Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Phrasel Verb "Out"

If you ‘burst out’, you suddenly say something. If you ‘burst out laughing’, you suddenly start to laugh. If you have an ‘outburst’, you express your feelings (usually anger) strongly.

* I burst out laughing when I saw Derek wearing his kilt.
* He suddenly burst out crying when I told him he had lost his job.

If you ‘call somebody out’, you ask them to come to help you.

* We called out the fire brigade because the situation was so dangerous.
* I was called out in the middle of the night because the computer system went down.

If you ‘call out’, you say something loudly.

* If you know the answer, just call it out.
* I called out your name but you couldn’t have heard me.

If you ‘carry out’ a task, you do something you were told or agreed to do.

* We need to carry out a survey to see what people really want.
* I didn’t think he would carry out his threat to resign.

If you ‘clear out’ a place, you remove all the unwanted items.

* We cleared out the old storeroom and turned it into an office.
* You’re fired. Clear out your desk and leave the premises.

If you ‘wear somebody out’ , you make them very tired.

* I’m worn out from all the business trips I take.
* Running two offices in Milan and New York is enough to wear anybody out.

If you ‘work something out’, you make a calculation or make a plan and a decision.

* I need to work out the new prices for next year’s catalogue.
* We need to work out an agreement between our companies.

If something unpleasant or bad ‘breaks out’, it starts.

* The fire broke out in the warehouse.
* A fight broke out in the canteen when somebody tried to jump the queue.

If you ‘drop out’ of an activity, you stop doing it.

* We dropped out of the bidding for the new contract because we were going to make a loss.
* I’ve dropped out of the planning committee because I don’t have the time.

If you ‘fall out’ with someone, you have an argument with them.

* Harry and I have fallen out about the plans for the new building.
* I don’t want to fall out with you but I strongly disagree.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Phrasel Verb "Out"

If you ‘shut out’ a noise or light you prevent it from being heard or seen. You can also ‘shut out’ emotions and feelings, usually painful ones.

* We need to close the curtains and shut out the light.
* You will have to try to shut out those painful memories.

If you don’t include somebody in an activity, you ‘shut them out’. In the US, if you prevent the other team from scoring, you have ‘shut them out’.

* They claim that women are shut out from the key decision posts.
* The Yankees shut out the Red Sox.

If you ‘storm out’, you leave angrily.

* He stormed out of the meeting with an angry look on his face.
* Don’t storm out. Stay and explain to us why you are so upset.

If you ‘try something out’, you test it to see if it is satisfactory.

* I want to try out this restaurant before we invite clients there.
* The company are trying out a new security system.

If you ‘cry out’, you shout or make a loud noise.

* He cried out in pain.
* He was so frightened that he cried out for help.

In informal English, if something ‘is crying out for’ something, it needs it urgently.

* The company is crying out for better leadership.
* The factory is crying out for modernization.

If you ‘hand out’ something, you give it to everybody in the group.

* Don’t take notes. I’ll hand out a summary later.
* We could try handing out some promotional leaflets in the street.

If you ‘hand out’ advice, criticism, a punishment etc., you give it to somebody (who usually doesn’t want to receive it.)

* She’s good at handing out criticism but she can’t take it.
* He’s always handing out advice but he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about.

If you ‘invite somebody out’ you ask them to go with you to some pleasant event.

* I’ve been invited out to dinner by an old friend.
* He invited me out to the cinema but I was too tired and went back to my hotel room.

If you ‘wear something out’, you use it to the point where it becomes weak or damaged.

* My brakes have worn out. I need new ones urgently.
* I’ve worn out my shoes shopping for the perfect dress.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Phrasel Verb "Out"

If you ‘show somebody out’, you show them the door out of the building.

* My secretary will show you out.
* Could you show Ms Smith out?

If you ‘set out’, you start a journey or activity.

* We need to set out early if we want to get there in time for lunch.
* I set out to be an architect but ended up a zoologist.

To ‘set out’ can also mean to give all the details or a full explanation.

* She set out all the facts clearly in her presentation.
* The contract clearly sets out your terms of employment.

If you ‘cross something out’, you draw a line through it because it is wrong.

* You can’t just cross out things you don’t like in the contract. We need to retype it.
* Just cross out her name and put your own in its place.

If you ‘miss out’ on something, you don’t get something that you would like that other people get.

* I missed out on the bonus because I’d not met my sales targets.
* There are some real bargains in the sales. Make sure you don’t miss out.

If you ‘pass out’, you lose consciousness.

* He had too much to drink and passed out.
* It was so hot that I thought I was going to pass out.

If you ‘pass something out’, you distribute it to people in the room.

* I’m going to pass out a copy of the letter for you to study.
* Could someone pass out these papers, please?

If you ‘point someone or something out’, you indicate where they are, either by speaking or by pointing your finger.

* If Diana is at this party, I’ll point her out to you.
* Martin pointed out several mistakes I had made.

If you ‘point something out’, you tell them a fact they did not know, usually relevant to the current discussion.

* Harry pointed out that our sale in China were rising rapidly.
* I must point out that this new system has several disadvantages.

If you ‘share something out’, you divide it into smaller amounts and give one part to each person.

* We shared out the bonus between seven of us.
* You need to share out the work equally between you.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Adjectives used to describe change

Adjectives used to describe change

When we talk about changes, we often need to point out how big or rapid these changes have been. To do this, we need to use adjectives.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Verbs used to describe change

Verbs used to describe change

When we are giving a presentation, we often talk about changes. Usually we illustrate these changes with visual aids to show these changes. We need, however, to explain these changes. To do this, we need special verbs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Effective Presentations – stating your purpose

It is important to state your purpose clearly at the beginning of your talk. Here are some ways to do this:

talk about = to speak about a subject

* Today I’d like to talk about our plans for the new site.
* I’m going to be talking to you about the results of our survey.

report on
= to tell you about what has been done.

* I’m going to be reporting on our results last quarter.
* Today I will be reporting on the progress we have made since our last meeting.

take a look at
= to examine

* First, let’s take a look at what we have achieved so far.
* Before we go on to the figures, I’d like to take a look at the changes we have made.

tell you about = to speak to someone to give them information or instructions

* First, I will tell you about the present situation, then go onto what we are going to do.
* When I have finished, Jack will then tell you about what is happening in Europe.

show = to explain something by doing it or by giving instructions.

* The object of this morning’s talk is to show you how to put the theory into practice.
* Today I’m going to show you how to get the most out of the new software.

outline = to give the main facts or information about something.

* I’d like to outline the new policy and give you some practical examples.
* I will only give you a brief outline and explain how it affects you.

fill you in on
= to give some extra or missing information

* I’d like to quickly fill you in on what has happened.
* When I have finished outlining the policy, Jerry will fill you in on what we want you to do.

give an overview of = to give a short description with general information but no details.

* Firstly, I would like to give you a brief overview of the situation.
* I’ll give you an overview of our objectives and then hand over to Peter for more details.

= draw attention to or emphasize the important fact or facts.

* The results highlight our strengths and our weaknesses.
* I’d now like to go on to highlight some of the advantages that these changes will bring.

discuss = to talk about ideas or opinions on a subject in more detail.

