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Choice of word (Verb collocations)

Money problem. Lesson one A reading

Choice of word (Verb collocations)

 

have

do

make

have a bath
have a drink
have a good time
have a haircut
have a holiday
have a problem
have a relationship
have a rest
have lunch
have sympathy

do business
do nothing
do someone a favour
do the cooking
do the housework
do the shopping
do the washing up
do your best
do your hair
do your homework

make a difference
make a mess
make a mistake
make a noise
make an effort
make furniture
make money
make progress
make room
make trouble

take

break

catch

take a break
take a chance
take a look
take a rest
take a seat
take a taxi
take an exam
take notes
take someone's place
take someone's temperature

break a habit
break a leg
break a promise
break a record
break a window
break someone's heart
break the ice
break the law
break the news to someone
break the rules

catch a ball
catch a bus
catch a chill
catch a cold
catch a thief
catch fire
catch sight of
catch someone's attention
catch someone's eye
catch the flu

pay

save

keep

pay a fine
pay attention
pay by credit card
pay cash
pay interest
pay someone a compliment
pay someone a visit
pay the bill
pay the price
pay your respects

save electricity
save energy
save money
save one's strength
save someone a seat
save someone's life
save something to a disk
save space
save time
save yourself the trouble

keep a diary
keep a promise
keep a secret
keep an appointment
keep calm
keep control
keep in touch
keep quiet
keep someone's place
keep the change

come

go

get

come close
come complete with
come direct
come early
come first
come into view
come last
come late
come on time
come prepared
come right back
come second
come to a compromise
come to a decision
come to an agreement
come to an end
come to a standstill
come to terms with
come to a total of
come under attack

go abroad
go astray
go bad
go bald
go bankrupt
go blind
go crazy
go dark
go deaf
go fishing
go mad
go missing
go on foot
go online
go out of business
go overseas
go quiet
go sailing
go to war
go yellow

get a job
get a shock
get angry
get divorced
get drunk
get frightened
get home
get lost
get married
get nowhere
get permission
get pregnant
get ready
get started
get the impression
get the message
get the sack
get upset
get wet
get worried

Miscellaneous collocations

Time

Business English

Classifiers

bang on time
dead on time
early 12th century
free time
from dawn till dusk
great deal of time
late 20th century
make time for
next few days
past few weeks
right on time
run out of time
save time
spare time
spend some time
take your time
tell someone the time
time goes by
time passes
waste time

annual turnover
bear in mind
break off negotiations
cease trading
chair a meeting
close a deal
close a meeting
come to the point
dismiss an offer
draw a conclusion
draw your attention to
launch a new product
lay off staff
go bankrupt
go into partnership
make a loss
make a profit
market forces
sales figures
take on staff

a ball of string

a bar of chocolate

a bottle of water

a bunch of carrots

a cube of sugar

a pack of cards

a pad of paper

 

 

above average - more than average, esp. in amount, age, height, weight, etc.
absolutely necessary - totally or completely necessary
abuse drugs - to use drugs in a way that's harmful to yourself or others
abuse of power - the harmful or unethical use of power
accept (a) defeat
to accept the fact that you didn't win a game, match, contest, election, etc.
accept a challenge
to agree to do something difficult or dangerous
accept an apology
to forgive someone who says they're sorry
accept an invitation
to say "yes" after getting an invitation
accept responsibility
to take the blame when something goes wrong
aches and pains
mild pains that come and go, esp. from physical work or old age
achieve a goal
to do what you'd planned or hoped to do
act suspiciously
to behave in a way that makes people suspicious
action movie
a movie with lots of action and violence
active ingredient
the chemical in a drug, medicine or pesticide that makes it work
active volcano
a volcano that could erupt at any time
actively involved
playing an active role
admit defeat
to accept that you can't win a competition or achieve a goal
against the law
illegal
all alone
completely alone, or without friends or people you know
all along
continuously from when something begins
all over
completely finished
almost certainly
almost definitely
alphabetical order
an order based on the letters of an alphabet, with "a" being the first and "z" being the last in English
alternative energy
power or electricity produced by using energy from the sun, wind, water, etc.
alternative medicine
medical treatments using natural substances and traditional knowledge instead of pharmaceutical drugs and modern surgery
answer a letter
to write back to someone who sent you a letter
answer a prayer
to respond to a prayer
answer a question
to reply with information or an opinion after being asked a question
answer an advertisement
to contact a person or company after seeing their advertisement
answer the door-to go to the door and open it after someone knocks or rings the doorbell
answer the phone-to pick up a phone that's ringing and talk to whoever's calling
any more (1)-more of something you've already had or got
any more (2)-any longer, or as in the past or previously
apply for a job-to ask to be considered for a job you'd like to get
arrive on time-to arrive exactly when expected or scheduled to
artificial limb-a prosthetic arm or leg that replaces one that's been lost
ask a favour-to ask someone to do something for you because you need their help
ask a question-to ask somebody to tell you something
ask for advice-to ask someone what they think you should do
ask for directions-to ask someone to tell you the way to a place
ask permission-to ask your boss, teacher, parent, etc. if you can do something
attract attention-to create interest
attract sb's attention-to do something to make someone notice you
awful lot-more than expected, usual, normal, etc.

