices of internet companies have been SHOOTING UP lately.

Shoot up

Take illicit drugs intravenously..

The heroin-user would SHOOT UP in shop doorways.

Shoot up

Damage with gun-shots.

The gangsters SHOT UP the pub.

Shoot up

Increase quickly, grow.

Johnny has SHOT UP since I last saw him

Shop around

Look around for the best price, quality, etc..

If you SHOP AROUND, you can find some real bargains for air tickets.

Short out

Short circuit.

The battery SHORTED OUT when it got wet.

Shout down

Make so much noise to stop someone being heard.

His efforts to raise the issue were SHOUTED DOWN.

Shout out

Say something loudly, often to attract someone's attention.

She SHOUTED OUT my name.

Show around

Take someone to a place to show them certain parts.

The estate agent SHOWED us AROUND the house but we didn't like it much.

Show in

Take someone into an office or other room.

The secretary SHOWED me IN to speak to the manager.

Show off

Behave in a way so as to attract attention.

The children were SHOWING OFF and irritated me.

Show off

Display something you are proud of.

He wanted to SHOW OFF his new sound system.

Show off

Make the qualities of another thing more apparent.

The shirt really SHOWED OFF his new tie.

Show out

Take someone to out of a room or building.

Her secretary SHOWED me OUT after the interview.

Show over

Take someone around a site.

He SHOWED us OVER the scene of the accident

Show round

Take someone to a place to show them certain parts.

The guide SHOWED them ROUND the historic part of the city.

Show through

When a feeling can be seen despite attempts to conceal it.

His anger SHOWED THROUGH despite his smile.

Show up

Attend something or arrive somewhere.

Very few SHOWED UP at the meeting.

Show up

Become clear or apparent.

The downturn in sales SHOWED UP in the company's accounts.

Show up

Make someone feel embarrassed or ashamed.

He SHOWED us UP when he arrived drunk and started arguing.

Shrug off

Disregard something, not consider it important or harmful.

He SHRUGGED OFF the criticism and carried on the same way.

Shut away

Imprison or remove someone's freedom.

Many people have been SHUT AWAY in psychiatric hospitals for disagreeing with the government.

Shut down

Close a business, shop, etc..

The shop SHUT DOWN when the out-of-town supermarket opened.

Shut down

Turn a computer off.

You should close all programs before you SHUT a computer DOWN.

Shut in

Prevent someone from leaving.

I SHUT the cat IN until it was time to go to the vet.

Shut off

Close, prevent access.

They SHUT the water OFF while they did the repairs.

Shut out


You have to SHUT your feelings OUT to deal with it.

Shut out

Not allow a player or team to score.

The Dodgers SHUT OUT the Giants 3-0.

Shut out of

Exclude someone from an activity, etc.

He's been SHUT OUT OF the discussions.

Shut up

Stop talking or making noise.

He told us to SHUT UP and start working.

Shut up

Close for a period of time.

They SHUT the shop UP for a fortnight while they were on holiday.

Shut yourself away

Withdraw from company.

She's SHUT herself AWAY to revise for her exams.

Shy away from

Avoid doing something because you lack confidence.

Many learners SHY AWAY FROM using phrasal verbs.

Side with

Support someone.

The lecturer SIDED WITH her students and got sacked for her pains.

Sidle up to

Approach someone discreetly.

He SIDLED UP TO me and whispered his name.

Sift through

Examine a lot of things carefully.

We had to SIFT THROUGH thousands of files before we found what we were looking for.

Sign away

Give away legal or property rights.

He SIGNED AWAY his rights to compensation when he signed the contract.

Sign for

Write a signature on behalf on someone.

My boss was out for the day, so I SIGNED her letters FOR her.

Sign in

Register in a hotel.

We SIGNED IN and went straight to bed.

Sign in

Open a computer program that requires a name and password.

I SIGNED IN and started chatting online.

Sign in

Write your name when entering a place.

You have to SIGN IN before you can enter the club.

Sign into

Open a particular computer program that requires a name and password.

I SIGN INTO MSN Messenger automatically when I boot up.

Sign off

End a message.

I'll SIGN OFF now, but will write again next week.

Sign off

Close a claim for unemployment benefit.

I SIGNED OFF when I got my new job.

Sign off

Stop doing something to leave.

I'm SIGNING OFF now and going home- I'm shattered.

Sign off

Give someone a letter to be away from work.

My doctor SIGNED me OFF for a month with back problems.

Sign off on

Give official approval.

The director SIGNED OFF ON the plans to increase sales.

Sign on

Open a claim for unemployment benefit.

I had to SIGN ON when I lost my job.

Sign on

Agree to participate.

I've SIGNED ON to help at the village fete.

Sign on

Start broadcasting.

He SIGNS ON the same way every show.

Sign on


We've SIGNED ON two new teachers.

Sign on with

Sign a document joining or agreeing to something.

He's SIGNED ON WITH Manchester United for the next three years.

Sign out

Close a computer program that requires a name and password.

I SIGNED OUT and then shut the computer down.

Sign out

Sign something to show you have borrowed something.

Could you SIGN those books OUT, please?

Sign out of

Close a particular computer program that requires a name and password.

I SIGNED OUT OF MSN Messenger and shut the computer down.

Sign up

Give your name to do something.

I've SIGNED UP as a volunteer.

Sign up


I SIGNED UP for their newsletter.

Sign with

Make a contract with.

She's SIGNED WITH EMI for the next few years.

Simmer down

Become calmer, make less noise.

He told them to SIMMER DOWN because they were disturbing the class next door.

Sing along

To sing when a piece of music is being played or performed by someone else..

I SANG ALONG when they played it on the radio.

Sing out

Reply loudly.

When you hear your name, SING OUT!

Sing out

Sing loudly.

Everyone SANG OUT during the chorus.

Sing up

Sing louder.

We can't hear you- SING UP.

Single out

Select or choose one from a group.

Many people applied for the job but we will SINGLE OUT the best one.

Sink in

Slowly come to be understood.

The truth finally SANK IN about her death when it was broadcast on TV.

Sit about

Sit and do nothing, especially when you should be working.

We spent the afternoon SITTING ABOUT chatting instead of doing any work.

Sit around

Sit idly, doing nothing.

They just SAT AROUND while the others did all the work.

Sit back

Wait for something to happen without making any effort.

We SAT BACK and waited for them to make the first mistake.

Sit back

Relax in a chair.

I SAT BACK and enjoyed the show.

Sit by

Not try to stop something.

I can't SIT BY while they are punished wrongly.

Sit down

Help someone to sit.

The nurse SAT me DOWN in a chair.

Sit for

Pose for an artist or photographer.

The Queen SAT FOR another official portrait.

Sit for

Look after children while their parents are out.

She SITS FOR her neighbors when they go out.

Sit in

Occupy a building to protest about something.

The students SAT IN the Library as a protest against the increase in tuition fees.

Sit in for

Take on someone's responsibilities while they are absent.

Her deputy's SITTING IN FOR her while she's away.

Sit in on

Attend as an observer.

She SAT IN ON the meeting and took notes but said nothing.

Sit on

Be on a committee.

She's SAT ON the finance committee from the beginning.

Sit on

To handle somebody firmly who behaves impertinently, conceitedly.

If his girlfriend finds out, she'll get mad and SIT ON him.

Sit on

Hold information back or keep it secret.

The government have been SITTING ON the report because it was so critical.

Sit out

Not take part.

I had to SIT the game OUT because I was ill.

Sit over

Eat or drink slowly.

WE SAT OVER dinner discussing the plans.

Sit through

Stay till the end of something dull.

I was bored and wanted to leave halfway through, but we SAT THROUGH the film.

Sit with

Reconcile different positions.

It's hard to see how their new plan SITS WITH the promises they made.

Size up

Assess a situation or person carefully..

The doorstaff SIZED UP everyone entering the club.

Size up

Make something bigger or produce bigger products.

Soft drinks manufacturers have SIZED UP their products in recent years.

Skin up

Make a cannabis joint.

She SKINNED UP a fat spliff.

Skin up

Make a cannabis joint.

Who's going to SKIN UP?

Skive off

Avoid doing work or other duty.

I pretended I was ill and SKIVED OFF on Monday.

Slack off

Reduce one's effort, perform with less enthusiasm and energy.

Students usually begin the term well, then SLACK OFF near the end of the semester.

Slacken off

Become less busy or intense.

Work SLACKENS OFF during the holiday period.

Slag off

Criticise heavily.

The concert was terrible and all the papers SLAGGED the band OFF.

Slant toward

Favour one viewpoint, bias.

That travel magazine is totally SLANTED TOWARD the ultra-rich.

Sleep in

Sleep longer than usual.

Let’s SLEEP IN tomorrow morning- we won’t have another chance for weeks.

Sleep off

Sleep in order to recover from excess alcohol, drugs, etc..

She went to bed TO SLEEP OFF the effects of the tequila.

Sleep on

Think about something.

My boss said she'd have to SLEEP ON it when I asked her for a raise.

Sleep over

Spend the night at someone else's house.

The au pair made tea for the friends who were SLEEPING OVER.

Sleep through

Not wake up.

