Tag Archive | learn english

Phrasal Verbs with Up

We expand on another post on phrasal verbs with UP, with more examples.

One common use for ‘up’ in phrasal verbs is to indicate

  • An upward movement
  • An increase
  • An improvement

See how that applies to these eight verbs.

If you display something such as a poster, you ‘put it up’ on a wall or a notice-board.

  • Have you seen the warning the boss has put up on the notice-board?
  • Can you put up a poster in your window?

If somebody is miserable and you want them to be happier, you can tell them to ‘cheer up’.

  • You look really unhappy. Cheer up!
  • I wrote Pearson a letter to try to cheer him up a bit.

If you are sitting and then you rise from your chair, you ‘stand up’.

  • When the President arrives, everybody must stand up.
  • Stand up straight when I am speaking to you.

If a party or a seminar is dull, you need to ‘liven it up’.

  • You need to liven up your ideas.
  • How can we liven up this presentation?

If you want to make something stronger, you can ‘build it up’.

  • I have built up a strong team of workers.
  • I have been ill and need to build up my strength.

I can’t hear very well these days – I’m old. When you speak to me, you need to speaker, to ‘speak up’.

  • Can you speak up? There is a lot of background noise.
  • It is a big room. You will have to speak up so that those in the back can hear.

The place where you lived when you were a child is where you ‘grew up’.

  • I was born in Scotland but grew up in England.
  • Where did you grow up?

If something increases fast, it ‘shoots up’.

  • The price of petrol has shot up recently.
  • My English scores shot up after I started studying with Pearson.

There is a group of expressions using ‘up’ where the ‘up’ is not necessary. For example you can say ‘fill’ or ‘fill up’ and it means almost the same thing. So why do we add the ‘up’? Well one possible answer is that ‘we do it because we do it’ – we have just developed the habit of adding ‘up’. However, often the ‘up’ seems to ‘intensify’ the verb, to make it more ‘complete’.

Look at these examples and see what I mean.

If you are late, you need to ‘hurry up’.

  • Please hurry up. We are terribly late.
  • We need to hurry up or we will miss our flight.

You can ‘ring up’ somebody on the telephone.

  • I will ring you up when I get back.
  • You can ring me up if you need any help.

If you cut your skin, it needs to ‘heal up’.

  • This will take a week to heal up.
  • I cut myself shaving and it will not heal up.

Before I go on a long journey, I have to ‘fill up’ my car with petrol ( or if I were in the US ‘gas’.)

  • I need to fill up my car.
  • The concert filled up quickly and not everybody could get in.

When I send a package, I ‘wrap it up’ well.

  • Could you wrap this up for me?
  • They didn’t wrap it up properly and it got damaged.

If you have something valuable, it is a good idea to ‘lock it up’.

  • He did not lock up his desk properly and somebody stole his calculator.
  • I think they should lock up pedophiles for a very long time.

If you don’t have enough money to buy something, you need to ‘save up’.

  • I am saving up to go on a trip to New York.
  • You’ll have to save up if you want to buy a car.

When things are in a mess, you need to ‘tidy them up’.

  • We need to tidy up the office before the visitor comes.
  • Tidy up your desk. It’s such a mess.

Contact BBE today and let us help you with your English!

thanks to business-english.com for great phrasal verb ideas…. 

Phrasal Verbs: Look Part II

It just doesn’t stop. So many varations with “look,” let’s keep looking at the options. Having trouble? Contact us today. 

to look on’ means to watch something happen.

  • The Police just looked on as the demonstrators marched peacefully through the streets.
  • Nobody helped me. They just looked on as I struggled to get up off the street.

‘to look on’ also means to consider someone or something in a special way.

  • We are very close. I look on him as my brother.
  • Don’t look on not getting the job as a failure. It’s not.

‘to look out’ means be careful. It is always an order.

  • Look out! The boss is coming.
  • Look out! You’re going to fall.

