Phrasal Verbs and Idioms


Chapter 1 Getting down to work

Do you have any of the following study problems?
In class Outside class
It's difficult to concentrate.You have nowhere quiet to study.
You can't follow the lesson.You lack self-discipline
You don't like the subject.It's difficult to begin studying
Other students are much better than you.You don't have enough time.
Other problems (What?)Other problems (What?)
George had problems with studying. so he wrote to a magazine problem page for advice. Find out what his study problems are and tell your partner about four of them.
Dear Marjorie
I"m having problems with my studies at school. I find it difficult to get down to work in the evenings and I can't concentrate on anything at the moment. I spend most of my time listening to records or watching TV instead of doing my homework. The other students in my class are much better than I am and I have difficulty in keeping up with them. I sometimes have problems with following the lessons as well. I can't always take down the important things my teacher says because J write so slowly. She has told me that I'm falling behind with my studies. I'm not good at writing essays and I usually hand in my homework late because I put off doing it until the last minute. So I often have to invent silly excuses to explain why I haven't done the work. l'm sure I'm not going to get through my final exams in June. I scraped through the mock exams last February with 54 percent - all the other students passed with flying colours. l'm now so far behind that I don't know how I'm going to catch up with them. My teacher spent some time going through my homework with me but she found so many mistakes that l felt even more depressed. What do you suggest l do?
Yours desperately

Phrases to learn

get down toприступить к
concentrate ['kɔns(ə)ntreɪt] onсконцентрироваться на
instead ofвместо чего-л., взамен чего-л
keep up withдержаться наравне, не отставать
follow the lessonsследить за уроком
take downзаписывать
fall behind (with smth)отставать
be good atбыть способным к (чему-л.)
hand in ['hænd'ɪn]подавать, сдавать, вручать
put offоткладывать (что-л. на более поздний срок)
invent excusesпридумывать оправдания
get throughсправиться; выдержать (экзамен)
scrape throughс трудом сдать
mock examпробный экзамен
with flying colours.легко, без проблем
catch up with (smb.)догнать кого-либо
go throughпроверять

Match the multi-word verbs in A with the definitions in B.

1 to get down to doing somethinga. to be behind with something, not at the level expected
2 to keep up with someone/somethingb. to start work on samething
3 to take something downc. to postpone, to decide to do something at a later date
4 to fall behind (with something)d. to pass an exam or test
5 to hand something ine. to check that something is
6 to put something offf. to reach the same standard or position as someone else
7 to get through (somethingg. to give something to someone in a position of authority
8 to scrape through (something)h. to remain at the same standard or position as someone else
9 to catch up (with someone/something)i. to record in writing what someone is saying
10 to go through somethingj. to pass an exam but with a very low grade
Listen to the sentences on the tape. Replace the verbs in each sentence with a multi-word verb from this unit. and repeat the sentence. After a pause you will hear the correct multi-word verb. After another pause you will hear the whole sentence.


1 Ask your partner the questions below. Try to use the multi-word verbs from this unit in your questions and answers.
A How are you getting on with your studies?
B At the moment I'm falling behind a little. so I'll have to work harder to catch up with the rest of the class.
a. How are you getting on with your studies?
b. What things do you write down in lessons?
c. Do you always do your homework immediately?
d. How do you check there are no mistakes in your work before you give it to your teacher?
e. How do you think you will do in your future exams?
2 Fill in the gaps below.
2 Fill in the gaps below.
to have difficulty_________(doing) something
to have problems_________ (doing) something
to concentrate_________ (doing) something
to be good/quite good
not good/bad _________ (doing) something
3 Use the phrases in the boxes above to write some sentences about yourself. Then discuss them with your partner. Find out how many things you have in common.
A I'm good at using computers and learning languages. What are you good at?
B I'm quite good at using computers. but I have problems with learning languages. I have difficulty in remembering the grammar rules!
Idiomatic expressions
4 What does The other students passed with flying colours mean? How would you say the same thing in your own language?
5 Work with your partner. Look at the expressions in italics and work out what they mean. Do you have similar expressions in your own language?
The written exam was difficult. but the oral exam was a piece of cake. It will be easier if we work on this exercise together. Two heads are better than one.
Her teacher told her that if she wanted to catch up with the rest of the class and pass her exams, she would have to burn the midnight oil for several weeks.
I passed the exam by the skin of my teeth. The pass mark was 50% and I got 51 %.
When I went to school the teachers used to make us learn poems by heart.
On one occasion I learnt a whole speech parrot fashion - I didn't understand a word of it.
6 Now discuss the following questions:
- What exams have you passed by the skin of your teeth or with flying colours?
- How useful is it to learn things parrot fashion?
- What things did you learn by heart at school? Can you still remember them?
- What are the arguments for and against learning things by heart?
- What do you think is a good way to learn multi-word verbs and idiomatic expressions?
How multi-word verbs work The particle through can be used with some verbs to give the idea of reading something (sometimes quickly) in order to find information.
go through something
read through something
look through something
The particle through can also be used with some verbs to give the idea of completing something. such as an exam or test.
scrape through something
get through something
sail through something (to succeed in something without any difficulty)
Through can also be used to describe completing a process of thought
think something through (to consider something in detail in order to understand it completely and then make a decision or take action)
The particle down can be used with some verbs to give the idea of recording something in writing.
write something down/put something down (to write or type words or numbers)
(to manage to write down what someone is saying, usuaJly with difficulty)
copy something down (to write down something that is spoken or displayed)
note something down (to make short notes about something so they can be referred to later)
Phrasel Verbs and Idioms