* I’m now going to go on to discuss our options in more detail.
* After a brief overview of the results, I’d like to discuss the implications in more detail.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Vocab "Out" Part 2

When you finish your stay in a hotel, you have to ‘check out’ at reception and pay your final bill.

* I need to check out of my hotel room by 11.
* You check us out whilst I order a taxi for the airport.

If you ‘lock yourself out’, you close a door without having the key to get back in.

* Richard managed to lock himself out of his hotel room stark naked.
* I’ve left the keys in the car and locked myself out.

If you ‘pick something out, you choose it, often with some care.

* Harry has picked out all the cashew nuts and left only the peanuts for me.
* From the thirty candidates, we’ve picked out seven to interview.

If you ‘reach out’ for something, you extend your arm to get it (sometimes metaphorically.)

* Drivers have to reach out a long way to insert the ticket in the machine.
* Our present customers are almost all over fifty. We need to reach out to a younger public.

If you ‘rush out’, you leave or send out very quickly.

* I wanted to speak to Jane but she rushed out as soon as the meeting was over.
* We rushed out the new catalogue and it is full of spelling errors.

If you ‘throw something out’, you get rid of it.

* We need to throw out the terrible printers we have and buy some new ones.
* You shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

If you warn somebody to ‘look out’, it means that there is danger.

* Look out! The boss is on the warpath.
* Look out! There’s a radar camera just up ahead.

If you ‘send something out’ you send it to a lot of people (for example, to a mailing list.)

* I’ll be sending out the newsletter early next week.
* Have you sent out the invitations yet?

If someone or something ‘stands out’, it is very noticeable or is better than similar people or things.

* One candidate stands out from the rest.
* He likes to stand out from the crowd.

If you ‘pour out’ your (usually sad) feelings or your thoughts, you talk about them very honestly and without holding anything back.

* He poured his heart out to me about his recent divorce.
* Don’t hold back. Let it all pour out. It will do you good.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Vocab "Out" Part 1

If you ‘ask someone out’, you invite them out on a date (with the hope of romance between you.)

* I want to ask her out but I am too shy.
* He asked me out on Friday but I told him I had to wash my hair.

If you ‘cut something out’, you no longer do it/ eat it etc.

* My doctor told me to cut out dairy products.
* I cut out going to the gym because I did not have the time and now I am fat.

If you ‘eat out’, you go to a restaurant.

* He never cooks and always eats out or has a takeaway.
* For my birthday, I would like to eat out somewhere nice.

If you ‘jump out’, you come out quickly and suddenly.

* I was walking quietly down the street when this young man jumped out in front of me.
* Stop the car at the corner and I will jump out.

If you ‘keep someone out’, you prevent them from entering.

* There is extra security today to keep the protestors out.
* Please keep out of my office. I need some peace and quiet.

If you ‘leave something out’, you do not mention it.

* Did you leave anything out or is that the whole story?
* It is just a summary. I left out a lot of the details.

If something ‘slips out’, it escapes quickly and quietly.

* I have slipped out of the meeting for a few minutes but I must get back.
* I did not intend to tell him. It just slipped out.

If you ‘squeeze something out ‘ , you get it out using force or pressure.

* I can never squeeze out that last bit of toothpaste from the tube.
* I managed to squeeze out of her that the job was offered to Alain.

If you ‘stay out’, you do not come home.

* I stayed out all night and I feel terrible.
* We stayed out celebrating until the early hours.

If you ‘walk out’ , you leave as a sign of protest.

* When we heard their derisory offer, we walked out of the meeting.
* This presentation is dreadful. I have a good mind to walk out.


Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "up" part 5

If you ‘do up’ your coat, you fasten it.

* Do up your jacket. It looks untidy.
* Can you do up my coat for me? My hands are frozen.

Do up’ can also mean to decorate or make repairs to something.

* Buy me the paint and I will do up my room.
* I’m going to do up my car so that I can sell it.

To ‘hold up’ can mean to delay.

* We were held up by a traffic accident.
* I don’t mean to hold you up but we must finish this discussion.

To ‘keep up with’ can mean to go at the same speed as.

* It is difficult to keep up with all the changes they are making.
* I don’t know how you keep up with all the news.

To ‘keep up’ can mean to maintain.

* It is difficult to keep up the payments on my new car.
* I can’t afford to keep up an apartment in town and a house in the country.

If you ‘kick up a fuss’, you complain loudly about something.

* He will kick up a fuss when he finds out that he is not invited to the meeting.
* The restaurant had given away our table so I kicked up a fuss and got another one.

If you ‘stir up’ trouble, you cause it by agitation.

* She is always stirring up trouble about some grievance or another.
* Some shareholders tried to stir up trouble about the sale of the factory.

If you ‘sum up’, you briefly restate the main points of a meeting or discussion.

* I’d like to sum up my presentation with this quote from Winston Churchill.
* Could somebody sum up what you talked about this morning?

If you ‘turn up’ a dial, you increase it.

* Could you turn up the volume? I cannot hear it.
* That’s the brightest I can make the picture. I’ve turned up the control to the maximum.

If you ‘turn up’ somewhere, you arrive, sometimes unexpectedly.

* John turned up at the party, even though he wasn’t invited.
* He’s always turning up for work an hour late.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "up" part 4

If someone ‘beats you up’, they hit and kick you and hurt you a lot.

* The muggers beat him up badly.
* I was beaten up so badly that I was off work for a month.

If you ‘bottle up’ a feeling or emotion, you suppress them and don’t express them.

* If you bottle up your feelings, you will make yourself ill.
* I was angry but I bottled up my feelings during the meeting.

If you ‘call someone up’, you phone them.

* I tried to call you up earlier but there was no answer.
* Call me up when you get a chance.

If something ‘crops up’, it happens unexpectedly.

* Something has cropped up. I am going to have to work late.
* If a problem crops up when I am away, give me a call on my cell phone.

If you ‘freshen up’, you wash and make yourself more presentable.

* I need a minute to freshen up before we meet them.
* When they arrive, they will probably need a few moments to freshen up after the journey.

If your eyes ‘light up’, they become excited.

* Her eyes lit up when she saw the dress.
* His eyes lit up when he saw her wearing the dress.

If you ‘own up’, you confess to something.

* Nobody has owned up to starting the fire.
* He owned up to being a big fan of Britney.

If you ‘polish something up’, you improve it.

* The basic report is fine but you need to polish it up a bit.
* I must polish up my Japanese before we go to Tokyo.

If you ‘speed up’, you go faster.

* We need to speed up production. It is taking too long.
* Can you speed up a bit? I am going to miss my train.

If you ‘tighten up’ something, you make it more secure.

* We need to tighten up security in the light of these threats.
* We need to tighten up our quality control system. There have been too many mistakes.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Vocab "Pay" Part 3

commission’ is paid to people in sales based on the amounts of goods sold.

* Working here I get paid a fixed salary and commission based on my sales.
* I get paid a commission on the deals I negotiate.

People who are ‘hourly paid’ are paid a fixed rate for each hour that they work and not a fixed salary for a year or task.

* He isn’t a salaried employee, he is hourly paid.
* For everyone who is hourly paid, wages are paid weekly.

benefits’ are the extras that you are given by your employer on top of your salary. These may include private health insurance, a private pension, company car.

* Although my gross salary is not high for the sector, I get a lot of extra benefits.
* He has a very good benefits package including a car and private health insurance.

A ’taxable benefit’ is a benefit which is considered as part of your income and therefore included in the income to be declared for tax.

* The value of the company car is included in my income. It is a taxable benefit.
* Meals in the canteen, drinks and parking are generally not taxable benefits.

expenses’ are the costs that you incur doing your job that are reimbursed by the company, notably for travel.

* When I travel, I pay for my tickets and hotels and then claim my expenses back.
* The company is very strict about expenses. We can’t spend more than a certain amount on hotels or meals.

In order to claim expenses, you must keep all ‘receipts’ for payments you have made.

* On the 30th of the month, we hand in all our receipts for our expenses.
* When I take someone to lunch I always have to get a receipt so that I’ll be reimbursed.

If you use your own car to travel to another location for your work, you may be able to claim ‘mileage’ands be reimbursed a fixed rate per mile travelled to cover the cost.

* It is better for the company to pay mileage than provide company cars.
* There is a fixed rate for mileage depending on the size of the car.

a ‘pay review’ is when salaries are considered for changes.

* The unions are preparing for the negotiations in the annual pay review.
* A lot of changes to pay grades are being considered during the pay review. When the company closed the branch, the redundancy pay was very generous.

redundancy pay’ is given if you lose your job and are made redundant. This is usually related to the time you have worked for the company.

* When I lost my job, I used my redundancy pay to set up my own company.
* When the company closed the branch, the redundancy pay was very generous.

notice’, specified in the terms of your contract, is the time worked between telling your employer that you are leaving your job and actually leaving.

* I have to work out two months notice before I can start my new job.
* When I left, I was paid my notice but I didn’t have to work it.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Vocab "Pay" Part 2

gross salary’ is the salary before anything is deducted for contributions and tax.

* Her gross salary is £50 000 but obviously she takes home considerably less than that.
* He earns £40 000 a year gross.

net salary’ is the salary that you are paid after deductions have made

* My gross salary is around £60 000 but the net is around £48 000.
* The net salary is the gross salary minus the deductions the employer makes for contributions and tax.

deductions’ are payments made by the employer for an employee to health and pension schemes based on the gross salary.

* Although my gross salary seems good, after deductions, I haven’t very much left.
* The details of the deductions are on your pay statement. You can see what you are paying.

income tax’ is the tax which is paid on the money you earn.

* In the UK, income tax is deducted directly from your salary and paid to the state.
* In some countries, you have to complete an income tax return annually to calculate the tax to be paid.

rate’ is the amount you are paid per hour, week or month of work.

* I don’t know what the standard rate is for this type of work.
* Some people are paid on piece rate. They are paid by their output, not by the time it takes.

The ‘basic state pension’ is the money paid on retirement to everyone who has paid contributions for the required number of years.

* Although I contribute to the state pension fund, I also pay into a private one too.
* The basic state pension is very low, too low for a decent standard of living.

The ’national minimum wage’ is the minimum an employee can be paid per hour of work.

* Everyone here is paid a rate that is better than the minimum wage.
* The national minimum wage varies according to age. Young people are paid less than adults.

The ‘equal pay’ law states that employers must pay the same to men and women who are doing the same or similar jobs.

* Equal pay for women is the law but many are still paid less than their male colleagues.
* Each year, there are many cases where women take their employer to court to fight for equal pay.

overtime’ is a higher rate of pay for working more than the usual hours or unsocial hours.

* When I work on Sundays, I am paid overtime.
* I do a lot more hours than in my contract but I don’t get paid overtime.

A ‘bonus’ is an extra amount of money paid as a reward on top of your fixed salary.

* We usually get a bonus at Christmas depending on how well the company has done.
* Every year, usually in January, we receive a bonus. It is a discretionary bonus related to your performance.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Vocab "Pay" Part 1

Pay’ is money that you get from your employer, either as a wage or as a salary.

* What are the pay and conditions for the job?
* Pay rates in the industry are very poor.

Back pay’ is money owed to you by your employer for work done in the past which has not yet been paid.

* I’m still owed 3 months back pay for the overtime I did before Christmas.
* The company cannot afford to give you the back pay it owes you.

A ‘pay cut’ is a reduction in the amount of pay you are given.

* We are asking you all to accept a pay cut of 10% to keep the company going.
* He has the stark choice of accepting a pay cut or losing his job.

A ‘pay rise’ is an increase in pay.

* We are looking for a pay rise in line with inflation.
* I’m going to ask my boss for a pay rise.

A ‘pay rate’ is the amount per hour (or some other period) that you pay.

* The pay rate is $12 an hour.
* The industry cannot attract good quality workers because of the low pay rates.

Net pay’ is the amount earned after deductions (usually for social security and pensions and perhaps for tax.)

* The gross pay is $12 an hour but net pay is only $9.50 an hour.
* He said he is only earning $5 an hour but that is his net pay, not his gross.

Equal pay’ means that men and women get the same pay for doing the same job.

* The women workers are asking for equal pay with the men.
* In this country, if you don’t give the women equal pay, you could go to jail.

An ‘itemized pay statement’ contains a detailed breakdown of the pay you have earned and the deductions taken from it.

* The bank want me to give them my itemized pay statements for the last six months.
* The law states that employees must receive itemized pay statements.

Performance-related pay’ is where the amount you are paid depends on the quality/quantity of your work.

* Since we introduced performance-related pay, production has doubled.
* They may need the incentive of performance-related pay.

A ‘pay scale’ is a range of different pay rates which people will receive depending on various factors (e.g. their grade in the company, their qualifications, their years in the company.)

* We have six grades on our pay scale. You will start on the bottom one.
* Perhaps we need to change our pay scale to take account of the loyalty people have shown us?


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "up" part 3

If you make a mess, you need to ‘clear it up’.

* It was your party. You clear up the mess.
* Don’t expect me to clear up after you.

If you need some support, you need somebody to ‘back you up’.

* If you report it, I’ll back you up.
* Nobody would back me up when I complained.

If there is none left, you have ‘used it all up’.

* The ketchup bottle is empty. We must have used it all up.
* We must stop for petrol (or gas!) . We’ve used it all up.

On a special occasion, you put on fine clothes – you dress up.

* Do we need to dress up for the party?
* I like dressing up and going somewhere fancy.

If you fall behind in your studies, you need to ‘catch up’.

* He was ill for two months and is struggling to catch up.
* I need to put in some work to catch up on what I missed.

If you go to bed late, you ‘stay up’.

* My student daughter stays up until 3 every day.
* I cannot stay up late. I’ve got to start early tomorrow.

Perhaps my daughter’s parents didn’t ‘bring her up’ correctly.

* She was brought up very strictly.
* He’s been very well brought up.