back pay-money a worker earned in the past but hasn't been paid yet
back road-a small country road
back street-a street in a town or city that's away from major roads or central areas
back taxes-taxes that weren't paid when they were due
bad breath-breath that doesn't smell nice
bad diet-an unhealthy diet
bad habit-a habit that badly affects you or other people, or that others think is wrong or bad
bad loser-someone who gets upset or angry when they lose
bad mood-a mood in which you're easily annoyed or angered
bad temper-a tendency to become angry quickly and easily
badly damage-to do a lot of damage to something
badly hurt-seriously injured
balance a budget-to make income and expenditure equal in a budget
balanced diet-a diet with the proper amounts of all necessary nutrients
bare essentials-things that are needed the most
barely able (to do sth)-only just able to do something
basic right-a fundamental right that we all share, or that all animals share
bear a resemblance (to sb/sth)-to look like, or be similar to, somebody or something
beat a record-to do something better, faster, longer, etc. than somebody else
beat to death-to beat a person or animal so badly that it causes death
become increasingly-become more and more
best ever-best until now
best friends-closest friends
best possible-the best that can be found or achieved
big brother | big sister-older brother, older sister
big deal-something that's very important or very special
big decision-very important decision
big money-a lot of money
bitterly cold-extremely cold, of weather, wind, rain, etc.
bitterly disappointed-extremely disappointed
blind faith-unquestioning belief in something, even when it's unreasonable or wrong
blind loyalty-unquestioning support under any circumstances
blind obedience-unquestioning obedience, even when you're told to do something you know is wrong
blissfully ignorant-unaware of something that might sadden or disturb you if you knew about it
block of flats-a building with flats or apartments on several levels or floors
blow your nose-to clear your nose of mucus by forcing air through it
book a flight-to buy a ticket for a flight on a plane
boost morale-to increase morale or enthusiasm within a group of people
break a law-to do something illegal
break a promise-to fail to do what you promised to do
break a record-to beat a previous record in sport, speed, sales, etc.
break news-to tell someone bad news
breaking news-current news that a media organization gives special or live coverage to
bright future-successful or happy future
bright idea-a brilliant, clever or original idea
bring about change-to cause or create change in something or someone
bring attention to-to make people aware of something
bring to an end-to conclude an event, a process, a sequence, etc.
bring to justice-to make somebody face trial or punishment for their crime
broken home-a family in which the parents have separated or divorced
budget deficit-a negative balance between revenues and spending

call a meeting
to order or invite people to hold a meeting
call a name
to say somebody's name loudly
call a strike
to decide that workers will protest by not going to work
call an election
to decide that an election will be held
call attention to
to make someone notice or consider someone or something
call in sick
to telephone your place of work and say you're not coming because you're sick
call sb names
to tease or bully somebody by calling them nasty or offensive names
call the police
to telephone the police, esp. in an emergency
can't afford
unable to buy or do something because it's too expensive or problematic
can't help
unable to stop yourself doing something you shouldn't do
can't stand
dislike someone or something very much
carry weight
to have authority or influence
cast a spell
to use magic to make something happen
cast a vote
to vote in an election or a poll
cast doubt
to make something seem less believable or less reliable
casual clothes
comfortable clothes you wear in your free time
casual relationship
a relationship that isn't serious or long-term
catch a cold
to become sick after being infected with a cold virus
catch a glimpse
to see something or someone for a moment only
catch a whiff
to smell something for a moment only
catch sight of
to suddenly see something or someone
cause trouble (1)
to create problems or difficulties for somebody or something
cause trouble (2)
to start fights or incite violence
centre of attention
the main focus of interest or attention
certain amount
some, or not very much but more than very little
change course
to go in a different direction
change the subject
to start talking about a different topic
change your mind
to change your opinion or decision
claim responsibility
to say that you're responsible for something
clean energy
energy or power supply that doesn't pollute or damage environments in its production or use
clear message
a message that's easy to understand
clear understanding
an understanding that's free of confusion or doubt
close the gap
to reduce the difference between people or things
close together
very near to each other, or separated by a short distance or time
come alive
become lively, active or exciting
come close (to)
almost do something, achieve something, complete something, etc.
come to a conclusion
to conclude, decide or believe something after thinking about it
come to a realization
to become aware of something
come to a stop
to stop moving or happening
come to an end
to finish, of an event, a performance, a meeting, etc.
come to expect
learn to expect that something is likely to happen
come to sb's rescue
to save someone or something from danger or failure
come true
to become real, or what you'd hoped for
comfort food
food you eat to make yourself feel better, esp. food you liked as a child
commit suicide
to deliberately kill oneself
common knowledge
something that nearly everyone knows
common language
a language that both you and the person you're talking to can speak
completely different
totally different
conduct research
to organize and carry out research into something
consider a possibility
to think about a possible choice, solution, outcome, etc.
contact details
details you need to contact someone, like a telephone number, email address, etc.
cost a fortune
cost a lot of money
cover costs
to make enough money to pay for costs like production, materials, labour, etc.
cross sb's mind
to briefly think of something
crystal clear (1)
completely clear or transparent
crystal clear (2)
easy to understand or very obvious
cut and paste
to select and copy text or a graphic from one part of a file or computer to another
cut costs
to reduce costs

daily life
life as experienced from day to day
dead ahead
straight ahead
dead body
corpse, or the body of someone who's died
dead end (1)
a point at which no further progress seems possible
dead end (2)
a street or road that traffic enters and leaves at one end only
dead tired
very tired
dead-end job
a job with no prospects for advancement
deadly weapon
any object that's used for killing
deafening silence
a silence that everyone notices
declare war
to officially announce that a country is going to war against another country
deep sleep
If you're in a deep sleep, you can't be easily woken.
deeply divided
seriously split by disputes or different opinions
deeply held
strongly held, esp. of beliefs, views, convictions, etc.
deeply rooted (in)
strongly connected to the past, esp. of beliefs, culture, prejudice, conflict, etc.
deliver a baby
to manage or assist in the birth of a baby
departure time
the exact time at which a plane, train, etc. is scheduled to leave
desk job
a job at a desk or in an office
detailed description
a description that includes many details
diametrically opposed
completely different
direct flight
a flight that doesn't stop on its way to a destination
direct quote
the exact words that a quoted person said or wrote
directly opposite
straight across from
dirty joke
a joke that's related to sex
dirty laundry
unwashed clothes, sheets, towels, etc.
dirty player
a player who breaks the rules or tries to hurt other players
distant relative
a relative you share distant family ties with
do a deal
to make an arrangement, esp. in business
do a favour
do something to help somebody
do better
to improve in performace or condition
do business (with)
to engage in business activity
do damage
to cause harm or damage
do good
to have a good effect on somebody or something
do harm
to have a bad effect on somebody or something
do likewise
do the same thing
do the dishes
to wash plates, cups, pots, pans, knives, forks, etc. used to cook and eat a meal
do the ironing
to iron clothes, sheets, etc.
do the shopping
to buy food and groceries
do the washing
to wash clothes, sheets, towels, etc.
do well
to perform well in a job, a game, an exam, etc.
do work
to put effort into a task or a job
do your best
do all you can to succeed
do your duty
do what you should do at work, at home, or for your community
doesn't matter
doesn't have any effect
don't care
to not be upset or concerned about something
don't mind (1)
don't care, or not be upset about something
don't mind (2)
to not dislike, or to not have an aversion to something
drive (sb) crazy
to make somebody feel very annoyed or upset
drop the subject
to stop talking about something
dual nationality
having citizenship in two different countries

