|ask someone out
||invite on a date
||Brian asked Judy out to dinner and a movie.
||ask many people the same question
||I asked around but nobody has seen my wallet.
|add up to something
||Your purchases add up to $205.32.
|back something up
||You’ll have to back up your car so that I can get out.
|back someone up
||My wife backed me up over my decision to quit my job.
||The racing car blew up after it crashed into the fence.
|blow something up
||We have to blow 50 balloons up for the party.
||stop functioning (vehicle, machine)
||Our car broke down at the side of the highway in the snowstorm.
||The woman broke down when the police told her that her son had died.
|break something down
||divide into smaller parts
||Our teacher broke the final project down into three separate parts.
||force entry to a building
||Somebody broke in last night and stole our stereo.
|break into something
||The firemen had to break into the room to rescue the children.
|break something in
||wear something a few times so that it doesn’t look/feel new
||I need to break these shoes in before we run next week.
||The TV station broke in to report the news of the president’s death.
||end a relationship
||My boyfriend and I broke up before I moved to America.
||start laughing (informal)
||The kids just broke up as soon as the clown started talking.
||The prisoners broke out of jail when the guards weren’t looking.
|break out in something
||develop a skin condition
||I broke out in a rash after our camping trip.
|bring someone down
||This sad music is bringing me down.
|bring someone up
||raise a child
||My grandparents brought me up after my parents died.
|bring something up
||start talking about a subject
||My mother walks out of the room when my father brings up sports.
|bring something up
||He drank so much that he brought his dinner up in the toilet.
||phone many different places/people
||We called around but we weren’t able to find the car part we needed.
|call someone back
||return a phone call
||I called the company back but the offices were closed for the weekend.
|call something off
||Jason called the wedding off because he wasn’t in love with his fiancé.
|call on someone
||ask for an answer or opinion
||The professor called on me for question 1.
|call on someone
||We called on you last night but you weren’t home.
|call someone up
||Give me your phone number and I will call you up when we are in town.
||relax after being angry
||You are still mad. You need to calm down before you drive the car.
|not care for someone/something
||not like (formal)
||I don’t care for his behaviour.
||get to the same point as someone else
||You’ll have to run faster than that if you want to catch up with Marty.
||arrive and register at a hotel or airport
||We will get the hotel keys when we check in.
||leave a hotel
||You have to check out of the hotel before 11:00 AM.
|check someone/something out
||look at carefully, investigate
||The company checks out all new employees.
|check out someone/something
||look at (informal)
||Check out the crazy hair on that guy!
||She cheered up when she heard the good news.
|cheer someone up
||I brought you some flowers to cheer you up.
||If everyone chips in we can get the kitchen painted by noon.
|clean something up
||Please clean up your bedroom before you go outside.
|come across something
||I came across these old photos when I was tidying the closet.
||The top and bottom come apart if you pull hard enough.
|come down with something
||My nephew came down with chicken pox this weekend.
||volunteer for a task or to give evidence
||The woman came forward with her husband’s finger prints.
|come from somewhere
||The art of origami comes from Asia.
|count on someone/something
||I am counting on you to make dinner while I am out.
|cross something out
||draw a line through
||Please cross out your old address and write your new one.
|cut back on something
||My doctor wants me to cut back on sweets and fatty foods.
|cut something down
||make something fall to the ground
||We had to cut the old tree in our yard down after the storm.
||Your father cut in while I was dancing with your uncle.
||pull in too closely in front of another vehicle
||The bus driver got angry when that car cut in.
||start operating (of an engine or electrical device)
||The air conditioner cuts in when the temperature gets to 22°C.
|cut something off
||remove with something sharp
||The doctors cut off his leg because it was severely injured.
|cut something off
||The phone company cut off our phone because we didn’t pay the bill.
|cut someone off
||take out of a will
||My grandparents cut my father off when he remarried.
|cut something out
||remove part of something (usually with scissors and paper)
||I cut this ad out of the newspaper.
