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An address for English learners

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DISCOURSE MARKERS are words or phrases used for organizing the flow of conversation (e.g. anyway, you know, so, etc). When used properly, discourse markers may be indicative of a higher level of language proficiency.

Keep in mind that one discourse marker may have several meanings and fall into several different categories (including but not limited to the ones below).


APPARENTLY – used to show that you’re not sure that what you’re saying is a fact. The info you’re mentioning is based on your observations or may also be smth you’ve heard or read before.

Man, I hate broccoli but apparently it is good for your skin.

Jake was fired last week because he got in a fight with his coworker. And apparently, this wasn’t the first time he lost his job because of his anger issues.

SORT OF/KIND OF (also kinda/sorta) – used to indicate that smth happens to some degree. These are also one of the most common parasite words in English.

I was kinda disappointed when I heard that he doesn’t write books anymore.

I kind of thought that he would never retire as an author.

PERHAPS/ MAYBE/PROBABLY – used to express uncertainty.

My friends tell me that my relationship with Sandy is doomed to fail. Perhaps they are right but I’m not ready to give up yet. Maybe I’m in love and maybe I’m in denial. I could probably use some advice from someone who’d been through the same experience.

I THINK (when used at the end of a sentence) – used to sound less direct, to soften your words.

He wants to invest all his money in this venture. It’s not the best idea, I think.

This color is a bit flamboyant, I think.

JUST – used to soften a phrase, often a request.

I was just wondering if you could go there with me.

Could you just answer your phone when it rings?

SURELY – 1) used to express your opinion with the hope that the person you are talking to will share it; 2) used to express surprise.

Surely drinking is not the solution to her problems (1).

Surely you don’t want to continue hanging out with them after what they did to you?



TO BE HONEST – used to emphasize that smth you are saying is your actual opinion.

I’m not a fan of this actor’s work, to be honest.

To be honest, I don’t feel like going out tonight.

HONESTLY – used when you want someone to believe that smth you are saying is the truth.

Honestly, I haven’t heard anything about it until this moment.

FRANKLY – used to express that you mean what you are saying.

Frankly, Katy, I don’t think we should encourage Kyle’s behavior.

TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH – used to indicate that you’re expressing your true thoughts and not trying to hide anything from the listener.

To tell you the truth, I was scared to learn about your past.

IF YOU ASK ME – used to emphasize that smth you are saying is only your opinion.

If you ask me, they should’ve been in prison for what they did.

ADMITTEDLY – used to say smth that slightly weakens your previous point.

I thought you hated each other. Admittedly, it's been a while since I’ve last seen you two together.

I MUST ADMIT / SAY – used for emphasizing a statement.

I must admit I was surprised to find out that she gained some weight.

And I must say, she never looked better.



I MEAN / WHAT I MEAN IS – used to make smth you’ve just said more clear.

Have you been seeing him a lot lately? I mean, outside your work.

I'm not the kind of person who would judge other people for their weaknesses. What I mean is you don’t have to hide anything from me.

IN OTHER WORDS / TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY – used to explain smth differently.

It always felt like there was something off about the way she acted. To put it another way, I thought she acted very suspiciously.

Jerry acts all silly and stuff but not many people know that he graduated from Stanford a few years ago. In other words, he’s not as stupid as you think.

ACTUALLY / WELL – used to change slightly smth you’ve said, or express it in a different way.

I used to have this friend… Actually, he was more of an acquaintance but that’s not the point. So, this friend, or acquaintance if you wish, made the best gravy I’ve ever tasted and I’m so sad we stopped hanging out.

My drawing skills significantly improved since I started going to art classes. Well, I don’t draw like a toddler anymore.

IN FACT – used to elaborate on smth you’ve just said.

I’ve been in a terrible accident last year. In fact, I almost died.



NATURALLY – used to indicate that smth you are saying is normal and expected considering the circumstances.

The boy looked nothing like his parents. Naturally, he started asking questions.

NO DOUBT – used to indicate that you are sure about smth you are saying, that it is likely to be true.

No doubt, you’ll find something to your taste in our library.

OBVIOUSLY – used when you expect the listener to know what you are talking about or when you state smth easy to see, notice or understand.

