Essential Idioms Lessons 9-12

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 . This book was introduced to me by Belinda.


to wake up: to arise from sleep, to awaken (S) Compare wake up and get up (Lesson 1) as used in the first example.

o Marge woke up this morning very early, but she did not get up until about ten o'clock.

o My alarm clock wakes me up at the same time every day.

to be in charge of: to manage, to have responsibility for

o Jane is in charge of the office while Mrs. Haig is a business trip.

o Who is in charge of arrangements for the dance next week?

as soon as: just after, when

o As soon as it started to snow, the children ran outside with big smiles on their faces.

o I'm busy now, but I'll meet you as soon as I've finished this work.

to get in touch with: to communicate with, to contact

o You can get in touch with him by calling the Burma Hotel.

o I've been trying all morning to get in touch with Miss Peters, but her phone is always busy.

to have a good time: to enjoy oneself

o We all had a good time at the class reunion last night.

o Did you have a good time at the park? I really enjoyed it.

in no time: very quickly, rapidly This idiom can be used with the idiom at all to add emphasis to the certainty of the statement.

o Mac said that he'd be ready to leave in no time.

o We thought that the meeting would take two hours, but it was over in no time at all.

to cut down on: to reduce, to lessen (also: to cut back on)

o In order to lose weight, you have to cut down on your intake of sugar.

o The doctor told me to cut back on exercise until my back injury heals.

quite a few: many

o Quite a few students were absent yesterday; in fact, more than half of them were not there.

o We did not expect many people to attend to affair, but quite a few of our friends actually came.

used to: formerly did, had the habit of This idiom is used to indicate a past situation, action, or habit that does not exist in the present. The idiom is always followed by a simple verb form.

o I used to live in New York, but I moved to California two years ago.

o Kim used to smoke cigarettes, but she stopped the habit last month.

to be used to: be accustomed to This idiom refers to a situation, action, or habit that continues in the present. The idiom is always followed by a noun or gerund phrase.

o He is used to this climate now, so the changes in temperature do not affect him much.

o I am used to studying in the library, so it's difficult for me to study at home now.

to get used to: to become used to, to become adjusted to This idiom describes the process of change that allows someone to be used to a situation, action, or habit.

o It took Yoshiko a long time to get used to the food that her American host family served her.

o Mark can't seem to get used to wearing contact lenses; recently he's been wearing his glasses a lot.

back and forth: in a backward and forward motion

o The restless lion kept pacing back and forth along the front of its cage.

o Grandmother finds it relaxing to sit in her rocking chair and move back and forth.


to make sure: to be sure, to ascertain (also: to make certain)

o Please make sure that you turn off the radio before you go out.

o Could you make certain of the time? I don't want to miss that TV show.

now and then: occasionally, sometimes (also: now and again, at times, from time to time, off and on, once in a while) Both now and then and once in a while can be preceded by the adjective every. Another idiom with the same meaning and form is every so often.

o I don't see him very often, but (every) now and then we arrange to have lunch together.

o Gary gets a cold (every) once in a while even though he takes good care of himself.

o Every so often my brother and I get together for a camping trip.

o I like to sleep late in the morning from time to time.

to get rid of: to eliminate, to remove; to discard, to throw away

o Jerry tried hard to get rid of the stain on his shirt, but he never succeeded.

o The stain was so bad that Jerry finally had to get rid of his shirt.

every other (one): every second (one), alternate (ones)

o I play tennis with my father every other Saturday, so I usually play twice a month.

o There were twenty problems in the exercise, but the teacher told us only to do every other one. Actually, doing ten problems was difficult enough.

to go with: to match, to compare well in color to design; to date, to accompany (also: to go out with) For the first definition, adverbs such as well and poorly are often used.

o That striped shirt goes well with the gray pants, but the pants go poorly with those leather shoes.

o Eda went with Richard for about six months, but now she is going out with a new boyfriend.

first-rate: excellent, superb

o The food served in that four-star restaurant is truly first-rate.

o The Beverly Hills Hotel provides first-rate service to its guests.

to come from: to originate from This idiom is commonly used in discussion of one's home town, state, or country.

o What country in South American does she come from? She comes from Peru.

o I just learned that he really comes from Florida, not Texas.

o Where did this package come from? The mail carrier brought it.

to make good time: to travel a sufficient distance at a reasonable speed The adjective excellent can also be used.

o On our last trip, it rained the entire time, so we didn't make good time.

o We made excellent time on our trip to Florida; it only took eighteen hours.

to mix up: to stir or shake well (S); to confuse, to bewilder (S) For the second definition, the passive forms to be mixed up or to get mixed up are often used.

o You should mix up the ingredients well before you put them in the pan.

o The teacher's poor explanation really mixed the students up.

o The students think it's their fault that they are mixed up so often.

to see about: to give attention or time to (also: to attend to, to see to)

o Who is going to see about getting us a larger room for the meeting?

o I'll see to arranging music for the wedding of you attend to the entertainment.

to make out: to do, to succeed, to progress

o Charlie didn't make out very well on his final examinations. He may have to repeat one or more classes.

o How did Rachelle make out on her acting audition in Hollywood yesterday?

by heart: by memorizing o He knows many passages form Shakespeare by heart. o Do you know all the idioms you have studied in this book by heart?