I SLEPT THROUGH the storm even though the wind blew some slates off the roof.

Slice off

Cut, remove an amount or part of something.

They CUT 10% OFF the original price.

Slice up

Cut completely into pieces or slices.

I SLICED the cake UP and handed it round to the people there.

Slip away

Lose an opportunity or the chance of winning, succeeding, etc.

Their hopes of getting back into the game SLIPPED AWAY after the second goal.

Slip away

Pass quickly (time).

The year has SLIPPED AWAY and it is hard to believe it's over.

Slip by

Pass quickly (time).

The years SLIP BY as you get older.

Slip by

Lose an opportunity or the chance of winning, succeeding, etc.

He didn't follow the offer up and let it SLIP BY.

Slip down

Be enjoyable to drink or eat.

The cold beer SLIPPED DOWN a treat after the walk.

Slip in

Try to include something discreetly when speaking.

He SLIPPED IN a mention of his exam results to remind us how well he did.

Slip into

Put clothes on quickly.

I got out of my suit and SLIPPED INTO my pyjamas.

Slip into

Acquire bad habits or fall into a bad or negative state or condition.

The economy SLIPPED INTO recession and shows no signs of recovery.

Slip off

Leave a place discreetly.

It was very boring so we SLIPPED OFF before it finished.

Slip off

Remove clothes.

I SLIPPED my shoes OFF when I entered.

Slip off to

Go somewhere discreetly.

We SLIPPED OFF TO the pub.

Slip on

Put clothes on quickly.

I SLIPPED my coat ON and rushed outside.

Slip out

Leave discreetly.

The party was really dull so we SLIPPED OUT and went to the pub instead.

Slip up

Make an error.

The waitress SLIPPED UP and didn't bring us what we had ordered.

Slob about

Be lazy, do nothing.

I SLOBBED ABOUT all day as I couldn't be bothered to do any work.

Slob around

Be lazy, do nothing.

I spent the day SLOBBING AROUND at home.

Slope off

Leave somewhere without letting others know.

The lecture sounded really boring, so I SLOPED OFF and went to the pub.

Slough off

Get rid of, dispose.

The government is increasing its powers but is SLOUGHING OFF responsibility for its failures.

Slough off

Lose or shed outer layers of skin.

Snakes SLOUGH OFF their old skin.

Slough off

Ignore or trivialize an injury or insult.

He SLOUGHED OFF the pain and continued running.

Slow down

Reduce speed.

The car SLOWED DOWN when they saw the police.

Slow down

Become less active.

It is important to slow down, rest, and eat sensibly.

Slow up

Slow the progress of something.

The negotiations were SLOWED UP by the arguments.

Slug it out

Fight or argue.

They SLUGGED IT OUT for hours but never came to an agreement.

Smack of

Appear to have a negative quality.

The government's decision SMACKS OF hypocrisy.

Smash down

Demolish or break something down.

The police SMASHED the door DOWN to get into the house.

Smash in

Break something by hitting it repeatedly.

He SMASHED the windscreen IN.

Smash up

Destroy, break into many pieces.

The burglars SMASHED UP the office as there was no money to steal.

Smoke out

Force someone out of a place they're hiding in.

The police SMOKED the gang OUT and arrested them.

Snaffle up

Consume, take, buy something other people may want.

They SNAFFLED UP all the food before we got there.

Snap off

Break a piece off something.

He SNAPPED OFF a bit of chocolate from the bar and gave it to me..

Snap out of

Control negative emotions.

I was feeling depressed and knew I had to SNAP OUT OF it.

Snap to it!

Do something quickly.

He had taken ages so I told him to SNAP TO IT and get it finished.

Snap up

Get, acquire or buy something quickly.

Collectors SNAPPED UP every copy the day it was released.

Snarl up


My line was all SNARLED UP after I caught that last fish.

Sneak out

Depart furtively.

Although the thieves tried to SNEAK OUT after dark, we were ready for them.

Sneak up on

Approach someone furtively.

Dave tried to SNEAK UP ON the guard, but was seen anyway.

Sniff around

Look around to see how good something is or to try to find something better.

I SNIFFED AROUND to see if I could find a better deal.

Sniff at

Disapprove or be scornful.

A job opportunity like that is not to be SNIFFED AT.

Sniff out

Find something by smell (usually for dogs).

Customs use dogs to SNIFF OUT illegal drugs being smuggled in.

Sniff out

Find out information, especially when people don't want anyone to know.

Our rivals are trying to SNIFF OUT our plans for expansion.

Snitch on

Divulge secrets, inform authorities about someone.

Reggie was caught after someone SNITCHED ON him to the teacher.

Snuff out

Extinguish a small flame by covering it.

I SNUFFED OUT the candles before I went to bed.

Snuff out


He got SNUFFED OUT in a gang war.

Snuff out

End something suddenly.

I messed up the first question, which SNUFFED OUT my chances of getting a good grade.

Sober up

Stop showing the effects of alcohol or drugs.

Keith SOBERED UP a bit when we left the pub and walked home.

Soften up


The bombardment SOFTENED UP their defenses; I think we can move in tomorrow.

Soften up

Do things to please someone in the hope that they will do what you want.

I paid for everything to SOFTEN them UP before they made the decision.

Soldier on

Continue even when things get difficult.

Life got hard for my dog when he went blind, but he just SOLDIERED ON and never complained.

Sort out

Resolve a problem.

Has the firm SORTED OUT its tax problems yet?

Sound off

To express your opinions forcefully.

He SOUNDED OFF about the quality of the food.

Sound out

Check what someone thinks about an issue, idea, etc..

You should SOUND her OUT to get her opinion before you go ahead with the plan.

Spaff away

Waste (money, time, resources, etc).

The council is SPAFFING AWAY our taxes on bonuses and consultants.

Spark off

Cause something, usually unpleasant, to happen.

The riot was SPARKED OFF by the police raid on the club.

Spark up

Light a cigarette or joint.

They SPARKED UP in a no smoking area.

Speak out

Talk openly and freely.

People are afraid to SPEAK OUT in oppressive political regimes.

Speak up

Talk more loudly.

They couldn't hear the speaker and asked him to SPEAK UP a bit.

Spell out

Explain something in great detail.

He won't understand you unless you SPELL everything OUT for him.

Spell out

Write or say the individual letters that make up a word.

I had to SPELL my surname OUT to him as he didn't know how to spell it.

Spew out

Expel, throw out.

The volcano is SPEWING OUT lava and hot gases.

Spew up


He SPEWED UP when he was drunk.

Spill out

When large numbers of people leave a place at the same time.

The crowd SPILLED OUT onto the streets after the match had ended.

Spill out

Come or flow out of a box, container, etc.

The container was cracked and the chemicals SPILLED OUT.

Spill out

Express or display emotions openly.

I let my frustration SPILL OUT.

Spill over

When something bad has a wider impact on other people or situations.

The protests and demonstrations have SPILLED OVER into neighbouring states.

Spill over

Flow over the edge or top of a container.

I forgot to turn the tap off and the water SPILLED OVER.

Spin off

Produce an unexpected additional benefit.

The research SPUN OFF a number of new products as well as solving the problem.

Spin off

Form a separate company from part of an existing one.

They SPUN OFF the retail division last year.

Spin off

Create a TV show using characters from a popular show.

They SPUN it OFF from the main show, but it didn't really attract many viewers.

Spin out

Lose control (vehicle).

The car hit the water and SPUN OUT.

Spin out

Make something last as long as possible.

I SPUN the work OUT to make as much money from the job as I could.

Spirit away

Remove someone secretly from a place.

They SPIRITED her AWAY before the police arrived.

Spirit off

Remove someone secretly from a place.

They SPIRITED him OFF before any trouble started.

Spit it out

An informal way of telling someone to say something they are unwilling to say.

Hurry up, SPIT IT OUT! I can't wait all day for the truth.

Spit out

Say something angrily.

He SPAT her name OUT when he saw her arrive.

Splash down

Land in the sea (space capsules).

Apollo 13 SPLASHED DOWN after a harrowing flight.

Splash out

Spend a lot of money on something that is not essential.

We went to an expensive restaurant and SPLASHED OUT to celebrate

Splash out on

Spend a lot of money on something.

I SPLASHED OUT ON a new camera.

Split up

Divide into groups.

The teacher SPLIT the class UP into groups of four.

Split up

Finish a relationship.

They are always SPLITTING UP and then getting back together again.

Spoil for

Really want something.

He's been SPOILING FOR an argument all day.

Sponge down

Clean something with a sponge.

I'll SPONGE it DOWN before putting it away.

Sponge off

Accept free food and support without any shame or qualms.

Let’s go to New York, we can always SPONGE OFF my brother there.

Sponge on

Accept or get money without doing any work.

A lot of people are SPONGING ON the state by claiming benefits they're not entitled to.

Spring back

Return to original position after being bent, forced or when pressure is removed.

The lock SPRINGS BACK when the key is turned.

Spring for

Pay for, often generously.

She is going to SPRING FOR all their medical bills.

Spring from

Appear suddenly and unexpectedly.

He SPRANG FROM the bushes when I walked past.

Spring from

Be the cause of something.

