Você está na página 1de 443

A

account for
If you account for something, you explain how it came to be the way
it is.
Synonym: explain
For example:

account for sth We accounted for last year's higher production


costs by showing how the price of labour and raw materials had
increased.

account for sth How can we account for the remarkable


success of our latest product?

act as
To perform the same function as a particular person or thing
Synonym: serve as
For example:

act as sth I can't make it to the meeting Bob, so would mind


acting as chairman today?

act as sth The kidneys act as filters to keep the blood clean.

act for
If you act for someone, you represent them.
Synonym: represent

For example:

act for sb If you don't have a lawyer, the state will appoint one
to act for you.

act for sb In a democracy, the people elect representatives to


act for them in parliament.

act on
If you act on somebody's advice, you do as they suggest.

act on sth I really should act on my doctor's advice and try to


eat less and exercise more.

act on sth He acted on the instructions of his lawyer and


refused to answer any questions.

Nouns often used as objects with act on: advice, suggestions,


instructions, information, orders
act out
If you act out, you express your feelings through acts or words.
Synonym: express
For example:

act out sth Jim often gets into trouble because he acts out his
emotions without thinking about the consequences.

act sth out We can all have violent thoughts and aggressive
feelings sometimes, but society doesn't usually allow us to act
them out.

act up
If a part of your body or a piece of equipment acts up, it doesn't work
properly.
Synonym: play up, malfunction
For example:

act up My printer is acting up, so I'll have to get it fixed.

act up I'll have to give the tennis a miss this week. My knee is
acting up again.

add to
If something adds to something, it makes it better, greater, stronger
or more extreme in some way.
Synonym: play up, malfunction
For example:

act up My printer is acting up, so I'll have to get it fixed.

act up I'll have to give the tennis a miss this week. My knee is
acting up again.

add up
to add two or more numbers in order to find the total amount
For example:

add to sth During the riot, the sound of wailing sirens only
added to the sense of chaos and confusion.

add sth to sth The light show added a lot of atmosphere to the
concert.

add up to
If two or more numbers add up to another number, this is the total
you get if you add them together.
3

Synonym: total, come to


For example:

add up to sth What do 19 and 17 add up to? Do they add up


to 36, or is it 46?

add up to sth Here are the bills we have to pay this week.
They add up to over five hundred dollars!

adhere to FORMAL
If you adhere to a law, a rule or a contract, you obey it or follow it.
Synonym: abide by
For example:

adhere to Doctors are expected to adhere to the Hippocratic


oath.

adhere to You can't trust that company. They don't adhere to


the terms of the contracts they sign.

advise against FORMAL


To suggest to someone that they should not do something they are
thinking of doing
For example:

advise against sth Due to the current unrest, the government


is advising against unnecessary travel to the region.

advise sb against doing sth The Medical Council has advised


people against taking this drug until further safety tests have
been carried out.
4

advise of FORMAL
If you advise someone of something, you tell them about it.
Synonym: inform
For example:

advise sb of sth A policemen advised me of my rights and


then he arrested me.

advise sb of sth Please advise us of any change of address or


contact details.

agree with
If a certain place or lifestyle agrees with you, it suits you and is good
for you.
For example:

agree with sb Ever since she has moved to the country, Aunt
Beth has looked much better. Country life obviously agrees with
her.

agree with sb Working the night shift seems to agree with


Larry. He says he sleeps better if he goes to bed at dawn and
gets up in the afternoon.

aim at
If you aim a product or a creative work at a particular group of
people, you see those people as your market or your audience.
Synonym: target

For example:

be aimed at sb Our new course is aimed at people who want


to learn English for business.

aim sth at sb Disney Corp aims most of its movies at families


and children.

allow for
to consider something, or take it into account, when making plans or
making a decision
Synonym: take into account
For example:

allow

for

sth Don't

forget

to

allow

for

inflation

when

estimating your future expenses.

allow sth for sth You should allow time for traffic jams when
deciding what time to leave for the airport.

Nouns often used as objects with allow for: delays, costs, expenses,
traffic jams, bad weather, inflation
allude to FORMAL
To mention or refer to something or someone in an indirect way
Synonym: refer to
For example:

allude to sb/sth In his speech, the President alluded to the


fact that the economy was not in good condition when he took
over.

allude to sb/sth When the judge was summing up the case,


he alluded to the sort of punishment he would have to hand
down if the jury found the defendant guilty.
6

amount to
To be similar to, or to have the same effect as
Synonym: constitute
For example:

amount to Does having two CDs released in ten years amount


to a successful career as a musician?

amount to The government calls the killing of innocent people


by the military "collateral damage", but Mike says in many
cases it amounts to nothing less than murder.

answer back
To reply rudely to someone who is in a position of authority, such as
a teacher, a parent or a coach
For example:

answer back Harry's students don't respect him. Some of


them even answer back rudely when he asks them to do
something.

answer sb back My son answers his mother back when she


tells him to do something like clean his room. He says things
like "Clean it yourself!"

Nouns often used as objects with answer back: parent, teacher,


coach, supervisor, manager, warder
Note: This phrasal verb is usually only used to describe the
behaviour of a subordinate towards an authority figure, such as a
child towards a parent, a student towards a teacher, a junior
employee towards a workplace supervisor, or a prisoner towards a
warder.
7

answer for
To be held responsible for something
Meaning: to be held responsible for something
For example:

answer for sth The prime minister said he'll answer for any
future problems that arise from his government's policies.

answer for sth Do you really think the company will be made
to answer for the problems that their pollution causes among
the local people?

appeal for
To ask for something, usually in order to help deal with a crisis or an
emergency
Meaning: to ask for something, usually in order to help deal with a
crisis or an emergency
For example:

appeal for sth The government is appealing for food and


clothes for the flood victims, so please help out if you can.

appeal

to

sb

for

sth Why

don't

you

appeal

to

rich

businessmen for the money to buy medicine and equipment?


Nouns often used as objects with appeal for: help, aid, donations,
volunteers, assistance, expertise
appeal to
If something appeals to you, you like it.

For example:

appeal to The small apartments will appeal to single people


more than families.

appeal to In the nineteen sixties, Asian philosophies and


religions appealed to young people seeking alternatives to
Western consumerism and materialism.

apply to
If something applies to you, it is relevant to you or you are affected
by it.
Synonym: appertain to
For example:

apply to Some young people from rich families seem to think


that the law doesn't apply to them.

apply

to The

company's

new

regulations

on

sexual

harrassment apply to everybody, from the CEO to the cleaners.

arrive at
To reach a result, a conclusion or a decision after considering relevant
factors or details
Meaning: to reach a result, a conclusion or a decision after
considering relevant factors or details
Synonym: reach
For example:

arrive at sth They arrived at the cost of production by


calculating raw material, transport, and manufacturing costs.

arrive at sth After doing research into the history of heart


disease, we arrived at the same conclusion as many others. We
found that diet has a huge influence on health.

Nouns often used as objects with arrive at: decision, conclusion,


verdict, result, solution, figure, amount, number
ask after
If you ask after someone, you ask about them when you talk to
someone who's seen them recently.
Synonym: enquire after
For example:

ask after sb Whenever I meet Rajiv, he asks after you and


Sonia and I tell him you're both doing well.

ask after sb Sandra got an email from her mother and she
asked after you. I didn't realise you knew her mother.

ask for
To let someone know that you'd like them to give you something
Synonym: request
For example:

ask for sth If you don't know where to go, ask for directions.

ask sb for sth Joanne didn't have the nerve to ask her boss for
a wage rise.

sb ask for sth My son asked for help with his math's
homework, but it was far to advanced for me!

10

Nouns

often used

as

objects

with ask for: help, information,

directions, advice, bill, receipt


ask out
If you ask somebody out, you ask someone you like to go on a date
with you.
Synonym: invite out
For example:

ask sb out It took Juan a long to build up the courage to ask


Mariella out, but at last he did and she said yes. Juan was so
happy he couldn't help smiling.

ask sb out for sth If you like her, why don't you ask her out
for dinner? The worst that can happen is that she says no or
makes an excuse.

Nouns often used as indirect objects with ask out: on a date, to a


restaurant, to a movie, dancing
ask over
If you ask some people over, you invite them to your house.
Synonym: invite over
For example:

ask sb over We're asking some friends over for dinner on


Saturday night. Would you like to come?

ask sb over Bob has asked us over for drinks.

Note: also "ask round"


associate with
If you associate with someone, you regularly spend time with them.

11

For example:

associate with sb While my brother was in New York in the


late 70's, he associated with lots of punk musicians and
underground artists.

associate with sb If Terry associates with other criminals,


he'll be sent back to jail again.

attach to
To believe that something has importance or significance in relation
to something else
For example:

attach sth to sth You shouldn't attach too much importance to


what other people think. Just do whatever's right for you.

attach sth to sth When choosing a career, most people attach


too much weight to how much money they'll earn.

attend to
To deal with something or someone
Synonym: see to
For example:

attend to sb Are you sure we have enough sales staff to


attend to all our customers at busy times?

attend to sth I attend to day-to-day issues in the morning,


and then I work on longer-term issues like planning and
strategy.

attribute to
To believe that something results directly from a certain event or fact
12

For example:

attribute to Scientists now attribute the melting of the polar


ice caps to global warming.

attribute to The rise in heart disease and certain cancers can


be attributed to the high amount of red meat that many people
can afford to eat these days.

auction off
To sell something to the highest bidder at an auction
For example:

auction off sth In order to pay his debts, Uncle George had to
auction off his collection of paintings.

auction sth off Do you think we should auction the contents of


the house off piece by piece, or sell the whole lot to a dealer?

average out at
To come to a certain amount on average
For example:

average out at sth My wife's income depends on how many


paintings she sells, but it averages out at about $10,000 a
month.

average out at sth The time I spend working on my novel


varies quite a bit, but it averages out at about two hours a day.

13

B
back down
To decide not to do something because of opposition, or because of
pressure from authorities
For example:

back

down Thousands

of

people

protested

against

the

government's decision to allow logging in the forest, so the


government had to back down.

back down on sth The workers didn't back down on their


demands

for

higher

wages

even

though

the

company

threatened to sack them.


back out
If you back out of something like an agreement or a deal, you decide
not to follow through on it.
Synonym: pull out
For example:

back out Our boss had agreed to increase our wages this year,
but the economy went bad and he backed out, claiming his
profits had fallen too much.

back out of sth The government backed out of its pledge to


build more schools, saying it needed the money for war
weapons instead.

back up (1)
To make an extra copy of digital information on disc, flash drive,
external hard drive, etc. in case the original data is lost
14

For example:

back up sth How do you back up your computer files?

back sth up I back most of my stuff up on one of those flash


drive things.

back up It's a good idea to back up at least once a month.

Nouns often used as objects with back up (1): files, data, hard
drive, work
back up (2)
If you back up what you say, you use evidence or examples to show
that it's true.
Synonym: support
For example:

back sth up When making a claim, you should be able to use


evidence to back it up.

back up sth They'll back up her story with photos, video clips
and witness statements to prove that what she's saying is true.

bail out (1)


To help out someone or something that's in serious trouble, especially
financial trouble

bail out sb/sth The government had to bail out many banks
and financial institutions in the 2008 financial crisis.

bail sb/sth out Why do we have to bail them out with


taxpayer's money? Why not just let them go bankrupt?

15

Nouns often used as objects with bail out (1): company, bank,
lenders, borrowers, creditors
bail out (2)
To give money to a court so that an accused person doesn't have to
stay in jail until their trial begins
For example:

bail sb out My son was arrested so I went to the police station


to bail him out.

bail sb out How much will it cost to bail her out?

bank on
If you bank on something happening or someone doing something,
you depend on it or count on it.
Synonym: count on
For example:

bank on sb/sth We're banking on FedEx to get the parcel to


them tomorrow. If they don't, we're in trouble.

bank on doing sth I'm banking on getting this job. I don't


know what I'll do if I don't get it.

bank on sb doing sth They're banking on Keith to finish the


job on time.

base on (1)
To use specific information, ideas or past experiences as a basis for
making a decision

16

For example:

base sth on sth They usually base their new designs on the
latest market research.

be based on sth The new health guidelines are based on the


findings of a major new study.

base on (2)
To use something as source material
For example:

be based on sth His latest film is based on a novel by Hunter


S. Thompson.

base sth on sth The whole thing is based on a popular


Japanese TV show from the nineties.

bear on
to have relevance to, or influence on, something
For example:

bear on sth The judge wouldn't allow the evidence because he


said that it didn't bear on the case.

bear on sth If you're applying for a job, don't forget that


grooming and appearance will definitely bear on the final result.

Nouns often used as objects with bear on: case, issue, result,
outcome, decision, verdict
bear out
to show that someone is correct or that something is true
17

Synonym: support
For example:

bear out sb/sth The latest evidence bears out Al Gore's belief
that global warming is really happening and that it's a very
serious problem.

bear sb/sth out I've always said that the economic bubble
would burst, and my students will be bear me out on that.

beat up
To hurt someone by punching, kicking or hitting them with a hard
object
Synonym: assault, attack
For example:

beat up sb When we were teenagers, we'd go to the bushes


near the beach and beat up guys if we thought were gay. I feel
so ashamed of myself when I think about this now.

beat sb up When Larry gets drunk, he goes home and shouts


at his wife, and sometimes he even beats her up.

become of
If you ask what has become of someone you haven't seen or heard
from for a long time, you want to know what's happened to them.
Synonym: happen to
For example:

become of sb Does anyone know what became of Josh after


he went to America? Has anyone heard anything about him?

18

become of sb What became of that singer in The Stooges


called Iggy Pop? Is he still making music?

beef up
to make something stronger or more powerful
Synonym: strengthen, boost
For example:

beef up sth The government decided to beef up security after


a terrorist attack on the country's biggest airport.

beef sth up We've been letting the opposition teams score too
many goals, so we need to beef our defence up a bit.

Nouns often used as objects with beef up: security, armed forces,
police force, workforce, sales department, defence, attack
begin with
If an activity or an event begins with something, that's the first thing
that happens.
Synonym: start with
For example:

begin with sth The debate began with Professor Collins


introducing the members of each team to the audience.

begin with sth A game of football begins with the toss of a


coin.

believe in
If you believe in something, you're sure that it's true or it really
exists.

19

For example:

believe in sth Not many people in Europe believe in ghosts,


but many people in Asia do.

believe in sth Mahatma Gandhi believed in the power of nonviolent protest.

Nouns often used as objects with believe in: ghosts, spirits, God,
UFOs, reincarnation, democracy, non-violence
belong to
If something belongs to a person, it is owned by that person.
For example:

belong to Who do these CD's belong to? Are they yours?

belong to sb Native Americans couldn't understand the idea


that a piece of land could belong to one person. It was for
everyone to use, like the air in the sky or the water in a river.

bend down
To move the upper part of your body forwards and downwards
Synonym: bend over
For example:

bend down David bent down to pick up his cat.

bend down Bend down as you go into the cave, or you'll bang
your head.

Note: "bend over" can also have the same meaning

20

bet on
to be sure that something will happen
For example:

bet on sth Whatever James does in life, you can bet on it


being interesting and exciting.

bet on sth These share prices could go up, but I wouldn't bet
on it. They could just as easily go down.

bite off
To separate something from whatever it's attached to by biting it
For example:

be bitten off Did you hear about the surfer who had his foot
bitten off by a shark?

bite off sth A guy in Sydney was arrested for biting off the
head of a live pigeon.

bite sth off Jim bites the top off a beer bottle before drinking
it.

black out
To lose consciousness
Synonym: pass out, faint
For example:

black out Jack drank so much whiskey that he blacked out and
fell off his bar stool.

21

black out It was so hot that one of the soldiers in the parade
blacked out and had to be taken to the infirmary.

blow away
To surprise or amaze someone
Synonym: amaze, astonish, astound
For example:

be blown away When I saw Tarantino's film Pulp Fiction I was


totally blown away. It was brilliant.

blow sb away The start of the show will blow you away.

blow out
If a flame blows out, it goes out because someone blows on it or
because of the wind.
For example:

blow out sth Make a wish, and then take a big breath and
blow out all the candles on your birthday cake.

blow sth out Make sure you don't let the wind blow the lamp
out.

Nouns often used as objects with blow out: candle, flame, match,
lamp, lantern, pilot light
blow up (1)
If you blow up something, you use explosives to damage or destroy
it.

22

For example:

blow sth up The soldiers blew the bridge up.

blow up sth They blew up the wrong building and killed lots of
innocent people.

Nouns often used as objects with blow up (1): building, bridge,


target
blow up (2)
To fill with air or gas in order to inflate something
Synonym: inflate
For example:

blow up sth We're still getting ready for the party, and Carrie's
still blowing up balloons.

blow sth up The football's a bit flat, so if someone's got a


bicycle pump we can blow it up a bit more.

Nouns often used as objects with blow up (2): balloon, tyre,


football, air mattress, inflatable toys, lilo
blow up (3)
To make a photograph larger
Synonym: enlarge
For example:

blow up sth Can we blow up this photo and frame it?

blow sth up Let's blow this shot up and use it in the poster.

Nouns often used as objects with blow up (3): photograph, photo,


still, shot, picture, snap
23

border on
If something like an action or an attitude borders on something more
extreme, it is close to being that extreme.
Synonym: verge on, come close to
For example:

border on sth His fear of the government borders on paranoia.

border on sth The fanatical excitement you see at some


political rallies in the south borders on mass hysteria.

Note: Almost always used in relation to a negative extreme, though


occasionally it's used in a more positive context, as in "his talent
borders on genius"
bow out
to resign from a job, or to end a career, usually after a long time
Synonym: retire
For example:

bow out After being captain for many years, Paul bowed out so
that a younger member of the team could take over.

bow out Some politicians don't seem to know when it's time to
bow out, and they cling to power for too long.

break down (1)


If a machine or a vehicle breaks down, it stops working because of a
mechanical problem.
Synonym: conk out (informal)

24

For example:

break down Our bus broke down so we had to get out and
wait for another one to come.

break down Production has stopped because one of the


machines at our factory has broken down.

break down (2)


If someone breaks down, they start crying.
For example:

break down When his wife broke down at his funeral, relatives
and friends tried to comfort her.

break down The prisoner broke down and wept when the
judge sentenced him to life in prison.

break into
If someone breaks into a building or a vehicle, they force their way
in, usually to steal something.
Synonym: burgle
For example:

break into sth The burglars broke into the house and stole
some jewellery and paintings.

break into sth My wife's car has been broken into three times
in the last year.

Note: The phrasal verb "break in" has a similar meaning.

25

break out
to escape from somewhere like a jail or a detention centre
Synonym: escape
For example:

break out Have you seen that movie about prisoners of war
who broke out of a prison camp by digging a tunnel?

break out The prisoners knew they'd be punished if they tried


to break out.

breathe in
To fill your lungs with air by drawing it in through your nose or mouth
Synonym: inhale, inspire
For example:

breathe in When you breathe in, try to make the air go deep
into your belly.

breathe sth in I hate it when a truck blows a cloud of smoke


from its exhaust pipe, and I end up breathing it in.

breathe in sth I love standing by the ocean, breathing in the


fresh sea air.

Nouns often used as objects with breathe in: air, smoke, dust,
oxygen, gas
breathe out
To push air out from your lungs through your nose or mouth
Synonym: exhale, expire
For example:

26

breathe out The doctor asked me if it hurt when I breathed


out.

breathe out sth We breathe out air into which our lungs have
excreted carbon dioxide.

breathe sth out When she breathed the fog out, it looked like
she was smoking.

Nouns often used as objects with breathe out: air, smoke, carbon
dioxide
brighten up (1)
To make a place or a thing look more cheerful and more lively
Synonym: liven up
For example:

brighten up sth Some pictures and plants would definitely


brighten up the apartment.

brighten sth up Don't you think it'd brighten the garden up a


bit if we had more flowering plants?

Nouns often used as objects with brighten up (1): room, office,


apartment, garden, design, packaging, advertisement, poster
brighten up (2)
To become happier and feel more cheerful
Synonym: cheer up
For example:

brighten up Makiko was feeling homesick, but she brightened


up when she got a call from her brother.

27

brighten sb up Whenever she feels a bit down, Paris goes to


see a funny movie and it always brightens her up.

bring about
If you bring about something, you cause it to happen or you make it
happen.
Synonym: make happen, cause
For example:

bring about sth The greed of a few people in the financial


world brought about the global financial crisis.

bring

sth

about The

president

wanted

reform

of

the

healthcare system but he wasn't sure how to bring it about.

bring back (1)


To bring something with you when you return from somewhere
For example:

bring back sth Whenever Josh goes overseas, he brings back


gifts for eveyone he knows.

bring sth back Could you bring some newspapers back from
Australia for me?

bring sb back sth If you're going to the store, can you bring
me back some ice cream?

bring back (2)


To make something from the past come back, such as a memory, a
feeling, an idea, etc.
Synonym: evoke
28

For example:

bring back sth Hearing these old songs really brings back the
old days, doesn't it?

bring

sth

back The

letters

she'd

found

brought

some

wonderful memories back.


bring down
To cause a government or a leader to lose power
Synonym: topple
For example:

bring down sth Huge street protests eventually brought down


the Marcos government.

bring sth down Even if the corruption scandal brings the


government down, they'll just be replaced by more thieves in
fancy suits.

Nouns often used as objects with bring down: government, leader,


president, prime minister, dictatorship
bring forward
To change the date or time of an event so that it happens earlier than
originally planned
For example:

bring sth forward Let's bring the wedding forward to October


so it'll be a spring wedding.

be brought forward The meeting had to be brought forward


by two weeks.
29

bring off
To succeed in doing something that's difficult
Synonym: pull off
For example:

bring off sth Nobody expected the Saints to win the game, but
they brought off one of the most amazing victories of the year.

bring sth off You got the top score in the exam! How did you
bring that off?

bring on
To cause something like an illness or a painful emotion
Synonym: cause
For example:

bring sth on I just saw Maria crying. I wonder what brought


that on?

bring on sth The pollution brought on my daughter's asthma,


so we had to move to a place with cleaner air.

bring out (1)


To release a new product
Synonym: release
For example:

bring out sth They'll be bringing out their latest range of


graphic software in the spring.

bring sth out It's not enough to bring good products out. You
also need to market them properly.

bring out (2)


To make a quality in someone or something show itself
30

For example:

bring out sth The herbs really help to bring out the flavour of
the fish.

bring sth out I love watching adults have fun at amusement


parks. These places bring the child out in all of us.

bring up (1)
If you bring somebody up, you raise them from childhood to young
adulthood.
Synonym: raise
For example:

bring up sb The most important thing most of us do in life is to


bring up our children and teach them to be decent, considerate
adults.

bring sb up Maria is an amazing woman. She brought up three


children on her own after her husband abandoned them.

be

brought

up

by Emmanuel

was

brought

up

by

his

grandparents after his parents were killed in a car crash.

bring up (2)
To raise a new topic for discussion, or to mention a particular subject
or issue in a conversation
Synonym: introduce, raise
For example:

bring sth up You should bring that issue up in the next staff
meeting.
31

bring up sth When travelling in a foreign country, you


shouldn't bring up topics like religion or politics.

Nouns often used as objects with bring up (2): topic, subject, issue,
matter, point
brush up
To revise your knowledge of something that you learned in the past
Synonym: review
For example:

brush up sth - We brushed up our phrasal verbs in the


reference section on EnglishClub.com.

brush up on sth - You should brush up on ancient Egyptian


history and culture before visiting the Pyramids.

buckle up
To fasten a seatbelt in a car or on a plane
Synonym: belt up
For example:

buckle up - When you're in a plane, don't forget to buckle up


whenever the seatbelt sign lights up.

buckle up - My new car won't start until everyone has buckled


up.

bugger off
If you tell someone to bugger off, you're telling them to go away in a
very impolite and aggressive way.
Synonym: piss off (British/Australian, offensive)
For example:

bugger off When Jimmy got drunk he'd tell his wife to bugger
off and leave him alone.
32

bugger off My son got into trouble at school for telling one of
his teachers to bugger off.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
build on (1)
To add to what you've already succeeded in doing
For example:
build on sth If we want to stay ahead of our competitors, we'll have
to build on our success and keep working hard.
build on sth If we keep building on what we've already achieved,
who knows how far we can go?

build on (2)
To add a new section to a house or a building
For example:

build on We need a bigger house, and we can either sell this


one and buy a bigger one, or keep this one and build on.

build sth on The owners wanted two extra floors and they built
them on without getting approval from the council, so now they
have to pull the whole building down.

build on sth We're going to build on another bedroom out the


back.

Nouns often used as objects with build on (2): room, floor, storey,
extension, verandah, porch, carport, garage

33

build up (1)
To work at something and make it get stronger or bigger
Synonym: develop
For example:

build up sth My son's going to the gym to build up his


muscles. He wants to look good on the beach this summer.

build sth up Our market share has increased a lot over the last
year, and you've all done your part to help build it up.

be building up I'm saving as much as I can, and my bank


account is building up nicely.

build up (2)
To gradually increase
For example:

build up Fatty foods make fat deposits build up in the arteries,


and it's these fat deposits that cause heart attacks.

build up His anger slowly built up over time, until one day he
snapped and shot someone because they'd cut him off in
traffic.

bump into
To meet somebody by chance
Synonym: run into

34

For example:

bump into sb Did you know Kerry was back from her holiday?
I just bumped into her in the street.

bump into sb I have so many friends in this town that


whenever I go out I bump into someone I know.

burn down
If something like a building or a forest burns down, it's completely
destroyed in a fire.
For example:

burn down The church burned down in the fire. There was
nothing left but charred wood and ash.

burn sth down The kids said they didn't mean to burn the
church down. They were just playing with fireworks nearby.

burn out (1)


If a fire burns out, it slowly dies down until it stops burning
altogether.
For example:

burn out We had some kerosene lamps, but after a while they
burned out.

burn itself out The wind got stronger and the forest fire
changed direction and soon burnt itself out.

burn out (2)


To work too hard and suffer from physical and mental exhaustion
35

For example:

burn out Barry burned out because he worked too much and
had too much stress. Now he's on sick leave for a few weeks to
recover.

burn yourself out You need to slow down a bit or you'll end
up burning yourself out.

butt in
To start talking when somebody else is already talking
Synonym: interrupt
For example:

butt in David doesn't know how to join in a conversation


without butting in.

butt in Sorry for butting in, but does anyone know where Bill
is? I have an urgent message for him.

butt out
If you want to tell someone quite forcefully to mind their own
business, you can tell them to butt out.
For example:

butt out I was having an argument with my girlfriend when


Pete told us to cool it, so I told him to butt out.

butt out My sons were having a fight about something when


their older sister tried to get them to stop. They both got angry
with her and told her to butt out.

36

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used


in other varieties of English too.
butter up
To say nice things to someone before asking them to do something
for you or to give you something
Synonym: flatter
For example:

butter sb up If my daughter wants something, she butters me


up with a hug and a few nice words before asking me for it.

butter up sb You'll probably have to butter up the guys who


run the place before they'll agree to help you out.

buy out
To buy somebody's share of a company or a partnership in order to
take control of it
For example:

buy sb out Many workers weren't happy when a group of new


investors bought the majority shareholder out and took control
of the company.

buy out sb My sister wants to buy out my share of the family


business.

buy up
To buy all or a lot of something that is in limited supply

37

For example:

buy up sth She's buying up as many shares as she can


because she plans to take over the company.

buy sth up We should buy this stuff up while we can. It might


be hard to get soon.

C
call back
If you call someone back, you return their telephone call.
Synonym: ring back, phone back
For example:

call sb back I'll call you back in a few minutes. Someone's at


the door.

call back She'll call back as soon as she gets any news.

call for
If a person or an organisation calls for something, they state in public
that it's needed, or should be done.
Synonym: demand
For example:

call for sth Community leaders are calling for an enquiry into
police corruption.

38

call for sb to do sth The protesters have called for the


president to resign.

Nouns

often used as objects

with call for: investigation,

ban,

enquiry, laws, change, regulations, resignation, removal, reform


call off
to cancel an event that was planned or scheduled

call on
to visit someone for a short time

call out
If you call out, you use a loud voice to tell something to someone
who's far away, or tell something to a large group.

calm down
If a person who is excited or agitated calms down, they become
calmer and less excited or agitated

care for (1)


If you care for someone, you like them a lot and have a strong
affection for them.
care for (2)
If you care for someone or something, you look after them and make
sure they have what they need.

39

care for (3)


If you ask someone if they would care for something, you want to
know if they'd like to have something.
Synonym: cancel
For example:

call off sth We called off the meeting because Helen wasn't
well enough to come.

call sth off If a storm comes, we'll have to call the game off.

Nouns often used as objects with call off: meeting, deal, talks,
wedding, match, game, concert, event
carry on
to continue doing something
Synonym: go on, keep going
For example:

carry on During the football match Rafael hurt his leg. He tried
to carry on, but it soon got worse so he had to go off.

carry on with sth Before the teacher left the classroom, she
told her students to carry on with their work.

carry on doing sth It started to rain but Gillian and her golfing
partners carried on playing. Soon they were wet through.

carry out
If you carry out a task or a piece of work, you do what ever is needed
to complete it.
Synonym: do, complete

40

For example:

carry out sth The government's task force is carrying out an


investigation into the effects of pollution on the fishing
industry.

be carried out The experiment was carried out by a team of


scientists from Tokyo University.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with carry

out: experiment,

investigation, search, study, inquiry, survey, research, review


catch on (1)
If something catches on, it becomes popular.
For example:

catch on Mobile phones took a while to catch on, but now


everybody's got one.

be catching on More and more people are learning how to


meditate. It's really catching on.

catch on (2)
If you catch on, you suddenly understand something that you
couldn't understand at first.
Synonym: cotton on (informal), twig (informal)
For example:

catch on Not all of my students understood the idea at first,


but before long they all caught on.

41

catch on Most scientists now accept that global warming is


really happening, but it took a while for a lot of them to catch
on.

catch up (1)
If you catch up with someone who is ahead of you, you go faster than
them until you reach them.
For example:

catch up Salma got behind her classmates because she was


sick for a month, but she did extra work after school and she
soon caught up.

catch up with sb Mark was still about three metres behind, so


he swam as fast as he could to catch up with the leader.

catch sb/sth up If they left half an hour before us, we can't


possibly catch them up. They'll be too far ahead.

catch up (2)
If two people meet again after a while and catch up, they tell each
other what they've been doing.
For example:

catch up Whenever I go home I spend time meeting old


friends and catching up.

catch up with sb While I'm in Japan, I'll try to catch up with


some people I knew while I was living there.

42

cater to
to provide people with what they need
For example:

cater to sb/sth This hotel caters to the needs of business


travellers, so every room has an internet connection, a printer
and a fax machine.

cater to sb/sth Most clothing companies cater to just one


segment of the market, such as teens or businessmen.

change into
to change from one state or form into another
Synonym: transform into
For example:

change into A caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly


while it's inside its cocoon.

change into During their teenage years, children gradually


change into adults.

change over
to stop using one thing or one system and start using another one
instead
Synonym: switch
For example:

change over to sth When did your country change over to the
metric system of weights and measures?

43

change over to sth I changed over to Mac computers after my


last PC was attacked by a virus and I lost some really important
files.

charge with
If someone is charged with a crime, they are officially accused of
committing it.
For example:

charge with The company's directors were arrested and


charged with tax evasion.

charge with Even though they weren't charged with a crime,


hundreds of people were kept for many years in a U.S. prison in
Cuba called Guantanamo Bay.

chase up
to try to find out what is being done about something, or what has
happened to something
For example:

chase up sth I spend a lot of time chasing up deliveries that


haven't reached our customers on time.

chase sth up The shipment that was sent to Brazil hasn't


arrived yet, so we need someone to chase it up.

chat up
to talk to someone in the hope of beginning a romantic relationship
with them
Synonym: hit on (informal), flirt with
44

For example:

chat up sb Juan is very good at chatting up girls. He knows


how to make them laugh.

chat sb up Mark finds it difficult to chat guys up because he


often feels shy, and he doesn't know what to say.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
cheat on
To be disloyal to your spouse or partner by having sex with someone
else
For example:

cheat on sb Hannah thinks her husband has been cheating on


her.

cheat on sb Bob seems to think it's natural for men to cheat


on their wives, but I doubt that his wife agrees.

cheat out of
To get something from somebody by cheating them
For example:

cheat sb out of sth Tony answered one of those emails that


promise you lots of money, and whoever sent it cheated him
out of twenty thousand dollars.

cheat sb out of sth Can you remember the name of that New
York investment banker who cheated his customers out of their
life savings?

45

check in
If you check in, you give your details at a hotel's reception desk, or at
an airline's check-in counter, when you arrive.
For example:

check in You'll need to show your passport when you check in


to the hotel.

check in We have to check in about one hour before our flight


leaves.

Note: "Check in" and "check into" can be used to mean the same
things, but most people seem to use "check in" more for hotels and
airline desks, and "check into" more for hospitals and medical
centres.

check into
To register your details after arriving for treatment at a hospital, a
rehabilitation centre or a health resort
For example:

I had to check into the hospital the night before the operation.

Amy knew she had a drug problem, but she didn't want to
check into a rehab centre.

Nouns often used as objects with check into: hospital, rehab,


rehabilitation centre, treatment centre, detox centre, clinic, hotel
check on
to look at someone or something to make sure that nothing is wrong

46

For example:

check on sb/sth Sally checks on her baby every half an hour


to make sure she's all right.

check on sb/sth Dr Smith visits the hospital every morning to


see his patients and check on their progress.

check out (1)


to pay the bill and leave after staying at a hotel, a hospital or a
rehabilitation centre
For example:

check out What time do we have to check out of the hotel in


the morning?

check sb out Simon couldn't stand life in the rehab any longer,
so he checked himself out and went home.

Nouns often used as objects with check out (1): hotel, motel,
guesthouse, hostel, hospital, rehabilitation centre, rehab
check out (2) INFORMAL
to look at something, or go somewhere, to see what it's like
For example:

check out sth/sb Let's check out that bookshop James found.
It sounds really good.

check sth/sb out The boys like to sit near the pool and check
the girls out as they walk past in their bikinis.

47

check through
to examine something carefully to make sure nothing is wrong, or to
look for something
Synonym: examine
For example:

check through sth When I arrived, a customs officer checked


through all my bags.

check through sth I've checked through all my drawers and


all my pockets, but I still can't find my keys.

Nouns often used as objects with check through: bags, drawers,


pockets, emails, accounts, files, essay, report
cheer on
to shout loudly to encourage someone, especially someone who's
playing sport or competing in a race
Meaning: to shout loudly to encourage someone, especially someone
who's playing sport or competing in a race
For example:

cheer sb/sth on As the players tried hard to score a goal,


their fans jumped up and cheered them on.

cheer on sb/sth We all cheered on our favourite horse as they


galloped towards the finishing line.

Nouns often used as objects with cheer on: player, team, athlete,
runner, horse, competitor, performer

48

cheer up
to feel happier after being sad
Synonym: buc k up (informal), perk up
For example:

cheer up Come on, Pat. Cheer up. You'll get your promotion
next time for sure.

cheer sb up Do you think that going to a concert would cheer


her up?

chop down
If you chop down something like a tree, you cause it to fall by cutting
through its base.
Synonym: fell
For example:

chop down sth Why don't you chop down that old tree before
it falls on the house?

chop sth down My son told me he's very worried about people
chopping the forests down because trees produce most of the
oxygen we breathe.

chop up
to cut something into pieces with an axe or a knife
Synonym: cut up
For example:

chop up sth After we killed the lamb, we chopped up its body


so we could fit the pieces into the cooking pot.

49

chop sth up Let's chop those branches up and use them to


make a fire.

clean out (1)


to clean the inside of something
For example:

clean out sth The nurse carefully cleaned out the cut on my
foot before the doctor stitched it up.

clean sth out One of the pipes in the kitchen is blocked so we


need to get a plumber in to clean it out.

clean sth out of sth A couple of times a year I get on the roof
and clean the dead leaves out of the gutters.

clean out (2) INFORMAL


If you have been cleaned out, all your money has been taken by
someone, or spent on something.
For example:

clean sb out Putting a deposit on this new apartment has just


about cleaned us out.

clean sb out The settlement Cherie got for their divorce has
nearly cleaned Bob out.

clean up
to make something clean and tidy
Synonym: tidy up, clear up

50

For example:

clean up sth You're not going anywhere until you've cleaned


up your bedroom. It's a mess!

clean sth up Could whoever dropped food on the floor please


go and clean it up?

Nouns often used as objects with clean up: house, room, kitchen,
bedroom, mess, spilled drink
clear out (1)
to tidy a place by removing things that shouldn't be there
Synonym: clean out
For example:

clear out sth If we clear out dad's old toolshed, the kids can
use it as a playhouse.

clear sth out Before the new accountant moves into the office,
Stan will have to clear his stuff out.

clear out (2) INFORMAL


to leave a place, usually for a long time or forever
Synonym: leave
For example:

clear out If one of my kids was still living at home when he


was thirty, I'd tell him to clear out and get a place of his own.

clear out Sarah told her parents she'd clear out and never
come back if they didn't give her more freedom.

51

clear up
If an illness or a condition like acne clears up, it improves until it's no
longer a problem.
For example:

clear up As soon as I stopped swimming in the pool my skin


cleared up, so something in the water must have been causing
the rash.

clear up sth I bought some special Vitamin E cream to get rid


of my pimples, and within a couple of weeks most of them had
cleared up.

close down
If a business closes down, or if someone closes it down, it stops
operating.
Synonym: shut down
For example:

close down sth The police closed down the dance club
because it allowed teenagers to buy alcoholic drinks.

close sth down Our bookshop wasn't making any money so


we had to close it down.

come about
to happen, especially partly or totally by chance
Synonym: happen, occur

52

For example:

come about Jim's business success came about after a series


of failures, so he was very happy that something had worked
for him at last.

come about How did the discovery come about? Were they
looking for it or did they find it by chance?

come across (1)


to find something or meet someone by chance
Synonym: chance on, chance upon
For example:

come across sb/sth While I was looking through some old


boxes, I came across some photos I thought I'd lost years ago.

come across sb/sth Did you come across anyone you knew at
the conference?

come across (2)


If somebody comes across as being a certain type of person, they
appear that way to other people.
Synonym: appear, seem, come over
For example:

come across When you first meet Chris he comes across as


being a bit stupid, but he's actually a very smart guy.

come across Most people in this country come across as being


shy and reserved, but it's just the way people behave here.

53

come along (1)


to arrive or to appear
Synonym: appear, turn up
For example:

come along I waited by the side of the road for twenty


minutes before a taxi came along.

come along Just be patient. Soon or later an opportunity will


come along and you'll have your chance to succeed.

come along (2)


to make progress or to improve in some way
Synonym: progress, come on
For example:

How is your English coming along? Do you think it's getting


better?

Kerry says her online business is coming along well, and she
should be able to quit her office job soon.

come along (3)


to go with somebody when they're going somewhere
Synonym: tag along
For example:

come along We're going to the beach for a swim. Do you want
to come along?

