Dazzling Phrasal Verbs! (2): COME

Here’s the second instalment in my new “Dazzling Phrasal Verbs” section. Three more phrasal verbs, this time based on the word ‘come’. Do bear in mind that there are often  additional meanings for each verb.  It’s often a good idea, however, to concentrate on one meaning at a time so your brain doesn’t get too muddled!

  1. come along

    Meaning: If something is coming along it is progressing or improving.
    How’s your homework coming along? Have you almost finished?

    After changing tutors Amaya’s Italian is really coming along.

    Jane’s garden is coming along nicely; it’s so pretty.

    NB. We don’t tend to use it in the negative.

  2. come around/round

    Meaning: change your opinion or your decision (usually to stop being against sth and because somebody has persuaded you)

    We’re hoping the boss will come around to our way of thinking and let us work from home a few days a week.At first Greta’s parents didn’t want her to go to drama school but in the end they came round and supported her decision.


  3. come forward

    Meaning: present yourself, make yourself known (often to offer help or provide information)
    Police are asking witnesses to the incident to come forward.

    Lots of volunteers came forward to help at the soup kitchen.

    The owner of the winning lottery ticket still hasn’t come forward.


Phrasal Verbs (5): Come

Add a suitable phrasal verb in the correct form. There is one extra verb. Answers tomorrow! 

come down with     come off     come over    come to     come up     come up with    

  1. We need to __________ a cheaper solution to the problem.
  2. Last night some friends __________ to our place and we had pizza and watched a movie.
  3. I was shocked when I saw that our hotel bill had __________ almost five hundred pounds.
  4. I’m going to have to cancel our meeting. I’m afraid something urgent has __________.
  5. The four of us were planning a trip to Australia but in the end it didn’t __________ .


    1. come up with
    2. came over
    3. come to
    4. come up
    5. come off


Dazzling Phrasal Verbs! (1): SHAKE

Welcome to “Dazzling Phrasal Verbs”!

This new section is aimed at my more advanced learners.  In each instalment I’m going to show you three phrasal verbs based on the same word, and we’re going to kick off with ‘shake’.

1. shake off

Meaning: get rid of sth/sb unpleasant or annoying, free yourself

I’m finding it hard to shake off this cold. I’ve had it for over a week.

The paparazzi had been following Tom around all day. Eventually he managed to shake them off by swapping motorbikes with a friend.

When used figuratively  ‘shake’ is often used without ‘off’.  ⇨ The singer is finding it hard to shake/shake off his bad-boy image.

It can be used literally too, but you need ‘off’, otherwise you’re changing the meaning.

The dog came out of the pool and shook the water off.

I tried to put the cute little hat on the cat’s head but she just kept shaking it off

2. shake up (1)

Meaning: upset or frighten sb (so much that they feel the effects for a while)

Seeing the dreadful living conditions at the old people’s home really shook Sally up

Even though nobody was badly hurt John was quite shaken up by the accident. He had difficulty sleeping for days.

3. shake up (2) 

Meaning: make major changes in order to make a system, company, etc more effective.

When the new owner of the restaurant chain warned his staff that he would be shaking things up, some people were afraid they might lose their job.

With this meaning of ‘shake up’ you have the noun ‘shake-up’ ⇨ Many people think the education system is in need of a good shake-up.



(Photo: Can Stock Photo/damedeeso)



Handy Prepositional Phrases (4): In

in advance
in all likelihood
in answer to / in reply to
in charge (of)
in comparison with
in doubt
in favour of
in jeopardy
in the long/short run; in the long/short term
in principle
in relation to
in retrospect
in short
in trouble


We will need to know in advance how many people are coming.

If you cancel the hotel room 24 hours in advance there is no charge.

In all likelihood the boss will retire in the next year.

In answer to your first question, no, the tour is not being cancelled.

I am writing in reply to your email of 10 September.

I’d like to speak to the person in charge, please.

Michael is in charge of the IT department.

In comparison with our last Maths exam, this one was really easy.

Our trip is in doubt. (= it may not happen)

He’s in favour of stricter gun control.

Fire fighters often put their lives in jeopardy.

Your hard work and dedication will pay off in the long run.

Our teacher asked us to set three goals we would like to achieve in the short term.

In principle it should work but until we try it, we won’t know for sure.

Several people have been arrested in relation to the robbery.

What’s your opinion in relation to nuclear power?

In relation to London, where is Gatwick Airport?” – “It’s south of London.”

His comments do seem strange now, in retrospect.

In short, it’s a bad idea.

In short, the article said that learning a foreign language is wonderful for your brain.

If your mother catches you smoking you’ll be in trouble.

Adjectives + Prepositions (3): In and Out of Love

Choose the correct preposition in brackets. Sometimes no preposition is necessary. 

  1. Nick has fancied _____ Amy for ages.
  2. Maddox says he fell _____ love _____ Summer the moment he saw her.
  3. Sam used to have a crush _____ his German teacher.
  4. Patricia adores _____ Alexander but she doesn’t want to marry _____ him yet.
  5. Gwyneth was only engaged _____ Brad Pitt, she was never married _____ him.
  6. “Do you have to flirt _____ everybody?” – “Don’t worry, darling, I only have eyes _____ you.”
  7. I’m not surprised Lisa broke up _____ Edwin. Their relationship had been _____ the rocks for some time. She suspects he was cheating _____ her.
  8. Their marriage soon ended _____ divorce.
  9. Katherine and Tim are head _____ heels _____ love. Theirs is a match made _____ heaven.
  10. Do you believe in love _____ first sight?


    1. —
    2. in; with
    3. on
    4. –; —
    5. to; to
    6. with; for
    7. with; on; on
    8. in
    9. over; in; in
    10. at

Handy Prepositional Phrases (3): For

for a change
for a start
for the moment / for the time being
for luck
for nothing
for certain / for sure
for good
for sale
for goodness sake


I’m always cooking. Why don’t you cook for a change?

I won’t get the job. For a start, I don’t have enough experience.

You can stay with us for the moment / for the time being but then you’re going to have to find your own place to live.

Diane wore her silver bracelet for luck.

Peter fixed my computer for nothing. (= no payment)

We didn’t get the contract in the end. All that hard work for nothing!

I can’t say for certain yet if I can meet you for lunch.

Take your umbrella. It’ll rain for sure today.

Jamie is going back to the States for good.

I’m afraid the house at the end of the road is no longer for sale.

For goodness sake, put your phone away! We’re having dinner!

Meerkat umbrella




Handy Prepositional Phrases (2): BY



By chance a bus was coming just as I reached the bus stop.

“May I close the window?” – “Yes, by all means.”

The climate change protestors were removed by force from the building.

I took the wrong road by mistake and got totally lost.

Although Vicky lives by herself she’s not lonely.

You’ll have to go to the party by yourself. I can’t go.

It’s the best hotel we’ve stayed in by far.

Kelly knows all Adele’s songs by heart.

By the time we got to the station, the train had already left.

You really should know your irregular verbs by now.

Rebecca delivered her job application by hand as she would have missed the deadline if she had sent it by post.

I know Jake but only by sight; I’ve never spoken to him.