Essential Idioms Lessons 5-8

This comes from a pdf file that I found online. I own the 5th Edition of a book called Essential Idioms in English--Phrasal Verbs and Collocations. The book I own has 39 lessons and in addition to the idioms and their definitions and examples using the targeted idioms, there are exercises. Each Lesson features two sets of exercises. The lessons are grouped into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The book was written by Robert J. Dixson.


look out: to be careful or cautious (also: to watch out) Both of these idioms can occur with the preposition for.

o "Look out!" Jeffrey cried as his friend almost stepped in a big hole in the ground.

o Look out for reckless drivers whenever you cross the street.

o Small children should always watch out for strangers offering candy.

to shake hands: to exchange greetings by clasping hands

o When people meet for the first time, they usually shake hands.

o The student warmly shook hands with his old professor. to get back: to return (S)

o Mr. Harris got back from his business trip to Chicago this morning.

o Could you get the children back home by five o'clock?

to catch cold: to become sick with a cold of the nose for throat

o If you go out in this rain, you will surely catch cold.

o How did she ever catch cold in such warm weather?

to get over: to recover from an illness; to accept a loss or sorrow

o It took me over a month to get over my cold, but I'm finally well now.

o It seems that Mr. Mason will never get over the death of his wife.

to make up one's mind: to reach a decision, to decide finally

o Sally is considering several colleges to attend, but she hasn't made up her mind yet.

o When are you going to make up your mind about your vacation plans?

to change one's mind: to alter one's decision or opinion

o We have changed our minds and are going to Canada instead of California this summer.

o Matthew has changed his mind several times about buying a new cat.

for the time being: temporarily (also: for now)

o For the time being, Janet is working as a waitress, but she really hopes to become an actress soon.

o We're living in an apartment for now, but soon we'll be looking for a house to buy.

for good: permanently, forever

o Ruth has returned to Canada for good. She won't ever live in the United States again.

o Are you finished with school for good, or will you continue your studies some day?

to call off: to cancel (S)

o The referee called off the soccer game because of the darkness.

o The president called the meeting off because she had to leave town.

to put off: to postpone (S)

o Many student's put off doing their assignments until the last minute.

o Let's put the party off until next weekend, okay?

in a hurry: hurried, rushed (also: in a rush)

o Alex seems in a hurry; he must be late for his train again.

o She's always in a rush in the morning to get the kids to school.


under the weather: not feeling well, sick

o John stayed home from work because he was feeling under the weather.

o When you cat cold, you feel under the weather.

to hang up: to place clothes on a hook or hanger (S); to replace the receiver on the phone at the end of a conversation (S)

o Would you like me to hang up your coat for you in the closet?

o The operator told me to hang the phone up and call the number again.

to count on: to trust someone in time of need (also: to depend on)

o I can count on my parents to help me in an emergency.

o Don't depend on Frank to lend you any money; he doesn't have any.

to make friends: to become friendly with others

o Patricia is a shy girl and doesn't make friends easily.

o During the cruise Ronald made friends with almost everyone on the ship.

out of order: not in working condition

o The elevator was out or order, so we had to walk to the tenth floor of the building. o We couldn't use the soft drink machine because it was out of order.

to get to: to be able to do something special; to arrive at a place, such as home, work, etc. for the second definition, do not use the preposition to with the words home or there. o The children got to stay up late and watch a good movie for the family.

o I missed the bus and couldn't get to the office until ten o'clock. o When are you planning to get home tonight?

few and far between: not frequent, unusual, rare

o The times that our children get to stay up late are few and far between.

o Airplane travel is very safe because accidents are few and far between.

to look over: to examine, to inspect closely (also: to go over, to read over, to check over) (S) Go over is different from the other forms because it is not separable.

o I want to look my homework over again before I give it to the teacher.

o The politician went over his speech before the important presentation.

o You should never sign any legal paper without checking it over first.

to have (time) off: to have free time, not to have to work (also: to take time off (S)) The related form (S) to take time off is used when someone makes a decision to have free time, sometimes when others might not agree with the decision.

o Every morning the company workers have time off for a coffee break.

o Several workers took the afternoon off to go to a baseball game.

to go on: to happen; to resume, to continue (also: to keep on)

o Many people gathered near the accident to see what was going on.

o I didn't mean to interrupt you. Please go on.

o The speaker kept on talking even though most of the audience had left.

to put out: extinguish (usually in the case of a light, a flame, a fire, a cigarette), to cause to stop functioning (S) To put out has the same meaning as to turn off (Lesson 1) for a light fixture.

o No smoking is allowed in here. Please put out your cigarette.

o The fire fighters worked hard to put the brush fire out.

o Please put out the light before you leave. Okay, I'll put it out.