‘to look out for’ means to watch carefully around you so you will notice something or someone in particular.

  • When you go to the conference, look out for Anna. She will be there.
  • Janet is twenty next week. Can you look out for a present when you are in the shops?

‘to look out for’ can also mean to take care of someone.

  • Will is a great brother. He always looks out for his sisters.
  • She’s very selfish. She just looks out for herself.

‘to look over’ means to quickly examine something.

  • At the end of the exam, I only had a few minutes to look over what I had written.
  • The doctor quickly looked him over before sending him for an x-ray.

‘to look round’ means to walk through a building or place to have a look at it.

  • When you travel on business, you don’t have time to look round the places you visit.
  • The first time we looked round the house, we knew it was the house for us.

‘to look through’ means to quickly examine a text or some things.

  • I decided to give half my clothes away when I had looked through them.
  • We looked through the list of applicants and made a shortlist of the six best qualified.

‘to look up’ means to find a piece of information in a book or other source of information.

  • I didn’t know the word so I looked it up in the dictionary.
  • I looked their address up in the Yellow Pages.

‘to look up to’ means to respect and admire someone.

  • My father’s wonderful. He’s the person I most look up to.
  • All his employees look up to him and admire him

Once again, thanks to carolinebrownenglishlessons.com. Great resource! 

The Preposition Photo

Don’t let prepositions scare you. Let BBE help you today!!!

Prepositions of Place

UsageAt, on, in:

At, on and in are prepositions of place and show the position of people, places and things:

e.g. at the cinema on the wall in the shop

StructureAt:

at + the + place: the cinema, theatre, school, BBE, cross roads etc.. e.g. at the bank.

at + specific place: Heathrow Airport, Buckingham Palace: e.g. at Notre Dame Cathedral.

at + specific address including the house number/name: e.g. at 33 rue de La Fayette, Paris.

N.B. In English, at is not normally used with names of villages, towns and cities.

StructureOn:

on + a/the + surface of a place or object: shelf, wall, floor, ceiling etc.. e.g. on the table.

on + the directions: left/right/other side/nearside/far side: e.g. on the left.

on + levels of a building: first floor, second floor, top floor etc.. e.g. on the ground floor.

on + the + parts of a ship: port side/ starboard side/bow/stern.

on + parts of the body: his foot, her leg, our heads etc.. e.g. on his left arm.

on + a/the + types of transport: horse, bicycle, train, foot etc.. e.g. on the ferry, on a horse.

N.B. English people say in a car not on a car ).

StructureIn:

in + names of countries: France, England, Poland etc.. e.g. in Belgium.

in + names of towns, villages, cities: Warsaw, London etc.. e.g. in Brussels.

in + named places: Buckingham Palace, the Louvre etc.. e.g. in Windsor Castle.

in + the + geographical regions: Auvergne, Lake District etc.. e.g. in the Alps.

in + streets, roads, avenues: Moniuszki, Fish Street etc.. e.g. in Stratford Avenue.

in + the + rooms and places: kitchen, bedroom, foyer, auditorium etc.. e.g. in the bathroom.

in + the + weather: sun, rain, hail, snow etc.. e.g. in the fog.

in + parts of the body: his foot, her leg, our heads etc.. e.g. in his foot.

in + a/the + types of transport: car, train, van, lorry, aeroplane, ship e.g. in a train.

PrepositionsExceptions:

A: In English, certain expressions are different, so must be learnt!

at the moment on holiday in a loud/angry/quiet/low voice

at this/that moment on the radio in a good/bad mood

at the same time on television in a bad temper

at no time on the menu in a suit

at present on the agenda in a new dress

at the end/beginning in clean/dirty/new shoes

B: Some expressions are used without a/the, here are some common examples:

at school in bed

at home in business

at school in hospital

at school in prison

at work

at university

at 37 k.p.h.

C: Both on and in can be used for types of transport and parts of the body:

On is used when the part of the body/type of transport is the most important detail.