to keep out: not to enter, not allow to enter (S) o There was a large sign outside the door that said, "Danger! Keep out!" o I've told you to keep the dog out of the house.

to keep away (from): to stay at a distance (from) (S); to avoid use of (also: stay away from) o Please be sure to keep the children away from the street!

o The signs on the burned-out house said, "Keep Away! Danger Zone."

o It's important for your health to stay away from dangerous drugs.

to find fault with: criticize, to complain about something

o It is very easy to find fault with the work of others, but more difficult to accept criticism of one's own work.

o Mrs. Johnson is always finding fault with her children, but they really try to please their mother.

to be up to: to be responsible for deciding; to be doing as a regular activity The second definition is most often used in a question as a form of greeting.

o I don't care whether we go to the reception or not. It's up to you.

o Hi, George. I haven't seen you in a while. What have you been up to?

ill at ease: uncomfortable or worried in a situation

o Speaking in front of a large audience makes many people feel ill at ease.

o My wife and I were ill at ease because our daughter was late coming home from a date.

to do over: to revise, to do again (S) A noun or pronoun must separate the two parts of this idiom. o o o oYou'd better do the letter over because it is written so poorly.

o Jose made so many mistakes in his homework that the teacher made him do it over.

to look into: to investigate, to examine carefully (also: to check into) o The police are looking into the matter of the stolen computers. o The congressional committee will check into the financial dealings of the government contractor. to take hold of: to grasp, to grip with the heads o You should take hold of the railing as you go down those steep stairs.

o The blind man took hold of my arm as I led him across the street.

to get through: to finish, to complete This idiom is followed either by the –ing form of a verb (a gerund) or by the preposition with.

o I didn't get through studying last night until almost eleven o'clock.

o At what time does your wife get through with work every day?

from now on: from this time into the future

o Mr. Lee's doctor told him to cut down on eating fatty foods from now on, or else he might suffer heart disease.

o I'm sorry that I dropped by at a bad time. From now on I'll call you first.

to keep track of: to keep or maintain a record of; to remember the location of

o Steve keeps track of all the long-distance telephone calls related to his business that he makes from his house. o With seven small children, how do the Wilsons keep track of all of them?

to be carried away: to be greatly affected by a strong feeling (S) This idiom can also be used with get instead of be. o Paula and Leanne were carried away by the sad movie that they saw together. o James got carried away with anger when his roommate crashed his new car into a telephone pole.


up to date: modern; current, timely Hyphens (-) separate the parts of this idiom when it precedes a noun form, as in the third example. The verb to update derives from this idiom.

o The president insisted that the company bring its aging equipment up to date.

o This catalog is not up to date. It was published several years ago.

o The news program gave an up-to-date account of the nuclear accident. The newscaster said that he would update the news report every half hour.

out of date: not modern; not current, not timely; no longer available in published form Again, hyphens separate the parts of this idiom when it precedes a noun form as, in the second example. The passive verb to be outdated derives from this idiom.

o Many people buy new cars when their old cars become out of date.

o I don't know why Gene likes to wear out-of-date cloth. His clothes are so outdated that even his girlfriend hesitates to be seen with him.

o This book can't be ordered any more because it is out of date.

to blow up: to inflate, to fill with air (S); to explode, to destroy (or be destroyed) by explosion (S)

o Daddy, could you please blow up this balloon for me?

o When the airplane crashed into the ground, it blew up immediately.

o The military had to blow the missile up in midair when it started to go the wrong way.

to catch fire: to begin to burn

o Don't stand too close to the gas stove. Your clothes may catch fire.

o No one seems to know how the old building caught fire.

to burn down: to burn slowly, but completely (usually said of candles); to destroy completely by fire (S)

o There was a large amount of wax on the table where the candles had burned down.

o The fire spread so quickly that the firefighters could not prevent the whole block of buildings from burning down.

to burn up: to destroy completely by fire (S); to make angry or very annoyed (S) (also to tick off) To burn up and to burn down (previous idiom) share the same definition but also have different definitions.

o She didn't want anyone to see the letter, so she burned it up and threw the ashes away.

o It really burns me up that he borrowed my car without asking me first.

o Mike got ticked off that his friends never offered to help him move to his new apartment. He had to do everything himself.

to burn out: to stop functioning because of overuse; to make tired from too muck work (S)

o This light bulb has burned out. Could you get another one?

o Studying all day for my final exams has really burned me out.

to make good: to succeed

o He is a hard worker, and I'm sure that he will make good in that new job.

o Alma has always made good in everything that she has done.

stands to reason: to be clear and logical This idiom is almost always used with the pronoun subject it and is followed by a that clause. o It stands to reason that a person without experience.

o It stands to reason that he isn't going to pass the course if he never studies.

to break out: to become widespread suddenly

o An epidemic of measles broke out in Chicago this past week.

o If a nuclear war ever breaks out, it is unlikely that many people will survive.

o The news says that a large fire has broken out in a huge chemical plant.

as for: regarding, concerning (also: as to)

o As for the money, we will simply have to borrow some more from the bank.

o There is no doubt as to her intelligence; she's the smartest one in the class.

to feel sorry for: to pity, to feel compassion for (also: to take pity on)

o Don't you feel sorry for someone who has to work the night shift?

o I helped drive Pierre around when he broke his foot because I took pity on him.

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