When it’s time to finish drinking, you tell everybody to ‘drink up’.

* Drink up. We have to leave now.
* It’s time to go so drink up.

If you like vegetables as I do, you ‘eat them all up’ and don’t leave any on your plate.

* If you eat up all your carrots, you can have some ice cream.
* I ate up all the chocolate that we had.

If you need some information, you should ‘look it up’ on Google.

* I looked up the name of the capital of Scotland. It is not Glasgow.
* Can you look up his phone number for me, please?


Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "up" part 2

There is a group of expressions using ‘up’ where the ‘up’ is not necessary. For example you can say ‘fill’ or ‘fill up’ and it means almost the same thing. So why do we add the ‘up’? Well one possible answer is that ‘we do it because we do it’ – we have just developed the habit of adding ‘up’. However, often the ‘up’ seems to ‘intensify’ the verb, to make it more ‘complete’.

Look at these examples and see what I mean.

If you are late, you need to ‘hurry up’.

* Please hurry up. We are terribly late.
* We need to hurry up or we will miss our flight.

You can ‘ring up’ somebody on the telephone.

* I will ring you up when I get back.
* You can ring me up if you need any help.

If you cut your skin, it needs to ‘heal up’.

* This will take a week to heal up.
* I cut myself shaving and it will not heal up.

Before I go on a long journey, I have to ‘fill up’ my car with petrol ( or if I were in the US ‘gas’.)

* I need to fill up my car.
* The concert filled up quickly and not everybody could get in.

When I send a package, I ‘wrap it up’ well.

* Could you wrap this up for me?
* They didn’t wrap it up properly and it got damaged.

If you have something valuable, it is a good idea to ‘lock it up’.

* He did not lock up his desk properly and somebody stole his calculator.
* I think they should lock up pedophiles for a very long time.

If you don’t have enough money to buy something, you need to ‘save up’.

* I am saving up to go on a trip to New York.
* You’ll have to save up if you want to buy a car.

When things are in a mess, you need to ‘tidy them up’.

* We need to tidy up the office before the visitor comes.
* Tidy up your desk. It’s such a mess.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "up" part 1

One common use for ‘up’ in phrasal verbs is to indicate

* An upward movement
* An increase
* An improvement

See how that applies to these eight verbs.

If you display something such as a poster, you ‘put it up’ on a wall or a notice-board.

* Have you seen the warning the boss has put up on the notice-board?
* Can you put up a poster in your window?

If somebody is miserable and you want them to be happier, you can tell them to ‘cheer up’.

* You look really unhappy. Cheer up!
* I wrote Pearson a letter to try to cheer him up a bit.

If you are sitting and then you rise from your chair, you ‘stand up’.

* When the President arrives, everybody must stand up.
* Stand up straight when I am speaking to you.

If a party or a seminar is dull, you need to ‘liven it up’.

* You need to liven up your ideas.
* How can we liven up this presentation?

If you want to make something stronger, you can ‘build it up’.

* I have built up a strong team of workers.
* I have been ill and need to build up my strength.

I can’t hear very well these days – I’m old. When you speak to me, you need to speaker, to ‘speak up’.

* Can you speak up? There is a lot of background noise.
* It is a big room. You will have to speak up so that those in the back can hear.

The place where you lived when you were a child is where you ‘grew up’.

* I was born in Scotland but grew up in England.
* Where did you grow up?

If something increases fast, it ‘shoots up’.

* The price of petrol has shot up recently.
* My English scores shot up after I started studying with Pearson.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Vocab "Employment"

If you ‘hire’ someone, you employ them.

* We hired him on a six month contract.
* I hear that they are not hiring people at the moment because of budget problems.

If you ‘fire’ somebody, you dismiss them from their job, usually because of something they did.

* I had to fire Sally because she kept on making mistakes.
* If you don’t improve, they may decide to fire you.

If you ‘make somebody redundant’, you dismiss them from their job for economic reasons.

* They are closing down the factory and making 500 people redundant.
* I was made redundant from my last job.

If you ‘recruit’ people, you persuade them to work for you.

* We need to recruit more young engineers.
* It’s difficult to recruit people because our pay is so low.

If you ‘headhunt’ someone for a job, you approach them because you think they are well-qualified for the job and offer them the job.

* We need to look at the people doing similar jobs in other companies and headhunt the best one.
* He was headhunted at great expense but the job didn’t work out and he left.

If you ‘hand in (or give in) your notice’, you tell your employer that you are going to leave the company.

* She handed in her notice this morning and is leaving at the end of the month.
* He gave in his notice and they told him he could leave straight away.

If a company ‘gives someone notice’, they tell them that they are going to lose their jobs.

* The company only gave me three days’ notice that I was being made redundant.
* We have to give her two months’ notice that we are letting her go.

If an employer ‘sacks’ someone, they fire them.

* They sacked me without notice after ten years with the company.
* I hear they intend to sack him because of his bullying.

If you ‘get the sack’ or are ‘given the sack’, you are fired.

* He was given the sack because he kept arriving late.
* If I keep making mistakes, I’m going to get the sack.

Severance pay’ is money paid to workers when they are made redundant.

* The redundant workers were given 26 weeks’ severance pay.
* After ten years, I got three days’ notice and no severance pay.

If you take legal action against your employer for ‘unfair dismissal’, you claim that they dismissed you for no good reason.

* He is suing them for unfair dismissal as he says he was only ever late once.
* Dismiss me and I’ll take you to court for unfair dismissal. I’ve done nothing to deserve this.

If you take legal action against your employer for ‘constructive dismissal’, you claim that you were forced to leave your job because of the actions/behavior of your employer.

* She is making a claim for constructive dismissal because she claims her immediate boss bullied her.
* I’m sure you have the grounds for a complaint of constructive dismissal.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Phrase "Eating"

If you ‘bolt down’ food, you eat it very quickly. This expression is informal.

* He bolted down the food. He really enjoyed it.
* I’m so busy that I’m going to bolt down some food and get straight back to work.

If you ‘wolf down’ food, you also eat it quickly but specifically because you are hungry. This is also informal.

* Did you see the way she wolfed down that food? She must have been ravenous.
* After the marathon, I wolfed down some fish and chips.

If you consume a lot of drink (usually alcohol) quickly, you ‘knock it back’. This is informal and is often used quite negatively.

* He was knocking back the champagne at the reception.
* We must watch Bill carefully in the bar with the clients. He can really knock it back.

If you eat an excessive amount of food, you ‘pig out’. This is informal.

* I’m not hungry because I pigged out on chocolate this afternoon.
* We really pigged out in the restaurant.

If you ‘plough through’ some food, you eat it all but with some difficulty because there is a lot of it. In American English, ‘plough’ can be written as ‘plow’.

* He served a huge plate of spaghetti and it took me ages to plough my way through it.
* They served us snake. I didn’t like it but I plowed my way through it to be polite.

If you ‘put away’ food or drink, it can mean you eat or drink a lot of it. (Obviously, it can also mean that you place the food or drink in a fridge or cupboard – the context of the sentence should make clear the meaning.)

