Abide by – to show respect towards.
All the students must abide by the rules.
Account for – to give reasons, to explain.
Ex: You should account for your absence.
Add up – to be reasonable, to make sense.
Ex: Paul’s story doesn’t add up.
Add up to something: to equal
Your bill adds up to $54.
Agree with: to share opinion with someone.
Ex: I agree with you regarding that matter.
Allow for: to consider something.
Ex: We should allow for bigger money spendings during the holiday.
Appeal to: to plead or make a request.
Ex: He appealed to the court to change their decision.
Appeal to: to be attractive or interesting.
Ex: Horror movies do not appeal to me.
Apply for: to make a formal request.
Ex: Many people applied for that position.
Ask around – to seek for information from many different people.
Ex: He was asking around if someone had seen his dog.
Back away (off): to move backwards from someone or something.
Ex: The horse backed away from the snake.
Back down: to withdraw, to retreat.
Ex: I believe it’s better to back down from this situation.
Back up: to give support or encouragement.
Ex: Will you please back me up on this at the meeting?
Bank on: to rely on someone or something.
Ex: I wouldn’t bank on that train arriving on time if I were you.
Be around – be present.
Ex: If you want to talk to me I’ll be around.
Black out: to faint, to lose consciousness.
Ex: Mary nearly blacked out when she heard the news.
Blow up: to explode.
Ex: They blew up the construction and built it up again.
Boot up: to start a computer by loading an operating system or program.
Ex: You have to boot up your computer before you start to work.
Boss around – to tell someone what to do.
Ex: He’s bossing around although he’s not a boss.
Break down: to stop working, to go out of order.
Ex: The washing machine broke down so we had to call the service.
Break into: to enter by force.
Ex: Burglars broke into our neighbour‘s apartment last night.
Break out: to begin suddenly.
Ex: The Second World War broke out in 1939.
Break up: to end a relationship.
Ex: They broke up because he started seeing another girl.
Bring somebody down: make unhappy
The death of my dog has brought me down.
Bring somebody up: raise a child
My parents brought me up in London.
Bring something up: start talking about a subject
Jane brought up the discussion about workers being late.
Bring something up: vomit
He had too much alcohol so he had to bring it up in the toilet.
Bump into: to meet someone unexpectedly.
Ex: I bumped into Sarah this morning.
Burn out: to run out of fuel and go out.
Ex: The light bulb in the garage burnt out. Could you please change it?
Call back: to return a phone call.
Ex: I’m busy at the moment. Could you please call back later?
Call for – make necessary, recommended.
Ex: This recipe is calling for thyme.
Call off: cancel.
Ex: I’m afraid I’ll have to call off our meeting on Saturday.
Call on – to invite someone in a formal way to do something.
Ex: I call on all of you to raise your glasses.
Calm down: to relax; to become less active.
Ex: You shouldn’t worry. Calm down!
Carry on: to continue.
Ex: Please carry on with your reading.
Carry out: to do something as specified (a plan, an oder)
Ex: His orders were carried out to the letter.
Carry out: to perform or conduct (test, experiment).
Ex: That company doesn’t carry our experiments on animals.
Check in: to register at a hotel or airport.
Ex: We checked in at the airport before our flight.
Check out: to pay a bill and leave a place (hotel)
Ex: I checked out of the hotel at noon.
Clam up: to say nothing, to refuse to speak.
Ex: When they asked him about the burglary, he clammed up.
Come across: 1) to meet or find by chance.
Ex: I came across some old photos while I was tidying up the room.
2) to appear, seem, make an impression.
Ex: He seemed like a gentle man, but sometimes he came across as an unpleasant one.
Come down with: to begin being ill from an illness.
Ex: I don’t think I’ll be able to come to work today. I’ve come down with the flu.
Come forward: to present oneself, to come forward.
Ex: Colin came forward and stood before the class.
Come up with: to produce or discover something, to improvise.
Ex: It is believed that the scientists came up with the cure for cancer.
Count on: to rely or depend on someone or something.
Ex: You can count on him to fix your car.
Cut down on: to reduce the amount of something.
Ex: I gained weight. I’ll have to cut down on cakes.
Cut out: to remove something using scissors.
Ex: I cut out the coupon from the newspapers.
Cut out: to stop doing something.
Ex: You need to cut out sugar from your diet.
Deal with: to handle something (a problem).
Ex: I can’t deal with all these problems at the same time.
Fool around – to behave in a silly and dangerous way.
Ex: One shouldn’t fool around with fire.
Get around – travel to a lot of places.
Ex: He’s visited three countries this year. He’s getting around!
Get in touch (with someone) – to initiate contact with someone.
Ex: I’ve been trying to get in touch with you all morning. Where have you been?
Go around – behave in a certain way.
Ex: He’s going around and calling people names.
Hand around – to give something to each person in a group.
Ex: She poured the soup into plates and handed them around to us.
Hand back – to give back something you’re holding back to someone.
Ex: Paul handed her back the book after he looked at it.
Hand down – to give something to someone (usually to a member of the family) so they can have it after you die.
Ex: She was handed down that necklace by her grandmother.
Hand in – to give documents or written papers to officials or teacher so they can deal with it.
Ex: I handed my passport in to the custom officer.
Hold back – 1. To not give information about something, retreat.
Ex: Don’t hold back. Tell us what you know about it.
I tried to talk to him but he held back immediately.
2. To control emotions.
Ex: She couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.
Hold down – 1. To limit.
Ex: Please, hold your voice down.
1. To keep a job.
Ex: It was difficult for him to hold down two jobs.
Hold off – Postpone, delay, cancel.