In is used when position is the most important piece of information.

e.g. Peter travelled to London on the train. – type

John sat in the last carriage of the London train. – position

Joanna has a cut on her left arm. – part of the body

Ania has broken a bone in her wrist. – position in the body

D: At and in can be used with places which can contain large numbers of people: cinema, theatre, church, stadium etc..

At is used when the activity is the most important piece of information.

In is used when the place/position is the most important detail.

e.g. I will meet you for a meal at the usual restaurant.

Richard and Magda met in the foyer of the Royal Theatre.

E: Both at and to can be used with places:

At is used when there is no active movement in the phrase/sentence.

To is used when there is movement in the phrase/sentence

e.g. At school, there are forty teachers and four hundred pupils. – no movement

Marcin is cycling to London to visit his friends. – movement

F: Both at and to can follow certain verbs: the meaning of the verb is different in each case: to throw, run, shout.

e.g. Bill threw a stone to me. ( a friendly action )

Bill threw a stone at me. ( a hostile action: intending to hurt someone )

Maria ran to me. ( a friendly action )

Maria ran at me ( a hostile action: intending to attack )

Eric shouted to me. ( a friendly action )

Eric shouted at me ( a hostile action: intending to express anger )

G: The preposition by is often used with transport when the type of transport is very important: the common examples are: by aeroplane, bicycle, horse, car, ferry, horse, lorry, ship, train

e.g. The businessmen travelled to Africa by aeroplane and in Africa, they travelled by car.

N.B. Walking is travel on foot ( not by foot )

Note: Thanks to world-english.org for the information!

Present Perfect

FORM

[has/have + past participle]

Examples:

  • You have seen that movie many times.
  • Have you seen that movie many times?
Check out BBE’s list of irregular verbs here!

USE 1 Unspecified Time Before Now

We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc. We CAN use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.

Examples:

  • have seen that movie twenty times.
  • I think I have met him once before.
  • There have been many earthquakes in California.
  • People have traveled to the Moon.
  • People have not traveled to Mars.
  • Have you read the book yet?
  • Nobody has ever climbed that mountain.
  • A: Has there ever been a war in the United States?
    B: Yes, there has been a war in the United States.

How Do You Actually Use the Present Perfect?

The concept of “unspecified time” can be very confusing to English learners. But, in general, remember that the present perfect is used for an action in the past that has a result of now. 

It is best to associate Present Perfect with the following topics:

TOPIC 1 Experience

You can use the Present Perfect to describe your experience. It is like saying, “I have the experience of…” You can also use this tense to say that you have never had a certain experience. The Present Perfect is NOT used to describe a specific event.

Examples:

  • have been to France.
    This sentence means that you have had the experience of being in France. Maybe you have been there once, or several times.
  • have been to France three times.
    You can add the number of times at the end of the sentence.
  • have never been to France.
    This sentence means that you have not had the experience of going to France.
  • I think I have seen that movie before.
  • He has never traveled by train.
  • Joan has studied two foreign languages.
  • A: Have you ever met him?
    B: No, I have not met him.

TOPIC 2 Change Over Time

We often use the Present Perfect to talk about change that has happened over a period of time.

Examples:

  • You have grown since the last time I saw you.
  • The government has become more interested in arts education.
  • Japanese has become one of the most popular courses at the university since the Asian studies program was established.
  • My English has really improved since I moved to Australia.

TOPIC 3 Accomplishments

We often use the Present Perfect to list the accomplishments of individuals and humanity. You cannot mention a specific time.

Examples:

  • Man has walked on the Moon.
  • Our son has learned how to read.
  • Doctors have cured many deadly diseases.
  • Scientists have split the atom.

TOPIC 4 An Uncompleted Action You Are Expecting

We often use the Present Perfect to say that an action which we expected has not happened. Using the Present Perfect suggests that we are still waiting for the action to happen.

