aim at (phr v) – to target. – The magazine is aimed at teenagers. – The new budget aims at providing extra support for the unemployed.
believe in (phr v) – to feel confident about something or someone. – Gradually, since her divorce, she’s beginning to believe in herself again. – Do you believe in ghosts?
blow away (phr v) – when the wind moves on object or person from where it was. – Our trashcans were blown away in that bad storm, and we finally found them down the street in our neighbor’s yard. – I was almost blown away on my walk to the library because it’s so windy out!
blow up (phr v) – to make something explode. – The car blew up as soon as it hit the wall. – The boiler blew up, wrecking the whole house.
break down (phr v)- to stop working( for a machine, etc). – Our car broke down on the motorway. – That’s the third time our car’s broken down this month!
break into (phr v) – to enter illegally or interrupt a conversation. – A house in Brecon Place was broken into last night. – He broke into the discussion.
break out(phr v) – start suddenly (of war, fire, etc). – It seems that the fire broke out in the kitchen. – Forest fires have broken out across Indonesia.
break up ( phr v) – to stop having a relationship with somebody. – Their marriage broke up as a result of long separations. – He got into serious debt after his marriage broke up.
bring back (phr v) – to return something you’ve borrowed – Can you bring me back some milk? – Astronauts brought back specimens of moon rock.
bring up (phr v) – look after a child until he or she becomes an adult. – She brought up three sons on her own. – She was partly brought up by her grandparents.
build up (phr v)- to cause something to increase. – These exercises are good for building up leg strength. – She does exercises daily to build up her strength.
burst out (phr v) – to suddenly do or say something. – They both burst out laughing. – Everyone burst out “Surprise!” as he walked through the door.
call back (phr v) – to call someone again. – I’ll call you back when I’ve heard something. – I’m waiting for someone to call me back with a price.
call off (phr v) – to cancel an event that has been previously planned. – The union threatened a strike but called it off at the last minute. – He has called off the trip.
calm down (phr v) – to become less violent, nervous, excited or angry. – Calm down for a minute and listen to me. – He needs to calm himself down and find a balance.
care for (phr v) – to nurture or take care of someone or something. – She moved back home to care for her elderly parents. – He really cared for her.
carry on (phr v) – to continue doing something. – She carried on watching the TV. – The assistant carried on talking.
carry out (phr v) – to do something that you have said you will do or have been asked to do or complete a task. – The training necessary to enable them to carry out their duties. – Extensive tests have been carried out on the patient.
catch on (phr v) – to become popular or fashionable. – I wonder if the game will ever catch on with young people? – Sports drinks have caught on as consumers have become more health- conscious.
catch up (phr v) – to move faster to reach someone or something that is ahead of you. – He stopped and waited for Lily to catch up. – Slow down so that I can catch up with you.
check in (phr v) – to register at a hotel or airport upon arrival. – You must check in at least one hour before take-off. – I got a taxi to the airport and checked my bags in.
check out (phr v) – to leave a hotel or other from of an accommodation after your stay there. – Don’t forget to hand in your room key when you check out. – Guests should check out of their rooms by noon . I’m sorry they aren’t here. They checked out this morning.
clear up (phr v) – to do something to solve a problem or tidy something up by removing rubbish or other unwanted items. – He wanted to clear up some misconceptions. – I keep meaning to come down here and clear up.
close down (phr v) – when the activities or services of a business permanently end. – The company closed down some years later. – The government promised to close down the nuclear plants within twenty years.
come across (phr v) – meet or find someone or something by chance. – I came across these old photos recently. – He comes across as a bit of a bore in interview
come back (phr v) – to return to a place or to return in a memory to (someone). – I felt I’d never come back to the old home place. – I had forgotten a lot of what I learned about music, but it’s all coming back to me now.
come up with (phr v) – when you think of a solution, idea, plan, or excuse. – She’s come up with some amazing scheme to double her income. – We’ll think about a present for her and see what we can come up with.
cross off (phr v) – to remove or delete someone or something from a list. – They crossed off the names of the people who had already invited. – We can cross her off our list of potential donors.
cut down on (phr v) – to do or less of something. – I’m trying to cut down on caffeine. – The doctor told him to cut down on cigarettes.
deal with (phr v) – when you do everything you must do to solve a problem or complete – The way that building societies deal with complaints. – The President said the agreement would allow other vital problems to be dealt with.
do over (phr v) – to do something again in order to improve or correct mistakes. – If she had the chance to do it over, she would have hired a press secretary. – What would they do differently if they had it to do over again.
drop in (phr v ) – to visit someone unexpectedly or without making arrangements first. – Whenever I’m up there I always drop in. – She spent most of the day dropping in on friends in Edinburg.
drop out (phr v)- to quit a school program at training course. – She had dropped out of college. – He’d dropped out of high school at the age of 16.
eat out (phr v) – to eat in a restaurant. – When I lived in Spain, I used to eat out all the time. – Do you feel like eating out tonight?
end up (phr v) – the end result of something planned or unplanned. – The book ended up in the trash. – He didn’t want to end up like his father.