|do someone/something over
||beat up, ransack (Br.E., informal)
||He’s lucky to be alive. His shop was done over by a street gang.
|do something over
||do again (N.Amer.)
||My teacher wants me to do my essay over because she doesn’t like my topic.
|do away with something
||It’s time to do away with all of these old tax records.
|do something up
||Do your coat up before you go outside. It’s snowing!
||wear nice clothing
||It’s a fancy restaurant so we have to dress up.
||move back in a position/group
||Andrea dropped back to third place when she fell off her bike.
||come without an appointment
||I might drop in/by/over for tea sometime this week.
|drop someone/something off
||take someone/something somewhere and leave them/it there
||I have to drop my sister off at work before I come over.
||quit a class, school etc
||I dropped out of Science because it was too difficult.
||eat at a restaurant
||I don’t feel like cooking tonight. Let’s eat out.
||We ended up renting a movie instead of going to the theatre.
||break into pieces
||My new dress fell apart in the washing machine.
||fall to the ground
||The picture that you hung up last night fell down this morning.
||separate from an interior
||The money must have fallen out of my pocket.
||(of hair, teeth) become loose and unattached
||His hair started to fall out when he was only 35.
|figure something out
||understand, find the answer
||I need to figure out how to fit the piano and the bookshelf in this room.
|fill something in
||to write information in blanks (Br.E.)
||Please fill in the form with your name, address, and phone number.
|fill something out
||to write information in blanks (N.Amer.)
||The form must be filled out in capital letters.
|fill something up
||fill to the top
||I always fill the water jug up when it is empty.
||We don’t know where he lives. How can we find out?
|find something out
||We tried to keep the time of the party a secret, but Samantha found it out.
|get something across/over
||communicate, make understandable
||I tried to get my point across/over to the judge but she wouldn’t listen.
||like each other
||I was surprised how well my new girlfriend and my sister got along/on.
||My grandfather can get around fine in his new wheelchair.
||go on a vacation
||We worked so hard this year that we had to get away for a week.
|get away with something
||do without being noticed or punished
||Jason always gets away with cheating in his maths tests.
||We got back from our vacation last week.
|get something back
||receive something you had before
||Liz finally got her Science notes back from my room-mate.
|get back at someone
||retaliate, take revenge
||My sister got back at me for stealing her shoes. She stole my favourite hat.
|get back into something
||become interested in something again
||I finally got back into my novel and finished it.
|get on something
||step onto a vehicle
||We’re going to freeze out here if you don’t let us get on the bus.
|get over something
||recover from an illness, loss, difficulty
||I just got over the flu and now my sister has it.
|get over something
||overcome a problem
||The company will have to close if it can’t get over the new regulations.
|get round to something
||finally find time to do (N.Amer.: get around to something)
||I don’t know when I am going to get round to writing the thank you cards.
||meet (usually for social reasons)
||Let’s get together for a BBQ this weekend.
||get out of bed
||I got up early today to study for my exam.
||You should get up and give the elderly man your seat.
|give someone away
||reveal hidden information about someone
||His wife gave him away to the police.
|give someone away
||take the bride to the altar
||My father gave me away at my wedding.
|give something away
||ruin a secret
||My little sister gave the surprise party away by accident.
|give something away
||give something to someone for free
||The library was giving away old books on Friday.
|give something back
||return a borrowed item
||I have to give these skates back to Franz before his hockey game.
||reluctantly stop fighting or arguing
||My boyfriend didn’t want to go to the ballet, but he finally gave in.
|give something out
||give to many people (usually at no cost)
||They were giving out free perfume samples at the department store.
|give something up
||quit a habit
||I am giving up smoking as of January 1st.
||My maths homework was too difficult so I gave up.
|go after someone
||My brother tried to go after the thief in his car.
|go after something
||try to achieve something
||I went after my dream and now I am a published writer.
|go against someone
||We are going against the best soccer team in the city tonight.