Examples:

  • James has not finished his homework yet.
  • Susan hasn’t mastered Japanese, but she can communicate.
  • Bill has still not arrived.
  • The rain hasn’t stopped.

TOPIC 5 Multiple Actions at Different Times

We also use the Present Perfect to talk about several different actions which have occurred in the past at different times. Present Perfect suggests the process is not complete and more actions are possible.

Examples:

  • The army has attacked that city five times.
  • have had four quizzes and five tests so far this semester.
  • We have had many major problems while working on this project.
  • She has talked to several specialists about her problem, but nobody knows why she is sick.

Time Expressions with Present Perfect

When we use the Present Perfect it means that something has happened at some point in our lives before now. Remember, the exact time the action happened is not important.

Sometimes, we want to limit the time we are looking in for an experience. We can do this with expressions such as: in the last week, in the last year, this week, this month, so far, up to now, etc.

Examples:

  • Have you been to Mexico in the last year?
  • have seen that movie six times in the last month.
  • They have had three tests in the last week.
  • She graduated from university less than three years ago. She has worked for three different companies so far.
  • My car has broken down three times this week.

NOTICE

“Last year” and “in the last year” are very different in meaning. “Last year” means the year before now, and it is considered a specific time which requires simple past. “In the last year” means from 365 days ago until now. It is not considered a specific time, so it requires Present Perfect.

Examples:

  • went to Mexico last year.
    I went to Mexico in the calendar year before this one.
  • have been to Mexico in the last year.
    I have been to Mexico at least once at some point between 365 days ago and now.

USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)

With Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, we use the Present Perfect to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. “For five minutes,” “for two weeks,” and “since Tuesday” are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect.

Examples:

  • have had a cold for two weeks.
  • She has been in England for six months.
  • Mary has loved chocolate since she was a little girl.

Although the above use of Present Perfect is normally limited to Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, the words “live,” “work,” “teach,” and “study” are sometimes used in this way even though they are NOT Non-Continuous Verbs.

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

  • You have only seen that movie one time.
  • Have you only seen that movie one time?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:

  • Many tourists have visited that castle. Active
  • That castle has been visited by many tourists. Passive
At Bogotá Business English, we realize grammar is important. But, what’s more important than grammar exercises is making sure you can use it in conversation, for when it counts.

Prepositions: Time

UsageAt, On, In:

These prepositions are used to show the time and date of events, activities and situations:

e.g. at three o’clock. in June. on Monday.

StructureAt:

at + particular time: dawn, midday, noon, night, midnight, nine o’clock etc.. e.g. at dawn.

at + the + a particular time in a week/month/year: start/end of the week/month/year, weekend. e.g. at the start of July.

at + calendar festival season: Christmas, New Year, Easter etc.. e.g. at Easter.

at + meal: breakfast, lunch, mid-morning, tea, dinner, supper etc.. e.g. at breakfast.

StructureOn:

on + day of the week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc. e.g. on Thursday.

on + particular part of a day: Friday morning, Saturday afternoon. e.g. on Sunday evening.

on + particular date: 25 July 2001, 4 January. e.g. on 19 March.

N.B. On the nineteenth of March is how this date is read aloud or said in conversation.

on + calendar festival day: Christmas Day, Palm Sunday. e.g. on Easter Sunday.

StructureIn:

in + the + a part of a day: the morning, the afternoon, evening. e.g. in the afternoon.

in + month: January, February, March, April, May etc.. e.g. in June.

in + season of the year: Spring, Summer, Autumn. e.g. in Winter.

in + specific year: 1988, 1989, 1990 etc.. e.g. in 1999.

in + the + a specific century: nineteenth century. e. g. in the twentieth century.

in + historical period of time: the Dark Ages, Pre-historic Times. e.g. in the Middle Ages.

