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7 Simple Phrasal Verbs and Idioms
November 18, 2010


It's the 18th of November and I am embarrassed to be sending the November issue of the newsletter so late.

It is so late in fact, that I am almost sending it out on my birthday! 4 days I will be turning...28!

So to celebrate my birthday I would like to make you a promise.

Here we go: I promise to send the newsletter in the first week of every month from now on!

That way you can expect it in your inbox on a regular basis not on the 1st then the 20th and then the 15th and then the 7th.

I will send you your free newsletter between the 1st and 7th of every month. :)

Thank you for your patience everyone.

Now let's look at this month's newsletter, which is dealing with phrasal verbs and idioms!

What are these people doing in the photos?
How would you describe each photo?
Can you think of a phrasal verb to describe these actions?

I'm sure that you thought of several phrasal verbs but the two specific ones I am thinking about are to draw up (a contract) and to cut back. I will explain these below.

Note: If you said "cut up" you are correct as well. That is the physical action in the 2nd picture. To cut back is more the intention. He is cutting up his credit cards in order to cut back his spending.

Phrasal Verb or Idiom Definition Example in Context
To draw up a contract to make/write a contract The lawyer spent several hours drawing up a better contract.
To cut back to use fewer or use less of something. My sister is cutting back on her expenses so she wont be able to eat out so often.
To figure something out to find an answer by thinking about the problem. Everyone is trying to figure out how to end the economic crisis.
The face value of something the official value or worth of something. The face value of the car was much lower than what the man was asking.
To cut one's losses to do something in order to stop loosing money/time or anything of value. When we saw that the stock market was not doing well, we cut our losses and sold our shares in the company.
Fair play Justice or equal/correct action toward others. The company is very good to work for as they always use fair play when they are bargaining with their employees.
To fill the bill to be exactly what is needed. The new computer should fill the bill for our accountant.

Let's Use them in Context!

Last year my company started to cut back on social programs which ment that I could no longer afford to leave my daughter at a nearby daycare center. This dramatically changed my schedule, as I had to drive an extra 30 minutes to the cheaper day-care every morning and evening.

After a month and a half I decided to cut my loses and look for a new job. I couldn't handle the stress any longer. Looked for a job for 2 weeks and was really excited when I found a job working for a pharmaceutical company close to home. The company lawyer drew up a contract for me to consider over the weekend.

At face value it looked wonderful but I noticed they didn't cover day-care costs. I went back to the company director and voiced my concerns and he agreed that we could figure something out.

In the end I filled the bill for the position perfectly, so the company made an exception in my case and is now covering 60% of my day-care costs.

Some people might say that the company shouldn't be paying for my daycare costs but I say that other people receive bonuses and that this is fair play.

So that is it for now!

I hope you have enjoyed this topic: "Phrasal Verbs and Idioms in the Office" and if you have any comments or would like to say something about this newsletter please send me a message via this form.

All the best,


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