figure out( phr v) – to understand or solve something. – It takes most people some time to figure out new software. – If they know the cause of the problem, they might be able to figure out how to prevent it happening again.
fill in (phr v) – to add personal information in the blank spaces of an official document. – If you want your free copy of the magazine, fill this form in. – Fill in the coupon and send it first class to address shown.
find out (phr v)- to get information about something because you want to know more about it. – How did you find out about the party? – I’ll just go and find out what’s going on outside.
get ahead (phr v) – become successful in one’s life or career. – I want to get ahead in my career. – It’s tough for a woman to get ahead in politics.
get along (with) (phr v) – to have good interactions with others. – It’s impossible to get along with him. – They seemed to be getting along fine.
get away (phr v) – to escape from a person or place or to manage to leave place , especially your work. – A police officer grabbed him, but he got away. – He said he’d meet me for lunch if he could get away.
get back (phr v) – to a state they were in before , they are then in that state again. – Then life started to get back to normal. – I couldn’t get back to sleep.
get by (phr v)- to manage to live or do a particular thing using money, knowledge, equipment etc, that you have. – How does she get by on such a small salary ? – I can just about get by in German.
get in (phr v)- to succeed in entering a place, especially a building. – They must have got in through the bathroom window. – Anyway, no one can get in there without going through the ref library.
get on with ( phr v) – to make progress with a particular activity, plan. – The sooner we finish the speeches, the sooner we can get on with the celebration. – The board leaves the management teams to get on with day-to-day running of each business.
give away (phr v) – to give something freely as a gift or donation – I gave away my all books. – Ten thousand copies of the software package are being given away.
give up (phr v) – to stop doing something without completing it. – You’ll never guess the answer – do you give up? – I give up – tell me the answer!
go ahead ( phr v) – to start to do something. – We’ve received permission to go ahead with the music festival in spite ot opposition from local residents. – I got so fed up with waiting for him to do it that I just went ahead and did it myself.
go away (phr v) – to leave home for a period of time, especially for a vacation. – They went away for a few days. – I’m going away on business.
grow up (phr v) – to gradually become an adult. – I grew up in Scotland (= I lived there when I was young). – Taking responsibility for yourself is part of the process of growing up.
hand out (phr v)- to give something to each of a number of people. – Would you please hand out the balloons to the children? – Would you hand these papers out for me?
hang on(phr v) – to wait for a short time. – Sally’s on the other phone – would you like to hang on? – Hang on, I’m not ready yet.
hear about (phr v) – to learn about someone or something , typically (but not always ) via word of mouth. – That website gave me a survey , asking me how I heard about it. – Did you hear about Jade? She was in a car accident and broke her leg in three places.
hold off (phr v) – to not do something immediately. – Let’s hold off making a decision until next week. – They’ve decided to hold off on buying a car until they’re both working.
hold on (phr v) – used to tell someone to wait for a short time. – Hold on, I’ll check in my diary. – She’s on the other line – can you hold on?
hurry up (phr v) – to do something quickly. – Hurry up and finish your soup. – Franklin told Howe to hurry up and take his bath; otherwise, they’d miss their train.
join in (phr v) – to do an activity with people who are already doing it. – She laughed and Tom joined in. – Pat didn’t feel like joining in the celebrations.
keep from (phr v)- to manage to prevent yourself from doing something. – I couldn’t keep from smiling when she told me what she’d done. – She’s been trying to keep herself from eating too much candy.
keep up with ( phr v) – to do whatever is necessary to stay level or equal with someone or something. – Wages are falling to keep up with inflation. – She walks so fast I can never keep up with her.
know about (phr v)- to be knowledgeable about, familiar with , or skilled at something. – Sarah knows about all that tech stuff, you should ask her to help you set the computer up. – I knew a bit about plumbing, so I was able to fix the problem myself.
let down (phr v) – to make someone feel disappointed or less hopeful. – I was a bit late but I couldn’t let them down completely. – The families of the victims feel that the justice system has let them down.
let in (phr v) – to allow someone to enter a house , room etc. – Don’t let anybody in – I’ll back in 15 minutes. – The door staff didn’t let him in the nightclub because he was wearing jeans.
live on (phr v) – if you live on an amount of money, that is the money that you use to buy the things that you need. – We lived on very little when we first got married. – The job provides enough to live on.
lock out ( phr v ) – to prevent someone from coming into a room or building by locking the door. – She locked him out of the house after an argument. – I’ve locked myself out again – could I use your phone?
look forward to (phr v) – to feel pleased and excited about something that is going to happen. – I’m really looking forward to my holiday. – She was looking forward to seeing the grandchildren again.
look up (phr v)– a fact or a piece of information, you find it out by looking in something such as a reference book or a list. – I looked your address up in the personal file. – Many people have to look up the meaning of this word in the dictionary.
make up ( phr v) – something such as a story or excuse, you invent it, sometimes in order to deceive people. – I think it’s very unkind of you to make up stories about him. – I’m not making it up. The character exists in real life.
name after (phr v) – to give someone or something the same name as another person or thing. – Paul was named after his grandfather. – I was named after my uncle who died in the war.
