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Here are some tables of the items of vocabulary (idioms, phrasal verbs and colloquial language). The vocabulary is everyday 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 rate’, ‘to fancy’, ‘to pick on’, ‘to take in’… They are also accompanied by exercises.


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To rate
to consider someone/something as being important

e.g. James is rated very highly as a musician; however, as an actor, he leaves a little to be desired.


To rave about/over
to have a very high opinion of something

e.g. Everyone is raving about the new play on Broadway and it has sold out and had some fantastic reviews..


Hassle, to hassle
a nuisance, to cause someone inconvenience

e.g. It is a hassle having to take the bus every morning, but the metro is not running due to industrial action.


D. 1.
To fancy
to feel like or be in the mood for doing/having something

e.g. I fancy chicken Caesar salad for dinner this evening..


D. 2
To fancy
to be sexually attracted to someone

e.g. Although he tries to hide it, it is obvious that Luke fancies Jamie a lot.


D. 3
To fancy
what a surprise!

e.g. Fancy Luke turning out to be such a good snooker player! What a dark horse!


I could murder (+ drink/food)
to have a great desire to eat/drink something

e.g. I haven’t eaten since breakfast and I could murder a shepherd’s pie!.


To pick on
to treat someone unfairly

e.g. The other children used to pick on Alan at school but he got his own back in the end.



To run out
to have nothing left of something

e.g. We have run out of sugar so I will have to go to the shop to get some more.


G. 2
To run out
to expire, become invalid

e.g. My metro ticket has run out so I will need to get a new one.


H. 1
To take in
to listen, and absorb information


e.g. The lecturer was talking about sociolinguistics for an hour, but I barely took any of it in..


H. 2
To take in
to deceive, to trick someone


e.g. My parents were taken in by a con-man and so lost almost all of their life savings..



I. 1
To come along
to appear, present oneself, itself


e.g. After Tony dumped her, Cara wasted no time in marrying the first man who came along.


I. 2
To come along
to hurry up


e.g. «Come along now, hurry up!» the teacher said to the schoolchildren.


I. 3
To come along
to accompany someone


e.g. My brother came along with me the first time I went to Copenhagen on a work trip.


I. 4
To come along
to progress


e.g. My Chinese is coming along quite well: I now know how to order a coffee and book a room in a hotel.



J. 1
partial, one-sided


e.g. The book about the Second World War you gave me was very interesting, but I think it was a bit biased in favour of the Americans..


J. 2
to specialise in certain subjects


e.g. Our law firm has an environmental and ecological law bias.



A. 1.1
To get on
to achieve a high position, to do well


e.g. It is funny that Michael has got on so well in the business world, while his brother David has never really had much luck.


A. 1.2
To get on
to become late or old


e.g. It is a shame Victor is getting on a bit as he was still one of the best football players around as recently as five years ago.


A. 2.1
To get on (well)
to have good relations with someone


e.g. I get on well with my neighbours now, but the ones before were a complete nightmare.


A. 2.2
To get on (with)
to hurry up and finish something


e.g. When my boss found out how much of the project I still had left to finish, he told me: «Get on with it!».


A. 2.3
To get on (with)
to pass the time while waiting for the main thing to happen

e.g. As I was running late with the cooking, I put out some snacks for the dinner party guests to be getting on with.


A. 3
To get on to
to contact someone in order to tell them to do something

e.g. I got on to the Inland Revenue in order to sort out the discrepancy with my tax return..



the result, consequence, conclusion


e.g. The outcome of the negotiations that took place last week is that the working week will be increased from 34 to 37 hours..



unnecessary and without justification


e.g. «Your behaviour recently has been completely uncalled-for. What on earth has got into you?»



D. 1
To take over
to take control of something


e.g. The company was taken over by a multinational corporation last year and half of the employees were laid off.


D. 2
To take over
to take the place of someone


e.g. I took over from Matilda when she was on maternity leave.



Mind you
«on the other hand», «but I must say»


e.g. I wouldn’t rate that film; mind you, the soundtrack is outstanding!



To get carried away
to become too enthusiastic, involved or emotional about something

e.g. I think my dad might have got a bit carried away in the kitchen over the weekend − it looks like he cooked enough food to feed an army!


To stick up for
to defend, support someone

e.g. Jeff stuck up for his brother Jim when the other children used to pick on him for having such big ears.


to feel a little unwell
to fall heavily onto/into something

e.g. I am/feel a little under the weather today, so I am going to go home a little earlier than normal.


in demand, wanted

e.g. She is the most sought-after actress at the moment, and appeared in five of the seven most successful films last year..


To show up
to embarrass someone in front of other people

e.g. Although as a young adult Dean has tried to re-invent himself as a cool guy, he is still constantly shown up by his mother, who still treats him like a little boy..



J. Crowley
Callan Team


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Joe Crowley