Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "cut"

These exercises are about using the verb ‘to cut ‘ combined with particles:

to cut across’ means to take a shortcut over an area instead of going around the edge.

* It’ll be quicker to cut across the field.
* She quickly cut across the car park to where he was standing.

to cut back’ means to reduce the amount of money being spent.

* The government has cut back on education with less teachers.
* I’ve had to cut back on my spending as I’m not making any money at the moment.

to cut down’ means to remove a tree or plant by cutting it near the base.

* To make bigger fields, the farmer has cut down a lot of the hedges.
* We cut down the old tree in the garden as it blocked all the light.

to cut down’ also means to reduce the number or quantity of something.

* The article was too long and so I had to cut it down to fit the space.
* I have cut down the number of hours I work to only thirty a week now.

to cut in’ = to interrupt someone when they are speaking.

* I was trying to explain it when she cut in and started talking.
* He really annoys me. He’s always cutting in and never lets me speak.

to cut off’ = to stop supplies of something like electricity or water

* They didn’t pay the bills and the electricity was cut off.
* The water was cut off while they repaired the leaking pipes.

to cut off’ can also mean to stop a telephone connection.

* I’ll ring him back. We got cut off in the middle of the conversation.
* I’m sorry but I pressed the wrong button and cut you off.

to cut out’ = when an engine or piece of machinery suddenly stops working

* There’s a problem with my car. The engine keeps cutting out.
* When I stopped at the lights, the engine cut out.

to cut through’ difficulty means to be able to deal with the problems or bureaucracy quickly

* To get the permits in time, we had to find a way to cut through all the bureaucracy.
* She can cut through the complex legal language and get to the point.

to cut up’ = to divide something into smaller pieces

* It was too big to go into the bin so I cut it up.
* At the end, there was a cake left so we cut it up and each took a piece home.





Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "come"

These exercises are about using the verb ‘to come’ combined with particles. Here are some of the most common:

to come across’ means to find something by chance.

* Here is an old photo of me. I came across it when I was looking for my passport.
* I love this painting. I came across it in the attic when I was cleaning up.

to come apart’ means to break into separate pieces.

* It broke when I picked it up. Everything just came apart.
* It’s quite big but you can pack it into a small box. It comes apart very easily.

to come down’ means to fall, to decrease.

* The price of petrol has come down since the beginning of the year. It’s much cheaper now.
* She has taken some aspirin so her temperature has come down.

to come from’ = to have as your country or place of origin.

* You know by his accent that he comes from South Africa.
* I come from York, a beautiful city in the north of England.

to come out’ = to be released, to be available to the public

* His new book comes out next month. I’m sure it will be a bestseller.
* Their new CD came out only a few weeks ago and has already sold millions.

to come out’ can also mean to leave a room or a building

* He stayed in his office until he had finished the report. He didn’t come out all day.
* He was waiting for me when I came out of work.

to come up’ = to arise unexpectedly

* I’m sorry but I’ll be late. Something has come up.
* A great opportunity has just come up for a job in the marketing department.

to come up’ = to be mentioned, talked about

* We were talking about different people we knew and his name came up in the conversation.
* I don’t want to talk about it so I hope it doesn’t come up.

to come up with’ = to think of, imagine a solution or idea

* I asked Larry for some suggestions and he came up with a lot of very good ideas.
* I’m sorry but I haven’t come up with any solution yet. I don’t know what we can do.

to come off’ = to become unstuck

* I don’t know what is in the box, the label has come off.
* When I tried to open the door, the handle came off in my hand!





Saturday, March 19, 2011

God bless Japan

Evil befall Japan in 2011.
9.0 magnitude Earthquake, followed by Tsunami which caused a 10-M high waves, claiming thousands of lifes. Now people are dread facing the radioactive substances as a result of the explosive nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

Since the radiation is invisible to the naked eyes, people do not really realise how harmful it can be.
Europeans, especially those from the East, are levelheaded in this case, because they know exactly what is happening, since they experienced the deadliest nuclear leak in Chernobly in 1986.

God bless Japan.
Hopefully those victims will rest in peace, and the survivors will be soon free from the suffer and leave the inferno.
Disaster bereaves us of our loves one, but can never carry away our hope and our unflinching will to live on....

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "break"

These exercises are the first part about using the verb ‘to break ‘ combined with particles:

to break away’ means to stop being part of a group because you disagree with them.

* Several members broke away and formed their own group.
* Some of the members of the party disagreed with their policy and broke away to form their own party.

to break away’ also means to separate or move away from someone who is holding you.

* She broke away from her mother and ran out of the room.
* Although he was holding her by the arms, she managed to break away.

to break down’ is used when a machine or vehicle stops working.

* We broke down about two kilometres out of town and had to walk home.
* This machine is very old and is always breaking down. We need to change it.

to break down’ is also used when a discussion or arrangement fails due to disagreement.