early days
soon after something begins
early night
earlier bedtime than usual
early riser
someone who usually gets up early in the morning
early start
a beginning or departure early in the morning
earn a living
to work and earn money for yourself or your family
easy answer
a solution that's easy to find and adopt
easy money
money that's made without working hard
easy question
a question that most people can answer correctly
easy target
someone or something that's easy to attack or criticize
eat properly
to eat proper amounts of healthy food
eat well
to eat plenty of food
eating habits
what you usually eat and the way you eat it
economic growth
an increase in the size of an economy, or the rate of this
educational game
a game that helps students to learn
eke out a living
to earn just enough money to survive
empty promises
promises that probably won't be kept
empty words
words that aren't really meant, or that won't lead to action
enter a plea
to plead guilty or not guilty in a court of law
enter politics
to begin a career in politics
entry-level job
a job at the lowest level of pay or responsibility
equal rights
rights that are the same for all races, genders, classes, etc.
equally important
of the same importance
essential services
basic services like water, electricity, postal services, medical care, free education, etc.
ethical investment
investment in a company that's ethical, not harmful or exploitative
ethical standards
ethically acceptable levels of behaviour
ethnic minority
a group of people living in a country in which most other people are from another culture or race
ethnic tensions
bad feelings between people from different races or ethnic groups
even number
any whole number that can be exactly divided by two, such as 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.
evenly matched
If two opponents are evenly matched, they are equally likely to win.
every single
all of them
exactly the same
identical
exceed expectations
be more or better than expected
express concern
to say or show that you're worried about something
express interest (in)
to show that you're interested in something
extend a deadline
to give someone more time in which to do something


face a challenge
to have to deal with a challenging situation
face down
with the front or face towards the ground
face the fact(s)
to accept that something is real or true, esp. if it's difficult to accept
fail miserably
to fail very badly
fair deal
a reasonable deal in business or a morally correct arrangement
fall asleep
to go to sleep
fall dramatically
to fall quickly, esp. of prices, sales, rates, temperatures, etc.
fall in love
to suddenly feel love for someone you're attracted to
false impression
a misleading or incorrect image
false teeth
teeth that aren't natural
familiar face
someone you know personally
far away
a long way from somewhere
far better (1)
be much better
far better (2)
do much better
far more
much more, or to a much greater degree
fast asleep
sleeping deeply, or in a deep sleep
fast becoming
quickly becoming
fatal accident
an accident in which someone dies
fatal mistake
a bad mistake that has terrible consequences
feel guilty
to feel bad about what you have or haven't done
feel strongly (about)
to have a very strong, or passionate, opinion about something
fight a fire
to try to put out a fire
fight a war
to engage in, or resort to, war
fight corruption
to try to prevent corruption in government and business
fight hard
to try very hard to get or achieve something
figure prominently
to be an important part of a process, an event, a story, etc.
fill a gap
to fill a space or an opening
fill in a form
to complete a form by writing in the spaces
find difficult
to feel that something's difficult, esp. while trying to do it
find time
to make time available, or find room in your schedule
fire a shot
to make a gun shoot a bullet
firmly established
well established and unlikely to change
flat battery
a battery that no longer works, or needs recharging
flat tyre
a tyre that doesn't have enough air in it
follow a pattern
happen in a regular way, or according to a pattern
follow advice
to do what someone advises you to do
follow directions
to go the way you've been told to go, or do something as directed
follow instructions
to do what instructions or instructors tell you to do
foreign policy
policy relating to international or foreign issues
free speech
speech that isn't restricted by law, religion, censorship, etc.
free spirit
a person who doesn't behave in a conventional way
front door
the door at the front of a house
front page
the first page of a newspaper
front row
a row of seats at or near the front
front seat
any seat in the front of a vehicle, or the seat next to a car's driver
fully understand
to understand the full meaning or importance of something

 

gain access-to get into a place, or be given access to something or someone
generally accepted-accepted by most people
get (sb) ready-prepare yourself, or somebody else, for something
get (sth) ready-prepare something
get a call-to receive a telephone call from somebody
get a chance-to have an opportunity, or the time, to do something
get a joke-to understand a joke
get a shock-to be very surprised by something
get a ticket-to get a fine for parking illegally, speeding, etc.
get angry-to become angry about something
get back together-to become a couple or a group again after being apart
get better-to improve
get better (at)-to improve in skill or ability
get changed (1)-to be changed by someone or something
get changed (2)-to put on different clothes
get dark-to become dark, esp. when the sun goes down
get dressed-to put on clothes
get into trouble-to become involved in a bad, difficult or dangerous situation
get lost-to become lost, or be misplaced
get married-to marry somebody, or marry each other
get old-to become an old or elderly person
get rid of (1)-to throw away, give away or sell something you don't want anymore
get rid of (2)-to stop, or remove, something or someone that's annoying or upsetting you
get sleep-to spend time asleep
get tired-to become tired and feel like resting or sleeping
get tired of-to become bored or annoyed with something or somebody
get to know-to get familiar with somebody after spending time with them
get to sleep-to start sleeping
get upset-to become unhappy, disappointed or annoyed because of something
get used to-to become accustomed to something
give a hand-to give help, support or assistance
give advice-to tell somebody what you think they should do
give birth-If a mother gives birth, her unborn baby passes into the outside world.
give evidence-to say what you witnessed or know in a court of law or at an inquiry
give notice-to tell somebody that a job, or the occupation of a property, will end at a certain time
give permission-to allow or permit somebody to do something
give rise to-to cause or result in something

