Emotions – phrasal verbs

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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 […]

Down phrasal verbs

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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 […]

No Idioms

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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 […]

Swimming Idioms

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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 […]

English Idioms – anger

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Learn new expressions in English with these exercises: 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 […]

Great English Reading for Free

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Finding good English books has always been expensive if you don’t live in an English-speaking country. When I lived in France, I used to spend a small fortune in the only local bookshop that stocked English books. When I came back fom England, my car was absolutely full of DVDs and books. I don’t know […]

More Animal Idioms

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Learn new expressions in English with these exercises: 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 […]

Do you want to listen to the BBC?

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Good news. IF you live in Western Europe and IF you have an iPad, you can now watch a lot of programmes from the BBC for less than a euro a week. Not perfect but it is a start. admin Please enter the biographical info from the user profile screen.

Idioms- animals

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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 […]

Idioms – way

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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 […]

Idioms – see

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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 […]

More Word Partnerships

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Here is another exercise on word partnerships. They really help your English to sound more ‘natural’ . http://www.better-english.com/strongcollocation/coll3.htm   admin Please enter the biographical info from the user profile screen.

Come Phrasal Verbs

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1. Sometimes you keep something even though you don’t need it at the time but because you think in the future it might ‘come in useful’. Keep that. It might come in useful one day. I don’t like learning English but it will come in useful when I get a job. 2. When something is […]

Bring Phrasal Verbs

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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 […]

Strong collocations 2

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I got a very positive reaction to my previous exercise on strong collocations. These are so useful but are not taught very much. I speak and teach educated British English. As always, I am looking for feedback from native speakers in other countries about these collocations. http://www.better-english.com/strongcollocation/coll2.htm admin Please enter the biographical info from the […]

Be phrasal verbs

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One way to say you are leaving is to say you are ‘off’. I’m off now. See you tomorrow. It’s time I was off or I’ll be late for the meeting. If you have no more supply/stock of something you are ‘out of’ the item. We’re out of ink for the photocopier. Can you go […]

Three Word Verbs

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‘Come in for’ means to receive. This is usually used with words such as ‘criticism’ ‘abuse’ ‘blame’. He came in for a lot of criticism for his actions. She came in for a lot of abuse when she tried to argue with them ‘Go in for’ can be used with words such as ‘competition’ to […]

Strong Collocations 1

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In the last few years, we have begun to recognize the importance of “word partnerships” – or strong collocations as we grammarians call them. These days you can even find collocation dictionaries. Here is an exercise showing a few common ones: Click here for Strong Collocations admin Please enter the biographical info from the user […]

Phrasal Verbs – look

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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 […]

Phrasal Verbs – let

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This next lesson is about using the verb ‘to let’ combined with particles. Here are some more of the most common expressions: ‘to let down’ means to disappoint someone. I promised to do it, I can’t let her down. They let us down badly by not completing the work on time. ‘to let in’ means […]