When I was a kid, I thought adults knew everything about this world. Obviously, I was wrong.

CLEARLY – used to state smth obvious.

Clearly, he knows what he’s talking about.

OF COURSE – used indicate that what you’re saying is obvious and should not be news to the listener.

Of course, there are many other fascinating creatures on our planet.



(I’M) SORRY – used to tell someone smth they probably wouldn’t want to hear (e.g. disagreement, bad news).

I’m sorry but that’s none of your business.

Sorry but dogs are not allowed in our gym.

I’M AFRAID – used to apologize/to disagree politely.

This color really suits you. But I’m afraid we don’t have this shirt in your size.

I’m afraid I can’t agree with you on this one.

UNFORTUNATELY / SADLY / ALAS – used to express unhappiness about smth.

Unfortunately, I can’t help you with your problem.

We hoped everything would go quiet after they left. Sadly, this wasn’t the end of this horrible story.

Alas, life doesn’t work this way.



HOPEFULLY – used to indicate that the speaker wishes for smth to happen.

I’ll have to meet Collins in court tomorrow. Hopefully, it’ll be the last time I see him.

THANKFULLY – used to express that the speaker is glad that smth happened.

Yesterday I was pulled over for speeding. Thankfully, I didn’t get a ticket, ‘cause the deputy was my dad’s friend.

SURPRISINGLY – used to express that smth was unexpected for the speaker.

I was sure the wedding was gonna be a disaster. Surprisingly enough, it went really well.

IDEALLY – used to express that the speaker thinks of smth as the perfect outcome.

"How long is it gonna take you to finish the project?"

"Ideally, we’ll get it done by Friday."



Fillers are used to give the speaker a moment to form a thought and may be considered parasite words.


A: “So, we need to write, like, 300 pages; it’s gonna take us, let’s see, at least 20 days.”

B: “Yeah, well, that’s what I told him. And he was, like, no, not gonna wait this long.”

A: “Well, like, what does he expect? Does he think we’re, you know, just sitting around all day?”

B: “I mean, we should be grateful he gave us this job at all, you know, after hearing the way we speak.”



ANYWAY – used to change the focus of conversation or return to the initial subject.

My friend recommended me to read the book called Valliant Efforts. Have you heard of it?”

“No, I can’t say that I have. Was it written by the same guy who wrote Weak Attempts?”

“Maybe. I can’t remember the name of the author. Anyway, my friend told me that the main character reminds him of me so much that, at first, he thought that I was the author.”

BY THE WAY – used to add afterthoughts somewhat related to the topic of conversation.

Nate told me once that his dream was to go to New Zealand. By the way, do you know what happened to him?

WELL – used to slightly change the focus of conversation.

“I’m going to Hawaii next week.”

Well, you deserve a break after all this mess you’ve sorted out at work.”

Added a term  to  , Easy English

SIT ABOUT – sit somewhere doing nothing and wasting time

In any difficult situation, Florence prefers to sit about hoping somebody else will solve her problems.

SIT BACK – 1) to sit somewhere and relax; 2) to not be involved in something or stop making any efforts

Nicole sat back (1) on the sofa and prepared to watch the "show": she and Toy, her friend from college, just caught Toy's boyfriend cheating on her with another girl. While Toy and her boyfriend were quarreling, that girl just sat back (2) and let them settle the problem themselves as if she wasn’t involved at all.

SIT BY – 1) sit next to someone; 2) to refuse to stop something illegal, bad or just unpleasant from happening

My father told me to sit by (1) him. I already knew that he was going to say something like, “I can’t sit by (2) watching you ruin your life! And blah blah”.

SIT FOR – 1) to pose as a model; 2) to take care of children when their parents are out

Yan Goght invited me to his personal studio to sit for (1) a portrait. Unfortunately, I missed that opportunity because my aunt asked me to sit for (2) her children.

SIT IN – to take part in a non-violent protest where people go somewhere and stay there refusing to move

On March 27, about three hundred college students sat in to protest against tuition fee increment.

SIT IN FOR – to be a substitute for someone

Terry could easily sit in for his boss. He supposed everybody was able to perform the boss's duties - just scream at your subordinates, sign documents and steal money from the company’s budget.

