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Idioms and phrasal verbs with keep

Keep hold of something: don’t let it go

Keep something in mind: remember it

Keep one’s temper: remain calm

Ann was really upset with Joe, but she kept her temper.

Keep one’s family in clothes: support; provide what is necessary for

He earns enough to keep his family in clothes. (= He earns enough to keep his family in comfort.)

Keep at: (cause to) work persistently at

Keep from: abstain from; refrain from

You should keep from drinking and smoking.

Keep in: restrain one’s feelings etc.

Keep in with somebody: remain on good terms with somebody

Keep one’s hand in something: practise in order to retain one’s skill in something

Keep off: stay at a distance

Keep on: continue

He kept on working although he was tired.
Don’t keep on asking silly questions.

Keep under: control; hold down

Keep it up: go on without slackening

Keep up appearances: behave as usual in spite of a change in circumstances

As they always keep up appearances you will never know if they have any problems.

Keep up with: go on at the same rate as

Keep (oneself) to oneself: avoid the society of others

Nobody knows anything about her; she always keeps herself to herself.

Keep something to oneself: refuse to share it

Keep pace with: go at the same rate as

Keep track of: keep in touch with the progress of

I’ve never been very good at keeping track of what I do with my money.

For keeps: permanently (colloquial)

In keeping with something: in harmony or agreement with something

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs with Cut

Cut something or somebody off (stop, separate or interrupt)

As he had not paid the bill, his electricity was cut off.

Cut through (take or be shortcut)

This path cuts through the woods.

Cut and run (to leave a place quickly to avoid being caught or detained)

When it became clear that he would get caught, he cut and run.

Cut both ways (to have both advantages and disadvantages)

Possessiveness in a relationship cuts both ways. (= It has both advantages and disadvantages.)

Cut loose (behave in an unrestrained way; break away from the influence of somebody)

At last, he realized that it was time to cut loose from his family. (= It was time to stop being influenced by his family.)

Cut your coat according to your cloth (not spend more money than you have)

If you don’t want to fall into the debt trap, you must cut your coat according to your cloth.

Cut somebody short (interrupt somebody who is speaking)

I tried to explain, but she cut me short.

Cut something short (Make something last for less time than planned)

We had to cut our trip short because Ann fell ill.

Not cut it (fall short of requirements or be unable to cope with a situation)

His usual excuses just don’t cut it with me.

Be cut out for (be suitable for)

He is not cut out for that sort of work.

Scenery vocabulary

Our earth is full of beautiful scenery. Here are the words you will ever need to describe the landscape.


Cliffs are the high mountains that you can often see at the edge of the sea. The best thing about cliffs is that they offer a panoramic view over the sea.

Bay: a bay is a curved-part of the seashore.


A beach is a sea-shore covered in sand or pebbles. Beaches attract tourists from all over the world.

Coast: the sea-shore and the land close to it. Beaches are a part of the coast.


Mountains are a sight to lo and behold. They often sport snow-capped peaks which look absolutely spectacular against the skyline. A peak is the top of a mountain. It can also be called a summit. Mountains are generally rocky areas with no vegetation growing on them. However, the valleys which are the low-lying areas around mountains can be very fertile.

hill is a high piece of land with sloping sides. The top of a hill is called a hilltop. Hills often sport attractive scenery. Needless to say, they attract loads of visitors. Hill stations are tourist areas developed around hills. Some of the world’s most famous tourist spots are hill stations.

Forests are large areas of land covered with trees. Woods are small forests that stretch over shorter areas.

Water bodies

Rivers are large streams of water that drain into seas or oceans. A stream is a narrow path of water. Streams usually run into rivers.

Lakes are enclosed water bodies.

An ocean is a really large water body. Oceans comprise almost two-thirds of the earth’s surface.

desert is a large area of very dry, often sandy, land. Desert areas are not very habitable.

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Phrasal verbs with come

Come about

When something comes about, it happens without planning.

I don’t know how these things come about.
It was an unexpected discovery that came out while scientists were working on a different project.

Come across somebody / something
When you come across somebody you meet him or her by chance.

I am yet to come across a girl who doesn’t like ornaments.
I came across an old friend of mine during my holidays in Singapore.

Come across (to exhibit particular characteristics)

She comes across as an extremely intelligent woman.
Her ideas fail to come across in the article.

Come along (arrive at a place)

We needed someone who knew how to repair laptops, and Jake came along at just the right moment.

Come along can also mean ‘to go somewhere with someone’.

We are going to the theatre. Why don’t you come along?

Come apart
If things come apart they separate into pieces.

Come around/round (visit someone at their house)

Why don’t you come around for dinner next week?
It took me several hours to convince him that it was a good project, and finally he came around. (= he agreed to the idea or plan he was against)
I stayed next to her because I wanted to be there when she came around. (= when she becomes conscious again)

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Phrasal verbs with take

Take is used in a number of common phrasal verbs. Here is a list of them.

Take after (somebody) – resemble a parent or relation in looks.

The baby takes after her mother.

Take something back – withdraw something (one has said)

Be careful with the words you speak. You can’t take them back.

Take something down – lower

If you can take the price down, I will buy it.

Take somebody down – lower his pride

Take somebody in – receive him / her as a guest; get the better of somebody by a trick

She refused to take me in.

The cunning fox took the crow in.

Take something in – understand; see at a glance

It was a difficult passage. I couldn’t take it in.

Take somebody or something for – consider to be, especially wrongly suppose to be

I took him for a foreigner.

He was taken for an English man.

Take off – start a flight

The aircraft took off at 6.30.

