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PHRASAL VERB



luck out means:

be lucky

- He lucked out! The exam was about the only unit he had studied.



look up means:

1. look for something in a dictionary, encyclopaedia, the Internet

- You´ll need to look up a few words to understand that text.


2. become better

- After so many problems, it seems things are looking up.



look over means:

check, review

- He´s looking over her son´s homework.



look out for means:

watch carefully to find something (estar atento a)

- Look out for animals crossing the road when you drive on country roads.



look out means:

be careful, watch out

- Look out! That step is about to collapse.



look on means:

1. think, reflect

- The city centre is too expensive. I´m looking on moving to the suburbs.

2. stare (quedarse mirando)

- He saw that I was being robbed but he just looked on.



look like means:

"to look similar physically"

- She looks exactly like her mother.



look into means:

investigate, get more information

- I haven’t received any letters in a month. I´ll tell the postman to look into it.



look in on means:

visit to check someone or something´s condition (ir a ver algo o a alguien para comprobar su estado)

- I haven´t seen my grandma in weeks, I´ll look in on her today.



look forward to means:

anticipate pleasantly (desear que llegue/ocurra algo)

- I´m looking forward to going on holiday. I´m so tired of working!



look back on means:

remember, think about something past

- I laugh when I look back on my school years.



let up means:

become less intense or slower (aflojar, amainar)

- It´s been raining for hours but it seems to be letting up now.



let down means:

disappoint someone

- He let her down when he forgot her birthday.



leave out means:

omit, forget to include

- This report is too long. You should leave out some details.



lay off means:

dismiss someone from a job because of lack of work or financial problems

- The company was doing quite badly, so it laid off lots of employees.



knock out means:

make someone unconscious

- They started fighting and one of them knocked the other one out.



kick out means:

expel, make someone leave a place (expulsar a alguien de algún lugar o institución) (coloq.)

- They kicked him out of the course for missing too many lessons.



keep on means:

1. continue

- He keeps on telling her how rich he is.

2. to remind someone continuously to do something.


- You have to keep on her if you want her to study for the exams.



jump all over sb means:

scold someone (regañar, echar la bronca)

His mother jumped all over him for arriving so late



jack up means:

1. lift a car with a jack (levantar con un gato)

- We had a puncture, so we had to jack up the car and change the tyre

2. raise the prices

- Shops always jack up the prices before Christmas



iron out means:

reach an agreement, resolve difficulties
- They had very different opinions but they ironed them out.



hold up means:

end a phone conversation by putting down the receiver (colgar el teléfono)

1. lift;
- The teacher held up the book so that the pupils could see it.

2. delay
- Sorry, I was hold up by a traffic jam.

3. rob someone by threatening him with a weapon (atracar)
- She´s been quite frightened since she was held up in the street.



hang up means:

end a phone conversation by putting down the receiver (colgar el teléfono)

- We didn´t talk much. He had to hang up because his boss arrived.



hand out means:

distribute, give.

- The teacher handed out the corrected homework to the students.



hand in means:

give your homework / report, etc. to your teacher / boss, etc.

- I haven´t started writing the essay and I must hand it in tomorrow.



grow up means: become older, become an adult

- Laura grew up in London, that´s why she speaks English so well.



goof off means: do nothing, be lazy

- I didn´t do anything at the weekend. I just goofed off



go (well) with means look well together (conjuntar, quedar bien varias cosas juntas)

- I think that red T-shirt doesn´t go well with your pink skirt.



give up means:

1. stop doing something (a habit);

- I gave up smoking alter the doctor advised me to do it.

2. stop trying to do something (rendirse)

- I tried to learn Japanese but I gave up after one month.



get rid of means:

1. throw something away

- You never wear those jeans. Why don´t you get rid of them?

2. dismiss, fire someone

- He was always late, so his boss got rid of him.



Drop off means:

1. deliver something.

- Can you drop off this parcel at the post office?

2. take someone to some place by car, give someone a lift.

- We live very near. I can drop you off if you like.



Draw up means “to compose, prepare legal documents”

- I´m waiting for the lawyer to draw up the contract.



Drag on means “to last longer than expected or necessary”

- I almost fell asleep at the cinema. The film dragged on for three hours!



Do in means:

1. to tire.

- You should cut back on fattening food if you want to lose weight.

2. kill (colloquial).

- The film has just started and five people have been done in already.



Cut back (on) means “to reduce the consumption of something”.

- You should cut back on fattening food if you want to lose weight.



Come down with means “to become ill with a disease”.

- I seemed to be ok yesterday, but I came down with the flu this morning.



Clam up “to become quiet in a sudden way”

- She was talkative but when I asked her about her job she clammed up.



Chip in means “to donate some money to buy something together with a group of people”.

- We´re going to buy a present for Nora, do you want to chip in?



Add up to means “to total an amount”

- The total amount of all those bills adds up to over 1,000 euros.



Break in means:

1. to tame an animal (domar)

- That horse was born wild but they broke it in.

2. to wear some shoewear until it´s comfortable. (ablandar)

- The shoes are a bit uncomfortable, but I hope I break them in soon.

3. to enter a building by forcing the door.

- Some burglars broke in during the night.



Blow up means:

1. to inflate

- I hate blowing up balloons

2. to explode

- They put a bomb in the building, so everything blew up.

3. to become very angry suddenly

- When he was told he wouldn´t get a pay rise, he blew up.