give sb a call-to telephone somebody

give sb a chance-to give somebody the opportunity to do something
give sb a lift-to take somebody somewhere in a car or other vehicle
give sth a go-to attempt something, esp. something you've never tried to do before
give thought (to)-to think about or consider something
give up hope-to stop hoping for something because you think it's no longer possible
give way (1)-to collapse due to weight or pressure
give way (2)-to yield, or let another vehicle go first, when driving in traffic
go bald-to become bald, or have hair fall out
go bankrupt-to be unable to pay debts and go out of business or into receivership
go crazy (1)-to become mentally ill
go crazy (2)-to get very excited
go on a date-to go out with someone you're dating
go out of fashion-to become unfashionable
go smoothly-happen without problems, difficulties or delays
go unchallenged-to not be challenged or corrected
go unnoticed-to not be seen or noticed
go wrong-to not go well, or to have bad results
good cause-an organization, activity or charity that helps people or animals in need
good chance-quite a high probability or likelihood
good company-If someone says you're good company, they enjoy spending time with you.
good deal-a fair deal or fair price
good enough-as good as necessary
good luck-good fortune
good time-an enjoyable or fun experience
great deal of-a very large amount of
greatly appreciate-to appreciate very much
growing number (of)-more and more, or an increasing number
guilty conscience-a feeling of shame or remorse after doing something wrong or bad
guilty party-person or organization guilty of doing something wrong or bad


happy ending
The last part of a story is a "happy ending" if all ends well for the main characters.
happy hour
a scheduled time when alcoholic drinks cost less than usual
hard job
a difficult job or task
hard to believe
difficult to believe
hard to see (1)
difficult to see
hard to see (2)
difficult to imagine
hard to tell
difficult to know or deduce something
hard work
any activity that requires a lot of energy or concentration
hardly any
almost none
hardly ever
almost never
hardly likely
very unlikely or very improbable
hate to think
to be afraid to, or not want to, imagine something
have a baby
to give birth to a baby
have a chat
to have a friendly talk with someone
have a go (1)
to have a turn at doing something
have a go (2)
to attempt to do something
have a look
to look at something
have a right
have a moral or legal claim or ability
have a word
to talk about something with somebody
have access (to)
to be able to get or use something
have an effect (on)
to cause a change
have an idea
to think of something
have got
to own, possess or have
have got to
must
have room
to have enough space for something
have sex
to have sexual contact with someone
have the chance (to)
to have the opportunity or the time
have time
to have enough time to do something
have trouble
to find it difficult to do something
healthy diet
a diet that's good for body's health
heavily armed
having or carrying many weapons
heavily guarded
guarded by many people
heavy drinker
someone who drinks a lot of alcohol
heavy losses
large or high losses, esp. of money or lives
heavy schedule
a schedule with many meetings, appointments, dates, etc.
heavy smoker
someone who smokes a lot of cigarettes
heavy traffic
traffics that's congested and moving slowly
heavy workload
If you have a heavy workload, you have a lot of work to do.
hidden extras
extra costs that companies or sellers try to hide from buyers
high level
a level that's above the normal or expected level
high quality
very good quality
high standard
very good standard
highly regarded
thought to be very good by many people
highly unlikely
very unlikely
hold a referendum
If a country holds a referendum, citizens can vote for or against introducing a new law or piece of legislation.
hold an election
to have or conduct an election
hold an inquiry
to have or conduct an official inquiry
hold hands
If two or more people hold hands, each person holds another person's hand.
hold office
to occupy a powerful position or role, esp. in government
hold sb hostage
to imprison somebody and demand something in exchange for their release
hold sb prisoner
to force somebody to stay somewhere
hold talks
to have formal or official discussions about an issue or a situation
honest mistake
a mistake that wasn't made deliberately, or had no bad intent
hope so
used to express hope that something's true
human cost
damage or loss caused to people or societies, incl. material loss, social costs, psychological damage, etc.
human error
a mistake caused by a person, and not by mechanical failure or natural forces
human life
human existence or human experience
hurt sb's feelings
to upset somebody by being insensitive to their feelings

 

 

icy cold
extremely cold
icy wind
very cold wind
ill effects
bad effects caused by something
ill health
poor health
immediate action
action taken right away, or without waiting
immediate family
your closest relatives by birth, meaning only your parents, brothers, sisters and children
immediate future
the period of time directly following the present
impose conditions
to set conditions or requirements that must be met or satisfied
impose restrictions
to place limits or bans on particular actions or activities
impose sanctions
to ban or limit trade or contact with a country in order to bring about a change of government or policy
inextricably linked
If two or more things are inextricably linked, the connections between them are essential or extremely close.
innocent victim
a person who wasn't involved in the events or actions that harmed them
insect bite
a bite or sting from an insect
inside information
information only known by people inside a particular organization
intense pressure
very strong or extreme pressure
interest rate
the percentage of a loan that borrowers must pay back in addition to the amount they borrowed
internal injury
an injury inside the body
internal organ
an organ inside the body
invest heavily
to spend a lot of money on something to improve or develop it
irreparable damage
damage that's too serious to repair
issue a permit
to give somebody an official document that permits them to do something

jet fighter
armed jet plane used in war
job interview
an interview you attend if you're trying to get a job
job losses
reductions in the number of jobs available
job opportunity
prospect or chance of finding a job
join a club
to become a member of a club
join forces
If two or more people or groups join forces, they work together to achieve a common goal.
join the army
to enlist and serve in the army
joint account
a bank account held jointly by two or more people
joint effort
something achieved or created by two or more people working together
joint owners
two or more people or parties who share ownership of something
jump to a conclusion
to decide, or make up your mind, before knowing all the facts
junk food
unhealthy food, esp. processed food with lots of fat, salt, sugar, etc.
junk mail
advertising material that's sent to people who haven't asked for it
just about
almost or very nearly
just cause
a cause that it is morally right or just
just now (1)
at this moment
just now (2)
a moment ago, or a very short time ago

keep a diary
to own and write in a diary
keep a promise
to do what you promised to do
keep a secret
to not tell anyone a secret
keep an appointment
to meet somebody at the time you agreed to
keep busy
to have or find many things to do
keep fit
to stay in good physical condition by exercising
keep going (1)
to continue in the same direction
keep going (2)
to continue driving, riding, running, walking, etc.
keep going (3)
to continue doing whatever you're doing
keep in touch
to have regular contact with somebody by phone, mail, email, etc.
keep quiet
to make very little noise
keep records
to store detailed information, e.g. in business, legal cases, health care, education, etc.
keep safe
to prevent loss or damage
keep sb waiting
to make somebody wait
keep sb/sth quiet
to stop somebody or something from making too much noise
keep score
to keep a record of the score in a game or a match
keep still
to not move
keep the change
to not return the change after someone has paid for something
keep your balance
to remain steady on your feet and not stumble or fall
key issue
the most, or one of the most, important issues
key role
the most, or one of the most, important roles
keynote address
the main speech or lecture at a conference, seminar, meeting, etc.
keynote speaker
the main speaker at a conference, seminar, meeting, etc.
kick a goal
to score a goal by kicking a ball
kill time
to do something to fill in spare time
know best
to know what the best thing to do is
know better
to be sensible enough to know that it's better not to do something
know the score
to know the truth or the facts about something


