12 English Phrasal Verbs and Idioms for Learning & Improving 4 skills | Lesson 5 – Intermediate Level

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One of the best ways to improve communication skills is to become familiar with the language by reading, building vocabulary, and discussing what you study in daily conversations. Helena Daily English blog provides the Daily English knowledge that you can study and then try to apply in everyday situations
1. to do without: survive or exist without something (also: to go without)

  • Ex: With prices so high now, I’ll have to do without a new suit this year.
  • Ex: As a traveling salesperson, Monica can’t do without a car.
  • Ex: It’s a shame that so many poor people in the world have to go without basic necessities of life such as nutritious food and suitable shelter
2. according to: in the order of; on the authority of

  • Ex: The students on the football team were ranked according to height, from shortest to tallest.
    Ex: According to my dictionary, you are using that word in your essay incorrectly.
3. to be bound to: to be certain to, to be sure to

This idiom is used when the occurrence of an event seems inevitable or unavoidable.

  • Ex: We are bound to be late if you don’t hurry up.
  • Ex: With the economy improving now, their business is bound to make more money this year.
4. for sure: without doubt (also: for certain)

  • Ex: In the dark, I couldn’t tell for sure whether it was Polly or Sarah who drove by.
  • Ex: I now for certain that Gene will move back to Washington next month.
5. to take for: to perceive or understand as

This idiom is usually used when someone is mistakenly perceived. A noun or pronoun must separate the idiom.

  • Ex: Because of his strong, muscular body, I took him for a professional athlete. As it turns out, he doesn’t play any professional sports.
  • Ex: What do you take me for — a fool? I don’t believe what you’re saying at all.
6. to try out: to test, to use during a trial period

  • Ex: You can try out the new car before you decide to buy it.
  • Ex: I can let you try the computer out for a few days before you make a decision.
7. to tear down: to destroy by making flat, to demolish

  • Ex: The construction company had to tear down the old hotel in order to build a new office building.
  • Ex: The owners had to tear the house down after it burned down in a fire.
8. to tear up: to rip into small pieces

  • Ex: Tom tore up the letter angrily and threw all the pieces into the trash can.
  • Ex: He told the lawyer to tear the old contract up and then to prepare a new one
9. to go over: to be appreciated or accepted

This idiom is usually followed by the adverb well. (In Lesson 6 this idiom has the meaning to review, as in the second sentence of the second example below.)

  • Ex: The teacher’s organized lessons always go over well with her students.
  • Ex: The comedian’s jokes weren’t going over well; the audience wasn’t laughing much at all. I think that the comedian should go over his material more carefully before each act.
10. to run out of: to exhaust the supply of, not to have more of

  • Ex: We ran out of gas right in the middle of the main street in town.
  • Ex: It’s dangerous to run out of water if you are in an isolated area.
11. at heart: basically, fundamentally

This idiom is used to describe the true character of a person.

  • Ex: James sometimes seems quite unfriendly, but at heart he’s a good person.
  • Ex: The Fares often don’t see eye to eye, but at heart they both love each other very much
12. about to: ready to, just going to

  • Ex: We were about to leave the house when the phone rang.
  • Ex: I’m sorry that I broke in. What were you about to say?

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