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Here are some tables of the items of vocabulary (idioms, phrasal verbs and colloquial language). The vocabulary is everday language familiar to all English-speaking people and useful to anybody planning to visit an English-speaking country or do business with English-speaking people. The tables list all the definitions of each item and include the phrasal verbs ‘to turn into’, ‘to try on’, ‘to make up’ and ‘to get over’. They are also accompanied by exercises.
e.g. She is usually quite a laid-back person but on the tennis court she turns into a demon.
Note that “to turn into” emphasises a change whereas “to turn out to be” focuses more on what happens n the end.
e.g. I didn’t like the sound of the new TV series about the Vietnam War, but once I started it, I found it so interesting I ended up watching it all in one go.
e.g. It’s his go, but he is still on the phone, so let’s just take ours first.
e.g. Sarah didn’t like the idea of online dating, but Lisa persuaded her to have a go/give it a go.
e.g. Brian had never had the time to take up a musical instrument so when he finally retired he decided to finally have a go/give it a go.
e.g. Although Adam is an excellent salesman, his boss Narinder is always having a go at him because she is jealous.
e.g. There are still three weeks to go until my holidays and I am counting the days!
e.g. Brian’s blue shirt goes well with his baby-blue eyes.
e.g. We sometimes worry that we will go around the bend since we moved into this supposedly haunted house.
e.g. The children have been driving Martha round the bend/up the wall this week as they have been off school.
Note “to go round the bend” is intransitive and “to drive round the bend” is transitive.
e.g. Danny is very clumsy and so he is always tripping over things but luckily never seems to hurt himself that badly..
e.g. The old man tripped up/tripped over as he was walking down the road and had to be helped up by some kind passers-by.
Note that whilst “to trip up” can only be a transitive verb, “to trip over” can be used as either a transitive or an intransitive verb.
e.g. Can we swap books when we have both finished reading? I don’t have anything else to keep me occupied while I am staying here.
Note the difference between “swap with” and “swap for” is that “with” refers to the owner of the object and “for” refers to the object itself.
e.g. When I was trying on clothes to wear on holiday, I couldn’t believe how much weight I had put on since last summer.
e.g. Brian tried it on with me but I could see through him straight away.
e.g. The children tried it on with the new teacher but soon discovered they wouldn’t get very far with her when she put the whole class in detention.
e.g. Before he met Christina, Harry was always trying it on with girls, but he didn’t usually get very far.
e.g. I can’t make out exactly what Brian is trying to do, but I have no doubt he is up to no good.
e.g. The TV signal was quite bad, so I couldn’t really make out the image, but at least I was able to hear the dialogue.
e.g. Sarah likes to make out that she is quite posh but we all know that she is common as muck underneath it all.
e.g. Even though the money was for his nephew John, Harry made out the cheque to his brother Sam, as John doesn’t have his own bank account yet.
e.g. When I came home and saw that the picture in the living room was hanging upside down/the wrong way up, I knew that we had been burgled.
e.g. If you write the letter M upside down, it looks like the letter W.
e.g. Life in Germany was completely upside down following the First World War.
e.g. Josh is a really good lawyer because he is always well-prepared and 100% on the ball.
e.g. Although my great-grandmother could not read and write, she was very good at making up stories off the top of her head.
e.g. Brian and Josh were best friends when they were children but fell out with each other as teenagers and didn’t make up with each other again for many years.
e.g. The student body is mostly made up of business people.
e.g. Karen was off sick last week but she told her boss that she would make up the hours by the end of the month.
Note the different constructions “to make it up to someone” and “to make up for something”.
e.g. Beth made up her mind to study History and could not be persuaded to do anything else.
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- Colloquial English Expressions and Phrasal Verbs – Part II
- Making a suggestion in English
- Zero Conditional: IF + PRESENT + PRESENT = ALWAYS
- Modal Auxiliaries For Probability
- No Pun Intended