12 English Phrasal Verbs and Idioms for Learning & Improving 4 skills | Lesson 7 – 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 hold still: not to move

  • Ex: Please hold still while I adjust your tie.
  • Ex: If you don’t hold that camera still, you’ll get a blurred picture.
2. to know by sight: to recognize

This idiom is used when the person has been seen previously but is not known personally. The person must be used to separate the idiom.

  • Ex: I have never met our new neighbors; I simply know them by sight.
  • Ex: The woman said that she would know the thief by sight if she ever saw him again.
3. to be the matter: to be unsatisfactory, to be improper, to be wrong

In a question, this idiom is used with what or something. In an answer, something or nothing is usually used.


  • A: What is the matter, Betty? You look very upset.
  • B: Yes, something is the matter. I’ve lost my purse!
  • A: Is something the matter, Charles? You don’t look well.
  • B: No, nothing is the matter. I’m just a little under the weather.
4. to bring up: to rear, to raise from childhood; to mention, to raise an issue, to introduce a topic Ex: Parents should bring up their children to be responsible members of society.

  • Ex: Sarah wanted to bring the scheduling problem up at the club meeting, but finally she decided against doing so.
  • Ex: One of the students brought up an interesting point related to the subject in our textbook.
5. to get lost: to become lost; to go away in order not to bother

The second definition provides a very informal, even rude, meaning that should be used only with close friends. It is sometimes used in a joking manner.

  • Ex: While driving in Boston, we got lost and drove many miles in the wrong direction.
  • Ex: Todd kept bothering me while I was studying, so I told him to get lost.
  • Ex: Lisa joked that she wanted her sister to get lost forever.
6. to hold up: to delay, to make late; to remain high in quality

  • Ex: A big accident held up traffic on the highway for several hours.
  • Ex: Deidre is amazed at how well her car has held up over the years.
7. to run away: to leave without permission; to escape

  • Ex: The young couple ran away and got married because their parents wouldn’t permit it.
  • Ex: That cat is just like a criminal — it runs away from anyone who tries to come near!
8. to rule out: to refuse to consider, to prohibit

  • Ex: Heather ruled out applying to college in Texas because she would rather go to school in Canada.
  • Ex: I’d like to watch a good movie on TV tonight, but a ton of homework rules that out.
9. by far: by a great margin, clearly

  • Ex: Jacquie is by far the most intelligent student in our class.
  • Ex: This is by far the hottest, most humid summer we’ve had in years.
10. to see off: to say good-bye upon departure by train, airplane, bus, etc. (also: to send off)

A noun or pronoun must divide the idiom.

  • Ex: We are going to the airport to see Peter off on his trip to Europe.
    Ex: When I left for Cincinnati on a business trip, no one came to the train station to send me off.
11. to see out: to accompany a person out of a house, building, etc.

A noun or pronoun must again divide the idiom.

  • Ex: The Johnsons were certain to see their guests out as each one left the party.
  • Ex: Would you please see me out to the car? It’s very dark outside.
12. no wonder: it’s no surprise that, not surprisingly

This idiom derives form reducing it is no wonder that…

Ex: No wonder the portable heater doesn’t work. It’s not plugged into the electrical outlet!

Ex: Jack has been out of town for several weeks. No wonder we haven’t seen him recently

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