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Phrasal verbs and their opposites Posted by on May 31, 2020 in English Grammar, English Language, English Vocabulary

Greetings, everyone! How’s life? A lot of people have been taking these unusual times we are living in as a chance to take a hard look at their lives and rethink their whole routines. Spending more time at home inevitably leads to dedicating more to our hobbies, exploring new ones or looking for ways to practice skills we wanted to improve. So, how have you been keeping yourself busy during the confinement? I was teaching an online lesson the other day and the topic of discussion was precisely how people are living life at a different pace and trying to slow down. As usual, during my lessons, I find it useful to elicit opposites whenever we focus on a certain term. However, I could tell that some students were struggling to come up with the phrasal verb speed up as the counterpart of slow down. And this is why I thought it might be a good idea to work on a blog post that would list some commonplace phrasal verbs and their antonyms for a vocabulary boost! So let’s speed things up and get moving!

SPEED UP X SLOW DOWN

  • Drivers are supposed to slow down when going past schools 
  • This new system update will speed up the application process for its users
  • The doctor advised Tony to slow down a bit and try to work less
  • Ted, if you don’t speed up we will show up late for the appointment 

GET ON X GET OFF 

  • Once you leave the airport, head to platform 1 and get on the bus 212 which will take you straight to the city center 
  • I saw Elaine getting on a cab on First Avenue, but she didn’t see me wave at her 
  • Let’s get off, this is our stop! 
  • To get to the National Museum, you should get off at the next station

PUT ON X TAKE OFF

  • It’s getting warm in here, I’m going to take my jacket off
  • I was running late this morning, so I didn’t have time to put any makeup on 
  • Excuse me, sir, would you like to take off your coat so I can hang it up for you?
  • Make sure to put on a sweater before we leave, it’s getting chilly out!

RUN AFTER X RUN AWAY

  • Don’t forget to close the gate behind you, otherwise the cat might run away 
  • I saw the police running after some car robbers earlier
  • You’re an adult now, Jerry, you shouldn’t run away from your responsibilities
  • Why do you waste your time running after men like him?

PICK UP X DROP OFF

  • I’ll be waiting for you by the main entrance, so make sure to tell the cab driver to drop you off there
  • John is taking me out to dinner tonight. He’s supposed to pick me up at 8h 
  • Could you drop the children off at school for me tomorrow? I have an early meeting
  • My dad would always pick me up after parties when I was a teenager

LOOK DOWN ON X LOOK UP TO

  • Mrs. Ethel can be quite arrogant. She looks down on everyone who doesn’t hold a college degree
  • Children tend to look up to their teachers when they are in primary school
  • I really look up to single mothers. Raising children by themselves can’t be easy
  • The shop assistant looked down on the customer because he didn’t look like he had any money

Can you come up with any other phrasal verbs and their opposites? Let us know. Look forward to next time!

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