language skills
skills related to using a language
last long
continue for a long time
late night
a night when you go to bed later than usual
laugh out loud
to laugh audibly, or laugh aloud so people can hear you
law and order
public order that police or military forces maintain
lay the groundwork
to do preliminary work in preparation for future work
lead the field
to be winning in a race
lead the way (1)
to go first to show others the way
lead the way (2)
to do something first or best
lead the world
to be the most successful or advanced in the world
lead to believe
to encourage somebody to believe something, or to hint that something might happen
leading role
the most important role in a film, play or TV show
leave a message
to leave information for someone you haven't been able to meet or talk to
leave home
to move out from the home you grew up in
leave sb alone
to stop annoying, bothering or criticizing somebody
leave school
to stop going to school
leave sth alone
to not touch, change or use something
legal advice
advice from a lawyer, a solicitor, or any other a legal expert
let go (1)
to allow somebody or something to go free
let go (2)
to stop holding on to something
let sb know
to tell or inform somebody
level playing-field
a situation that's fair for everyone, or in which everyone has the same opportunities
level teaspoon
a teaspoon filled to the level of the sides of the spoon
lie ahead
If something lies ahead, it's going to happen in the future.
light a fire
to start a fire
liquid refreshments
alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks
little bit
slightly, or a little
little brother | little sister
younger brother, younger sister
little known
not known by many people
live at home
to live in the home you grew up in, or with the people who raised you
live music
music played on instruments in front of an audience
living conditions
physical conditions in which people live
living things
all things that are alive, incl. microorganisms, plants, animals, etc.
long ago
in the distant past
long overdue
should have been done, or should have happened, a long time ago
long time
a great amount of time
long way
a great distance
look nice
appear attractive, pleasant, enjoyable, delicious, etc.
lose a game
to be defeated in a game
lose a job
to be told you no longer have your job
lose control
to no longer be in control of something
lose faith
to no longer have faith in something you once believed in or trusted
lose hope
to no longer have hope
lose interest
to no longer be interested in something
lose money
to have less money after gambling, investing, starting a business, etc.
lose weight
to become lighter in weight
lose your life
to die because of an accident, war, illness, crime, etc.
lose your temper
to suddenly become angry
love dearly
to love very much, esp. of family members and friends
loved one
someone you love, esp. a family member or partner
lucky escape
If you had a lucky escape, you came close to being killed or badly injured.

main course
the largest course in a meal
main road
a wide road with lots of traffic
main thing
the most important thing
make a bed
to neatly arrange the sheets, blankets and pillows on a bed
make a decision
to decide what to do
make a difference
to cause a situation or condition to change
make a fortune
to make a huge amount of money
make a fuss
to create unnecessary excitement or concern about something
make a living
to earn money for the things you need in life
make a mess
to create an untidy or disorganized state or situation
make a mistake
to do something that's wrong or has bad results
make a note (of)
to write down something so that you don't forget it
make a profit
to make money from business or investments
make a reservation
to book or reserve a seat on a train, a table in a restaurant, a room in a hotel, etc.
make amends
to do something to show you're sorry for your bad behaviour in the past
make an appointment
to arrange a date and time to visit an office, clinic, dentist, doctor, etc.
make an effort
to put time and energy into doing something
make an excuse
to give a reason for doing something you shouldn't do, or for not doing something you should do
make an offer
to state a price you're willing to pay for something
make arrangements
to arrange all aspects of an event such as a wedding, funeral, meeting, conference, etc.
make believe
to pretend that something is real or true
make changes
to change something in specific ways
make clear
to make something easy to understand, or to express yourself clearly
make contact
to contact a person or an organisation
make friends
to form new friendships
make love
to have sex with someone, esp. someone you love
make progress
to get closer to a goal, or to improve in ability
make room
to create space by moving something
make sb feel sth
to cause somebody to feel a certain way
make sense (1)
If an idea, plan or action "makes sense", it's sensible and rational and not stupid or likely to fail.
make sense (2)
If a sentence or statement "makes sense", it can be understood by the people who read it or hear it.
make sth easy
to cause something to be less difficult
make sure
to check so that you're sure about something
married couple
two people who are married to one another
mass market
the great majority of people who buy goods in a society
may (very) well
could or might
medical care
help given to someone who's sick or injured
medical history
all the illnesses, injuries and treatments that someone has had in the past
meet a need
to provide what is needed
meet a standard
to reach a certain standard or level of quality, safety, etc.
meet a target
to reach the number or amount set as a target, e.g. in sales, profits, savings, website traffic, etc.
meet opposition
to receive a negative response or reaction
meet with approval
to receive a positive response or reaction
mental illness
illness causing thoughts or feelings that seriously disrupt a person's normal state of mind
miles away
far away, or a long way from a particular place
miss a flight
to arrive too late to board a flight on a plane
miss a goal
to try to score a goal, but fail
miss an opportunity
to have an opportunity to do something, but fail to do it
missing in action
If someone is "missing in action", they haven't been seen or contacted since being involved in military action.
mixed feelings
different emotions, or conflicting impulses, felt at the same time
moral obligation
moral requirement to do something because you know it's the right thing to do
more or less (1)
somewhat, fairly or almost
more or less (2)
approximately
murder mystery
a book, play or film about the investigation of a murder
mysterious circumstances
circumstances that aren't understood, or haven't been revealed or explained