* Watch Peter. He’s been putting away a lot of beer and he sometimes turns aggressive when he’s drunk.
* He has put away some sandwiches but is still hungry.

If you ‘pick at’ your food, you only eat a small amount of it, usually because you are not hungry, you are on a diet or because you are ill.

* She only picked at her food, even though it was delicious.
* We were so busy talking that we only picked at our food.

If you ‘cut down’ or ‘cut back’ on a particular food or drink, you consume less of it.

* My doctor told me to cut back on the amount of salt in my diet.
* I need to cut down the amount of fried food I eat.

If you ‘eat up’, you finish all your food.

* I don’t like tripe but I ate it all up when it was served to us by our hosts.
* Eat up. It’s time to go.

If you ‘drink up’, you finish all your drink.

* We seem to have drunk up all the orange juice.
* Drink up. It’s time to go.

If you ‘polish off’ some food, you finish it completely and quickly.

* The guests polished off all the food in the first thirty minutes.
* He has just polished off two whole pizzas and still says he is hungry.

If you ‘dish up’ some food, you put it onto plates or dishes, ready to be served.

* I’ve heard she is going to dish up something really special.
* Can you collect up the starter plates, while I dish up the main course?

Serve up’ is a another way of saying the same thing as ‘dish up’.

* They served up a six course meal for their guests.
* It’s no better than the food we serve up in our canteen and twenty times more expensive.

If you ‘lay on’ some food or drink, you provide it.

* We’ve laid on a buffet lunch for our visitors.
* They laid on a small drinks party for us.

If you make a meal very quickly and easily, you ‘whip it up’. This is informal.

* Have a seat and I’ll whip us up something to eat.
* I could whip up a salad, if you are hungry.

If you make food quickly and without much effort, you ‘knock it up’.

* I knocked myself up a quick meal from what was left in my fridge.
* Do you want me to knock up some lunch?

If you make food hot so that it can be eaten, you ‘heat it up’.

* I’ve already prepared the food for the party. All we need to do is to heat up the pizzas.
* I could heat up a can of soup if you are hungry.

If you ‘warm up ‘ cold food, you are making it hot again so that it can be eaten.

* I’ll warm up that stew from last night.
* The canteen makes a large quantity once a week and then just warms up the amount needed every day.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Emotions Phrasal Verbs

If something ‘gets you down’, it makes you feel unhappy.

* This uncertainty is beginning to get me down.
* The way everybody keeps complaining really gets me down

If somebody or something makes you feel upset or unhappy, they ‘get to’ you. This is an informal expression.

* The way he whistles all the time when we are working really gets to me.
* The heat is really getting to me. We need air conditioning.

If something makes you very unhappy, it ‘tears you apart’.

* It tears me apart to know that I lost that job because of my own stupidity.
* It would tear me apart if something I said made you leave.

If you are ‘put out’, you are annoyed.

* I was really put out when he turned down the job.
* He seemed a bit put out that we hadn’t invited him to speak.

If you ‘cheer up’, you start to feel happier.

* Cheer up. Things are not so bad.
* I bought a new Ipod to cheer myself up.

If you ‘perk up’, you suddenly become happier, cheerful or more energetic. It is also possible to ‘perk someone up’.

* Your visit really made him perk up.
* He was being miserable but he perked up when Mary arrived.

If you ‘brighten up’, you suddenly look or feel happier.

* She brightened up when she heard the good news.
* You need to brighten up. Your long face is putting off the customers.

If you ‘liven up’, you become more energetic or cheerful. You can also ‘liven up’ a place, event or person.

* You need to liven up a bit. You’re so miserable it is making everybody feel unhappy.
* We need to liven up the party. Everyone looks miserable.

If you ‘calm down’, you stop feeling angry, upset or excited. It’s also possible to ‘calm someone down’.

* You need to calm down a bit. You’re too excited.
* Calm down. Let me explain.

If you have had an experience that has made you feel unhappy, you need to ‘get over’ it.

* It took me a year to get over being made redundant.
* You need to get over your disappointment and move on with your life.

If you are feeling sad or unhappy, you can force yourself out of this mood – you can ‘snap out of it’. This is an informal expression.

* You need to snap out of this mood and do something positive.
* I hope he snaps out of this soon.

If you have been acting emotionally and unreasonably because you are upset or angry, you need to ‘pull yourself together’ and act reasonably.

* Pull yourself together and stop this stupid mood.
* I need some time alone to pull myself together.

If you are so excited about something that you behave in a silly or hasty way, you are ‘carried away’ by the idea.

* I got carried away reading my book and didn’t get any sleep.
* We mustn’t get carried away with our enthusiasm. We must exercise reasonable judgment.

If you ‘freak out’, you start behaving in a very strange or violent way. This is an informal expression. You can also ‘freak someone out’.

* I freaked out when I saw my boyfriend kissing another girl.
* It freaked me out to discover that the woman I was talking to was really a man.

If you ‘flip out’, you start to behave in a very excited or strange way. This is informal and mainly American.

* He flipped out when they wouldn’t let him on the flight because he was too late.
* The children flipped out when they met Mickey Mouse.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Down Phrasal Verbs

If you ‘lie down’ you go for a rest on a bed or a sofa.

* You look exhausted. Lie down for a while.
* I lie down for ten minutes after lunch every day.

If you ‘slow down’, you go less quickly than before.

* As I have got older, I seem to have slowed down and to be able to get through less work.
* Production has slowed down compared with last year.

If you ‘calm down’, you stop being angry or excited.

* He got very angry at first but laughed about it when he had calmed down a bit.
* You need to calm down. You are much too emotional.

If someone or something needs to ‘cool down’, they are too hot.

* I am going to take a shower to cool myself down a bit.
* The coffee is too hot to drink. Let it cool down a bit.

If you ‘cut down’ something, it can mean that you reduce the number.

* We need to cut down our workforce by 500 people.
* You should cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke.

If an argument ‘falls down’, it is very weak.

* Your argument falls down when you look at the inflation rate.
* The argument falls down when you take costs into account.

If you ‘mark down’ a price, you reduce it.

* The shirts have been marked down by 50%.
* Prices have been marked down by 10% across the board.

If things ‘quieten down’ , they become less noisy.

* I am not going to speak until you all quieten down a bit.
* It was very hectic earlier but things have quietened down now.

If you ‘tear something down’, you pull it with force from a wall or a notice board.

* He tore down the poster that the union had put up.
* Somebody has torn down the safety notice I put up.

If you ‘tone down’ something, you make it less extreme.

* You need to tone down the language in your letter. It is too hostile.
* We need to tone down the colors on the website. They are too bright.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Idioms "No"

If you have absolutely no knowledge of something, you have ‘no idea’ about it.

* I have no idea what caused my computer to crash.
* I have no idea where she is.

If something is not at all surprising, it is ‘no wonder’ that it happens.

* You are only wearing a small tee-shirt. No wonder you are cold.
* He’s always late for work. It’s no wonder that his boss is unhappy with him.

If it is impossible that something will happen, there is ‘no way’ it will happen.

* There’s no way I’m letting you borrow my new Porsche.
* If you go to the interview in jeans, there’s no way that you’ll get the job.

