Phrasal Verbs and Idioms for English Speaking | Lesson 10 – Elementary Level

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1. to make sure: to be sure, to ascertain (also: to make certain)

  • Ex: Please make sure that you turn off the radio before you go out.
  • Ex: Could you make certain of the time? I don’t want to miss that TV show.
2. now and then: occasionally, sometimes (also: now and again, at times, from time to time, off and on, once in a while)

Both now and then and once in a while can be preceded by the adjective every. Another idiom with the same meaning and form is every so often.

  • Ex:  I don’t see him very often, but (every) now and then we arrange to have lunch together.
  • Ex: Gary gets a cold (every) once in a while even though he takes good care of himself.
  • Ex: Every so often my brother and I get together for a camping trip.
  • Ex: I like to sleep late in the morning from time to time.
3. to get rid of: to eliminate, to remove; to discard, to throw away

  • Ex: Jerry tried hard to get rid of the stain on his shirt, but he never succeeded.
  • Ex: The stain was so bad that Jerry finally had to get rid of his shirt.
4. every other (one): every second (one), alternate (ones)

  • Ex: I play tennis with my father every other Saturday, so I usually play twice a month.
  • Ex: There were twenty problems in the exercise, but the teacher told us only to do every other one. Actually, doing ten problems was difficult enough.
5. to go with: to match, to compare well in color to design; to date, to accompany (also: to go out with)

For the first definition, adverbs such as well and poorly are often used.

  • Ex: That striped shirt goes well with the gray pants, but the pants go poorly with those leather shoes.
  • Ex: Eda went with Richard for about six months, but now she is going out with a new boyfriend.
 6. first-rate: excellent, superb

  • Ex: The food served in that four-star restaurant is truly first-rate.
  • Ex: The Beverly Hills Hotel provides first-rate service to its guests.
7. to come from: to originate from

This idiom is commonly used in discussion of one’s home town, state, or country.

  • Ex: What country in South American does she come from? She comes from Peru.
  • Ex: I just learned that he really comes from Florida, not Texas.
  • Ex: Where did this package come from? The mail carrier brought it.
8. to make good time: to travel a sufficient distance at a reasonable speed

The adjective excellent can also be used.

  • Ex: On our last trip, it rained the entire time, so we didn’t make good time.
  • Ex: We made excellent time on our trip to Florida; it only took eighteen hours.
9. to mix up: to stir or shake well ; to confuse, to bewilder

For the second definition, the passive forms to be mixed up or to get mixed up are often used.

  • Ex: You should mix up the ingredients well before you put them in the pan
  • Ex: The teacher’s poor explanation really mixed the students up.
  • Ex: The students think it’s their fault that they are mixed up so often.
10. to see about: to give attention or time to (also: to attend to, to see to)

  • Ex: Who is going to see about getting us a larger room for the meeting?
  • Ex: I’ll see to arranging music for the wedding of you attend to the entertainment.
11. to make out: to do, to succeed, to progress

  • Ex: Charlie didn’t make out very well on his final examinations. He may have to repeat one or more classes.
  • Ex: How did Rachelle make out on her acting audition in Hollywood yesterday?
12. by heart: by memorizing

  • Ex: He knows many passages form Shakespeare by heart.
  • Ex: Do you know all the idioms you have studied in this book by heart?