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.

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7 thoughts on “Emotions – phrasal verbs”

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