* Talks have broken down. They are unable to reach an agreement.
* Negotiations broke down when the unions turned down the company’s latest offer.

to break down’ an idea or work means to separate it into small pieces in order to deal with it more easily.

* If you break down the big jobs into individual tasks, they are much more manageable.
* We have broken the costs down by area so we can see what regions are less profitable.

to break down’ also is used when someone starts crying uncontrollably or becomes very ill when they cannot cope with their problems.

* When we told her what had happened she broke down and cried.
* When she broke down after a long period of stress and was hospitalised for several months.

to break in’ means to enter a property by force or illegally.

* Burglars have broken into several properties in the area recently.
* They broke in through the window and stole jewellery, cash and my laptop.

to break in’ also means to interrupt someone when they are speaking.

* As usual, when I was talking, she broke in and didn’t let me finish my story.
* We were talking about Ralph when Sue broke in and said we didn’t know anything about him.





Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "blow"

These exercises are about using the verb ‘to blow ‘ combined with particles:

to blow about’ means that the wind moves something in different directions.

* After the concert, there was a lot of litter blowing about in the park.
* We tried to collect up all the rubbish and plastic bags that were blowing about in the wind.

to blow away’ means that the wind blows something from the place it was in to another.

* We fixed the tent securely so that it wouldn’t be blown away in the strong wind.
* The wind blew all the labels away so I didn’t know what I had planted in the garden.

to blow back’ means that the wind blows something in the direction it came from.

* When I turned the corner, the wind was so strong I just got blown back.
* The wind blew the smoke back down the chimney into the room.

to blow down’ means that the wind makes something fall to the ground.

* A tree was blocking the road. It had been blown down in the storm.
* The hurricane had blown down the traffic signals and electricity cables all over town.

to blow off’ means that the winds removes something from a position on something.

* I was trying to pick up my hat that had been blown off in the wind.
* The wind was so strong, I got blown off my bicycle.

to blow out’ means to extinguish a fire or flame.

* I couldn’t light the campfire. The wind kept blowing it out.
* Happy Birthday! Blow out the candles on your cake.

to blow over’ means that an argument or some trouble has come to an end.

* I thought that the argument would quickly blow over but it didn’t.
* All that has blown over now. We’ve forgotten about it.

to blow up’ means to destroy something by an explosion.

* The vehicle was blown up when it drove over a landmine.
* They were carrying homemade bombs to blow up the plane mid-flight.

to blow up’ also means to lose your temper, to become very angry.

* He was furious. He just blew up and started shouting at everyone.
* My parents blew up when they found me smoking. They were so angry.

to blow up’ also means to put air into something.

* That tire looks flat. I must go blow it up.
* I spent the afternoon blowing up balloons for the party.




Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "to be"

These exercises are about using the verb ‘to be’ combined with particles:

to be away‘ means to have gone to another place.

* Sandra won’t be back until next month, she is away in China at the moment.
* I’m sorry but Martin is away on holiday this week. Can I help you?

to be down‘ means to be unhappy or depressed.

* Until I found a new job, I was down for a long time.
* Sue has been down since she turned 50.

to be down‘ can also mean the opposite of ‘to be up’, to have fallen or got smaller.

* The dollar is down one cent against the euro.
* Profits are down this quarter due to bad sales in Europe.

to be in‘ means to be at home.

* I tried to phone Donna last night but she wasn’t in so I couldn’t speak to her.
* I’ll be in this afternoon if you’d like to come for tea.

to be off‘ means to leave or to start on a journey.

* I’ll see you tomorrow morning, I’m off now. Have a nice evening.
* We’re off to Florida on Tuesday. The flight leaves at ten o’clock.

to be off’ can also mean that food is old and has gone bad.

* Don’t eat that yoghurt, I think it’s off. It’s been in the fridge for ages.
* Smell the milk, I think it’s off.

to be on‘ means that something is taking place

* That documentary is on TV tonight but I don’t know which channel it is on.
* Let’s go shopping on Saturday. The sales are on at the moment.

to be on‘ can also mean to be working or switched on.

* I think he must be deaf, the TV was on very loud.
* When I arrived, the lights were on but nobody was at home.

to be out‘ is the opposite of ‘to be in’ so means to not be at home or to be absent.

* I’m sorry but Jack’s out. Can I take a message?
* Marie is out until lunchtime. She’s got an appointment at the dentist this morning.

to be up‘ means to have risen, got higher.

* Prices are up more than ten per cent.
* Unfortunately our costs are up more than twenty per cent because of the increase in the cost of petrol.



Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "back"

These exercises are about using the verb ‘to back ‘ combined with particles:

to back away from’ something or someone means to retreat or move backwards from something, usually slowly, because you are frightened of them.