54

come along My brother really wants to see this movie, so is it


OK if he comes along as well?

come apart
to separate into several pieces, or to break into several parts
For example:

come apart This bag is so old that it's starting to come apart
at the seams.

come apart This juicer comes apart so that you can clean it
easily.

come around
to visit somebody, usually at their home
Synonym: visit
For example:

come around Why don't you come around after work and have
a swim in my pool?

come around Every Tuesday night some friends come around


and we playWord Up.

Note: "Come round" means the same thing in British English.

come back
to return to a place
Synonym: return

55

For example:

come back They said they loved their holiday here and they'll
come back next year for sure.

come back He's gone out for a while, but he said he'd come
back around 4 o'clock.

come down
to move to a lower level or a lower position
Synonym: descend
For example:

come down The cat was on the roof and it wouldn't come
down.

come down We're all hoping the price of oil comes down again
soon.

come from (1)


to be born and raised in a place
Synonym: hail from (formal)
For example:

come

from I

come

from a

big

city in Australia

called

Melbourne. Where do you come from?

come from Where do you think those people over there come
from? Are they Japanese?

56

come from (2)


to be made in or obtained from a particular place or thing
For example:

come from sb/sth Most of the world's oil comes from the
Middle East.

come from sb/sth My three-year-old daughter looked up to


me and said, "Daddy, where do babies come from?"

come in (1)
to enter a room or a building
Synonym: enter
For example:

come in I knocked on the door, and then heard her shout,


"Come in!"

come in He came in and sat down.

come in (2)
If something like a train or plane comes in, it arrives at a station or
an airport.
Synonym: arrive, get in
For example:

come in Excuse me, sir. Do you know what time the train
comes in?

come in I'll pick you up from the bus station if you tell me
what time your bus comes in.
57

come into
to be given something after its owner dies
Synonym: inherit
For example:

come into sth She's very rich, so her children expect to come
into a lot of money when she dies.

come into sth Do you think Samantha made all that money
herself, or do you think she came into a fortune when a wealthy
relative died?

come of
to be the result of an event or situation
For example:

come of sth Did anything come of your job interview at the


bank?

come of sth They should stop seeing each other behind her
husband's back. No good can come of it.

come off (1)


If something comes off, it becomes separated from the thing it's
usually attached to.
For example:

come off If the top of your pen comes off while it's in your top
pocket, you could get a nasty ink stain on your shirt.

58

come off I couldn't open the door because the doorknob came
off in my hand.

come off (2)


to result in the intended outcome
Synonym: succeed
For example:

come off Sarah's scheme to get rich quick by marrying a rich


man didn't come off. After marrying a guy from Saudi Arabia,
she found out he was actually very poor.

come off Barry's plan to make millions by writing a popular


novel didn't come off because he wasn't a very good writer.

Note: Most often used in negative contexts, such as "The plan didn't
come off."

come on (1)
to make progress or to improve in some way
Synonym: go on
For example:

come on I was asleep in bed when, all of a sudden, the lights


came on!

come on I've set the radio in my room to come on at 6.30, but


if I'm not up by 7, could you bang on my door?

59

come on (2)
If a light or a computer comes on, it starts working.
Synonym: go on
For example:

come on I was asleep in bed when, all of a sudden, the lights


came on!

come on I've set the radio in my room to come on at 6.30, but


if I'm not up by 7, could you bang on my door?

come on (3)
If a TV or radio show comes on, it starts.
For example:

come on What time does the football come on?

come on The news comes on at 7 o'clock.

come out (1)


to become available
Meaning: to become available
For example:

come out The new Radiohead album will come out next month,
for sure.

come out When will the new James Bond movie come out?

60

come out (2)


to become known
Synonym: emerge
For example:

come out Many people would be shocked if the truth about the
so-called terrorist attacks ever came out.

come out The full story behind his arrest might never come
out.

come over (1)


to visit a place, or to move from one place or country to another
Meaning: to visit a place, or to move from one place or country to
another
For example:

come over Do you want to come over after work and see my
new 50" TV?

come over My family has lived in Australia ever since my great


grandparents come over from England in 1896.

come over (2)


to seem to be a particular type of person
Synonym: come across, appear
For example:

come over How do you think you came over in the interview?
Do you think they liked you?
61

come over I listened to her speech and to me she came over


as a bit immature and self-centred.

come through
to survive a difficult or dangerous situation or time
Synonym: survive
For example:

come through sth My grandparents came through some really


tough times,

including

two World

Wars

and

the

Great

Depression.

come through sth It was a terrible time, but we managed to


come through it OK.

come to (1)
to regain consciousness after an accident or an operation
Synonym: come round
For example:

come to The doctor said the operation went well and my wife
would be coming to shortly.

come to He was knocked out cold by the other boxer, but


when we held some smelling salts under his nose, he soon
came to.

come to (2)
to add up to a particular total
Synonym: amount to, add up to, total

62

For example:

come to sth The total cost came to over two thousand dollars.

come to sth The bill comes to $140.

come to (3)
If a thought or an idea comes to you, you remember it or you think of
it
Meaning: If a thought or an idea comes to you, you remember it or
you think of it
Synonym: occur to
For example:

come to sb I can't remember the name of the movie, but it'll


come to me in a minute.

come to sb The idea for the game came to me when I was


teaching phrasal verbs in class one day.

come under
to suddenly experience or suffer something dangerous or unpleasant
For example:

come under sth Our soldiers have come under some heavy
artillery attacks overnight.

come under sth The government is coming under pressure


from drug companies to ban the importation of medicines.

63

Nouns often used as objects with come under: attack, criticism, fire,
pressure, scrutiny, threat, stress, strain

come up (1)
to walk up to someone or something
Synonym: approach
For example:

come up After the match, several people came up and asked


Rafael for his autograph.

come up to sb/sth As we came up to the entrance, we could


see some people waiting to get in.

come up (2)
If an issue or a name comes up in something like a conversation, a
meeting, or a report, the issue or name is discussed or mentioned.
Synonym: arise
For example:

come up Do you think the issue of pension funds will come up


at today's meeting?

come up We were discussing possible actors for the role, and


your name came up, Brad.

come up (3)
to appear, occur, or become available

64

For example:

come up If a job comes up in your company, let me know and


I might apply for it.

come up I'm sorry I couldn't make it to your party last night.


Something came up at the last minute and I couldn't get away
from the office.

come up It's too early to get up. The sun hasn't even come up
yet!

come up against
to face a difficult situation or a difficult opponent
Synonym: be confronted with, face
For example:

come up against sth/sb In their campaign to stop the forest


being logged, the locals came up against some powerful mafialike businessmen.

come up against sth/sb Anyone who competes in this


tournament will come up against some very tough opponents.

come up with
to think of something like a plan, an idea or a solution to a problem
Synonym: think of
For example:

come up with sth Medical researchers still haven't come up


with a cure for the common cold.

65

come up with sth How did the Spanish architect Gaudi come
up with such incredible ideas and visions for the buildings he
designed?

count on
to depend on someone or something to do what is expected or
needed
Synonym: depend on, bank on
For example:

count on sb/sth You can count on Marian to do a good job.


She worked for us for many years and she always did excellent
work.

count on sb/sth Farmers are counting on the spring rains to


save their crops.

cover up
to try to stop people finding out about something bad
Synonym: hide, conceal
For example:

The school tried to cover up the fact that it had been penalised
for tax evasion.

Governments try to cover up their mistakes, while journalists


try to reveal them.

crack down
to start enforcing a law or a rule more strictly

66

Synonym: clamp down


For example:

crack down There's too much cheating in exams, so the


teachers are cracking down and expelling anyone who's caught.

crack down on sb/sth The police are cracking down on drunk


drivers, so if you drink before you drive you might end up in
jail.

cross off
to remove a name or an item from a list by drawing a line through it
For example:

cross off sth Cross off all the people you've already contacted.

cross sth off Cross each item off once you've got it, OK?

cross sth off sth Could you cross Brett's name off the guest
list, please? I'd don't want him to come.

cross out
If you cross something out, you draw a line through it with a pen or a
pencil, usually because it's wrong or is no longer necessary.

For example:

cross sth out If you make a mistake, cross it out and write
down what you think is correct instead.

67

cross out sth When guests arrive, cross out their names on
the guest list so that we know they're here.

cry out
to scream or yell because of pain or fear
Synonym: yell, shout, scream
For example:

cry out The injured football player cried out in pain as he was
being put on a stretcher.

cry out When I felt the spider's web wrap around my face in
the dark, I cried out in fear.

cut back
to reduce the amount of money spent on something, or to reduce the
size or scale of something
Synonym: reduce
For example:

cut back sth The government had to cut back programs for
things like education and healthcare in order to pay the cost of
invading foreign countries.

cut back on sth I just lost my job, so I'll have to cut back on
the amount of money I spend each month.

cut down
to reduce the amount, number or size of something
Synonym: reduce

68

For example:

cut down If you can't quit smoking, you should cut down as
much as possible until you're ready to stop.

cut down on sth Cutting down on junk food reduces the risk
of getting heart disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes, and many
other illnesses.

cut off (1)


to stop the supply of something like electricity, water, gas or
telephone service.
For example:

cut off We got a notice to say that our water would be cut off
all day because they're fixing the pipes.

cut sth off If we don't pay our bill today, the electric company
will cut the power off.

cut off (2)


to

isolate

somebody

or

something

by

making

transport

or

communication very difficult or impossible


Synonym: isolate
For example:

cut off The flood waters cut off many small farms for several
days.

cut sth/sb off The earthquake destroyed roads and telephone


lines, and cut our village off from the outside world.

69

cut out (1)


to remove an area of paper or cloth from a larger sheet by cutting
For example:

cut out sth My little girl likes cutting out the shapes of animals
or fruits and colouring them in.

cut sth out She cut the recipe out and stuck it on the fridge.

cut sth out of sth Whenever our daughter's picture is in the


newspaper, my wife cuts it out and puts it in a scrapbook.

cut out (2)


to stop doing something, such as eating fatty foods or gambling or
taking drugs, usually in order to improve one's health or one's life
Synonym: abstain from
For example:

cut out sth I still eat fish, but I've cut out all other types of
meat, including chicken and pork.

cut sth out I told my husband to cut the gambling out


altogether or I'd leave him.

cut out (3) INFORMAL


If you tell someone to "Cut it out!", you want them to stop doing
something annoying.
For example:

cut out sth Cut out the fighting, you two, and do your
homework.
70

cut sth out The kids were playing cricket near the house until
their father told them to cut it out before they broke a window.

cut up
to cut something into small pieces
Synonym: chop up
For example:

cut sth up Before my cat eats the meat I buy for her, I have to
cut it up.

cut up sth She eats whatever her mother cuts up and puts on
her plate.

D
date back
If something dates back to a certain time, it was made at that time or
it started at that time.
Synonym: go back
For example:

date back Some of the pieces of pottery we dug up at the site


date back a thousand years or more.

date back to We need to find out the period in history that


these remains date back to.

date from
If something dates from a certain time, it was made at that time.

71

For example:

date from These antique glasses date from the mid-eighteenth


century.

date from How can I found out if these coins really date from
the period he claims they were from?

dawn on
If something dawns on you, you realize it, or become aware of it, for
the first time.
For example:

dawn on sb At first I didn't realise who he was, but then it


dawned on me. I was talking to Gerry's husband!

dawn on sb that It still hadn't dawned on Jimmy that the guy


living next door was a drug dealer. He just thought the guy had
lots of friends.

deal in (1)
to buy and sell something in order to make money
For example:

deal in sth Alan has set up a website that deals in old records
and cassette tapes.

deal in sth The market is full of stalls that deal in everything


from second-hand clothes to paintings and ceramics.

Nouns often used as objects with deal in (1): stamps, coins,


records, rare books, second-hand clothes, stolen goods, used cars

72

deal in (2) INFORMAL


If you say "Deal me in" it means you want to join in an activity.
Synonym: count in
For example:

deal sb in When I told Tommy we were going bowling, he said,


"Great! Deal me in!"

deal sb in If you're ever going out to a club on Saturday night,


deal me in. I just love dancing.

Origin: In most card games one player deals the cards to all those
who are playing, and if someone says "Deal me in" it means they
want to join in the game.
Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used in
other varieties of English too.
deal with
If you deal with a problem or a difficult situation, you do what needs
to be done to solve or resolve it.
Synonym: handle, take care of, tackle
For example:

deal with I asked my assistant if there was anything else we


had to deal with.

deal with sth A manager has to deal with all sorts of problems
and issues that come up in business.

be dealt with (passive) This matter should have been dealt


with before it became such a serious issue.

73

Nouns often used as objects with deal with: problem, complaint,


situation, issue, enquiry, crisis, emergency
decide against
to decide not to do something you were thinking of doing, or not to
choose something or someone you were thinking of choosing
For example:

decide against sth/sb We were thinking of opening an office


in London, but we've decided against it because of the high cost
of renting office space there.

decide against doing sth I'm glad to hear that you've decided
against quitting your job.

decide on
If you decide on something, you choose one thing from among two or
more possible options.
Synonym: settle on
For example:

decide on sb/sth After looking into a lot of possible places to


spend our honeymoon, we decided on a week in Bali.

decide on doing sth After thinking about it for a long time, I


decided on doing a Masters degree in International Law.

delight in
If you delight in doing something, you get a great deal of pleasure
from doing it.
Synonym: enjoy

74

For example:

delight in (doing) sth When he was a kid, Louis delighted in


nothing more than racing go-carts, and now he's a Formula 1
racing-car driver.

delight in (doing) sth Cats can be very cruel. They delight in


playing around with injured mice or birds before killing them.

delve into
to try to find information by examining something thoroughly
Synonym: investigate
For example:

delve into Reporters will often delve into a famous person's


past, hoping to find something sensational like an arrest record
or a history of drug abuse.

delve into One of the hospital's nurses has been arrested for
giving secret medical records to a lawyer who was delving into
someone's medical history.

depend on (1)
If one thing depends on another, it cannot happen without the other,
or it is greatly affected by the other.
For example:

depend on sth I don't know if I can go to Oxford university


yet. It depends on my exam results.

75

depend on sth We're not sure what we're doing tomorrow. It


depends on the weather. If it's hot, we'll go swimming, but if
it's cold, we'll go see a movie.

depend on (2)
If you depend on someone, you rely on them to give you what you
need.
Synonym: rely on, count on
For example:

depend on sb/sth We depend on each other for help when we


have problems. We can't depend on the government to help us.

depend on sb/sth for sth Children depend on their parents


for food, shelter and an education.

describe as
to say that something is a certain kind of thing or that someone is a
certain type of person
For example:

describe sth as sth Would you describe your music as rock or


pop?

describe sb as sth I'd describe Uncle Ted as a fairly typical


middle-aged man.

deter from
to make someone less likely to do something, or to discourage
someone from doing something

76

For example:

deter sb from doing sth The terrorist attacks deterred many


people from visiting the country, and many tourists cancelled
their bookings.

deter sb from doing sth Did the stock market collapse of


2008 deter you from investing in shares again?

devote to
to decide to spend a certain portion of your time or money on
something
Synonym: dedicate to
For example:

devote to Richard promised to devote more time to his family,


and less time to work and making money.

devote to How much time and money would we have to


devote to setting up the new business?

die away
If a sound dies away, it gradually gets softer and softer.
Synonym: fade away
For example:

die away After about five minutes of non-stop cheering and


clapping, the applause began to die away and people started to
leave the hall.

die away I shouted into the cavern and listened as the echo of
my voice slowly died away.
77

Nouns often used as subjects with die away: sound, applause, echo,
footsteps, thunder, note, noise
die down
If something dies down, it gradually becomes weaker in strength or
lower in volume or magnitude.
Synonym: subside
For example:

die down The anger people felt about what the previous
government had done to their country took a long time to die
down.

die down The new president waited for the applause to die
down before he began to speak.

Nouns often used as subjects with die down: noise, applause,


excitement, laughter, wind, storm, protest, controversy, anger, rage,
fighting
die off
If a group of people, animals, or plants dies off, all of them die over a
period of time and none are left.
For example:

die off The plants in our garden slowly died off due to lack of
water.

die off Many Tasmanian aborigines were killed by European


invaders, and the rest died off over the years because of
European diseases.

78

die out
If something like a species of animal or a language is dying out, it is
disappearing and could soon be lost forever.
Synonym: become extinct
For example:

die out Several languages will die out soon if more people
don't start learning them and speaking them.

die out Some people believe polar bears could die out within
twenty or thirty years because of global warming.

dig in INFORMAL
to start eating with enthusiasm, or gusto
Synonym: tuck in (informal)
For example:

dig in As soon as I put the food on the table, all the kids
starting digging in.

dig in The pizza's here you guys! Come and dig in!

dig up
If you dig up something, you get it from under the ground by digging.
Synonym: unearth
For example:

dig up The police dug up the murder victim's body and took it
away for examination.

79

dig up My dog loves digging up bones that I bury in the garden


for him.

Nouns often used as objects with dig up: body, bone, treasure,
potatoes, peanuts
dip into
to take money from an amount that has been saved or put aside for a
specific purpose
For example:

dip into sth Saleena has decided to dip into her savings and
take a trip to Thailand.

dip into sth If you haven't got change to tip the messenger,
dip into our petty cash jar.

dish out (1) INFORMAL


to give things to people, often without thinking about the effects or
the costs of doing so
Synonym: dole out (informal), give out, hand out
For example:

dish out sth The college was accused of dishing out degrees to
anyone who could pay for them.

dish sth out Drug companies want doctors to dish their drugs
out to as many people as possible.

Note: This phrasal verb often has a negative connotation. For


example, if someone "dishes something out" they could be doing so
for

their

own

benefit

without

thinking

about

the

negative

consequences.
80

dish out (2) INFORMAL


If you dish out something like criticism or advice, you give it often
and without much thought.
Synonym: dole out (informal), hand out
For example:

dish out sth When he gets drunk, Barry dishes out praise
that's too high, or he dishes out criticism that's too strong. He
never seems to get it right.

dish sth out The more someone understands about life, the
less likely they are to dish advice or criticism out to people.

dispose of FORMAL
to get rid of something you don't need or don't want any more
Synonym: throw away
For example:

dispose of sth I was fined a hundred dollars for incorrectly


disposing of a cigarette. I should have put it into a bin instead
of dropping it on the ground.

dispose of sth In most countries it is illegal to dispose of a


dead body yourself. You have to have a registered undertaker
dispose of it for you.

Nouns

often used

as

objects

with dispose

of: litter,

rubbish,

garbage, cigarette, butt, waste, body


divide up
If you divide something up, you separate it into smaller parts so that
everyone gets a share.

81

Synonym: divvy up (informal), share out


For example:

divide up sth We'll divide up any profits we make at the end of


each month.

divide sth up If we divide the office space up into ten equal


areas, we can create work stations for ten members of staff.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with divide

up: profit,

money,

inheritance, estate, space, land, pizza, cake


do about
If you do something about a problem, you do something to fix it or
solve it.
For example:

do about My printer won't work and I'm not sure what to do


about it.

do

about What do

you think we should

do

about our

company's falling market share?

do away with (1)


If you do away with something, you get rid of it.
Synonym: abolish, eliminate
For example:

do away with A lot of people think we should do away with


income tax for poor people.

82

do away with Governments must do away with laws that


make it an offence for people of the same sex to make love.
These laws infringe on human rights.

do away with (2) INFORMAL


to kill or to murder somebody
Synonym: murder, bump off (informal), do in (informal)
For example:

do away with sb We were sure she'd done away with her


husband for the insurance money, but we were never able to
prove it.

do away with sb Soon after Pedro was seen talking to the


police, someone did away with him.

do in INFORMAL
to cause someone to feel very tired or worn out
Synonym: exhaust
For example:

do sb in That walk up the mountain really did me in. I can


hardly move!

be done in Paula looks like she's been done in by all that


running. I guess she isn't used to it.

do up (1) INFORMAL
If you do up an old building, car, boat, etc., you make it look new
again by repairing it, painting it, and so on.

83

Synonym: restore, renovate


For example:

do sth up Mike makes money by buying old houses and then


doing them up and selling them.

do up sth Uncle Bill likes to do up old cars and make them look
as good as new.

Nouns often used as objects with do up (1): house, apartment,


room, car, motorbike, boat
do up (2)
If you do up a zip, a button, or a shoelace, you secure it in some
way.
Synonym: fasten

For example:

do up sth Don't forget to do up your fly after you go to the


toilet.

do sth up Do you think I should do these shirt buttons up, or


leave them undone?

Nouns often used as objects with do up (2): fly, zip, zipper, buttons,
shoelaces, bag, dress, tent
do with (1)
to put something somewhere

84

For example:

do with sth I can't remember what I did with my phone. Have


you seen it anywhere?

do with sth What did you do with the newspaper? Did you
leave it outside?

Note: Usually used in a question or in a negative statement.

do with (2)
to make use of something
Meaning: to make use of something
For example:

do with sth We could certainly do with some more computers


at our school. We only have three at the moment.

do with sth What am I going to do with all this free time now
that I'm retired?

do without
If you do without something, you manage to get by without it.
For example:

do without sth People who are unemployed have to learn to


do without some of the things they can afford when they're
working.

do without sth I can't do without breakfast in the morning. It


gives me the energy I need for the day.

85

doze off
If you doze off, you fall asleep without meaning to.
Synonym: nod off, fall asleep
For example:

doze off Mario dozed off during our English class and started to
snore. It was really funny!

doze off If a movie is boring, it doesn't take long before I start


to doze off.

drag on
to continue for longer than seems necessary or usual
For example:

drag on His speech seemed to drag on for hours. People were


yawning and looking at their watches, but he still kept going!

drag on The case dragged on for many years because the


defendant's lawyers kept appealing to higher and higher
courts.

Nouns often used as subjects with drag on: meeting, speech, case,
trial, lecture, debate, movie, concert, lesson
draw on
to use part of a supply of something, or to utilize something that has
been gained over time
Synonym: make use of, utilize

86

For example:

draw on Animals will draw on the fat deposits in their bodies


when they can't find enough to eat.

draw on The older nurses have a lot more experience to draw


on when dealing with difficult patients.

Note: "Draw upon" has the same meaning, but is more formal and is
used in written English more than in spoken English.

draw out
to make something last longer than usual or longer than necessary
Synonym: prolong
For example:

be drawn out The trial was drawn out for another month or
two by the defense attorney's delaying tactics.

draw sth out The government wanted to draw the inquiry out
so that they wouldn't have to act on it before the election.

draw up
to prepare and write a plan, a contract, guidelines or a list of some
sort
For example:

draw up sth We

need our lawyer to

draw up a new

distrubution contract.

draw sth up Linda's proposal sounded good, so I told her draw


it up and present it to the members.
87

Nouns often used as objects with draw up: contract, proposal, plan,
guidelines, schedule, itinerary, timetable, list, budget
For example:

dream of In the classic song Imagine, John Lennon wrote


about some of the things he dreamed of for the people of the
world.

dream of sth Most people seem to dream of things like fame


and wealth, but Louis said he dreams of things like peace for
the world and contentment for himself.

dream of doing sth When Julie was a little girl, she dreamed
of being a famous singer.

Nouns often used as objects with dream of: fame, wealth, peace,
happiness, beauty, success
dream of
If you dream of something you'd really like to be, to do, or to have,
you imagine it becoming a real part of your life.
For example:

dream of In the classic song Imagine, John Lennon wrote


about some of the things he dreamed of for the people of the
world.

dream of sth Most people seem to dream of things like fame


and wealth, but Louis said he dreams of things like peace for
the world and contentment for himself.

dream of doing sth When Julie was a little girl, she dreamed
of being a famous singer.

88

Nouns often used as objects with dream of: fame, wealth, peace,
happiness, beauty, success
dream up
to imagine something like a plan or a story in great detail
Synonym: come up with
For example:

dream up It's amazing to think that one person could dream


up an entire world like the one described in the Harry Potter
novels.

dream up Who was it who dreamed up your plan to cheat by


sending SMS messages?

dress up
If you dress up, you put on formal clothes for a special occasion.
For example:

dress up It's fun to watch the Oscars and see all the movie
stars dress up for the biggest night of their year.

dress up in When American women dress up they usually wear


a gown, while the men wear a tuxedo.

drive away
to cause someone or something to leave a place
For example:

drive sb/sth away The government's strict new laws on


currency trading will drive foreign investors away.

89

drive away sb/sth The farmers are using automatic air guns
to drive away the birds.

drive off
to leave in a car
Meaning: to leave in a car
For example:

drive off I walked out of the shop, got in my car and drove off.

drive off The kids waved as the car was driving off.

drive out
to force someone or something out of a place
Synonym: expel, throw out, kick out (informal)
For example:

drive sb out The invading soldiers drove people out of their


homes and forced them to get onto trucks.

drive

out

sb/sth The

police

came

and

drove

out

any

protesters who were still inside the building.

drop by INFORMAL
to make a short, casual visit somewhere
Synonym: pop in (informal), drop round (British informal)
For example:

drop by Why don't you drop by for a game of chess on your


way home?
90

drop by Could you drop by the pharmacy on your way and get
me some aspirin?

drop in
If you drop something in somewhere, you stop to leave it there and
then keep going.
Synonym: drop off, deliver
For example:

drop sth in If you're going past the post office, could you drop
these letters in for me?

drop sth in I'll drop the report in on my way to the office.

drop off (1)


to drive someone to a place they need to go to and leave them there
For example:

drop sb off Every morning I drop my kids off at school on my


way to work.

drop off sb Sergio stopped at the mall and dropped off his
mother, and then drove on to the golf course.

drop off (2)


to fall asleep
Synonym: doze off, nod off (informal), fall asleep

91

For example:

drop off My mum often drops off in her favourite chair in front
of the TV, and we have to wake her up when it's time to go to
bed.

drop off If you're driving and you start to feel sleepy, stop and
rest. If you drop off behind the wheel, you could kill yourself
and a lot of other people.

drop off (3)


to become fewer in number or less in amount or intensity
Synonym: decline, decrease, fall off
For example:

drop

off Elephant

populations

have

dropped

off

rapidly

because more poachers are killing them for their tusks.

drop off Investment in the housing market has dropped off


quite a bit recently.

drop out
to leave a course of study before completing it
For example:

drop out Bill never got his university degree, but he's never
regretted dropping out.

drop out of sth Some of my friends dropped out of college,


and while some of them wish they'd kept studying, others say
they did the right thing.

92

Nouns often used as indirect objects with drop out: of school, of


college, of university, of the course, of the program
drown out
If a sound is drowned out, it can't be heard because of an ever louder
sound.
For example:

drown sth out The jets flew low overhead and the noise was
so loud that it drowned everything else out.

be drowned out by sth I saw The Beatles play a concert in


1966, but the music was drowned out by the sound of girls
screaming.

drum up
to stimulate something like support for a project, enthusiasm for an
idea, or sales for a business
For example:

drum up Why don't you try drumming up some more business


by advertising online?

drum up Politicians spend a lot of time drumming up support


for legislation they're trying to get through parliament.

dry up
If something like water or oil dries up, or its source dries up, it means
it's all gone and there is none left.

93

For example:

dry up It hasn't rained for many months and many of our


rivers and lakes are drying up fast.

dry up If the world's oil reserves dry up, we'll have to find
other energy sources.

dumb down INFORMAL


to make something like a movie or a novel easier to understand so
more money can be made from it
For example:

dumb down sth Ross used to work in telelvision, but he quit


when he was told he had to dumb down the programs he was
working on.

dumb sth down Movie directors often say big studios dumb
their movies down to sell more tickets.

dwell on
If you dwell on something bad or unpleasant, you think about it too
much or you talk about it too much.
For example:

dwell on sth If I'm lying awake at night dwelling on a problem


or a conflict at work, I take my mind off it by reading a book.

dwell on sth Wayne was dwelling on the fact that he'd just lost
his job, so I changed the topic and we talked about something
else instead.

94

Nouns often used as objects with dwell on: problems, issues, the
past, fears, regrets, loss, conflict
dying for
If you're dying for something, you really feel like it or you want it
very much.
For example:

dying for sth I'm dying for a cup of tea. Let's have a break
and I'll make one.

dying for sth After working non-stop for a month, Charles said
he was dying for a day off so he could stay home and do
nothing.

Note: This phrasal verb is always used in the progressive or


continuous tense. For example, we cannot say "I always die for a cup
of tea in the afternoon." We have to say "I'm always dying for a cup
of tea in the afternoon." And we cannot say "I died to see you." We
have to say "I was dying to see you."

E
ease off
If something eases off, it becomes weaker or less powerful.
Synonym: let up
For example:

ease off After the rain had eased off a bit, the race officials
decided it was safe enough for the drivers to start racing again.

95

ease off The pain eased off quite a bit after the doctor gave
me a shot of morphine.

eat in
If you eat in, you eat at home instead of going out to a restaurant.
For example:

eat in Let's eat in tonight. I don't feel like going out.

eat in If you eat in a lot, make sure you cook fresh food and
don't just buy frozen meals and heat them up.

eat into
to use up, or reduce the amount of, something of value
For example:

eat into sth High fuel costs have been eating into many
airlines' profit margins.

eat into sth Answering work-related emails is starting to


seriously eat into my free time.

Nouns often used as objects with eat into: savings, profits, income,
time, free time
eat out
If you eat out, you eat in a restaurant instead of at home.
Synonym: dine out (formal)
For example:

eat out Let's eat out tonight. I don't feel like cooking.

96

eat out How often do you eat out?

eat up (1)
to eat all or most of something
For example:

eat up sth How can I get my son to eat up all his vegetables?
He says he hates them and always leaves them.

eat sth up No matter what sort of food I give my daughter,


she eats it up.

Nouns often used as objects with eat up (1): dinner, food, meal,
vegetables, breakfast, lunch
eat up (2)
If something eats up your time or money, you spend a lot of time or
money on it.
Synonym: consume
For example:

eat up sth The recent trade deficit ate up nearly all our
country's foreign reserves.

eat sth up Having a hobby like running marathons eats nearly


all my free time up.

being eat up Our profits are being eaten up by the rising costs
of oil.

97

egg on INFORMAL
If you egg someone on, you encourage them to do something foolish
or risky.
Synonym: encourage, goad
For example:

egg sb on Janice had already had too much to drink, but her
friends egged her on, trying to make her drink even more.

be egged on by sb If he hadn't been egged on by the other


kids, Kenny would never have smoked that first cigarette. He
hated the smell.

embark on
to begin something, usually something that will be challenging and
time-consuming
For example:

embark on sth After quitting her job as a teacher, Sam


embarked on a new career as a clothes designer.

embark on sth We're embarking on a campaign to encourage


our young people to eat healthy food.

Nouns often used as objects with embark on: career, campaign,


venture, program, policy, project, course
Note: A slightly more formal variation is "embark upon", which can
be used to mean the same thing, and can be used in the same way.

empty out
to remove everything from inside something
98

For example:

empty out sth The cops stopped the boys and told them to
empty out their pockets.

empty sth out I knew I'd been promoted when the boss
smiled and told me to empty my old desk out and take
everything to the office next to his.

empty sth out of sth After emptying the rubbish out of the
bin, I washed it inside and out.

Nouns often used as objects with empty out: pockets, purse, bag,
suitcase, bin, container, desk, drawer, cupboard, boot (of the car)
end in
to have a certain result at the end of something
Synonym: culminate in (formal)
For example:

end in sth The two countries couldn't agree on how to solve


the problem, so the negotiations ended in a stalemate.

end in sth The U.S. government's policy of making alcohol


illegal in the 1920's ended in failure and an increase in
organised crime.

end up
If you end up being somewhere, or doing something, it's because of
decisions you've made in the past.
99

Synonym: finish up, wind up


For example:

end up If Jimmy keeps taking drugs, he'll end up in jail or


dead.

end up doing sth If you don't study hard, you could end up
doing a job you don't like much.

end with
to have something act as the final part of something
Synonym: conclude with (formal
For example:

end with sth The

celebration ended

with a spectacular

fireworks display.

end with sth After the main part of the seminar is over, it
ends with each speaker giving a summary of their ideas.

Nouns often used as objects with end with: summary, conclusion,


closing ceremony, fireworks display
engage in FORMAL
to become involved in something related to competition or conflict,
such as a debate, a battle, or a dispute.
For example:

be engaged in sth The timber company is engaged in a


dispute with local people over the destruction of their forests.

engage in sth We expect our students to engage in lively


debates on the important issues of the day.
100

Nouns often used as objects with engage in: dispute, debate,


conflict, war, warfare, battle, competition, struggle,
enter into
to become involved in something like a discussion, an agreement, or
a partnership.
For example:

enter into sth Before you enter into a business deal, have
your lawyer check the contract.

enter into sth with sb The government has entered into talks
with the rebel soldiers.

Nouns often used as objects with enter into: agreement, contract,


deal, negotiations, partnership, relationship, talks
entitle to
If you are entitled to something, you have the right to have it or the
right to do it.
For example:

entitle sb to sth Citizenship entitles people in Cuba to free


health care and free education to tertiary level.

be entitled to do sth Did you know that descendants of the


people who lived in Australia before Europeans started living
there in the 1700's weren't entitled to vote in national elections
until the 1960's?

entrust to
to give somebody responsibility for something of importance or value

101

For example:

entrust sth to sb Do you think we should entrust the


discovery and development of new drugs to profit -seeking
private companies?

be entrusted to sb The job of running the government is


entrusted to politicians.

entrust with
to give someone responsibility for something of importance or value

For example:

entrust sb with sth Ben says that entrusting kids with


important jobs like looking after pets and taking care of
younger kids will help them to become mature adults later on.

be entrusted with sth Do you think Edna can be entrusted


with a secret, or do you think she might tell someone?

even up
to make something more equal or to make it fairer
Synonym: equalize
For example:

even sth up You paid for the tickets, so if I pay for the snacks
and drinks that'll even things up.

102

even up sth We need to score five more points to even up the


score.

expose to (1)
If you expose someone to something, you introduce them to
something they might not otherwise see or experience.
For example:

exposed sb to sth We try to expose our students to art, music


and literature that they wouldn't normally come across.

be exposed to sth It's a good idea for young staff to be


exposed to various work environments.

expose to (2)
to make someone face a danger or a hazard
For example:

expose to Many soldiers were exposed to dangerous chemicals


during the war.

expose sb to sth Nuclear weapons expose millions of people


to deadly nuclear radiation. They should be banned!

Nouns often used as objects with expose to (2): danger, gunfire,


radiation, heat, sunlight, hazardous chemicals
extricate from FORMAL
to get someone out of a difficult situation or a dangerous place
For example:

103

extricate sb from sth Their accountant tried to extricate the


company executives from charges of tax evasion.

extricate oneself from sth Even though he had a team of


very expensive lawyers, Lord Fartwhistle couldn't extricate
himself from the legal mess he was in.

F
face up to
If you face up to a difficult or challenging situation, you accept that
you have to deal with it, and then do something about it.
For example:

face up to sth We have to face up to the challenge of


competing with new companies and new products.

face up to sth It's time I faced up to the fact that I'm getting
older and I have to start saving money for the future.

Nouns often used as objects with face up to: fact, reality, thruth,
challenge
face with
If you are faced with something like a problem or a challenge, you
have to deal with it.
For example:

be faced with sth European companies are faced with strong


competition from Asian manufacturers.

104

be faced with sth My cousin Kenny is faced with the challenge


of overcoming cancer.

Nouns often used as objects with face with: challenge, problem,


difficulty, competition, decision
Note: Almost always used with the verb "to be", as in "be faced
with", "was faced with", "is faced with", "will be faced with", etc.
factor in
to include a certain item when calculating or planning something
Synonym: consider, include
For example:

factor in sth Don't forget to factor in transport costs when you


make the quotation.

factor sth in You need to factor the political situation in when


deciding on a country to invest in.

fade away
to slowly become weaker, softer or dimmer
Synonym: disappear, vanish

For example:

fade away The rattles and clunks of her old bicycle faded away
as she rode away from the town.

fade away The dreams he'd had as an idealistic young doctor


faded away as the years passed.
105

fall apart
If something falls apart, it breaks into pieces or parts start falling off.
Synonym: disintegrate (formal)
For example:

fall apart My old shoes are falling apart, so I'll have to get
some new ones.

fall apart If the model plane falls apart, get some stronger
glue and put it together again.

fall back on
to use or do something else because what you used or did first has
failed
For example:

fall back on sth If you get your degree, you'll have something
to fall back on if you can't make a living as an artist.

fall back on sth Luckily Jenny had teaching to fall back on


after her business failed.

fall behind
If you have fallen behind other people, they have advanced faster
than you and they are ahead of you.
For example:

fall behind If he takes too much time off school, Ari will fall
behind. Then he'll have to study hard to catch up with his
classmates.
106

fall behind sth/sb Some Asian countries are falling behind


China, and they need to develop their economies faster to keep
up.

fall for (1)


If you fall for something like a trick or a scam, you believe it's real or
genuine even though it's not.
Synonym: be fooled by, be tricked by
For example:

fall for sth Don't fall for email scams which promise to make
you a lot of money.

fall for sth Lots of people fell for our April Fool's joke when we
claimed that the UN was going to ban all languages except for
English.

Nouns often used as objects with fall for (1): trick, scam, confidence
trick, con, joke
fall for (2)
If you fall for someone, you fall in love with them.
For example:

fall for sb I fell for Becky on our first date, and I knew then
and there that she was the one for me.

fall for sb My teenage daughter is going through that crazy


stage when she says she's fallen for a different boy every
month or two.

107

fall in (1)
If a roof or a ceiling falls in, it falls to the floor because it's been
weakened or damaged.
Synonym: cave in
For example:

fall in There was a loud crash, and then the ceiling fell in.

fall in Two firefighters were trapped under heavy beams after


the roof fell in.

fall in (2)
to form a line by standing side by side or one behind the other
For example:

fall in As the teacher started walking down the nature trail, her
students fell in behind her.

fall in The soldiers jumped off the truck and their sergeant
shouted "Fall in, men!", so they all lined up.

fall off
to become less in amount or lower in level
Synonym: drop off, decrease, decline
For example:

fall off Sales of sunglasses usually fall off in winter, but pick up
again in summer.

fall off Tourist numbers fell off quite a bit because of the
reports of sickness in the country.
108

fall out (1)


If something falls out, it becomes detached from whatever it's
attached to.
Synonym: come out
For example:

fall out Bob's hair has started falling out, so he's looking for a
cream or some pills to stop any more from falling out.

fall out I knew I was getting old when my teeth started to fall
out.

fall out (2) INFORMAL


If you and a friend fall out, you are no longer friendly because of a
disagreement or a problem you've had.
For example:

fall out over sth/sb Sayoko and Hiroko fell out over a boy
they both liked, and now they aren't speaking to one another.

fall out with sb I fell out with my parents after I told them I
was gay. They couldn't accept it.

Nouns often used as subjects with fall out (2): friends, relatives,
partners, colleagues, lovers
Note: The noun "falling-out" comes from this phrasal verb. A "fallingout" occurs when friends, colleagues or family members have a
disagreement or a misunderstanding over something, and their
relationship is in danger of ending. For example, "They had a fallingout over their mother's will after she died."