narrow down (phr v) – to reduce the number of possibilities or choices. – We narrowed the choices down to five categories. – The following list may help narrow down the cause of the problem.
pass away (phr v)- die. – She’s terribly upset because her father passed away last week. – Sadly, Georgia’s uncle passed away yesterday after a short illness.
pay back (phr v) – to return money to someone from whom you have borrowed it. – I’ll pay you back as soon as I get my next paycheck. – I’ll be able to pay you back next week.
pick up (phr v)– to increase or improve: – The number of applicants will pick up during the autumn. – Her career only began to pick up when she was in her forties.
plan on (phr v)– to intend to do something, or to expect to happen. – We are planning on going to Australia this year. – We hadn’t planned on so many people coming.
plug in( phr v) – to connect an electrical device to an electrical outlet. – He went to plug in his phone for the night. – I filled the kettle while she was talking and plugged it in.
point out (phr v) – to tell someone about some information, often because you believe they do not know it or have forgotten it. – He was planning to book a rock-climbing holiday, till I pointed out that Denis is afraid of heights. – I feel I should point out how dangerous it is.
put up with ( phr v) – tolerate or endure something. – She put up with his violent temper. – I’m too tired to put up with any nonsense.
run out of ( phr v) – to use all of something and not have any more left. – By now the plane was running out of fuel. – They ran out of money and had to abandon the project.
run over (phr v) – to hit someone or something with a vehicle, and drive over them: – He was run over and killed by a bus. – She got run over outside the school.
settle down (phr v) – to become familiar with a place and to feel happy and confident in it. – She quickly settled down in her new house/school/job. – Come on, have a cup of tea and settle down.
set off ( phr v) – to start on a trip. – What time do we set off tomorrow ? – We set off for Boston just after ten.
set up ( phr v) – to formally establish a new company, organization, system, way of working, etc. – A committee has been set up to organize social events for the students. – She plans to set up her own business.
show off (phr v) – to try to make people admire your abilities, achievements, or possessions – used to show disapproval. – He couldn’t resist showing off on the tennis court. – She only bought that sports car to show off and prove she could afford one.
show up (phr v) – to arrive somewhere in order to join a group of people, especially late or unexpectedly. – I invited him for eight o’clock, but he didn’t show up until 9.30. – We were expecting 30 people to come , but half of them never showed up.
shut up (phr v) – to stop talking or making a noise. – Will you tell Mike to shut up? – When they’d finally shut up, I started again.
slow down (phr v) – to be less active. – The doctor has told him to slow down or he’ll have a heart attack. – The car slowed down as they passed Customs.
sort out ( phr v) – to successfully deal with a problem or difficult situation. – She went to a psychiatrist to try to sort out her problems. – I’ll be glad to get this misunderstanding sorted out.
speed up (phr v) – to move or happen faster. – You see drivers speeding up when they should be slowing down. – The daring new technique dramatically speeded up the construction process.
split up ( phr v) – to stop having a relationship with somebody. – I was beginning to think that nothing could ever split us up. – She split up with her boyfriend last week.
stand for (phr v) – to support or represent something. – I hated the organization and all it stood for. – Her behavior is totally out of order and I’m not going to stand for it.
start up (phr v) – to bring a business, organization, or project into existence. – The Agency helps over 1,000 firms start up each year. – She left the company last year to start up her own business.
take back (phr v) – to return something. – If I buy something and he doesn’t like it , I’ll take it back. – I went to the library and took your books back.
take up ( phr v ) – to begin to do something. – I’m not very good at golf – I only took it up recently. – Chris has taken up jogging.
tear up (phr v) – to destroy something such as a piece of paper or cloth by pulling it into pieces. – I tore up all the photos of my old boyfriend. – She tore up all the letters he had sent her.
tell off (phr v)- to speak angrily to someone because they have done something. – If you make your sister cry, you’ll get told off. – Their teacher told them off for chattering in the lesson.
turn down (phr v) – to decrease the temperature, sound etc. – He kept turning the central heating down. – She could not bear the relentless music and turned down the volume.
turn out (phr v) – to develop in a particular way, or to have a particular result. – Obviously, I’m disappointed at the way things have turned out. – I’m sure it will all turn out well in the end.
turn up ( phr v) – put in appearance, arrive. – Half the guests failed to turn up. – This is similar to waiting for a bus that never turns up.
use up ( phr v)- to finish a supply of something. – Don’t use up all the milk – we need some for breakfast. – The earth’s resources are being used up at an alarming rate.
watch out (phr v) – used to warn someone of danger or an accident that seems likely to happen. – Watch out for thieves round here. – Watch out! It’s rather wet over there.
wear off (phr v) – if a feeling or the effect of something wears off, it gradually disappears. – Most patients find that the numbness from the injection wears off after about an hour. – The painkillers wore off after a couple of hours.
work out (phr v) – to exercise in order to improve the strength or appearance of your body: – I try to work out twice a week. – Make sure you drink plenty if water if you are working out.
write down (phr v) – to write something on a piece of paper so that you do not forget it. – Did you write down Jo’s phone number? – Only by writing things down could I bring some sort of order to the confusion.