Phrasal Verbs and Idioms for English Speaking | Lesson 11 – Elementary Level

1. to keep out: not to enter, not allow to enter

  • Ex: There was a large sign outside the door that said, “Danger! Keep out!”
  • Ex: I’ve told you to keep the dog out of the house.
2. to keep away (from): to stay at a distance (from); to avoid use of (also: stay away from)

  • Ex: Please be sure to keep the children away from the street!
  • Ex: The signs on the burned-out house said, “Keep Away! Danger Zone.”
  • Ex: It’s important for your health to stay away from dangerous drugs.
3. to find fault with: criticize, to complain about something

  • Ex: It is very easy to find fault with the work of others, but more difficult to accept criticism of one’s own work.
  • Ex: Mrs. Johnson is always finding fault with her children, but they really try to please their mother.
4. to be up to: to be responsible for deciding; to be doing as a regular activity

The second definition is most often used in a question as a form of greeting.

  • Ex: I don’t care whether we go to the reception or not. It‘s up to you.
  • Ex: Hi, George. I haven’t seen you in a while. What have you been up to?
5. ill at ease: uncomfortable or worried in a situation

  • Ex: Speaking in front of a large audience makes many people feel ill at ease.
  • Ex: My wife and I were ill at ease because our daughter was late coming home from a date
6. to do over: to revise, to do again

  • Ex: A noun or pronoun must separate the two parts of this idiom.
  • Ex: You’d better do the letter over because it is written so poorly.
    Ex: Jose made so many mistakes in his homework that the teacher made him do it over.
7. to look into: to investigate, to examine carefully (also: to check into)

  • Ex: The police are looking into the matter of the stolen computers.
  • Ex: The congressional committee will check into the financial dealings of the government contractor
8. to take hold of: to grasp, to grip with the heads

  • Ex: You should take hold of the railing as you go down those steep stairs.
  • Ex: The blind man took hold of my arm as I led him across the street.
9. to get through: to finish, to complete

This idiom is followed either by the –ing form of a verb (a gerund) or by the preposition with.

  • Ex: I didn’t get through studying last night until almost eleven o’clock.
  • Ex: At what time does your wife get through with work every day?
10. from now on: from this time into the future

  • Ex: Mr. Lee’s doctor told him to cut down on eating fatty foods from now on, or else he might suffer heart disease.
  • Ex: I’m sorry that I dropped by at a bad time. From now on I’ll call you first.
11. to keep track of: to keep or maintain a record of; to remember the location of

  • Ex: Steve keeps track of all the long-distance telephone calls related to his business that he makes from his house.
  • Ex: With seven small children, how do the Wilsons keep track of all of them?
12. to be carried away: to be greatly affected by a strong feeling

This idiom can also be used with get instead of be.

  • Ex: Paula and Leanne were carried away by the sad movie that they saw together.
  • Ex: James got carried away with anger when his roommate crashed his new car into a telephone pole.