Idioms and Phrasal Verbs to talk about crime

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Hey guys!

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.

* in broad daylight – If a crime is committed in broad daylight, it happens during the day, when it could have been seen and prevented.

Thieves had broken into the house in broad daylight.

* be on the lookout for sb – a person who watches for danger.

The president is suing the newspaper for publishing several of her off-the-record comments.

* hold sth up – use violence to steal from a shop, bank, etc.

Two men held up a shop in the city center yesterday and stole $100,000.

* at gunpoint – while threatening to use a gun.

He was robbed at gunpoint in his shop three years ago.

* make off with sth – steal sth and hurry away in order to escape.

They made off with the money and escaped across the street.

* crack down on sb/sth – try harder to prevent an illegal activity and deal severely with those caught doing the activity.

* in possession of sth – having or owing sth, often sth that is illegal or important.

We will crack down hard on anyone caught in possession of firearms.

* nip sth in the bud – stop a bad situation from becoming worse by taking action at an early stage of its development.

We need to nip this in the bud.

* press charges against sb – officially accuse sb of committing a crime.

The police pressed charges against the group of criminals.

 * clear sb’s name – prove that sb did not do sth that they were accused of.

The lawyer cleared his client’s name as it was proven that he did not commit the crime.

* tighten sth up – make a law, rule or system more strict.

The government has to tighten up some traffic laws in order to penalize those who do not respect them.

* lead sb astray – be a bad influence on sb and make them do sth silly or criminal.

Many youngsters are being led astray by criminal organizations nowadays.

* go/be undercover – pretend to be sb else in order to find out secret information.

The police officer went/was undercover in prison to identify the one responsible for the crime.

* tip sb off – give sb a warning or secret information.

The police officer was tipped off by a gang member.

* in the clear – no longer believed to be guilty of sth bad or illegal.

The athlete was in the clear after the results of the blood test were revealed.

* clean up your act – start behaving in a more moral and responsible way.

The man decided to clean up his act after having spent many years in jail.

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

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