SIT IN ON – to attend something (a meeting, course etc.) as a visitor or guest rather than a regular participant

As Mishel didn’t contribute significantly to the organization, he could just sit in on the meetings and listen to other participants

SIT ON – 1) to suppress or hide something; 2) to postpone dealing with something

It was revealed that Medical M sat on (1) reports showing the presence of toxic components in their medicine but the police keeps sitting on (2) the investigation of this case.

SIT OUT – 1) to refrain from taking part in something; 2) to stay till the end of the event

“I’m exhausted! I better sit this round out (1)!”

“Okay, but please, you have to stay here and sit it out (2). They gonna give us good prizes at the end of the game”

SIT THROUGH – to stay until something is finished

Lory wants to sit this boring movie through to see if the main character would stay alive or not.

SIT UP – 1) to be awake at the time you usually go to bed; 2) to suddenly show interest, excitement or just pay attention to something

I was sitting up (1) late last night drinking and watching TV when a strange sound upstairs made me sit up (2).

Added a term  to  , Easy English

PASS AROUND/ROUND – to distribute smth among those who are present

They were sitting near the fire passing around a bowl with a strange substance inside it. Everybody had to drink it, otherwise it would be disrespectful to others.

PASS AS – to look like, be accepted as or believed to be something or someone else

You have to take photos of every dish you gonna eat. Only then you may pass as an insta blogger, aha.

PASS AWAY to die

Unfortunately, the patient passed away recently. I’m sorry for your loss.

PASS BACK – to return something to someone or give something to a person or a group behind you

Psss, could you pass my note back to her? Thanks, pal.

PASS BY – 1) to move near something or someone; 2) to stop somewhere for a short visit; 3) to happen, appear or be done without being noticed; 3) to ignore/be ignored or not be used fruitfully

Today I just passed by (1) Edvard without saying anything. Last time I passed by (2) his house to talk to him, he didn’t want to listen to me. Everything I said seemed to pass him by (3). As a result, the chance to get good clients passed us by (4).

PASS DOWN – 1) to give something to the next person in a sequence; 2) to give something (especially knowledge, experience or information) to younger people, usually members of you family

While passing documents down (1) to Jim who sat near me, I noticed a ring on his middle finger. I remember that exactly the same ring has been passed down (2) in my family from father to son but it was lost two years ago.

PASS FOR – to look like, be accepted as or believed to be something or someone else

Sometimes Sophie doesn't get why these weird pieces of fabric on models pass for fashionable clothes or even art objects.

PASS OFF – 1) to make people believe that something is real; 2) to happen or pass in a particular way

Collin was terrified because he couldn't get the original painting. He hoped that this copy would pass off (1) as the real thing and that the exhibition would pass off (2) without any troubles.

PASS ON – 1) to die; 2) to give someone something (usually something that was given to you by someone else); 3) to decline, miss or reject something (e.g. a chance)

Charles passed on (1) last Friday. This became a huge tragedy for his whole family: they grieved ... the money they lost. One week ago, Charles passed all his shares on (2) to his friend Brandon - and Brandon was no fool, he decided not to pass on (3) the opportunity to get rich.

PASS OUT – 1) to distribute something; 2) to graduate or complete a course (rarely used, usually about military schools); 3) to collapse, become unconscious;

Two men were standing on the stairs passing out (1) the leaflets with the names of those who died during the last attack. When Pat got one of these leaflets, she saw a familiar name. That was her friend who had passed the medical courses out (2) with her not so long ago. The last time Pat saw her, she was helping injured soldiers in the hospital. The news made Pat feel dizzy and she passed out (3).

PASS OVER – 1) to choose someone younger or less experienced to give them a job or a reward, instead of giving it to someone who was supposed to get it; 2) to ignore something, to not talk about something

“That’s obvious that you were passed over (1) for promotion. Why’re you still working there? Just quit!”

“I won’t! Let’s pass over (2) this topic, I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

PASS UP – 1) to refuse something like an opportunity

She invited me to Selena’s concert. Although I don’t listen to this kind of music, I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend the evening with her.