||Please go ahead and eat before the food gets cold.
||return to a place
||I have to go back home and get my lunch.
||leave home to go on a social event
||We’re going out for dinner tonight.
|go out with someone
||Jesse has been going out with Luke since they met last winter.
|go over something
||Please go over your answers before you submit your test.
||visit someone nearby
||I haven’t seen Tina for a long time. I think I’ll go over for an hour or two.
|go without something
||suffer lack or deprivation
||When I was young, we went without winter boots.
||stop being friends over time
||My best friend and I grew apart after she changed schools.
||My roses grew back this summer.
||become an adult
||When Jack grows up he wants to be a fireman.
|grow out of something
||get too big for
||Elizabeth needs a new pair of shoes because she has grown out of her old ones.
|grow into something
||grow big enough to fit
||This bike is too big for him now, but he should grow into it by next year.
|hand something down
||give something used to someone else
||I handed my old comic books down to my little cousin.
|hand something in
||I have to hand in my essay by Friday.
|hand something out
||to distribute to a group of people
||We will hand out the invitations at the door.
|hand something over
||give (usually unwillingly)
||The police asked the man to hand over his wallet and his weapons.
||stay positive (N.Amer., informal)
||Hang in there. I’m sure you’ll find a job very soon.
||wait a short time (informal)
||Hang on while I grab my coat and shoes!
||spend time relaxing (informal)
||Instead of going to the party we are just going to hang out at my place.
||end a phone call
||He didn’t say goodbye before he hung up.
|hold someone/something back
||prevent from doing/going
||I had to hold my dog back because there was a cat in the park.
|hold something back
||hide an emotion
||Jamie held back his tears at his grandfather’s funeral.
||wait a short time
||Please hold on while I transfer you to the Sales Department.
|hold onto someone/something
||hold firmly using your hands or arms
||Hold onto your hat because it’s very windy outside.
||A man in a black mask held the bank up this morning.
|keep on doing something
||Keep on stirring until the liquid comes to a boil.
|keep something from someone
||We kept our relationship from our parents for two years.
|keep someone/something out
||stop from entering
||Try to keep the wet dog out of the living room.
|keep something up
||continue at the same rate
||If you keep those results up you will get into a great college.
|let someone down
||fail to support or help, disappoint
||I need you to be on time. Don’t let me down this time.
|let someone in
||allow to enter
||Can you let the cat in before you go to school?
|look after someone/something
||take care of
||I have to look after my sick grandmother.
|look down on someone
||think less of, consider inferior
||Ever since we stole that chocolate bar your dad has looked down on me.
|look for someone/something
||try to find
||I’m looking for a red dress for the wedding.
|look forward to something
||be excited about the future
||I’m looking forward to the Christmas break.
|look into something
||We are going to look into the price of snowboards today.
||be careful, vigilant, and take notice
||Look out! That car’s going to hit you!
|look out for someone/something
||be especially vigilant for
||Don’t forget to look out for snakes on the hiking trail.
|look something over
||Can you look over my essay for spelling mistakes?
|look something up
||search and find information in a reference book or database
||We can look her phone number up on the Internet.
|look up to someone
||have a lot of respect for
||My little sister has always looked up to me.
|make something up
||invent, lie about something
||Josie made up a story about why we were late.
||forgive each other
||We were angry last night, but we made up at breakfast.
|make someone up
||apply cosmetics to
||My sisters made me up for my graduation party.
|mix something up
||confuse two or more things
||I mixed up the twins’ names again!
||His uncle passed away last night after a long illness.
||It was so hot in the church that an elderly lady passed out.
|pass something out
||give the same thing to many people
||The professor passed the textbooks out before class.
|pass something up
||decline (usually something good)
||I passed up the job because I am afraid of change.
|pay someone back
||return owed money
||Thanks for buying my ticket. I’ll pay you back on Friday.
|pay for something
||be punished for doing something bad
||That bully will pay for being mean to my little brother.