* When I saw the snake, I slowly backed away from it and called for help.
* He tried to back away from the man with the knife but was trapped.

to back away from’ an idea or suggestion means to disassociate yourself from it and not support it.

* He was going to say yes to the proposal but then backed away from it and didn’t.
* He backed away from plans for a vote of no confidence.

to back down’ means to admit that you were wrong or that you have been defeated.

* When he was confronted with the facts, he quickly backed down.
* He wouldn’t back down. He maintained his position in spite of all the evidence.

to back off’ means avoiding a difficult situation by not becoming involved in it.

* Let me deal with this. Just back off .
* At first she was very aggressive but then she backed off.

to back onto’ describes how the back of a house or building faces in a specific direction.

* The house backs onto the river. We have a lovely view.
* The building backs onto the car park in the city centre.

to back out’ means to withdraw from an agreement that has been made.

* He is no longer going to pay the amount we agreed. He has backed out of our agreement.
* We were going to go on holiday together but then he backed out at the last minute.

to back out’ your car means to reverse it from a place or position.

* I broke the mirror backing out of the parking lot.
* It is illegal to back out of your garden on to the road.

to back up’ means to give an idea support or to prove it.

* He had figures from some very reliable sources to back up his arguments.
* He didn’t have any receipts to back up his insurance claim after the burglary.

to back up’ also means to make a copy of something in case the original is damaged, especially on the computer.

* Before you start installing new software, back up your files.
* I have to back up my work regularly so that I don’t lose it if the computer goes down.

to back someone up’ means to support or to help them.

* That’s exactly what happened. The others will back me up.
* Nobody backed me up. I was left alone to defend myself against the criticism.



Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "ask"

These exercises are about using the verb ‘to ask ‘ combined with particles:

to ask after’ someone means to ask for information about how they are and what they are doing.

* Sue was asking after you. I told her you were fine.
* He asked after my mother. He wanted to know how she was doing.

to ask around’ means to ask several people for help or information.

* I asked around to see if anyone knew someone who could rent me a room.
* When I needed to buy a new car, I asked around and someone offered me this one.

to ask for’ means to say that you want something.

* I asked for the chicken but you have brought me the beef.
* I must remember to ask for a receipt so that I can get reimbursed.

to ask for’ can also mean to do something which is likely to lead to trouble or problems.

* Walking around the streets alone at night was asking for trouble.
* If you go to that part of town, you’re asking for trouble. It’s very dangerous there.

to ask for someone’ means to ask to speak to them.

* He asked for Carol but there is no one working here called Carol.
* If you need anything, ask for Henry. He’ll be able to help you.

to ask someone in’ means to invite them into the room or your home.

* If someone comes to the door, don’t ask them in.
* Sometimes when I’m out in the garden, the neighbours ask me in for a drink.

to ask someone out’ means to invite them to go somewhere with you.

* He asked me out so I expected him to pay for dinner.
* We often invite our friends out for a drink in the pub.

to ask someone over’ means to invite them to come visit you in your home.

* I’ve asked Diane from across the road over for a cup of coffee later.
* He asked me over to see what they had done in the garden.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Business English idioms – "heart"

Business English idioms – heart

Learn new expressions in English with these exercises:

If you get discouraged, you ‘lose heart’.

* When I saw how good the other contestants were I began to lose heart a bit.
* Don’t lose heart. We can still do well.

At the moment you feel disappointed or discouraged your ‘heart sinks’.

* My heart sank when I saw how much work was left to do.
* Her heart sank when she heard the bad news.

If you really really want to do or have something, you ‘set your heart on’ it.

* I’ve set my heart on getting a Ferrari before I am thirty.
* She set her heart on getting that job so she’s very disappointed.

If you find encouragement from something, you ‘take heart’.

* I took heart from your words of encouragement.
* We should take heart from our improved performance in Italy.

If you cannot refuse somebody something, even though you know it is not a good idea, you ‘didn’t have the heart to say no’.

* She really wanted to borrow it and I didn’t have the heart to say no.
* When he pleaded with me, I didn’t have the heart to say no.

If something will make you very sad, it will ‘break your heart’.

* It breaks my heart to sell my car but it’s become too unreliable.
* It breaks my heart to leave here. I’ve really enjoyed it.

If you care a lot about something, it is ‘a subject close to your heart’.

* Fighting world hunger is a subject close to my heart.
* Punctuality is a subject close to my heart.

If somebody is very kind and generous to others, they have ‘a heart of gold’.

* He appears bad –tempered but he’s got a heart of gold.
* Under that gruff exterior lurks a heart of gold.

If you are no longer motivated to do something, your ‘heart is not in it’.

* I’m going to give up this job. My heart is not in it any more.
* She went through the motions but her heart just wasn’t in it.

Your truest inner feelings are your ‘heart of hearts’.