Take on – undertake work; engage workers

Take something over – succeed to the management or ownership of

When does the new manager take over?

Take to – adopt as a habit; develop a liking for

He took to farming on retirement.

I took to her at once.

Take up – occupy time, space

That table takes up a lot of space.

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Phrasal verbs with hold

Here is a list of phrasal verbs formed with the word hold.

Hold out

To hold out is to extend in front of you.

Holding out her hands, a little girl approached us.

Hold on

To hold on is to grip something tightly. Hold on can also mean ‘wait’.

Please hold on. I will be back in a minute.

Hold over

When something holds over it goes longer than planned.

Hold together

To hold together is to prevent something from coming apart.

Hold out on

To hold out on is to hide something.

‘Come on. You can’t hold out on me. Where were you last night?’

Hold off

To hold off is to delay.

We had to hold off buying a new car because we were short of money.

Hold out

To hold out is to resist.

Hold on to

To hold on to something is to grip it tightly

Hold on to the rope.

Hold back

To hold back is to show unwillingness to do something.

I don’t know what is holding him back.

To hold something back is to keep it secret.

To hold somebody back is to restrain them.

If his wife hadn’t held him back, he would have slapped the guy who had passed obscene comments on her.

Hold out

To hold out is to keep one’s position or strength.

Hold something over

To hold something over is to postpone it.

They had to hold the meeting over because of the chairman’s illness.

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Kinds of English Grammar

Active Voice
In the active voice, the subject of the verb does the action

(eg They killed the President). See also Passive Voice.

A word like big, red, easy, French etc. An adjective describes a noun or pronoun

A word like slowly, quietly, well, often etc. An adverb modifies a verb.

The “indefinite” articles are a and an. The “definite article” is the.

Auxiliary Verb
A verb that is used with a main verb. Be, do and have are auxiliary verbs.

Can, may, must etc are modal auxiliary verbs.

A group of words containing a subject and its verb

(for example: It was late when he arrived).

A word used to connect words, phrases and clauses

(for example: and, but, if).

The basic form of a verb as in to work or work.

An exclamation inserted into an utterance without grammatical

connection (for example: oh!, ah!, ouch!, well!).

Modal Verb
An auxiliary verb like can, may, must etc that modifies the main verb

and expresses possibility, probability etc. It is also called

“modal auxiliary verb”.

Body idioms

Behind your back

When something happens behind your back it happens without your knowledge or when you were absent.

As the decision to divide the property was taken behind my back I didn’t know anything about it until it was too late.

To have butterflies in your stomach

To have butterflies in your stomach is to have a feeling of fear or anxiety.

It was her first stage performance and she had butterflies in her stomach.

A shot in the arm = something which has a positive effect on somebody or something else

The opening of the new laboratory will give a much-needed shot in the arm for cancer research in India.

The long arm of the law = the judicial system in the country

I told him that he must not do it. No one can escape the long arm of the law.

To cost an arm and a leg = When something costs an arm and a leg, it is extremely expensive.

A good laptop still costs an arm and a leg.

Strong-arm = to use strong-arm tactics is to use force and threats to make people obey

The police used strong-arm tactics to disperse the violent mob.

To twist someone’s arm = to pressure someone to do something they don’t want to do

I had to twist his arm a little, but he agreed.

Back to back = consecutively and without interruption

She presented three speeches back to back.

Behind someone’s back = to do something without them knowing

I signed the contract behind his back and now he is really angry with me.

Phrasal verbs with live

Phrasal verbs with live

Some verbs are followed by prepositions or adverb particles. In grammars, these are called phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are very common in informal speech and writing.  Here is a list of phrasal verbs using the word live. Each phrasal verb if followed by its definition and example sentences.

Live off

To live off something is to survive or exist on something. Live off can also mean ‘use savings’.

He lives off his wife’s salary.

After paying for the divorce settlements he had little money to live off.

Live on

To live on a certain amount is to use it for basic needs. Live on can also mean ‘have as food or diet’.

As Joe hasn’t received his salary, we have nothing to live on this month.

Cows live on grass.

When a memory lives on, it is not forgotten.

Susie is no longer with us, but her memories still live on.

Live together

Live under the same roof without marrying.

They have been living together for several years.

Live with = accept something unpleasant

He had to live with the fact that he would be confined to the wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Live up to = fulfill expectations; reach the standard that has been set

Children often find it difficult to live up to their parents’ expectations.

Live through

To live through a tough phase is to survive it.

He lived through two World Wars.

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Inseparable phrasal verbs

Inseparable phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs are two-word verbs consisting of a verb and a preposition or an adverb participle. There are two kinds of phrasal verbs – separable and non-separable.

In the case of separable phrasal verbs, the particle can go before or after the object. The two-parts of a separable phrasal verb must be separated when the object is a pronoun.

The two parts of an inseparable phrasal verb cannot be separated. They go together even when the object is a personal pronoun. Here is a list of the most common inseparable phrasal verbs.

Call on = visit

He continued to call on us even after moving to another city.

Get over = recover from sickness or disappointment

It is not easy to get over a broken heart.

Go over = review

Students must go over their lessons before the exam.

Go through = use up, consume

He has already gone through all his money.
The world will soon go through its coal reserves.

Look after = take care of

Who will look after your cat when you are gone?

Look into = investigate

The police should look into the possibility of sabotage.

Run across = find by chance

At the college reunion, I ran across several old friends of mine.

Run into = meet

I ran into Peter yesterday.

Wait on = serve

It was sad to see him wait on tables.