Test your knowledge of phrasal verbs with 'pass' here:

Test 1

Test 2


Added a term  to  , Easy English

KNOCK ABOUT/AROUND – 1) to discuss something or exchange ideas casually; 2) to beat someone or treat someone in a brutal way; 3) to be or walk somewhere without a purpose

Fred knocked his wife about (2)! They seemed to be the perfect family. She left her husband and now she’s knocking about (3) somewhere. I pity this woman! That's why I wanted to knock an idea about (1): maybe we'll let her live with us until she finds some shelter to stay.

KNOCK BACK – 1) to drink an alcoholic beverage quickly and usually in a large amount; 2) to cost a particular amount of money; 3) to shock or surprise someone unpleasantly; 4) to make some damage or prevent from making any progress or success

Tod knocked the fourth shot of whiskey back (1) and put his head down. The new equipment he ordered just two weeks ago went out of service. Repair work would knock him back (2) a round sum of money. He didn’t expect this to happen, so this situation knocked Tod back (3). But among the consequences of unexpected equipment failure was also the fact that it would knock manufacturing back (4) and Tod would lose even more money.

KNOCK IT OFF! – a request or order to stop doing something that annoys you

Knock it off, Dennis! You’re always gluing my slippers to the floor, saying that it’s just a prank! It’s not funny anymore!

KNOCK OFF – 1) to finish your work for a day; 2) to steal something or rob a place; 3) to kill someone; 4) to quickly make a copy, usually of bad quality; 5) to reduce time, level or amount of money;

“What’s up, Francisco? You knocked off (1) early tonight”

“Yup. I knocked off (2) 3 banks. That was an easy job”

“Three? That’s … impressive. What about security?”

Knocked them off (3) without any noise. And what about you?”

“Naah, nothing interesting. Today I knocked off (4) several passports for our old clients, but they demanded to knock 10 percent off (5) the total price. Greedy bastards!”

KNOCK OUT – 1) to destroy or put something out of action; 2) to make a person unconscious; 3) to defeat someone in a game, competition etc.; 4) to impress or shock someone very much

Tigers knocked our radio communication means out (1), so I couldn’t report to my leader about their plan. Jordan knocked me out (2) in the third quarter of the military training operation. When I woke up, I was told that Tigers knocked my team out (3) and this news knocked me out (4). We totally screwed up!

KNOCK TOGETHER – 1) to construct, produce, make or assemble something quickly; 2) to strike things against each other; 3) to join two rooms or houses that previously were separated (for ex. by removing separating wall)

Jess and Lucie knocked a quick dinner together (1) and sat at the table. They knocked their mugs together (2) to celebrate the beginning of their life as a couple. Jess didn’t even have to move: she lived next door to Lucie and they just knocked their apartments together (3).

KNOCK DOWN –1) to decrease an amount, level etc.; 2) to disassemble something, destroy or demolish; 3) to strike someone and make them fall (or cause any injury or even death)

Jose Gonzalez was very absent-minded the last few days. He couldn’t find a buyer for his old house. He had nothing to do but to knock the price down (1) or knock the building down (2) and use the land instead. Jose was lost in his thoughts and didn’t notice a car moving towards him. He was almost knocked down (3) but, fortunately, a driver managed to stop just in front of the man.

KNOCK OVER – 1) to strike something or someone or brush against them and make them fall down; 2) to steal something

Hey, listen to me! You have to knock this dude over (1) and knock his wallet over (2) while pretending to help him to get up.

KNOCK UP –1) to make pregnant; 2) to make or assemble something quickly; 3) to wake someone up by knocking on the door

Poor Margie! She got knocked up (1) and her boyfriend left her! I knocked up (2) some eggs and made coffee. Please, knock Margie up (3), she’d better stop crying and eat.

Test your knowledge of phrasal verbs with 'knock' here:

Test 1

Test 2


Added a term  to  , Easy English

GROW APART – to experience changes in the relationship and become less friendly or close

Despite being very close in the past, Budin and Brumb are growing apart now. They don't share their toys anymore and can't decide who's bigger and cooler.

GROW BACK – to grow again after being cut, trimmed or damaged

You cut your hair sooo short! Aha, that looks kinda strange! Oh, don't worry, it's just hair, it'll grow back sooner or later.

