Muddle along: continue in confusion.
e.g. Without clear instructions, some employees simply muddled along.
Muddle around: work inefficiently.
e.g. Many employees were laid off because they were muddling around.
Screw around with: play around with, usually not doing anything positive (slang).
e.g. Don’t screw around with that guy and waste your time!
Screw up: mess up; spoil.
e.g. See, you’ve screwed up my plan! I wish you hadn’t come.
Touch on: mention briefly.
e.g. The professor barely touched on the subject of Civil War.
Touch up: repair.
e.g. Can you touch up the scratches on the door?
Appeal against: ask a court to cancel something.
e.g. The lawyer appealed against the court’s decision.
Appeal for: demand as a right.
e.g. I think we should appeal for justice.
e.g. They are appealing for our help.
Appeal to: attract or please someone.
e.g. The proposal appealed to many of us.
e.g. Her personality appeals to everybody around her.
e.g. Does this food appeal to your taste?
Gouge out: cheat someone out of something.
e.g. Don’t try to gouge some money out of that poor old man.
Answer for: be responsible for.
e.g. You will have to answer for your mistakes.
Answer to: explain or justify for.
e.g. You will have to answer to the judge for what you did.
Inch across: creep slowly across.
e.g. The injured dog inched across the bridge.
Inch back: go back slowly.
e.g. The army inched back as we fired our guns.
Inch over: move back a little.
e.g. Can you inch over a little? I can’t get in
Ground in: instruct.
e.g. We should ground our children in love and values as they grow up.
Ground on: form a foundation for.
e.g. His intelligence was grounded on reading books on wisdom.
Let down: disappoint.
e.g. I put my hope on you; don't let me down.
Let out: release.
e.g. Don't let out your anger on me!
e.g. He was let out of prison after he was found not guilty of the crime.
Let up: decrease in intensity.
e.g After a while, the rain let up.
Hand down: deliver; leave as an inheritance.
e.g. We have handed down all the information to our associates.
e.g. When he dies, he will hand down his business to his family, and not before.
Hand in: submit.
e.g. I have handed in my resignation; tomorrow will be my last day in the office.
Hand over: yield control of.
e.g. The manager has handed over the human resources section to the assistant manager.
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau