Today we’re going to start looking at the verb ‘to look’ combined with particles. Here are some of the most common:
‘to look after’ means to take care of someone or something.
* When I have to travel on business, my parents usually look after my children.
* I look after the office when my colleagues are away on business.
‘to look ahead’ means to think about and plan the future.
* We have to look ahead and try to estimate our needs for the next few years.
* In this business, it’s very difficult to look ahead and predict what will happen.
‘to look at’ means to read something quickly and not very thoroughly.
* Could you look at my report and tell me if you think it’s OK?
* I looked at your figures and they seem fine to me.
‘to look at’ can also mean to investigate or think carefully about a problem or situation.
* Costs are getting out of control. We need to look at them closely.
* John looked at renting cars but it would be too expensive.
‘to look back’ means to think about something that happened in the past.
* I realise I was very naive when I look back.
* If we look back over the last three years, we can see many times when we were very successful.
‘to look down on’ means to think something or someone is inferior.
* The people who work in Headquarters always look down on the people in the branches.
* Don’t look down on him just because he left school at 16. He has been very successful.
‘to look for’ means to try to find something lost or that you need.
* My assistant is leaving at the end of the month. I’m looking for a new one.
* He has been looking for a job for ages now.
‘to look forward to’ means to feel excited and happy about something that is going to happen.
* I’m seeing him on Tuesday. I’m really looking forward to it.
* We’re looking forward to our holidays. It will be wonderful to get away.
‘to look in’ means to visit someone for a short time.
* I’ll look in on my way home and we can have a cup of tea.
* Look in on Jenny and check that she is still working.
‘to look into’ means to examine a problem or situation.
* My boss asked me to look into ways to do it more efficiently.
* We have set up a working group to look into the problem.