His anger SPRINGS FROM his feelings of insecurity.

Spring on

Surprise someone.

They SPRUNG a birthday party ON me at work.

Spring up

Appear suddenly.

Charity shops are SPRINGING UP in the recession.

Spruce up

To smarten, make something neat and tidy.

We SPRUCED the flat UP before we put it on the market.

Spur on

Encourage someone to continue.

The thought of the bonus SPURRED her ON to complete the work on time.

Square away

Finish or sort something out.

There are few things I have to SQUARE AWAY before I can leave.

Square off

Confront someone or prepare to fight them.

The two drunks SQUARED OFF and the barman had to intervene before a fight broke out.

Square off against

Confront someone or prepare to fight them.

They SQUARED OFF AGAINST the police when they arrived.

Square up

Pay back a debt.

Can I SQUARE UP with you for last night?

Square up

Confront someone or prepare to fight them.

The companies are SQUARING UP for a fight.

Square up to

Accept responsibility or guilt.

They need to SQUARE UP TO what they did wrong if we are to make any progress.

Square with

Match, conform to.

What he said doesn't SQUARE WITH what the others said.

Square with

Check with someone that something is OK.

I'll have to CHECK that WITH my boss before I can confirm it.

Squeeze up

Get more people into a space than normal or comfortable.

Four of us had to SQUEEZE UP in the back of the car.

Stack up

Put things in a pile.

I STACKED UP the boxes.

Stack up


Work STACKED UP while I was away on holiday.

Stack up

Increase, accumulate something.

I've been STACKING UP a lot of air miles.

Stack up

Be logical, make sense.

The budget figures don't STACK UP.

Stack up

Build up the number of planes waiting to land at an airport.

Planes were STACKING UP while the airport was closed after the bomb threat.

Stack up against

Be as good as something.

The new model doesn't STACK UP AGAINST the old one.

Staff up

Employ someone for something specific.

They haven't STAFFED the project UP yet.

Stamp out

Get rid of something.

The government has started a campaign to STAMP OUT drugs in schools.

Stand about

Spend time in a place waiting or doing nothing or very little.

We STOOD ABOUT drinking coffee before the lecture.

Stand around

Spend time in a place waiting or doing nothing or very little.

We STOOD AROUND for an hour waiting for them to turn up.

Stand aside

Leave a position so that someone else can take it.

The prime minister should STAND ASIDE and let a new leader head the party.

Stand back

Keep a distance from something.

We STOOD BACK while he lit the firework.

Stand back

Try to understand something by taking a different perspective.

We need to STAND BACK and look at the problem differently.

Stand by

Support someone.

He STOOD BY her throughout the trial as he believed her to be innocent.

Stand by

Be ready and waiting for something to happen.

The emergency services were STANDING BY waiting for the plane to land.

Stand down

Leave a job or position so that someone else can take it.

The minister announced her intention to STAND DOWN at the next election.

Stand down

Finish being asked questions in a court.

The judge told the witness to STAND DOWN after the questioning.

Stand for

Accept or tolerate behaviour.

I'm not going to STAND FOR their rudeness any longer.

Stand for

The words represented by certain initials.

'WHAT do the letters BBC STAND FOR? ' 'British Broadcasting Corporation.'

Stand in for

Substitute someone temporarily.

She had to STAND IN FOR the editor while he was on holiday.

Stand out

Be extraordinary and different.

She STOOD OUT from the crowd in selection and was offered the job.

Stand up

Move from a sitting or lying down to a vertical position.

Everybody STOOD UP when the judge entered the court.

Stand up

Fail to keep an appointment.

He agreed to meet me last night, but he STOOD me UP.

Stand up for

Defend, support.

He's the kind of manager who will always STAND UP FOR his staff.

Stand up to

Keep your principles when challenged by an authority.

She STOOD UP TO the police when they tried to corrupt her.

Stand up to

Resist damage.

This coat will STAND UP TO the roughest weather conditions.

Stare down

Look at someone until they cannot look at you.

He was angry but I STARED him DOWN and he left without saying much.

Start off

Make something start.

They STARTED OFF the meeting with an attack on our performance.

Start off

Begin life, a career or existence.

She STARTED OFF as a receptionist and ended up as the CEO.

Start off

Begin a journey.

We STARTED OFF early because we knew the journey would take all day.

Start off

Make someone laugh.

I was trying to be serious, but their comment STARTED me OFF.

Start off on

Help someone to start a piece or work or activity.

I STARTED her OFF ON the project then left her to finish it.

Start on

Begin to use or consume.

It's time to START ON that bottle of wine.

Start on

Criticise angrily.

The manager was furious and STARTED ON her staff for not trying hard enough.

Start on at

Criticise or nag.

He STARTED ON AT me for being late.

Start out

Begin a journey.

We STARTED OUT early in the morning.

Start out as

Begin life, existence or a career.

What had STARTED OUT AS a protest quickly turned into a full-blown rebellion.

Start out to

Intend, plan.

I didn't START OUT TO become the boss- it just happened.

Start over

Begin something again.

It's a mess- I think we should just START OVER.

Start up

Open a business.

The firm STARTED UP on a shoestring budget.

Start up

Begin, especially sounds.

There was a pause, then the noise STARTED UP again.

Start up

When an engine starts working.

The car STARTED UP first time.

Start up

Make an engine work.

I STARTED the car UP.

Start up

Sit or stand upright because someone has surprised you.

He STARTED UP when I entered the room and tried to hide what he was doing.

Stash away

Store or hide something in a safe place.

I STASHED some money AWAY behind some books.

Stave in

Push or break something inwards.

The police STOVE the front door IN and arrested them.

Stave off

Delay, prevent something from happening.

The medicine STAVED OFF the worst of the disease.

Stay away

Not come.

He said he didn't like them coming and wanted them to STAY AWAY.

Stay away from

Avoid, not come.

He told them to STAY AWAY FROM him.

Stay in

Not go out.

I'm going to STAY IN and chill tonight; I can't be bothered to go out.

Stay on

Remain longer than anticipated.

She STAYED ON after she graduated to do a Master's degree.

Stay out

Not go home.

We STAYED OUT all night.

Stay over

Stay overnight.

I STAYED OVER at a friend's house last night because of the train strike.

Stay up

Not go to bed.

The children STAYED UP until way past their bedtime.

Steal away

Leave a place quietly or secretly.

We didn't want to wake them, so we STOLE AWAY in the middle of the night.

Steal out

Leave in a stealthy or quiet manner.

Not wanting to attract attention, she STOLE OUT early.

Steal over

Be gradually overcome by an emotion or feeling.

A feeling of pride STOLE OVER me as I watched.

Steal up

Approach quietly or secretly.

The lights were off and everything was quiet so we STOLE UP as quietly as we could.

Steal up on

Approach a place or someone quietly or secretly.

We STOLE UP ON them so that they couldn't sound the alarm.

Steer clear of


He's trying to STEER CLEAR OF his lecturer because he hasn't finished his assignment yet.

Stem from

Originate, be caused by.

The trouble STEMS FROM their refusal to discuss the matter.

Step aside

Leave a job or position so that someone else can take over.

Everyone thinks that the prime minister should STEP ASIDE so that someone new can lead the party into the election.

Step back

Look at something from a different perspective.

We should STEP BACK and try to see how our customers will view the scheme.

Step down

Leave a job or position so that someone can take over.

The CEO STEPPED DOWN after the share price dropped.

Step down


Production is being STEPPED DOWN because demand has dropped.

Step forward

Offer help.

When I had the accident, a lot of people STEPPED FORWARD to help me.

Step in

Get involved by interrupting something.

I had to STEP IN when they started fighting.

Step on it

An imperative used to tell someone to go faster, especially when driving.

I told the taxi driver to STEP ON IT as I was late for the meeting.

Step out

Leave a place for a very short time.

They've STEPPED OUT for a cigarette.

Step to


Don't STEP TO those guys; they'll kill you.

Step to

Chat, talk to.

He tried to STEP TO her in the bar.

Step up


The police have STEPPED UP the pressure on beggars working the Underground.

Stick around

Stay in a place for some time.

He's late, but I'll STICK AROUND for another few minutes before I leave.

Stick at

Continue doing something despite difficulties.

She found the course very tough but she STUCK AT it and did well in the end.

Stick by

Support someone when they are having difficulties.

No one STUCK BY him when the scandal became public.

Stick by

Support a plan, opinion or decision.

They are STICKING BY their claims.

Stick down

Write something quickly or without thinking about it.

I couldn't answer the test so I just STUCK anything DOWN that I could remember.

Stick down

Join surfaces with glue.

I STUCK the label DOWN.

Stick it to

Criticise someone.

She STUCK IT TO me for turning up half an hour late.

Stick it to

Treat someone badly or unfairly.

My boss always STICKS IT TO me when she's in a bad mood.

Stick out

Be easily noticed.

He's so much better than the others that he STICKS OUT.

Stick out

Extend part of your body.

He STUCK his tongue OUT at me.

Stick out

Continue doing something difficult or unpleasant.

I STUCK it OUT even though I hated every minute of it.

Stick out for

Demand a salary raise.

We're STICKING OUT FOR a 5% increase.

Stick to

Not change.

The Prime Minister decided to STICK TO the original plan despite the criticism in the media.

Stick to

Restrict or limit and not change.

I STUCK TO the path and didn't take the shortcut.

Stick together

Support each other.

If we don't STICK TOGETHER, things will be much worse for all of us- we need some unity.

Stick up

Stand on end.

The static electricity made my hair STICK UP.

Stick up

Rob using weapons.

They STUCK the bank UP and stole tens of thousands.

Stick up for

Support or defend.

You have to STICK UP FOR yourself here, because no one will back you.

Stick with

Not change something.

We'd better STICK WITH our original idea.

Stick with

Stay near someone.

He told the children to STICK WITH him in the station.

Stick with

Not be forgotten.

The details have STUCK WITH me ever since.

Stick with

Continue with something difficult or unpleasant.

I STUCK WITH the job though I found it very stressful.

Stiffen up

Become rigid.

My back STIFFENS UP in cold weather.

Stiffen up

Make something rigid.

They used starch to STIFFEN the collars UP.

Stir up

Make trouble for someone else.

He STIRRED things UP by complaining to senior management about his line manager.

Stitch up

Sew something so that it is closed.

I STITCHED UP the hole in my sleeve.

Stitch up

Finalise a deal.

We get the contract STITCHED UP this week.

Stitch up

Cheat someone or make them look guilty when they aren't.

The police STITCHED them UP because they couldn't find any evidence against them.

Stomp off

Leave somewhere angrily.

He lost his temper and STOMPED OFF home.

Stomp on

Treat badly or defeat.

They STOMP ON their competitors.

Stop around

Visit someone for a short time..

Why don't you STOP AROUND my place on your way back?

Stop back

Return somewhere.

I'll STOP BACK this afternoon when you're free.

Stop behind

Stay somewhere when other people leave.

I STOPPED BEHIND at the end of the lecture to ask a couple of questions.

Stop by

Visit somewhere briefly or quickly.

I must STOP BY the supermarket and pick up some things for dinner.

Stop in

Stay at home.

I was feeling tired so I STOPPED IN last night.

Stop in

Visit briefly.

I STOPPED IN at my aunt's after work.

Stop off

Break a journey.

We STOPPED OFF for lunch about halfway there, then carried on driving.

Stop out

Be out late, especially when you are expected home.

Her parents were annoyed because she STOPPED OUT all night.

Stop over

Stay somewhere when on a journey.

I STOPPED OVER in Bangkok for a couple of days on my way back from Tokyo.

Stop up

Stay up late.

I STOPPED UP last night watching the film.

Stop up

Fill or block something.

I STOPPED UP the bottle with a cork.

Storm off

Leave a place angrily.

They had a row and he STORMED OFF.

Storm out

Leave a place angrily.

He lost his temper and STORMED OUT OF the bar. (If you don't mention the place, you can just say 'He stormed out')

Stow away

Hide in a vehicle to travel without people knowing.

She STOWED AWAY on the plane but was caught when it landed.

Stow away

Store something in a safe place.

We STOWED it AWAY in the garage to keep it dry.

Straighten out

Make something straight.

I'm always having to STRAIGHTEN OUT the wires connected to my computer.

Straighten out

Deal with a problem.

I had to STRAIGHTEN OUT things after the mess they had made.

Straighten out

Make clear and resolve.

There are a few issues I'd like to STRAIGHTEN OUT first.

Straighten out

Improve someone's behaviour.

Starting work has STRAIGHTENED him OUT and calmed him down.

Straighten up

Stand straight.

She STRAIGHTENED UP when her boss walked in.

Straighten up


I STRAIGHTENED UP the room before they arrived.

Strike back

Attack, take action against someone who has hurt you.

At first, he ignored them, but when things got very serious, he STRUCK BACK.

Strike down


A hitman STRUCK him DOWN as he entered the building.(This verb is often used in the passive- He was struck down as he entered the building.)

Strike down

Make someone ill.

I was STRUCK DOWN with food poisoning.(This verb is mostly used in the passive.)

Strike down

Disallow a law, decision, etc.

The Appeal Court STRUCK DOWN the lower court's ruling.

Strike off

Remove someone's professional licence to practise.

The Medical Council STRUCK him OFF for malpractice.

Strike on

Have a good idea.

I STRUCK ON the solution when I was out with my dog.

Strike out

Start doing something new and different.

After doing the same job for five years, I decided to STRIKE OUT and change careers.

Strike out

Try to hit someone.

When he pushed me, I STRUCK OUT.

Strike out

Start going towards a place.

We got up early and STRUCK OUT for our final destination.

Strike out

Cross writing out.

As they arrived, I STRUCK their names OUT on the list I had.

Strike out


I tried to get the government to support us but I STRUCK OUT.

Strike up

Start (conversation, relationship).

He STRUCK UP a conversation with me in the bar.

Strike up

Start performing music.

The band STRUCK UP and everyone turned to listen.

Strike upon

Have a good idea.

It took us a long time to STRIKE UPON a solution.

String along

Deceive someone for a long time.

They kept saying they were interested, but they were just STRINGING me ALONG

String along

Accompany someone because you haven't got anything better to do.

Is it alright if I STRING ALONG with you tonight?

String out

Make something last as long as possible.

There was half an hour to go, so I STRUNG the questions OUT as long as I could.

String together

Put words together into a coherent text.

I was so nervous in the interview that I could hardly STRING a sentence TOGETHER.

String up

Hang somebody.

The rebels STRUNG the soldiers UP after they captured them.

Stub out

Extinguish a cigarette.

He STUBBED his cigarette OUT in a saucer because he couldn't find an ashtray.

Stuff up

Make a mistake, do badly, spoil.

I STUFFED the exam UP.

Stumble across

Find something accidentally.

You'll never guess what I STUMBLED ACROSS when I was packing my stuff.

Stumble upon

Find something accidentally.

I STUMBLED UPON these photos when I was clearing my room up.

Stump up

Pay for something.

He didn't want to pay me back, but I got him to STUMP UP in the end.

Suck in

Become involved in something unpleasant.

Everyone around her was taking drugs and she got SUCKED IN.

Suck into

Become involved in something unpleasant.

The country got SUCKED INTO the war.

Suck up

Try to ingratiate yourself.

He is always SUCKING UP to try to get the boss's approval.

Suck up to

Ingratiate yourself with someone.

He's always SUCKING UP TO our boss.

Suit up

Get dressed or put on a uniform for an activity or task.

They SUITED UP and went to the interview

Sum up


At the end of the lecture, she SUMMED UP the main points again.

Summon up

Get the energy or courage to do something.

Andrea couldn't SUMMON UP the enthusiasm to apply for the position.

Suss out

Come to understand.

It took her ages to SUSS OUT what was going on.

Swan about

Move in a dramatic or affected manner.

He SWANNED ABOUT at the party.

Swan around

Move in a dramatic or affected manner.

She SWANNED AROUND trying to impress people.

Swan in

Enter in a dramatic or attention-seeking manner.

He SWANNED IN surrounded by photographers.

Swan off

Leave somewhere in a defiant or pompous manner.

He didn't like the way the spoke to him so he SWANNED OFF angrily.

Swear by

Have great confidence in.

I SWEAR BY their products- they're the best on the market.

Swear down

Promise that something is true.

He SWORE DOWN that he hadn't done it.

Sweep through

Pass easily, succeed.

She SWEPT THROUGH the exams.

Sweep through

Move quickly through.

The disease SWEPT THROUGH the population.

Swing around

Change your opinion quickly.

They SWUNG AROUND to our idea after reading the press reports.

Swing around

Turn around quickly.

He SWUNG ROUND to see what had made the noise.

Swing at

Try to hit.

He SWUNG AT me but missed.

Swing by

Visit a person or place on your way somewhere.

I will SWING BY this afternoon and pick you up.

Swing round

Change your opinion quickly.

They were against it at first then SWUNG ROUND and supported it.

Swing round

Turn around quickly.

She SWUNG ROUND and greeted them.

Syphon off

Take business, support or votes from someone.

The candidate SYPHONED OFF a lot of votes because of his anti-war stance.

Syphon off

Divert money illegally.

The minister had been SYPHONING OFF funds from his department for years.

Tack on

Add something that wasn't planned.

They TACKED ON a new ending to the film when they found that test audiences didn't like the original.

Tack onto

Add or attach something that wasn't planned to something.

I TACKED a quick message ONTO the end of the letter after I'd printed it.

Tag along

Accompany someone, especially if they haven't specifically invited you.

You're off to the cinema; can we TAG ALONG?

Tag on

Add an additional point to something written or spoken.

He TAGGED ON a few comments after reading my report.

Tag onto

Add an additional point to something written or spoken.

He TAGGED his ideas ONTO the end of my report.

Tag with

Add a keyword link or bookmark to a blog entry or webpage.

The post was TAGGED WITH keywords.

Tail away

Become silent or inaudible.

His voice TAILED AWAY when he was speaking about what he'd done wrong.

Tail back

Form a traffic jam.

The traffic TAILED BACK for several miles after the accident.

Tail off

Become silent or inaudible.