nasty habit
a bad or unpleasant tendency
nasty shock
an unpleasant surprise
native country
the country in which you were born
native speaker
someone for whom a particular language is their first or native language
natural causes
If you die of natural causes, your life ends naturally and not because of an accident, murder or suicide.
natural disaster
a natural event that causes great harm, e.g. an earthquake, cyclone, tornado, etc.
natural resources
things from nature that we can use, e.g. oil, coal, rivers, lakes, trees, forests, etc.
neat and tidy
not messy
need badly
to need very much
negative attitude
an attitude that shows a critical viewpoint or a negative bias
nervous wreck
a person who's very stressed or nervous
net profit
profit remaining after taxes and costs have been deducted
net result
the final or overall effect or result of something
net worth
the total value of everything you own, including property and money, minus any debts you owe
never knew
to not know something
new generation
a new group of people or products that appeared around the same time
new job
a different job or a job you've found recently
next time
the time after this time
next-door neighbours
people living in a house next to yours
nice time
a pleasant or enjoyable experience
non-stop flight
flight that doesn't stop over on its way to a destination
not necessarily (so)
not always or not definitely
nothing else
no other thing or things
nothing much
nothing that's important
nothing wrong with
nothing that's causing a problem
nowhere near (1)
far away from
nowhere near (2)
not almost, or not similar to
null and void
having no legal effect or force


obey an order
to do what someone orders or commands you to do
occupational hazard
a danger that people doing a particular job face
odd number
any whole number that can't be exactly divided by two, such as 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.
odd socks
socks that don't match
offer a job
to tell someone they can have a job if they want it
offer an explanation
to explain why something was done
offer condolences
to convey sympathy to the family or friends of someone who's died
offer your services
to offer your time and skills to help a person or an organization
office block
a large building that houses many offices
office hours
hours when an office is open for business
office job
a job that's done at a desk in an office
old age
the time in life after middle age
old friend
a friend you've known for a very long time
only just (1)
a very short time ago
only just (2)
by a very small amount
open an account
to start an account with a bank, credit union, building society, supplier of goods, etc.
open an investigation
to begin an investigation into something
open fire
to start shooting with a weapon
opening hours
the time during which a club, park, library, shop, gallery, etc. is open
openly gay
If you're openly gay, you don't hide your homosexuality.
opposition party
a political party that's in opposition to the party or parties in power
optional extras
special features a product can have if you pay extra for them
organic farming
farming without using artificial chemicals
overall effect
the general effect, or overall result, of something
owe an apology
If you think you owe somebody an apology, you think you should say sorry to them.
owe an explanation
If you think someone owes you an explanation, you think they should explain why they did something that badly affected you.


pack a suitcase
to put clothes and other possessions into a suitcase
pack of cards
a full set of playing cards
painful memory
a memory that's upsetting or disturbing
painful reminder
If something's a painful reminder, it reminds you of something you find upsetting or disturbing.
painfully shy
extremely shy, or so shy that other people find it disturbing
painfully slow
extremely slow, or so slow that people become impatient
painfully thin
extremely thin, of a person or animal
pair work
a type of learning activity in which two students work together
part company (1)
to end a relationship or partnership
part company (2)
to stop travelling or spending time together and go different ways
pass (the) time
to do something to fill in time when you're bored or have nothing to do
pass a law
to bring in a new law by voting in parliament or by decree
pass a test
to not fail a test
pay a bill
to pay the amount stated on a bill
pay a visit
to visit someone or something
pay attention
to watch closely or listen carefully to someone or something
pay increase
an increase in the amount of money paid as a wage or salary
peace and quiet
no noise or disturbance
perfectly normal
not unusual at all
personal belongings
personal possessions that belong to you
phone rings
If your phone rings, it makes a noise to let you know someone's calling you.
pick your nose
to use a finger to remove dried mucus from inside your nose
piece of advice
a particular suggestion given as advice
piece of equipment
one particular item used as equipment
piece of information
a particular fact or item of information
piece of music
any musical work, including musical compositions, traditional works, improvised music, pop songs, etc.
piece of paper
one sheet or scrap of paper
place an order
put in an order to buy something
play a part
perform a particular role, or be involved in a particular way
play music
to make music with an instrument, or to broadcast recorded music
point of view
a particular perspective or way of seeing things
political prisoner
someone who's imprisoned because of their political beliefs
poor eyesight
not very good eyesight
poor health
not very good health
popular belief
an idea that most people believe is true
pose a risk
to create risk of danger or harm
pose a threat
create the threat of danger or harm
press a key
to put a finger on a key on a keyboard and press down
pretty good
quite good or fairly good
pretty well
fairly well or reasonably well
private life
aspects of someone's life that aren't related to work or other public roles
public opinion
the opinions of the majority of people in a society
pull a muscle
to injure a muscle by lifting something heavy or moving too quickly
push a button
to press a button on a machine or an appliance
put on weight
to become heavier or fatter, of a person or an animal
put out a cigarette
to stop a cigarette from burning
put out a fire
to stop a fire from burning
put up prices
to increase prices
put up wages
to increase wages
put up your hand
to raise your arm if you want to say something, ask or answer a question, show you're present, etc.


quality of life
the level of personal satisfaction, happiness and health in somebody's life
quick fix
a solution to a problem that can be quickly or cheaply implemented, but may not be a good or long-lasting solution
quick reply
a prompt or almost immediate reply to a letter or email
quiet life
a simple and peaceful way of living
quiet night
a night when you stay at home instead of going out
quietly confident
feeling confident, but not saying much about it
quit a job
to tell an employer you no longer want your job
quit drinking
to stop drinking alcohol
quit smoking
to stop smoking cigarettes
quite a lot
quite often, or quite a large amount
quite agree
agree completely
quite enough
as much as necessary
quite good
fairly good
quite often
fairly often
quite right
completely correct
quite sure
completely sure


