Verb | Meaning | Example |
A | abide by | respect or obey. (the law, a decision, a rule) | If you want to stay at this school, you must abide by the rules. |
| account for | explain, give a reason | I hope you can account for the money you spent! |
| add up | make sense, seem reasonable | Her story just doesn't add up. |
| agree with | have the same opinion assomebody else. | I agree with you. I think she deserves the award too. |
| allow for | take into consideration,
include in a calculation | You'd better leave early to allow for traffic jams. |
| answer back | reply rudely | Don't answer back your mother! |
| apply for | make a formal request for something
(job, permit, loan etc.) | He applied for the job he saw advertisedin the newspaper. |
| avail (oneself) of | take advantage of something (an opportunity) | When the company is privatized, you should avail yourself of
the opportunity and buy some shares. |
| | | |
B | back away | move backwards, in fear or dislike | When he saw the dog, he backed away. |
| back down | withdraw, concede defeat | Local authorities backed down on theirplans to demolish the building. |
| back up | 1) give support or encouragement
2) make a copy of (file, program, etc.) | 1) If I tell the boss we've got too much work, will you back me up?
2) It is recommended to back up all files in a secure location. |
| bank on | base your hopes on someone/something | Don't forget the date. I'm banking on your help. |
| beef up | improve,make more substantial | He beefed up his presentation with diagrams and statistics. |
| black out | faint, lose consciousness | When he fell off the horse he blacked out. |
| block off | Separate using a barrier. | The area was blocked off during the demonstration. |
| blow up | 1) explode;
2) be destroyed by an explosion | 1) The terrorists said the bomb would blow up at 9o'clock.
2) The car blew up but luckily there was nobody in it. |
| boil down to | be summarized as | The problem boils down to a lack of money. |
| boot up | start a computer by loading an
operating system or program. | Just give my a few minutes to boot up the computer. |
| break away | escape from captivity | A few horses broke away from the paddock. |
| break down | 1) goout of order, cease to function
2) lose control of one's emotions | 1) John's car broke down so he had to take the bus.
2) The parents broke down when they heard the bad news. |
| break into | enter by force | Burglars broke into the house around midnight. |
| break out | start suddenly | Rioting broke out as a result of the strike. |
| break out of | escape from a place byforce | Three prisoners broke out of jail. |
| break up | come to an end (marriage, relationship) | After her marriage broke up, Emma went to live in London. |
| bring up | raise (a child) | She stopped working in order to bring up her children. |
| brush up on | improve, refresh one's knowledge of something | Mary had to brush up on her Spanish before going to South America. | | bump into | meet by accident or unexpectedly | Pedro bumped into his English teacher at the supermarket. |
| burn out | 1) stop (something) working
2) become exhausted from over-working | 1) The fuse has burnt out.
2) Tom will burn himself out if he doesn't slow down. |
| butt in (on sthg) | interrupt impolitely | It's rude to butt in on a conversation like that! |
| | | |
C | call back | return a phone call | I'll call you back as soon as possible. |
| call off | cancel | The meeting was called off because of the strike. |
| call on/upon sby | formally invite or request | I now call upon the President to address the assembly. |
| calm down | become more relaxed, less angry or upset | He was angry at first but he eventually calmed...
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