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- 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.