N.B. No preposition is used if the day/year has each, every, last, next, this before it:

e.g. I go to England every Christmas ( not at every Christmas )

I’ll see you next Monday afternoon. ( not on Monday afternoon )

Martin left home last evening. ( not in the evening )

UsageFor and Since:

These prepositions explain how long an event, activity, situation has continued:

e.g. for three days since last Thursday

StructureFor:

for + a period of time: two days, one week, three months, four years e.g. for the weekend.

This phrase can be used with all verb tenses.

e.g. Michael went to Latvia last year for three weeks. – past

I am in Poznan for ten days. – present

My cousin will be visiting the West Indies for two months next February. – future

Structure: Since:

since + a point of time + past tense: last week, the war ended, 1990, yesterday.

The point of time does not have to be accurate.

e.g. My sister and her husband have worked in India since 1991.

Arek has been very ill since yesterday evening.

UsageDuring and While:

These prepositions explain a period of time in which an event, activity or situation took place:

e.g. during the next month while I was swimming.

StructureDuring:

during + a noun or phrase: the war, the nineteenth century: e.g. during my schooldays. This phrase can be used with all verb tenses: past, present, future.

e.g. Magda received many telephone messages during the last week. – past

I am seeing Simon during the morning. – present

Winston will return to England during the Christmas Holiday. – future

StructureWhile:

while + subject + verb: to eat, talk, swim, walk etc…. This clause can be used with all verb tenses: past, present, future

e.g. We will take you to the theatre while we are in London.

While Joanna was in Spain, she didn’t go to a bull fight.

N.B. In English, While can often be replaced by when and retain the same meaning.

while + infinitive + -ing (Present Participle): thinking, running, driving etc..

e.g. While swimming in the sea, Hania was attacked by a shark.

Ela met Andrew while studying English at Oxford.

UsageBefore and After:

These prepositions explain accurately the timing of an event, activity or situation:

e.g. before the weekend after the holiday

StructureBefore:

before + a noun: Monday, Christmas, examinations etc.. e.g. before the weekend.

before + subject + verb: to eat, study, swim, talk. etc.. All verb tenses can be used.

e.g. He spoke to his teacher before the examination began.

Before you say anything, I must explain why I am here.

before + infinitive + -ing (Present Participle): to read, write etc.. e.g. before eating.

StructureAfter:

after + noun: the lesson, the meal etc. e.g. after the journey

after + subject + verb: to draw, sit, read etc.. All verb tenses can be used:

e.g. Patricia was very happy after she won the tennis match.

Why did the Queen smile after the President shook her hand?

After she finishes her studies, Ann will work in Poland.

after + infinitive + -ing (Present Participle): to decide, say, report etc.. e.g. after crying.

UsageBy, until, till:

These prepositions describe a time limit for commencement/completion of an activity.

e.g. by Sunday until April 1995 till next week

By means not later than and can be used with all verb tenses.

Until/till explains how long an activity continues, will continue or has continued and can be used with all verb tenses.

N.B. Until/till have the same meaning: till is a short form of until.

StructureBy:

by + noun describing time/date: examples: this afternoon, tomorrow, Thursday.

e.g. Please pay me by Friday morning.

Will you finish your work by four o’clock?

By the end of the year, Donata spoke English very well.

StructureUntil, till:

until/till + noun describing time/date: examples: next week, this evening, tomorrow.

e.g. Tom’s wife will stay here until/till the end of next week.

Until/till the end of the month, you can use my computer.

The Williams Family lived in Germany until/till 1991.

UsageFrom – – – – to/until:

From . . . . . to/until defines the beginning and end of a period of time, present, past or future:

e.g. from April 1989 to July from November until March

Contact BBE today if you have more questions!!!

StructureFrom – – – – – to/until/till:

From + time/day/date/year to + time/day/date/year and can be used with all verb tenses.

e.g. From 1987 until 1991, Mary was at university in Leeds.

Each day, Arthur works in the bank from nine till five thirty.

My shop will be closed from 1st July to 31st August