109

fall over
If someone falls over, they fall to the ground.
For example:

fall over My little girl was running along when she fell over, so
I picked her up and gave her a hug.

fall over Be careful when you're walking in the forest. You can
get seriously hurt if you fall over.

fall through
If a plan or a deal falls through, it doesn't work out and it's dropped
or scrapped.
For example:

fall through Our plans for a holiday in Greece fell through


when Bob lost his job. We couldn't afford to go after that.

has fallen through The deal has fallen through because they
couldn't agree on the payment terms.

Nouns

often

used

as

subjects

with fall through: plan,

deal,

arrangement, sale, purchase


farm out
If you farm out work, you pay people outside your company to do it.
For example:

farm sth out They farm a lot of the work out to freelancers
because it's cheaper than employing their own people.

farm out sth We've decided to farm out most of the basic
programming work to IT subcontractors in India.
110

feel for
If you feel for someone, you have sympathy for them or feel sad
because they are suffering.
Synonym: sympathize with (formal)
For example:

feel for sb We all felt for Vince when we heard about what had
happened to his dog.

feel for sb I feel for her because I know what she's going
through.

fight back
If you fight back, you do what's needed to win a conflict or a battle
after being attacked or threatened.
Synonym: retaliate
For example:

fight back Tommy just stands there when other kids hit him.
He won't fight back.

fight back When people blame the new government for the
economic crisis, the president

fights back and says his

government did not create the problems.

fight off
to try to stop someone or something from attacking you or hurting
you
Synonym: fend off

111

For example:

fight off sth/sb My sister is learning karate so she'll be able to


fight off anybody who tries to attack her.

fight sth/sb off If you get the flu, you should rest in order to
give your body the chance to fight it off.

figure out (1)


If you figure something out, you find the solution to a problem or the
answer to a question.
Synonym: work out
For example:

figure out To complete the puzzle, study the clues and try to
figure out the solution.

figure out He soon figured out what the problem with his
computer was.

figure out (2)


If you figure somebody out, you know what they're like and how
they're likely to act.
Synonym: work out, understand
For example:

figure sb out I've known Tatiana for a couple of years, but I


still haven't figured her out. I never know what she's going to
say or do.

figure sb out A good personnel manager can figure people out


quickly.
112

fill in (1)
If you fill in a form, you complete it by writing in the spaces provided.
Synonym: fill out, complete (formal)
For example:

fill sth in Take this form and fill it in with your details.

fill in sth If you want to get a visa, you'll have to fill in a


couple of forms and then they'll give you an interview.

Nouns often used as objects with fill in (1): form, spaces, details,
missing word, name, address
Note: Both "fill in" and "fill out" can have this meaning, and both are
correct.

fill in (2)
If you fill somebody in, you give them the details about something.
For example:

fill sb in I had to fill Barrack in on the details because he


hadn't had time to read the report.

fill sb in I'm not sure what happened yet, but as soon as I find
out I'll call and fill you in.

fill out
If you fill out a form, you complete it by writing in the spaces
provided.
Synonym: fill in, complete (formal)

113

For example:

fill sth out Take this form, fill it out, and then bring it back.

fill out sth Do you like filling out questionnaires or those


survey booklets?

Nouns often used as objects with fill out: form, questionnaire, exam
booklet, survey
Note: Both "fill in" and "fill out" can have this meaning, and both are
correct
fill up (1)
If you fill something up, you make it full.
For example:

fill up sth Don't forget to fill up your car before you leave. It's
a long way to the next gas station.

fill sth up with sth When the water level in the coffee
machine gets down to that red line, fill it up with water from
this tap.

Nouns often used as objects with fill up (1): container, glass, jar,
bottle, tank, car, bag, suitcase
fill up (2)
to fill someone's stomach with food
Synonym: satisfy
For example:

fill sb up Sam says there's nothing like a big bowl of hot


porridge to fill you up in the morning.

114

fill sb up with sth Whenever I visit my mum, she fills me up


with all the things she made for us when we were kids.

fill up on sth Before we went hiking, we filled up on rice and


chicken and boiled vegetables.

find out
to discover a fact or information about something
For example:

find out sth Could you find out how much it costs to fly to
Japan?

find out about sth I love going to Wikipedia and finding out
about all sorts of interesting subjects.

find sth out Whenever Paula needs to find something out, she
goes online and does a search.

Nouns often used as objects with find out: information, details,


facts, news, answer
finish off
to complete something, or to eat the last piece of something
For example:

finish sth off I've been working on the report all week, but I
should be able to finish it off tonight.

finish off sth Who'd like to finish off the apple pie? There's still
one piece left.

115

finish up
to be in a certain place or situation after a long series of events or a
long time
Synonym: end up, wind up
For example:

finish up After working her way around Asia, Sandy finished up


in Australia working as a fruit picker.

finish up doing sth After seeing hundreds of young actors, we


finished up giving the part to a boy who'd never acted in a film
before.

finish with
If you've finished with something, you've done what you needed to
do with it and you no longer need it.
For example:

finish with sth When you've finished with the hair dryer, could
you let me know? I need to use it too.

finish with sth After he'd finished with the vacuum cleaner, he
put it back in the cupboard.

fire up
to create enthusiasm or excitement, usually among a group of people
or a crowd
For example:

fire up sb The coach fired up his players with his half-time


talk, and they tried much harder in the second half.
116

be fired up After being fired up by their leaders' speeches, the


protesters marched to government house.

fit in (1)
to have enough space for something, or to have enough time for
something
For example:

fit in My car's got a small boot and the golf clubs won't fit in.
They're too long.

fit sth/sb in I don't have time to see him today, but I might
be able to fit him in tomorrow.

fit in (2)
If you fit in, you are accepted by a group of people and seen as "one
of them".
For example:

fit in When my daughter starts at a new school, she has no


trouble fitting in.

fit in with sth/sb Barry started his new job in China and he
tried to fit in with the local staff, but it was difficult because
most of them didn't speak much English.

fit together
to connect pieces that go together to make something

117

For example:

fit sth together We completed the jigsaw puzzle by fitting all


the pieces together.

fit together sth You should read the instructions before trying
to fit together all these parts.

fix up (1)
to repair something or to improve the condition of something,
especially something old or second-hand
Synonym: restore, renovate, do up (British informal)
For example:

fix sth up Mark and Shelley have made a lot of money by


buying old, run-down houses, and then fixing them up and
selling them.

fix up sth Why don't you fix up that old motorbike you've got
in the garage? If you got it in good condition again, you could
sell it.

fix up (2) INFORMAL


to arrange something for someone
Synonym: sort out, arrange (formal)
For example:

fix sb up Let me know if you ever need a loan and we'll fix you
up.

118

fix sb up with sth If you need an apartment, let me know and


I'll talk to my cousin. He should be able to fix you up with
something nice.

fizzle out
If something fizzles out, it slowly loses its power or strength, and
then ends weakly.
Synonym: peter out
For example:

fizzle out For the first couple of weeks, everybody was talking
about the new reality TV show, but the excitement soon fizzled
out and no-one talks about it now.

fizzle out There used to be a lot of interest in the band, but it


fizzled out when their lead singer quit and started a solo career.

flare up
If something like a conflict or an illness flares up, it suddenly
becomes worse.
Synonym: erupt
For example:

flare up Julia's skin condition flares up whenever she gets


stressed out by something.

flare up It can be dangerous in this city. Fighting among street


gangs can flare up at any time.

119

flick through
If you flick through a book or a magazine, you have a quick look at a
few of the pages.
Synonym: look through
For example:

flick through sth She was flicking through a magazine when


she spotted a picture of herself.

flick through sth Don't you hate the way some shops seal
new books in plastic? It means you can't flick through them
before you buy them.

flood in
If things flood in, they come quickly and in great numbers.
Synonym: pour in
For example:

flood in Ever since she won the Nobel Prize for literature,
orders for her books have been flooding in.

flood in Thousands of cheap products have been flooding in


from overseas since the government lowered import taxes.

fob off (1) INFORMAL


to give someone something of low quality or little value
For example:

fob sb off with sth He knows a lot about jade, so there's no


way they can fob him off with some worthless white stone.

120

be fobbed off with sth I wasn't going to be fobbed off with


some sort of cheap copy.

fob off (2) INFORMAL


to try to make someone stop complaining or stop bothering you by
telling them something that isn't true, or by giving them an excuse
For example:

After I complained about getting tinned peas, the manager of


the restaurant tried to fob me off with some excuse about fresh
peas not being in season.

The workers refused to be fobbed off with a vague promise of


bigger bonuses in future if profits improved.

focus on
If you focus on something, you give it all your attention.
Synonym: concentrate on
For example:

focus on sth The new government will focus on reforming


health care and developing sustainable sources of energy.

focus on sth I used to spend all my time making money, but


now I'm more focused on developing my creative talents - and
I'm much happier.

follow through
to continue something to the next stage, or to complete something

121

For example:

follow through It's not easy to come up with a good idea, but
it's even harder to follow through and make it a reality.

be followed through The first stage of the research project


was very promising, but for some reason it was never followed
through.

follow up
to do something in addition to what's already been done in order to
complete or continue a process or a deal
Synonym: consolidate (formal)
For example:

follow up If you meet a new contact, make sure you get their
number and follow up with a call in the next day or two.

follow up After selling something online, the website follows


up with a customer satisfaction survey.

fool around
If you're fooling around, you're having fun by joking and being a bit
silly.
Synonym: mess around, muck around (British informal)
For example:

fool around We were telling jokes and laughing when the boss
came in and told us to stop fooling around and start working.

fool around If you spend all your time at school just fooling
around, you'll never learn anything.
122

force into
to make someone do something they don't want to do.
forge ahead
to make rapid progress toward a goal
For example:

forge ahead The festival's organizers are forging ahead and


they're confident it'll be the biggest music festival ever.

forge ahead The President was determined to forge ahead


with his reforms despite the problems he was facing.

freak out INFORMAL


If someone freaks out, they get very scared or upset by something.
For example:

freak out When I saw a snake while I was having a shower, I


freaked out and ran from the bathroom completely naked.

freak out After smoking

some

marijuana,

Harry started

freaking out when he thought everyone was laughing at him.

free up
to make someone or something available by releasing them from
their usual duties or function
For example:

free up sb/sth We need to free up some of our factory


workers so they can help us out.

123

free sb/sth up The company had to free some of its


production capacity up in order to fill a special order.

freshen up
If you freshen up, you wash your face and hands and make yourself
look and feel better.
For example:

freshen up I was hot and sweaty when I came inside so I went


straight to the bathroom to freshen up.

freshen up If you'd like to freshen up before dinner, the


bathroom is the first door on the right.

frighten away
If you frighten away something or someone, you make them go away
by making them feel afraid.
Synonym: scare off
For example:

frighten sth/sb away Farmers build scarecrows in their fields


in order to frighten away birds that eat their crops.

frighten sth/sb away When he saw some guys coming to


attack him, Harry pulled out his gun and frightened them away.

frown on
to disapprove of something

124

For example:

frown on sth Suzie's father frowned on the idea of her


becoming a dancer, but her mother said she should do it if she
was talented enough to succeed.

be frowned on Long hair on boys is no longer banned in our


school, though lots of teachers still frown on it.

Note: We can make this phrasal verb more formal by using "upon"
instead of "on", as in "The judge had always frowned upon the use of
cameras in his courtroom."
function as
to be used for a particular purpose, or to work in a particular way
For example:

function as sth My apartment functions as an office and a


storeroom, as well as my home.

function as sth Our website functions mainly as a marketing


tool, though it also functions as a channel for direct sales.

fuss over
to give someone lots of attention to show how much you like them or
how important you think they are
For example:

fuss over sb All the relatives fussed over our baby daughter
when we took her to meet them for the first time.

125

fuss over sb Henry travels in first class because he loves the


way the flight attendants fuss over him and make him feel
special.

G
gather around
If people gather around, they form a group or a small crowd around
something or someone.
Synonym: congregate
For example:

gather around As soon as Simon began playing his guitar and


singing, people gathered around to listen.

gather around After Ronaldo fell down and grabbed his foot,
other players gathered around to see what was wrong with him.

get across
to communicate something or make something understood by others
Synonym: get over, convey, put across
For example:

get sth across I've studied English for years, but I still have
trouble getting my ideas across in a conversation.

get across sth A good advertisement gets across whatever it


is that makes a product seem essential to buyers.

126

get ahead
If you get ahead, you make progress in your career.
Synonym: advance, progress
For example:

get ahead Peter says he got ahead by working hard and


listening to people who knew more than he did.

get ahead She won't get ahead unless she quits this job and
starts working for a bigger company.

get along
If two people get along, they like each other and are friendly.
Synonym: get on
For example:

get along My sister and I used to fight a lot when we were


kids, but we get along well these days.

get along with sb Lisa is a friendly, easy-going girl. She


seems to get along with everybody.

get around (1)


to move from place to place
For example:

get around Getting around by motorbike is much quicker than


getting around by car, but it's also much more dangerous.

get around Taxis are a really expensive way of getting around


in Japan, so I use public transport whenever I can.
127

get around (2)


to find a way of avoiding something
Synonym: avoid
For example:

get around sth Sorry, but there's no way of getting around


the new tax, so you'll just have to pay it.

get around sth Jimmy's new lawyer is an expert at getting


around government regulations.

get at (1)
to get hold of something
Synonym: reach
For example:

get at sth Make sure you put any dangerous medicines away
so that the kids can't get at them.

get at sth You'll need to put the food in a place where the ants
can't get at it.

get at (2)
to mean or to imply something
For example:

get at I didn't understand what she was getting at.

get at sth In this song I think he was getting at the fact that
we all need to take responsibility for our actions.

128

get away
to leave a place
Synonym: escape
For example:

get away I had the fish on the line, but just as I was getting it
out of the water, it fell back in and got away.

get away I wanted to join you for dinner, but I just couldn't
get away. There was too much going on in the office.

get away from sth We left the pub to get away from the
noise.

get away with


to do something illegal or immoral and not get caught or punished
For example:

get away with sth Janet got away with shoplifting clothes the
first few times, but she soon got caught and now she's stuck
with a police record for the rest of her life.

get away with sth Bobby nearly got away with the robbery,
but he spent the money too quickly and local police who knew
him got suspicious.

Nouns often used as objects with get away with: cheating, stealing,
lying, robbery, theft, fraud, corruption, murder
get back (1)
to return to a place

129

For example:

get back The kids go to school at 9 in the morning and they


usually get back about 4 in the afternoon.

get back Do you know when the neighbours are getting back
from their vacation?

get back (2)


If you get something back, it is returned to you after you've lent it,
lost it, or had it stolen.
Synonym: retrieve
For example:

get sth back If you leave something in a taxi, you might get it
back if you call the taxi company.

get back sth I'm never lending money to Dave again. Last
time it took six months to get back the hundred dollars I lent
him.

get by
to have just enough of something, like money, knowledge or skills, to
do what you want to do
Synonym: manage
For example:

get by Workers getting the minimum wage earn just enough to


get by, but I doubt if they could save anything.

get by My French isn't great, but it's good enough to get by


when I'm travelling in France.
130

get down (1)


to move close to the ground, or to move from a higher position to a
lower position
For example:

get down When Mandy said she'd lost a contact lens, we all
got down and looked for it.

get down If you hear gunshots, get down and stay down.

get down (2)


to quickly write something, often so as not to forget it
Synonym: jot down
For example:

get down sth Nick always carries a pen and piece of paper so
that he can get down any ideas he has as soon as he has them.

get sth down Did you manage to get the car's registration
number down?

get down (3)


to manage to swallow something that isn't easy to swallow
For example:

get sth down The food was so awful that he had trouble
getting anything down.

get sth down The cat didn't want to swallow the pill, but we
eventually got it down.

131

get in (1)
to enter a place or a vehicle
For example:

get in You'll need a house key. You can't get in without one.

get in sth Grandma got in the back seat with the kids, while I
got in the driver's seat.

Nouns often used as objects with get in (1): car, taxi, house,
apartment, office, tent

get in (2)
If a train or plane gets in, it arrives at its destination.
For example:

get into sth After he retired, my father got into ballroom


dancing and windsurfing.

get into sth You'll be nervous at first, but you'll relax once you
start getting into the music.

get in (3)
to submit or send something like a document, a form or a report
For example:

get sth in Make sure you get your application in on time, or


you won't get the job.

get

sth

in My

son

hasn't

even started

his

homework

assignment yet, and he has to get it in by Friday.

132

get into (1)


If you get into something like a university, a team, a club, etc., you
have succeeded in joining it.
Synonym: alight (formal)
For example:

get off sth We got off the train as soon as it stopped.

get off sth You'll have to get off the bus at the railway station
and then get the train.

Nouns often used as objects with get off (1): bicycle, motorbike,
horse, cart, bus, train, plane, boat, rollercoaster, ride
get into (2)
to become interested in something or focussed on something
For example:

get into sth Did you hear about Mandy getting into Oxford
University?

get into David Beckham got into the English team over 100
times.

Nouns often used as objects with get into (1): school, university,
course, program, army, navy, team, squad, club, government,
parliament, council
get off (1)
to leave a means of transport such as a bus or a train
Synonym: alight (formal)
For example:

get off sth We got off the train as soon as it stopped.


133

get off sth You'll have to get off the bus at the railway station
and then get the train.

Nouns often used as objects with get off (1): bicycle, motorbike,
horse, cart, bus, train, plane, boat, rollercoaster, ride
get off (2)
to finish work, or have a break from work
For example:

get off We start work at 9 in the morning, and we get off at 5.

get sth off Everyone in our company gets New Years Day off,
except for a few security guards.

get on (1)
to step onto a bus, train, ship, etc.
Synonym: board (formal)
For example:

get on sth I watched my son help an old lady get on the bus,
and felt proud of my boy.

get on sth The only way to get on the boat was to walk along
a narrow plank that went over the water.

Nouns often used as objects with get on (1): bus, train, plane, boat,
ship, bicycle, motorbike
get on (2)
If two people get on, they have a good relationship and are friendly.
Synonym: get along

134

For example:

get on Mike and his dad used to fight a lot, but these days they
get on really well.

get on with Janie's very easy to get on with. Everybody really


likes her.

get out (1)


to move out of an enclosed space, such as a building or a car
For example:

get out The doors were locked and there were bars on the
windows so the people inside couldn't get out of the building.

get out Make sure there are no cars coming before you get out
of the taxi

get out (2)


If you get something out, you remove it from whatever it's in.
For example:

get sth out After you get the clothes out of the washing
machine, hang them out to dry.

get sth out It's really difficult to get wine stains out of a
carpet.

get out of (1)


If you get out of doing something that you don't want to do, you find
a way to avoid doing it, such as by making up an excuse.
135

For example:

get out of sth My sister hates funerals, and she gets out of
going to them by saying she's sick.

get out of doing sth If I can get out of working on the


weekend, I'll go camping with my friends.

get out of (2)


to take off clothes because they're uncomfortable or inappropriate
For example:

get out of sth Wait a moment while I get out of these wet
clothes.

get out of sth After finishing his run he jumped in the pool
without getting out of his running gear.

get over
to recover from something like an illness or a shock
Synonym: recover from
For example:

get over sth How long did it take you to get over the illness?

get over sth Tony was heartbroken when his girlfriend left
him, and it took him ages to get over it.

Nouns often used as objects with get over: illness, virus, cold,
operation, accident, injury, shock, trauma, heartbreak
get through (1)
to complete a task
136

Synonym: finish
For example:

get through sth It'll take hours to get through all these
emails. There must be hundreds of them!

get through sth We've got a lot to get through in today's


lesson, so we'd better get started.

get through (2)


If you get through something, you use or eat all of it.
For example:

get through sth When I was in Japan, I got through all my


money in a few days. Everything's really expensive.

get through sth It's amazing how much food a growing


teenage boy can get through in a single day.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
get through (3)
to reach the person you want to talk to when making a telephone call
For example:

get through If you can't get through to my cell phone, call my


home number.

get through I called your company, but I couldn't get through


to a real person. All I got was a series of recorded messages.

137

get together
to meet and spend time together
Synonym: meet up
For example:

get together All the neighbours get together on Christmas


morning for their annual Christmas "block party".

get together Every Saturday night we get together with some


friends and have dinner in a restaurant.

get up (1)
to get out of bed after having been asleep
Synonym: rise
For example:

get up Michael gets up at six o'clock, does his exercises and his
meditation, and then he makes his breakfast.

get sb up Every morning Sarah's mother gets her up and gets


her ready for school.

get up (2)
to stand up or to get to one's feet
Synonym: stand up
For example:

get up When the teacher came in, all her students got up and
stood beside their desks.

138

get up If you're on a long flight, it's a good idea to get up and


walk around for a few minutes every hour or so.

give away
If you give away something, you give it to someone without
expecting anything in return.
For example:

give away sth Bill Gates gives away most of his money to help
poor people in developing countries.

give sth away My dog had five puppies, and we gave four of
them away and kept one for ourselves.

give back
If you give something back, you return it to whoever you got it from.
For example:

give away sth Bill Gates gives away most of his money to help
poor people in developing countries.

give sth away My dog had five puppies, and we gave four of
them away and kept one for ourselves.

give in
If somebody gives in, they stop trying to do something like win a
game, a fight or an argument.
Synonym: return

139

For example:

give back sth Have you given back the books you borrowed
from your sister yet?

give sth back People who've made a fortune in business often


give something back to their school or university by providing
scholarships, equipment or new buildings.

give off
to produce something like a smell, a gas, heat or light
Synonym: emit
For example:

give off Coal-fired power plants give off a lot of damaging


fumes and atmospheric pollutants.

give off sth Many flowers give off an aroma that attracts
insects, and the insects then pollinate the plants.

Nouns often used as objects with give off: smell, gas, fumes, odour,
scent, aroma, stink, heat, light
give out
If you give something out, you distribute it to many people, usually
by hand.
Synonym: hand out
For example:

give out sth Our sales staff will be giving out promotional
material at the trade fair.
140

give sth out Take these brochures and give them out to
people as they walk past.

give up (1)
If you give up, you stop trying to do something because it's too hard
or because it can't be done.
For example:

give up I know it's hard to find a job these days, but don't give
up. Keep trying and sooner or later you'll get one.

give up doing sth I decided to fix my printer myself, but the


problem was too serious so I gave up trying and took it to the
repair shop.

give up (2)
If you give up something, you stop doing it because it's bad for you.
Synonym: quit
For example:

give up sth One of the hardest things I've ever done was to
give up cigarettes.

give sth up Your girlfriend said she hates it when you drink too
much, so if you want to keep her you should give it up for a
while.

give up doing sth My doctor told me I should give up eating


fatty foods and sweet desserts.

Nouns often used as objects with give up (2): cigarettes, alcohol,


smoking, drinking, meat, desserts, sweets
141

go about
to do something in a certain way, or to deal with something in a
certain way
Synonym: tackle
For example:

go about sth What's the best way of going about something


like this?

go about sth How do you think we should go about raising


funds for the project?

go after (1)
to chase and try to catch someone or something
Synonym: chase, pursue
For example:

go after sb/sth After the guy had grabbed my wife's handbag


I went after him, but he was too fast and he got away.

go after sb/sth A lion won't go after an animal unless it's


pretty sure it can catch it.

go after (2) INFORMAL


to try to get something
Meaning: to try to get something
For example:

go after sb/sth Are you planning to go after Alex's job when


he retires?
142

go after sb/sth If Rupert thinks there's a chance to take over


a profitable company, he'll go after it with everything he's got.

go against
to oppose, or disagree with, something or somebody
For example:

go against sth/sb A leader who always goes against public


opinion won't last very long.

go against sth/sb Asking someone to do something that goes


against their religious beliefs is probably a waste of time.

go ahead
to start doing something, or to continue doing something, usually
after being given permission or encouragement to do so
For example:

go ahead The chess tournament referee waited until all the


players were sitting at their tables, and then he told them to go
ahead and start the first game.

go ahead I've checked the contract and it looks fine, so you


can go ahead and sign it.

go along with
to agree with someone or to support something
Synonym: agree with

143

For example:

go along with sth/sb I usually go along with whatever


Michael says, but this time I don't agree with him.

go along with sth/sb Most people just go along with


whatever the government wants to do, so it was a surprise
when so many of them opposed the plan to build a new dam.

go around (1)
to act or dress in a certain way
For example:

go around He used to go around in jeans and a T-shirt, but


now he wears a suit and tie.

go around Ever since Lee got his promotion, he's been going
around telling everyone what to do.

go around (2)
to be enough for everyone
For example:

go around There wasn't enough cake to go around, so I had to


go and get another one.

go around Sometimes there aren't enough books to go


around, so the students have to share them.

go away (1)
to leave or go to another place

144

For example:

go away A big dog chased me up a tree, and I had to wait


there until it went away.

go away Billy is in a bad mood. If anyone knocks on his door,


he tells them to go away and leave him alone.

go away (2)
to stop existing, or to stop being noticeable
Synonym: disappear, vanish
For example:

go away If you start putting cream on your pimples today,


they should go away in three or four days.

go away The problem isn't going to go away by itself. You're


going to have to do something about it.

go back
to return to a place, a person, a condition, etc.
Synonym: return
For example:

go back I'm feeling much better, thanks. I should be able to go


back to work tomorrow.

go back Sandra left her passport at home, so she had to go


back and get it.

145

go beyond
to be more than, better than, more advanced than, etc.
Synonym: exceed (formal), surpass (formal)
For example:

go beyond sth The actual cost of making his movies nearly


always goes beyond the original budget.

go (far/way) beyond sth Her dreams of fame and success


always went far beyond what a girl from New Jersey would
normally expect from life.

go by
to move past (in space), or pass (in time)
Synonym: pass by
For example:

go by My grandfather likes to sit on a bench in the park and


watch all the people going by.

go by Time seems to go by more quickly when you get older.

go down (1)
to become less
Synonym: decrease, fall
For example:

go down The new police chief has promised to do everything


he can to make the crime rate go down.

go down Prices don't usually go down - they usually go up.


146

go down (2)
to be received in a certain way, or to create a certain reaction
For example:

go down I think your speech went down really well. People


looked really interested.

go

down The

manager's

request that

workers

help

the

company by doing overtime for no pay didn't go down very


well.

go down (3)
When the sun or the moon goes down, it gets lower and lower in the
sky until it disappears below the horizon.
Synonym: set
For example:

go down What time does the sun go down?

go down We sat on the beach and watched the sun go down.

go down (4)
to be remembered or recorded in some way
For example:

Helen said she thinks President George will go down in history


as one of the worst presidents we've ever had.

The Beatles will go down in the record books as the best -selling
group of the sixties.

147

go for (1) INFORMAL


to try to get something or achieve something
For example:

go for sth Are you planning to go for that job in the UN?

go for sth The referee thought I kicked the guy on purpose,


but I didn't. I was going for the ball.

go for (2) INFORMAL


to like a particular type of person, product, style, experience, etc.
Synonym: like
For example:

go for sth/sb Sandra goes for the cute, boyish guys, but
Heather goes for the more manly, macho guys.

go for sth/sb One of my daughters goes for romantic


comedies, but the other one goes for adventure and action
movies.

go for (3)
to physically attack a person or an animal
Synonym: attack
For example:

go for sb/sth As soon as I walked through the gate, the dog


went for me. I had to jump over the fence to get away!

go for sb/sth He went for the guy with a broken bottle and
nearly killed him.
148

go for (4)
to be sold for a certain amount of money
Synonym: fetch
For example:

go for How much did your neighbour's house go for?

go for Dave's paintings go for anything up to ten thousand


pounds these days.

go into
to talk about or discuss something in detail
Synonym: discuss
For example:

go into sth Let's not go into that now. We can talk about it
later when we get home.

go into sth My uncle says there are some topics it's best not to
go into if you're talking to a stranger, such as religion and
politics.

Nouns often used as objects with go into: topic, subject, issue,


matter, item, case
go off (1)
If something goes off, it stops working because of a power cut.
For example:

go off Some power lines came down during the storm and all
our lights suddenly went off.

149

go off My new computer has batteries that will save my work if


the power goes off in a blackout.

Nouns often used as subjects with go off (1): lights, computer,


television, air conditioner, heater, radio
go off (2)
If a bomb or a firework goes off, it explodes.
Synonym: explode
For example:

go off After the bomb went off, we heard lots of people


screaming and shouting.

go off Stan had some serious burns on his hands after some
powerful fireworks went off while he was carrying them.

Nouns often used as subjects with go off (2): bomb, grenade, gun,
land mine, fireworks, cracker
go off (3)
If foods or drinks go off, they go bad and aren't safe to eat or drink.
Synonym: go bad, spoil
For example:

go off Kylie keeps leftovers in the fridge until they go off, and
then she throws them away.

go off If you freeze bread, it won't go off and it'll last much
longer.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.

150

go on (1)
to happen
Synonym: occur
For example:

go on Why is everyone running? What's going on?

go on Hillary likes to know what's going on in the world, so she


reads magazines like Time and Newsweek.

go on (2)
to keep happening as before, or to keep doing something
Synonym: continue
For example:

go on The meeting's chairman said, "Do you want to have a


break, or do you want to go on?"

go on doing sth If she goes on behaving like this, she'll lose


her job.

go on (3)
If something like a light or a heater goes on, it starts operating.
Synonym: come on
For example:

go on The light in the refrigerator isn't on all the time. It goes


on when you open the door.

151

go on The air conditioner goes on automatically at 7 a.m., so


the office is at a comfortable temperature by the time we get
there.

go on (4)
to talk for too long, or talk in such a way that it annoys or bores
people
Synonym: prattle on
For example:

go on Aunt Beryl does go on a bit, doesn't she?

go on about sth I wish he'd stop going on about all the


famous people he's met. It's just so boring!

go on (5)
used when encouraging someone to do something
Synonym: come on
For example:

go on He held out the box of chocolates and said, "Go on, try
one. They're really good - and one won't make you fat."

go on When I said I was too busy to play Word Up, she said,
"Oh, go on - just one game."

go out
to

leave

your

home

and

go

somewhere

for

enjoyment

or

entertainment

152

For example:

go out Did you go out last night, or did you have a quiet night
at home?

go out We used to go out every Saturday night when we were


young, but these days we just stay home.

go over (1)
to look carefully at something like a report, essay, document, etc. to
check for mistakes or to make improvements
Synonym: check, scrutinize (formal)
For example:

go over sth After you finish the exam, go over your answers if
you have any time left over.

go over sth Before sending them off, go over the invoices and
make sure everything's correct.

go over (2)
to review something, or look at it again, in order to learn or
memorize it
For example:

go over sth You'll learn the new vocab if you go over your
word lists every day for a week.

go over sth Actors need to go over their lines a few times in


order to memorize them.

153

Nouns often used as objects with go over (2): notes, lines, speech,
vocabulary
go over (3)
to cause a reaction of some sort, especially from an audience
For example:

Our fashion show went over really well. Everyone loved it.

Don't worry. I'm sure your speech will go over well.

Nouns often used as subjects with go over (3): speech, show,


performance, lecture, presentation, talk
go through (1)
to look through a collection of things like documents, books, clothes,
etc. to find something or to sort them out
Synonym: search through
For example:

go through sth Could you go through last month's receipts


and find any that are from Pacific Corp please?

go through sth Police investigators found some evidence when


they went through garbage from the suspect's home.

go through (2)
to live through a bad time or a difficult situation
Synonym: experience
For example:

go through sth He just went through one of the most difficult


periods in his life.
154

go through sth We've been going through a recession for a


year or so, but hopefully the economy will improve soon.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with go

through

(2): illness,

depression, loss, heartbreak, bankruptcy, grief, pain, difficulty


go together (1)
If two things go together, they look good together or they harmonize.
Synonym: match
For example:

go together Do you think this shirt and these pants go


together?

go together Most people don't think that the colours green and
blue go together.

go together (2)
to happen together, or to often occur at the same time
For example:

go together Our professor says that historically great power


and corruption often go together.

go together Researchers have discovered that low income and


obesity often go together,

especially in more

developed

countries like the U.S.A.

go under
If a company goes under, it goes out of business and closes down.
Synonym: fail

155

For example:

go

under Jenny's

company went

under

because

of

the

economic slowdown, and she had to look for a job.

go under If businesses don't adapt to changing conditions,


there's a good chance they'll go under.

go up
If something like a price or a rate goes up, it becomes higher.
Synonym: rise, increase
For example:

go up If the economy is in a period of inflation, prices and


incomes are going up.

go up Whenever Jerry sees the girl who lives next door, his
blood pressure goes up.

go with
If one thing goes with another, they look good together or seems to
work well together.
Synonym: match
For example:

go with Which of these ties does my blue shirt go with?

go with sth He needs some socks to go with his black and


white shoes.

156

go without
to not have something that you used to have because conditions have
changed and it's no longer available or affordable
Synonym: do without
For example:

go without There's going to be a shortage of food soon, and


some people are going to have to go without for a day or two.

go without sth Most of us will have to go without luxuries like


expensive jewellery and overseas trips until the economy
improves.

grow on
If something grows on you, you gradually start to like it, even though
you didn't like it much at first.
For example:

grow on sb I didn't like the music at first, but it's grown on me


and I like it a lot now.

has grown on sb David really didn't like New York when he


first went there, but he says he loves it now. I guess the city
has grown on him.

grow out of
If you grow out of something, you become too big for it or too old for
it.
Synonym: outgrow

157

For example:

grow out of When I was a kid we were so poor that I had to


wear clothes that my older brothers had grown out of.

grow out of sth Our little boy Jamie has grown out of his
thumb-sucking habit at last. He's just turned four so he's too
old for that now.

Nouns often used as objects with grow out of: pants, shirt, clothes,
shoes, toys, hobby, bad habit, bad behaviour

H
hammer out
to reach an agreement or solution after a lot of negotiation or
discussion
For example:

hammer out sth It took their lawyers nearly a year to hammer


out a divorce settlement.

hammer sth out How long does it usually take to hammer one
of these contracts out?

Nouns often used as objects with hammer out: agreement, contract,


settlement, deal, plan, policy, guidelines, regulations
hand around
If you hand around things like drinks or cakes, you give one to each
person in a group.
Synonym: give out, hand out

158

For example:

hand around sth Could you hand around the cheese and
crackers please, Robyn?

hand sth around We were visiting the chimpanzee enclosure


when an attendant came and handed some mangoes around,
and the chimps were screeching until they all had one.

Note: In the U.K. "hand round" is also used.

hand back
to give something back to someone by hand
For example:

hand back sth If the immigration official doesn't hand back


your passport straight away, don't worry. He's probably just
seeing which countries you've visited.

hand sth back If someone gives you their business card, don't
hand it back. Keep it and give them yours in return.

hand down
to pass knowledge or skills from one generation to the next
Synonym: pass down
For example:

hand sth down Their grandfather handed his skills down to


younger members of the family.

159

hand down sth For hundreds of years the members of the


family had

been handing

down their secret

method

of

winemaking.

hand in
If you hand something in, you give it to someone in authority, like a
teacher, a policeman or a security guard.
Synonym: turn in (American), submit (formal)
For example:

hand in sth Please hand in your exam paper before you leave
the classroom.

hand sth in If you find something that doesn't belong to you,


please hand it in to the duty officer at the front desk.

Nouns often used as objects with hand in: exam paper, test paper,
report, results, keys, security card
hand on
If you hand something on, you pass it to somebody else.
Synonym: pass on
For example:

hand sth on After you've signed the petition, hand it on to the


next person.

hand sth on Instead of doing the job himself, he handed it on


to one of his subordinates.

hand out
to give something directly to a number of people
160

Synonym: pass out, distribute


For example:

hand out sth As the students filed into the classroom, their
teacher handed out the examination booklets.

hand sth out A couple of teenagers were standing in front of


the department store handing flyers out to the people walking
past.

Nouns often used as objects with hand out: papers, booklets, forms,
namecards, flyers, brochures
hand over
If you hand something over, you give it to someone who has
demanded it.
Synonym: surrender
For example:

hand over sth After the thief had entered the bank, he pointed
his gun at the teller and told her to hand over the money.

hand sth over Max knew that Jim had taken his phone, so he
told Jim to hand it over.

hang around INFORMAL


to spend time somewhere without doing anything useful
Synonym: hang about (British/Australian)
For example:

hang around Are you just going to hang around the house all
day, or are you going to go out and do something?

161

hang around The local teenagers would hang around in the


park for hours after school.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
hang on (1)
If you hang on to something, you hold it tightly.
Synonym: hold on
For example:

hang on After the boat capsized I found a lifesaver floating in


the water and hung on until I was rescued.

hang on to sth If you have to stand on the bus, hang on to


something or you might fall over.

hang on (2) INFORMAL


If someone tells you to hang on, they want you to wait for a moment.
Synonym: hang about (British), wait
For example:

hang on Hang on a moment while I answer this call.

hang on Let's hang on for a bit and see what else happens.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
hang onto INFORMAL
If you hang onto something, you keep it instead of throwing it away,
giving it away, or selling it.
Synonym: keep
162

For example:

hang onto sth You should hang onto those posters - they'll be
worth a lot of money in a few years.

hang onto sth I wish I'd hung onto my Goldimax shares.


They're worth a fortune now.

hang out (1)


to hang wet clothes outside to dry
For example:

hang out sth Would you mind hanging out the washing that's
in the basket?

hang sth out I don't mind washing the clothes, but I can't
stand hanging them out.

hang out (2) INFORMAL


to spend time in a certain place, or with certain people
For example:

hang out After school, most of the kids hang out in front of the
mall.

be hanging out I'm worried about my son. He's started


hanging out with kids who smoke and drink.

Note: This informal phrasal verb is used mostly by teenagers and


young adults.

163

hang over
If you feel that you are facing a threat or a danger, we can say the
threat or the danger hangs over you.
For example:

hang over sb/sth The threat of unemployment hangs over


everyone in the company.

hang over sb/sth After a fire had destroyed the old church, a
sense of loss hung over the town.

hang up
If you hang up a piece of clothing or a towel, you hang it on a hook, a
rail, a hanger, etc.
For example:

hang sth up Give your coat to the waiter and he'll hang it up
for you.

hang up sth We've told our son to hang up his towel after he
takes a shower, but he still leaves it on the bathroom floor.

hang with INFORMAL


to spend time with
Synonym: hang around with, hang about with
For example:

hang with sb After school the older kids go to the mall and
hang with their friends.

164

hang with sb My son says he'll spend the holidays surfing and
hanging with his crew down the beach.

Note: used mostly by teenagers and young adults in the U.S.A., or


by others who want to sound like them
Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used in
other varieties of English too.
happen to
If something happens to you, an event or an occurrence affects you
directly.
For example:

happen to Did you hear about what happened to Terry's old


company? They went bankrupt!

happen to What happened to you? You've got a black eye!


Were you in a fight or something?

have against
If you have something against someone, you don't like them because
of something they've said or done in the past.
For example:

have sth against sb She says she doesn't have anything


against him, but she just doesn't have much in common with
him.

have sth against sb A lot of people say they don't have


anything against gay people, but they wouldn't want one of
their children to be gay.

165

Note: can never be used in one of the continuous tenses, so


you cannot say "I'm having something against him"
have on (1)
If you have something on, you are wearing it.
For example:

have on What did the little girl have on when she went
missing?

have something on Chris had a baseball cap on when he


entered the courtroom, so no wonder the judge didn't like him.

