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  

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

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

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 […]

Used to and would for past habits.

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Somebody asked me to explain more about ‘used to’ and ‘would’ and when we could use these. I have already wrtten this: Used to do We use ‘used to’ for something that happened regularly in the past but no longer happens. I used to smoke a packet a day but I stopped two years ago. […]

Keep phrasal verbs

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This lesson looks at the verb ‘to keep’ combined with particles: ‘to keep at’ something means to continue doing something even if it is hard or unpleasant. Learning phrasal verbs is hard so you have to keep at it every day. I had to finish so I kept at it for an hour before I […]

Hold phrasal verbs

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In today’s lesson we are going to look at using the verb ‘to hold’ combined with particles. Here are some more of the most common expressions: ‘to hold back’ means to restrain or stop something working. High rates of tax are holding back economic growth. He could easily get promotion if he were more a […]

Phrasal verbs – go part 3

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Let’s continue looking at the verb ‘to go’ combined with particles. Here are some more common ones: ‘to go on doing something’ means to continue doing something. He didn’t even look at me. He just went on working. I can’t go on working so hard. I’m going to make myself ill. ‘to go on to […]

Go phrasal verbs – part 2

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Here is the next lesson about using the verb ‘to go’ combined with particles. Here are some more of the most common expressions: ‘to go down’ means to get smaller or decrease. They are much cheaper than before. The price has gone down by at least ten percent. The price of laptop computers has gone […]

Go phrasal verbs part 1

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This lesson is the first lesson about using the verb ‘to go’ combined with particles. Here are some of the most common: ‘to go about’ means to deal with or tackle a task or job. Do you know how to enrol on the course? I don’t know how to go about it. How can I […]

Phrasal Verbs – give

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Let’s have a look at the verb ‘to give’ combined with particles. Here are some of the most common expressions: ‘to give away’ means to give something for free, for no payment. In this issue of the magazine, they are giving away a free CD I gave away all my old clothes that were too […]

Phrasal Verbs – get part 2

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Here is the second part about using the verb ‘to get’ combined with particles: ‘to get behind’ means to be late or behind schedule. I’ll stay late and finish it today. I don’t want to get behind with my work. We don’t want to get behind schedule on this project. ‘to get into’ means to […]

Phrasal Verbs – get

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This lesson is the first in two lessons about using the verb ‘to get’ combined with particles. Here are some of the most common: ‘to get across’ means to communicate, make people understand. I’m not sure I got that across very well. I don’t think they really understood. He’s an excellent speaker. He can get […]

English Phrasal Verbs fall part 2

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These English phrasal verb exercises continue looking at ‘to fall’ combined with particles. Here are some more of the most common: ‘to fall in with’ means to become friendly with a group. He stopped going to school when he fell in with a bad crowd. At university, she fell in with a group that introduced […]