Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I shrink to think

You have to imagine that you are talking to someone you know very well and also that you are speaking in a joking way. In that sense you are right because this expression is used informally and really suggests: I haven't the slightest idea and I want you to tell me. Take this exchange:

A Do you know what I did last night?

B I shrink to think what you did! Do tell me. I'd love to hear.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Phrasal Verbs - 7

He cut off a piece of cheese so I could taste it.
I expect the power company will cut off my electricity because I haven't paid the bill in three months.
I had to slam on my brakes when some jerk cut me off on my way to work this morning.
I was in the middle of an important call when I was cut off.
A flash flood cut us off from the rest of the expedition.
Noun: I got a notice saying that if I don't pay the bill, the cut off date for my electricity is March 10.
Adjective: The bridge was destroyed by the earthquake and now we are completely cut off.
Luis dropped his laundry off at the cleaners.
Noun: Luis left his laundry at the drop-off window.
drop off
Attendance at baseball games has been dropping off straight for several years.
The island has no beach at all. The land drops off straight into the sea.
Noun: The drop-off in car sales is due to the recession.
It was hard to see the drop-off because of the dense jungle.
I put the car in reverse and backed it up.
The IRS asked for some receipts to back up my tax deductions.
Linda said she would back e up if I complained about our boss.
I back my computer up frequently.
The hospital bought a generator to back up the unreliable electricity supply.
An accident backed up traffic for three miles.
back up
You're going too fast. Can you back up and explain you plan again.
Noun: The firefighter entered the burning building without a backup.
I keep a backup of my computer files on floppy disks.
The hospital had to close when the main power and the backup generator both failed.
The amount of mail at Christmas always causes a backup at the post office.
Adjective: The adjective is always backed up.
I accidentally erased your computer file. I hope you had it backed up.
Let's take the train. Traffice is always backed up at this time of day.
back off
I'm not going to help you with that project. Stop bugging me! Just back off.
come across
As soon as Nicole saw me, she came across the room and gave me a hug.
On our hike, we came across some people from Australia. (could also say ran across or ran into)
His American humor didn't come across well in England.
come up
My cousin from Florida came up to visit me last week.
I saw Dan driving a Mercedes. He's really coming up in the world.
We were discussing people who might do that job and your name came up.
I'm sorry I can't come to the party. Something important has come up.
Mother's Day is coming up, so I need to buy my mother a gift.
fall through
The roofer has fallen through a hole in the roof.
The family reunion fell through after my father got sick.
Put these knives up where the baby can't reach them.
The teacher has put some posters up on the classroom wall.
We need to put up a fence to keep the rabbis out of the garden.
When we went camping, we put up a tent in case it rained. (set it up)
When friends from overseas come to New York, we put them up in our apartment. (let them stay)
My aunt put the string beans up in cans so they will keep for the winder. (cooked and put in a jar, prepare them)
put up
Mr. Taylor put up $3 million towards the new cancer building.
The union put up a fight when the company tried to lay off some workers.
If you don't screw the top on tight, the soda will get flat.
Make sure that you screw the nuts on tightly.
Adjective: Once you have turned the bottle top so it is tight, the top is screwed on.
All visitors to the consulate are asked to sign in.
Jim isn't in the office anymore. He signed out at 5:06.
I signed nice books out of the library. (I put my name down next to these book's name and I took them out.)