The voices TAILED OFF when she entered.

Tail off


Profits TAILED OFF sharply in the last quarter of the year as a result of the increase in the price of oil.

Take after

Look like, resemble.

He TAKES AFTER his mother.

Take apart

Take something to pieces.

She TOOK the photocopier APART to see what had got stuck in it.

Take aside

Get someone alone to talk to them.

The teacher TOOK her ASIDE and said that she'd failed the exam.

Take away


The police TOOK the protestors AWAY.

Take back

Make someone nostalgic.

That song always TAKES me BACK to when I was at university.

Take back

Retract a statement, admit that something was wrong.

I had to TAKE BACK everything bad I'd said about them when I learned how they'd helped out.

Take down

Make notes or write down in full.

The police TOOK DOWN his answers to their questions.

Take down


People TAKE DOWN their Christmas decorations twelve days after Christmas.

Take in

Absorb information.

The lecture was rather boring and I didn't TAKE IN much of what the lecturer said.

Take in


She TOOK me IN with her story until someone told me the truth.

Take in

Make clothes smaller.

The jacket was far too big around the shoulders, so I had it TAKEN IN so that I could wear it.

Take in

Assume care or support.

The family TOOK IN the three homeless kittens.

Take it

Accept criticism.

He's good at criticising others, but can't TAKE IT himself.

Take it out on

Abuse someone because you're angry.

Whenever things go wrong, he always shouts and TAKES IT OUT ON me, even if I had nothing to do with the problem.

Take it upon yourself

Take responsibility, often without consulting other people.

I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF to make sure he got up on time.

Take off

Make great progress.

The software house really TOOK OFF when they produced the latest version of their DTP package.

Take off

Reduce the price of an item.

They've TAKEN ten percent OFF designer frames for glasses.

Take off

When a plane departs or leaves the ground.

The flight for Dublin TOOK OFF on time.

Take off


It was hot, so I TOOK my jacket OFF.

Take on

Allow passengers on a ship or plane.

The plane stopped at Zurich to TAKE ON some passengers.

Take on

Assume a responsibility.

She TOOK ON the task of indexing the book.

Take on


The council has had to TAKE ON twenty extra employees to handle their increased workload.

Take out

Borrow a library book.

I TOOK OUT all the books I needed for my essay from the library.

Take out

Borrow money from a bank or other official lender.

Jackie and Anil TOOK OUT a mortgage to buy a bigger flat.

Take out

Extract or remove.

The dentist TOOK OUT all of my wisdom teeth before they started causing any problems.

Take out

Go out socially with someone, especially a date.

He TOOK her OUT to a restaurant last Friday night.

Take out

Obtain insurance.

I TOOK OUT some health insurance before I went backpacking around Latin America.

Take out

Kill, murder.

The gang TOOK him OUT after he spoke to the police.

Take over

Assume control of a company or organisation.

The bank was TAKEN OVER by a Hong Kong bank that needed to buy a bank to get into the British market.

Take over

Start a job or position that someone had occupied before you.

She TOOK OVER responsibility for the project last month.

Take through

Explain something to someone.

He TOOK me THROUGH the procedures before we started.

Take to

Make a habit of something.

He's TAKEN TO wearing a baseball cap since his hair started thinning more noticeably.

Take up

Fill or occupy time or space.

An awful lot of my time at work is TAKEN UP with pointless bureaucracy nowadays.

Take up

Make clothes shorter.

The trousers were too long so I TOOK them UP to make them fit.

Take up

Start a new hobby, pastime, etc..

He TOOK UP squash as he felt he had to lose some weight.

Talk around


He TALKED them AROUND to accepting his point of view.

Talk around

Talk about a problem or issue without really dealing with it.

They TALKED AROUND the issue without reaching a conclusion.

Talk at

Talk to someone and not give them a chance to reply or listen to them.

There's no point trying to convince them- they'll just TALK AT you until you give up.

Talk back

Respond rudely to a person in authority.

The teacher was cross because the pupil TALKED BACK to her.

Talk down

Try to make something sound less important.

The company CEO TALKED DOWN the recent fall in shares.

Talk down

Persuade someone not to jump off a high place to kill themselves.

A man was threatening to jump off the building but the police TALKED him DOWN.

Talk down to

Talk in a way to show your superiority not communicate.

She's a dreadful teacher and TALKS DOWN TO her students instead of teaching them.

Talk into

Persuade someone to do something.

She didn't want to let me go, but I finally managed to TALK her INTO it.

Talk out

Discuss a problem or issue to find a solution.

They had a meeting to TALK OUT how people felt.

Talk out of

Persuade someone not to do something.

He was going to drive home after drinking half a bottle of wine, but his friends TALKED him OUT OF it.

Talk over


We TALKED OVER the problems in our relationship, but couldn't sort things out.

Talk round


She TALKED them AROUND to accepting her point of view.

Talk round

Talk about a problem or issue without really dealing with it.

WE TALKED ROUND the issue but didn't reach a conclusion.

Talk through

Guide someone through an issue.

The teacher TALKED me THROUGH the test so I knew what to expect.

Talk up

Make something appear more important or significant than it really is.

The government are trying to TALK UP the effect of their policies.

Talk yourself out

Talk until you have nothing left to say.

He TALKED himself OUT after a couple of hours and calmed down.

Tap for

Get money off someone.

I TAPPED him FOR a loan.

Tap into

Use or exploit a plentiful resource for your benefit.

The company is hoping to TAP INTO the Chinese market.

Tap off with

Have sex with.

He TAPPED OFF WITH someone at the party on Saturday.

Tap out

Play a rhythm quietly.

He TAPPED OUT the tune with his pencil while he was thinking.

Tap out

Use all the money available.

How can we buy a new house without TAPPING OUT our savings account.

Tap up

Approach a footballer illegally to get them to change teams.

Chelsea were accused of TAPPING him UP even though he was under contract.

Team up

Work with someone or a group to achieve something.

They TEAMED UP to publicise the issue.

Tear apart

Disturb or upset greatly.

People were TORN APART when news of the train crash came through.

Tear at

Pull or try to pull something to pieces.

The fighters TORE AT each other.

Tear away

Stop someone doing something unwillingly.

I had to TEAR him AWAY from the office for dinner.

Tear away

Remove a surface violently.

The roof was TORN AWAY in the hurricane.

Tear down


The estate was TORN DOWN so that they could develop the land into luxury flats.

Tear into

Criticise strongly or angrily.

She TORE INTO me for losing it.

Tear off

Remove part of a form or letter using your hands, not scissors.

She TORE the slip OFF the bottom of the form and sent it with her cheque.

Tear off

Leave at high speed.

The police TORE OFF in their car after arresting her.

Tear off

Remove with force.

The storm TORE the roof OFF.

Tear out

Depart rapidly.

The sheriff TORE OUT after the escaping criminals.

Tear up

Rip into pieces.

He TORE the fax UP and threw the bits of paper in the bin.

Tear up


They are TEARING UP the old part of town to build a new shopping centre.

Tear up

Have eyes fill with tears.

After hearing the tragic news he TEARED UP and could hardly speak.

Tee off

Start or launch an event.

The new project will TEE OFF next month.

Tee off

Place a golf ball on a short plastic or wooden stick before hitting it at the start of a hole..

He TEED OFF at the first hole.

Tee off

Annoy someone.

It TEES me OFF when they turn up late.

Tee off on


She TEED OFF ON me about the work I gave her.

Tee up

Place a golf ball on a short plastic or wooden stick before hitting it at the start of a hole..

She TEED UP two strokes ahead at the last hole.

Tee up

Make preparations before starting or launching something.

They are TEEING UP for the conference tomorrow.

Tell apart

See a difference between two things.

They're identical twins so I cannot TELL them APART.

Tell off

Chide; talk angrily to someone about something they've done wrong..

His fiancée TOLD him OFF for arriving nearly an hour late.

Tell on

Report someone to an authority.

The pupil TOLD ON the others for cheating and the teacher failed them.

Text out

Cancel an appointment by sending a text message.

I was feeling too tired to go and TEXTED OUT.

Think over

Consider something carefully.

I've THOUGHT it OVER and have made up my mind; I'm going to take the job in Leeds.

Think through

Consider all the possibilities and outcomes of a situation.

The plan fell through because they hadn't THOUGHT it THROUGH properly.

Think up

Create or invent something, especially when lying.

I'd better THINK UP a good reason for handing the work in late.

Throw away

Discard something when no longer needed.

I THREW the alarm clock AWAY because it had stopped working.

Throw in

Join, accompany.

May I THROW IN with you? My companions left me behind.

Throw in

Add something to a deal.

They THREW IN a printer so I bought it from them.

Throw off

Remove item of clothing quickly.

I THREW OFF my shoes and flopped on the settee.

Throw off

Get rid of.

It took me ages to THROW OFF the cold.

Throw off

Produce light or heat.

The lamp THROWS OFF a lot of heat.

Throw on

Put clothes on quickly.

I THREW ON a jacket and rushed outside.

Throw out

Get rid of.

I THREW OUT all my old clothes to make some space in my wardrobe.

Throw out


Edward slipped on the ice and THREW OUT his shoulder.

