Miscellaneous expressions

The units which deal with phrasal verbs and other expressions present only a small number of the expressions that exist. There are many others based on both the basic verbs focused on in Units and on a whole range of other verbs. This unit looks at some other verbs, giving examples of a few of the phrasal verbs and expressions connected with them.


– I must see about/to arrangements for the conference. [deal with]
– They’ve gone to see Jim off at the airport. [go with someone about to set off on a journey]
– It’s easy to see through his behaviour. [not be deceived by]
– It’s sometimes hard to see the wood for the trees. [get a clear view of the whole of something because of distracting details]
– Do you think you could see your way to lending me a fiver? [feel it was possible to]
– I must be seeing things. [having hallucinations]


– I ran into an old friend yesterday, [met unexpectedly]
– Her patience has run out. [come to an end]
– Let’s run over the plans again, [review]
– The children have run me off my feet today. [kept me so busy that I’m exhausted]
– She runs the business while he looks after the children, [manages / has overall responsibility for]
– How often do the trains run? [go]


– There was a very large turnout at the concert. [number of people who came]
– She turned down their offer of promotion. [refused]
– Who do you think turned up last night? [made an appearance, often unexpectedly]
– I’m going to turn over a new leaf this year. [make a fresh start]
– It’s your turn to do the washing-up. [It’s your duty this time because I did it last time.]
– He did me a good turn, [a favour]


– He has been let down so many times in the past, [disappointed]
– He won’t let us into the secret, [tell us]
– I hope the rain lets up soon, [becomes less strong]
– Let go of the rope, [stop holding] Please let me be. [stop bothering me]
– She let it slip that she had been given a pay rise. [mentioned accidentally or casually]


– The car broke down again this morning. [stopped working]
– There isn’t going to be a wedding – they have broken off their engagement. [ended]
– Burglars broke into our house while we were on holiday. [forcibly entered]
– I’m dreading breaking the news to him. [telling him the news]
– He has broken her heart. [made her deeply unhappy]
– The athlete broke the record for the 1000 metres. [created a new record]