* In my heart of hearts, I never really wanted to leave here.
* I’m happy in my management job but in my heart of hearts I’d rather still be a researcher.

If you change your mind, you ‘have a change of heart’.

* We weren’t going to give him the promotion but then we had a change of heart.
* After a change of heart, she finally agreed to move to Berlin.

If you are well-intentioned, your ‘heart is in the right place’.

* He is a bit rude sometimes but his heart is in the right place.
* She makes a lot of mistakes but her heart is in the right place and she always does her best.

If you memorize something word by word you learn them ‘by heart’.

* I’ve decided to learn the English irregular verbs by heart.
* There is no need to tell me about it. I’ve read so much about it that I know all the details by heart.

If you have an intimate discussion about your true feelings, you have a ‘heart-to-heart’ talk.

* Something is bothering him. I’m going to have a heart-to-heart talk with him and find out what it is.
* We need to have a heart-to-heart discussion and clear the air between us.

At heart’ can mean fundamentally, in one’s deepest feelings.

* He is a good all-round manager but at heart he’s an engineer.
* I want you to know that we have your best interests at heart in sending you to Berlin for a year.







Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "write"

These exercises look at the verb ‘to write’ combined with particles. Here are some of the most common:

to write away for’ something means to send a letter or form asking for something.

* I want a free copy so I’ll write away for one.
* She has written away for a brochure with details of the course.

to write back’ means to reply.

* I sent him a letter but he didn’t write back.
* I wrote back saying that we would be happy to accept their invitation.

to write down’ means to record something on paper.

* So I don’t forget, can you write that down, please?
* I wrote down his phone number on a piece of paper but I can’t find it now.

to write in’ to an organisation means to send a letter to them.

* To give us your comments on today’s show, write in to the usual address.
* The first one hundred people who write in will receive a free copy.

to write off’ means that you decide someone or something is unimportant or not to be considered further.

* Children who are not academic are often written off by schools instead of being helped.
* Most companies write off any employee over fifty-five as they assume they are profitable.

to write off’ a car means to crash it so that it cannot be repaired.

* She has had only one accident but she did write the car off.
* There really isn’t much damage to the car. It won’t be written off by the insurance.

to write off’ a debt means to cancel it.

* The rich countries in the West should write off the debts of the Third World.
* We had to write off quite a lot of bad debts at the end of the year.

to write out’ means to note all the necessary information on a cheque or prescription.

* Can you write me out a receipt for my accounts, please?
* The doctor wrote out a prescription for the drugs and handed it to me.

to write up’ your notes means to record them on paper in a neat form.

* After every class, I always write up my notes straight away.
* She wrote up the minutes of the meeting and distributed them the next day.

to write up’ means to note something on a notice or board on a wall.

* The teacher wrote her name up on the board.
* If you want to join, just write your name up on the notice board.





Pearson Brown English Lesson - Phrasal Verb "work"

These exercises look at the verb ‘to work’ combined with particles. Here are some of the most common:

to work against’ means to cause problems for someone or something, make it harder to achieve.

* When you are applying for a job, age often works against you.
* Their image works against them. They need to change it if they are going to succeed.

to work away at ‘ means to continue working hard at something for a long time.

* When I got back to the office, he was still working away at his report.
* He’s been working away at it all afternoon but you can’t really see what he has achieved.

to work around’ something means that you find a way of organizing an activity avoiding any problems.

* We can’t change it. We’ll just have to work around it.
* The deadlines are very short but I’m sure you can find a way to work around them.

to work off’ means to overcome the effects of something by doing something energetic or different.

* I feel totally stressed. I’m going to go work it off at the gym.
* We ate too much at lunch so we went out into the garden to work it off.

to work on’ something means you spend time and effort trying to perfect it.

* In training, he’s been working on improving the weak parts of his game.
* I’ve been working on my level of fitness before I go on this walking holiday.

to work out’ means to calculate the solution to a mathematical problem.

* I’ve never been very good at maths. I couldn’t work out the rate per week.
* The bill is $98, so who can work out how much each of us must pay?

to work out’ also means to think carefully to find a solution to a problem.

* We don’t want a strike. I hope that someone can work out a way to avoid it.
* Nobody has worked out a solution to this problem. We are still spending too much.

to work out’ also means to do physical exercise to improve your fitness.

* He runs at the weekend and works out twice a week in the gym.
* I worked out a lot when I was younger but now I prefer easier exercise like walking!

to work yourself up’ means to make yourself angry or anxious about something.

* It’s not very important. Don’t get so worked up about it!
* He got very worked up about the interview. He really wanted the job and got very stressed about it.

to work up to’ something means to gradually do more of something until you reach a certain level.

* He started training with small weights and worked up to 100 kilos.
* You should start by doing a few minutes exercise and work up to half an hour a day.