Phrasal Verbs and Idioms for English Speaking | Lesson 9 – Elementary Level

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1. to wake up: to arise from sleep, to awaken

Compare wake up and get up as used in the first example.

  • Example: Marge woke up this morning very early, but she did not get up until about ten o’clock.
  • Ex: My alarm clock wakes me up at the same time every day.
2. to be in charge of: to manage, to have responsibility for

  • Ex: Jane is in charge of the office while Mrs. Haig is a business trip.
  • Ex: Who is in charge of arrangements for the dance next week?
3. as soon as: just after, when

  • Ex: As soon as it started to snow, the children ran outside with big smiles on their faces.
  • Ex: I’m busy now, but I’ll meet you as soon as I’ve finished this work.
4. to get in touch with: to communicate with, to contact

  • Ex: You can get in touch with him by calling the Burma Hotel.
  • Ex: I’ve been trying all morning to get in touch with Miss Peters, but her phone is always busy.
5. to have a good time: to enjoy oneself

  • Ex: We all had a good time at the class reunion last night.
  • Ex: Did you have a good time at the park? I really enjoyed it.
6. in no time: very quickly, rapidly

This idiom can be used with the idiom at all to add emphasis to the certainty of the statement.

  • Ex: Mac said that he’d be ready to leave in no time.
  • Ex: We thought that the meeting would take two hours, but it was over in no time at all.
7. to cut down on: to reduce, to lessen (also: to cut back on)

  • Ex: In order to lose weight, you have to cut down on your intake of sugar.
  • Ex: The doctor told me to cut back on exercise until my back injury heals.
8. quite a few: many

  • Ex: Quite a few students were absent yesterday; in fact, more than half of them were not there.
  • Ex: We did not expect many people to attend to affair, but quite a few of our friends actually came
9. used to: formerly did, had the habit of

This idiom is used to indicate a past situation, action, or habit that does not exist in the present. The idiom is always followed by a simple verb form.

  • Ex: I used to live in New York, but I moved to California two years ago.
  • Ex: Kim used to smoke cigarettes, but she stopped the habit last month.
10. to be used to: be accustomed to

This idiom refers to a situation, action, or habit that continues in the present.

The idiom is always followed by a noun or gerund phrase.

  • Ex: He is used to this climate now, so the changes in temperature do not affect him much.
  • Ex: I am used to studying in the library, so it’s difficult for me to study at home now.
11. to get used to: to become used to, to become adjusted to

This idiom describes the process of change that allows someone to be used to a situation, action, or habit.

  • Ex: It took Yoshiko a long time to get used to the food that her American host family served her.
  • Ex: Mark can’t seem to get used to wearing contact lenses; recently he’s been wearing his glasses a lot.
12. back and forth: in a backward and forward motion

  • Ex: The restless lion kept pacing back and forth along the front of its cage.
  • Ex: Grandmother finds it relaxing to sit in her rocking chair and move back and forth.