Meaning: to shorten a piece of clothing or a curtain to make it the right size
- take sth up These jeans are a bit too long. Could you take them up for me?
- take up sth I have to take up the new curtains in the bedroom.
Meaning: to become less in amount or lower in level
- Sales of sunglasses usually fall off in winter, but pick up again in summer.
- Tourist numbers fell off quite a bit because of the reports of sickness in the country.
look up to
Meaning: If someone looks up to another person, they respect or admire them.
Synonym: respect, admire
- Most boys look up to sports stars, and some even dream of being like them when they grow up.
- I always looked up to my older cousin, until I saw him hit his girlfriend. I never respected him again after that.
go along with
Meaning: to agree with someone or to support something
Synonym: agree with
- I usually go along with whatever Michael says, but this time I don't agree with him.
- Most people just go along with whatever the government wants to do, so it was a surprise when so many of them opposed the plan to build a new dam.
move in on
Meaning: to try to take control of something that someone else has control of
Synonym: take over
- move in on sth The gang war started when one of the gangs tried to move in on the other one's territory.
- move in on sth If you don't protect your market share in business, someone else will move in on it and take it from you.
look back on
Meaning: If you look back on something, you think about a period of time in the past or an event in the past.
Synonym: remember, recall
- When I look back on my teenage years, I'm amazed by the crazy and dangerous things we used to do.
- Terry tries not to look back on his time in the war. He has too many painful memories.
Meaning: to visit a place, or to move from one place or country to another
- Do you want to come over after work and see my new 50" TV?
- My family has lived in Australia ever since my great grandparents come over from England in 1896.
Meaning: If you see to something, you take care and responsibility of it
- Tom will see to the horses.
- I hear the doorbell. Will someone, please, see to answering the door?
Meaning: to regain consciousness after an accident or an operation
Synonym: come round
- The doctor said the operation went well and my wife would be coming to shortly.
- He was knocked out cold by the other boxer, but when we held some smelling salts under his nose, he soon came to.
Meaning: If you order in, you order food from a take-away restaurant and have it delivered to your home or office.
Synonym: order out
- order sth in Have you ordered some food in for the staff who're working late?
- order in sth Let's order in some pizza. I can't be bothered cooking tonight.
Nouns often used as objects with order in: pizza, hamburger, fried chicken, soda, juice
Variety: This is typically used in American and Australian English but may be used in other varieties of English too.
Meaning: to have enough space for something, or to have enough time for something
fit in My car's got a small boot and the golf clubs won't fit in. They're too long.
fit sth/sb in I don't have time to see him today, but I might be able to fit him in tomorrow.
Meaning: to sell something to the highest bidder (buyer) at an auction
- auction off sth In order to pay his debts, Uncle George had to auction off his collection of paintings.
- auction sth off Do you think we should auction the contents of the house off piece by piece, or sell the whole lot to a dealer?
Meaning: to make a light go off
Synonym: switch off
- turn out sth Don't forget to turn out the lights before you leave the office.
- turn sth out The bathroom light was on this morning. Who forgot to turn it out?
Meaning: If you help someone out, you do something to help them.
- help out sb Scouts are taught to help out old people.
- help sb out We need someone to help us out with the housework.
- help out with sth We pay the kids next door to help out with the gardening.
Meaning: If you turn down an offer or a request, you decide not to accept it.
Synonym: refuse, reject
- turn down sth/sb The bank turned down Kenny's application for a loan because he'd just lost his job.
- turn sth/sb down The club turned his transfer request down, so Patrice had to stay with the club.
Nouns which are often used with turn down: turn down an offer, turn down a request, turn down an appeal, turn down a proposal, turn down an invitation, turn down an application
Meaning: If you stick to something, you don't stop doing it or you don't stop trying to do it.
Synonym: keep to, maintain
- Don't give up. Stick to the diet and you'll definitely lose weight.
- You have to stick to something for a long time to become an expert at it.
Meaning: to work too hard and suffer from physical and mental exhaustion
- burn out Barry burned out because he worked too much and had too much stress. Now he's on sick leave for a few weeks to recover.
- burn yourself out You need to slow down a bit or you'll end up burning yourself out.
Meaning: to consider the good and bad points before making a decision
- weigh up sth They'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of each location before deciding where to build their factory.
- weigh sth up The judge told the jury to weigh the evidence up carefully before reaching a verdict.
Meaning: If children or teenagers run away, they leave home without telling their parents or guardians.
- When he was a kid, Pedro got angry with his parents and ran away from home.
- Many young people run away because they're being sexually abused by a family member.
Meaning: to appear, occur, or become available
- If a job comes up in your company, let me know and I might apply for it.
- I'm sorry I couldn't make it to your party last night. Something came up at the last minute and I couldn't get away from the office.
- It's too early to get up. The sun hasn't even come up yet!
Meaning: If you wash up, you wash dirty dishes and cooking utensils.
Synonym: do the dishes
- wash up I'll cook the dinner if you wash up.
- wash up sth Do you want me to wash up all these dishes next to the sink?
- wash sth up Leave the dishes. I'll wash them up in the morning.
Nouns often used as objects with wash up: dishes, plates, cups, pots, pans, cutlery
Note: The phrase "do the washing-up" is often used to describe the act of washing up, especially if the particular objects being washed are not mentioned.
Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but may be used in other varieties of English too.
Meaning: to fix a notice or a picture onto a wall or a noticeboard
Synonym: stick up (informal)
- put up sth The office would look a lot nicer if we put up a few pictures.
- put sth up If you're looking for part-time workers, why don't you put a notice up at the university? Students are always looking for part-time jobs.
Nouns often used as objects with put up: picture, painting, notice, poster, wall hanging
Meaning: If you ask somebody out, you ask someone you like to go on a date with you.
Synonym: invite out
- ask sb out It took Juan a long to build up the courage to ask Mariella out, but at last he did and she said yes. Juan was so happy he couldn't help smiling.
- ask sb out for sth If you like her, why don't you ask her out for dinner? The worst that can happen is that she says no or makes an excuse.
Nouns often used as indirect objects with ask out: on a date, to a restaurant, to a movie, dancing