Bring off means “to achieve something very difficult”

- It was incredibly difficult to win that race, but she brought it off.



Burn down means “to become destroyed by fire (upright things like houses, trees, etc.)

- The office building burned down due to a short-circuit



Calm down means “to become calm or help someone become calm”.

- Please, calm down! We´ll find a solution to this problem.

- The children are crying, can you calm them down?



Catch on means “to develop understanding or knowledge of something”

- Learning a foreign language is hard, but after a while you catch on.

- It took him some time to catch on, but know he can speak French quite fluently.



Get back means:

1. to recover something.

- I lent her a book last year and finally I got it back.

2. to return.

- I forgot my bag, so I had to get back and get it.



Brush up on something means “to review, to study thoroughly for a short time”.

- You´d better brush up on your computer skills if you want that job as secretary.

- I think I´ll brush up on my German before going on holiday.



Break up (with) means “to end a personal relationship”.

- He didn´t love her any more, so he broke up with her last week.

- They looked so happy! I can´t believe they broke up.



Back up has three different meanings:

1. to move backwards.
- I can´t open the door, can you back up, please?

2. to confirm a story, facts or information (avalar, respaldar)
- I know it´s an incredible story but there are people who can back me up.

3. to make a copy of some document kept in a computer, in case something happens.
- You should back up all the database. It´s really important and we can´t lose it.



Get along with means “to have a friendly relationship with someone”.

- Although I´ve just started working there, I already get along with everyone.

- You don´t need to be best friends, but try to get along.



End up means “to finally arrive at some unexpected place or do something unexpected”.

- If you don´t stop drinking so much you´ll end up in hospital.

- We were so bored, we ended up watching old videos.



Cross out means “to make an X across something written because it´s wrong”.

- Your list of guests for the party was too long, so I crossed out a few names..

- That word is wrong, cross it out.



Count on means “to depend/rely on something or someone”:

- If you need any help, you can count on me. After all, we´re friends.

- She´s nice but you can´t count on her when there´s a problem.

- I don´t count on getting that job. The interview didn´t go well at all.



Cheer up means “to make someone feel happier, less sad”

- She was a bit down when she lost her job, so her mother tried to cheer her up.

- Cheer up! You don’t have any serious problem!

- You should take him out one night to cheer him up.



Catch up (with) means “to stop being behind, to reach the point where you should be after a delay”. (ponerse al día, alcanzar el mismo nivel o llegar al mismo sitio que alguien)

- She started the course later than the other students but she caught up soon.

- Tom can run really fast. Nobody can catch up with him!

- Don´t wait for me. I´ll catch up with you at the pub in a while.



Bring up means:

1. to vomit.

- He brought up after lunch, so the food must have been off.

2. to mention.

- Nobody had thought of John till Mary brought him up.

3. to raise (criar)

- She was brought up by her grandma.



Check out (of) means:

1. to leave a hotel, conference centre, etc.

- We must check out of the room by 12 o´clock. That´s the hotel rule.

2. to follow some procedures for borrowing something.

- You must check out books in the library. You can´t just take them home without letting the librarian know.

3. to verify something.

- I think there´s no milk left but I´ll check it out.



Check in/into means “to register or let someone know that you have arrived at a hotel, the airport, an event, etc.”

- You must be at the airport at least one hour in advance to check in (your luggage).

- We checked in at the hotel when we arrived.

- You must check in at reception when you arrive at the conference centre.



Chicken out means “to lose the courage or confidence to do something”.

- He said he would tell her the truth, but he chickened out in the last minute.

- Tom was going to quit that job long ago but he chickened out when he realised how difficult it was to find another one.



See someone out means “to accompany someone to the door when they are leaving”.

- It´s getting late. I´ve got to go.

- I´ll see you out



Do over means “to do something again”.

- I spilled water over the paper I was writing, so I´ll have to do it over.

- I didn´t like the painting and did it over.



Come across means “to find something unexpectedly”.

- I came across this old dress while I was tidying the room.

- She´s lost her wallet. Let her know if you come across it.



Butter up means “to praise someone in order to obtain some benefit from him”.

- It´s incredible how soon he´s been promoted to managing director. He must have buttered up the president.

- His daughter tried buttering him up to get a new car.



Act up means “to misbehave” (comportarse mal) (for people) or “not to work properly” (for machines).

- The children acted up all afternoon until their mother got really angry with them.

- You should take back that washing machine to the shop. It´s new but it´s acting up already.



Put out means "to extinguish a fire or switch off a light":

- If you aren´t going to stay in that room, please put out the light

- It only took the firefighters half an hour to put out the fire.



Drop in (on someone) means “to visit someone informally and usually without setting a time for it”.

- While I was in town I dropped in on Terry to see how he was.

- You can drop in whenever you want. I´m usually at home.



Call off means “to cancel something that had been scheduled”.

- The meeting was canceled because most of the participants were unable to attend.

- They´ll call off the excursion because of the bad weather.



Break down means:

1. to divide figures or data into component parts, analyse.

- We must break down the total expenses to know how much each person has to pay.

2. to stop working/functioning

- My car just broke down in the middle of the motorway.

3. start crying

- He broke down when her girlfriend left him.



Ask out means “to ask someone for a date”.

- He fancies her a lot but he´s too shy to ask her out.

- Jim has a new girlfriend. Sarah asked him out three weeks ago.

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