GROW INTO – 1) to become big enough to fit into something (like clothes or body parts that looked too big for you); 2) to develop or mature and become something or someone as time passes

Can you imagine, Peter has finally grown into (1) his elder brother's shoes! I'm sure he’ll grow into (2) a fine man in a blink of an eye.

GROW OUT – 1) to become too large to fit into your old clothes; 2) to become too old or mature for a particular activity and stop doing it; 3) to be a result of something

“Did you gain weight again?"

“Phah, nope! I just… grew out of (1) my jeans”

“No way! It's your new jeans. This situation grew out (3) of your habit of eating your feelings

“Maybe you’re right. I hope I’ll grow out (2) of it with time and find a different way to get rid of the stress”

GROW TO – to start to do, like or feel something

I didn't even notice how I grew to like dad jokes.

GROW UP – 1) to stop being a baby or child and turn into a mature person; 2) to stop behaving and thinking like a child; 3) to start to exist and then become larger or more important;

Ethan grew up (1) in a small town with poor infrastructure. He dreamed of turning his hometown into a big urban center. Ethan's friends told him to grow up (2) and stop dreaming about impossible things. As time passed, Ethan made a fortune and started to invest in his hometown. Lots of new hospitals, kindergartens, museums, schools, and other facilities grew up (3) very fast.

GROW ON (UPON) – 1) to become more liked by someone or familiar to someone than before; 2) to gradually become more obvious

This song will grow on (1) you after a little while, I promise. Just give it a chance. Enjoyment will grow upon (2) you as you listen to it over and over again.

GROW AWAY FROM – 1) to become less friendly and close with someone or stop sharing the same interest with them; 2) to stop being dependent on someone or something

Tom and Jerry haven’t seen their father for a long time. When they were children, Tom and Jerry were very close to him but afer their mother had died, their father changed. Brothers started to gradually grow away from (1) him. At the age of 17, they decided to grow away from (2) their father and move to another city.

GROW FROM – 1) to be the result of something, to develop from something; 2) to mature

All my fears grew from (1) childhood trauma. I’m going to face them and grow from (2) it.

GROW TOGETHER – to become closer or more attached (literally and figuratively) over time

The best way to eliminate that hostility between Liam and Mason is to make them work on the same project. They'll be spending a lot of time in each other's company and eventually they'll grow together.

GROW UP ON – to do or have smth in your childhood

Hey! Elton John is the greatest singer ever! I grew up (1) on his songs!

Test your knowledge of phrasal verbs with 'grow' here:

Test 1

Test 2


Added a term  to  , Easy English

DROP AROUND – to visit a place for a short time

Well, I just think it’s a good idea to drop around Kara to see how she is doing.

DROP BACK – 1) to move slower than other people and take the position behind them; 2) to take a lower position than the opponents in any competition or race; 3) to step aside to give someone more space

Lily and James dropped back (1) and walked behind their friends who were laughing discussing the last match. They joined their hands and slowly walked along the shore.

That year Ferrari dropped back (2) and lost to Ford.

Tayler, tell the paparazzi to drop back (3)! We'll pursue legal actions against those who violate our privacy.

DROP BY – to pay a short casual visit

Cool your jets! I’ll drop by tomorrow and we’ll decide what to do together.

DROP OFF – 1) to die; 2) to decline or become less; 3) to fall asleep; 4) to transport someone or something to the destination point and leave

Since our father dropped off (1), our family business fell on hard times, our shares started to drop off (2). My brother, who now tries to solve all these problems, has not slept for several days. Yesterday he almost dropped off (3) during the meeting. Tomorrow I’ll drop off (4) some documents he needs and try to make him rest a little bit.

DROP OVER – to stop in for a short casual visit

When Camellia bumped into her old friend in the mall nearby, she invited her to drop over for a little chat.

DROP AWAY – 1) to become weaker or smaller in amount, size or value; 2) to leave or separate one by one

All parties there had the same tendency: when beer dropped away (1), people dropped away (2) too.

DROP IN – to pay an unexpected visit

Darling, I didn’t drink at all! I just dropped in at the bar to say ‘hi’ to my old friends! That’s all!