Throw out


The committee THREW the proposal OUT.

Throw out

Produce heat, fumes.

The car THROWS OUT a lot of smoke.

Throw out


The school THREW him OUT for smoking.

Throw over

End a relationship with someone.

She THREW me OVER last year.

Throw over

Reject, refuse to accept.

They THREW OVER the agreement.

Throw together

Make or arrange quickly.

I THREW a quick dinner TOGETHER before we left.

Throw up


The prawns she ate at lunch made her THROW UP and she had to go home early.

Throw up

Produce problems, results, ideas, etc.

The talks THREW UP some interesting possibilities.

Throw up

Leave a job or position suddenly.

She THREW UP her job to go travelling.

Throw up

Create clouds of dust or splash water into the air.

The road was bumpy and the car in front was THROWING UP so much dust that we could hardly see where we were going.

Throw yourself at

Make it clear you are sexually attracted to someone.

He THREW HIMSELF AT her but she wasn't interested.

Throw yourself into

Do something enthusiastically or energetically.

She THREW herself INTO the project.

Tick along

Make reasonable progress without any serious problems.

Things are TICKING ALONG at work while the director's away.

Tick away

Pass (of time).

The last few seconds TICKED AWAY and the team couldn't come back.

Tick by

Pass (of time).

The seconds TICKED BY and the team failed to score.

Tick off


She really TICKS me OFF when she doesn't reply to my emails.

Tick off


He TICKED me OFF for arriving late.

Tick off

Put a mark on an item in a list when it has been dealt with.

She TICKED OFF our names when we arrived.

Tick over

Continue working, but without improving.

The company TICKED OVER while she was away on holiday.

Tick over

Operate but without moving (engines).

The mechanic left the engine TICKING OVER for a while to see if he could see what was causing the problem.

Tide over

Use something carefully so as not to finish it.

This £50 will have to TIDE me OVER until I get paid.

Tidy up

Put things in the correct place in a room.

I TIDIED UP my bedroom because it was a complete mess.

Tie back

Fasten or secure so that it doesn't obstruct.

She TIED her hair BACK before playing tennis.

Tie down

Secure something to prevent it moving.

They TIED him DOWN to stop him escaping.

Tie down

Remove or restrict freedom.

Marriage TIES you DOWN.

Tie down

Stop people (often police or military) going where they are needed.

The army were TIED DOWN with the rebellion and couldn't help.

Tie in

Agree, be connected or support.

The theory TIES IN with what the police have been saying.

Tie in

Associate with.

He is TIED IN somehow with the crime syndicate.

Tie in with

Occur at the same time.

The publication TIES IN WITH the twentieth anniversary of the incident.

Tie up

Tie or fasten something securely.

They TIED UP the hostages so that they couldn't escape.

Tie up

Stop someone doing something.

Work has TIED me UP all week.

Tie up


I TIED UP my shoelaces.

Tie up

Block a road, etc.

The convoy TIED UP the road for an hour.

Tighten up

Make something more secure or function better.

They're TIGHTENING UP security for the president's visit.

Time out

End or close because of a time limit.

The program TIMED OUT before I could reply.

Time out

End or close something because of a time limit.

The program TIMED me OUT after twenty minutes.

Tip off

Secretly inform the police or authorities.

The police arrested the drug dealer after someone TIPPED them OFF.

Tip over

Spill, make something fall on its side.

I TIPPED my coffee OVER and ruined my keyboard.

Tire of

Get bored of something.

She soon TIRED OF the course and dropped out.

Tire out

Make someone exhausted.

Working so much TIRES me OUT.

Toddle off

Leave, go home.

It's geting late, so I'm going to TODDLE OFF home.

Tone down

Make something sound more moderate.

The Minister tried to TONE DOWN what she had said when the press started attacking her.

Tool up

Provide equipment.

The company spent a lot on TOOLING the factory UP.

Tool up

Arm yourself or somebody.

The gangsters got TOOLED UP before they went into the club.

Tootle off

Leave, depart.

It's getting late, so we're going to TOOTLE OFF home.

Top off

Finish something in a special way.

He complained for an hour and to TOP it OFF started shouting his head off.

Top out

Stop increasing, reach the highest point.

The temperature TOPPED OUT at forty degrees yesterday.

Top up

Refill something that isn't empty yet.

Shall I TOP UP your drink while I'm pouring myself one?

Toss about

Discuss something freely and openly, but not very seriously.

WE TOSSED ideas ABOUT before the negotiations.

Toss around

Discuss something freely and openly, but not very seriously.

We TOSSED their plan AROUND a bit and then rejected it.

Toss back

Drink quickly.

I TOSSED BACK my beer and left.

Toss down

Drink quickly.

I TOSSED a couple of drinks DOWN before they arrived.

Toss for

Make a decision by throwing a coin and seeing which side lands face up.

We TOSSED FOR who would start.

Toss off

Write something quickly and carelessly.

I TOSSED OFF the essay the night before I had to hand it in.

Toss up

Decide something by throwing a coin and seeing which side lands face up..

We TOSSED UP to see who would kick off.

Touch down

Land (planes).

The plane TOUCHED DOWN at Narita airport an hour late.

Touch for

Borrow money.

I TOUCHED him FOR some cash as I'd forgotten my cards.

Touch off

Cause a problem to occur.

The government's decision TOUCHED OFF riots in the capital.

Touch on


The talk TOUCHED ON the issue, but didn't give any new information.

Touch up

Improve the appearance of something.

I couldn't be bothered to redecorate, so I just TOUCHED UP the bits that needed painting the most.

Touch up

Touch someone in a sexual way.

She got angry when he tried to TOUCH her UP in the elevator.

Touch upon


They didn't TOUCH UPON the subject because of the controversy.

Tow away

Remove a vehicle, especially if parked illegally.

I parked in a no-parking zone and they TOWED my car AWAY.

Toy at

Pretend to think about or think about in a casual way.

She TOYED AT getting them to help her but then did it alone.

Toy over

Think about something.

I TOYED OVER the idea for a while, but decided not to go ahead with it.

Toy with

Not eat much of a meal.

It was horrible, so I just TOYED WITH the food.

Toy with

Consider something, but not very seriously.

We TOYED WITH the idea of moving to the country, but it isn't really practical.

Toy with

Move or play with something to occupy your hands.

He TOYED WITH his cup.

Toy with

Treat insincerely.

He thought she loved him but she was just TOYING WITH him.

Track down

Find after a long search.

It took me ages to TRACK them DOWN in the crowd at the football game.

Trade down

Sell something and replace it with something cheaper.

Their house it too large now that their children have left home, so they're going to TRADE DOWN to something smaller.

Trade in

Exchange something old as part of the price of something new.

She TRADED IN her old car for the new model.

Trade in

Leave your wife or husband to marry someone younger.

He TRADED IN his wife when he became the chairman.

Trade off

Bargain, make a deal or compromise.

A longer working week was TRADED OFF for a pay rise.

Trade off

Accept something you don't really want to get something you do want.

We had to TRADE OFF space for the location when buying the apartment.

Trade on

Exploit, use something to your advantage.

He TRADES ON their insecurity to get his way.

Trade up

Buy larger or more expensive items.

British wine drinkers have TRADED UP over the last few years from cheap plonk to expensive wines.

Trade up

Leave your wife or husband and marry someone better looking, richer, etc.

She supported him for years while he was struggling, but when he hit the big time he left her and TRADED UP.

Trade upon

Exploit, use to your advantage.

They TRADE UPON their reputation to scare rivals.

Train up

Teach someone the specific skills they will need to carry out a job or task.

I have been TRAINING my new assistant UP.

Trickle down

Pass benefits from economic expansion through the economy to the less fortunate.

Despite the economic boom, few benefits have TRICKLED DOWN to the poor.

Trip out

Be under the influence of psychoactive drugs.

After taking the LSD he TRIPPED OUT for hours.

Trip over


I TRIPPED OVER and hurt my knee.

Trip over

Fall because you hit an obstacle.

I TRIPPED OVER the kerb and broke my nose.

Trip up

Make a mistake.

I TRIPPED UP in the interview when they asked me about what I could offer the company.

Trot off


The meeting was over so I TROTTED OFF.

Trot off to

Go somewhere.

I TROTTED OFF TO see the dentist.

Trot out

Make a statement (meant negatively).

The spokeswoman TROTTED OUT the same old unconvincing excuses.

Trump up

Charge or accuse someone falsely.

The police TRUMPED UP the charges against him and he ended up in prison though he hadn't done it.

Try back

Phone back.

I called but they weren't in, so I'll TRY BACK later.

Try for

Make an attempt to get something.

I'm going to TRY FOR the job.

Try it on

Provoke someone by being annoying or behaving badly.

The children were TRYING IT ON all night until I lost my temper.

Try it on

Attempt to get something, usually by deceit, without great hopes of success.

He knew I wasn't got to let him do it- he was just TRYING IT ON.

Try on

Put clothes on to see if they fit.

I TRIED the jacket ON before I bought it.

Try out


Scientists are TRYING OUT a new drug in the fight against the disease.

Try out

Test something to see if you like it or want to buy it.

I TRIED OUT the program before I bought it.

