27 phrasal verbs for the Olympic Games – Online English Lessons

The London 2012 Olympic Games starts on the 27th July 2012 and ends on 12th August 2012.

The 2012 Paralympic Games starts on 29th August 2012 and ends 9th September 2012.

Athletes from 250 different countries will compete in 26 Olympic sports and 20 Paralympic sports.

Ten facts about the Olympic Stadium (from the BBC)

London is a multicultural city of approximately seven million people; 200 different ethnic communities, and over 300 different languages. Visitors come to London from all over the world.

London has 22 national museums and more than 200 other museums; it has 900 bookshops (twice as many as New York); 32,000 music performances and 17,000 theatrical performances a year; 85% of the UK’s fashion designers are based in London; and the new Wembley football stadium is the largest footabll stadium in the world. (source london.gov.uk)

Nelson Mandela said “I can’t think of a better place than London to hold an event that unites the world”.

Hosting the 2012 Olympics is an exciting time in the UK and I’m looking forward to watching the events on television πŸ™‚

I’ve put together a list of Olympic-related phrasal verbs especially for this unique event πŸ™‚

♦ bend over backwards – to bend over backwards is to try very hard to do something to help or please someone.

Example of use:

The Olympic gymnasts will be bending over backwards to put on a good show for the spectators.

♦ big up – to big up somebody or something is to enthusiastically give someone or something praise; sometimes giving them more praise than they deserve.

Informal English.

Example of use:

The Olympic committee have really bigged up the London 2012 Games – I hope they live up to our expectations.

♦ blow away

1. To blow away is to easily defeat or to be much better than a rival person or company.

Example of use:

The boxer blew away his rivals and won the gold medal for his country.

2. If something blows you away, it makes you feel amazed or very impressed.

Example of use:

You’ll be blown away by the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

This phrasal verb has other meanings.

♦ break down – if you break down you give way to your feelings and start to cry.

Examples of use:

a) She broke down when she realized she had broken the world record.

b) The gold medallist broke down when his country’s national anthem started.

This phrasal verb has other meanings.

♦ breeze through – to breeze through something is to do something, or succeed at something, very easily or confidently (also sail through)

Example of use:

They breezed through the semi-finals into the finals.

This phrasal verb has an additional meaning.

♦ bubble over – to bubble over means to be very happy and excited about something. You are so excited that you can’t contain your excitement.

Example of use:

She’s bubbling over with excitement because she’s been chosen to carry the Olympic torch through her village.

♦ build up to – to build up to something is to gradually prepare yourself, or someone else, for a particular occasion or event.

Example of use:

The Olympic athletes have been building up to the Olympics by training hard every day.

♦ bulk up – to bulk up something (or bulk something up) is to gain weight, or to develop bigger muscles.

Example of use:

The weightlifters have been bulking up in the gym.

♦ cash in on – to cash in on something is to benefit or make money from an event or situation, often in an unfair way.

Example of use:

Many businesses are cashing in on the Olympic games.

♦ fall behind – to fall behind (somebody) is to fail to remain level with a group of people that is moving forwards

Example of use:

He fell behind the other runners after only 200 metres.

♦ fall down / fall over – to fall down or fall over is to fall to the ground from an upright position.

Example of use:

The marathon runner fell over.

♦ give up – To give up something (or give something up) is to stop doing something because it is too difficult for you to continue.

Example of use:

She wanted to finish the race but she had to give up when she injured her leg.

This phrasal verb has additional meanings.

♦ hot up – if something hots up it becomes more lively, interesting or exciting.

Colloquial British English.

Example of use:

The battle for the gold medal in the men’s cycling race is hotting up.

♦ jump at – if you jump at something you enthusiastically accept the opportunity to do or have something.

Example of use:

He jumped at the chance to be in the Olympic hurdle team.

♦ kick off – to kick off is to start.

Informal English.

Example of use:

The 2012 Olympic Games kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony.

This phrasal verb has additional meanings.

♦ knock out

1. To knock out a person or team in a competition is to defeat them so they have to stop taking part.

Example of use:

The British team was knocked out on the second day of the competition.

2. To knock someone out is to hit them so hard that they become unconscious.

Example of use:

He knocked out his opponent in the tenth round of the men’s bantam weight Olympic boxing match.

♦ leap at – to leap at something is to eagerly accept the opportunity or chance to do or have something

Example of use:

She leapt at the opportunity to represent her country in the long jump.

♦ line up – when people or things line up, they form a row.

Example of use:

The sprinters lined up at the starting line.

This phrasal verb has additional meanings.

♦ live up to – to live up to is to be as good as someone hopes or expects. If someone or something lives up to people’s expectations, they are as good as they are expected to be.

Example of use:

The Olympic athletes hope they will live up to their countries’ expectations.

♦ look up to – to look up to somebody is to respect and admire them.

Example of use:

Young people can look up to Olympic athletes as positive role models.

♦ pack out – to pack out somewhere (or pack somewhere out) is to fill a place with people.

British English.

If a place is packed out (adjective) it is full of people.

Example of use:

The football stadium was packed out.

♦ rained off – if an outside event or activity is rained off (always passive) it cannot start, or it has to be stopped, because it is raining.

Example of use:

The tennis match was rained off.

♦ scrape into – to scrape into (or scrape in) is to be accepted somewhere, or to achieve a position, but with a lot of difficulty or by a very small number of points or votes.

Example of use:

The marathon runner beat her rival by one second, and scraped into first place.

♦ sell out – to sell out of something is to sell all of it and have no more left for people to buy.

Example of use:

Tickets for the beach volleyball are selling out fast.

♦ step up – to step up something (or step something up) is to do more of an activity, work harder at it, or increase the level or strength of something in order to improve a situation.

Example of use:

Olympic organizers step up anti-doping tests for the 2012 Olympics.

♦ warm up – to warm up is to prepare for serious physical activity by doing some gentle exercise.

Example of use:

He injured his leg because he didn’t warm up properly before the race.

A warm-up (noun) is preparation for serious physical activity.

This phrasal verb has additional meanings.

♦ work out – to work out is to exercise your body in order to improve your fitness, strength and appearance.

Example of use:

The athletes work out every day.

Will you be watching the London 2012 Olympic Games?

Have you been to an Olympic Games in a different country?