racial discrimination
unfair treatment of someone because of their race
radical reform
major and fundamental reform
rain hard
rain heavily, as during a storm or a downpour
rainy day
a day during which it rains quite a lot
raise a family
to raise one or more children in a family setting
raise doubts
to express doubts or concerns about something
raise hopes
to make somebody feel more hopeful
raise money
to collect money for a special purpose
raise questions
to bring issues or questions to somebody's attention
raise taxes
to increase the rate of taxation
raise your voice
to show anger by speaking louder than usual
rapid growth
fast growth, or growth in a short period of time
rate of return
the percentage of an original investment that is returned as profit
rave review
a very good review of a book, movie, play, concert, etc.
reach a verdict
to decide if the accused is guilty or not
reach an agreement
to finally agree after discussing or negotiating something
read aloud
to say words out loud as you read them
readily available
easy to obtain or easy to find
real life
life as it's really experienced, or life in the real world
real live
present in reality, and not in a film, on TV, etc.
real wages
the true value of wages, in terms of what you can buy with the money
reasonable explanation
an explanation that most people can accept or believe
reasonably happy
fairly pleased or reasonably satisfied
reasonably priced
for sale or rent at a fair price
reasonably well
fairly well or satisfactorily
recommend highly
to strongly recommend someone or something
regain control
to get control of something again after losing control
repair damage
to fix the damage to something
resort to violence
to use violence when other methods have failed
restore confidence
to bring back confidence, trust or belief in something
restore order
to bring back order after a period of revolt or disorder
retain control
to maintain control of, or keep control over, something
return a call
to call someone back after not answering their call
return address
a sender's address, for replying to or returning a letter or parcel
return fire
to fire back when someone's firing a weapon at you
return flight
the flight back from where your first flight took you
return home
to come back home, or to go back home
return ticket
a ticket for travelling to a place, and then back again
rhetorical question
a question that's asked to make a point, not get an answer
right away
immediately, or without delay
right now (1)
at this moment
right now (2)
immediately, or without delay
road safety
safety on roads for drivers, passengers and pedestrians
room for improvement
the possibility or need for something to improve
root cause
the main or fundamental cause of something
root crop
a plant with roots or other underground parts that can be eaten, like carrots, potatoes, ginger, etc.
rough draft
an unedited or unpolished version of an essay, book, speech, screenplay, etc.
rough estimate
an approximate estimate
rough idea
a vague or approximate idea, concept, memory, etc.
round number
any whole number that ends in 0, such as 10, 150, and 1250
run a business
to be in charge of a business
run the risk of
to do something risky, or that could have a bad result
running late
behind schedule
running low
almost used up or almost exhausted, esp. of fuel, supplies, foods, drinks, etc.
runny nose
If you've got a runny nose, liquid mucus is running from your nose.


safe and sound
not harmed, hurt or damaged in any way
safe distance
far enough away from danger to be safe
safety hazard
something that isn't safe or creates danger
safety net
government programs that help people in trouble, esp. the poor, sick, unemployed, old, homeless, etc.
safety record
a record showing how effective safety measures have been
sales figures
figures showing the number of products sold
sales force
all the people employed to sell a company's products
satisfy a need
to give or provide what somebody needs
satisfy a requirement
to have what a requirement states or specifies
satisfy demand
to sell products in the quantities demanded by the market
save lives
to prevent deaths, or stop people from dying
save money (1)
to keep money for the future
save money (2)
to pay less money
save time
to use less time
say goodbye
to say a parting word as you leave, or as somebody else leaves
say sorry
to apologize to someone
scare tactic
a tactic that uses fear to make people behave a certain way
score a goal
to get a goal in sport
security forces
military and police forces
see reason
to see that your view is unreasonable or wrong, and reconsider
see what sb means
to understand somebody's viewpoint or observation
sense of direction
a natural ability to know which direction you're going in
sense of humour
an ability to see and express humour, or the funny side of things
serious accident
an accident in which someone is badly injured or killed
serious illness
a very harmful or dangerous illness
serious injury
a very bad injury
serious mistake
a very bad mistake
serious relationship
a romantic relationship that you take seriously
seriously damage (1)
badly damage (of material objects)
seriously damage (2)
badly affect (of non-material or abstract things)
seriously ill
very sick
seriously injured
badly hurt or injured
seriously wounded
badly hurt by a weapon
serve a purpose
to be useful, esp. in achieving an aim or performing a function
serve interests
to benefit or support the interests of someone or something
set a date
to decide the date on which something in the future will happen
set a goal
to decide what it is you'll try to achieve
set a record
to achieve a new record in sport, sales, profits, losses, etc.
set a standard
to set or establish a certain level of quality
set a table
to put forks, knives, spoons, plates, place mats, etc. onto a table before a meal is served
set an alarm
to set the time at which the alarm in a phone or alarm clock will ring
set fire to | set on fire
to make something start burning
set free
to let someone or something go free
set menu
a complete meal with several courses for a fixed price
short memory
If you have a short memory, you can forget things soon after they've happened.
social justice
fair distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges in society
social life
the part of life involving friends and social activities
solve a crime
to find out who committed a crime
solve a problem
to find the solution to a problem
spare time
time when you're free to do whatever you want to do
speedy recovery
a quicker recovery from illness or injury than usual
spend time
to do something or be somewhere for a certain time
spend your life
to use the time you have in life
stand trial
to be judged for a crime in a court of law
stay awake
to remain awake, or not go to sleep
stay put
to stay in the same place or situation
stay tuned
keep watching a television broadcast or keep listening to a radio broadcast
steady job
a job that offers constant work and a reliable income
steady relationship
a serious and stable romantic relationship
steady stream
constant sequence, or many things one after another
stiff competition
strong competition from rivals or opponents
still (be) alive
not yet dead
straight after
immediately after something happens or finishes
straight ahead
directly in front
straight answer
an honest and direct answer to a question
straight away
immediately
strictly speaking
according to a strict definition of a meaning or a regulation
strike a balance (btw)
to find a balanced position that's reasonable and fair for all or both sides
strongly support
to support or believe in somebody or something very much
sure sign
a sign or evidence that something is happening or definitely true


