Everybody knows the importance of learning some phrasal verbs, idioms and colloquial expressions, especially when you live in a foreign country. We always learn a lot of them by communicating with native speakers or watching movies and series. In this post, you learn some phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions to communicate in a more natural way when speaking English in a foreign country.
* a bookworm – a person who loves reading or is always studying.
I’m a bookworm. I love reading about languages and cultures.
* a copycat – a person who copies the words or actions of another.
Eleanor is a copycat, her piece for Art lesson looks exactly like mine.
* live and learn – to learn as you grow older and gain experience.
I should never have quit my degree. Oh well, we live and learn.
* a teacher’s pet – the teacher’s favourite student.
Amy is definitely the teacher’s pet. Mrs. Brown gives her the best grades even when her work isn’t very good.
* go back to basics – to return to the beginning.
I think we should go back to the basics as none of you are using the past simple correctly today.
* cover a lot of ground – to go through a lot of information in class.
We have covered a lot of ground in class today, so make sure you go through your notes when you get home.
* pull an all nighter – to study throughout the night.
I’m so exhausted, I pulled an all nighter studying for this test.
* hold sb back – to stop being successful as they should be.
His lack of regular studying held him back a lot.
* show signs of sth – to show that sth seems to be happening.
His efforts have contributed to his performance and he started showing signs of improvement last class.
* pull your socks up – used to tell sb who is not doing well and must work harder.
You have to pull your socks up and start studying harder not to fail again.
* pass with flying colours – to pass with a very high grade.
Michael passed with flying colours! He got the best grade in his class!
* scrape through sth – to succeed doing sth with difficulty, especially passing an exam.
He scraped through the final test and now is relieved to go on vacation.
* mark sb down – to reduce the mark/grade given to sb in a an exam.
The teacher marked him down as he made a lot of mistakes in the test.
* catch on – to understand.
She hadn’t caught on the lesson until the teacher started giving examples.
* drop out – to leave school or university before your course has finished.
Sally dropped out of college in the first year.
* fall behind – to not be on schedule, to be behind the standard or level of students in your class/group.
He was a smart boy in school, but he fell behind due to his illness and gave up.
* find out – to learn something that you didn’t know.
Please click on the following link to find out about the lessons provided in school.
* go over – to review something, to check something.
I’m not sure if my figures are accurate, can we go over the one more time?
* hand in – to give a piece of your work to somebody (teacher, lecturer) so that they can read it or deal with it.
The students have handed in their assignment for marking.
* hand out – to give or offer things to people in a group so that each person has one or some.
The teacher opened a folder she’d brought with her and handed out sheets of paper to everyone.
* look at – to read something quickly and not very thoroughly.
I looked at your report and I think it’s really good.
* look up– to find a piece of information in a book, internet, etc.
Can you try to look up this information in this book for me?
* miss out – to not include something or someone.
She missed some important points out of her essay.
* mix up – to confuse two things or people.
Jack has difficulty with visualising numbers and often mixes them up.
* opt for – to choose a particular option or thing.
Peter was unsure what to study in college, he eventually opted for business and law.
* run through – to read or rehearse something quickly in order to repeat or check.
I had run through my figures over and over again.
* sign up – to agree to take part in an activity or to join an organisation.
If you have never signed up for this programme, please contact our support team directly so we can help out.
* take in – to absorb new facts and information.
I was so shocked that I didn’t take in everything.
* kick sb out – to force somebody to leave a place, course, job, etc.
They kicked him out of school just as his final year was to begin.
* read over – to read something from beginning to end in order to find mistakes or check details.
You should always read over your work to ensure there are no spelling mistakes.
* study under – to be taught by someone.
He entered the Art Students’ League where he studied under many famous artists.
* put off – to postpone something to a later time.
Due to his severe illness, he is forced to put off his studies until he regains his health.
I hope you learned some new phrasal verbs and idioms today, see you next time!
Source: Idioms and Phrasal Verbs – Advanced / Ruth Gairns and Stuart Redman – Oxford