all of a sudden: suddenly, without warning (also: all at once)

o All of a sudden Ed appeared at the door. We weren't expecting him to drop by.

o All at once Millie got up and left the house without any explanation.


to point out: to show, to indicate, to bring to one's attention (S) o What important buildings did the tour guide point out to you?

o The teacher pointed out the mistakes in my composition.

o A friend pointed the famous actor out to me.

to be up: to expire, to be finished This idiom is used only with the word time as the subject.

o "The time is up," the teacher said at the end of the test period.

o We have to leave the tennis court because our hour is up; some other people want to use it now.

to be over: to be finished, to end (also: to be through) This idiom is used for activities and events.

o After the dance was over, we all went to a restaurant.

o The meeting was through ten minutes earlier than everyone expected.

on time: exactly at the correct time, punctually

o I thought that Margaret would arrive late, but she was right on time.

o Did you get to work on time this morning, or did rush hour traffic delay you?

in time to: before the time necessary to do something

o We entered the theater just in time to see the beginning of the movie.

o The truck was not able to stop in time to prevent an accident.

to get better, worse, [to get + superlative adjective]: to become better, worse, and more

o Heather has been sick for a month, but now she is getting better.

o This medicine isn't helping me. Instead of getting better, I'm getting worse.

to get sick, well, tired, busy, wet, [adjective, temporary]: to become sick, well, tired, busy, wet, etc. This idiom consists of a combination of get and various adjectives.

o Gerald got sick last week and has been in bed since that time.

o Every afternoon I get very hungry, so I eat a snack.

had better: should, ought to, be advisable to This idiom is most often used in contracted form (I'd better).

o I think you'd better speak to Mr. White right away about this matter.

o The doctor told the patient that he'd better go home and rest.

would rather: prefer to (also: would just as soon)

o Would you rather have the appointment this Friday or next Monday?

o I would just as soon go for a walk as watch TV right now.

to call it a day/night: to stop working for the test of the day/night

o Herb tried to repair his car engine all morning before he called it a day and went fishing.

o We've been working hard on this project all evening; let's call it a night.

to figure out: to solve, to find a solution (S); to understand (S)

o How long did it take you to figure out the answer to the math problem?

o I was never able to figure it out.

to think of: to have a (good or bad) opinion of This idiom is often used in the negative or with adjectives such as much and highly.

o I don't think much of him as a baseball player; he's a slow runner and a poor hitter.

o James thinks highly of his new boss, who is a kind and helpful person.


to be about to: to be at the moment of doing something, to be ready This idiom is often sued with the adverb just.

o I was just about to leave when you telephoned.

o Oh, hi, John. We're just about to eat dinner.

to turn around: to move or face in the opposite direction (S); to completely change the condition of (S)

o The man turned his car around and drove back the way he came.

o The company has been very successful since the new business manager was able to turn it around. to

to take turns: to alternate, to change people while doing something

o During the trip, Darlene and I took turns driving so that neither of us would tire out.

o I have to make sure that my two sons take turns playing the video game.

o pay attention (to): to look at and listen to someone while they are speaking, to concentrate o Please pay attention to me while I'm speaking to you!

o You'll have to pay more attention in class if you want to get a good grade. to brush up on: to review something in order to refresh one's memory

o Before I traveled to Mexico, I brushed up on my Spanish; I haven't practiced it since high school.

o In order to take that advanced mathematics class, Sidney will have to brush up on his algebra.

over and over (again): repeatedly (also: time after time, time and again)

o The actress studied her lines in the movie over and over until she knew them well.

o Children have difficulty remembering rules, so it's often necessary to repeat them over and over again.

o Time and again I have to remind Bobby to put on his seat belt in the car.

to wear out: to use something until it has no value or worth anymore, to make useless through wear (S)

o When I wear out these shoes, I'll have to buy some that last longer.

o What do you do with your clothes after your wear them out?

to throw away: to discard, to dispose of (S)

o I generally throw away my clothes when I wear them out.

o Don't throw the magazines away; I haven't read them yet.

to fall in love: to begin to love This idiom is used with the expression at first sight to indicate a sudden interest in love.

o Ben and Sal fell in love in high school, and got married after graduation.

o Have you ever fallen in love at first sight?

to go out: to stop functioning; to stop burning; to leave home or work (also: to step out)

o The lights went out all over the city because of an electrical problem.

o The campers didn't have to put out the fire because it went out by itself.

o Gary isn't here right now; he went out to the store for a moment.

o I have to step out of the office briefly to pick up a newspaper.

out of the question: impossible, not feasible

o Stephen told Deborah that it was out of the question for her to borrow his new car.

o Don't expect me to do that again. It's absolutely out of the question. to have to do with: to have some connection with or relationship to o Ralph insisted that he had nothing to do with breaking the window. o What does your suggestion have to do with our problem?

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