DROP OUT – 1) to stop being engaged in some activity without finishing it (usually about school); 2) to leave the society because you don’t want to live within the usual system

As far as I know, Johnny was always very different from other people. He dropped out (1) of school at 16, traveled a lot, and then decided to drop out (2) and live as an ascetic.

DROP THROUGH – to come to an end without the desired result, to fail

Everything was perfectly organized and thought out, but the plan dropped through due to a trifle that could not be foreseen.

Test your knowledge of phrasal verbs with 'drop' here:

Test 1

Test 2


Added a term  to  , Easy English

COUNT AGAINST – 1) to be disadvantageous and cause someone or something to fail or be less successful; 2) (count something against someone) to use something against someone

Don’t tell’em anything! Your words may count against (1) you and you’ll be trapped.

Tod, hurry up and come back! Jack is a cunning fellow, he’ll count your absence against (2) you.   

COUNT DOWN – to count backwards to zero, anticipating something to happen

The only reason why Lucy’s family members put their warfare aside was Christmas. That’s why Lucy started to count days down waiting excitedly for this event to come.

COUNT IN – to make someone a participant of something

Guys, if you plan to smash your rivals in the war among servers, you have to count Alex in. This dude is called Alex of Macedon in the gaming community and not without a reason.

COUNT ON/UPON – 1) to rely on somebody or something; 2) to expect or anticipate something to happen or someone to do something

Harry was the only one among us who mastered this spell, so we counted on (1) his skills and knowledge.

Everyone in this small city counted on (2) snow to fall down tonight. Otherwise, it would be the most boring winter holiday ever.

COUNT TOWARDS – to be a part that is necessary to complete something, to be included in calculation

Mili, remember that the marks you get for the project will count towards your final result.

COUNT AMONG – to make someone or something a part of a certain group or category

This square-built man standing in the corner of the room with a glass of wine counts among the most dangerous people in the criminal world.

COUNT FOR – to be of importance or particular value

Greg called her ten times after the quarrel. That has to count for something!

COUNT OFF – 1) to count somebody or something to make sure that everyone or everything is here; 2) to divide people or things into smaller groups by counting them

Kids, before we leave the building, let’s count off (1) to see if everyone is here!

We ask all participants to count off (2) by threes to form three groups.

COUNT OUT – 1) to not include someone or something in a plan or activity; 2) to think that someone or something has no chance of succeeding

What are you gonna do? You know perfectly well that it’s prohibited to be outside after 10 pm! So, count me out (1)! I won’t take any part in this mess.

real strategian knows that it’s better not to count out (2) even the weakest opponent.

COUNT UP – to count something or someone to find out how many of them are there

Sidney! We're freaking rich! Count up the money we won, there should be no less than five million dollars.

Test your knowledge of phrasal verbs with 'count' here:

Test 1

Test 2


Added a term  to  , Easy English

CAST ABOUT/AROUND FOR – to search for or think of the right thing to say or do especially when it must be done quickly

Translators and interpreters usually face the problem of casting about for an appropriate word or phrase in the target language to convey the idea of the original text.

CAST ASIDE – 1) to get rid of something or someone you don’t need, want or consider valuable; 2) to physically push or move something out of your way

Casting aside (1) toxic friends, just like casting aside (2) some trash from a path, can help you clean up your life.

CAST OFF – 1) to get rid of something or someone you don’t need, want or consider valuable; 2) to untie the ropes that hold the boat in position and sail away

Sometimes he dreamed of casting off (1) his title, which was a huge burden for him, just to cast off (2) a small boat to head towards adventures.

CAST OUT – to expel, ostracize someone

Whatever! I won’t make any efforts to join any club because sooner or later I’ll be cast out from whatever club I choose... except, maybe, the 27 Club, ahaha.

CAST UP – 1) to throw something or someone ashore (about a sea); 2) to calculate and make a total

The waves cast up (1) the flotsam and jetsam after the shipwreck.

Frankly speaking, after casting the losses up (2) I realized that we were totally screwed up.

CAST AWAY – 1) to be abandoned or left somewhere after a shipwreck; 2) to throw away

If you remember the story about Robinson who was cast away (1) on a desert island, you should also understand that it’s better not to cast seemingly unuseful things away (2).