Another way of saying this is to say that there is ‘no chance’ it will happen.

* I have no chance of getting the promotion.
* There’s no chance of us catching the plane now.

If something is serious or difficult, it is ‘no joke’.

* Addressing 5000 envelopes by hand will be no joke.
* With six people off with flu, working here is no joke.

If a situation is unpleasant or difficult, it is ‘no picnic’.

* Bringing up six children is no picnic.
* It’s no picnic running a company in France.

If you have no evidence of something, you see ‘no sign’ of it.

* I see no sign of an economic upturn.
* There’s no sign of any improvement.

If there is no evidence or justification for something, there is ‘no reason’ for it.

* There’s no reason to be so pessimistic.
* There’s no reason to take your anger out on me.

If there is no reward or objective in doing something, there is ‘no point’ in doing it.

* There’s no point in working hard when the shop is closing down on Friday.
* I see no point in asking her as she always turns down our invitations.

If something is very probable or highly likely, there is ‘no doubt’ about it.

* No doubt the American relay runners are very unhappy that they dropped the baton.
* He wants to see me and no doubt is going to ask for a better salary.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Idioms "Swimming"

If you are ‘out of your depth’, you don’t have the necessary knowledge, experience or skill to deal with a particular situation or subject.

* When she started talking about quantum physics, I felt completely out of my depth.
* I’m an engineer. I feel out of my depth when we discuss accounting problems.

If you are on ‘the crest of a wave’, you are being extremely successful or popular. If something is popular, you can try to ‘ride (on) the wave’.

* James Blunt is on the crest of the wave in the UK at the moment. You can hear his music everywhere.
* He became successful riding on the wave of using British actors as villains in Hollywood movies.

If you don’t get any training before you start a job or activity, you are ‘thrown in at the deep end’.

* Everyone was off sick so I was thrown in at the deep end.
* The best way to learn the job is to be thrown in at the deep end.

If you are struggling to spend less than you earn, you are trying to ‘keep your head above water’.

* Since they increased my rent, I’ve been struggling to keep my head above water.
* With the new sponsorship, the team should be able to keep its head above water.

If a company has to stop business because of losses, it ‘goes under’.

* The company couldn’t afford to pay its suppliers and it went under.
* In this economic climate, a lot of businesses will go under.

If you are in a very difficult situation, you are ‘in deep water’.

* If the bank doesn’t give us this loan, we could be in deep water.
* He was caught stealing from his company and now he’s in deep water.

If you ‘make a splash’, you get a lot of public attention.

* We need to make a splash by holding a cocktail party for journalists.
* She made quite a splash when she wore such a small dress to the film premiere.

If a noise is ‘drowned out’ , you cannot hear it because of other noises.

* The sounds of the telephone were drowned out by the noise from upstairs.
* His speech was drowned out by the chanting from the demonstrators.

If you ‘test the water’, you try to find out what people think about an idea or a situation before you take action.

* Before you decide to sell your house in England and move to Spain, why not go there for a trial three months to test the water?
* This is a big project. We should test the water before making such a large investment.

If a situation is ‘sink or swim’, it either fails or succeeds.

* Either this works or we are all out of a job. It’s sink or swim.
* You’ll get no training here. It’s sink or swim.

If you ‘dive into’ something, you do it without really thinking about what you are doing.

* He dived into the project with a lot of enthusiasm but not much thought.
* Let’s take our time. There’s no point in diving into this without thinking.

If you are ‘treading water’, you are staying in the same place without making any progress.

* I’m just treading water, waiting for a job with a better salary.
* People lose motivation if they think they are just treading water in their careers.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Idioms "Anger"

If you are ‘at the end of your tether’ or ‘at the end of your rope’ (US only) you are so tired, weary or annoyed with something that you feel unable to deal with it any more.

* He hasn’t been able to find a job and is at the end of his tether.
* That baby hasn’t stopped crying all day and I’m at the end of my rope.

If you are worried or upset about something because you have tried every possible solution and nothing has worked, you are ‘at your wits’ end’.

* Nothing I’ve tried seems to work. I’m at my wits’ end.
* She can’t get him to follow her orders. She’s at her wits’ end.

If something keeps on repeating and it annoys you, it ‘gets on your nerves’. (This is informal.)

* His constant talking is getting on my nerves.
* We don’t work well together. We get on each other’s nerves.

If you ‘add insult to injury’, you make a bad situation even worse.

* He was an hour late for the meeting and then, to add insult to injury, he spent twenty minutes on the telephone.
* To add insult to injury, not only did she not come to the meeting but she then insisted that she had never been invited.

The last straw’ is the last in a series of unpleasant events which makes you decide that the situation cannot continue.

* Working in the company was not very nice so, when they asked me to take a pay cut, it was the last straw and I left.
* The last straw was when he came back from lunch at 4.00. I sacked him on the spot.

If someone keeps doing something and it is making you very angry, it is ‘driving you round/around the bend’. (This expression is informal.)

* Her constant moaning is driving me around the bend.
* She rings me up every week trying to sell me something. It’s driving me round the bend.

Another similar expression is ‘driving me up the wall’. (This expression is informal.)

* The way she always arrives one hour late is driving me up the wall.
* All these telephone calls are driving me up the wall.

A similar expression, but more formal, is ‘driving me to distraction’.

* The way he whistles all the time is driving me to distraction.
* Her insolence is driving me to distraction.

If you are ‘tearing your hair out’, you are very frustrated.

* I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to timetable this meeting.
* I’m tearing my hair out trying to solve the problem.

If you say that you ‘will kick yourself’, it means that you will be angry with yourself for missing an opportunity.

* I could have kicked myself for wasting time earlier when I found out I’d missed the plane by only five minutes.
* If I don’t buy one now and they sell out quickly, I’ll kick myself.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Idioms "Animals 2"

If you search for something which is futile, pointless or unattainable, you are on a ‘wild-goose chase’.

* He sent us on a wild-goose chase for a book that isn’t being published until next year.
* She sent us on a wild-goose chase looking for their beach house.

A small sum of money (perhaps just comparatively small) can be called ‘chicken feed’.

* The salary they were offering was chicken feed compared to what I could earn as a consultant.
* You can only make chicken feed profits teaching English on the Internet.

If money will prevent poverty, it will ‘keep the wolf from the door’.

* The salary won’t allow me to buy very much but it should keep the wolf from the door.
* We need to get in some immediate income to keep the wolf from the door.

Sometimes when you lose patience with something, it is something very minor which causes this, even though you didn’t lose patience when there were other more serious problems earlier. This is the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’.

* I know it wasn’t a major problem but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as I was concerned.
* When they told me I had to work on Christmas Day, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I left.

If somewhere is very dirty or untidy, we can say it is a ‘pigsty’.

* This room looks like a pigsty.
* The factory was like a pigsty with materials everywhere.

If you quarrel all the time with somebody, you ‘ fight like cat and dog’ .

* They fought like cat and dog over the decision.
* They can’t work together. They fight like cat and dog.

The best or greatest thing is ‘the cat’s whiskers’.

