Phrasal-Verbs – Letter F

–  Phrasal-Verbs & Verb Phrases – Letter F  –


  • (to) Face (one’s) Fears – This is a term which means to confront one’s fears with the intent of overcoming them…

“I used to be afraid of the dark but *I faced my fear* by spending a night in the forest with no fire, and now I am no longer afraid of the dark.”  –  (See Also:  (to) Overcome (one’s) Fears“)

  • (to) Face The Music – This is an idiomatic verb phrase which is used to describe a situation wherein, one has done something wrong and must submit to an authority to find out how they will be punished, or at least has to deal with a very uncomfortable situation that can not be avoided…

“The outlaws were on the run for many years but knew that they could no longer hide, so they decided to turn themselves in and face the music.”  –  (See Also:  “(to) Turn (one’s self) In“)

  • (to) Fail Upward – This is a phrasal verb to describe the incredibly illogical but all-to-common situation of people in politics and big business, who (presumably because of family and personal connections and from likely selling their soul to the devil) have a long history of absolutely failing a certain jobs and positions, like mayor, governor, senator, CEO, Vice President, President, Chairman, etc. and still manage to get promoted or move to positions of higher authority and status.

  • (to) Fake It ’til You Make – This verb phrase is both a philosophy and an aphorism.  It is used to express the ideology that if a person is not a certain way (usually “successful”, “powerful”, “confident”, etc.) then if a person fakes it (pretends as if they are that way) then eventually they will make it (achieve that state of being or quality.)

  • (to) Fill (a/the) Gap – Since the word “gap” is figuratively used to refer to some “difference” or “discrepancy” between two things or ideas, this then, is an idiomatic verb phrase used to describe some thing/idea/philosophy/process which serves to make that difference or discrepancy smaller or less pronounced…

“I think that one of the greatest things about Disney Land and Disney Word, is that visiting a place like that, helps to fill the gap between old and young, as places like that are fun for people of all ages.”  –  (Also note that, this phrase is simply a less common form of the phraseBridge The Gap“)

  • (to) Find (a) Common Ground – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb referring to negotiations or any sort of communications or cooperations between two or more parties,  and meaning:  To find something in common between the involved parties which is used as a form of leverage or a tool used to bring the two parties “closer” or at least to a point of working together.

  • (to) Flex (ones) Muscle – This is a phrasal verb which is used figuratively to say that (someone or some group) is using (his/her/it’s/their) power and authority strictly as a show of that authority.  This is usually done out of insecurity to make a point but usually never has the affect that the (one or group) doing it thinks it does, as it is usually very obvious that that is the intention…

“The United States likes to Flex It’s Muscle by sending aircraft carriers to the shores of whatever country it somehow wants to control.”

  • (to) Flounder – This is phrasal verb phrase which means to do something in a very confused and disorganized way and to not really accomplish much.  A “Flounder” is a fish, so if you can imagine taking a fish out of water and the way it flops around with almost no chance of making it back into the water – this is where the phrase comes from…

“He floundered in his career for years before discovering the key to his success.”

  • (to) Follow Suit – This is an Idiomatic Phrasal-Verb which is used to mean:  To do whatever others in a certain situation are doing – to do what is considered “suitable”.  Interestingly enough, this does not mean, to do what is “right” or “proper” or even to do what is logical, but to act in a way as to not cause any confrontation or to spark criticism from those who might judge one for doing something different…

“Well, it didn’t really seem like a good idea to completely lie about the situation at the time, but that is what everyone else was doing, but rather than simply follow suit, I decided to resign from my position.”  (true story)

  • Foot-Dragging – See:  Phrasal Nouns – Letter “F”, for “Foot”  –  (Although the word, “dragging” appears to be a verb in the continuous or progressive form, and it is hyphenated with the word “foot” making it appear to fit on this page, the word “dragging” is actually in the gerund form, making this term function as a noun.)

  • (to) Forgive and Forget – This phrasal verb is more literal than most.  It’s a phrase we use to mean to forgive completely.  Some people say that they forgive someone but then they might bring up that event again in the future to use against that person.  That is not “forgetting” and actually it is not fully “forgiving” either…

“The only way to ever move forward with your life, after someone has betrayed you is to forgive and forget.  Usually the other person is not worth the energy you spend being mad at them.”


–  ( Phrasal-VerbsLetter F )  –


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