Phrasal Verbs in News

Phrasal verbs are generally used in spoken English and informal texts, but they can be found in news reports as well. Such phrasal verbs are not too informal, and that’s why they are not at odds with news style. You can use them if you write in the same style, or if you have to give speeches, lectures or presentations. The phrasal verbs should be perfectly fine in business settings too. So, here is our list of phrasal verbs used in recent news (source: BBC News):

# 1

MPs who want to stop a no-deal Brexit will seek to (= try to (formal)) bring forward legislation against it this week.

To bring something forward is to announce plans or ideas officially so that people can discuss them: to bring forward a new idea, a proposal, a discussion, measures, etc.: 1. We need to bring forward proposals for consideration. 2. The Government will bring forward these measures. 3. Technology companies can undertake research and development to bring forward new technologies or adapt existing ones to new circumstances.

# 2

Opposition MPs are expected to put forward legislation to stop no deal.

Putting something forward is similar to bringing something forward. It means to offer an idea, opinion, reason etc., especially so that people can discuss it and make a decision: 1. Proposals and timelines were put forward during a follow-up meeting on 20 July. 2. He stressed that all questions they might have should be put forward without further delay. 3. Costa Rica is determined to meet the objectives put forward in the four main areas.

# 3

Cabinet minister Michael Gove refused to guarantee that the government would abide by it if it passed.

To abide by a rule, decision, or instruction is to follow it: 1. We must abide by these regulations. 2. We should abide by the moratorium. 3. I must abide by the obligations.

# 4 

The Queen’s Speech sets out a list of laws the government hopes to get approved by Parliament.

To set something out is to explain, describe, or arrange something in a clear and detailed way, especially in writing: 1. In his report he sets out his plans for the department. 2. We need to set out the objectives. 3. They have set out the criteria.

# 5 

Hezbollah has threatened to carry out an attack against Israel.

If you carry out a threat, task, or instruction, you do it or act according to it: 1. We will carry out the project. 2. Let’s carry out the plan. 3. An investigation is being carried out by the prison governor.

# 6 

Many retailers say they have little choice but to pass on the cost to shoppers.

To pass something on to someone – to make someone who is buying something from you pay for the cost of something: 1. The retailer is forced to pass these extra costs on to the customer. 2. Any increase in our costs will have to be passed on to the consumer. 3. The car industry is too competitive to pass higher costs along to customers.

# 7 

Since talks broke down back in May, the position of both sides has hardened.

If a discussion (or a relationship) breaks down, it stops being successful: 1. At one point, the talks broke down completely. 2. Dislocation can be traumatic if these relationships break down. 3. It is unthinkable that negotiations should break down over issues such as these.

# 8

More than 200 footwear firms said the new duties would drive up costs for consumers.

To drive up a price/amount is to make it rise to a higher level: 1. The government’s policies are driving up interest rates. 2. Every day we burn fossil fuels in our cars, our homes and our power stations, continuing to drive up the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases at a dangerous rate.

pexels-photo-187041

They should stop driving up the prices!

# 9 

The second phase of 15% tariffs will be rolled out on the remainder of Chinese goods not previously affected.

To roll out is to introduce (e.g. a new product): 1. On Thursday Microsoft rolls out its new operating system. 2. Australia will roll out the prototype of its new jet fighter in January. 3. We are happy to roll out the new service.

# 10

Mrs. Merkel plans to step down as chancellor in 2021.

To step down (= step aside) is to leave an official position or job, especially so that someone else can take your place: 1. The manager announced he is stepping aside. 2. The chairman was forced to step down due to ill health. 3. Sandra stepped down as treasurer.

# 11

The park, set up in 1984, houses three geothermal stations.

To set up is to start something such as a business, organization, or institution: 1. The group plans to set up an import business. 2. Rebels have set up an independent state within the country. 3. The Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs had, among other measures, set up institutions to protect orphans and children with disabilities.

# 12

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took his maiden Formula 1 victory after holding off Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes to win the Belgian Grand Prix.

To hold somebody off is to stop an opponent from starting to win or lead: 1. The bunkers were built on the cliffs to hold off the enemy’s landing forces. 2. Not even a gun could hold him off forever. 3. At that point our troops were too weak to hold them off.

# 13 

Andy was doing a sports science degree at the time, but amid the grief he dropped out.

To drop out is to leave something such as an activity, school, or competition before you have finished what you intended to do: 1. She was injured in the first round and had to drop out. 2. Too many students drop out of college after only one year. 3. Many students drop out before completing their course of study.

# 14

He ended up spending the next 10 years as a monk.

To end up is to be in a particular place or state after doing something or because of doing it: 1. Somehow they all ended up at my house. 2. I ended up spending the night in the airport. 3. You’ll just end up with more problems to fix down the road.

# 15

None of them really knew what to make of it.

If you ask a person what they make of something, you want to know what their impression, opinion, or understanding of it is: 1. I don’t know what to make of our new teacher. 2. What do you make of this news? 3. Nancy wasn’t sure what to make of Mick’s apology.

Did you like the post? Check out “English in News” for similar content. Thank you for reading!

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