* Now he has been promoted, he thinks he’s the cat’s whiskers.
* Don’t start thinking you are the cat’s whiskers because you are not.

If you are very nervous or uneasy, there are a couple of expression using ‘cat’.

* He’s like a cat on a hot tin roof.
* She’s like a cat on hot bricks.

If you look dirty, messy or bedraggled, you ‘look like something the cat brought/dragged in’.

* Tidy yourself up. You look like something the cat brought in.
* He turned up looking like something the cat dragged in.

If you have absolutely no chance, you have a ‘cat in hell’s chance’.

* We have a cat in hell’s chance of getting the contract.
* He has a cat in hell’s chance of going out with her.

If you are being teased cruelly by someone without knowing exactly what their intentions are, they are ‘playing cat and mouse’ with you.

* They are playing cat and mouse with us about renewing the contract.
* I don’t have any time for these cat and mouse games.

When you do something, often suddenly, that is generally disturbing or upsetting, you ‘put the cat among the pigeons’.

* The announcement of the takeover by Glazer has really put the cat among the pigeons.
* We need to find a way to put the cat among the pigeons and shake them up a bit.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Idioms "Animals"

Learn new expressions in English with these exercises:

If you have an idea that has become an obsession, you have a ‘bee in your bonnet’.

* He’s got a bee in his bonnet about politically correct language.
* She’s got a bee in her bonnet about recycling.

When somebody loses a boyfriend or girlfriend, we can tell them that there are lots more possible candidates with an expression about fish:

* There are plenty more fish in the sea.
* There are other fish in the sea.

If you disclose a secret, you ‘let the cat out of the bag’.

* The President’s visit was supposed to be confidential but somebody must have let the cat out of the bag.
* He thought she knew the secret and so he told her and let the cat out of the bag.

If you are in an environment or doing an activity where you know nothing, you are ‘like a fish out of water’.

* When they started talking about nuclear physics I felt like a fish out of water.
* I couldn’t understand anything I read or heard in Tokyo and I was a real fish out of water.

If there is a difficult situation but you take action to confront it you are taking ‘the bull by the horns’.

* I decided to take the bull by the horns and go in and ask for a raise.
* If he’s not doing his job, you are going to have to take the bull by the horns and tell him.

If somebody is very restless, they have ‘ants in their pants’ (often shortened in US English to ‘antsy’.)

* He can’t keep still. He’s got ants in his pants.
* The long wait made the children antsy.

A member of a family or other group who is embarrassing, undesirable or disreputable is called a ‘black sheep’.

* I was always considered the black sheep of my family because I was a socialist.
* My uncle went to prison and is considered the black sheep of the family.

Until/till the cows come home’ means ‘for a very long time’.

* They could argue until the cows come home and still not reach an agreement.
* “I could dance with you till the cows come home. Better still, I’ll dance with the cows and you come home.” (Groucho Marx)

In British English, for a very small space we can say that :

* There is no room to swing a cat.

(A cat was an old form of whip – not the animal!)

If you behave stupidly, carelessly or in a very casual manner, you ‘monkey around’.

* Stop monkeying around and get on with some work!
* Who has been monkeying around with this machine?

If you are very suspicious about something, you ‘smell a rat’.

* They said they will honor the contract but I smell a rat.
* He said he was qualified but I smelled a rat, checked up on him and found out that he wasn’t.

If something ‘goes to the dogs’, it is in a bad state or even ruined.

* Since he took over as chairman, the company has gone to the dogs.
* This part of town has really gone to the dogs in the last few years.


Pearson Brown English Lesson -Idioms "Way"

If you ‘pave the way’ it means to make progress easier.

* The agreement on trade paves the way for better relations between the countries.
* The discovery paved the way to the development of a new drug to treat diabetes.

If you are ‘set in your ways’ , you resist any changes.

* He’s only 45 but he is so set in his ways he could be 75.
* I’m too set in my ways to accept any changes.

If you climb through the ranks of a company and reach a high position, you have ‘worked your way to the top’.

* He started here as a young man and gradually worked his way to the top of the company.
* The best bosses have usually worked their way to the top and not been appointed from outside.

If you want to buy something for $200 and the person wants you to pay $300, you can agree to ‘meet halfway’ and pay $250.

* You want 600. I want 400. Let’s meet each other halfway and agree on 500.
* She wanted six weeks and he wanted ten. So they met each other halfway and decided on eight.

If you speak well (and usually persuasively), you have ‘a way with words’.

* Let her talk to them. She has a way with words.
* I know you have a way with words but you’re not going to get me to change my mind.

If you stop somebody from doing something, you ‘stand in their way’.

* I won’t stand in your way if you want to apply for that job.
* Nothing is going to stand in my way. I’m going to do it.

Sometimes discussions don’t stay on the subject and go ‘way off’ course.

* We’ve wandered way off the subject.
* I took a wrong turning and went way off course.

If you make a lot of effort and inconvenience yourself to help somebody, you ‘go out of your way’ to help them.

* I went out of my way to help him and he didn’t even thank me.
* Don’t go out of your way to do it but, if you see any Cadbury’s chocolate, will you get me some?

Some people want both to work less and to earn more money. They want to ‘have it both ways’.

* You can’t have it both ways. Which is more important to you?
* A full-time job and a full-time family carer? It’s difficult to have it both ways.

If you want to avoid somebody, you ‘keep out of their way’.

* The boss is in a bad mood. Keep out of her way.
* I wasn’t deliberately keeping out of your way.

If you change the order of two things, you put them ‘the other way round’.

* As Brian hasn’t arrived yet, we’re going to put the first two presentations the other way round and start with Jane’s.
* It’s not that she’s mad with him. It’s the other way round. He’s mad with her.

To my way of thinking’ means ‘in my opinion’.

* Jane is a better speaker to my way of thinking.
* To my way of thinking, we need to find a better candidate.

If you have no opinion between two choices, you don’t mind ‘either way’.

* Drive, if you prefer. I don’t mind either way.
* We could meet here or there. Either way is good for me.

On the way’ means that it is coming.

* I have a new baby on the way.
* She’s on her way but got held up in traffic.

If things have changed a lot, they have ‘come a long way’.

* We started out in one small office but we’ve come a long way since then.
* We’ve both come a long way since I first met you as an office junior.

When you give some information as incidental to the main conversation, you can introduce it by saying ‘by the way’.

* By the way, did I tell you that Leslie is going to Ghana?
* By the way, I’m taking tomorrow off.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Idioms "See"

Remember that when we say ‘I see’ we can mean ‘with my eyes’ but we can also mean ‘I understand’.

* I’m not very happy with your decision.
* I see. Is there anything I can do to persuade you?

If you don’t understand the reason for doing something, you ‘can’t see the point’.

* I can’t see the point in studying for this exam. I’ll just fail anyway.
* He refuses to come to the meeting. He said he couldn’t see the point.

If you communicate some information with no possible doubt, you ‘make yourself clear’.

* I thought I had made myself clear. I need the report by lunchtime.
* I couldn’t have made myself clearer. Everybody understood.

