To break up with somebody

Meaning: to end a romantic relationship with somebody Examples: After they broke up, he listened to sad music and didn’t leave his house. You annoy me and you smell bad. I am breaking up with you.

To go for something

Meaning: to choose something and then pursue it Examples: I usually eat the steak, but today I am going to go for the fish. He asked me if he should apply for the top universities, and I told him yes, go for it.

To chill out

Meaning: to calm down and relax Examples: At the end of the day, I just want to put my feet up and chill out before going to bed. Chill out, man, it’s not a big deal!

To talk back to somebody

Meaning: to reply defiantly or disrespectfully Examples: My child talks back to me when I give him an order. That teacher lets his students talk back to him, I don’t think that is right.

To look after somebody or something

Meaning: to take care of somebody or something Examples: My parents will look after my dog when I’m on vacation. My friend is alone here. Can you look after him when I am away?

To put something back

Meaning: to replace something Examples: Please put the book back on the shelf after you read it. I’m just going to borrow this shirt today, I will put it back tomorrow.

To run out of something

Meaning: to finish one’s supply of something Examples: We ran out of eggs, can you go to the store and buy some more? If we continue using paper towels like this, we will run out tomorrow.

To doze off

Meaning: to fall lightly asleep Examples: I don’t take a real nap after lunch, I simply doze off for a bit in front of the TV. The meeting was really long and boring, so I dozed off for a while.

To hang up on somebody

Meaning: to end a telephone call, especially abruptly or quickly Examples: When I told her the bad news, she hung up on me. I got angry during the call, so I hung up on him.

To speak up

Meaning: to talk more loudly, or to express an opinion when you are usually quiet Examples: Could you speak up, please? The music is really loud, and I can’t hear you clearly. He usually sits in the corner silently, but today he spoke up, so we know what he...

To pick up

Meaning: to answer a telephone call Examples: I kept calling her but she wouldn’t pick up, so I couldn’t tell her the news. When I call my mother, she always picks up on the first ring.

To drink up

Meaning: to quickly consume the rest of a drink Examples: She drank up what was left of her beer and left in a hurry. He told me to drink up because there wouldn’t be more water, we are going to the desert today.

To kick someone out

Meaning: to expel or remove someone Examples: They kicked me out of the club after the fight. I was really messy and got kicked out of the hotel, they won’t let me back.

To move over

Meaning: to adjust one’s position to make room for someone else Examples: Could you guys move over so I can sit down too? He asked me to move the couch over so he could insert another chair, but I don’t want the chair there.

To come in

Meaning: to enter a room, building, or other place Examples: Please, come in and sit down. I wanted to come in the living room, but she was busy cleaning and wouldn’t let me in.

To let someone in

Meaning: to admit someone to, or to allow someone into, a room, building, or area Examples: We let our dog in the house every morning, he prefers to eat breakfast in the kitchen. My boss is angry at me. I tried to go into his office, but he won’t let me...

To work out

Meaning: to engage in heavy physical exercise Examples: I try to work out three or four times a week at the gym, it’s good for my health. I like to run in the forest. My brother calls it “working out,” but I just call it “having...

To warm up

Meaning: to prepare for exercise by moving or practising gently Examples: I always warm up thoroughly before going out for a jog. Before you lift heavy weights, be sure to warm up so your body is ready.

To take off

Meaning: to remove clothing or items in general from one’s or another’s body, or from an object Examples: I took off my shoes and lay down on the sofa. I would like to use the new cooking pan, but first I need to take off the price tag.

To switch on

Meaning: to start a device, to start the operation of something by means of a tap, switch, or button. Examples: Please switch on the light, I can’t see. When I try to switch on my phone, nothing happens. I think it’s broken.

To tidy up

Meaning: to bring order to, to arrange neatly, especially in a quick action before a meeting or before a guest arrives Examples: The kids don’t like tidying up their room, but they always do it when I ask them to. The guests arrive in a few minutes, I need to tidy up...

To dress up

Meaning: to put on smart, nice, good-looking, or formal clothes Examples: I only dress up on special occasions, like weddings or other celebrations. The interview was very important, so I dressed up in my best clothes.

To put something on

Meaning: to place a piece of clothing (like a shirt), jewelery, etc. on part of one’s body Examples: I put on my watch when I got dressed this morning. When I got out of the shower, I put my clothes on.

To get (somebody) up

Meaning: To rise, or cause someone to rise, from bed after sleeping Examples: I get up immediately after waking up each morning. We got him up early, because he had to go to the airport.

To wake (somebody) up

Meaning: to stop sleeping, or to cause someone to stop sleeping Examples: I woke up at 7 o’clock yesterday. The loud party woke me up during the night.

To go off

Meaning: to begin to sound (usually said about an alarm) Examples: My alarm clock goes off at 6am, and then I begin my workout. During the fire, the alarm went off. It was really loud.

To look forward to something

Meaning: to happily expect something that is happening in the future Examples: He had worked hard and was looking forward to his retirement. We look forward to your visit next week.

To keep from

Meaning: to not do something, or to not tell someone something Examples: I couldn’t keep from eating all the food at the party. I think he’s not telling me the whole story, I think he’s keeping something from me.

To hold up

Meaning: to delay something or to rob something Examples: I’m sorry, I am late but I was held up in a meeting. The bank was held up by the two criminals.

To run into

Meaning: to experience something or meet somebody unexpectedly Examples: I’ve run into a problem with the project. I ran into him on the street yesterday.

To look on

Meaning: to watch something happen without taking part in it Examples: Look on the bright side – no one was badly hurt. You go speak to the group. I will just stand in the corner and look on.

To get back to something

Meaning: to respond to something or to resume doing something Examples: I will get back to you tomorrow. (I will respond to you tomorrow.) That was a good meeting, but now I need to get back to work.

To get up

Meaning: to wake up and get out of bed, or to stand up (like from a chair) Examples: Matt gets up at 5am. (Matt wakes up and gets out bed at 5am) I need to get up from this chair. (I need to stand up)

To look over

To examine or inspect something or someone. Examples: Can you look over this email and tell me what you think? He looked over my application and said it looked fine.

To let up

Phrasal verb: to let up Definition: To become less strong or less intense. Examples: When the rain lets up, let’s go outside for a walk. A good coach never lets up on pushing her athletes to excellence.

To run against somebody or something

Meaning: to oppose somebody or something, usually, but not always, in an election Examples: Luck was really running against you yesterday! Biden ran against Trump in the 2020 US election.