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Common Phrases

Common Phrases

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Published by Raju Rahman

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Published by: Raju Rahman on May 07, 2011
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08/21/2013

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A
Account for:
 To explain how/why. To give reasons.
ex. "How do you account for the increase in productioncosts?" 
 
Act on:
 To pursue. To take action because of information received.
ex. "The military planned to act onthe information they received." 
 
Act out:
 To react negatively to something.
ex. "Teenagers often act out to express their feelings." 
 
Act up:
 To behave or function improperly.
ex. "Facebook is acting up again." 
 
Add up:
 1) To calculate a sum.
ex. "I added up all your bills. You owe me $120." 
2) To make sense.
ex. "There's something about his story that doesn't add up. I don't think he'stelling the truth." 
Add up to:
 To equal an amount.
ex. "Our monthly expenses added up to $500." 
 
Allow for:
 To include.
ex. "You have to allow for unexpected expenses in your budget." 
 
Ask around:
 To ask several people or more.
ex. "Do you have change for a 20? No, but ask around, I'm sure someone does." 
Ask out:
 To ask to go on a date.
ex. "I'm going to ask her out tomorrow.
"
Ask over:
 To invite to one's home.
ex. "I would ask him over for dinner, but I'm afraid he would eat toomuch." 
Attend to:
 To see about something (formal).
ex. "I have to some business to attend to. I'll meet up with youlater, John." 
1
 
B
Back down:
To retreat, relent.
ex. "He didn't back down. He just kept on insulting me." 
Back off:
  Not follow a threat. To step back.
ex. "The man threatened to call the cops, but he backed off when I said I would pay for the damages." 
 
Back out (of):
To not keep (a promise, agreement,deal)
ex. "The other investor backed out at the last second." 
Back up:
 (1) Move backward; Move in reverse.
ex. "You still have some room to back up a bit." 
(2) To confirm a story, facts, or information; To support.
ex. "If you don't believe me, ask Bill. He'll back me up." 
(3) To make a copy (computer data, etc.)
Bail out on someone:
To leave someone (especially when they need you). ex. "That man bailed on his family whenthey needed him most."
ex. "The Democrats have a plan to bail out the automotive industry." 
Bail (someone) out:
To save (someone).
ex. "The Democrats have a plan to bail out the automotive industry." 
Bang up:
To damage.
ex. "He banged up his car pretty bad." 
Barge in:
To enter, interrupting something.
ex. "He barged in while we were eating dinner." 
Bawl out:
To scold.
ex. "Mary's mother bawled her out for being mean to her sister." 
Be after:
 To look for.
ex. "The pirates are after the treasure." 
 
Be along:
 To arrive.
ex. "He'll be along in a bit." 
 
Be down:
 To be depressed.
ex. "I've been feeling a little down recently." 
 
Be down with:
 *very informal* To be on good terms with something/someone. To like/respectsomeone/something.2
 
Be in on:
 To be a part of; to be involved with; to know about.
ex. "They police are obviously in on the plan." 
 
Be off:
 
(1) To be not quite right. ex. "The curry here is usually excellent, but today it's a little off." 
(2) To not be at work (To have a day off work)
ex. "I'm off today. Let's do something fun!" 
 
Be on:
 To have a very good/successful performance (usually said of musicians, comics, and other entertainers)
ex. If you go to a concert and a musician is playing or singing really well - you can say "He's really on tonight!" 
 
Be onto (someone):
 To realize what someone is doing; to figure out someone's game, trick, etc.
ex. He thought that he had everyone fooled, but I was onto him. (I realized what he was doing)
 
Be out of:
 To have none left.
ex. We're out of milk. = We have no more milk.
 
Be out to (do something):
 To want to (do something). To have the intention of (doing something)
ex. "He's out to kill me!" 
 
Be up:
 To be awake.
ex. "I'm sorry, he's not up yet." 
 
Be up to (something):
 To be doing (something); To have something planned.
ex. "What are you up to?", "I can tell that he's up to something." 
 
Bear with (someone):
 To be patient with someone.
ex. "Bear with me, I'll be done in about 10 minutes." 
 
Beat out:
 To finish ahead of.
ex. "Sandra beat out all the other contestants and finished first in the race." 
 
Beat (someone) up:
 To physically harm (someone).
ex. "What happened to you!? One of the school bullies beat meup today." 
 
Blare out:
To say/sing something very loudly.
Blast off:
To leave the ground (when speaking about a rocket).
Blow (someone) away:
To impress someone greatly.
ex. "We were blown away by her performance." 
 3

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