Nouns often used as objects with have on (1): shirt, pants, shoes,
headphones, glasses, hat, lipstick, make-up
have on (2)
If you have something on at a certain time, you've arranged to do
something at that time.
For example:

have sth on If you don't have anything on tonight, we could


see a movie if you like.

have sth on I have a lot on tomorrow, but maybe we could


meet on Thursday.

Note: We can also say "I've got something on" or "Have you got
anything on?
have out
If you have something out, like a tooth or an organ, it's removed
from your body.

166

For example:

have sth out Her dentist said she couldn't save the tooth, so
she'll have to have it out.

have sth out My son's having his appendix out later today.

have round
If you have people round, they visit your home, usually for a meal or
for a social gathering.
Synonym: have over
For example:

have sb round We're having some friends round for dinner


tomorrow night. Would you like to come?

have sb round Let's invite some people round for drinks on


Sunday. It's been ages since we had anyone over.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
head for
to go in a certain direction or towards a particular place or situation
For example:

head for That road heads for the airport and the traffic's
always really bad. Isn't there another way we can go?

be heading for The company was heading for bankruptcy until


the new CEO came in and turned things around.

Nouns often used as objects with head for: home, the office, the
airport, the station; trouble, disaster, bankruptcy
167

head off (1) INFORMAL


to leave a place
Synonym: leave
For example:

head off We'll have to head off early if we want to get there by
midday.

head off I'd better head off. It's getting late and I've got an
early start in the morning.

head off (2)


to stop something bad from happening
Synonym: prevent
For example:

head off sth The two countries are in talks at the moment in
an attempt to head off a trade war.

head off sth We need to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions in


order to head off the global warming crisis.

Nouns often used as objects with head off (2): problem, conflict,
war, fight, recession, failure, illness

head up
to act as the head of a group or team, or to manage an organization
Synonym: lead

168

For example:

head up sth They're looking for someone to head up their new


marketing team.

head sth up It's easy to find people who are good enough to
join the team, but it's harder to find someone who's good
enough to head it up.

hear about
If you hear about something, someone tells you about it or you find
out about it from an information source like the news media.
For example:

hear about sth Have you heard about the terrorist attack in
Los Angeles this morning? I just heard about it on the news.

hear about sth Francine heard about the party, and she told
Gerry and me.

hear from
If you hear from someone, they call you, email you or contact you in
some other way.
For example:

hear from sb Have you heard from Kyle lately? I haven't heard
from him for a week or two.

hear from sb I hear from my kids at least once a week. They


usually email, but sometimes they phone.

169

hear of
If you've heard of someone, you know who they are and what they
do.
For example:

have heard of sb/sth We met people in the jungles of Borneo


who had never watched TV or read a newspaper, and they'd
never heard of Barack Obama.

have heard of sb/sth I've never met anyone who hasn't


heard of Michael Jackson.

Note: Usually used in one of the perfect tenses, such as "Have you
heard of ...?" or "I had never heard of ..."

hear out
If you hear somebody out, you listen to them until they've finished
what they are saying.
For example:

hear sb out You should hear somebody out before you respond
to what they say.

hear sb out You should hear me out before you start telling
me what's wrong with what I'm saying.

heat up (1)
If you heat something up, you make it hotter.

170

For example:

heat sth up I left some food on the stove, so all he had to do


was heat it up and eat it.

heat up sth If you heat up the soup, it'll taste much better.

heat up (2)
If something like a discussion, a contest or a conflict heats up, it gets
more intense, more exciting or more dangerous.
For example:

heat up When they got onto the topic of human rights, the
discussion heated up and people got angry and began shouting.

heat up The match started to heat up after the referee made a


bad decision and the players got frustrated and started pushing
and shoving.

help out
If you help someone out, you do something to help them.
Synonym: assist
For example:

help out sb Scouts are taught to help out old people.

help sb out We need someone to help us out with the


housework.

help out with sth We pay the kids next door to help out with
the gardening.

171

hem in
to restrict someone's movement, or to limit someone's freedom
Synonym: constrain (formal)
For example:

hem sb in Ronaldo was hemmed in by defenders, so he


couldn't get a shot on goal.

be hemmed in by sth Louis had always felt hemmed in by


social conventions and the pressure to conform.

hide away
If you hide away, you go to a place where very few people can find
you.
For example:

hide away After writing a very popular book, Paul hid away in
a small town in Mexico to escape all the media attention.

hide away There was a small band of rebel soldiers hidden


away in the mountains outside the city.

hit back
If someone is beating or attacking you and you hit back, you fight to
defend yourself.
Synonym: fight back, retaliate
For example:

hit back Roger was losing early in the match, but he hit back
in the second set and ended up winning.

172

hit back After being harshly criticised by the music press,


James hit back by calling his critics frustrated musicians.

hit on
to have a idea or to think of something
Synonym: come up with
For example:

hit on sth We were talking about ways to increase sales when


Takahiro hit on the idea of marketing online.

hit on sth Sam says he hits on his best ideas when he's lying
on the beach.

Note: Also "hit upon"

hold against
to dislike somebody, or be angry with them, because you blame them
for something bad that happened in the past
For example:

hold sth against sb He didn't mean to cause the accident, so I


try not to hold it against him.

hold sth against sb Pauline made a serious mistake but her


boss doesn't hold it against her. He says we all make mistakes.

hold back
to stop someone or something from going forward,

or from

progressing in some way

173

Synonym: keep back, restrain (formal)


For example:

hold sb/sth back Joey was so angry that he wanted to attack


the referee, but luckily his teammates held him back.

hold back sb/sth Tiger thinks his lack of arm strength is


holding back his development as a golfer, so he's building up
his arm muscles.

hold down
to stop something from rising by pressing down on it or putting a
heavy object on it
For example:

hold down sth/sb The vet's assistant held down our dog while
the vet gave her the injection.

hold sth/sb down I held the board down with my foot while I
hammered it in place.

hold forth FORMAL


to talk about a topic for a long time, often in a way that other people
find boring
For example:

hold forth As Mark held forth on a range of topics, those


caught in his circle started to yawn and look at their watches.

hold forth on sth All through dinner Ruth held forth on her
favourite subject - herself.

174

hold off
to delay doing something until a later time
Synonym: delay
For example:

hold off sth We've decided to hold off our expansion plans
because of the downturn in the economy.

hold off doing sth We should hold off publishing the book until
the end of the year.

hold on (1)
to hold something like a railing or an overhead strap so you don't fall
over
Synonym: hang on
For example:

hold on Make sure you're holding on when the bus starts to


move, or you might fall over.

hold on to sth Sayoko was too short to reach the strap, so she
had to hold on to my arm instead.

hold on (2)
to wait for a short time
Synonym: hang on
For example:

hold on Hold on for a moment and I'll get Jamal on the line.

175

hold on I started to walk away, but my boss said, "Hold on! I


haven't finished talking to you yet."

hold out (1)


If you hold something out, you hold it where other people can reach
it.
For example:

hold out sth The beggar looked up and held out her tin, so I
dropped some coins in and she gave me a beautiful smile.

hold sth out He held his glass out and the waiter filled it up
with wine.

hold out (2)


If a supply of something holds out, it continues to be enough and it
doesn't run out.
Synonym: last
For example:

hold out Kenny says he'll take any job now because his
savings won't hold out much longer.

hold out Our water supply should hold out until Monday.

hold out for


to wait until you get what you want, especially when negotiating

176

For example:

hold out for sth The workers held out for a better wage deal
and, after another round of negotiations, they got it.

hold out for sth We held out for a better contract, and we got
it after some hard bargaining.

hold out on
to refuse to give information to someone
For example:

hold out on sb The prisoner tried to hold out on his captors,


but after being tortured he told them everything.

hold out on sb Don't hold out on us, Kenny. Tell us what


happened after you got to her place.

hold to
to make someone do what they promised or agreed to do
For example:

hold sb to sth The player will hold the club to the exact terms
of his contract, and if they try to break the contract he'll take
them to court.

hold sb to sth You said you'd give us all a bonus if we got the
deal, and we're going to hold you to that.

hold up (1)
to cause a delay, or make someone or something later than expected

177

Synonym: delay
For example:

be held up Sorry I'm late. We got held up in a traffic jam.

hold sb/sth up The production problems will hold deliveries up


for at least a week.

hold up sb/sth The crash held up the traffic for an hour or


more.

hold up (2)
to support something and stop it from falling down
Synonym: support
For example:

hold sb/sth up Miyoko was so tired after climbing the


mountain that I had to hold her up.

hold up sb/sth There are several strong beams holding up the


roof.

hold up (3)
to steal from someone while threatening them with a gun or a similar
weapon
Synonym: rob
For example:

be held up The bank in High Street has been held up three


times in the last ten years, and the robbers got away every
time.

178

hold sb/sth up If a thief holds you up, just give them your
money and whatever else they want. You must never try to
fight them or get away.

hold up sb/sth Bonnie and Clyde were famous for holding up


banks and stealing their money.

hook up (1)
If you hook up things like computers and their peripherals, or the
components of a home theatre, you connect them with cables.
Synonym: connect
For example:

hook up sth Do you know how to hook up the new sound


system to the TV?

hook sth up How did you expect to hook the parts up correctly
without reading the instructions?

hook up (2) INFORMAL


to meet with someone and join with them in work, travel or leisure
activities
Synonym: support
For example:

hold sb/sth up Miyoko was so tired after climbing the


mountain that I had to hold her up.

hold up sb/sth There are several strong beams holding up the


roof.

179

hunt down
If you hunt down someone, you try to find them and capture or kill
them.
For example:

hunt sb/sth down The police are hunting the killer down, and
they say they're close to catching him.

hunt down sb/sth The leader of a drug gang has ordered his
men to hunt down police informers and kill them.

hurry up
If you hurry up, you try to do something faster.

hush up
to try to keep something secret, especially something that could
damage the reputation of a person or an organization
Synonym: cover up
For example:

hush up sth Governments try to hush up anything that could


damage their chances of being re-elected, such as corruption
charges.

hush sth up When it became clear that he had died of a drug


overdose, his family tried to hush it up.

180

I
identify with
If you identify with someone, you feel you have a connection with
them and you can understand them and share their feelings.
Synonym: empathize with
For example:

identify with sb A lot of mothers could identify with the


woman who protested against the war after her son was killed
in the fighting.

identify with sb Lots of young guys identify with young male


singers and rap stars, and dress like them and act like them.

impact on
to have a significant effect on something
Synonym: effect, influence
For example:

impact on sth Most scientists believe that global warming is


already impacting on the earth's climate.

impact upon sth Digital technology has impacted upon nearly


every aspect of our lives in the last thirty years.

Note: The variant "impact upon" has the same meaning and is also
widely used.
impose on
If you impose something on someone, you force them to accept it
even if they don't want to.
181

For example:

impose sth on sb Robert hates the way some people try to


impose their religious beliefs on other people.

impose sth on sth The government has limited freedom of


information by imposing strict controls on the media.

improve on
If something is improved on, it's made better than it was.
For example:

be improved on After the website was sold to a big media


company, its design was improved on.

improve on sth The sales team is trying hard to improve on


last year's sales figures.

Note: "improve upon" has the same meaning but is more formal

incline to FORMAL
If somebody inclines to something such as a certain way of thinking,
they will usually think in that way.
Synonym: tend towards
For example:

incline to sth The Minister of Health inclines to the view that


governments should provide basic health care services to their
citizens for free.

incline to sth Most politicians incline to a belief in the


effectiveness of democracy as a political system.
182

Nouns often used as objects with incline to: view, viewpoint,


opinion, belief, philosophy, way of thinking
indulge in
to do something that gives you pleasure, even though there could be
some negative consequences
For example:

indulge in sth Fred doesn't often indulge in alcohol, though


when he does he sometimes indulges in a little too much.

indulge in sth I can see from the size of his stomach that the
chef indulges in many of his own creations.

Nouns often used as objects with indulge in: alcohol, wine, drugs,
desserts, cakes, chocolates, sex

infer from
to believe something is true because you have some indirect evidence
of it
For example:

infer sth from sth The dog was in good condition, and it
wagged its tail when we patted it, so we inferred from this that
it was someone's pet.

be inferred from A lot can be inferred from the tone of


someone's voice when they speak, such as their mood and their
general state of mind.

inject into
to add something positive in order to make something work better
183

For example:

inject sth into sth The band had become a bit flat, but the
introduction of a percussionist injected some much-needed
dynamism into their sound.

inject sth into sth The government is trying to inject some


confidence into the market.

insist on
If you insist on something, you say that you must have it or it must
be done.
For example:

insist on sth We used to sell on credit, but after not being paid
a few times we now insist on payment in advance.

insist on doing sth Our youngest son insists on putting


tomato sauce on just about everything he eats.

instil in
to condition someone to follow a certain belief or to behave in a
certain way
For example:

instil in sb Sasha thinks Asian cultures instil in people a


consideration for the feelings of others, while Western cultures
tend to instil in people more of a concern for their own feelings.

instil sth in sb We try to make our education system instil in


students a life-long love of learning.

184

Note: American spelling is "instill in".


interest in
If you interest somebody in something, you make them want to know
more about it.
For example:

interest sb in sb/sth Companies try to interest people in their


products by promoting and advertising them.

interest

sb

in

sb/sth It's

amazing

how

well-made

documentary can interest people in a subject that they've never


been interested in before.
interfere with
to prevent something from happening in the usual way or stop it from
developing normally
For example:

interfere with sth My daughter is in a gang of kids who hang


around together after school, and I think it's interfering with
her studies.

interfere with sth The media can't report on the court trial
because it could interfere with the course of justice.

invest in (1)
to put your energy and resources into something that you think will
help you to achieve your goal

185

For example:

invest sth in sth Kylie had invested a huge amount of time


and work in her singing career, and at last it was paying off for
her.

invest sth in doing sth People who invest their time and
money in helping others who are not so fortunate in life say
they get a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from doing
so.

invest in (2)
to put your money into a company or a business venture in order to
get a share of any profit it makes
For example:

invest in Investing in companies by buying shares on the stock


exchange can be very risky, as many people discovered when
the markets crashed in 2008.

invest in It's difficult to find people who are willing to invest in


new businesses at the moment.

Nouns often used as objects with invest in (2): company, venture,


project, stocks, bonds, futures, stock market, gold
invite around
If you invite somebody around, you invite them to your home for a
meal, or a party, or a game of cards, etc.
For example:

invite around I've invited Bob and Jenny around for dinner on
Sunday night. Would you and Carol like to come as well?
186

invite around Why don't we invite some people around for


lunch next week?

Note: "Invite round" has the same meaning and can be used in the
same way.
Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.
invite in
If you invite somebody in, you ask them to come inside.
Synonym: ask in
For example:

invite sb in Did he force his way into her apartment, or did she
invite him in?

invite sb in for sth Thanks for the ride home. I'd invite you in
for a drink, but I have to get up early.

invite out
If you invite somebody out, you ask them to go to a restaurant with
you, or to see a movie, or go dancing, etc.
Synonym: ask out
For example:

invite sb out This guy has invited me out, but I'm not
interested in dating him. What should I do?

invite sb out Jamal really likes Miranda, but he won't invite


her out because he's afraid she'll say no.

187

invite over
If you invite somebody over, you invite them to your home, usually
for a meal.
Synonym: ask over
For example:

invite over I'm inviting a few friends over for dinner on


Saturday night. Would you like to come?

invite over Let's invite some people over for lunch tomorrow?

involve in
If you involve yourself in something, or if someone else involves you
in something, you take part in it.
For example:

involve in Kenneth claims he wasn't involved in any of the


deals that are being investigated for corruption.

involve sb in sth When she was young, Jasmine involved her


friends in radical political activities, and they were all arrested a
number of times.

iron out
If you iron out the last details of a deal, you sort out the final
problems or issues.
Synonym: sort out
For example:

iron sth out If we have any differences or issues, we'll have to


iron them out before we sign a deal.
188

be ironing out sth Ronaldo's manager and the club are ironing
out a couple of final issues, but they should have everything
sorted out soon.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with iron

out: differences,

disagreements, issues, problems, hitches, misunderstandings


Variety: This is typically used in American and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.
itching for
If you're itching for something, you really want it.
For example:

be itching for sth After they'd had a few drinks, some of the
guys were itching for a fight.

be itching for sth The team's substitutes are itching for a


chance to get onto the pitch to show off their footballing skills.

Nouns often used as objects with itching for: fight, drink, chance,
opportunity
Note: Always used in one of the continuous tenses, such as "is
itching for", "was itching for" or "has been itching for".

J
jack up (1) INFORMAL
to increase the price or the cost of something by a large amount
Synonym: increase, raise

189

For example:

jack up sth Hotels usually jack up their room rates over the
summer.

jack sth up Our landlord

never spends

any money on

improving the apartments, but he still wants to jack the rent up


every year.
Nouns often used as objects with jack up (1): price, cost, rent, rate,
amount, fees, fares
jack up (2)
If you jack something up, you use a jack to lift it off the ground.
For example:

jack up sth If you've got a flat tyre, jack up the car and then
you can change the tyre.

jack sth up If you've jacked a car up, don't get under it


because the jack could break or tip over and the car could fall
on top of you.

Note: A jack is a piece of equipment for lifting heavy objects, esp.


one for raising a vehicle's axle off the ground so that a wheel can be
replaced or the underside can be inspected.

jam into
to force too many things or people into a small space
For example:

jam up The lock on my suitcase has jammed up, so I can't


open it.
190

jam sth up Don't force the window or you'll jam it up and we


won't be able to close it.

be jammed up by sth Oh no! The printer has been jammed


up by paper again.

Nouns often used as subjects with jam up: printer, fax machine,
lock, door, window, gears

jam up
If something jams up, it can't work properly because one of its
moving parts is jammed by something.
Synonym: brighten up, liven up, decorate
For example:

jazz up sth It's about time we jazzed up our website. It's a bit
dull and it looks old-fashioned.

jazz sth up Let's jazz the place up a bit. It's such a drag
coming to work in this dull, boring office every day.

jazz up INFORMAL
If you jazz something up, you make it more exciting and more
interesting.
Synonym: mess around, mistreat
For example:

jerk sb/sth around I wish the insurance company would stop


jerking us around and just pay us the money they owe us.

191

be jerked around by sb/sth If you think you're being jerked


around by a company you've bought something from, you
should see the people at the consumer protection agency.

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used in


other varieties of English too.

jerk around INFORMAL


If someone jerks you around, they treat you badly or they deceive
you in some way.
Synonym: mess around, mistreat
For example:

jerk sb/sth around I wish the insurance company would stop


jerking us around and just pay us the money they owe us.

be jerked around by sb/sth If you think you're being jerked


around by a company you've bought something from, you
should see the people at the consumer protection agency.

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used


in other varieties of English too.
join in
If you join in an activity, you start doing it with people who are
already doing it.
Synonym: take part, participate
For example:

join in Barry's friends were playing cards when he arrived, so


he pulled up a chair and joined in.

192

join in sth When I came in, my friends were talking. After


listening for a while, I joined in the discussion and told them
what I thought.

Nouns often used as objects with join in: discussion, conversation,


game, fight
join up (1)
If you join up two things, you connect them.
Synonym: connect
For example:

join up If these two sections of the bridge don't join up


perfectly, the whole thing could collapse.

join sth up You have to find the red wire and the white wire,
and then join them up.

join up (2)
If you join up, you enter the military in order to train and become a
member of one of the armed forces.
Synonym: enlist
For example:

join up Johnny wants to join up and fight in Iraq, but his mum
doesn't want him to risk his life in a war she doesn't support.

join up If you join up, you'll have to fight and kill whoever the
government tells you to, even if you don't think it's right.

193

join with FORMAL


If you join with someone or something to do something, you do it
together.
For example:

join with sb I'm sure everyone here would like to join with me
in congratulating the president on his recent success.

join with sth We would be honoured to join with your


organization in this venture.

jot down
If you jot something down, you quickly write it down on a pad or
piece of paper.
Synonym: note down, write down
For example:

jot down sth Just a minute while I jot down your address in
my address book.

jot sth down I saw you jotting something down while you
were talking to her. What were you writing?

Nouns often used as objects with jot down: name, number, address,
note, message
juice up INFORMAL
to make something more exciting, more impressive, or more powerful
For example:

juice up sth We need to juice up our marketing campaign with


some really exciting and sexy advertisements.

194

juice sth up The television network has employed a team of


script writers to juice the show up because it's losing more and
more viewers.

jumble up
If you jumble things up, you mix them up so that they are no longer
in their proper order or formation.
Synonym: mix up
For example:

jumble sth up If you don't write down the times and dates of
your appointments, you might jumble them up.

jumble up sth The cleaner has jumbled up all the files on my


desk again, so now I can't find what I'm looking for.

Nouns often used as objects with jumble up: times, dates, names,
faces, numbers, files, papers
jump at
If you jump at something like an offer or an opportunity, you take it
with enthusiasm.
Synonym: leap at
For example:

jump at sth Helen jumped at the chance to get some


experience in marketing.

jump at sth When I was offered the position of club president,


I jumped at it.

Nouns often used as objects with jump at: chance, opportunity,


offer, idea, suggestion
195

jump in (1)
If people are talking and you jump in, you interrupt someone who's
talking, or you say something without being asked to speak.
Synonym: butt in, interrupt
For example:

jump in If you have something to say, just jump in. You don't
have to wait for someone to ask you what you think.

jump in If you ask me a question, wait for me to finish


answering it before jumping in with your next question.

jump in (2)
If you jump in, you get involved in a situation as soon as you notice
it.
Synonym: dive in
For example:

jump in Kevin saw the other team's players punching his


team-mate, so he jumped in and tried to stop them.

jump in If the government had jumped in and stopped banks


from giving out those sub-prime loans, the economic crisis
could have been averted.

jump on INFORMAL
If someone jumps on you, they strongly criticise you.
Synonym: criticize

196

For example:

jump on If one of his staff makes a mistake, Donald jumps on


them and tells them they'll be fired if they do it again.

jump

on Human

rights

organisations

jumped

on

the

government for causing the deaths of so many innocent people.

jump up
If you jump up, you stand up quickly.
Synonym: leap up
For example:

jump up We were all sitting on the ground having a chat when


Sam jumped up and started hopping around on one leg. An ant
had bitten him on the toe!

jump up When the phone rang I jumped up to answer it, but I


suddenly felt dizzy as the blood ran from my head.

jut out
If something juts out, it is further foward than usual or it sticks out
more than usual.
Synonym: stick out, protrude
For example:

jut out The front of his car got hit because it jutted out into a
busy traffic lane.

be jutting out If the broken pipe hadn't been jutting out from
the wall, I wouldn't have tripped over it.

197

K
keel over
If somebody keels over, they fall to the floor, usually because of
illness or loss of consciousness.
Synonym: collapse
For example:

keel over Our professor was giving a lecture when he suddenly


keeled over and slumped to the floor.

keel over When the captain of the team keeled over, her
team-mates ran over to see what was wrong.

keep at
If you keep at something, you continue doing it.
Synonym: persevere with
For example:

keep at sth Your English has improved a lot, so the new


course must be working. You should keep at it.

keep at sth I've been feeling so much better since I started


exercising that I'm trying hard to keep at it this time.

keep away
If you keep something or someone away, you don't let the thing or
the person come near.

198

For example:

keep sth/sb away I visited my grandfather's fruit orchard and


helped him make scarecrows to keep the birds away.

keep sth/sb away from sth If you bring your dogs to the
farm, make sure you keep them away from the sheep.

keep away from


If you keep away from something or someone, you don't go near the
thing or the person.
Synonym: avoid
For example:

keep away from sb/sth Janey didn't have any trouble with
the gangs. When they saw how big her dog was, they kept
away from her.

keep away from sb/sth If you see a snake, keep away from
it. It could be poisonous.

keep back (1)


If you keep something back, you don't tell someone about it.
Synonym: withhold (formal)
For example:

keep back sth The police suspected that he was keeping back
some important information.

keep sth back I could tell that she was keeping something
back from me.

199

keep back (2)


If something keeps you back, it stops you from getting where you
want to go.
Synonym: hold back, hinder, hamper
For example:

keep sb back She's a talented musician, but her health


problems are keeping her back.

keep sb back The country wants to develop, but their poor


education system will keep them back.

keep down (1)


If you keep something down, you stop it from increasing in size or
number.
Synonym: hold down
For example:

keep sth down They'll have to keep their prices down if


they're going to compete with cheaper imported products.

keep down sth If we can't keep down things like costs and
wages, we'll go out of business.

keep down (2)


to stop a noise from getting too loud
For example:

keep sth down My son was practising the drums when the
woman next door called and asked if he could keep it down a
little.
200

keep sth down While they were chatting, one of the library
staff came over and asked them to keep their voices down.

Nouns often used as objects with keep down (2): noise, voices,
music, racket
keep down (3)
to keep food in your stomach even though you feel like vomiting
For example:

keep sth down The food was so bad that I had trouble
keeping it down.

keep sth down Henrik is so sick that he can't even keep water
down for long.

keep from (1)


If something or someone keeps you from doing something, it means
you can't do it.
For example:

keep sb from sth Are you busy? I don't want to keep you from
your work.

keep sb from doing sth Most parents find it very difficult to


keep their kids from eating unhealthy snacks.

keep from (2)


If you keep something from someone, you don't tell them about it.
Synonym: withhold

201

For example:

keep sth from sb We kept the bad news from her until she
was in a better state of mind.

keep sth from sb It's best to keep some things from children
until they're old enough to understand them properly.

keep in
to make someone stay in a place like a school or a hospital
Synonym: detain (formal)
For example:

keep sb in My grandma said her teachers didn't keep naughty


kids in after school to punish them. They just hit them.

keep sb in I went to the hospital because I wasn't feeling well,


and they kept me in overnight for observation.

keep off (1)


to not go on something, or to stop something or someone from going
on something
For example:

keep off sth The sign says "Keep off the grass", so we'd better
stay on the path.

keep sth off sth We were having a picnic when my wife told
the kids to keep the flies off their food or they could get sick.

202

keep off (2)


to avoid something like a certain food or a certain topic in
conversation
Synonym: avoid
For example:

keep off sth Her doctor has told her to keep off chocolates and
other sweets, but she still keeps eating them.

keep off sth How many times have I told you to keep off
politics when Uncle Billy's around?

keep on (1)
If you keep on doing something, you continue doing it.
For example:

keep on doing Don't stop here. Keep on going.

keep on doing sth Mark needs to concentrate more when he


works. He keeps on making basic mistakes.

keep on (2)
If you keep somebody on, you continue to employ them.
Synonym: retain (formal)
For example:

keep

sb

on If

could,

I'd

keep

everybody

on,

but

unfortunately we can't afford to pay all our staff at the moment.

keep on sb We'll do our best to keep on everyone who's been


here for over five years.
203

be kept on Only the most important people were kept on while


the company was being restructured.

keep out
If you keep something out, you make sure it stays outside and
doesn't come inside.
Synonym: exclude
For example:

keep sb out If people are drunk or not dressed properly, the


doorman keeps them out of the club.

keep sth out We need to do something to keep cars out of the


centre of the city.

keep out sb/sth The government is bringing in new laws to


keep out foreign workers so they don't take jobs from the
locals.

keep out of
If you keep out of something, you don't get involved in it.
For example:

keep out of I've learned to keep out of other people's conflicts


and disagreements.

keep out of Two of my kids were fighting when my eldest son


tried to stop them. They told him to keep out of it and mind his
own business.

204

keep to
If you keep to something like a limit, a budget or a schedule, you
don't go over it or outside it.
Synonym: stick to
For example:

keep to sth If we don't keep to our budget, we won't have


enough money left over to pay the rent.

keep to sth It's important to keep to the schedule or we'll start


having problems.

Nouns often used as objects with keep to: budget, limit, schedule,
timetable, route, plan
keep up (1)
to continue doing something that has been successful
Synonym: maintain
For example:

keep up something You've been performing very well lately.


Keep up the good work!

keep something up Your work has been excellent recently.


Keep it up!

keep up (2)
If you keep up with someone, you stay at the same level and don't
fall behind them.

205

For example:

keep up Rafael can run very fast. When we go running


together, it's hard for me to keep up.

keep up with sb Jimmy takes a long time to learn new things,


and sometimes he can't keep up with other kids in his class.

keep up (3)
If somebody or something keeps you up, you cannot go to bed.
For example:

keep sb up The noise from my neighbour's party kept me up


most of the night.

keep sb up It's getting late so I'd better head home. I don't


want to keep you up past your bedtime.

key in
to press the keys of a keyboard or a keypad in order to enter data
Synonym: enter
For example:

key in sth If you need to open the safe, key in this security
code.

key sth in Make sure no-one's looking when you key your
numbers in at an ATM machine.

206

kick against
to show anger or opposition to something, especially if you're
powerless to change it
For example:

kick against sth/sb If young people stop kicking against the


system and demanding change, we'll all be in trouble.

kick against sth/sb When your kids start kicking against your
authority, try to remember what it was like when you did the
same.

Note: also "kick out against"

kick around (1) INFORMAL


to discuss ideas or options in an informal way
Synonym: toss around
For example:

kick around sth They're having a brainstorming session, so


they'll kick around a few ideas and see what they come up with.

kick sth around We kicked lots of names around before we


decided to call our company "Microsoft".

Nouns often used as objects with kick around (1): ideas, concepts,
possibilities, options, names
kick around (2) INFORMAL
to treat someone badly
Synonym: mistreat

207

For example:

be kicked around by sb/sth During the recession, lots of


people felt as if they'd been kicked around by banks, insurance
companies and politicians.

kick sb around Any government that thinks it can kick people


around will have problems in the future.

kick back INFORMAL


to relax and "take it easy"
Synonym: chill out (informal), relax
For example:

kick back After a hard day's work, I like to kick back and
watch TV.

kick back If you have a stressful job, it's important to spend


time each day just kicking back and relaxing.

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used


in other varieties of English too.
kick in INFORMAL
If something kicks in, it starts to work or it starts to have an effect.
Synonym: take effect
For example:

kick in I took some pills for the pain and after about half an
hour I could feel them kicking in.

kick in The effect of last year's tax cuts should kick in soon and
start boosting the economy.
208

kick off (1) INFORMAL


to start something like a game, a meeting or a concert
Synonym: start, begin
For example:

kick off The game kicks off at 5 o'clock, so we should meet


outside the stadium at around 4.

kick off sth What time will you kick off tomorrow's meeting?

kick sth off Madonna kicked her tour off with a huge show in
Los Angeles.

Nouns often used as subjects with kick off (1): game, match, show,
meeting, conference, convention, concert, tour, party
kick off (2) INFORMAL
to force someone to leave something like a team or a committee
Synonym: throw off
For example:

be kicked off sth Anyone who is caught using performanceenhancing drugs will be kicked off the team.

kick sb off sth When they saw the evidence, they kicked Dan
off the committee for accepting bribes.

Nouns often used as indirect objects with kick off (2): team, squad,
committee, board, panel, show, tour, course, program
kick out INFORMAL
If somebody is kicked out of a place, they are forced to leave.
Synonym: expel, throw out

209

For example:

kick sb out Ali was too afraid to tell his parents that he was
gay because he knew his father would kick him out.

be kicked out If you get drunk and make trouble, you'll be


kicked out of the bar.

be kicked out of sth Any athletes who test positive for illegal
drugs will be kicked out of the Olympic team.

kick over
If you kick something over, you make it fall over by kicking it.
For example:

kick over sth My grandchild kicked over one of my garden


gnomes as he was running past, and its nose broke off.

kick sth over Jose was so angry that he jumped up out of his
chair and then turned around and kicked it over.

kid around INFORMAL


to have fun by acting in a silly way
Synonym: fool around, mess around, muck around (British informal)
For example:

kid around Our teacher came in and told us to stop kidding


around and get down to work.

kid around It's good to kid around sometimes and stop being
serious adults for a while.

210

kill off
to cause the death of a whole population or an entire species
Synonym: wipe out
For example:

kill off sth Hopefully these new drugs can kill off the AIDS
virus in someone who's infected.

kill sth off Did you know that British settlers in Australia killed
the Tasmanian aboriginals off in the 19th century?

kneel down
If you kneel down, you lower your height by putting one or both
knees on the floor.
For example:

kneel down Even though it hurt my knees, I knelt down in


front of the old monk to show my respect.

kneel down The doctor knelt down next to the injured woman
and checked her pulse.

knock around (1) INFORMAL


to hit or kick somebody repeatedly
Synonym: beat up (informal), beat up on (American informal)
For example:

knock sb around Everyone knew her husband knocked her


around, but nobody did anything about it.

211

be/get knocked around The older kids said they used to get
knocked around when they were juniors, so now it was their
turn to do some bullying

knock around (2) INFORMAL


If you knock around with someone, you spend time together because
you're friends.
Synonym: beat up (informal), beat up on (American informal)
For example:

knock sb around Everyone knew her husband knocked her


around, but nobody did anything about it.

be/get knocked around The older kids said they used to get
knocked around when they were juniors, so now it was their
turn to do some bullying

knock back (1) INFORMAL


to take a drink, usually alcoholic
Synonym: down
For example:

knock back sth Every day after work, Steve and his mates
knock back a few beers.

knock sth back The bartender poured Amy a whisky soda and
she knocked it back and asked for another one.

knock back (2) INFORMAL


to reject someone or something or to refuse a request for something
212

Synonym: reject
For example:

knock sb/sth back Even though another company offered


Sarah a bigger salary, she knocked them back and stayed with
our company.

knock back sb/sth Lots of men have asked Marylin to marry


them, but she has knocked back all of them.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with knock

back

(2): request,

application, offer, proposal, proposition


Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.
knock down (1)
If something like a building or a wall is knocked down, it is destroyed
on purpose.
Synonym: demolish
For example:

be knocked down The old hotel was knocked down so that a


new one could be built.

knock sth down If we knocked the tool shed down, we could


put a vegetable garden there instead.

knock down sth How much would it cost to knock down the
stone wall behind the swimming pool?

Nouns often used as objects with knock down (1): building, house,
shed, church, wall, fence, billboard, signpost

213

knock down (2)


to hit someone with a vehicle

Synonym:

knoc k over (British), run over

For example:

be knocked down One of our office workers was knocked


down right outside our building.

knock sb down If he'd been concentrating on his driving


instead of talking on the phone, he wouldn't have knocked the
old lady down.

knock down sb In sixty year's of driving, he's never knocked


down anyone.

Variety: This is typically used in British English but may be used in


other varieties of English too.
knock off (1) INFORMAL
to stop work for the day
For example:

knock off I start work at nine in the morning, and I knock off
at five in the afternoon.

knock off It's really hot today. Let's knock off early and go to
the pub.

knock off (2) INFORMAL


to steal something
Synonym: rip off (informal), steal

214

For example:

knock off sth Jimmy got into trouble when he was caught
knocking off sweets from the school canteen.

knock sth off If you have a party in your home, hide anything
valuable or someone might knock it off.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
knock off (3) INFORMAL
to murder somebody
Synonym: kill, bump off (informal), do away with (informal), do in
(informal)
For example:

knock sb off Did you hear about the insurance salesman who
took out policies on his customers and then knocked them off in
order to collect the payouts?

knock off sb Tony reckons a mafia hitman will knock off


anyone who talks to the police.

be/get knocked off by sb The police said the girl was


probably knocked off by the guy she was with when she left the
bar.

knock off (4) INFORMAL


to reduce something, like a price or an amount

215

For example:

knock off sth I'll bargain with her and see if she'll knock off a
few dollars for us.

knock sth off They've already knocked ten percent off the
usual price, so they probably won't knock any more off.

knock out (1)


If you are knocked out, you are hit so hard that you lose
consciousness.
For example:

knock out sb Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in


the eighth round and won the fight.

knock sb out He slipped over in the bathroom and knocked


himself out.

Note: The abbreviation "KO" is sometimes used, and pronounced


"kay-oh".

knock out (2) INFORMAL


If you knock somebody out, you impress them very much with
something you do, or something you make.
Synonym: impress, amaze
For example:

knock sb out I just heard Kanye's new album and it really


knocked me out. It's got some great songs on it.

216

knock sb out Don't worry! You'll knock everyone out with your
presentation. It's brilliant!

knock out (3)


If you knock somebody out of a competition, they cannot continue
because you've defeated them.
For example:

be/get knocked out Everyone was very surprised to see


Roger get knocked out in the first round of the tournament.

knock out sb/sth In the FA Cup, small clubs like Stratford


Town can knock out huge clubs like Liverpool.

knock sb/sth out If you're going to win, you'll have to knock


out some of the world's best players.

knock over (1)


to hit somebody with a vehicle and injure or kill them
Synonym: knoc k down (British), run over
For example:

knock sb over We were walking along the side of the road


when this crazy guy in a truck nearly knocked us over.

be/get knocked over Every day a few people get knocked


over on the roads in this city.

Variety: This is typically used in British English but may be used in


other varieties of English too.

217

knock over (2) INFORMAL


to rob something like a bank or a shop
Synonym: rob
For example:

knock over sth If drugs were given to addicts they wouldn't


have to knock over stores and shops to get the money to buy
them.

knock over sth Terrorists have been knocking over banks to


get money for weapons.

Nouns often used as objects with knock over (2): bank, store,
jewellery store, liquor store, gold shop, gun shop, pawn shop
Variety: This is typically used in American and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.
knock together
to make something quickly, or without putting too much thought into
details
Synonym: knoc k up (British, informal), throw together
For example:

knock together sth Our designers are going to knock together


a model so we can see how it'll look.

knock sth together We've got some investors coming this


afternoon. Would it be possible to knock a presentation
together for them?

knock up (1) INFORMAL


to make something quickly and without too much effort
218

Synonym: knoc k together, throw together


For example:

knock up sth It shouldn't take long to knock up a rough model


of the building.

knock sth up Do you want me to knock something up for


dinner?

Variety: This is typically used in British English but may be used in


other varieties of English too.
knock up (2)
to make a woman pregnant
For example:

knock sb up Does anyone know who knocked her up?

be/get knocked up Of course I knew I could get knocked up if


he didn't use a condom!

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
know of
If you know of something, you are aware of it.
For example:

know of Does anyone know of a good dentist around here? I


really need to have a tooth pulled out.

know of The police want people to tell them about anyone they
know of who's selling illegal drugs to school kids.

