Phrasal Verbs and Idioms for English Speaking | Lesson 8 – Elementary Level

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1. to be about to: to be at the moment of doing something, to be ready

This idiom is often sued with the adverb just.

  • Ex: I was just about to leave when you telephoned.
  • Ex: Oh, hi, John. We‘re just about to eat dinner.
2. to turn around: to move or face in the opposite direction (S); to completely change the condition of

  • Ex: The man turned his car around and drove back the way he came.
  • Ex: The company has been very successful since the new business manager was able to turn it around.
3. to take turns: to alternate, to change people while doing something

  • Ex: During the trip, Darlene and I took turns driving so that neither of us would tire out.
  • Ex: I have to make sure that my two sons take turns playing the video game.
4. to pay attention (to): to look at and listen to someone while they are speaking, to concentrate

  • Ex: Please pay attention to me while I’m speaking to you!
  • Ex: You’ll have to pay more attention in class if you want to get a good grade.
5. to brush up on: to review something in order to refresh one’s memory

  • Ex: Before I traveled to Mexico, I brushed up on my Spanish; I haven’t practiced it since high school.
  • Ex: In order to take that advanced mathematics class, Sidney will have to brush up on his algebra.
6. over and over (again): repeatedly (also: time after time, time and again)

  • Ex: The actress studied her lines in the movie over and over until she knew them well.
  • Ex: Children have difficulty remembering rules, so it’s often necessary to repeat them over and over again.
  • Ex: Time and again I have to remind Bobby to put on his seatbelt in the car.
7. to wear out: to use something until it has no value or worth anymore, to make useless through wear

  • Ex: When I wear out these shoes, I’ll have to buy some that last longer.
  • Ex: What do you do with your clothes after you wear them out?
8. to throw away: to discard, to dispose of

  • Ex: I generally throw away my clothes when I wear them out.
  • Ex: Don’t throw the magazines away; I haven’t read them yet.
9. to fall in love: to begin to love

This idiom is used with the expression at first sight to indicate a sudden interest in love.

  • Ex: Ben and Sal fell in love in high school, and got married after graduation.
  • Ex: Have you ever fallen in love at first sight?
10. to go out: to stop functioning; to stop burning; to leave home or work (also: to step out)

  • Ex: The lights went out all over the city because of an electrical problem.
  • Ex: The campers didn’t have to put out the fire because it went out by itself.
  • Ex: Gary isn’t here right now; he went out to the store for a moment.
  • Ex: I have to step out of the office briefly to pick up a newspaper.
 11. out of the question: impossible, not feasible

  • Ex: Stephen told Deborah that it was out of the question for her to borrow his new car.
  • Ex: Don’t expect me to do that again. It’s absolutely out of the question.
12. to have to do with: to have some connection with or relationship to

  • Ex: Ralph insisted that he had nothing to do with breaking the window.
  • Ex: What does your suggestion have to do with our problem?