Try out for

Be tested for a sports team.

He TRIED OUT FOR the baseball team.

Tuck away

Put something in a safe place.

I TUCKED the money AWAY in my drawer.

Tuck away

Eat a lot.

We TUCKED AWAY a huge dinner before we went out.

Tuck in

Tidy the ends of items of clothing by placing them inside something.

I forgot to TUCK my shirt IN.

Tuck in

Start eating enthusiastically.

The dinner smelled so good I couldn't wait to TUCK IN.

Tuck in

Arrange the sheets, duvet or blankets to make someone, usually a child, comfortable in bed.

He TUCKED her IN and read her a story.

Tuck into

Start eating something.

I was starving and TUCKED INTO the food.

Tuck up

Arrange the sheets, duvet or blankets to make someone, usually a child, comfortable in bed.

She TUCKED her children UP in bed and switched the lights off.

Tune in

Watch or listen to a TV or radio show.

Be sure to TUNE IN next week for the next episode.

Tune in to

Watch or listen to a TV or radio programme.

Make sure you TUNE IN TO next week's show.

Tune out

Ignore, not pay attention.

I TUNED him OUT because he was talking such rubbish.

Tune up

Improve the performance of a machine or engine.

He's TUNED his car UP for the race.

Tune up

Tune a musical instrument before playing.

The orchestra TUNED UP their instruments before the concert.

Turn against

Stop liking and start disliking.

The public TURNED AGAINST the government when they became arrogant and ceased to listen.

Turn away

Not allow someone to enter a place.

The doorman TURNED him AWAY from the nightclub because he was wearing trainers.

Turn down

Reduce volume, temperature, etc..

The room was too hot, so she TURNED the heating DOWN.

Turn down

Reject an offer, invitation, etc..

They offered her the job, but she TURNED it DOWN.

Turn down

Fold the top covers of a bed down to make it ready for someone to go to sleep.

The hotel staff TURNED DOWN the bed and scattered flower petals on it while we was having dinner.

Turn in

Go to bed.

I TURNED IN at half past eleven because I had an early start the next morning.

Turn in

Hand in, submit.

She TURNED IN her paper.

Turn into


Tadpoles TURN INTO frogs.

Turn off

Stop a machine.

I TURNED the TV OFF and went to bed.

Turn on

Cause someone to feel attraction or pleasure.

He really TURNS me ON.

Turn on

Start a machine.

I TURNED the radio ON to get the weather forecast.

Turn on


The neighbour's dog TURNED ON me when I tried to stroke it.

Turn out


The factory TURNS OUT three thousand units a day.

Turn out

Produce an unexpected result.

It looked as if we were going to fail, but it TURNED OUT well in the end.

Turn out

Stop a light.

She TURNED OUT the lights and went to bed.

Turn out


Thousand TURNED OUT for the demonstration.

Turn over

Give to the authorities.

The court ordered the company to TURN OVER their financial records.

Turn to

Try to get help.

She had nobody to TURN TO when her husband died.

Turn to

Take up a habit.

He TURNED TO drink after he lost his job.

Turn up


She didn't TURN UP for class today.

Turn up

Increase volume, temperature, etc..

I TURNED the music UP full blast.

Type in

Enter computer data or text.

He TYPED the text IN and printed it off.

Type out

Write a full or finished version of a text on a computer.

She TYPED her essay OUT and handed it in a the last minute.

Type up

Type a finished version.

She TYPED UP her lecture notes and printed them out.

Urge on


The crowd URGED the players ON.

Urge on

Persuade or pressure to accept something.

They URGED the deal ON the company.

Urge upon

Persuade or pressure to accept something.

They URGED the contract UPON us.

Use up

Finish or consume all of something.

We USED UP all the olive oil.

Usher in

Be at, mark or celebrate an important point in time.

We always give a party USHER IN the NEW YEAR.

Usher in

Make important changes happen.

Her appointment as CEO USHERED IN a whole new phase in the company's growth.

Vacuum up


He VACUUMED UP all of the food.

Vamp up

Make something more exciting, attractive, etc.

The place is dull and you need to VAMP it UP.

Vamp up

Invent, maker up, improvise.

I had to VAMP UP a reason for being so late.

Veg out

Relax, do nothing.

I'm going to VEG OUT in front of the TV tonight.

Venture forth

Leave somewhere safe or comfortable.

If the storm has finished, we could VENTURE FORTH.

Wade in

Start something or get involved, often without thinking or to forcefully.

He just WADED IN without listening to what anyone had to say.

Wade in


The hooligans WADED IN when they saw fans from the other team.

Wade into

Become embroiled or involved in a situation, without thinking or planning usually.

They WADED INTO the negotiations and the deal collapsed.

Wade through

Get to the end of something with difficulty.

It took me ages to WADE THROUGH the book.

Wait about

Wait somewhere doing nothing.

I WAITED ABOUT for an hour, but they didn't come.

Wait around

Wait somewhere doing nothing.

They were just WAITING AROUND to see if anything was going to happen.

Wait behind

Stay somewhere after other people have left.

I WAITED BEHIND to ask the lecturer a question.

Wait in

Stay at home because someone is going to visit.

I WAITED IN for the guy to fix the TV.

Wait on

Serve people in a restaurant.

They have two people WAITING ON each table.

Wait on

Sell goods in a shop.

He WAITS ON customers in an electronics store.

Wait on

Provide someone with everything they need or want.

He has a butler who WAITS ON him.

Wait on

Wait for a result before being able to make a decision.

They're WAITING ON the results of the vote before taking a final decision.

Wait out

Wait till something has finished, usually something unpleasant.

We'll have to WAIT OUT this uncertainty.

Wait up

Not go to bed because you are waiting.

I was worried and WAITED UP until they got home safe and sound.

Wait up!

Stop (imperative).

Wait up! I need to talk to you.

Wait upon

Provide someone with what they require.

They used to have servants WAITING UPON them.

Wait upon

Wait for a result before being able to make a decision.

They must WAIT UPON the outcome of the match before they know who they'll be playing.

Wake up

Stop sleeping.

I WOKE UP at half past six this morning.

Walk away from

Leave something you don't like.

You can't just WALK AWAY FROM your problems.

Walk away with

Win easily.

She WALKED AWAY WITH the first prize.

Walk back from

Retract a statement.

They declined to WALK BACK FROM their comments despite the controversy.

Walk in on

Enter somewhere unexpectedly and see something.

He WALKED IN ON them planning to sack him.

Walk into

Get work without effort.

He WALKED INTO a great job straight after university.

Walk into

Be unaware of the presence of something and either enter it (a trap) or bump into it (an obstruction).

You WALKED INTO that one [You became victim to a trap I set]orI WALKED INTO a door and broke my nose.

Walk off

Go for a walk to reduce the effects of an illness or bad feeling.

I tried to WALK OFF my hangover.

Walk off with

Win easily.

He WALKED OFF WITH the award.

Walk off with

Take something without permission or steal.

Someone WALKED OFF WITH my umbrella so I got soaked.

Walk on

Continue walking.

I saw the accident but just WALKED ON as I didn't want to have to give a statement.

Walk out

Leave work because of a dispute with the management.

The workers WALKED OUT because the felt that safety wasn't being handled correctly.

Walk out

Leave a place angrily or because you are not satisfied.

The film was a bore so I WALKED OUT halfway through.

Walk out on

Leave somebody angrily.

He WALKED OUT ON his wife last year.

Walk through

Explain or demonstrate something carefully to someone.

He WALKED me THROUGH the procedures.

Walk up

Go to someone.

A man WALKED UP and asked me the time.

Waltz through

Pass or succeed easily.

She WALTZED THROUGH the tests and got the highest score.

Wander off

Leave a place, usually without telling other people.

She WANDERED OFF and got lost in the crowd.

Wander off

Stop paying attention.

The lecture was boring and my mind WANDERED OFF after ten minutes.

Want out

Want to leave a relationship or arrangement.

Jackie wasn't happy with her marriage and WANTED OUT.

Warm up

Do exercises before a sport.

The team WARMED UP half an hour before the volleyball match.

Wash away

When floods or waves completely remove a structure, building, etc..

The ice cream stall on the beach was WASHED AWAY in the storm last night.

Wash down

Drink in order to swallow something solid.

I WASHED the antibiotics DOWN with a glass of water.

Wash out

Rain so heavily that an event has to be cancelled.

The rain WASHED OUT the championship final.

Wash over

Suddenly experience a strong emotion.

He felt numb as grief WASHED OVER him.

Wash up

Clean everything used to prepare food and eat it.

The children WASHED UP after lunch.

Wash up

When something in the sea or river is left on the shore or bank.

After the crash, several bodies WASHED UP on the beach.

Wash up

Wash face and hands.

Be sure you and the kids WASH UP before dinner.

Waste away

Become very thin and weak, usually due to illness.

He WASTED AWAY as the cancer got worse.

Watch out

Be careful (imperative).

Watch out- there's ice on the road.

Watch out for

Be careful of something.

WATCH OUT FOR bats in the caves; many have rabies.

Watch over

Keep an eye on something or someone to check that there's no trouble.

The lecturer WATCHED OVER the students as they did the experiment.