219

known as
to be called a certain name, even though it mightn't be a real or
official name
For example:

known as sth The Union of Myanmar is a country in Asia


between Thailand and India that used to be known as Burma.

known as sth Do you know the full names of the music stars
known as Prince, Sting, Madonna and Beyonc?

known for
to be well-known for something or famous for something
For example:

be known for sth Bill Gates was originally known for his role
in founding Microsoft, but now he's becoming known for his
work as a humanitarian as well.

be known for sth Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches


and its friendly people.

knuckle down INFORMAL


If you knuckle down, you start to take your work or your task
seriously and do it properly.
For example:

knuckle down The exams start next month, so I guess it's


time I knuckled down and studied a bit harder.

knuckle down If Sammy wants to lose weight, he'll have to


knuckle down and start exercising more at the gym.
220

L
lash out
to verbally or physically attack someone or something
Synonym: hit out
For example:

lash out An angry politician lashed out in parliament today and


tried to hit one of his colleagues.

lash out I told my wife I thought her new hairstyle wasn't as


nice as her old one, and she lashed out and said I was ignorant
and didn't know anything about style or fashion.

laugh off
to joke about something in order to make it seem less serious
For example:

laugh sth off Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes the


best thing to do is just laugh them off.

laugh sth off If you come to work late again, you mightn't be
able to laugh it off so easily. I heard the boss say he might fire
you.

launch into
to start off something, like a speech or a song, in an energetic way

221

For example:

launch into sth After being introduced to the audience, the


guest speaker launched into a detailed account of his life's
work.

launch

into

sth She

launched

into

an

attack

on

the

government for failing to prevent the economic crisis.

lay aside
to keep something for the future, such as money
Synonym: set aside, put aside, save
For example:

lay aside sth She was trying to lay aside enough money for a
trip to Europe in the spring.

lay sth aside Try to lay a small amount aside every month for
unexpected expenses.

lay down
to officially state something like a policy, or rules, regulations,
conditions, guidelines, etc.
Synonym: set down, establish, stipulate
For example:

lay down sth The government will soon lay down new
guidelines for receiving student loans.

be laid down by sth/sb This is in accordance with the


regulations as laid down by the management.

222

Nouns often used as objects with lay down: rules, regulations,


guidelines,

laws,

policy,

conditions,

requirements,

procedures,

standards
lay into (1) INFORMAL
to attack someone and repeatedly punch and kick them
Synonym: attack, beat up, set upon
For example:

lay into sb The police officers who laid into the teenage boys
got into trouble because someone filmed the attack.

lay into sb A gang of thugs waited for a guy to leave the gay
club, and then laid into him. They kicked him to death on the
sidewalk, and then laughed as they ran away.

lay into (2) INFORMAL


If you lay into someone, you criticize them in an angry way.
Synonym: lash out at, berate (formal)
For example:

lay into The manager got angry when she saw the problems in
production and laid into her technical staff.

lay into We were amazed when the president laid into some
reporters for asking stupid questions. He doesn't often get
angry like that.

lay off
If you lay someone off, you stop employing them and tell them they
no longer have a job.

223

For example:

lay off sb Many companies aren't doing so well and they'll have
to lay off some of their workers.

lay sb off Most managers say the worst part of their job is
when they have to lay people off.

lay out (1)


If you lay things out, you spread them out so they're easy to see or
easy to use.
For example:

lay sth out First, lay the pieces of the model plane out so you
can see them all clearly before putting them together.

lay out sth When she got to the market, Salima set up her
table and laid out all the stuff she was selling.

Nouns often used as objects with lay out (1): pieces, parts, goods,
samples
lay out (2)
to explain an idea or a plan clearly and in detail
For example:

lay sth out The manager had spent a few days working out a
plan to revive the company, and then he laid his ideas out at
the shareholders' meeting.

lay out sth The president asked his cabinet to listen while he
laid out his plans for reforming health care.

224

Nouns often used as objects with lay out (2): plan, idea, proposal,
strategy, scheme
laze around
to relax and do very little
Synonym: laze about (British), lie around, chill out (informal)
For example:

My son would laze around in front of the TV all day if we let


him.

Instead of doing exciting things like kite-surfing and jet-skiing,


my daughter just lazed around the pool tanning herself and
chatting on her phone.

lead to
to cause something to happen
Synonym: cause
For example:

lead to Taking illegal drugs can lead to all sorts of problems


such as legal, social, financial and health problems, and it can
even lead to death.

lead to Jenny thinks that being overweight led to many of her


health problems.

lead up to
If a period of time or a series of events leads up to a particular event,
it happens just before it.
Synonym: precede (formal)

225

For example:

lead up to sth We need to get a clear idea of all the events


that led up to the accident.

lead up to sth We'll be really busy in the days and weeks


leading up to the product launch.

leave behind
If you left something behind, you forgot to bring it with you.
Synonym: forget
For example:

leave sth/sb behind When I got to the station I realised I'd


left my credit cards behind, so I went back home to get them.

leave sth/sb behind After we left the beach, someone asked


where Bobby was. I did a u-turn and went back to the beach
because we'd left him behind!

leave in
If you leave something in, you don't take it out or cut it out.
For example:

be left in One of the sex scenes in the movie was cut. The
others were left in.

leave sth/sb in The government had to release some old topsecret files. They left everything in them except for some of the
names.

226

leave out
If you leave something out, you don't include it or count it.
Synonym: omit
For example:

leave sth/sb out There should be twelve books in the box, but
there are only eleven. They left one out.

leave out sth/sb If you're filling in the application form, you


can leave out your date of birth. We don't need to know that.

be left out Patrice hasn't been playing well lately, so he's been
left out of the team for today's game.

leave to
to give someone responsibility for dealing with something or making
a decision about something
Synonym: leave up to
For example:

leave sth to sb You can write the article, but leave the
proofreading to Ruth. She's very good at spotting errors.

leave sth to sb Everyone made suggestions, but the final


decision was left to the team leader.

leave up to
If you leave something up to someone, you let them do it or you give
them responsibility for it.
Synonym: leave to

227

For example:

leave sth up to sb We need to upgrade our computer


network, and Harry is our computer expert so we'll leave it up
to him.

leave sth up to sb We'll leave it up to the accountant to


decide how to invest the money.

let down (1)


If you let someone down, you disappoint them by not doing what
they expect you to do.
Synonym: disappoint
For example:

let sb down Louise is very reliable. She always works hard and
she's never let us down.

let down sb Our goalkeeper was really upset about making the
mistake and letting in the goal. He said he'd let down his
teammates, his club and the fans.

let down (2)


to release the air from something like a tyre or a blow-up mattress
Synonym: deflate
For example:

let down sth Timothy was expelled from school for letting
down the tyres on his teacher's car.

let sth down After they'd played with their blow-up dolls, they
let them down and packed them away.
228

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
let go of
to stop holding something or someone
Synonym: release
For example:

let go of sth If you have to stand on the bus, hang onto a


strap and don't let go.

let go of sth Let go of my hand. You're hurting me!

let in
If you let someone in, you allow them to enter a room or a building.
Synonym: admit (formal)
For example:

let sb/sth in Just a moment while I let the cat in. I can hear
her scratching at the front door.

let sb/sth in He left the key under a pot in front of the house
so we could let ourselves in.

let off (1)


to give someone little or no punishment for doing something wrong
For example:

let off I was pulled over for speeding, but luckily I was let off
with a warning.

229

let sb off The corrupt politician expected to be let off lightly for
taking a bribe, so he was very shocked when the judge sent
him to jail.

let off (2)


to make something explode
Synonym: explode, detonate
For example:

let off sth On New Year's Eve, people around here let off
fireworks and bursts of gunfire, so it can get very noisy.

let sth off The government soldiers let some tear gas off, and
the protesters started running in all directions.

Nouns often used as objects with let off (2): fireworks, firecracker,
bomb, grenade, flare, burst of gunfire
let out (1)
to allow somebody or something to leave a place
For example:

let sb/sth out Could you let the cat out, please? It's
scratching on the door.

be let out of sth The prisoners are let out of their cells once a
day, and most of them go to the exercise yard.

let out (2)


to make a particular sound or noise
Synonym: emit

230

For example:

let out sth When she felt the cobwebs brushing on her cheeks
in the dark, she let out an ear-shattering scream.

let out sth He let out a sign of relief when we told him he
could keep his job.

Nouns often used as objects with let out (2): scream, shriek, squeal,
cry, yell, howl, roar, gasp, sigh, whimper
let out (3)
to rent a room or a building to somebody
Synonym: rent, rent out
For example:

let out sth She makes some extra money by letting out her
spare room to a student.

let sth out Why don't you let the house out when you're not
living there?

let up
to become weaker or to become less intense
Synonym: ease up
For example:

let up The rain is still heavy, so let's wait here until it lets up a
bit.

let up The pressure at work won't let up until we've signed the
contract for this deal.

231

Nouns often used as subjects with let up: rain, snow, wind, breeze,
storm, pressure
level with INFORMAL
If you level with someone, you tell them the truth about something.
Synonym: come clean
For example:

level with sb Why won't you level with me and tell me what's
really going on?

level with sb I'll level with you, Heather. My brother's a lovely


guy, but he's got a problem with gambling.

lie down
to lie on a flat surface, such as a bed, usually to have a rest
For example:

lie down I think Tammy has gone to lie down for a while. She
said she wasn't feeling well.

lie down The masseur told me to take off my shirt and lie
down on the mat.

lift up
to move something to a higher position
Synonym: illuminate (formal)
For example:

light up The sky lit up when the fireworks went off.

232

light up When you press this button, all these dials and gauges
light up.

light up
If something lights up, it becomes full of light or colour.
Synonym: illuminate (formal)
For example:

light up The sky lit up when the fireworks went off.

light up When you press this button, all these dials and gauges
light up.

lighten up INFORMAL
to become less serious or more easy-going
Synonym: loosen up (informal)
For example:

My boss is so serious all the time. I wish she'd lighten up and


joke around with us sometimes.

Salima said that if Kareem doesn't lighten up and learn to have


some fun, she'll stop seeing him and look for someone else.

line up
If you line up, you join a line of people standing one behind the other,
or side by side.
Synonym: queue up

233

For example:

line up The soldiers lined up and waited for the president to


come and inspect them.

line up to do sth If you line up to get the tickets, I'll go and


get some popcorn.

listen in
to try to hear what people are saying when they don't know you're
listening
Synonym: eavesdrop
For example:

listen in Kelly said she caught her brother listening in when


she was with boyfriend. She opened the door and he was
standing right there!

listen in on sth/sb Do you think government agencies should


be allowed to listen in on our private telephone calls?

live down
to have people forget about something embarrassing or silly that
you've done
For example:

live down sth I'll never live down the fact that I forgot to
thank my wife when I was accepting my Academy Award.

live sth down People still laugh about the time the House
Speaker fell asleep during the Prime Minister's speech. He'll
never live that down!
234

Note: This is usually used in a negative form, such as "He'll never


live this down."
live for
to believe that something or someone gives your life meaning, or
gives you a reason to live
For example:

live for sth/sb Tommy says he lives for the weekends when
he can forget about work and just have fun.

live for sth/sb She just lives for those cats of hers.

live off
to depend on something for the money or food you need to live
For example:

live off sth Many people dream of retiring early and living off
their investments.

live off sth Until I got another job, I had to live off the money
I got from selling my car.

Nouns often used as objects with live off: investments, savings,


private income, profits, proceeds
live on
If you live on a certain amount of money, you spend that much on
your usual living expenses.
Synonym: get by on, survive on, manage on

235

For example:

live on Are you sure a hundred dollars a week is enough to live


on?

live on sth How do people live on the old-age pension? It's not
even enough to buy good food.

Nouns often used as objects with live on: wage, salary, income,
pension, savings
live together
If two people live together, they live in the same place and are in a
sexual relationship without being married.
Synonym: cohabit (formal), shack up (slang)
For example:

live together Joanne thinks it's a good idea to live together


before getting married.

live together My sister and her partner have lived together for
over twenty years, and they have no plans to get married.

live up to
to be as good as expected
Synonym: match
For example:

live up to sth The movie was excellent. It lived up to all our


expectations.

live up to sth She was a great golfer when she was a


teenager, but she never lived up to the promise she had shown.
236

live with
to accept something in your life that you cannot change, even though
you don't like it or want it
Synonym: put up with, tolerate
For example:

live with sth You can't change the situation so you'll just have
to learn to live with it.

live with sth Stevie was born with a serious physical handicap,
but he's learned to live with it and he's enjoyed a full life
despite it.

lock up
to lock the doors and windows of a building or a car to make it secure
Synonym: secure
For example:

lock up sth Don't forget to lock up the office when you leave
tonight, Charles.

lock sth up My car wouldn't have been stolen if I had locked it


up properly.

log in
to do certain things, like typing in a user name and password, in
order to access an online application or a computer network
Synonym: log into, log on
For example:

log in I couldn't log in because I'd forgotten my password.


237

log in If you want to post a response, you'll have to log in to


the web board first.

Note: "Log into" and "log on" have the same meaning as log in and
can be used in the same way. The single word "login" also has the
same meaning and can be used in the same way.
log out
to stop accessing a computer system, or to stop using an online
application
Synonym: log off
For example:

log out Don't forget to log out before you leave the web board.

log out If the program's running slowly, log out and try logging
in again.

long for
to want something you miss very much
Synonym: yearn for (formal), be dying for (informal)
For example:

long for sth Ever since he left England, Terry has been longing
for a plate of traditional English fish and chips.

long

for

sth My

wife

says

she

longs

for

stimulating

conversation, and when I offer to discuss a serious issue with


her, she laughs.

238

look after
to make sure something or someone has everything they need and is
healthy
Synonym: take care of
For example:

look after sb When I'm too old to look after myself, my


children will look after me, I hope.

look after sth Can you look after my bag while I go to the
toilet?

Nouns often used as objects with look after: baby, children, parents,
patient, pet, plant
look at (1)
to focus your eyes on something
For example:

look at sb/sth Everybody looked at Miss Universe as she


modeled the swimwear.

look at sb/sth I felt somebody looking at me, so I turned


around to see who it was.

look at (2)
to think carefully before doing something
Synonym: think about, consider
For example:

look at sth Now that we've got a foothold in the drinks market,
we're looking at moving into the snack foods market as well.
239

look at sth After losing his job, Glen looked at various options
such as starting his own business and going back to school.

look back on
If you look back on something, you think about a period of time in
the past or an event in the past.
Synonym: disdain, scorn
For example:

look down on sb Rich students from the city looked down on


Pedro because he was from a poor family in the countryside.

look down on sb Looking down on people who are less


fortunate than oneself is a sure sign of stupidity.

look down on
to think that someone is not as good as you are, or not as important
as you are
look for
If you are looking for something, you're trying to find it.
Synonym: search for
For example:

look for sth I can't find my glasses. Can you help me look for
them?

look for sb The police are looking for the guys who robbed the
bank this afternoon.

240

look forward to
If you're looking forward to something that's going to happen, you
feel excited or happy about it.
Synonym: anticipate
For example:

look forward to sth I always look forward to our holidays in


Bali. It's a beautiful place and every time we go there we have
a great time.

be looking forward to doing sth Everyone's looking forward


to meeting their old school friends again at the class reunion.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with look

forward

to: holiday,

weekend, party, trip, concert, celebration, future


look into
If you look into something, you investigate it or you try to find out
more about it.
Synonym: investigate, examine
For example:

look into sth One of our customers hasn't received her order
yet. Could you look into it and try to find out what happened?

look into sth My car was stolen last week. The police say
they're looking into it, but I'd be surprised if they catch the
thief.

Nouns often used as objects with look into: case, matter, issue,
problem, question, circumstances, allegation

241

look on
to watch an event or an activity without being involved in it
Synonym: watch
For example:

look on The kids looked on in amazement as their teacher


showed them how to do all the latest dance moves.

look on A large crowd looked on as the parade made its way


down the street.

Look out!
If someone is in immediate danger, you can warn them by shouting
"Look out!".
Synonym: Watch out!
For example:

Look out! "Look out! There's a car coming!"

Look out! I was riding my bike when this car pulled out in front
of me. Just before I hit it, I yelled "Look out!"

look up (1)
to try to find out something by looking in a reference book or on a
reference website
For example:

look sth up If you can't figure out what a word means, look it
up in the dictionary.

242

look up sth Did you try looking up her number in the phone
book?

Nouns often used as objects with look up (1): word, meaning,


telephone number, address, information
look up (2)
If a situation is looking up, it seems to be getting better.
Synonym: improve
For example:

look up For the first time in a month my stocks are rising, so


things are looking up at last.

look up Last month's sales weren't so good, but things are


looking up this month. We've already had lots of orders.

Note: Mostly used in the phrase "things are looking up".

look up to
If someone looks up to another person, they respect or admire them.
Synonym: respect, admire
For example:

look up to sb Most boys look up to sports stars, and some


even dream of being like them when they grow up.

look up to sb I always looked up to my older cousin, until I


saw him hit his girlfriend. I never respected him again after
that.

243

lose out
If you lose out, you fail to benefit from something that others are
benefitting from.
Synonym: miss out
For example:

lose out Thanks to my stockbroker, I've lost out big time. He


told me to sell all my telecom shares - and now they're worth a
fortune!

lose out The Education Ministry has lost out again in this year's
budget because the government needs the money to pay for
the war.

M
mail out
to mail copies of something like a catalog or a CV to many people
Synonym: send out
For example:

mail out sth Every year we mail out our sales catalog to over
100,000 customers.

mail sth out The telephone company mails their bills out at the
end of each month.

Nouns often used as objects with mail out: catalog, brochure,


survey, questionnaire, CV, resume, prospectus, bill

244

major in
If you major in a field of study at university or college, that field is
your main area of study.
For example:

major in If you're thinking about studying at university, you'll


need to think about what you'd like to major in.

major in sth When I studied at university, I majored in English


literature and my minor was economics.

Nouns often used as objects with major in: English, Japanese,


physics, chemistry, music, film
make for
to move towards something
Synonym: head for
For example:

make for sth If you smell smoke, make for the nearest exit
immediately and get outside.

make for sth If lightning strikes nearby, make for the nearest
building and stay inside until the storm passes.

make into
to change someone or something into someone or something
different
Synonym: turn into

245

For example:

be made into sth All the Harry Potter books will be made into
movies.

make sth/sb into sth The Harry Potter movies will make the
actor who plays Harry into a star.

make of (1)
to understand, or to make sense of, someone or something
For example:

make of sb/sth Our new neighbours are a bit strange. I'm not
quite sure what to make of them.

make of sb/sth What did you make of Joe's story? Do you


think it really happened like that, or do you think he was
making it up?

make of (2)
to use a chance or a talent to achieve success
For example:

make of sth I wonder what Bill's kids will make of the


opportunities they'll be given.

make sth of sth She was born into a poor family, but she
made the most of every chance that came her away, and today
she's a successful businesswoman.

246

make off with


If you make off with something, you escape with something that
you've stolen or something you got by cheating people.
For example:

make off with sth Bernie made off with all the money he'd
stolen from investors, but he got caught and now he's in jail.

make off with sth The chairman made off with millions of
dollars he'd stolen from his company.

make out (1)


to see or hear something, but only with difficulty
Synonym: discern
For example:

make sth out This person's handwriting is really difficult to


read. I can't understand this word here. Can you make it out?

make out sth If you can't make out what someone's saying,
ask them to repeat it.

make out (2) INFORMAL


to hug, kiss and touch in a sexual way
For example:

make out When we were in high school, we'd take our


girlfriends to the movies and make out in the back row.

make out Jill and her friends were talking about how nervous
and excited they felt the first time they made out with boys.
247

Note: "Make out" is mostly used by young people to mean sexual


behaviour such as hugging, kissing, and sexual touching, but it
doesn't usually mean full sexual intercourse.
Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used in
other varieties of English too.
make out (3)
to write the details on a check or a legal document
Synonym: write out
For example:

make sth out Who should I make the check out to?

make out sth I'm going to see my lawyer and he's going to
help me make out my will.

Nouns often used as objects with make out (3): check, will,
insurance claim, tender, bill, tax return, receipt
make out (4)
to create a false idea or image of someone or something
For example:

make sb/sth out to be sth Britney thinks the media made


her out to be a bit crazy in order to sell more newspapers.

be made out to be sth Some people say the threat from


certain countries has been made out to be much more serious
than it really is.

make over (1)


to officially transfer ownership of something to someone

248

For example:

make sth over to sb/sth Frank made most of his estate over
to an educational foundation for homeless kids.

make sth over to sb/sth Margaret agreed to make her


collection of paintings over to the town's art gallery.

make over (2)


to make someone or something look better
For example:

make sb/sth over Reality TV shows make women over with


plastic surgery and weight loss and new clothes and other stuff.

be made over into sth Our old warehouse will be made over
into a fabulous new showroom.

make up (1)
to invent a story or think of an explanation for something
Synonym: think up, invent
For example:

make up sth Rebecca's teacher says that she's very good at


making up stories.

make sth up Gary admitted that the story wasn't true. He'd
made the whole thing up.

Nouns often used as objects with make up (1): story, excuse,


explanation

249

make up (2)
If you make up with someone, you become friends again after having
an argument or a disagreement with them.
Synonym: reconcile, patch things up
For example:

make up Are you and your brother still angry at one another
because of that fight you had, or did you make up?

make up with sb Sayoko and Hiroko often argue, but they


soon say sorry and make up with each other.

make up for
to do something to improve the situation after you've done something
wrong
For example:

make up for sth Joanna forgot my birthday last week, so now


she wants to make up for it by taking me out to a fancy
restaurant.

make up for sth Keith caused his family a lot of pain when he
was taking drugs, but now that he's quit he's doing whatever
he can to make up for it.

map out
If you map out something, you plan in detail the future of something.
Synonym: plan

250

For example:

map out sth Before he'd even finished high school, Ali's father
had mapped out his future for him.

map sth out Lisa has mapped a career out for herself in music,
and she's determined to work hard and make it happen.

Nouns often used as objects with map out: plan, future, career,
options, strategy
march on
to walk in a group towards a place in order to protest against
something or to demand something
For example:

march on sth We saw hundreds of protesters marching on


government house.

march on sth Why don't you come and join us as we march on


the headquarters of the World Bank?

mark down
If you mark something down, you reduce its selling price.
Synonym: discount
For example:

mark sth down We need to sell this old stock quickly, so let's
mark it all down by 50%.

mark down sth Most hotels mark down their room rates
during the low season.

251

mark off (1)


If you mark off items on a list, you mark each one after you've dealt
with it.
Synonym: check off (American), tick off (British)
For example:

mark off sth Check the guest list and mark off each person's
name when they arrive.

mark sth off Bingo players each have a card with numbers on
it and if one of their numbers is called out, they mark it off.

mark off (2)


If you mark off an area, you show where the boundaries are with
lines, strings, or other markers.
For example:

mark off sth Many animals use strong scents to mark off their
territories.

mark sth off The police marked the crime scene off with
yellow tape.

mark up
If you mark something up, you sell it for a price that is higher than
the price you paid for it.
For example:

mark up sth How much do retailers in Europe usually mark up


their prices?

252

be marked up Prices in department stores are usually marked


up about forty per cent.

match up
to find things that go together, or match in some way
Synonym: correspond, correlate
For example:

match up sth/sb In this exercise you have to match up the


words with their definitions.

match sth/sb up When you're sorting the clothes, make sure


you match the socks up into pairs.

max out INFORMAL


to reach the maximum limit of something, or to use up all of
something
For example:

max out sth My daughter is a shopaholic. She's already maxed


out six credit cards this year, and now she wants another one!

max sth out They had so many computers and peripherals


running that they maxed the power supply out.

measure up
to be good enough or to be of the required standard

253

For example:

measure up If Jacob doesn't measure up, we'll have to let him


go and find someone else to do the job.

measure up Do you think the new Rolling Stones album


measures up to the standards of their older music?

meet up
to arrange to meet somebody, or to meet by chance
Synonym: get together
For example:

meet up After meeting up in the hotel's lobby, we all went off


to a restaurant together.

meet up As we were leaving the concert, we met up with a


whole crowd of old school friends.

meet with
to get a certain reaction or response, either positive or negative
For example:

meet with sth His next movie met with much greater success
than his first, and it even set box-office records in several
countries.

meet with sth The government's plan to reform the health


care system has met with strong opposition from private
companies that profit from the current system.

254

Nouns often used as objects with meet with: success, approval,


acclaim; opposition, criticism, resistance
mess around
If you're messing around, you're wasting time or behaving in a silly
way.
Synonym: fool around, muck around (British, informal)
For example:

mess around My kids were messing around with a new


computer game instead of doing their homework, so I told them
to turn it off.

mess around The manager told the workers to stop messing


around and get on with their work.

Note: the phrasal verb "mess about" has the same meaning, though
it's mostly used in British and Australian English

mess up INFORMAL
to do something incorrectly, or to make a mistake
Synonym: muck up (informal), screw up (informal)
For example:

mess up sth Joe has messed up the invitations to our product


launch. He put the wrong date on them.

mess sth up My daughter had her driver's licence test


yesterday, but she messed it up so she'll have to do it again.

mess up Sarah's been making a lot of mistakes recently. If she


messes up again, she might lose her job.

255

minor in
to study another subject at university or college in addition to your
main subject
For example:

minor in At university I majored in history and minored in


music.

minor in She wants to major in English, but she's not sure


what she'll minor in yet.

miss out
to miss the chance to get something you'd like to have, or do
something you'd like to do
For example:

miss out We tried to buy tickets to the Nick Cave concert, but
they'd sold out. If we'd tried to buy them earlier, we wouldn't
have missed out.

miss out on We all feel sorry for Tim. He missed out on a spot
in the Olympic team because he injured his foot during the
selection trials.

mistake for
to wrongly think that a person or thing is someone or something else
For example:

mistake for Fake Gucci bags look real and can easily be
mistaken for genuine Gucci bags.

256

mistake for There's a guy who lives near here who often gets
mistaken for David Beckham. He looks just like him.

mix up (1)
If you mix up two or more things, you forget which one is which.
Synonym: confuse
For example:

mix sb/sth up The twin boys look so much alike that it's really
easy to mix them up.

mix up sb/sth I mixed up the dates and went to the


restaurant on Friday instead of Saturday - and nobody else was
there!

Nouns often used as objects with mix up (1): names, dates, days,
numbers
mix up (2)
If you mix things up, you put things of different kinds together when
they are usually separated.
For example:

mix sth up Keep your photos separate from mine. Don't mix
them up.

mix sth up with sth David's underpants are now pink because
he mixed his whites up with his coloureds when he was washing
his clothes.

257

mixed up in
to be involved in something illegal or immoral, such as organised
crime or corruption
Synonym: involved in
For example:

mixed up in Jake was mixed up in the drugs trade when he


got arrested for selling marijuana.

mixed up in Several high-ranking generals were mixed up in


organised crime and oil smuggling.

Note: always used in the form "to be mixed up in something", and


never in the form "to mix up in something"

mock up
to make a model of something to show how it will look or work
For example:

mock up sth After making detailed drawings, they went to the


next step and mocked up the newly-designed unit.

mock sth up I mocked a simple version up so that I could play


the game with my students to see how it worked.

Note: The closely-related noun "mock-up" can also be used, as in


"We made a mock-up of the new design and showed it to the
marketing team."

model on
to use something or someone as an example to copy when making
something or doing something
258

For example:

be modelled on sth The Indian legal system was modelled on


the British system.

model yourself on sb Many young singers and dancers still


model themselves on Michael Jackson.

mop up
to clean up something that has spilled by using a mop or a cloth
Synonym: clean up, wipe up
For example:

mop sth up After one of my kids spilled her drink, a waiter


came and mopped it up.

mop up sth His assistant said mopping up spilt coffee was not
one of her duties. She told him to do it himself.

mount up
to gradually become larger or greater in amount
Synonym: stack up, accumulate (formal)
For example:

mount up Hillary's debts had been mounting up and she still


wasn't doing anything about paying them off.

mount up The costs of the war have been mounting up, and it
has now cost taxpayers over five hundred billion dollars.

259

mouth off INFORMAL


to speak in a loud and annoying way, especially when criticizing or
complaining about something
For example:

mouth off Some guy in the pub got punched because he was
mouthing off about something and I guess he upset someone.

mouth off After he'd had a couple of beers Robert started


mouthing off about the evils of big government again last night.

move in (1)
to move your belongings into a new place and start living there
For example:

move in My brother is living with us now. He moved in last


week and he'll be with us until he gets a new job and finds a
new apartment.

be moving in We've bought a new house and we'll be moving


in on the weekend.

move in (2)
to move closer, especially when you're trying to attack or catch
someone or something
Synonym: close in
For example:

move in The lioness spotted a young antelope and crouched in


the grass, waiting for the right moment to move in for the kill.

260

move in The soldiers had to wait for the signal before moving
in.

move in on
to try to take control of something that someone else has control of
Synonym: take over
For example:

move in on sth The gang war started when one of the gangs
tried to move in on the other one's territory.

move in on sth If you don't protect your market share in


business, someone else will move in on it and take it from you.

move into
to begin living or working in a new place, or to go into a new type of
business
For example:

move into sth I'll be busy on Saturday because I'm moving


into a new apartment.

move into sth We'd like to move into a new area of business,
and we're thinking it might be advertising.

move on
If you move on, you stop doing one activity and start doing another,
or stop discussing one topic and start discussing another.

261

For example:

move on After the instructor showed us how to build up our leg


muscles, he moved on to exercises for the arms.

move on This topic's been covered now so let's move on to the


next topic on the agenda.

move out
If you move out, you leave the place in which you've been living or
working, and move to a new place to live or work.
Synonym: leave
For example:

move out We've got three children, and two of them have
already moved out of home, and the third one is planning to
move out soon.

move out of sth As soon as the new building is finished, we'll


move out of our old office and into the new one.

move over
If you move over, you change position to make room for someone or
something, or to block someone or something.
For example:

move over When Lydia came in, I moved over so she could sit
down next to me.

move over While I was walking along the path I moved over to
let some people riding bicycles go past.

262

move up (1)
If you move up, you make space for someone else to sit down by
moving a little.
Synonym: move over
For example:

move up A couple got on the train, and I moved up a bit so


they could sit down together.

move up If everyone moved up a little we could fit another


person on the seat.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
move up (2)
to move someone to a higher position, a higher level, a higher
ranking, etc.
Synonym: raise, promote
For example:

move sb up Debbie's teacher said she'd made great progress


this term, so she's moving Debbie up to the next grade.

move up After winning the French Open, Rafael moved up in


the rankings.

mow down
to kill a number of people, usually by shooting them or driving a
vehicle into them

263

For example:

mow down sb A bus driver lost control of his vehicle and


mowed down seven people who were waiting at a bus stop.

mow sb down When the demonstrators refused to stop


coming towards them, the troops opened fire and mowed them
down.

muck around INFORMAL


to waste time when you could be doing something useful
Synonym: mess around, fool around
For example:

muck around The boss heard us laughing so he came in and


told us to stop mucking around and do some work.

muck around We didn't do much over the holidays. We just


mucked around at home most days.

Note: "muck about" has the same meaning and can be used in the
same way
Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.
muck up INFORMAL
If you muck something up, you do it badly and fail to achieve your
goal.
Synonym: mess up, screw up (informal)
For example:

muck up sth I went to a new barber today and he mucked up


my hair style. It looks terrible.
264

muck sth up Sally went to a job interview today, and she


thinks she mucked it up. She said she was really nervous and
she couldn't think clearly.

muddle through
If you muddle through, you succeed in doing something even though
you haven't got the skills or equipment usually needed.
For example:

muddle through Our coach was sick, so I had to train the


team myself. I'd never done it before but I muddled through
somehow and it wasn't too bad.

muddle through He'd never refereed a football match before,


but he muddled through without making any really bad
mistakes.

mull over
to think carefully about something before making a decision
Synonym: consider, ponder
For example:

mull over sth Before deciding which job to accept, she said
she needed a couple of days to mull over her options.

mull sth over Whenever I have to make a big decision, I take


plenty of time to mull things over.

muscle in
to use your power or influence to force your way into a situation even
if you're not wanted
265

Synonym: intrude
For example:

muscle in As soon as oil was discovered in the country, the big


oil companies muscled in and soon had most of the exploration
rights.

muscle in on sth When the major airlines saw how well the
new route was doing, they muscled in on it and got a piece of
the action.

N
nag at
If someone is being nagged at by a fear, a doubt or a regret, they
can't stop thinking about it.
For example:

nag at Ken lost millions when the stock market collapsed, and
the thought that he should have sold his shares when they
started going down kept nagging at him.

nag at The feeling that she'd left it too late to have children
was nagging at her.

Nouns often used as subjects with nag at: fear, doubt, worry, regret,
guilt, thought

266

nail down (1)


If you nail something down, you finally make a decision or come to
an agreement about something.
Synonym: finalize
For example:

nail down sth We need to nail down a date for the meeting as
soon as possible.

nail sth down We've been negotiating this agreement for a


few days already, so let's try to nail it down before the end of
today.

Nouns often used as objects with nail down (1): deal, contract,
time, date, price
nail down (2)
If you nail something down, you fasten it to a surface, such as the
floor, with a nail.
For example:

nail down There are a couple of loose boards on the back


steps, so I'm going to nail them down.

nail down If you want to use carpet on the stage, nail it down
so the dancers don't trip over it.

nail up
If you nail something up, you use a nail to attach it to a vertical
surface like a wall or a door.

267

For example:

nail up sth Emilio nailed up a horseshoe over the front door of


our house. He says it'll bring us good luck.

nail sth up Could you get a hammer and nail the picture up in
the bedroom?

name after
If you name somebody after someone else, you give them the same
name.
Synonym: name for (American)
For example:

name sb/sth after sb/sth When Bill and Jenny named their
son after the revolutionary fighter Che Guevara, their parents
thought they were crazy. But now they like the name "Che".

sb/sth will be named after sb/sth Manchester United's new


stadium will be named after their long-serving manager. It'll be
called the Alex Ferguson Stadium.

Note: "Name for" is the American equivalent.


Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.

name for
If you name somebody for someone else, you give them the same
name.
Synonym: name after

268

For example:

name sb/sth for sb/sth When Bill and Jenny named their son
for the revolutionary fighter Che Guevara, their parents thought
they were crazy. But now they like the name "Che".

sb/sth will be named for sb/sth The new concert hall in


Harlem will be named for the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.
It'll be called "The James Brown Memorial Hall".

Note: "Name after" is the British and Australian equivalent.


Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used
in other varieties of English too.
narrow down
to reduce the number of possibilities, options or choices
Synonym: reduce
For example:

narrow down sth I was buying a new car and there were
many models to choose from, but I wanted a fuel-efficient car
so that narrowed down the range quite a bit.

narrow sth down to sth Thirty people applied for the job, but
after the first round of interviews we'd narrowed it down to just
three.

Nouns often used as objects

with narrow down: range, field,

number, total
nibble away at
to gradually reduce the quantity, strength or value of something
Synonym: eat into

269

For example:

nibble away at Inflation is nibbling away at the value of my


savings.

nibble away at The prime minister's little mistakes are


starting to nibble away at his reputation as a reliable leader.

nip out INFORMAL


If you nip out, you leave wherever you are for a short time.
Synonym: go out, pop out (informal), nick out (Austrlian informal)
For example:

nip out Cheryl's just nipped out to the bank. She'll be back in a
minute.

nip out I must have nipped out for a minute when you called.

nod off INFORMAL


If you nod off, you fall asleep without meaning to.
Synonym: doze off
For example:

nod off We went to see the new James Bond movie, but Gary
nodded off half way through and started snoring. It was pretty
funny.

nod off while doing sth Many bad accidents happen because
people nod off while driving, so you should never drive if you're
feeling sleepy.

270

nose around
If someone is nosing around, they're looking around in order to find
information about something.
Synonym: nose about (British), poke around (informal)
For example:

nose around sth Tax inspectors are nosing around our office
and checking our accounts, looking for any mistakes or
problems.

be nosing around Celebrities have to be careful about what


they say or do in public. Reporters are always nosing around,
hoping to get a sensational story about one of them.

Note: This phrasal verb has a negative connotation, and it implies


that whoever is "nosing around" is not liked or respected much by
those who they are trying to get information on.

notch up INFORMAL
to achieve something like a win or a record
Synonym: clock up
For example:

notch up sth Rafael Nadal notched up another win this week,


so he's now won six matches in a row.

notch sth up Richard takes great pleasure in putting together


big financial deals, and he's just notched another one up.

Nouns often used as objects with notch up: win, record, victory,
success, triumph, title

271

note down
If you note down something, you write it on a piece of paper or in a
notebook.
Synonym: write, write down, jot down
For example:

note down sth Can I borrow your pen, please? I just need to
note down this address in case I forget it.

note sth down Leon took a moment to note the number


down.

Nouns often used as objects with note down: name, address,


number, detail, title
number among
to include something or someone in a class or group of similar things
or people
For example:

number sb/sth among sb/sth I used to number Tony among


my friends, but I don't any more, not since he borrowed some
money and didn't pay me back.

be numbered among sb/sth Do you really think George W.


Bush should be numbered among the greatest American
presidents, or were you just joking?

nut out
If you nut something out, you solve a problem or you calculate
something.
Synonym: work out, figure out

272

For example:

nut out sth We're having a meeting with the marketing


department to nut out the best way to promote the new model.

nut sth out It's a tough problem, but we've got a better
chance of nutting it out if we work on it together.

Note: Possibly derived from the informal use of the word "nut" to
mean "head".
Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used
in other varieties of English too.

O
object to
If you object to something, you don't think it's a good thing or a good
idea, so you oppose it or you are against it.
Synonym: oppose
For example:

object to sth Most people object to the huge bonuses that


banks and financial companies pay their top executives.

object to sth Some politicians object to the new law that will
improve health care for children because it might mean lower
profits for big drug companies.

Nouns often used as objects with object to: decision, verdict, plan,
idea, proposal, law
occur to
If a thought or an idea occurs to you, it comes to you.
273

Synonym: come to
For example:

sth occurs to sb When did the idea of going back to university


occur to you?

occur to sb that While I was playing with my daughter, it


occurred to me that she was starting to look more and more
like my wife.

Nouns often used as subjects with occur to: idea, thought, solution,
plan
offer up
to give thanks, praise or prayers to God or gods
For example:

offer up sth After the accident, Nola offered up prayers for her
child's recovery.

offer up sth to sth/sb In a traditional ceremony, the villagers


offered up sacrificed animals to their gods.

Nouns often used as objects with offer up: praise, thanks, prayers,
sacrificial animals
open out
to unfold and spread a folded map or newspaper in order to read it
Synonym: spread out, unfold
For example:

open out sth I had trouble opening out the map while I was
driving. It kept flapping around in the breeze.

274

open sth out I'd just bought a newspaper, and I was trying to
open it out on a crowded train when I accidentally poked a
woman in the eye.

open up (1)
If you open up to somebody, you share your feelings with them.
For example:

open up When people get counselling, they are asked to open


up and talk honestly with the counsellor.

open up to sb I'd known Bob for a year or two before he


started to open up to me and share his private thoughts and
feelings.

open up (2)
If a country opens up, it becomes easier to travel there and do
business.
For example:

open up Before Bhutan began to open up, it was a very


difficult place to visit.

open up to sth Most countries that were isolated in the past


are now opening up to the world because they want to develop
economically.

open up (3)
If you open up a new business, you set it up and start trading.
Synonym: establish (formal)

275

For example:

open up A lot of new shops and small businesses have opened


up in our town in the last couple of years.

open up sth I'd love to open up a small guesthouse on a beach


in Thailand.

Nouns often used as objects with open up (3): store, shop, hotel,
guesthouse, clinic, small business
opposed to
If you are opposed to something, you're against it or you don't
support it.
Synonym: against
For example:

opposed to sth People who are opposed to the plan to build a


new dam are protesting in front of the town hall.

opposed

to

sth If

you're

opposed

to

something

the

government's doing, write a letter to your local representative.


Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with opposed

to: war,

torture,

corruption, pollution, crime, exploitation, violence


opt for
If you opt for something, you choose it from a range of possible
options.
Synonym: choose, go for (informal)
For example:

opt for sth My husband opted for early retirement because he


didn't want to work until he was 65 years old.
276

opt for sth Many companies now opt for outsourcing if they
need

something

like

intranet-based

real-time

workflow

management.

opt in
If you opt in, you choose to accept something, or do something, that
is offered to you as an option.
For example:

opt in When they're purchasing a product online, we give our


customers the chance to subscribe to our newsletter, but we
only send it to those who've opted in.

opt in We have English classes for our workers. They don't


have to attend, but if they opt in they're expected to complete
the course.

opt out
If you opt out of something, you choose not to be involved in it.
Synonym: bow out
For example:

opt out of sth Lots of people have opted out of our English
classes. Maybe the classes are too dull.

opt out of sth There will be no refunds for people who opt out
of the program.

Nouns often used as objects with opt out: course, program, class,
scheme, activity

277

order about
If you order people about, you tell them what to do in a bossy way.
Synonym: order
(informal)

around,

boss

around

(informal),

boss

about

For example:

order sb about The workers hate the way their supervisor


orders them about. They say she's rude and bossy.

be ordered about Army recruits soon get used to being


ordered about.

Variety: This is typically used in British English but may be used in


other varieties of English too.
order around
If you order people around, you tell them what to do in a bossy way.
Synonym: order about (British), boss around (informal), boss about
(informal)
For example:

order sb around The workers hate the way their supervisor


orders them around. They say she's rude and bossy.

be ordered around Army recruits soon get used to being


ordered around.

Nouns often used as objects with order around: workers, staff,


employees, recruits, troops, students
order in
If you order in, you order food from a take-away restaurant and have
it delivered to your home or office.
Synonym: order out
278

For example:

order sth in Have you ordered some food in for the staff
who're working late?

order in sth Let's order in some pizza. I can't be bothered


cooking tonight.

Nouns often used as objects with order in: pizza, hamburger, fried
chicken, soda, juice
Variety: This is typically used in American and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.
order off
to tell a player to leave the field of play, or the court, usually because
they have committed a foul or broken a rule
Synonym: send off
For example:

order sb off The referee ordered Paddy off because he made


an illegal tackle on another player, and could have seriously
injured him.

order off sb The umpire will order off any players who are
bleeding or have blood on their uniforms.

order out
If you order out, you order food from a take-away restaurant and
have it delivered to you.
Synonym: order in

279

For example:

order out I'm going to order out less, and cook dinner for
myself more often.

order out Simone said she was too tired to cook, so I called a
restaurant and ordered out instead.

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used


in other varieties of English too.
order up (1)
to issue an order for something to be done, usually in relation to the
government or the military
For example:

order sth up After the press released details of torture in


military prisons, the President ordered up a full report on the
situation.

order up sth Let's pray that no leader ever decides it's


necessary to order up a nuclear attack.

order up (2)
to have food or drinks delivered to your room in a hotel
Synonym: have sent up
For example:

order up sth We ordered up some drinks about twenty


minutes ago, but they haven't come yet.

order sth up Do you want to have dinner in the restaurant, or


would you rather order something up?
280

Nouns often used as objects with order up (2): food, drinks,


breakfast, lunch, dinner, meal, sandwiches, fruit
overcome with
to be strongly affected by an emotion or a feeling
Synonym: overwhelmed with
For example:

overcome with sth After his dog died, Danny was overcome
with grief.

overcome with sth The whole team was overcome with the
joy of winning and being champions.

Nouns often used as objects with overcome with: fear, sadness,


grief, joy, excitement, shame, gratitude
Note: always used in the form "to be overcome with something", and
never in the form "to overcome with something"
owe to (1)
If you owe something to someone, you feel that you only have it
because of the person's help or support.
For example:

owe sth to sb/sth The band said they owed their success to
their producer and manager.

owe sth to sb/sth In his acceptance speech, Tiger said he


owed everything to his parents.

281

owe to (2)
If something happens owing to something else, it happens as a result
of it.
For example:

owe sth to sth We owe the fall in our sales to a general drop
in consumer spending.

owing to sth/sb We're short of stock at the moment owing to


an unexpected increase in sales recently.

Note: Often used in the continuous form "owing to".

own up
If you own up to something, you admit that you've done something
wrong or made a mistake.
Synonym: admit, confess, fess up (informal)
For example:

own up We were pretty sure Sam was the one who'd been
stealing money from our company, but he wouldn't own up. He
kept saying it wasn't him.

own up to sth Politicians don't usually own up to their


mistakes and misjudgments, let alone their crimes against
humanity.

own up to doing sth Our son owned up to taking money from


his mother's purse after we found him looking through her bag
again.

Nouns often used as objects with own up: to stealing, cheating, lying
:to fraud, theft, crime, mistake, error, dishonesty
282

P
pack away (1)
If you pack something away, you put it back where it's usually kept
after you've finished using it.
Synonym: put away
For example:

pack sth away Have you packed the fishing rods away or are
they still in the car?

pack away sth How many times do I have to tell you to pack
away your golf clubs after you've finished using them?

pack away (2) INFORMAL


to eat a lot of food
For example:

pack away sth I can't believe how much food Tommy packs
away. And he's not even fat!

pack sth away Have you seen the size of restaurant meals in
America? Can people really pack that much away when they
eat?

pack in (1) INFORMAL


to attract large audiences or large crowds of spectators

283

For example:

pack in sth After giving concerts for over 40 years, Bob Dylan
could still pack in big crowds wherever he performed.

pack sth in Basketball stars like LeBron James can really pack
them in. Stadiums are full whenever he's playing.

pack in (2) INFORMAL


If you pack something in, you stop doing it.
Synonym: quit
For example:

pack sth in It's going to rain, so let's pack it in and finish the
job in the morning.

pack in sth After working for a month as a builder, James


packed in the job and went to China to teach English.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
pack into (1)
to fit into a small or crowded space
Synonym: cram into, squeeze into
For example:

pack into sth Over a hundred thousand people packed into the
stadium for the final match.

pack into sth No-one else had a car, so the whole family had
to pack into Fergy's little Fiat.

284

pack into (2)


to fit a lot of activities into a limited time
Synonym: cram into
For example:

pack into sth It's amazing how many meetings and interviews
Daniel can pack into a single day.

packed into sth The tour includes visits to most of the famous
places in the country, all packed into five days.

pack up (1)
to put things into boxes or bags before moving them or sending them
somewhere
For example:

pack up sth Darren has two days to pack up all his stuff and
move out of the apartment.

pack sth up How long will it take you to pack your things up?

Nouns often used as objects with pack up (1): stuff, things,


belongings, possessions, clothes, books
pack up (2) INFORMAL
If something packs up, it stops working and needs to be fixed.
Synonym: break
For example:

pack up Why does my air conditioner have to pack up on


Friday? I can't get it fixed til Monday, and it's going to be a
really hot weekend!
285

pack up Stan's printer has packed up again! Why doesn't he


just get a new one?

Nouns often used as subjects with pack up (2): computer, printer,


television, refrigerator, air conditioner, camera, phone
Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.
pan out INFORMAL
If you see how a situation pans out, you see how it develops over
time.
Synonym: turn out, work out
For example:

pan out Instead of quitting, why don't you stay in the job for
another few months and see how things pan out?

pan out We're not sure what effect the new law will have yet.
We'll just have to wait and see how things pan out.

part with
to give something to someone else, especially when you'd prefer to
keep it
For example:

part with sth Mark hated parting with his collection of rare
books, but he really needed the money he got by selling them.

part with sth Mum didn't want to part with our baby clothes or
our old school books, but we made her get rid of them.

286

pass around
to pass something from person to person in a group
Synonym: pass round (British)
For example:

pass sth around After the meeting, we passed the hat around
and collected some money.

pass around sth Becky passed around a card she'd bought for
Kerry's birthday and we all wrote something on it.

pass away
If someone passes away, they die.
Synonym: die, pass on
For example:

pass away Our chairman passed away yesterday, and his


funeral will be held next Friday.

pass away Olivia told us she wanted her body to be cremated


after she passed away.

pass by
to go past something or someone
Synonym: go by, go past
For example:

pass by sth I pass by the post office on my way to work, so I


can drop in and post your parcel if you like.

287

pass by I hate it when you signal an empty taxi and it just


passes by without stopping.

pass off as
to make someone believe that a copy or a replica is the real thing
Synonym: palm off as
For example:

pass sth off as sth We had no trouble passing the counterfeit


banknotes off as real money.

pass sb off as sb He put on a white coat and tried to pass


himself off as a doctor.

pass on
If you pass something on, you give it to another person after
receiving it yourself.
Synonym: hand on
For example:

pass on sth You should wear a mask over your mouth so that
you don't pass on the disease.

pass sth on After taking your piece of cake, pass the plate on
to the next person.

pass out (1)


to give something to each person in a group
Synonym: hand out, distribute

288

For example:

pass out We passed out programs as audience members


arrived at the concert.

pass out Election officials will pass out voting instructions to all
the voters.

Nouns often used as objects with pass out (1): forms, sheets,
brochures, pamphlets, programs, booklets
pass out (2)
to lose consciousness all of a sudden
Synonym: faint, black out
For example:

pass out It was so hot on the golf course that a couple of the
players passed out.

pass out If someone passes out, make sure their airway is


open so they can breathe.

pass over
If someone is passed over, they aren't given the promotion they were
expecting, and the position is given to someone else instead.
For example:

pass over This is the second time Indira has been passed over
for promotion to section manager.

pass sb over I'm sorry you didn't get the promotion this time,
but you'll get it next time. They can't pass you over again.

289

pass up INFORMAL
If you pass up an opportunity or an invitation, you choose not to take
the opportunity or accept the invitation.
Synonym: turn down, decline
For example:

pass up sth Bill passed up the opportunity to study music in a


top university. He formed his own band instead.

pass sth up I had to pass the invitation up as I already had an


appointment at that time.

Nouns often used as objects with pass up: invitation, chance,


opportunity, window of opportunity, shot (at doing something)
pat down
to check that somebody isn't carrying a prohibited item, such as a
gun, by patting different parts of their body
Synonym: frisk
For example:

pat down sb Security guards patted down everybody who


entered the airport.

pat sb down In some American schools armed guards pat the


kids down before allowing them inside.

patch up (1)
to fix something quickly so it can be used until it's repaired properly
or replaced
Synonym: mend

290

For example:

patch sth up After crashing my motorbike, I couldn't fix it but


I patched it up enough to get it to the repair shop.

patch up sth Our roof needs replacing. It leaked during that


storm last night and I patched up some holes, but we really
need a new one.

Nouns often used as objects with patch up (1): jeans, clothes,


shoes, socks, tyre, road, roof, hole
patch up (2)
to mend ties or repair a relationship after a disagreement or a dispute
Synonym: reconcile (formal)
For example:

patch sth up My sister and her husband argue a lot, but they
always patch things up before long.

patch up sth The leaders of the two countries patched up their


differences and avoided a war.

Nouns

often used

as

objects

with patch up (2): differences,

disagreement, quarrel, relations, relationship, things, rift


pay back (1)
If you pay someone back, you return money that you borrowed from
them in the past.
Synonym: repay
For example:

pay sb back Thanks for lending me the money. I'll pay you
back when I get paid next week.
291

pay back sb Will you pay back your friends first, or will you
pay back the bank first?

pay sth back to sb You promised you'd pay all the money
back to me this week. So where is it?

pay back (2)


If you pay someone back for doing something bad to you, you do
something bad to them in return.
Synonym: get back at
For example:

pay sb back Jim was angry after I fired him and he said he'd
pay me back one day.

pay sb back for sth The kid who shot fifteen students in his
high school said he was paying them back for all their insults
and put-downs.

pay off (1)


If you pay off a loan, you pay it back in installments over a period of
time.
For example:

pay sth off They took out a loan to buy their house and they'll
pay it off over the next twenty-five years.

pay off sth Have you paid off your car loan yet, or do you still
owe some money to the bank?

be paid off If we keep giving the bank a thousand dollars a


month, our credit cards will be paid off by the end of next year.
292

Nouns often used as objects with pay off (1): loan, mortgage, debt,
house, car, credit card
pay off (2)
If something you do pays off, it ends up giving you some benefit or a
good result.
For example:

pay off Changing jobs has really paid off. Even though I make
a bit less money, I have a lot more free time and I'm a lot
happier.

pay off Janice got into Harvard University, so all that hard
work and extra study has paid off.

pay out
to pay a sum of money to somebody, especially a large sum
Synonym: shell out
For example:

pay sth out If you win the lottery, they'll pay the money out in
installments over several years.

pay out sth Most insurance companies will try to find any
reason they can to avoid paying out claims to their customers.

Nouns often used as objects with pay out: award, compensation,


prize money, winnings, reward, lump sum, insurance claim
pay up
If somebody pays up, they pay money they owe to someone even
though they don't really want to.
Synonym: cough up (informal)
293

For example:

pay up Brett lost a thousand dollars playing pool in a bar, and


if he hadn't paid up he would have been in big trouble.

pay up The mafia demands protection money from small


businesses, and if someone doesn't pay up they'll be attacked
and maybe even killed.

pick on
If you pick on someone, you repeatedly treat them badly or criticize
them.
Synonym: get at (British)
For example:

pick on sb Joe sounds childish when he says things like "Why


does the boss always pick on me?"

pick on sb When Jill was in high school, the other girls picked
on her because she was overweight.

pick out
If you pick out something, you choose or select it.
Synonym: choose, select
For example:

pick out sth/sb We're painting the office, so look at this chart
and pick out a colour you like.

pick sth/sb out Do you like these shirts? Pick one out and I'll
get it for you.

294

pick up (1)
If you pick up something, you take hold of it and lift it up.
Synonym: lift
For example:

pick up sb/sth If you pick up the computer, be careful and


make sure you don't drop it.

pick sb/sth up I used to pick my daughter up and carry her


around on my shoulders, but she's getting too big for that now.

Nouns often used as objects with pick up (1): box, bag, case, pen,
phone, cup
pick up (2)
If you pick someone up, you meet them somewhere in order to give
them a lift somewhere else.
Synonym: collect
For example:

pick sb/sth up If you tell me what time your flight gets in, I'll
pick you up from the airport and take you home.

pick up sb/sth Peter has gone to the post office to pick up a


parcel.

piss about INFORMAL


to waste time or act in a stupid way
Synonym: fool around, mess about, muck around (informal)

295

For example:

piss about Sometimes our workers piss about on the internet


instead of doing their work.

be pissing about Don't take any notice of them. They're just


pissing about.

Note: also "piss around"


Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.
piss off
If someone pisses you off, they annoy you.
Synonym: annoy, tick off (American informal)
For example:

piss sb off Do you think Bob knows that he pisses people off
when he gets drunk and starts singing really loudly?

piss off sb She pissed off just about everyone who was there
when she started talking during the movie.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
play around (1)
to waste time by being silly or stupid
Synonym: fool around, muck around (informal)
For example:

play around Come on you guys! Stop playing around and get
on with your work.

296

play around Why are you playing around when you've got a
really important exam in the morning?

play around (2) INFORMAL


to have sex with someone other than one's spouse or partner
Synonym: fool around
For example:

play around Did you hear about Ben? His wife caught him
playing around with the woman next door.

play around In several traditional societies, it's perfectly


normal for married couples to play around. Nobody expects
them to be loyal to their partners.

play back
to play something that's just been recorded, such as a video, a
message, or some music
For example:

play back sth When we played back the song we'd just
recorded, it sounded great.

play sth back When Paul gets home he checks his answering
machine and if there are any messages, he plays them back
straight away.

Nouns often used as objects with play back: message, recording,


song, clip, sequence, scene, track, video, music

297

play down
to try to make something seem less important or less damaging than
it really is
Synonym: minimize, downplay
For example:

play down sth The government's spokesman tried to play


down the worsening economic data.

play sth down When he told his parents he was being sent to
fight in Iraq, he tried to play the dangers down by saying he
was going to a peaceful area.

play up (1) INFORMAL


If something is playing up, it isn't working properly or it's causing
problems.
Synonym: act up
For example:

play up This bloody printer is playing up again!

play up Whenever the weather is cold and damp, my back


plays up and I have to take pain medicine.

play up (2)
to try to make something seem better, or more important, than it
really is
Synonym: overstate

298

For example:

play sth up Sales people know the strengths of each product


they sell, and they play these strengths up when they're trying
to make a sale.

play up sth Some hip-hop artists play up their violent past as


gang members in order to gain credibility among fans.

point out
to tell someone something you think they should know
Synonym: indicate (formal)
For example:

point out sth Cassie pointed out a few mistakes in the article
that no-one had noticed.

point sth out Thanks for pointing these things out to us.

pour in
to arrive at or enter a place in great numbers and with great speed or
force
Synonym: stream in
For example:

pour in As soon as the doors opened, the waiting shoppers


poured in and ran for the bargain bins.

pour in Applications for the government's new low-interest


student loans have been pouring in.

299

pour out
to leave a place in large numbers
Synonym: stream out
For example:

pour out After I poked a stick in the ant's nest, the ants
started pouring out everywhere.

pour out During the war, refugees poured out of the country to
escape the violence.

print off
to print a number of copies of something
Synonym: print out
For example:

print off sth They printed off a thousand copies of the


brochure.

print sth off We can print the cards off while you wait if you
like.

print out
to make a printed copy of a document
Synonym: stream out
For example:

pour out After I poked a stick in the ant's nest, the ants
started pouring out everywhere.

300

pour out During the war, refugees poured out of the country to
escape the violence.

pull back
If an army pulls back, it moves its forces back from the front-line or
from wherever it's been fighting the enemy.
Synonym: withdraw
For example:

pull back Their troops have pulled back from the area along
the river.

pull sth/sb back Even though they were being pounded by


rockets and mortars, the general refused to pull his forces
back.

pull down (1)


to destroy a building or structure because it is old, dangerous, or no
longer wanted
Synonym: demolish, knock down
For example:

pull down sth The residents of Berlin pulled down the wall that
had divided their city for nearly thirty years.

pull sth down Grandma wants us to pull the old shed down so
she can use the space to make a new vegetable garden.

be pulled down The old cinema was pulled down and a new
office building was built there instead.

301

Nouns often used as objects with pull down (1): building, house,
church, shed, wall, tent, billboard, shelter
pull down (2)
to lower one's pants or trousers
Meaning: to lower one's pants or trousers
For example:

pull down sth My doctor told me to pull down my jeans so he


could examine my leg.

pull sth down Molly pulled her pants down and showed us the
new tattoo on her bottom.

Nouns often used as objects with pull down (2): trousers, jeans,
shorts, pants, underpants
pull in
If a train, a truck or a car pulls in, it arrives somewhere.
Synonym: arrive
For example:

pull in The train you want will be pulling in on platform 9.

pull in A truck pulled in to the yard and the driver jumped out.

pull off
to succeed in doing something difficult
Synonym: bring off
For example:

pull off sth James has just pulled off one of the biggest deals
of his career.
302

pull sth off Nobody thought Lleyton could win the match, but
he pulled it off with pure determination.

pull on
to put an item of clothing on, usually in a hurry
Synonym: put on, don (formal)
For example:

pull on sth After pulling on his jeans and an old pair of boots,
Sam dashed outside to get the washing in before it rained.

pull sth on I quickly pulled my jacket on and ran outside to


catch the postman.

Nouns often used as objects with pull on: shirt, jeans, jumper,
sweater, jacket, coat, socks, shoes, boots, gloves, backpack
pull out (1)
If you pull out of something you're participating in, like a competition
or a deal, you stop participating.
Synonym: withdraw
For example:

pull out Phil was leading the tournament, but he had to pull
out after injuring his knee.

pull out Chuck was forced to pull out of the race for President
when his campaign funds ran out.

pull out (2)


to move your car from a parking spot or a side street into a traffic
lane, or to move out from one traffic lane to join another
303

For example:

pull out I checked to see that no other cars were coming, and
then I pulled out and drove off.

pull out Some idiot pulled out in front of me just as I was


about to overtake him. He nearly caused an accident.

pull over
If you're driving a car and you pull over, you move over to the side of
the road and stop.
Meaning: If you're driving a car and you pull over, you move over to
the side of the road and stop.
Synonym: pull in
For example:

pull over The taxi pulled over to pick up a passenger.

pull over When I saw the police car following me with its lights
flashing, I pulled over and turned off the engine.

pull through
to recover from a serious illness or injury
Synonym: survive
For example:

pull through Without the wonderful care she received from the
nurses, I don't think my grandmother would have pulled
through.

304

pull sb through I knew the doctors would do everything they


could to help pull him through.

pull up (1)
to pull something out of the ground, such as a plant, a stake, or a
fence post
For example:

pull up sth The protesting farmers pulled up all the stakes and
pegs that the surveyors had stuck in the ground.

pull sth up If you don't pull the roots up as well, the weeds will
grow back in no time.

Nouns often used as objects with pull up (1): plant, bush, weed,
carrot, vine, stake, peg, post
pull up (2)
If a vehicle such as a car or a taxi pulls up, it stops.
Synonym: stop
For example:

pull up I told the taxi driver to pull up outside the post office.

pull up As the truck pulled up at the intersection, its brakes


made a loud hissing sound.

put aside (1)


to save or reserve something, like time, money, food, etc., for a
particular purpose, or for use in the future
Synonym: set aside, reserve

305

For example:

put aside sth Laura put aside a few dollars a week for her
granddaughter's education.

put sth aside He tries to put one day a month aside to visit his
mother and take her shopping.

put aside (2)


to ignore a disagreement or a problem you have with someone so
you can work together on something
Synonym: disregard, ignore
For example:

put aside sth The leaders put aside their various differences
and got on with the job of preventing a war from starting.

put sth aside I know we have unresolved issues, but can we


put those aside, just for a moment, and work out what's best
for the kids?

put away (1)


If you put something away, you put it where it's usually kept when
it's not being used.
For example:

put sth away If you wash the dishes, I'll dry them and put
them away.

put away sth If I leave your clean clothes on the bed, can you
put them away yourself?

306

Nouns often used as objects with put away (1): dishes, tools,
clothes, books, toys, pieces
put away (2)
If you put something away, you put it somewhere safe and keep it for
the future.
Synonym: set aside, save
For example:

put away Her grandfather gave her the money he'd put away
in case she needed it to study.

put away sth After harvesting, farmers try to put away


enough rice to feed their families until the next harvest.

put sth away It's time I started putting money away for the
future.

put back (1)


If you put something back, you return it to the place it was before
you took it.
Synonym: replace
For example:

put back sth If you cook something, make sure you put back
all the stuff you use when you're finished.

put sth back Don't forget to put the magazines back after
you've read them.

put back (2)


to change the time or date of something to a later time
307

Synonym: postpone (formal)

For example:

put sth back We could put the meeting back a week if you
like.

put back sth Would you mind if we put back your appointment
until April the first?

be put back Their trip was put back a month because of the
airline strike.

put down (1)


to stop carrying something or someone
Synonym: set down
For example:

put sth/sb down The refrigerator was so heavy that we had


to put it down and have a rest.

put down sth/sb After swinging her around a few times, I put
down my little girl and she fell over laughing.

put down (2)


to put a sick or injured animal to death, usually by lethal injection
Synonym: put to sleep
For example:

put sth down Tottie was very old and very sick, so we told the
vet to put her down.
308

put down sth Putting down family pets is one of the most
difficult parts of my job as a vet.

have sth put down If a horse breaks a leg, sometimes the


kindest thing to do is to have it put down.

Note: "Put down" is one of several euphemisms for putting an animal


to death. Others are "lay down", "put to sleep" and "put out of
its/his/her misery"

put forward (1)


to offer an idea, an opinion, a suggestion, etc. for other people to
consider
Synonym: suggest, offer
For example:

put forward sth He put forward an interesting argument, but


no-one was really convinced by it.

put sth forward If you have any ideas or suggestions, please


feel free to put them forward and they'll be given our full
consideration.

be put forward Many of the suggestions that have been put


forward are excellent.

Nouns often used as objects with put forward (1): suggestion,


opinion, idea, argument, plan, proposal, theory
put forward (2)
to change the date or time of an event, an appointment, a meeting,
etc. so that it happens earlier than originally planned
Synonym: bring forward
309

For example:

put forward sth Do you mind if we put forward the starting


time an hour, and make it 9 o'clock instead of 10?

put sth forward Uncle Roger has to go to Japan in April, so


we've put our wedding forward a couple of weeks so he can
come.

Nouns often used as objects with put forward (2): date, time,
starting time, appointment, meeting, conference, deadline
put in (1)
to spend a certain amount of time and effort on doing something
Synonym: devote (formal)
For example:

put in sth She's put in the hard work you need to put in to
develop a talent, so she deserves the success she's had.

put sth in He must have put a lot of hours in to get the


business up and running by himself.

put in (2)
to install a large piece of equipment into a room, a home or a building
Synonym: install
For example:

have sth put in I've just had a solar heating system put in,
and it works perfectly.
310

put in sth If you put in a $10,000 swimming pool, the


property's value will increase by about $30,000.

put sth in How much would it cost to put a new kitchen in?

Nouns often used as objects with put in (2): air conditioning,


security system, central heating, solar heating, swimming pool,
tennis court
put off
If you put something off, you change the time it's meant to happen to
a later time or date.
Synonym: postpone (formal)
For example:

put sth off If it's too hot to play the final game today, they'll
put it off until tomorrow.

be put off We went to the meeting, but no-one was there. It


had been put off until the following day, but no-one had told
us!

put off doing sth We'll have to put off opening the new office
because the builders are taking so long to finish it.

Nouns often used as objects with put off: meeting, concert, game,
event, opening
put on (1)
to start wearing an item of clothing, a pair of shoes, a piece of
jewellery, a pair of glasses, etc.
Synonym: don (formal)
For example:

311

put on sth You should put on your coat. It's cold outside.

put sth on Just a minute while I put my glasses on. I can't


read without them.

Nouns often used as objects with put on (1): shirt, dress, shoes, tie,
watch, sunglasses, necklace, ring
put on (2)
to make an appliance or a piece of equipment start to function
Synonym: turn on, switch on
For example:

put on sth Don't forget to put on the heater when you get up
in the morning.

put sth on Do you want to watch TV, or do you want me to put


the radio on instead?

Nouns often used as objects with put on (2): light, TV, radio, heater,
air conditioner, kettle, fan, music
put on (3)
to present an event such as a concert, a seminar, a sporting
tournament, etc.
Synonym: stage
For example:

put on sth Wow! This band puts on a great live show!

put sth on Is the marketing department putting a sales


seminar on this month?

312

Nouns often used as objects with put on (3): show, concert, play,
performance, seminar, trade fair, festival, tournament
put on (4)
If you put on weight, or put on pounds or kilos, you become heavier.
Synonym: gain
For example:

put on sth Oh no! I've put on 5 kilos in the last month.

put sth on If you exercise less, but keep eating the same
amount of food, you'll probably put some weight on.

put out (1)


to stop something from burning
Synonym: extinguish
For example:

put out sth It took the firemen a long time to put out the fire.

put sth out The car's engine was burning so he grabbed the
fire-extinguisher and put it out.

put out (2)


If you put somebody out, you inconvenience them by asking them to
help you or do something for you.
Synonym: inconvenience (formal)
For example:

put sb out Are you sure taking me to the airport isn't putting
you out? I can easily get the train if you're busy.
313

put sb out George never asks for help or favors because he's
afraid of putting people out. He forgets that people often enjoy
helping out their friends.

put over
to communicate something like an idea or an opinion
Synonym: put across, get across, convey, communicate (formal)
For example:

put over sth Do you think you put over your point of view
clearly enough?

put sth over Mandy doesn't think she's very good at putting
her ideas over, but I think she's fine.

put through (1)


to make someone suffer a difficult or painful experience
Synonym: subject to
For example:

put sb through sth I'm sorry we had to put you through this
ordeal, but we couldn't avoid it.

be put through sth Why are rape victims put through this sort
of questioning at a trial?

put through (2)


to pay for someone's education through school, college, university,
etc.

314

For example:

put sb through sth It's costing her a lot of money to put


herself through law school.

put sb through sth How much does it cost to put a kid


through college these days?

put together (1)


to assemble something by joining its parts or pieces
Synonym: assemble
For example:

put together sth When we got the model of the space shuttle
it was still in pieces, and we had to put together all the pieces
with this special glue they gave us.

put sth together Les saved some money by buying his new
computer table in the form of a do-it-yourself kit and putting it
together himself at home.

put together (2)


to select several things and combine them to create something
Synonym: arrange
For example:

put together sth We put together a lineup that included jazz


bands, rock bands, hip-hop artists, and even a little bit of
country music.

put sth together How long did it take you to put your
presentation together?
315

put up (1)
to increase something, such as the price, cost or value of something
Synonym: raise
For example:

put up sth If we don't put up our prices, we won't be able to


make a profit.

put sth up If they put the rent up, we'll have to move out and
find another apartment.

Nouns often used as objects with put up (1): price, cost, rate, rent,
salary, wages, interest rates
put up (2)
to fix a notice or a picture onto an upright surface such as a wall or a
noticeboard
Synonym: stick up (informal)
For example:

put up sth The office would look a lot nicer if we put up a few
pictures.

put sth up If you're looking for part-time workers, why don't


you put a notice up at the university? Students are always
looking for part-time jobs.

Nouns often used as objects with put up (2): picture, painting,


notice, poster, wall hanging
put up with
If you put up with something, you accept it even though you don't
like it.
Synonym: tolerate, stand
316

For example:

put up with sb/sth We've been putting up with these noisy


neighbours for long enough. I'm going to complain to our
landlord.

put up with sb/sth I'm going to buy an air conditioner. I can't


put up with the heat any longer!

Q
quarrel with
to disagree about something, or to believe something is untrue or
incorrect
Synonym: argue with, disagree with
For example:

quarrel with sth Not many scientists quarrel with the idea of
global warming these days.

quarrel with sb I really don't think anyone can quarrel with


me on that point.

queue up
If you queue up, you join a line of people waiting for their turn to do
something.
Synonym: line up

317

For example:

queue up When we went to the bank we had to queue up at


the counter.

queue up for sth Don't you hate it when you've been queuing
up for a ticket, and they run out just before you get to the
counter?

Nouns often used as indirect objects with queue up: for a ticket,
pass, token, coupon, taxi; in a bank, post-office, supermarket; at a
counter, ticket window, box-office
quieten down
If someone quietens down, they become calmer and less excited.
Synonym: calm down, settle down
For example:

quieten down The kids usually quieten down after lunch, and
sometimes they even go to sleep.

quieten sth/sb down I wish my neighbour would quieten his


dog down. It barks for hours.

Note: "Quiet down" is preferred usage in American English.


Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.

318

R
rake in INFORMAL
to make a lot of money
For example:

rake in sth They must have been raking in millions since their
song went to number one.

rake sth in My company has been raking the money in, so I


should get a really big bonus this year.

rally round INFORMAL


If people rally round someone in need, they all do what they can to
help the person.
For example:

rally round After her accident, Alena's friends rallied round


and

helped her out by bringing food and

cleaning

her

apartment.

rally round sb/sth The whole town rallied round the Freemont
family when they heard that their boy had cancer.

Note: also "rally around"


reach out
to extend your arm in order to touch or take something with your
hand

319

For example:

reach out Ronaldo reached out to shake hands with his fans,
and then drove off.

reach out If you extend your finger in front of a baby, the


baby will reach out and grasp it.

reach out to (1)


to offer help to someone in need
For example:

reach out to sb For a long time charities have been reaching


out to poor families in our community.

reach out to sb The program is designed to reach out to old


people who don't normally have much contact with others.

reach out to (2)


to ask someone for help when you have a problem
For example:

reach out to sb If Frank had reached out to his family, they


could have helped him deal with his addiction.

reach out to sb Many people find it very difficult to reach out


to others when they need help or support.

read into
to believe you've found more meaning in what someone says or does
than others have found

320

For example:

read sth into sth You're reading too much into what he said. I
don't think he meant to insult you.

be read into sth A lot can be read into what someone says,
but it doesn't mean that it's all true.

read out
if you read something out, you read it aloud so everyone can hear it.
For example:

read out sth The prisoners listened as the warder read out
their names and numbers.

read sth out Mario was proud when his teacher asked him to
read out his poem so everyone could hear it.

Nouns often used as objects with read out: names, scores, results,
verdict, statement
read up on
If you read up on something, you read books about it, or find articles
and information on the internet about it.
For example:

read up on Did you read up on the history of Angkor Wat


before going to see it?

read up on Before doing business in China, I'm going to read


up on Chinese customs and on the local business scene.

321

refer to (1)
to look at something like a book, a map, or a website, in order to get
information about something
For example:

refer to sb/sth She had to refer to her notes quite often


because she hadn't memorized the speech.

refer to sb/sth You can refer to books or other information


sources in your essay, but you must cite each reference you
have used.

Nouns often used as objects with refer to (1): notes, book, journal,
article, source, map, website, dictionary
refer to (2)
to direct someone to a place or a person for information, help or
treatment
For example:

refer sb to sb/sth After checking the results, my doctor


referred me to a heart specialist for further tests.

refer sb to sb/sth I can't take your case myself, but I can


refer you to another lawyer who's an expert in this area of law.

reflect on
to think deeply about something
Synonym: contemplate, ponder, think about

322

For example:

reflect on sth After her divorce, Pamela reflected on the


relationships she'd had and on why they hadn't lasted very
long.

reflect on sth Every New Year's Day, Angelo reflects on what


he's achieved in the previous year.

rely on
If you rely on something, you need it in order to do something.
Synonym: depend on
For example:

rely on sb/sth Hideki's English is very good now and he no


longer has to rely on an interpreter.

rely on sb/sth to do sth Most charities rely on people to give


donations in order to do their work.

remind of
If something reminds you of something else, it makes you think of it.
For example:

remind sb of sth/sb The smell of eucalyptus reminds me of


holidays I had in the Australian bush when I was a kid.

be reminded of sth Whenever she hears birds singing, Jill


says she's reminded of the beauty of nature.

323

resign yourself to
If you resign yourself to something, you accept that it's true and that
there's nothing you can do to change it.
For example:

resign yourself to sth Margaret has resigned herself to the


fact that her company won't survive, and she's started looking
for a job.

resign yourself to sth I admitted that my dream of being a


famous movie star would never come true, and I resigned
myself to a life in the suburbs with everyone else.

resort to
to do something you'd rather not do only because better options or
solutions are not possible
Synonym: turn to
For example:

resort to Unless he resorts to dirty tricks like spreading false


rumours about his opponents, the mayor will lose the next
election.

resort to After I lost my job, I had to resort to looking for


casual day labour.

result in
to lead to a certain outcome or to produce something
Synonym: lead to, cause

324

For example:

result

in The

new advertisement is

really effective. It's

resulted in a big increase in sales.

result in Do you think the government's plan will result in a


stronger economy?

return to
to go back to
For example:

return to sth Life was good before the war, and it slowly
returned to normal after it was over.

return to sth All Kathy wanted was for things to return to how
they were before Brad went away.

revert to
to go back to a previous way of behaving, or an old way of doing
things
For example:

revert to sth After trying out a new production technique, the


factory reverted to its old method after there were problems
with the new one.

revert to sth Bill reverted to his old drinking habits after his
divorce, and soon he was having problems at work again.

325

ring back
to return a telephone call or to call again later
Synonym: call back
For example:

ring sb back I'll ask Mr. Smith to ring you back when he's free.

ring sb back He said he'd ring me back in ten minutes.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
ring up
to call someone on a telephone
Synonym: call, phone, ring
For example:

ring sb up Please don't ring me up before ten o'clock in the


morning.

ring up sb Did you ring up the restaurant and book a table?

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
rip off INFORMAL
to cheat somebody by charging them too much for something
Synonym: cheat, fleece
For example:

rip sb off Some phone companies rip their customers off by


charging them for more calls than they really make.

326

be ripped off by sb/sth If you think you've been ripped off by


a company or a manufacturer, you can go to the Consumer
Protection Board.

roll out
to introduce a new line of products or services
Synonym: launch, release
For example:

roll out sth When will Apple be rolling out their new line of
computers?

roll sth out Honda's latest models will be rolled out at next
year's motor show.

roll over
to change position when you're lying down so that you're on your
back if you were face down, or face down if you were on your back
Synonym: turn over
For example:

roll over After he'd massaged my back, the masseur told me


to roll over so he could massage my chest.

roll sb over The ambulance officer rolled the accident victim


over and tried to resuscitate him.

roll up
If you roll up a piece of paper, you fold or roll it in such a way that it
becomes a cylinder or a ball.
327

For example:

roll sth up You roll up the poster and put it into a mailing tube,
and then you send it.

roll up sth The magician took a piece of cloth and rolled it up


into a ball and held it in his fist, but when he opened his hand it
was gone!

root out
to uncover and punish criminals, especially those abusing positions of
trust or authority
Synonym: get rid of, eradicate
For example:

root out sb The president has promised to root out corrupt


politicians and send them to jail.

root sb out The bank's investigation team targeted several


workers suspected of stealing money, and it succeeded in
rooting them out.

rope in INFORMAL
If somebody ropes you in, they persuade you to do something you
don't really want to do.
For example:

rope in sb We're having a charity fun run, so I'm trying to rope


in as many of my friends as I can.

328

rope sb in Our manager got nearly everybody to say they'd


perform in the Christmas talent show. I can't believe he roped
so many of us in.

rough up INFORMAL
to physically attack someone, usually to intimidate or make them
afraid rather than to seriously hurt them
For example:

rough up sb Prison guards often rough up new inmates to


show them who's boss.

rough sb up If kids at your new school try to rough you up,


tell me about it.

round down
If you round a number or an amount down to a certain level such as
a whole number or the nearest dollar, you bring it down to that level.
For example:

round sth down Can we round the amounts down to the


nearest dollar, so that $16.25, for example, is changed to
$16.00?

round down sth Are you sure she remembered to round down
all the numbers?

round up
If you round a number or an amount up to a certain level such as a
whole number or the nearest dollar, you bring it up to that level.

329

For example:

round up sth If the amount is $39.95, round it up to $40.00

round sth up If it's over the 50-cent mark, you can round the
amount up to the nearest dollar.

rub off
If a quality someone has rubs off on other people, they start to show
that quality as well.
For example:

rub off If Simon's enthusiasm rubs off on the other workers,


they'll all start working harder.

rub off Alan's excitement rubbed off on the other kids, and
soon they were all running around shouting.

rub out (1)


to erase something that's been written or drawn
Synonym: erase
For example:

rub out sth If you make a mistake on your test paper, rub out
the bit that's wrong and write it again.

rub sth out When the teacher saw what someone had drawn
on the blackboard, she quickly grabbed her duster and rubbed
it out.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
330

rub out (2) INFORMAL


to kill somebody
Synonym: bump off (informal), take out (informal), do in (informal),
murder
For example:

rub out sb The mafia will rub out anyone who talks to the
police.

rub sb out Drug dealers rubbed him out because he'd cheated
them.