Test your knowledge of phrasal verbs with 'cast' here:

Test 1

Test 2


Added a term  to  , Easy English

KEEP AROUND – to continue to have something near you

Mr.Grey grabbed Mr.Purple's collar and grinned: “Don't even expect that I will let you leave. It’s better to keep you around to make sure you don't get us into a mess again"

KEEP AT – to continue to do or try something even if you want to stop

We still expect P. P. Fartin to keep at writing his books despite a very, very, very long hiatus.

KEEP AWAY – to prevent something or someone from coming closer, to avoid something

Almost every horror movie has a spooky old house that is told to be a place where many people died. But, of course, the main character will go there alone at night, instead of keeping away from it.

KEEP BACK – 1) to hide any information or feelings and emotions from someone; 2) to not come closer to something or someone; 3) to prevent something or someone from having any progress; 4) to keep a part of something to use it at a later time

I suspected that the inspector kept something back (1) about Jackson's death but I couldn't prove it since the police made everybody keep back (2) from the crime scene. The lack of evidence kept my investigation back (3). The only thing I knew was that Jackson kept back (4) about half of the money his gang stole a month earlier.

KEEP DOWN – 1) to not stand straight, to hide; 2) to decrease a noise level; 3) to prevent someone to have much freedom, to control them; 4) to control the number, level or size of something and not allow it to increase; 5) to stop from making any progress

My friends, let's stop to keep down (1)! For many years we've been forced to keep our voices down  (2) and not to speak about things we've not been satisfied with. For decades we've been like slaves whose masters kept them down (3) and punished for disobeying. And today, it's impossible for them to keep the number of angry people down (4). We must become braver and nothing can keep us down (5) now, we will achieve what we want!

KEEP FROM  – *keep something from somebody 1) to hide some information or feelings from someone; *keep somebody from something 2) to prevent somebody or oneself from doing something; * to keep something from something 3) to not let something happen

It was blindingly obvious that Calmy kept this news from (1) Spunky to keep him from (2) breaking into the head office and making a scandal. This situation should be kept from (3) escalating.

KEEP IN – 1) to stay indoors, especially as a punishment or a necessity (in a hospital); 2) to hide emotions and feelings

The doctors said my father had to be kept in (1) for a month or two. My father didn’t say anything but I saw him keeping his fear in (2).

KEEP IN WITH – to maintain a good, friendly relationship with someone for one’s own benefit

Mr. Stupit, despite the family name wasn't proud of, understood 3 important things very well: 1) he should never be late; 2) he should keep abreast of all the rumors and news in the office, but never take any sides 3) he should keep in with his boss no matter what.

KEEP OFF –1) to not fall down (about precipitations); 2) to not go to a particular place; 3) to prevent someone/oneself or something from touching something; 4) to avoid talking about something

It is a pretty calm month for the citizens of Armageddon: the toxic rain keeps off (1) during this period. Nevertheless, everyone tries to keep off (2) the roofless places. Just in case. Everyone of them remembers well what may happen if you don't keep yourself off (3) the poisoned raindrops. Lots of people became victims of the toxic precipitations and now citizens try to keep off (4) the subject of this tragedy.

KEEP ON –1) to continue to talk in a very annoying manner (prep. at someone); 2) to continue to perform any type of activity, continue to happen

Rosie is keeping on about her bestie. It’s driving me crazy because, IMHO, Rosie’s friend isn’t soooo cool to keep on talking about her.

KEEP OUT – to continue staying outside or prevent someone from entering

Oh, my sis invited her crush to our place. So, I better keep out of it for half an hour.

KEEP TO – 1) to do what you planned, promised or were supposed to do; 2) not deviate from the topic /subject of the conversation; 3) to follow a necessary direction, not moving away from the path

The old master Shi Fu taught his student to follow two rules: to keep to (1) a timetable and keep to (2) the subject of a conversation as a wayfarer who keeps to (3) his path. These two rules encourage a high sense of responsibility and the ability to conduct a dialogue wisely.

