12 English Phrasal Verbs and Idioms for Learning & Improving 4 skills | Lesson 3 – Intermediate Level

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1. on one’s toes: alert, cautious

This idiom is usually used with the verbs stay and keep.

  • Ex: It’s important for all the players on a soccer team to stay on their toes.
  • Ex: We’d better keep on our toes while we’re walking along the dark portions of this street.
2. to get along: to make progress; to manage to live in a certain state of health

  • Ex: Juan is getting along very well in his English studies.
  • Ex: How is Mr. Richards getting along after his long illness?
 3. hard of hearing: partially deaf, not able to hear well

  • Ex: You’ll have to speak a little louder. Mrs. Evans is hard of hearing.
  • Ex: Please don’t shout. I’m not hard of hearing.
  • Ex: Listening to loud music too much can make you hard of hearing.
4. to see eye to eye: to agree, to concur

  • Ex: I’m glad that we see eye to eye on the matter of the conference location.
  • Ex: A husband and wife don’t always see eye to eye with each other, but a good marriage can survive small disagreements.
5. to have in mind: to be considering, to be thinking

  • Ex: I don’t want to see a movie now. I have in mind going to the park.
  • Ex: It’s up to you what we eat tonight. Do you have anything in mind?
6. to keep in mind: to remember, not to forget (also: to bear in mind)

  • Ex: I didn’t know that Paula doesn’t like vegetables. We should bear that in mind next time we invite her for dinner.
  • Ex: Please keep in mind that you promised to call Stan around noon.
7. for once: this one time, for only one time

  • Ex: For once I was able to win a game of golf against Steve, who is a much better player than I am. Dad, for once would you please let me drive the new car?
8. to go off: to explode; to sound as an alarm; to leave suddenly without explanation

Ex: The accident happened when a box of firecrackers went off accidentally.

Ex: For what time did you set the alarm clock to go off tomorrow morning?

Ex: Vince went off without saying good-bye to anybody; I hope he wasn’t angry.

9. to grow out of: to outgrow, to become too old for; to be a result of

  • Ex: He still bites his nails now and then, but soon he’ll grow out of the habit.
  • Ex: The need for the salary committee grew out of worker dissatisfaction with the pay scale
10. to make the best of: to do the best that one can in a poor situation

  • Ex: If we can’t find a larger apartment soon, we’ll just have to make the best of it right here.
  • Ex: Even though the Martinez family is having financial problems, they make the best of everything by enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
11. to cut off: to shorten by cutting the ends; to disconnect or stop suddenly

  • Ex: The rope was two feet longer than we needed, so we cut off the extra length.
  • Ex: The operator cut our long-distance phone conversation off after two minutes.
12. to cut out: to remove by cutting; to stop doing something (for the second definition, also: to knock it off)

For the second definition, the idiom is usually separated by the pronoun it.

  • Ex: The child likes to cut out pictures form the newspaper and to paste them in a notebook.
  • Ex: He kept bothering her, so finally she told him to cut it out. However, he wouldn’t knock it off until her larger brother appeared.