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.