Water down

Make something weaker and less effective.

The Freedom of Information Act was WATERED DOWN by the Government and didn't give ordinary people much access to official data files

Wave aside

Ignore or refuse to consider what someone says.

They WAVED ASIDE our objections and carried on with the plan.

Wave down

Make a hand signal to stop a vehicle.

They WAVED the van DOWN and got a lift after the accident.

Wave off

Go to a place where someone is leaving to wave goodbye.

We WAVED her OFF at the station.

Wave on

Make a hand signal to tell someone to keep moving.

The accident was bad, but the police WAVED us ON.

Wean off

Slowly stop a dependency on something.

We will have to WEAN him OFF his obsession.

Wear away

Erode, remove gradually.

The lawn has been WORN AWAY by people walking across it and it's just bare soil now with hardly a blade of grass.

Wear down

Make something weaker.

The stress of my job is WEARING me DOWN.

Wear off

Stop having an effect.

The anaesthetic WORE OFF and my tooth started hurting.

Wear out

Use something until it stops working.

She played the video so many times that she WORE the tape OUT.

Weed out

Remove, get rid of.

The company WEEDED OUT the unsuccessful sales reps.

Weigh down on

Burden with responsibilities, duties, etc.

The requirements of her new job WEIGHED DOWN ON her.

Weigh in

Have a certain weight (in sports like boxing).

The champion WEIGHED IN at 120 kilos.

Weigh in

Enter an argument forcefully.

He disliked the plan and WEIGHED IN with some heavy criticism.

Weigh in on

Enter an argument or discussion to express a strongly felt idea.

She WEIGHED IN ON their immigration policies.

Weigh on

Make someone consider carefully.

The issues raised WEIGHED ON her mind.

Weigh out

Measure a certain amount of something by weight.

Could you WEIGH OUT 200 grammes of that for me?

Weigh up


They WEIGHED the pros and cons UP carefully before deciding.

Weird out

Disturb, cause concern or worry.

The way he spoke was WEIRDING me OUT.

Well up

Feel tears starting.

I felt tears WELLING UP when I heard the news.

Well up

Feel an emotion strongly.

Anger WELLED UP inside us when we saw what they had done.

Well up

Experience an emotion or feeling, start to cry.

Tears WELLED UP when I heard they had died.

Wheel around

Turn quickly and face in the opposite direction.

When he heard the whistle, he WHEELED AROUND to see what was happening.

Wheel out

Use something like an explanation that has been used many times before and has lost its impact.

They WHEELED OUT the same old excuses last time this happened.

Wheel round

Turn quickly and face in the opposite direction.

She WHEELED ROUND when he told her to stop.

While away

Spend time doing something because you have nothing better to do.

We WHILED a couple of hours AWAY playing computer games.

Whip into

Enter rapidly (as for a brief errand).

Ben WHIPPED INTO the convenience store for a bag of crisps.

Whip out

Remove quickly.

The police officer WHIPPED OUT her radio and called for back-up.

Whip out of

Exit rapidly.

Lola WHIPPED OUT OF a side street without looking and broadsided a police car.

Whip through

Do something quickly.


Whip up

Make food quickly.

We got back late and WHIPPED UP dinner.

Whip up

Mix liquid food quickly to make it thick and creamy.

I WHIPPED UP the egg whites.

Whip up

Make people feel more strongly about something.

The boss tried to WHIP UP some support for her new policies.

Whisk away

Take to another place quickly.

The police WHISKED the minister AWAY when the trouble started.

White out

Use correction fluid to cover a mistake in a written text.

Could you pass the Tippex? I need to WHITE this mistake OUT.

Wig out

Become excited and lose control.

He WIGGED OUT when he heard that he had failed.

Wiggle out

Avoid doing.

He was supposed to be in charge but tried to WIGGLE OUT.

Wiggle out of

Avoid doing something.

I WIGGLED OUT OF having to work late.

Wimp out

Not be brave enough to do something.

I was going to have the hottest curry on the menu, but I WIMPED OUT and had a mild lamb Korma instead.

Wind down


I'm going to WIND DOWN in the country this weekend and do nothing.

Wind down

Slowly close a business or organisation.

They WOUND the committee DOWN after the inquiry.

Wind on

Forward a film or tape to a certain point.

He WOUND the video ON to show us the scene.

Wind up

Close a company because it's unprofitable.

The company was WOUND UP when the creditors demanded payment.

Wind up

Tighten the spring in a watch or clock to make it work.

I forgot to WIND UP my alarm clock and overslept.

Wind up

Irritate someone or increase their stress level, especially if done deliberately.

The children are really WINDING me UP

Winkle out

Find or get something that takes a great deal of effort.

It took me a while to WINKLE the truth OUT of him.

Wipe out

Make someone very tired.

Revising for the exam last night WIPED me OUT.

Wipe out

Kill all of a population, make extinct.

A meteor crashing into the planet WIPED the dinosaurs OUT.

Wire up

Make electrical connections.

She WIRED her new stereo system UP as soon as she got home.

Wise up

Stop being stupid.

His supervisor told him to WISE UP and start following the rules or else he'd lose his job.

Word up

Give someone information, advice.

The solicitor WORDED her UP client before the police interview, so they go very little out of him.

Word up!

A phrase that was used a greeting.

'Word up! You OK?'

Work off

Exercise to remove stress or weight.

She goes to the gym to WORK OFF her anger.

Work on

Improve or develop.

Scientists are WORKING ON genetically modified crops and foods.

Work out

End nicely.

Things were going wrong for them but fortunately it all WORKED OUT in the end.

Work out

Find the answer or solution.

I couldn't WORK OUT all the answers to the crossword puzzle.

Work over

Assault, beat up.

They WORKED him OVER and robbed him.

Work over

Repeat, do again.

They WORKED it OVER until they had got it right.

Work over

Examine carefully.

They WORKED OVER the market looking for bargains.

Work through

Deal with, resolve a problem, often emotional.

It took him a long time to WORK THROUGH his anger after he lost his job.

Wrap around

Cover with clothing, usually to keep warm.

She WRAPPED a scarf AROUND her head because it was so cold.

Wrap around

Cover or encircle with part of your body.

He WRAPPED his arms AROUND her.

Wrap round

Cover with clothing, usually to keep warm.

He WRAPPED the cloth ROUND his fingers to keep warm.

Wrap round

Cover or encircle with part of your body.

She WRAPPED her arms ROUND him.

Wrap up

Cover in paper.

They WRAPPED UP the presents then put a ribbon around them.

Wrap up

Dress warmly.

WRAP UP carefully or you'll catch your death of cold outside in that rain.

Wrap up


That WRAPS things UP, so we'll end this meeting.

Wriggle out of

Avoid doing something in a way other people don't like.

He always manages to WRIGGLE OUT OF any extra work we get.

Write down

Make notes.

I WROTE her mobile number DOWN on a scrap of paper and I've lost it.

Write in

Send a letter to a TV station, etc..

They asked viewers to WRITE IN with their opinions and suggestions.

Write off

Destroy a car in an accident.

He WROTE the car OFF in an accident on the motorway.

Write out

Write something completely.

I WROTE OUT my notes in full to help me remember them.

Write up

Make complete written version.

I WROTE UP the report and submitted it.

Yack on

Talk continuously, especially if it is an annoying way.

He YACKED ON for an hour.

Yammer on

Talk continuously, especially if it is an annoying way.

She YAMMERED ON for ages.

Yield to


I tried hard to resist, but in the end I YIELDED TO temptation and ate it all.

Zero in on

Direct or focus attention on.

The police have ZEROED IN ON the man they believe to be responsible for the murder.

Zero in on

Head for, move towards.

The hurricane is ZEROING IN ON Florida.

Zero out

Cut off funding for a project.

The debt was ZEROED OUT by the department.

Zero out

Reduce to zero, cancel, remove.

The entry was ZEROED OUT of the database.

Zip around

Move quickly.

We ZIPPED AROUND the supermarket to get the shopping done.

Zip by

Pass quickly.

The motorbike ZIPPED BY the cars stuck in the traffic jam.

Zip it

Keep quiet, say nothing.

He told me to ZIP IT, so I said nothing.

Zip up

Keep quiet.

He was being stupid in the meeting, so we told him to ZIP UP.

Zone in

Pay attention after not doing so.

I was bored at first but then ZONED IN when things started getting more interesting.

Zone in on

Pay attention after not doing so.

I ZONED IN ON what they were saying when they started gossiping.

Zone out

Not pay attention.

She ZONED OUT during the lecture because it was so boring.

Zone out

Dissociate yourself from a situation.

I put some ambient music on and ZONED OUT.

Zonk out

Fall asleep.

I ZONKED OUT during the film and missed most of it.

Zoom in

Focus more closely.

The camera ZOOMED IN to show people's faces.

Zoom in on

Focus more closely.

The camera ZOOMED IN ON his face.

Zoom off

Go somewhere quickly.

He rushed out of the building and ZOOMED OFF in his car.

Zoom out

Focus less closely.

The camera ZOOMED OUT to show all the crowd.

A large list of phrasal verbs with their meanings and examples of how to use them in a sentence