If you try to understand how a different person sees a situation, you try to see it from their ‘point of view’.

* Try to see this from my point of view. I must have delivery by Friday or my production line will close down.
* We must ask everyone concerned for their point of view before we decide.

If you are aware of all the facts behind a decision, you take it with your ‘eyes wide open’.

* There’s no use complaining now. We took that decision with our eyes wide open.
* Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards. (Benjamin Franklin)

If you persuade somebody to change their mind and agree with your point of view, they ‘see reason’.

* He argued and argued but finally he saw reason.
* The workers asked for a 20% pay rise but finally they saw reason and accepted 3%.

If you are obsessed with yourself and your own problems, you ‘can’t see past the end of your nose’.

* She’s so self-obsessed. She can’t see past the end of her nose.
* It must have been obvious that I couldn’t cope but he couldn’t see past the end of his nose and didn’t offer to help.

If you are unaware of a problem, you need to ‘open your eyes’.

* Open your eyes. Nobody here likes you.
* He’s too self-satisfied. He needs to open his eyes and take a good look at himself.

If somebody is pretending to be what they are not and you are aware of this, you have ‘seen through them’.

* He claimed to have worked in Tokyo but I saw through him the minute we started talking about Japan.
* Most people see through his lies pretty quickly.

If you find out some information that really surprises you and change the way you feel, it is an ‘eye-opener’.

* I thought he was a good salesperson but seeing him with a customer was a real eye-opener. He was useless.
* I thought I knew a lot about it but talking to Jenny was a real eye-opener. I learned so much.

When you look back on an event ‘in hindsight’, you can often learn from it.

* In hindsight, I wouldn’t have started the negotiation so aggressively.
* I should have done things differently in hindsight.

Some racehorses wear ‘blinkers’ on their eyes to stop them from looking around and make them concentrate on the racetrack in front of them. When people don’t consider all the possibilities, they are said to be ‘blinkered’.

* They’re a bunch of blinkered old men and won’t consider any new ideas.
* He never listens to anybody else. He’s blinkered.

When you are told or read something which enables you to understand something you didn’t previously understand, you ‘get the picture’.

* Thanks for telling me that. I get the picture
* So he’s the boss’s son? I get the picture. I wondered how someone so young was doing that job.

If you understand what somebody is explaining to you, you ‘see what they mean’.

* OK. I see what you mean. There’s no need to say any more.
* He was trying to explain something to me but I just didn’t see what he meant.

If there was a misunderstanding and it is now all explained, you ‘cleared it up’.

* I’m glad we’ve cleared up the misunderstanding about payment terms.
* We need to clear up this misunderstanding at once.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Strong Collocations 3

1 We need to carry out a detailed ______ of the project before we go any further.

2 The news of the merger and the threat of job losses has caused considerable ______ among the work force.

3 If we let the unions decide everything, there will be complete ______ . It just won't work.

4 I think he had been very unhappy for some time. He suddenly exploded with pent-up ______ and was completely out of control.

5 David has a different way of looking at the world. He always sees things from an unusual ______ .

6 Deborah and Simon can't stand each other. There is deep ______ between them.

7 Everybody knows already but there will be a formal ______ later this morning.

8 I don't know what she earns exactly but I do know it is a vast ______.

9 In the factory, men are getting paid more than women and we need to do away with this ______.

10 I expect you to give me a straight ______ to this.

11 In costing this, I think we need to make generous ______ for the probable delays in getting planning permission.

12 I think we should look round for a feasible ______ .

13 I think you need to make a full ______ to her for your sexist behaviour.

14 He made an emotional ______ to keep his job but he'd made too many mistakes and I had to let him go.

15 We didn't think she would come and so we were delighted when she put in an unexpected ______ at our party.

16 He seems to be devoured by overwhelming ______ .

17 Microhard seem to have a healthy ______ for taking over innovative companies.

18 In his speech he made a flattering ______ to your work.

19 The announcement was made to deafening ______ .

20 If you want the job, you're going to have to put in a formal ______ .


1 analysis
2 alarm
3 anarchy
4 anger
5 angle
6 animosity
7 announcement
8 amount
9 anomaly
10 answer
11 allowance
12 alternative
13 apology
14 appeal
15 appearance
16 ambition
17 apetite
18 allusion
19 applause
20 application

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Strong Collocations 2

1 I'm an ______ admirer of your work.

2 This new process is a ______ advance in technology.

3 He knows the interviewer already and that will give him an ______ advantage over me.

4 I wouldn't upset him. He can be a ______ adversary.

5 He gave me some ______ advice and I took it.

6 We know very little about this. We need to bring in an ______ adviser to help us.

7 I don't like this at all. It's a really ______ affair.

8 It's not a very challenging job. I only have to deal with ______ affairs.

9 They don't always agree but I think there is a bond of ______ affection between them.

10 It seems no time at all since I started work and here I am at ______ age.

11 That type of behaviour was possible in a ______ age but we are more tightly regulated these days.

12 I don't trust him. I think he has a ______ agenda.

13 We cannot tolerate this sort of ______ aggression from a competitor in one of our key markets.

14 We have a ______ agreement with them and we must respect it.

15 I think they must be providing them with some kind of ______ aid. But I don't know what.

16 I agree with the ______ aims of what you are trying to do but not with some of the details.

17 I'm sure he's got the job. He's walking around with a ______ air.

18 You need to open the windows and get rid of the ______ air in here.

19 The problems in Tokyo have caused ______ alarm on Wall Street.

20 He definitely wasn't there. He has a ______ alibi.


1 ardent
2 significant
3 unfair
4 dangerous
5 blunt
6 outside
7 ugly
8 everyday
9 deep

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson -Bring Phrasal Verbs

Bring Phrasal Verbs

If you ‘bring something about’, you cause it to happen.

* How can we bring about change in this old-fashioned company?
* We need to bring about a change in attitude.

If you ‘bring someone along’ with you, they come with you.

* I want to bring along John to the meeting, if that is OK.
* Why not bring Simon along, if he’s interested?

If something ‘brings back’ memories, it reminds you of the past.

* That photo brings back memories of our visit to Thailand.
* Meeting him brought back memories of when we worked together.

If you ‘bring down’ a price, you reduce it.

* We need to bring down the price to something more affordable.
* They’re bringing down the price of all their cars.

If you ‘bring forward’ a meeting, you arrange it for an earlier time.

* I want to bring forward the meeting to Tuesday.
* Can we bring forward the meeting by an hour?

If you ‘bring someone in on’ a discussion, you ask them to join in with your discussion.

* I want to bring in John on this as he is an expert.
* We need to bring in an outside consultant.

If you ‘bring out’ a new product, you introduce it to the market.

* I hear they have brought out a new model.
* We’re bringing it out early next year.

If you ‘bring someone round’, you persuade them.

* He was against the idea but Sally brought him round.
* How can we bring him round?

If you ‘bring up’ a subject, you mention it.

* Mark brought up the problem with the heating.
* Any other problems that you want to bring up?

If you ‘bring on’ somebody, you train them to be better.

* Martin always brings on the trainees really well.
* We try to bring on people quickly and promote them.