Ex: We should hold off the project until they approve the funds.
2. To keep at a distance.
Ex: They tried to hold their creditors off.
Hold on – 1. Wait, stay put.
Ex: Hold on, I’ll be back in a minute.
Hold on a second. I need to make a phone call.
2. To endure or persist.
Ex: Hold on until the ambulance arrives.
You just have to hold on till your turn.
Hold to – keep to something, remain loyal to something.
Ex: She was determined to hold to her decision.
Sally’s always held to her promises.
Hold with – to agree with, to support
Ex: I don’t hold with your suggestion.
If I weren’t your brother I would never hold with your decision.
Keep at – if you keep at something, then you’re persisting on doing something although it may be difficult.
Ex: I know it is difficult, but you have to keep at it.
Keep away – if you keep away from people, then you don’t come close to them. If you keep away from things, then you don’t touch them, or use them.
Ex: Jane had a bad cold yesterday and everyone kept away from her. I’m trying to keep away from the fridge as I want to lose weight.
1.You keep something like your voice, noise, music, etc. down. If music is too loud and you want it to be quieter, you can say:
Please, keep that music down!
2. You keep something down when you’re trying to keep it on a lower lever.
Our company is trying to keep the prices down .
Keep in touch – stay in contact with someone.
Ex: I’ve always been trying to keep in touch with my schoolmates
1.If you keep from something, then you’re trying to refrain from doing it, although it is hard.
Ex: I really wanted to punch that guy, but I kept from it.
2.If you keep people from doing something, then you’re trying to stop them doing it.
Ex: We should keep from laughing that much.
1.You keep off something if you’re trying not to step on it.
Ex: Please, keep off the grass.
2.If you keep off addictive substances like alcohol or cigarettes, it means that you don’t use them.
Ex: He is a nice guy for as long as he keeps off alcohol.
Keep on – if you keep on doing something, then you continue doing it.
Ex: Paul told Stuart to stop laughing, but he just kept on with it.
1.If you keep an information to yourself, then you keep it to yourself.
Ex: It is a secret, keep it to yourself.
2. If you avoid to leave a place or activity.
Ex: It was raining outside, so I kept to my room.
1.If you keep up doing something, then you continue doing it.
Ex: The coach told them to keep up running.
2. To advance at the same rate as someone.
Ex: Mary missed many lessons due to illness so she found it difficult to keep up with other children.
Look after – take care of someone.
Ex: My neighbor will look after my cat while I’m away.
Look around – to visit a place and look at things in it.
Ex: We looked around the gallery.
Look down – think that you are better than someone else.
Ex: She’s always looking down on uneducated people.
Look into – to consider the facts related to a problem or situation.
Ex: We are looking into buying a new house.
Look out – be careful!
Ex: Look out! There’s a car behind you.
Look up – to be better, improve.
Ex: Our son’s grades are looking up. It was about time!
Lose one’s touch – lose an ability to do something as well as we used to.
Ex: It seems like Jane’s lost her touch with skiing.
Lose touch with – lose contact with someone.
Ex: Although they lived in different countries, they’ve never lost touch with each other.
Mess around – to do unimportant things, waste time.
Ex: You should stop messing around and do your homework!
Monkey around – to behave in a silly and annoying way.
Ex: Don’t monkey around with my computer!
Out of touch – lack of information or communication.
Ex: I’m out of touch with Brenda so I couldn’t tell you when she’s coming.
Run around – to be very busy.
Ex: I’m so tired; I’ve been running around all morning.
Send down – to suspend or dismiss from a university.
Ex: He was sent down from the university for theft
Send for – to request to come.
Ex: They sent for the car.
Send in – 1.to cause to come or be delivered to the recipient.
Ex: Let’s send in a letter against animal abuse.
2.to cause someone to become involved in a particular situation.
Ex: They sent in the firefighters.
Send up – To put in prison.
Ex: The judge sent him up to prison.
Take after – to look or behave similarly as somebody in your family.
Ex: I take after my grandma.
Take away – to remove something, make it vanish.
Ex: After she sorted out the towels, she took them away.
Take back – to bring something back to the shop because it is not suitable.
Ex: I’ll have to take this shirt back to the shop. It’s too big.
Take down – to write down information.
Ex: The teacher told us to take down important things he was talking about.
Take in – 1. to reduce something in size.
Ex: The tailor took in my trousers after I lost weight.
- to visit an interesting place.
Ex: We took in a trip around the island. It was marvelous.
Take off – when an airplane leaves airport.
Ex: The plain is taking off, would you please fasten your seat belts.
Take on – to employ someone.
Ex: We’ll take on some new staff this week. Would you send us your CV?
Take over – to assume control or responsibility of something.
Ex: The aliens took over our planet.
Take to – to start doing something regularly, develop a habit.
Ex: He took to drinking.
Take up – to develop an interest in something such as hobby or sport.
Ex: Simone took up playing the piano but she lost interest after some time.
Touch a nerve with – make someone upset.
Ex: Any talk of raising the cost of oil touches a nerve with citizens.
Touch a sore spot (point) – sensitive matter.
Ex: We shouldn’t touch a sore spot and ask him about the accident.
Turn around – to begin doing something successfully.
Ex: The new manager turned our company around. It performs much better now.
Turn off – switch off
Ex: Laila turned off TV and went to bed.
Turn on – switch on
Ex: Ken turned on his computer and began to work
Turn out – how the things develop or end.
Ex: It turned out that what we did was right.
Turn over – turn a page, turn your body in a lying position, change the TV channel.
Ex: The conductor turned over a page in his note book.
Walk around – to walk without particular goal.
Ex: We were walking around for hours.