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used


in other varieties of English too.
rule out
If you rule something out, you don't think it's possible.
For example:

rule out sb/sth Sally will probably win, but don't rule out
Carol. She's got a good chance too.

rule sb/sth out We thought she might have cancer, but after
seeing the latest test results, I think we can rule that out.

run across
to meet somebody by chance, or to find something by chance
Synonym: come across
For example:

run across sth/sb Did you run across any old friends at the
concert?

331

run across sth/sb While I was cleaning out a cupboard I came


ran across some tapes I'd made with my band about twenty
years ago.

run after
If you run after someone, you chase them and try to catch up with
them by running.
Synonym: chase, pursue (formal)
For example:

run after sth/sb I wish my dog wouldn't run after cars. He


nearly got hit by one today.

run after sth/sb After the thief grabbed my wife's handbag, I


ran after him but he got away. He was really fast.

run against
to compete with someone in an election
For example:

run against sb John McCain ran against Barack Obama in the


2008 U.S. presidential election, and he lost.

run against sb There's no point running against the president


of this country. The elections are not free and fair and the same
man always wins.

run away (1)


If you run away from something or someone, you run as fast as you
can to escape.
Synonym: make off, run off
332

For example:

run away As soon as he heard the sound of the police car


coming, Benny ran away so that the cops wouldn't catch him.

run away While I was coming home a dog growled and barked
at me, but it ran away after I yelled at it.

run away (2)


If children or teenagers run away, they leave home without telling
their parents or guardians.
For example:

run away When he was a kid, Pedro got angry with his parents
and ran away from home.

run away Many young people run away because they're being
sexually abused by a family member.

run away from


to try to avoid problems or difficult situations
For example:

run away from sth Instead of running away from difficult


situations, you should try to deal with them.

run away from sth Sandra won't face her problems. She just
tries to run away from them.

Nouns

often used as objects

with run away from: problems,

difficulties, responsibilities, obligations, conflicts

333

run by
If you run your ideas or your thoughts by someone, you ask them
what they think of them.
For example:

run sth by sb After you've thought about it, run your ideas by
me and I'll let you know how they sound.

run sth by sb Run that by me again, could you? I didn't hear


you the first time.

run down (1)


to hit somebody with a vehicle such as car or a truck
Synonym: run over, knoc k down
For example:

run down An old man was crossing the road when he was run
down by a guy on a motorbike.

run sb down When the drug dealer realised the buyer was
really a cop, he jumped back into his car and tried to run him
down.

run down (2)


If you run somebody down, you criticize them and tell them they're
no good.
Synonym: criticize, put down

334

For example:

run sb down If the manager is angry about something, he


runs everyone in the office down. No matter what they do, he
criticizes them.

run sb down Just ignore Jenny. She runs everyone down like
that when she's in a bad mood.

run into (1)


If you run into someone, you meet them by chance, or without
expecting to.
Synonym: run across, come across, bump into (informal)
For example:

run into sb I ran into an old friend at the mall yesterday and
we had a quick chat.

run

into

sb When Frank

runs

into

his

ex-wife

at

the

supermarket, he asks her how she is.

run into (2)


If you run into something, you accidentally hit it while you are
driving.
For example:

run into sth I was teaching my daughter how to drive when


she ran into the back of the car in front of us.

run into sth Look at this dent. It's where that truck ran into
the side of my car.

335

run off with


If you run off with somebody, you leave home secretly in order to be
with them.
For example:

run off with sb Anna ran off with her sweetheart Lucas after
their parents had tried to stop them from seeing each other.

run off with sb Can you believe it? Stan has run off with his
secretary and they're living in Hawaii.

run on (1)
to use a particular type of fuel or a particular power source
For example:

run on sth Why did it take so long for the big car companies to
develop and market cars that run on electricity instead of fossil
fuels?

run on sth My new mobile phone runs on a battery that lasts


for a month before it needs recharging.

Nouns often used as objects with run on (1): oil, petrol, gasoline,
gas, electricity, battery, solar power, nuclear power
run on (2)
to continue for longer than expected
Synonym: go on
For example:

run on The new stadium is scheduled to be finished next June,


but it looks like it could run on a bit longer.

336

run on The lecture is usually over by four o'clock, but


sometimes it runs on for five or ten minutes.

run out (of)


If you run out of something, you don't have any left and you need
some more.
For example:

run out Could you get some milk when you go to the shop?
We've nearly run out.

run out of sth I can't print the report tonight because I've run
out of paper.

Nouns often used as objects with run out (of): milk, sugar, petrol,
money, paper
run out on
to suddenly leave the person you're in a relationship with
Synonym: walk out on, leave
For example:

run out on sb After running out on her husband, Heather went


to live in Bali with a younger man.

run out on sb Just before my mother gave birth to my little


sister, my father ran out on us.

run over
If you run over something or someone, you hit them or go over them
while driving your car.
Synonym: knoc k down
337

For example:

be run over by sth/sb I was nearly run over by a truck today.


If Dave hadn't pulled me back, I could have been killed.

run over sth/sb Tanya was upset this morning because she
ran over a cat on her way to work.

run through
to quickly read something like a list or a speech in order to check the
details or look for mistakes
Synonym: run over, go over, go through, rehearse
For example:

run through sth Run through the list and see if you can find
anyone called Xavier on it.

run through sth with sb After I've written the speech, would
you mind running through it with me and letting me know if
you spot any problems.

Nouns often used as objects with run through: report, speech, list,
presentation, script, schedule, itinerary
run to
to ask someone to help or protect you when you should be able to
look after yourself
For example:

run to sb You're in your thirties, so you shouldn't still have to


run to your parents for help when things go wrong.

338

run to sb He's such a baby. He goes running to a teacher


whenever the other kids tease him.

run up
If you run up a bill or a debt, you get goods or services on the
understanding that you'll pay for them later.
For example:

run up sth How did they run up such a huge bill at the
restaurant? Did they buy the place?

run sth up She ran all these debts up while travelling in


Europe, and now it'll take her years to pay them off.

run up against
to face something that could be a problem or a difficulty
Synonym: come up against, encounter (formal)
For example:

run up against sth We've run up against some technical


problems so there'll be a delay in production.

run up against sth If they hadn't run up against opposition


from corrupt government officials, they would have won the
contract.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with run up

against: difficulty,

opposition, obstacle, problem, barrier, competition, challenge


rush into
to do something quickly and without thinking about it carefully first

339

For example:

rush into sth If you're investing your savings, don't rush into
anything. Get advice from a professional money manager.

rush into sth My first marraige failed because we were very


young and we rushed into it without really thinking about what
we were doing.

rush off
to leave soon after arriving or to leave suddenly
Synonym: dash off, shoot off (informal)
For example:

rush off As soon as he answered the phone, he rushed off. His


wife was having their baby.

rush off Sorry I have to rush off so soon, but I've got a
meeting at 4 o'clock.

S
save up
to put something aside for the future
For example:

save up for sth My daughter is saving up for a new mobile


phone. She's already got fifty dollars.
340

save up sth Mike is saving up his days off so he can take an


extra week's vacation at Christmas.

screw up INFORMAL
If you screw something up, you ruin it or you do it the wrong way.
Synonym: muck up (informal), mess up, ruin
For example:

screw up Louise really screwed up this time. We paid a lot for


a fancy brochure about our seminar - and she put the wrong
dates on it!

screw sth up If she screws anything else up, she'll lose her
job.

Nouns often used as objects with screw up: job, exam, test,
interview, presentation, demonstration
seal off
to stop people from going into an area or a building, often because it
isn't safe
Synonym: close off
For example:

seal off sth After the explosion, the police sealed off the whole
area.

seal sth off The president's security team sealed the hotel off
during his visit.

341

see about
If you see about something, you make an effort to arrange it or
organise it.
For example:

see about sth When are you going to see about that job?

see about doing sth Mark's going to see about getting a loan
for his new business.

see off
If you see somebody off, you go to the place from where they're
beginning a journey, like an airport or a railway station, and wish
them well as they leave.
For example:

see sb off Ruth's family went to see her off at the airport.

see off sb The fans are going to the station to see off all the
members of the basketball team.

see out (1)


If you see someone out, you accompany them out of a room or a
building when they're leaving.
Synonym: show out
For example:

see sb out Thank you for coming. My assistant will see you
out.

342

see sb out Thanks, but you don't need to see me out. I can
find my own way.

see out (2)


to continue until the end of a particular period of time or until the end
of a contract or an activity
For example:

see out sth After seeing out the month in this job, I'm going to
quit and start a new course on teaching English.

see sth out We'll see out the current contract, and then find a
new supplier.

see through (1)


If you see through something or someone, you realize that you are
being deceived or tricked, and you aren't fooled.
For example:

see through sb/sth I got an email from someone claiming


they had millions of dollars and needed my help to get it into
the country. I saw through the scam and deleted it.

see through sb/sth My friends told me I'd won the lottery,


but I saw through their little joke straight away and laughed.

see through (2)


If you see something through, you continue with it right to the end.
For example:

343

see sth through It was a really tough course, but I was


determined to see it through. I wasn't going to give up half
way.

see sth through I know it isn't easy, but if you can see it
through to the end, it'll be worth it.

see to
If you see to something, you take responsibility for it and make sure
it's done.
For example:

see to sth The police chief promised he'd see to it that


whoever was behind the attacks would be caught and punished.

have sth seen to That's a nasty cut. You'd better go to the


hospital and have it seen to.

sell off
to sell assets or belongings, often for a low price because you need
money quickly
Synonym: close out (American)
For example:

sell off sth The company had huge debts, and it had to sell off
most of its assets to pay them.

sell sth off Bill had a big share portfolio, but he had to sell
most of them off after his company went bankrupt.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with sell off: assets,

property,

belongings, shares, stocks, jewellery, collection


344

sell out
to sell all the stock of something, and have none left

For example:

sell out If you sell out before the next delivery date, you
should order more stock next time.

sell out of something The shop near our apartment had sold
out of milk, so we had to drink black coffee.

send back
If you send back something that's been delivered to you, you return
it because there's a problem with it.
Synonym: return
For example:

send sth back The jacket I ordered arrived in the mail, but it
was the wrong colour so I sent it back.

send back sth How often do your customers send back things
they've ordered?

send for
to ask for someone to come to you, or to ask for something to be
sent to you
Synonym: summon (formal)
For example:

send for sb/sth If someone gets hurt, send for an ambulance


and a doctor straight away.
345

send for sb/sth After her car broke down, Lisa sent for a tow
truck to come and take it to a garage.

Nouns often used as objects with send for: ambulance, doctor,


mechanic, plumber, taxi, courier, tow truck
send off (1)
If you send something off, you post it or send it by a courier service.
Synonym: post, mail, dispatch (formal)
For example:

send sth off If you send the orders off on Tuesday, they
should arrive on Friday.

send off sth My son sent off his university application forms
today.

Nouns often used as objects with send off (1): letter, parcel,
package, order, application form
send off (2)
If a referee or an umpire sends off a player, the player has to leave
the field or court because they've done something wrong.
Synonym: post, mail, dispatch (formal)
For example:

send sth off If you send the orders off on Tuesday, they
should arrive on Friday.

send off sth My son sent off his university application forms
today.

Nouns often used as objects with send off (1): letter, parcel,
package, order, application form
346

set about
to begin doing something that will probably take a lot of effort or a
long time
Synonym: begin, start
For example:

set about sth Before he set about the task of finding a new
job, Trevor bought a new suit and had a haircut.

set about doing sth Next year we'll set about finding new
markets overseas for our products.

set aside
to keep a portion of something for use in the future
Synonym: put aside, reserve
For example:

set sth aside If I set fifty dollars aside every week, by the end
of the year I'll have enough to pay for a trip to Europe.

set aside sth After you've picked the strawberries, set aside
any that are damaged and I'll use them to make jam.

set back (1)


to make something happen more slowly, or at a later time, than it
would have
Synonym: delay
For example:

347

set back sth A change of government would set back the


process of health reform.

set sth back He's had another small stroke, and this will set
his recovery back a bit, I'm afraid.

be set back by sth The building's completion date was set


back a few weeks by the floods.

set back (2) INFORMAL


If something has set you back fifty dollars, it has cost you fifty
dollars.
Synonym: cost
For example:

set sb back His new TV must have set him back at least
$2,000.

set sb back How much would a ticket to The Bahamas set me


back?

set down
If you set something down, you put it in writing.
Synonym: write down, put down
For example:

set down sth Nick carries a notebook around so that he can


set down any thoughts he has as soon as he has them.

set sth down My secretary will set the details down in an


official company memo.

348

set off (1)


to begin a journey
Synonym: set out, leave, set forth (formal)
For example:

set off If they set off at ten o'clock, they should arrive by
midday.

be setting off What time will you be setting off in the


morning?

set off (2)


to make something explode or blow up
Synonym: let off, detonate, explode
For example:

set off sth Suddenly there was a flash of light and a huge
explosion. Someone had set off a bomb.

set sth off The Chinese New Year celebrations were really
noisy because thousands of people were setting fireworks off.

Nouns often used as objects with set off (2): bomb, explosives,
explosion, grenades, fireworks, fire crackers
set out (1)
to begin doing something with a definite objective or aim in mind
For example:

set out They set out with the aim of becoming one of the most
popular bands in the world.

349

set out (to do sth) A team of scientists has set out to discover
a way of predicting earthquakes, but they haven't succeeded as
yet.

set out (2)


Synonym: set off, leave
For example:

set out After months of planning, Terry and Jo set out on their
trip around the world.

set out They'd spent a couple of days resting, and it was time
to set out on the next stage of the journey.

set out (3)


to explain the details of something, especially in writing
Synonym: put forward, detail, set forth (formal)
For example:

set out sth A contract should clearly set out the responsibilities
of each party.

set sth out The terms of service section on the website sets
the conditions out for getting a refund.

Nouns often used as objects with set out (3): aims, objectives,
plans, strategy, criteria, terms, conditions, proposals, agenda
set up (1)
to start a company, a foundation, or an organization of some sort
Synonym: start up, establish (formal)
For example:

350

set up sth A lot of wealthy people set up charities and


foundations to help people who are poor or have serious
illnesses.

set sth up To set a business up, you need an idea and you
need money from investors.

Nouns often used as objects with set up (1): company, business,


foundation, organization, network, fund, committee, political party
set up (2)
to put together or arrange the parts of something before using it
For example:

set up sth Before the concert, the PA system had to be set up


and the band had to set up their equipment.

set sth up If you set the barbecue up, I'll go and get the drinks
and the salad.

Nouns often used as objects with set up (2): stage, camera,


equipment, studio, drum kit, PA system, tent, portable barbecue,
deck chairs, volleyball net
set up (3)
to make the necessary arrangements for an event or activity
Synonym: organize, arrange
For example:

set up sth We've set up a meeting with some of our biggest


clients.

351

set sth up The government agrees that a public enquiry is


needed and they promised to set one up within the next few
days.

settle down (1)


to become calm and quiet, especially after being excited or noisy
Synonym: calm down, quieten down
For example:

settle down Whenever the kids got too noisy, their teacher
would tell them to settle down and get on with their work.

settle sb down If my dog gets excited and starts barking, I go


out and cuddle her and I can usually settle her down.

settle down (2)


to start living a conventional life with a steady job and a stable
partner, especially after getting married
For example:

settle down Eventually I'd like to settle down, but before that
I'd like to see the world.

settle down Do you think he'll ever settle down and raise a
family?

settle for
to accept something, even though it isn't what you really want
For example:

352

settle for sth If you want to be happy in life, don't settle for a
job just because it's easy or it pays good money.

settle for sth Keep looking until you find what it is that you
really love to do, and don't ever settle for anything less.

settle in
to begin to feel comfortable in a new situation, such as a new home,
a new job, or a new school
For example:

settle in How's your new job? Are you settling in okay?

settle in It always takes time when you move to a new city,


but I'm sure you'll settle in just fine.

shake off
to get rid of something that's causing you problems, such as a
sickness, a fear, a bad image, a bad reputation, etc.
Synonym: throw off, get rid of
For example:

shake sth off I've had this cold for nearly two weeks and I just
can't shake it off.

shake off sth James wants to shake off the image he has of
being a bully and a tough guy.

shake up (1)
to make big changes to an organisation and the way it's run, usually
to improve it
Synonym: transform
353

For example:

shake up sth The owners hired a new manager to shake up


the company because it had been getting too settled in its
ways.

shake sth up The team hadn't been playing well, so a new


coach was brought in to shake things up a bit.

shake up (2)
to upset or shock someone
Synonym: upset
For example:

shake up sb The results of the train crash were so horrific that


they shook up even the most hardened police and ambulance
officers.

shake sb up Everyone in the country was shocked by the


news. It certainly shook me up.

be shaken up by sth Have you seen Mary? She looks like she
was really shaken up by the accident.

shoot up INFORMAL
to quickly increase in size, number or level
Synonym: soar
For example:

shoot up Oil prices shot up by nearly forty percent when war


was declared.

354

shoot up When news of the oil strike got out, the company's
shares shot up in value.

shop around
If you shop around, you go to several shops to find the lowest price
for something you want.
For example:

shop around Once you've decided what sort of camera you


want, shop around to find the best price.

shop around When I was young, I'd always shop around to get
the best price, but these days I don't have time to shop around.

show off
to do something to get attention or admiration, but in a way that
annoys some people
For example:

show off She only bought that expensive phone to show off,
you know. She can't even use it properly.

show off The main reason they formed the band was to show
off in front of the girls at school.

Note: Usually used in a negative or critical way, to express dislike of


the way someone is behaving.

show up INFORMAL
to arrive at an event or a place where people are gathering
Synonym: turn up, appear
355

For example:

show up I'm sure some of the people who showed up at our


gallery opening were only there for the free drinks.

show up Kenny and his friends didn't show up at the party


until after midnight.

Note: Often used in a negative way, to describe people who arrive


somewhere late, arrive uninvited, or who arrive in poor condition,
such as drunk or poorly dressed.

shut down
to close something like a factory, school or hospital, usually forever
Synonym: close down
For example:

shut sth down The government decided to shut the coal mine
down after a terrible accident killed hundreds of miners.

shut down sth If we can't get enough money to keep it going,


we'll have to shut down the school.

Nouns often used as objects with shut down: factory, business,


school, hospital, mine
shut off
If a machine, a system or a supply shuts off, or is shut off by
someone, it stops.
Synonym: turn off
356

For example:

shut off Our gas has been shut off because we didn't pay the
bill on time.

shut sth off The engine will shut itself off if starts to overheat.

shut out (1)


to stop someone or something from entering a room or a building
Synonym: lock out
For example:

shut out sb Kyle put a lock on his bedroom door to shut out
his parents.

shut sb out of sth Mandy was so angry with her boyfriend that
she shut him out of the house.

shut out (2)


to stop yourself thinking about or feeling something that upsets you
or hurts you
Synonym: block out, suppress
For example:

shut out sth She still finds it difficult to shut out the memory
of her grandmother's illness.

357

shut sth out The thought of losing her is unbearable, and no


matter how hard I try, I just can't shut it out.

shut up INFORMAL
to stop talking or stop making noise
Synonym: be quiet
For example:

shut up My wife always talks when I'm trying to watch TV. I


wish she'd shut up!

shut sb/sth up It's impossible to shut my uncle up, especially


if he's had a few drinks. He talks non-stop!

Note: Can be offensive, especially if used in the imperative form, as


in "Shut up, will you!"

sign in
to sign a register when you visit a place, or to log in when you visit a
website
For example:

sign in Don't forget to sign in when you get to the office in the
morning.

sign in If you want to upload a picture to your EnglishClub


page, you'll have to sign in first.

sign up
If you sign up to something like a website or a gym, you become a
member.
358

Synonym: join

For example:

sign up EnglishClub.com already has thousands of members,


and hundreds more sign up every month.

sign up sb If you'd like to sign up for our fitness program, fill


out this application form.

sit back
to do nothing instead of making an effort to get what you want
For example:

sit back If you want to make friends, you have to make an


effort. You can't just sit back and wait for people to call you.

sit back No wonder Joe is still unemployed. He thinks he can


sit back and wait for jobs to come to him.

sit down
to lower yourself into a sitting position on a seat or on the ground
Synonym: be seated
For example:

sit down Please come in and sit down.

sit down If you see a pregnant woman get on a bus or a train,


stand up and offer her your seat so that she can sit down.

359

sit in for
to take someone's place when they are absent
Synonym: stand in for
For example:

sit

in for

sb The

manager has

attended

most

of

the

negotiations, but his assistant sat in for him a couple of times.

sit in for sb I can't make it to today's meeting, so would you


mind sitting in for me?

sit in on
If you sit in on something like a meeting or a class, you attend to see
what happens, without joining in.
For example:

sit in on sth Some trainee teachers will sit in on our class


today and watch what we do.

sit in on sth Two people from Amnesty International will be


sitting in on the trial.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with sit

in on: meeting,

talks,

negotiations, trial, class, lesson, session


sit through
If you sit through something like a long speech or a boring show, you
wait until it's over before leaving, even though you're not enjoying it.
For example:

sit through sth We had to sit through another of the


chairman's dull speeches before the awards were announced.

360

sit through sth If I hadn't been there with friends there's no


way I would have sat through that movie. It was terrible!

sit up (1)
If you sit up, you get up into a sitting position after you've been lying
down.
For example:

sit up I couldn't sleep, so I sat up and read for a while.

sit up After being woken by the alarm, Monica sat up and felt
in the dark for the light switch.

sit up (2)
to not go to bed until later than usual
Synonym: stay up
For example:

sit up The first time my wife and I met, it was at a party, and
we sat up most of the night talking.

sit up I sat up half the night waiting for my daughter to come


home.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
size up
to observe carefully and then form an opinion about a person or a
situation
Synonym: assess, appraise (formal)

361

For example:

size sb/sth up We were sizing you up from the moment you


walked in for your job interview.

size up sb/sth The boxers spent most of the first round sizing
up each other.

sleep together INFORMAL


to have sex together
Synonym: make love, have sex
For example:

sleep together Ben and Lydia are spending a lot of time


together. Do you think they're sleeping together?

sleep together My wife remembers the first time we slept


together, but I don't. She says I'd been drinking, which might
explain it.

Note: Often used as a euphemism, meaning it's often used instead of


a more direct expression, such as "have sex".

sleep with INFORMAL


to have sex with someone
Synonym: make love with, have sex with
For example:

sleep with sb Henry was shocked when he found out that his
wife was sleeping with their gardener.

362

sleep with sb Do you think he's ever slept with anyone, or do


you think he's still a virgin?

Note: Often used as a euphemism, meaning it's often used instead of


more direct expressions, such as "have sex with".

slip up INFORMAL
to make a small mistake, usually because of carelessness
For example:

slip up I'm usually pretty reliable, but sometimes I slip up, like
everybody.

slip up If our goalkeeper hadn't slipped up, we would have won


the match.

slow down
to become slower, or to make someone or something go slower
Synonym: slow up
For example:

slow down You're walking too fast. Could you slow down a bit?

slow down sth/sb The poor economy will slow down our
growth rate this year.

slow sth/sb down These heavy loads are slowing the donkeys
down, you know.

smell of
to have a particular smell
363

For example:

smell of sth Steve says that his clothes always smell of


cigarettes after a night at the pub.

smell of sth His girlfriend was suspicious when he came home


smelling of perfume.

Note: For a very strong smell, we can say "reek of", or for a very bad
smell, we can say "stink of".

snap up
to get something quickly so you don't miss out
For example:

be snapped up The tickets went on sale at 9 o'clock, and by


10 o'clock they'd all been snapped up.

snap up sth The government bonds were paying an interest


rate of 8 percent, so people were snapping up as many as they
could get.

snap sth up Lots of magazines would snap the photos up if


they had the chance to buy them from the photographer.

sober up
to become sober again after drinking too much alcohol
For example:

sober up It took her a few hours to sober up. She was very
drunk.

364

sober sb up Do you think a cold shower might help to sober


him up?

sort out (1)


If you sort things out, you arrange them into some sort of order.

For example:

sort out There's all this stuff in the warehouse that needs
sorting out.

sort sth out I've got all these bills and I'm sorting them out so
I know which ones are due now and which ones can wait.

sort out sth Have you sorted out last month's receipts yet?

sort out (2)


If you sort something out, you make arrangements for it or you
organize it.
Synonym: arrange, organize
For example:

sort out sth Jenny's sorting out the venue for the party and
her sister's sorting out the guest list and the catering.

sort sth out Let me know when you want to hold the meeting,
and I'll sort everything out.

365

speak out
If you speak out, you publicly state your position on an issue, or
publicly oppose or defend someone or something.
Synonym: speak up
For example:

speak out He was arrested after he spoke out against the


military government.

speak out The former Vice President has spoken out in defence
of his policies on torturing political prisoners.

speak up (1)
to speak louder
For example:

speak up I'm sorry, but I can't hear you. Would you mind
speaking up a bit, please?

speak up If you can't hear her, just ask her to speak up a


little.

speak up (2)
If you speak up, you publicly state your position on an issue, or
publicly oppose or defend someone or something.
Synonym: speak out
For example:

speak up He was arrested after he spoke up against the


military government.

366

speak up The former Vice President has spoken up in defence


of his policies on torturing political prisoners.

speed up
to move faster, or to increase the speed of something
Synonym: accelerate

For example:

speed up When the lights turn amber, you should slow down,
not speed up.

speed sth up Drugs like cocaine and amphetamines speed the


heart up, and they can even cause a heart attack.

speed up sth If we don't speed up construction, we'll miss the


completion date.

spell out
If you spell something out, you explain it slowly and very clearly so
that everyone can understand.
For example:

spell out sth The government needs to spell out its policies so
that everyone can understand what it's doing.

spell sth out Every time I need them to do something, I have


to really spell it out or they'll do it wrong.

367

spread out
If a group of people spread out, they move apart so that there's more
space between them.
Synonym: fan out
For example:

spread out The searchers spread out and began looking for
clues in the grass on the hillside.

spread out If the dancers spread out more, they wouldn't


bump into each other so much.

stamp out
to stop something bad or harmful by taking strong action against it
Synonym: eradicate (formal)
For example:

stamp out sth The government is trying to stamp out police


corruption.

stamp sth out Universities want to stamp out cheating in


exams, but students are very cunning.

Nouns often used as objects with stamp out: crime, corruption,


fraud, racism, sexism, cheating, bad behaviour, hate crimes
stand by (1)
If you're standing by, you're ready to do something or help
somebody.
For example:

368

stand by The airport's rescue team stands by around the clock


in case there is a fire or a plane crash.

stand by A doctor is always standing by at the boxing stadium


in case one of the fighters needs medical attention.

stand by (2)
If you stand by someone, you support them or help them if they're in
some sort of trouble.
Synonym: stick by (informal), support
For example:

stand by sb Mothers will usually stand by their children if


they're accused of doing something wrong.

stand by sb Even though her husband had been charged with


murder, Cindy stood by him throughout the trial.

stand by (3)
to do nothing to stop something wrong or something bad from
happening
For example:

stand by We can't stand by while millions of people are dying


of starvation and disease.

stand by The world just stood by while thousands of people


were murdered by their own government's soldiers.

stand down
to resign or retire from a job or a position
369

Synonym: resign, step down


For example:

stand down The CEO decided to stand down when he turned


seventy so that a younger person could take over.

stand down Many people were demanding that the Minister of


Defence stand down after he admitted some prisoners had been
tortured.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
stand for (1)
If letters or symbols stand for something, they represent that thing.
For example:

stand for sth The letters "MBA" stand for Master of Business
Administration.

stand for sth Do you know what the letters "BA" stand for?

stand for (2)


If a person or an organisation stands for certain ideals or principles,
they believe in and support those ideals or principles.
Synonym: represent
For example:

stand for sth If you started a political party, what values and
principles would it stand for?

stand for sth The Democratic People's Party say they stand for
social justice and civil rights.
370

stand for (3)


If you won't stand for something, you won't accept it or allow it to
happen.
Synonym: put up with, tolerate (formal)

For example:

not stand for sth Cheating in exams was the one thing that
my teacher wouldn't stand for.

not stand for sth Our boss won't stand for dishonesty, and
she says she'll sack anyone who isn't totally honest.

Note: Always used in negative constructions, such as "won't stand


for", "not going to stand for" or "would never stand for".

stand out
If somebody stands out, they are easy to see because there is
something unusual about the way they look or the way they behave.
Synonym: stick out (informal)
For example:

stand out One of my sons says he likes people to notice him,


and his green hair certainly makes him stand out in a crowd.

stand out Most packaging is designed to stand out on the shelf


and be easy to notice in a shop.
371

stand up
to get to your feet from a lying or sitting position
Synonym: get up
For example:

stand up When we were at school, we had to stand up when a


teacher came into the room.

stand up After he fell over, Karl stood up and brushed the dust
off his trousers.

stand up for
to defend an idea or a person against criticism or attack
Synonym: stick up for, defend
For example:

stand up for During the anti-war protests we all stood up for


what we believed in, even if it meant being arrested by the
police.

stand up for My son wants to learn karate so he can stand up


for himself if he's being bullied.

start off
to begin in a particular way or with a particular act
Synonym: get up
For example:

stand up When we were at school, we had to stand up when a


teacher came into the room.

372

stand up After he fell over, Karl stood up and brushed the dust
off his trousers.

start out
to begin a life or a career in a particular way
For example:

start out He started out as a teacher, but now he runs a


business selling educational games.

start out Painting started out as a hobby, but now it's her full time profession.

start up
to create and run an organization such as a business, a club, a band,
etc.
Synonym: set up, establish (formal)
For example:

start up sth After I finished university, I started up my own


small business.

start sth up You had a chess club in your old school, so why
don't you start one up in your new school as well?

Nouns often used as objects with start up: business, company,


service, club, web site, organization, charity, project, band, school
stay away from
If you stay away from something or someone, you don't go near the
thing or the person.
Synonym: avoid
373

For example:

stay away from sth/sb If a dog barks at you, stay away from
it.

stay away from sth/sb Parents were worried their children


might catch the flu, so they told them to stay away from people
who were coughing or sneezing.

stay up
If you stay up, you don't go to bed at the usual time.
For example:

stay up Jeff is sleepy today because he stayed up late last


night looking at Web sites.

stay up I wonder how many of our students stayed up all night


studying for the exam.

step down
to resign from a job or a position
Synonym: stand down, resign
For example:

step down The team's manager was getting too old for the
job, and he knew it was time to step down.

step down It's time I stepped down and let someone with
fresh new ideas take over.

374

step up
to increase the level or strength of something
Synonym: intensify, increase
For example:

step up sth The government stepped up security at railway


stations after the terrorist attacks.

step sth up We need to step the pace up a bit if we're going to


beat the deadline.

Nouns often used as objects with step up: security, campaign,


efforts, pressure, pace, production, fight, struggle
stick at INFORMAL
If you stick at something, you continue to do it even if it's difficult or
it's taking a long time.
Synonym: keep at, persevere with
For example:

stick at sth Learning English isn't easy, but stick at it and one
day you'll be speaking the language fluently.

stick at sth It took a long time for my business to succeed, but


I stuck at it and eventually it did.

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but


may be used in other varieties of English too.
stick out (1)
If something sticks out, it comes out beyond the edge or the end of
something.
Synonym: poke out, protrude (formal)

375

For example:

stick out I knew he had a gun because it was sticking out of


his pocket.

stick out If the front of your car hadn't been sticking out into
traffic, the other car wouldn't have hit it.

stick out (2)


to move part of your body out and away from the rest of your body
For example:

stick out sth Roosters usually stick out their chests and throw
back their heads as they crow.

stick sth out If a Tibetan guy sticks his tongue out, he's
greeting you in the traditional Tibetan way.

Nouns often used as objects with stick out (2): chest, arm, elbow,
leg, foot, tongue, stomach, bottom
stick to (1)
If you stick to something, you don't stop doing it or you don't stop
trying to do it.
Synonym: keep to, maintain
For example:

stick to sth Don't give up. Stick to the diet and you'll definitely
lose weight.

stick to sth You have to stick to something for a long time to


become an expert at it.

376

stick to (2)
If you stick to something like a political party, a sporting club, a job,
or even a favorite food or colour, you don't change to another one.
Synonym: stick with
For example:

stick to sth In the past, football players would stick to one


club, but these days they move from club to club.

stick to sth Whenever Joe comes to this restaurant, he sticks


to the same thing. He never orders anything else.

stick up for INFORMAL


If you stick up for someone who's being criticized or attacked
verbally, you defend or support them.
Synonym: stand up for, defend, support
For example:

stick up for sb Jimmy thinks he should have been there to


stick up for his little brother when he was being teased.

stick up for sb You should stick up for yourself instead of


letting the other kids make fun of you and laugh at you.

Note: similar in meaning to "stand up for"

stick with INFORMAL


to continue with the same thing, instead of changing to something
else
Synonym: stick to, stay with
For example:
377

stick with sth/sb He's decided to stick with the team he's
playing for now, even though another team offered him a lot of
money to play for them instead.

stick with sth/sb Kenny has stuck with the same group of
friends ever since high school.

stir up
to cause trouble among people or to cause bad feelings to arise
Synonym: arouse, provoke
For example:

stir up sth The company says environmentalists are stirring up


trouble by telling people the factory will pollute their river.

stir sth up You'll stir a lot of bad feeling up if you say their son
died of a drug overdose. They want people to think it was a
heart attack.

stop over
to stop at a place and stay there for one or two days while on your
way to somewhere else
Synonym: lay over (American)
For example:

We're going to Vietnam on business, but we're stopping over in


Hawaii for a couple of days on the way.

I'm stopping over in Bangkok for one night on my way to


Sydney.

378

Note: "Lay over" is another phrasal verb with the same meaning,
used mostly by speakers of American English.
storm out
to leave a place quickly when you are angry or upset about
something

For example:

storm out My girlfriend stormed out and slammed the door


behind her.

storm out of sth Did you hear about Maureen storming out of
the staff meeting when she didn't get what she wanted?

sum up
If you sum up something, you give a quick summary of it.
Synonym: summarize
For example:

sum up At the end of his lecture, Professor Essberger summed


up by repeating some of his main points.

sum sth up After he'd summed his ideas up, the speaker said
he could answer some questions.

sum up sth At the end of your essay, sum up your main


argument.

Nouns often used as objects with sum up: lecture, talk, proposal,
idea, essay, argument, viewpoint

379

switch off
to turn something off with a switch
Synonym: turn off
For example:

switch off sth Who forgot to switch off the air-conditioning


when they left for work this morning?

switch sth off Do you switch your computer off after you've
finished using it for the day, or do you leave it on all night?

Nouns often used as objects with switch off: light, phone, computer,
printer, television
switch on
to turn something on with a switch
Synonym: turn on
For example:

switch on sth Whoever gets to the office first in the morning


has to switch on the air-conditioning.

switch sth on If your printer doesn't work, the first thing to do


is to make sure you've switched it on.

Nouns often used as objects with switch on: light, phone, computer,
printer, television

T
tail off
to gradually become less in amount or lower in level
Synonym: taper off, dwindle
380

For example:

tail off At first the book sold very well, but after a few months
sales tailed off and now we only sell a few copies.

tail off We had many enquiries on the day the ad appeared,


but they tailed off over the next few days.

take after
If you take after an older member of your family, you look like them
or you have a similar personality to them.
Synonym: resemble
For example:

take after sb Alan takes after his mum in personality, but he


looks more like his dad.

take after sb Do you think Sandy takes after her father or her
mother?

take apart
If you take apart something, you separate it into the pieces it's made
of.
Synonym: dismantle
For example:

take sth apart I took my bicycle apart so that I could clean


each part.

take apart sth Mike took apart the engine, but he couldn't put
it back together again.

Nouns often used as objects with take apart: bicycle, engine, motor,
appliance, toaster, fan
381

take away
If you take something away, you take it somewhere else.
Synonym: remove

For example:

take away sth The waitress took away the dirty dishes and
then brought our coffee to the table.

take sth away Would you like to eat your pizza here or take it
away?

take back (1)


If you take something back, you return it to the place you got it from,
or return it to the shop you bought it from.
Synonym: return
For example:

take sth back According to the store's website, if you change


your mind after you've bought something, you can take it back
and get a refund.

take sth back After admitting he'd stolen the game from his
friend's house, my son took it back and apologised to the
family.

take back (2)


If a store takes back something they've sold, they allow the buyer to
return it for a refund, or exchange it.
For example:
382

take sth back I decided I didn't want the new shoes, so I


called the store and told them and they said they couldn't take
them back because I'd worn them.

take back sth Our policy states that we will take back goods
and give a full refund if they are in perfect, as-new condition.

take back (3) INFORMAL


If you take back something you said, you admit that you said the
wrong thing and withdraw your comments.
Synonym: withdraw
For example:

take back sth After the argument with his wife, David said,
"I'm sorry I said those awful things and I take back everything
I said."

take sth back Billy said Danny's brother was stupid, so Danny
got him in a headlock and squeezed tighter and tighter until
Billy said, "OK! OK! I take it back!"

take down (1)


If you take down a large structure, you dismantle it, or separate it
into the parts from which it was assembled.
Synonym: dismantle
For example:

take down sth Taking down the tent was much easier than
putting it up.

383

take sth down The local council has ordered us to take our
billboard down.

Nouns often used as objects with take down (1): tent, scaffolding,
billboard, fence, awning, sign, net
take down (2)
to remove something that's fixed to a wall, like a picture or a poster
For example:

take down sth Let's take down all our pictures and posters
before the painters get here.

take sth down The notice has been on the bulletin board for
30 days already, so it's time to take it down.

Nouns often used as objects with take down (2): picture, painting,
poster, curtain, wall hanging, notice
take in (1)
to include something
Synonym: include
For example:

take

in

sth Our

"Incredible

Indo-China"

tour

takes

in

Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

take in sth The new inner-city development plan takes in


every district within a five-kilometre radius of the city centre.

take in (2)
to fully understand something you hear or read
Synonym: grasp, comprehend, understand
384

For example:

take sth in I had to read the article a second time to really


take it all in. It wasn't easy to understand.

take in sth She nodded as if she understood, but she wasn't


really taking in much of what he was saying.

take off (1)


to remove a piece of clothing, or the top of a container
Synonym: remove
For example:

take off sth If you go to Asia, you should take off your shoes
before going into someone's home.

take sth off Can you take the top off a beer bottle with your
teeth?

Nouns often used as objects with take off (1): clothes, shirt, shoes,
hat, glasses; lid, top, cap
take off (2)
If a plane takes off, it leaves the ground and rises into the sky.
For example:

take off The whole family watched and waved as Indira's plane
took off.

take off The helicopter took off and rose straight up into the
sky.

385

take off (3)


to have a period of time away from work

For example:

take sth off My doctor says I need to take the week off and
rest.

take sth off Ted needs to take a few days off work to be with
his wife and newborn baby.

take off (4)


to become popular or successful in a short time
For example:

take off Sales of the book really took off after it was made into
a movie.

take off If our new computer game takes off, we'll all be rich!

Nouns often used as subjects with take off (4): business, sales,
ratings, popularity, idea, style, sport
take on (1)
If you take on something like a job, a responsibility, or anything
involving a challenge, you agree to do it.
Synonym: undertake
For example:

386

take on sth Jim took on too much work, and he made himself
sick with worry when he couldn't cope with it all.

take sth on How much profit will we make if we take this


printing job on?