take (sb's) temperature
to measure somebody's body temperature
take (sb) to court
to begin a legal case against someone
take a break
to stop doing something for a short time, e.g. to eat, rest, go to the toilet, etc.
take a call
to answer or accept an incoming telephone call
take a look
to examine, inspect or look at something
take a message
to write down or memorize a message for somebody
take a risk
to do something you know is dangerous
take a seat
to sit down on a chair, bench, sofa, etc.
take a step (1)
to put one foot in front of the other, as when walking
take a step (2)
to do something that helps to achieve a goal
take a test
to sit an examination or do a test
take action
to do something to achieve a goal or solve a problem
take advice
to do what somebody advises you to do
take ages
to take a long time
take care
be careful
take care of
to care for or look after somebody or something
take charge
to take control or assume responsibility
take drugs
to use mind-altering or mood-altering drugs
take exercise
to exercise your body for health or fitness
take hostage
to capture and threaten somebody in order to get something
take long
to take a long time to do or finish
take medicine
to swallow a tablet or syrup to cure an illness
take notes
to write notes in a lecture or when reading
take notice
to pay attention to something
take part
to be involved, or to participate in something
take place
to happen or occur
take pride in
to be proud of your talent, skills, work, achievements, etc.
take prisoner
to capture and imprison somebody, esp. in a war or battle
take sb's place
to replace somebody, or to do something instead of somebody else
take seriously
to think that somebody or something is important or deserves your full attention
take time
to take a long time
take turns
If people take turns, they do something one after the other, or alternately.
take up space
to occupy or fill up space
take your time
to take as long as you like, without rushing
tax cut
a reduction in the rate of taxation
tell a lie
to say something you know isn't true
tell a story
to share a story by reading it, recalling it, or making it up
tell sb the time
to tell somebody what time it is
tell the difference
to notice differences and be able to distinguish between similar things
tell the time
to be able to look at a clock, a sundial, stars, etc. and know what time it is
tell the truth
to say what's true or what really happened
tight budget
a budget that severely limits the amount of money that can be spent
tight grip
a firm hold
tight schedule
a schedule with very little time between appointments, meetings, etc.
time off
time away from work
top floor
the highest level or storey in a building
top priority
the most important of several issues, goals, tasks, etc.
top speed
the fastest speed that something can travel at
travel light
to travel without much luggage
try hard
to put a lot of effort into doing something
turn a corner
to go around a corner
turn around
to turn your body or head so that you're facing the opposite way


ulterior motive
the hidden reason or purpose behind an action
ultimate goal
final objective or goal
uncertain future
a future that's likely to be worse than the present
unconditional love
love that isn't based on conditions or requirements
undergo surgery
to have a surgical procedure or operation
undergo treatment
to have treatment for a medical condition
unemployment benefit
a regular payment from the government to help someone who can't find a job
unfair advantage
an advantage that isn't fair or hasn't been earned
unfair dismissal
unjust or unfair firing of a worker
unrequited love
love you feel for someone who doesn't love you
unusually wealthy
much wealthier than other people in the same position or with the same job
upper deck
deck of a ship that's above lower decks and open to the sky
upper echelons
the highest ranks in a society or organization
upper limit
the highest level or amount allowed
upset sb's stomach
If something upsets your stomach, it causes a stomach problem that makes you feel sick.
upset stomach
If you've got an upset stomach, you feel sick in the stomach.
urban development
the building or development of towns and cities
urban renewal
the renewal of poor parts of a city by improving services and attracting investment
urban sprawl
the poorly-regulated spread of urban development into the countryside near a city
use sb's phone
to make a call on somebody else's phone
used car
a car that's already been owned by someone
utterly ridiculous
completely ridiculous or unreasonable

vague idea
an approximate or imprecise idea
vague memory
unclear or incomplete memory
valid point
a point that most people would find reasonable and logical
valid reason
a reason that most people would find acceptable or believable
valuable contribution
an important contribution to something's development or success
valuable information
important or useful information
valuable lesson
If an experience becomes a valuable lesson, it teaches you something important.
vary widely
to vary a lot, or include very different types, amounts, degrees, etc.
vast majority
great majority, or the most by far
victory lap
a lap around a field or track to celebrate a victory
victory parade
a parade held to celebrate a victory, esp. in sports, war, politics, etc.
violent crime
a crime that causes injury or death
violent movie
a movie with many violent scenes
visiting hours
hours of the day when you can visit a hospital, prison, museum, zoo, government office, etc.
vital organs
organs that are essential for life, incl. the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs
vital role
a very important role
vocal critic
a person who often criticizes something or someone in public
vocal minority
a group that voices an opinion that the majority of people don't agree with
vocal music
music that includes parts for one or more singers, with or without instruments
vocal organs
organs used when speaking or making sounds
vote against
to not support someone or something with your vote
vote for
to give someone or something your vote


wage increase
an increase in the amount of money a wage-earner is paid
wage war
to begin a struggle or campaign to fight something
wait your turn
to wait until your turn comes
warm welcome
a friendly or positive reception
warning sign
a sign or indication that something's wrong
waste an opportunity
to not make use of an opportunity or chance
waste money
to spend money on something you don't really need or want
waste of time
something that's not worth spending time on
waste time
to spend time doing something that brings no results
waste water
used water that's discharged from factories, farms, homes, etc.
watch your weight
to be careful about what you eat so you don't put on weight
wave goodbye
to wave your hand when leaving, or when someone else is leaving
way ahead
far ahead, or a long way in front
weak point
part of something that's easy to attack or criticize
wear and tear
damage caused by normal use over time
welcome change
a pleasant or long-awaited change
well after
a long time after
well ahead
a long way ahead
well aware of
fully or completely aware or informed
well before
a long time before
well behind
a long way behind
well worth
definitely worth doing, getting, seeing, etc.
whole thing
the entire thing, or all of something
wide awake
completely awake or fully alert
wide open
fully open, of a door, window, eyes, mouth, etc.
wide range (1)
a large number of similar products, services, styles, options, etc.
wide range (2)
many different types, esp. of people, opinions, choices, results, etc.
widely used
used by many people or in many places
wild animal
an animal that's living free in its natural habitat
win a game
to beat your opponent in a game
win a war
to defeat the enemy in a war
win an award
to receive an award
win an election
to be awarded victory by those running an election
work hard
to put a lot of effort into what you're doing
work well
operate or function properly, efficiently, smoothly, etc.
working conditions
environment and conditions in which you work
worth a fortune
worth a lot of money
wrong number
an incorrect telephone number
wrong way (1)
wrong direction
wrong way (2)
incorrect method, technique, strategy, etc.

x-ray vision
the ability to see into or through objects made of non-transparent materials
yawning gap
a very wide gap
yet again
one more time, after many other times
yield results
to produce or provide results
young child
a person who's very young, but not a baby
young couple
two young people in a romantic relationship
young person
a person who's still young, but no longer a child
youthful enthusiasm
great enthusiasm that a young person feels
zero tolerance (1)
legal policy that allows politicians to set mandatory punishments that judges must apply
zero tolerance (2)
absolutely no tolerance for something
zero visibility
absolutely no visibility due to darkness, poor weather, etc.

 

 



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