KEEP UP – 1) to maintain something at a high level; 2) to continue happening or doing something without interruption; 3) to prevent somebody from going to bed

The drought keeps the prices on vegetables up (1). Let’s just hope the rainy weather keeps up (2) for a couple more days. And now, grandpa, I don't want to keep you up (3) talking about our business problems. Just take a rest, everything will be fine.

KEEP UP WITH – 1) to move at the same (usually high) speed as smth; 2) to be up-to-date with smth;  3) to stay in contact with someone;

When I was a kid, I couldn't keep up with (1) my big brother who walked too fast. And now I can't keep up with (2) what’s happening in this crazy world, even though I want to. That's why I need to keep up with (3) my old friends to share the news about the latest events.

Test your knowledge of phrasal verbs with 'keep' here:

Test 1

Test 2


Added a term  to  , Easy English

RUN ACROSS – to find / meet / encounter smth by accident.

I ran across my childhood diary when I was looking for my birth certificate.

RUN AFTER – to chase smth or sb (both literally and figuratively)

“He should stop running after her, she doesn’t deserve him.”

“Yeah, at this point his obsession is getting ridiculous. I’m still cringing when I think about how he ran after her car when she was leaving for the airport.”

RUN AGAINST – to compete against someone (esp. in the elections)

This year, Paul Amory runs against Mona Gummy for State Senate.

RUN ALONG – to go away in haste.

Don’t bother making coffee for me, I’ll be running along in a minute.

RUN AROUND – 1) to run unsystematically over some area 2) to be very busy doing a lot of stuff (esp. in different locations)

The Throngs took their son to his great parents, so that he could run around (1) in the backyard, while they are running around (2), getting things done for the party.

RUN AWAY – 1) to (secretly) leave a place where you don’t want to be (to escape) 2) to avoid dealing with smth unpleasant

Marty ran away (1) from home because he thought it would help him run away (1) from his problems.

RUN BY – to share your thoughts, ideas, projects with someone whose opinion/approval you want or need to hear

I will need to run this plan by Mr. Mighty first.

RUN DOWN – 1) to hit someone on the road while driving a vehicle 2) to make smth gradually stop working or become smaller (e.g. abt. business) 3) to read the items on a list quickly

After Jenkins ran a kid down (1) with his car, the public was ready to do anything to run his factories down (2). But you know, I recently had a chance to run down (3) the list of all the horrible things he’s done before that accident, and I am surprised no one tried to destroy him earlier.

RUN FOR – 1) to take part in the elections as a candidate 2) to run somewhere very quickly to escape from smth

“Did you know that Doddy Poll is running for (1) president this year?”

“Oh, God, I think we all need to run for (2) cover…”

RUN INTO – 1) to meet someone by chance 2) to hit smth/sb with a vehicle

I ran into (1) Olly at the bar last night. He said his father was arrested for running into (2) a shop window with his car while being drunk.

RUN OFF – 1) to leave a place (or a person) suddenly/unexpectedly 2) to make someone leave by force

My dad ran off (1) when I was 10. If he ever comes to my doorstep, I will run him off (2) with a broomstick.

RUN OFF WITH – 1) to (secretly) leave with a lover 2) to (secretly) flee with smth stolen

When Kira ran off (1) with Mikey, Hal took it surprisingly well. But when he found out that they’d run off (2) with his family heirloom, he was furious.

RUN OUT OF – to finish a supply of smth

Oh no, we’ve run out of coffee, how am I supposed to survive this day without it?

RUN OVER – to hit someone with a vehicle

Three people were run over by a bus on this street yesterday.


RUN THROUGH – 1) to explain smth quickly 2) to practice smth again to make sure you can nail it 3) to be felt or uttered by everyone in a crowd (abt. a feeling or a sound) 4) to pierce sb with smth sharp

First, I’ll run through (1) our plan for tomorrow, then we’ll run through (2) the dance again. Shudders must run through (3) the audience while you’re dancing. And after the dance, they must feel as if you’ve just run a knife through (4) their hearts!

RUN TO – to ask sb for help (esp. if it makes you look weak)

So whatcha gonna do, loser? You gonna run to your mommy?

RUN UP AGAINST – to encounter/experience problems/difficulties

We were running up against countless problems when we just started filming the show.