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with take

on

(1): work,

job,

responsibility, task, challenge, role, position, duty, assignment


take on (2)
to give someone a job
Synonym: recruit, employ
For example:

take on sb We need to take on two more workers in the


warehouse.

take sb on I promised to take Francine's sister on if we needed


another typist.

be taken on She was taken on as a temporary assistant at


first, and now she's the office manager.

take on (3)
to fight, or compete against, someone or something
Synonym: challenge
For example:

take on sb/sth The workers took on the management, and


won. They got a pay rise and better conditions.

take sb/sth on Manchester United took Chelsea on in the


Community Shield match.
387

take out (1)


If you take somebody out, you invite them to go out with you, usually
for a meal or entertainment.

For example:

take sb out Why don't we ask Uncle Bill to take the kids out
for the day?

take sb out for sth The manager is taking all the office
workers out for a meal tonight.

take out (2)


to remove something from a container, a pocket, a bag, etc.
For example:

take out sth Jimmy unzipped his bag and took out his football
boots.

take sth out Take the meat out of the freezer two hours
before you want to cook it.

have sth taken out My son will have a tooth taken out later
today.

take out (3)


to obtain something like a loan, an insurance policy, a patent, etc.
Synonym: obtain
388

For example:

take out sth If you're going overseas, it's a good idea to take
out travel insurance in case you get robbed or have an accident
or whatever.

take sth out Have you ever taken a patent out on one of your
inventions?

Nouns often used as objects with take out (3): loan, mortgage,
injunction, insurance, patent, copyright, summons
take over (1)
to take control of something like a company, an organization, a
government, or a territory
For example:

take over sth A gang war usually starts when one gang tries
to take over another gang's territory.

take sth over If we buy another 10,000 shares, we can take


the company over.

be taken over by sth Our production company has been taken


over by a national media corporation.

take over (2)


to begin doing a job or a task that someone else had been doing
previously
For example:

take over Who's going to take over if the president has to quit
the job?

389

take over sth Gordon will take over the position of project
manager when Trevor goes back to Canada.

take over from sb Were looking for someone to take over


from Jenny when she retires.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with take

over

(2): duties,

responsibilities, task, position, management, control, role, leadership,


captaincy
take up (1)
to fill an area of space or a period of time
Synonym: occupy
For example:

take up sth We're selling the dining table because it takes up


too much room in our new apartment.

take sth up I don't have much spare time, and exercising


takes most of that up anyway.

Nouns often used as objects with take up (1): room, space,


floorspace, area, time
take up (2)
to start doing something new like playing a sport, doing a job, or
pursuing a hobby
For example:

take sth up Joe's a great musician. He took it up as a hobby


when he was a kid, but now he makes his living from music.

take up sth Recovering drug addicts should take up team


sports, like basketball or volleyball.
390

Nouns often used as objects with take up (2): jogging, bowling,


photography, position, post

take up (3)
to shorten a piece of clothing or a curtain to make it the right size
Synonym: shorten
For example:

take sth up These jeans are a bit too long. Could you take
them up for me?

take up sth I have to take up the new curtains in the


bedroom.

Nouns often used as objects with take up (3): trousers, jeans,


pants, dress, skirt, curtains, drapes
talk back
to reply rudely to someone in a position of authority
For example:

talk back to sb Some of the students were punished for


talking back to their teachers.

talk back to sb If you hadn't talked back to the policeman, he


might have let you off with a warning. So next time you get
stopped, speak politely instead.

391

talk down to
If you talk down to someone, you speak to them as if they are
inferior to you or less important than you.

For example:

talk down to sb I hate the way Sandra talks down to people if


she thinks they aren't well-educated.

talk down to sb Make sure you don't talk down to people just
because they haven't had as much good fortune in their lives as
you have.

talk into
If you talk someone into doing something, you persuade them to do
it.
For example:

talk sb into sth Maria didn't want to go to the party, but


Denise talked her into it by saying Mark would be there.

talk sb into doing sth Guys in our college seem to spend a lot
of time trying to talk their girlfriends into sleeping with them.

talk out of
If you talk someone out of something, you persuade them not to do
it.
For example:

392

talk sb out of sth My uncle is a drug addict, and there's


nothing I can say to talk him out of it. He says he's too old to
stop now.

talk sb out of doing sth My family tried to talk me out of


becoming a musician, but I wouldn't change my mind. I was
determined to have a career in music.

talk over
to discuss a situation with someone, usually before making a decision
Synonym: talk about, discuss
For example:

talk sth over with sb I'd like to talk it over with my family
first.

talk sth over with sb Before deciding whether to take the job
or not, Sandra wanted to talk it over with her husband.

talk round
If you talk somebody round, you persuade them to do what you want
them to do, or to agree with you.
Synonym: persuade, convince
For example:

talk sb round It took a while, but I finally talked him round


and he agreed to lend me the money.

talk sb round She's doesn't like the idea, but we think we can
talk her round.

Variety: This is typically used in British English but may be used in


other varieties of English too.
393

talk up
to speak enthusiastically about something, usually in order to
persuade someone to buy it or invest in it

For example:

talk up sth We'll have to train our sales staff on the techniques
they'll need to use when talking up the products.

talk sth up If they hadn't talked the festival up so much in the


media, nobody would have gone.

tear apart
to destroy something by breaking it into two or more pieces
Synonym: rip apart
For example:

tear apart sth There are these piranha fish with really sharp
teeth that can tear apart an animal in just a few seconds.

tear sth apart Racial tension will tear this country apart unless
we do something fast.

tear down
to demolish a building or other structure
Synonym: pull down, demolish, dismantle
For example:

394

tear down sth Many people protested against the plan to tear
down the town's old library.

tear sth down Before Liverpool builds their new stadium, they
have to tear the old one down.

Nouns often used as objects with tear down: building, shed, church,
factory, shelter, fence
tear up
If you tear up a piece of paper, you tear it into several pieces.
Synonym: rip up
For example:

tear sth up After you've collected the tickets, tear them up so


they can't be used again.

tear up sth Some angry workers tore up their work contracts


to protest the wage cuts.

Nouns often used as objects with tear up: letter, card, contract,
ticket, newspaper, memo, note
tell apart
to tell the difference between two or more things that are very much
alike
Synonym: distinguish between
For example:

tell sth/sb apart All the kittens look the same to me. How do
you tell them apart?

tell sth/sb apart My twin sisters look so much alike that lots
of people can't tell them apart.
395

Nouns often used as objects with tell apart: twins, puppies, kittens,
babies, voices, wines, perfumes
tell off
to strongly criticize someone for doing something wrong
Synonym: rebuke, admonish (formal)

For example:

tell sb off My teacher told me off for getting to class late. She
was really angry with me.

tell off sb If he's in a bad mood, the boss tells off nearly
everyone who comes into his office.

think back
to think about a past event or a past time
For example:

think back I realize now, thinking back, that he was probably


right to do what he did.

think back Think back and try to remember what she said
when she answered the phone.

think of (1)
to have something come to mind
For example:

think of I looked everywhere I could think of, but I still


couldn't find my glasses.
396

think of sth I was introducing our new manager to the


accounting staff, and I couldn't think of our head accountant's
name. It was really embarrassing.

think of (2)
to have an opinion about something or someone

For example:

think of I looked everywhere I could think of, but I still


couldn't find my glasses.

think of sth I was introducing our new manager to the


accounting staff, and I couldn't think of our head accountant's
name. It was really embarrassing.

think over
to think carefully about something before making a decision
Synonym: consider, reflect on, mull over
For example:

think sth over Make sure you think things over carefully
before making up your mind.

think sth over Let me think it over and I'll get back to you on
Monday, OK?

think up
to use one's imagination to come up with something like an excuse, a
name, a plan, or a story
397

Synonym: come up with, invent


For example:

think up sth The boss wants me to work on Sunday mornings,


but I'll have to think up an excuse because I love sleeping in on
Sundays.

think sth up We need a good name for our new computer


game. Do you think you could help us think one up?

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with think

up: excuse,

reason,

explanation, name, title, story, plot, plan, scheme


throw away
to get rid of something you don't want, usually by putting it in a
rubbish bin or a garbage can
Synonym: throw out, discard
For example:

throw away sth Are you sure you want to throw away those
old books and magazines? Why don't you try to sell them on
eBay?

throw sth away I've got too many old clothes. I should throw
some of them away.

Nouns often used as objects with throw away: junk, rubbish,


garbage, old clothes, old furniture

throw off
to get rid of something that has been bothering you
398

Synonym: shake off


For example:

throw off sth I wish I could throw off this feeling that
something bad is going to happen.

throw sth off It didn't take her long to throw the cold off and
get back to work.

throw out (1)


to discard something you don't want, usually by putting it in a
rubbish bin or a garbage can
Synonym: throw away, discard
For example:

throw out sth Dad has thrown out those old magazines he
kept in the shed.

throw sth out Don't you think it's time we threw some of this
stuff out?

throw out (2)


to force somebody to leave something like a club, a college or school,
an organisation, etc.
Synonym: expel (formal)
For example:

be thrown out If anybody causes trouble or starts a fight,


they'll be thrown out of the club.

399

throw sb out He knew they'd throw him out of the drug


treatment centre if he used drugs again

throw up INFORMAL
If someone throws up, they vomit up the contents of their stomach.
Synonym: vomit, spew up (informal)
For example:

throw up Jim drank too much warm beer and threw up in the
toilet.

throw sth up After I'd thrown my lunch up, I went to the


hospital.

tidy up
to make a place look neat and tidy
For example:

tidy up Don't forget to tidy up when you've finished.

tidy sth up Tidy your room up Joel, or you won't be getting


any pocket money!

tidy up sth Why does my wife insist on tidying up the house


just before the housekeeper comes?

tie up (1)
to tie together the ends of something
For example:

400

tie up sth Our two-year-old boy is learning to tie up his


shoelaces.

tie sth up I've nearly finished the story. I'm just tying a few
loose ends up and then it'll be done.

tie up (2)
to make somebody busy with something
Synonym: occupy
For example:

be tied up He'll be tied up all afternoon, but he can see you


tomorrow morning.

be tied up with sth Most of the time Gillian is tied up with


day-to-day tasks like managing the office and sorting out staff
issues.

Note: Often used in a passive form, such as, "He'll be tied up with
clients all morning."

tie up (3)
to make something or someone unavailable by committing them to
something
For example:

be tied up Most of our money is tied up in long-term


investments, so we don't have much cash available just now.

401

tie up sth/sb Do you think it's a good idea to tie up all our

production capacity, or should we keep some free for special


orders?

tip off
to

warn someone or give

someone secret information about

something
For example:

tip sb off The thieves knew where the security van was going,
so somebody must have tipped them off.

tip off sb Monica wondered who could have tipped off the
police, and thought about everyone who knew she was carrying
the drugs.

top up
to completely fill something like a glass or a container, or to increase
the level of something like a phone card
Synonym: top off (American)
For example:

top sth up A waiter was topping our drinks up whenever they


needed it.

top up sth What's the easiest way to top up a mobile phone


card?

Nouns often used as objects with top up: glass, drink, kettle, tank,
phone card, mobile phone, account

402

touch on
to talk briefly about something when speaking or writing about
another topic
Synonym: mention
For example:

touch on sth The only major issue that the president didn't
touch on was increasing health costs.

touch on sth The talk was mostly about global warming, but
the speaker also touched on several other environmental
issues.

toy with
to think about doing something, but not very seriously
Synonym: flirt with
For example:

toy with sth Are you serious about quitting your job, or are
you just toying with the idea?

toy with sth We're toying with the idea of getting a new car
next year.

Note: Very often used with "the idea of", as in "They're toying
with the idea of moving house."

track down
to find something after a long search
Synonym: find, locate
403

For example:

track down sb/sth I managed to track down all of my


mother's old photos by getting in touch with dozens of her
relatives and friends.

track sb/sth down It took the police a long time to track the
killers down and arrest them.

try on
to put on clothes or shoes before buying them to see if they fit
properly and look good
For example:

try on sth Did he try on that shirt before he bought it? It looks
too big for him.

try sth on Excuse me, but I'm not sure if these jeans fit me.
Can I try them on?

Nouns often used as objects with try on: clothes, shoes, jeans,
jacket, sunglasses, ring
try out
to test something to see what it's like, or to see if it works properly
Synonym: test
For example:

try sth out I saw these new headphones in a shop today and I
tried them out. They sounded great, but they were really
expensive.

404

try out sth I tried out this new meditation technique this
morning, and it's great. I've felt really good all day.

Nouns often used as objects with try out: software, printer, phone;
relaxation technique, exercise routine, diet
turn around
to change something unsuccessful into something successful
Synonym: turn round (British)
For example:

turn sth around What do you think the government should do


to turn the economy around?

turn sth around If she wants to turn her life around she needs
to stop taking drugs and drinking alcohol.

turn away
If someone turns you away, they don't allow you to enter a place.
Synonym: send away, refuse entry to
For example:

turn sb away They turned us away at the door because we


didn't have tickets.

turn away sb Doormen at five star hotels sometimes turn


away people who aren't properly dressed.

be turned away Several protesters were turned away by


security guards when they tried to enter the meeting.

405

turn back
to return in the direction from which you've come, or to make
someone do this
For example:

turn back If you get lost, turn back and return the way you
came.

turn sb back The police were turning everybody back because


the road had been blocked by a landslide.

be turned back Anyone who doesn't have a visa will be turned


back at the border.

turn down (1)


to decrease or lower the volume, heat, power, etc. of an appliance by
turning a knob or pressing a button
For example:

turn down sth We'd better turn down the volume or the
neighbours might complain.

turn sth down It's cool enough now, so let's turn the air
conditioner down.

Nouns often used as objects with turn down (1): television, TV,
volume, air conditioner, heater
turn down (2)
If you turn down an offer or a request, you decide not to accept it.
Synonym: refuse, reject

406

For example:

turn down sth/sb The bank turned down Kenny's application


for a loan because he'd just lost his job.

turn sth/sb down The club turned his transfer request down,
so Patrice had to stay with the club.

Nouns often used as objects with turn down (2): offer, request,
appeal, proposal, invitation, application

turn in (1) INFORMAL


to go to bed
Meaning: to go to bed
For example:

turn in What time do you usually turn in?

turn in I usually turn in around one o'clock.

turn in (2)
If you turn somebody in, you tell the police that the person has
committed a crime or you hand them over to the police yourself.
For example:

turn in sb Would you turn in your best friend if you knew he'd
broken the law?

turn sb in The police have asked members of the public to turn


the thieves in if they know who they are.
407

turn into
to change from one thing into another
Synonym: transform into

For example:

turn into sth/sb Isn't it incredible how caterpillars turn into


butterflies, and tadpoles turn into frogs? Nature really is
amazing!

turn sth/sb into sth/sb This guy is a great businessman. He


turned a small company into a huge global corporation.

turn off
to stop a machine or an appliance from working by using a button or
a switch
Synonym: switch off
For example:

turn off sth Don't forget to turn off the air conditioner before
you leave the house. We shouldn't be wasting energy.

turn sth off Do you turn all your lights off at night, or do you
leave some of them on?

Nouns often used as objects with turn off: light, computer, phone,
television, heater, air conditioner, engine, motor

408

turn on
to start a machine or an appliance by pressing a button or flicking a
switch
Synonym: switch on

For example:

turn on sth As soon as they get home from school, most kids
grab some sweets or snacks and turn on the TV. No wonder so
many get fat!

turn sth on The first thing I do when I get to the office is turn
my computer on.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with turn

on: light,

computer,

television, phone, heater, air conditioner, engine, motor


turn out (1)
to make a light go off
Synonym: switch off
For example:

turn out sth Don't forget to turn out the lights before you
leave the office.

turn sth out The bathroom light was on this morning. Who
forgot to turn it out?

turn out (2)


to have a certain outcome, or to end in a certain way

409

Synonym: pan out (informal)


For example:

turn out We weren't sure if moving to Japan was a good idea


at first, but we're very pleased with the way things have turned
out.

turn out Don't worry. I'm sure everything will turn out fine in
the end.

turn over (1)


to change the position of something so that the side facing down is
now facing up
For example:

turn sth over After passing out the exam papers, I told my
students to turn them over and start work.

turn over sth Turn over the piece of paper and see what it
says on the back.

Nouns often used as objects with turn over (1): steak, sausage,
pancake, paper, postcard, photograph, mat
turn over (2)
to change your body's position when lying down so that you are
facing the opposite direction
For example:

turn over My back was sore, and every time I turned over it
hurt.

410

turn over I was sound asleep when my wife turned over and
accidentally slapped my face.

turn up (1)
to increase the volume, heat, power, etc. of an appliance by turning a
knob or pressing a button
For example:

turn sth up If you can't hear the TV, turn it up a bit.

turn up sth Could you turn up the heater, please? It's getting
cold in here.

Nouns often used as objects with turn up (1): television, TV,


volume, air conditioner, heater
turn up (2)
If someone turns up somewhere, they arrive without being expected
or without telling anyone they'd be coming.
Synonym: appear, show up
For example:

turn up Everyone was surprised when Harry's ex-wife turned


up at his wedding.

turn up Thousands of fans turned up at the airport to welcome


the team back home.

U
411

urge on
If you urge somebody on, you encourage them to continue trying to
do something.
Synonym: encourage

For example:

urge on sb/sth Good teachers urge on their weaker students,


and help them to do their best.

urge sb/sth on I urged Billy on by telling him I knew he could


do it. And when he really believed he could do it too, he did it!

use up
If you use up something, you use all of it and have none left over.
For example:

use up sth Do you think we'll find a new way to power cars
before we use up all our oil reserves?

use sth up I can't get any more sick days off work. I've
already used them all up.

Nouns often used as objects with use up: resources, reserves,


supplies, stocks, time
usher in
to begin a period in history or a stage in someone's life
Synonym: herald (formal)

412

For example:

usher in sth My first day in college ushered in one of the


happiest times in my life.

usher in sth The new President's election ushered in a period


of peace and cooperation among the nations of the world.

Note: mostly used in journalism or academic writing

V
veg out INFORMAL
If you veg out, you relax and take it easy.
Synonym: laze around, chill out (informal)
For example:

veg out I'm really tired tonight. I think I'll just go home and
veg out in front of the TV.

veg out I think Marty's a bit depressed. All he wants to do is


smoke dope and veg out.

verge on
to be close to reaching a certain state or condition
Synonym: border on
For example:

413

verge on sth The senior students' hazing rituals for new


college students were so cruel that they were verging on
torture.

verge on sth Even as a child, Glenn Gould had a talent for


playing the piano that verged on genius.

Note: "verge upon" is a more formal variant with the same meaning

vie for
If you vie for something, you compete with others to get it.
Synonym: compete for
For example:

vie for sth Leo and Fiona are vying for promotion to the same
management position, so they're both trying hard to impress
the boss.

vie for sb Mandy and Lynne haven't been friends ever since
they vied for Jerome. They both really liked him, and both
wanted to be his girlfriend.

Nouns often used as objects with vie for: power, position, job, role,
promotion, influence, attention, recognition

vote in
If a person or a political party is voted in, they have won the most
votes in an election.
Synonym: elect
For example:

414

vote in sb/sth In a democracy, you can vote in whoever you


like.

vote sb/sth in Our country's people have voted the Labour


Party in for the first time in nearly twenty years.

be voted in If the only way to be voted in is to buy a lot of


votes, every member of parliament in this country must be
guilty of vote-buying.

Nouns often used as objects with vote in: party, president, prime
minister, government, leader, politician, representative
vote off
If somebody is voted off something, they have to leave because not
enough people voted to keep them on.
For example:

be voted off sth I was really shocked when Kylie was voted off
American Idol. I thought she was the best singer there.

vote sb off sth The company shareholders voted three people


off the Board of Directors.

vouch for
If you vouch for someone or something, you say that the person or
thing can be trusted and is of good character or quality.
For example:

vouch for sb I will only vouch for someone if I know them well
and I'm sure they can do a good job.

415

vouch for sth I bought this software because a good friend of


mine vouched for it.

Nouns often used as objects with vouch for: doctor, teacher,


hospital, school, course, diet

W
wait around
If you have to wait around for something, you have to wait a long
time for it.
Synonym: hang around
For example:

wait around Why do we always have to wait around when we


have an appointment with a doctor or a dentist?

wait around for sth/sb Drug addicts spend most of their time
waiting around for dealers to come with the drugs they need.
What a boring life it must be!

wait on (1)
to serve someone in a restaurant, or to act as a servant for someone
and do whatever they ask you to do
Synonym: serve
For example:
416

wait on sb Each waiter is assigned certain tables and they only


wait on people at those tables.

wait on sb Each of the star actors has a personal assistant


who waits on him or her "hand and foot".

wait on (2)
to wait for the results of something, or for information about
something, before deciding what to do next
Synonym: wait for
For example:

wait on sth The investigators are waiting on the toxicology


results before making their final report.

wait on sth Her family is in the next room waiting on the test
results.

wait up
If you wait up, you stay up late at night waiting for something or
someone.
Synonym: stay up, sit up (British)
For example:

wait up I'll be home late tonight, but don't wait up. You need
your sleep.

wait up for sb/sth Did your mother wait up for you when you
were a teenager staying out late at parties and clubs?

417

wake up
to become conscious again after sleeping, or to make someone else
become conscious after sleeping
Synonym: awaken (formal)
For example:

wake up You look tired. What time did you wake up this
morning?

wake sb up Every morning my alarm clock wakes me up. I


really hate that sound.

walk out
to leave a relationship suddenly
Synonym: leave
For example:

walk out Her father walked out when she was ten years old,
and he hasn't been back since.

walk out on sb She walked out on her husband after he beat


her up.

ward off
to stop something that's harmful or dangerous from coming near
Synonym: fend off
For example:

ward off sth Many people believe that vitamin C can ward off
the common cold.

418

ward sth off Did you know that garlic and crosses can be used
to ward off Dracula and other vampires?

warm up (1)
to make something warmer

For example:

warm up Her boyfriend left some pizza in the oven for her to
warm up when she got home.

warm sth up Snakes are cold-blooded, so they rely on the


sun's heat to warm them up.

warm up sth Let me get next to fire for a minute so I can


warm up my hands.

Nouns often used as objects with warm up (1): food, pizza, pie,
water, plates, hands, feet
warm up (2)
to prepare for a sporting or artistic performance by doing exercises or
practicing
Synonym: limber up
For example:

warm up Don't forget to warm up before the game starts.

warm sth up The choir sang some scales before the concert to
warm their vocal cords up.

419

warm up sth Let's jog for a while to warm up our leg muscles.

wash away
If something is washed away, it's carried off by the force of running
water, as in a storm or a flood.
Synonym: sweep away

For example:

be washed away The river flooded and many roads and


bridges were washed away.

wash away sth The streets were clean after the storm
because the rain washed away all the dirt and rubbish.

wash sth away I left my towel on the beach, and then a big
wave came and washed it away.

wash down
to drink something soon after eating food or while swallowing pills
For example:

wash down sth I need a glass of water to wash down these


pills.

wash sth down We had steak with salad and washed it down
with a nice red wine.

wash out
If an event is washed out, it's stopped because of rain.
420

Synonym: rain out


For example:

be washed out The final session of play in today's cricket


match was washed out.

be washed out This year's company picnic was washed out by


a sudden rain storm.

Note: almost always used in a passive form, such as "the game was
washed out"

wash up (1)
If you wash up, you wash dirty dishes and cooking utensils.
Synonym: do the dishes
For example:

wash up I'll cook the dinner if you wash up.

wash up sth Do you want me to wash up all these dishes next


to the sink?

wash sth up Leave the dishes. I'll wash them up in the


morning.

Nouns often used as objects with wash up (1): dishes, plates, cups,
pots, pans, cutlery
Note: The phrase "do the washing-up" is often used to describe the
act of washing up, especially if the particular objects being washed
are not mentioned.
Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.

421

wash up (2)
If you wash up, you wash your hands.
For example:

wash up Your hands and face are dirty, so go to the bathroom


and wash up.

wash up How do you get your boys to wash up before they


eat?

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used


in other varieties of English too.

waste away
If you waste away, you gradually become thinner and weaker, usually
because of an illness.
Synonym: wither away
For example:

waste away It was terrible watching my dog waste away due


to the cancer in her stomach.

waste away Bob was wasting away until we started him on


this fantastic new drug.

watch out
If you tell someone to watch out, you tell them to be careful or warn
them of a danger.
Synonym: look out

422

For example:

watch out Watch out! There's a car coming! Get off the road.

watch out There are lots of thieves on these buses, so if you


don't watch out you'll lose your wallet.

watch out for


If someone tells you to watch out for something, they're warning you
about it.
Synonym: be wary of
For example:

watch out for sth/sb Our guide told us to watch out for
snakes.

watch out for sth/sb Everybody says you have to watch out
for pickpockets if you're on a public bus.

water down (1)


to add water to a drink to make it less strong if it's an alcoholic drink
or less thick if it's a juice or a thick shake
Synonym: dilute
For example:

water down sth I think someone has watered down the wine.
It tastes very weak.

water sth down This juice is too thick. Could you water it
down a bit, please?

423

water down (2)


to change something like the lyrics of a song or the dialogue in a
movie to make it less offensive or less likely to upset people
Synonym: tone down

For example:

water down sth They had to water down the song for radio,
but they've also released the original version on a limitededition DVD.

water sth down The comedian had to water his act down for
TV or he wouldn't be allowed to perform.

wean off
to gradually break a bad habit by doing it less and less
For example:

wean sb off sth If you're addicted to cigarettes, you could try


to wean yourself off them by smoking fewer and fewer every
day.

wean sb off sth If somebody's hooked on drugs and they want


to quit, they can stop all of a sudden, or they can slowly wean
themselves off.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with wean

off: alcohol,

drugs,

chocolate, junk food, coffee, gambling, computer games

424

wear down
to gradually make someone lose their strength and vitality
Synonym: wear out
For example:

wear sb down The job was really hard and it wore me down
so much that I had to quit.

wear down sb The champion boxer gradually wore down his


opponent by hitting him with lots of hard punches to the body.

wear in
If you wear in something like a pair of shoes, you wear them for short
periods until they fit properly and feel comfortable.
For example:

wear in sth Footballers will wear in a new pair of boots before


using them in a match.

wear sth in Don't forget to wear your walking boots in


properly before you leave for your trek in Nepal.

wear off
If something wears off, it gradually loses its effect.
For example:

wear off The pain medication started to wear off, so I began to


feel the pain again.

wear off The excitement of working in a new company soon


wore off, and it became just like any other job.

425

Nouns often used as subjects with wear off: pills, alcohol, drugs,
feeling, excitement, novelty, effect

wear out (1)


If something such as a shoe wears out, it gets old and damaged from
being used.
For example:

wear out Johnny's shoes are wearing out, so I'm going to buy
him a new pair.

be worn out The tyres on his motorbike are worn out, and
they're dangerous.

Nouns often used as subjects with wear out (1): shoes, socks,
jeans, suit, tyre, carpet, printer, photocopier
wear out (2)
If something wears you out, it makes you feel tired and lacking in
energy.
Synonym: exhaust, tire
For example:

wear sb out Helen doesn't really like teaching young kids. She
says the job really wears her out.

worn out It's no wonder that you get worn out. You're raising
three kids and you have a full-time job.

weed out
to find and remove people or things that are not needed or wanted

426

For example:

weed out The new Prime Minister has promised to weed out all
the members of the public service who have become lazy or
corrupt over the years.

weed out One of the results of the economic slowdown was


that it gave companies an excuse to weed out some of their
overpaid executives.

weigh down
If you're weighed down by problems or responsibilities, you feel
stressed or unhappy because of them.
Synonym: burden
For example:

be weighed down by sth Sarah feels weighed down by all of


her responsibilities, both at work and at home.

weigh sb down The pressure his parents put on the boy to


succeed in school weighed him down so much that he ran away
from home.

weigh in (1)
to be weighed before participating in a sport like boxing or horse racing
For example:

weigh in The jockeys are weighing in for the first race right
now.

weigh in What time do you have to weigh in for the fight?


427

Note: The related noun "weigh-in" refers to the occasion during


which competitors are weighed and their weight is officially recorded.

weigh in (2)
to join a discussion by expressing a viewpoint

For example:

weigh in Don't be shy about weighing in and sharing your


views.

weigh in with sth I wish Mel would listen a bit more before
weighing in with his own opinions.

weigh up
to consider the good and bad points before making a decision
Synonym: assess
For example:

weigh up sth They'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of


each location before deciding where to build their factory.

weigh sth up The judge told the jury to weigh the evidence up
carefully before reaching a verdict.

whip into
to create strong emotions like excitement or anger, usually by giving
a speech or a performance of some sort
428

For example:

whip sb into sth The protest leaders whipped the crowd into
an angry mood with their speeches.

whip sb into sth Elvis Presley used to whip crowds of


teenagers into a frenzy by moving his hips to the beat of the
music.

whip up
to create strong feelings in other people
Synonym: stir up, arouse
For example:

whip up sth She criticized the media for whipping up prejudice


against drug users.

whip up sth The opponents of gay marriage tried to whip up


fear and hysteria about the proposed new laws.

Nouns often used as objects with whip up: excitement, enthusiasm,


anger, fear, prejudice, hysteria
win back
If you win something back, you get it back again after having lost it.
For example:

win back sth It's not easy to win back somebody's trust after
you've done something to lose it.

win sth back After losing his world championship title to a


Japanese boxer, Johnny worked hard to win it back.

429

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with win back: money,

trophy,

championship, title, trust, love


win over
If you win somebody over, you get them to believe you, trust you or
support you.
For example:

win over sb/sth A good teacher knows how to win over even
the most difficult students.

win sb/sth over At first the Chelsea fans didn't like Rafael
much, but he soon won them over with his exciting style of
football.

wind down
If you wind something down, you gradually reduce it or end it.
Synonym: wind up
For example:

wind down sth We're winding down production of gasolinepowered cars and increasing production of battery-powered
cars.

wind sth down Even if the army started winding the operation
down tomorrow, it'd be another six months before all the troops
had left.

Note: "wind" is pronounced as in "wind the clock", not as in "the


wind blew"

430

wind up (1)
If you wind up in a certain place or situation, you find yourself there
by chance or because of unexpected events.
Synonym: end up, finish up
For example:

wind up If the economy doesn't improve, more and more


people could wind up jobless and homeless and living on the
streets.

wind up doing sth After missing the last train, we wound up


staying the night in a hotel near the station.

wind up (2)
to end something like a meeting, a lecture or a discussion
Synonym: kill off
For example:

wipe out sb/sth European invaders wiped out all the people
who

were

living

on

the

Australian

island

they

named

"Tasmania".

wipe sth/sb out A flu pandemic early in the twentieth century


wiped millions of people out.

wipe away
to remove something by wiping it with a tissue, a cloth or a hand
Meaning: to remove something by wiping it with a tissue, a cloth or
a hand
For example:

431

wipe away sth He'd been told that boys didn't cry, so Jimmy
tried to wipe away his tears before anyone could see them.

wipe sth away You've got some ketchup on the corner of your
mouth. Use this handkerchief to wipe it away.

wipe out (1)


If something is wiped out, it is completely destroyed.
Synonym: eradicate (formal)

For example:

wipe out sth Rising sea levels could wipe out many low-lying
coastal cities.

wipe sth out The World Health Organisation is trying to control


diseases like malaria and tuberculosis, and one day hopes to
wipe them out altogether.

wipe out (2)


to kill a large number of people or animals
Synonym: kill off
For example:

wipe out sb/sth European invaders wiped out all the people
who

were

living

on

the

Australian

island

they

named

"Tasmania".

432

wipe sth/sb out A flu pandemic early in the twentieth century


wiped millions of people out.

wise up INFORMAL
If you wise up, you realize the truth in relation to something.
Synonym: smarten up
For example:

wise up After having weight-related health problems, Tanya


wised up and started eating less.

wise up It took me a long time to wise up, but at last I've


accepted the fact that drinking alcohol isn't good for me.

work at
to try hard to achieve something, or try hard to improve your ability
to do something
For example:

work at sth Most people know that you have to work at a


relationship if you want it to last.

work at doing sth You need to work at improving your


listening skills.

work off
to get rid of excess weight or a negative emotion by engaging in
physical activity
For example:

433

work off sth After eating ice cream, my sister goes for a run
because she thinks it'll work off any weight she would have
gained.

work sth off Do you think that doing exercise can help work
things like stress or tension off?

work on
to spend time making, fixing or improving something
For example:

work on sth Alfred would work on a movie's screenplay for


months before starting to shoot the movie.

work on doing sth If you work on improving your English


conversation skills, you should be ready for promotion in a
couple of months.

work out (1)


to think about a problem or a task and find a solution or a strategy
for dealing with it
Synonym: figure out, nut out (Australian, informal)
For example:

work out sth We have to work out a way of promoting our


products without spending too much money.

work sth out Our job is to find the solution to the problem,
and I'm sure we can work it out somehow.

Nouns often used as objects with work out (1): solution, plan,
strategy, way (to do sth)
434

work out (2)


to do physical exercise to keep fit and healthy
For example:

work out Every day after work, Louise goes to the gym to
work out.

work out You don't need to pay expensive fees to join a gym
or use fancy machines. You can work out at home for nothing.

work out (3)


to find the solution to a numerical problem
Synonym: calculate, figure out, nut out (Australian, informal)
For example:

work out sth There are five of us and the bill is $72.00. Can
you work out how much we each have to pay?

work sth out Have you worked it out yet?

Nouns often used as objects with work out (3): answer, solution,
total, result
wrap up (1)
If you wrap something up, you cover it with a material like paper or
cloth.
For example:

wrap up sth We spent hours wrapping up Christmas presents


for our family and friends.

435

wrap sth up If I get Neil a birthday gift, could you wrap it up?
I'm terrible at wrapping things up.

Nouns often used as objects with wrap up (1): present, gift, parcel,
package
wrap up (2)
to finish something like a meeting or a discussion, or to conclude
something like a deal or a negotiation
Synonym: conclude

For example:

wrap up sth After weeks of meetings, it was good to finally


wrap up the inquiry and present our findings.

wrap sth up It's getting late, so let's wrap things up for


tonight, and we can start again in the morning.

wrestle with
to try hard to find the solution to a difficult problem
Synonym: struggle with
For example:

wrestle with sth For centuries Christians have been wrestling


with the question of why their all-powerful, omnipotent God
allows evil and terrible injustice to exist.

wrestle with sth The government has appointed a team of


experts to wrestle with complex issues like stem-cell research.
436

write down
to write something on a piece of paper
Meaning: to write something on a piece of paper
Synonym: record
For example:

write down sth After chatting to the girl for a while, Shane
wrote down his name and number on a piece of paper and gave
it to her.

write sth down I lost all my phone numbers when I lost my


phone. I wish I'd written them down somewhere.

write off (1)


to accept that a debt or loan won't be paid back, or that an
investment has been lost
For example:

write sth off We won't get the money back, so we'll have to
write it off as a bad debt.

write off sth After accepting that the business was going to
fail, they wrote off their investment.

Nouns

often used as objects

with write

off

(1): debt, loan,

investment, shares, stocks

write off (2)


to damage a vehicle so badly that it cannot be repaired
Synonym: wreck
437

For example:

write off sth After writing off three cars in two years, you'd
think that Gerry would start driving a bit more carefully.

write sth off Tommy borrowed his parents car, and then wrote
it off in an accident. His parents were not happy with him.

Nouns often used as objects with write off (2): vehicle, car, truck,
motorbike, speedboat, jet-ski
Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but
may be used in other varieties of English too.
write out
to write information on an official document before giving it to
someone
Synonym: make out
For example:

write sth out The parking officer ignored my explanation as


she wrote the parking ticket out and gave it to me.

write out sth I waited as the doctor wrote out a prescription


for the medicine I needed.

Nouns often used as objects with write out: speeding ticket, parking
ticket, prescription, receipt, warrant
write up
to write a report or an article based on notes written earlier
For example:

write up sth After getting all the information and data she
needed, Carrie wrote up her marketing report.
438

write sth up I checked my notes for the article before writing


it up, so I'm sure everything's correct.

Y
yank at INFORMAL
If you yank at something, you pull it repeatedly.
Synonym: pull at

For example:

yank at sth I had to yank at Terry's arm to get him to follow


me.

yank at sth The girls were fighting madly, scratching each


other and yanking at each other's hair.

yearn for
to want something very much
Synonym: long for
For example:

yearn for sth Even though I left England a long time ago, I
still yearn for the beauty of the English countryside.

yearning for sth Paula is still getting over the breakup with
her boyfriend. She's still yearning for the sound of his voice and
the smell of his hair.

439

yell out
to shout loudly
Synonym: call out, shout
For example:

yell out The fans were yelling out as loud as they could to
cheer on their team.

yell sth out If you think you know the answer, yell it out.

yell out sth I was walking along the street when someone
yelled out my name.

Z
zero in on
If you zero in on something, you focus on it or put your attention on
it.
Synonym: focus on
For example:

zero in on sb The police tracked many suspects in the drug


gang before they zeroed in on the gang's leader and arrested
her.

zero in on sth Before the missile was fired, it's built-in


computer zeroed in on the target.

zip around
If you zip around, you move quickly from place to place.
440

Synonym: buzz around, nip around (Australian, informal)


For example:

zip around Sally was in a hurry so she zipped around the


supermarket, tossing all the things she needed into her trolley
as she went.

zipping around Bob's our courier and he spends all day


zipping around town on his bike, picking up and dropping off
packages and documents.

Nouns

often

used

as

objects

with zip

around: town,

city,

supermarket, mall
zip up
to do up a zipper in a piece of clothing or in a bag
Synonym: do up, fasten
For example:

zip sth up She asked me to help her out by zipping her dress
up.

zip up sth Zip up your bag before you get on the bus, or
someone might steal something.

sth is zipped up Make sure your fly is zipped up before you go


into the interview room.

Nouns often used as objects with zip up: fly, dress, jacket, bag,
suitcase, zipper
zone out INFORMAL
If someone zones out, they look blankly ahead without paying
attention, maybe because they're tired or bored or affected by drugs.

441

Synonym: space out (American, informal)


For example:

zone out Peter sometimes gets bored in class and zones out.
He looks like he's a million miles away.

be zoned out I was talking to Debbie, but she was so zoned


out that she didn't even hear me.

Variety: This is typically used in American English but may be used


in other varieties of English too.

zonked out INFORMAL


If you're zonked out, you're very tired and you feel like resting or
going to sleep.
Synonym: worn out
For example:

be zonked out That run we did today was really tiring. I was
totally zonked out when I got home.

be zonked out Hector must have been really zonked out. He


fell asleep in front of the TV.

zoom in
If a photographer or a camera zooms in, the image changes so that it
looks as if the camera is moving closer to the object being
photographed or filmed.
Meaning: If a photographer or a camera zooms in, the image
changes so that it looks as if the camera is moving closer to the
object being photographed or filmed.
442

For example:

zoom in If you want to zoom in, press the "plus" sign.

zoom in on sth After zooming in on his face, she took the


photo.

Note: The opposite of "zoom in" is "zoom out".

443