|pick something out
||I picked out three sweaters for you to try on.
|point someone/something out
||indicate with your finger
||I’ll point my boyfriend out when he runs by.
|put something down
||put what you are holding on a surface or floor
||You can put the groceries down on the kitchen counter.
|put someone down
||insult, make someone feel stupid
||The students put the substitute teacher down because his pants were too short.
|put something off
||We are putting off our trip until January because of the hurricane.
|put something out
||The neighbours put the fire out before the firemen arrived.
|put something together
||I have to put the crib together before the baby arrives.
|put up with someone/something
||I don’t think I can put up with three small children in the car.
|put something on
||put clothing/accessories on your body
||Don’t forget to put on your new earrings for the party.
|run into someone/something
||I ran into an old school-friend at the mall.
|run over someone/something
||drive a vehicle over a person or thing
||I accidentally ran over your bicycle in the driveway.
|run over/through something
||Let’s run over/through these lines one more time before the show.
||leave unexpectedly, escape
||The child ran away from home and has been missing for three days.
||have none left
||We ran out of shampoo so I had to wash my hair with soap.
|send something back
||return (usually by mail)
||My letter got sent back to me because I used the wrong stamp.
|set something up
||Our boss set a meeting up with the president of the company.
|set someone up
||The police set up the car thief by using a hidden camera.
||I want to shop around a little before I decide on these boots.
||act extra special for people watching (usually boastfully)
||He always shows off on his skateboard
||stay somewhere for the night (informal)
||You should sleep over tonight if the weather is too bad to drive home.
|sort something out
||organize, resolve a problem
||We need to sort the bills out before the first of the month.
|stick to something
||continue doing something, limit yourself to one particular thing
||You will lose weight if you stick to the diet.
|switch something off
||stop the energy flow, turn off
||The light’s too bright. Could you switch it off.
|switch something on
||start the energy flow, turn on
||We heard the news as soon as we switched on the car radio.
|take after someone
||resemble a family member
||I take after my mother. We are both impatient.
|take something apart
||purposely break into pieces
||He took the car brakes apart and found the problem.
|take something back
||return an item
||I have to take our new TV back because it doesn’t work.
||start to fly
||My plane takes off in five minutes.
|take something off
||remove something (usually clothing)
||Take off your socks and shoes and come in the lake!
|take something out
||remove from a place or thing
||Can you take the garbage out to the street for me?
|take someone out
||pay for someone to go somewhere with you
||My grandparents took us out for dinner and a movie.
|tear something up
||rip into pieces
||I tore up my ex-boyfriend’s letters and gave them back to him.
||remember (often + to, sometimes + on)
||When I think back on my youth, I wish I had studied harder.
|think something over
||I’ll have to think this job offer over before I make my final decision.
|throw something away
||We threw our old furniture away when we won the lottery.
|turn something down
||decrease the volume or strength (heat, light etc)
||Please turn the TV down while the guests are here.
|turn something down
||I turned the job down because I don’t want to move.
|turn something off
||stop the energy flow, switch off
||Your mother wants you to turn the TV off and come for dinner.
|turn something on
||start the energy, switch on
||It’s too dark in here. Let’s turn some lights on.
|turn something up
||increase the volume or strength (heat, light etc)
||Can you turn the music up? This is my favourite song.
||Our cat turned up after we put posters up all over the neighbourhood.
|try something on
||I’m going to try these jeans on, but I don’t think they will fit.
|try something out
||I am going to try this new brand of detergent out.
|use something up
||finish the supply
||The kids used all of the toothpaste up so we need to buy some more.
||We have to wake up early for work on Monday.
|warm someone/something up
||increase the temperature
||You can warm your feet up in front of the fireplace.
||prepare body for exercise
||I always warm up by doing sit-ups before I go for a run.
||Most of my make-up wore off before I got to the party.
||I work out at the gym three times a week.
||Our plan worked out fine.
|work something out
||make a calculation
||We have to work out the total cost before we buy the house.