Phrasal-Verbs – Letter C (With Prepositions)

–  Prepositional Phrasal-Verbs – Letter C  –


  • (to) “Bite Off More Than (One) Can Chew – This Idiomatic Phrasal Verb can also be turned into an Aphorism, an Interjection, a Proverb, and a Saying – and can be explained as thus:  As there is only a certain amount of food that one person can “chew”, and if one tries to “bite off” more than he or she can “chew”, he or she will end up in a difficult situation and/or will end up wasting (whatever it is he or she is chewing).  So…  Idiomatically, it is used to give the advice that:

“One should not accept or take-on more than One has the capacity and ability to handle at any given moment in time, or in any specific situation”…

If this advice is not heeded, the outcome may not be terrible, but it certainly will not be optimal.  –   Read the Full Post Here

  • (to) Carry Out (something) – This is a phrasal verb which is used to  mean the same thing as “do” but is most often used with the words “plan” or “action”…  So to *carry out* some plan, simply means to do the necessary actions OF that plan.

  • (to) Catch Up On (Something) – This is an Idiomatic Prepositional Phrasal Verb which is used to describe when one has not stayed “current” with something (information, sleep, watching one’s favorite TV show, etc.) and then needs to become current again (catch up on) with that information or activity…  “I was on vacation, and didn’t check my email for almost two weeks.  It’s going to take me at least a week to catch up on all the messages in my in-box.”

  • (to) Catch Up On Sleep – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which (though the truth of the subject is debated) is used to describe when a person sleeps longer on a certain occasion because s/he did not get enough sleep previously…  “I was so busy all week, that I really need to *catch up on some sleep*.”  –  (Notice also the use of the quantifier “some”.  This phrase is almost always used with that word.)

  • (to) Cheat (someone) Out Of Some Money – This is an idiomatic verb phrase only because of the prepositionout“.  Otherwise this phrase is pretty “straightforward“.  It is one of the many different ways of talking about stealing from someone.  However this is done in a way that the person (who is being cheated) does not realize that he or she is being cheated.  In fact, in most cases (like a dishonest business proposal or investment scheme) the person being cheated often thinks that they will actually be making a good investment, but only find out later that they had been fooled.

  • (to) Cheer (Someone) Up – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Phrasal-Verb which is means:  To do or say something which is meant to improve the mood of someone who is not very happy.  Since the word “Cheer” is synonymous with “Happiness”, and “Up” is a preposition which is often used to imply or indicate an improvement or increase in something – then this phrase means:

“To increase someone’s happiness…  somehow.”

  • (to) Chime In – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which means to semi-politely interrupt a discussion in order to express an opinion or add information on some point.  This phrase is almost always used in the form of a question in order to actually do the interrupting…  “…Excuse me, if I could just *chime in* for a moment…”  –  “…Pardon the interruption, but I just need to *chime in* here quickly…” – (Note Also:  This phrase is almost always used to imply that whatever the person is going to *chime in* about is a very quick point and maybe something important that the others in the discussion over-looked or neglected.)

  • (to) Close Down – this is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to talk about stopping; ending; finishing something and can be used to mean either temporarily or permanently (depending on the situation)…  “The highway has been *closed down* because a bridge collapsed and there is no other way around it.” (temporary)  –  “The business was *closed down* because the new owner didn’t listen to his manager and ultimately failed because he was an idiot.” (permanent)

  • (to) Come Across (something) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to mean:  To meet someone or something unexpectedly or when when not looking for it or them directly…  “When I was searching through the boxes at my grandmothers’ house, I *came across* some very interesting photographs of my grandfather with J. Edgar Hoover.”

  • (to) Come Clean (about something) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which means: to be honest about something which one had previously been lying about or had somehow kept a secret.  This phrase probably has it’s origin in Christian beliefs as to be a “sinner” was also associated with being “dirty”.  And to “confess” one’s “sins” meant that the person could miraculously be “washed clean” simply by the priest saying so (along with some other minor tasks used to ensure that the person who was forgiven still felt a modicum of guilt for the incident…  “The editor had to *come clean* about the fact that he had not even proof-read the material before publishing it – which ultimately made his company look bad, caused a lot of confusion with the clients, and a great deal of frustration for the employees who were stuck trying to explain it.”

  • (to) Come From A Long Line Of (something) – This is a phrase that we use when many people in the same family or group do the same thing (usually a profession.)…  “I *come from a long line of* visionary thinkers.  My father was an artist, his father was a philosopher, and his father before him was an artist, a philosopher and an inventor…  and I’m what many people call, “a little bit crazy” :D.”

  • (to) Come To A Consensus (on/about something) – This is an idiomatic verb phrase which means to “achieve” an agreement with others in a situation wherein everyone involved agrees or at least concedes.  “Consensus” implies that everyone agrees, and (to) “Come to” implies that the process of achieving the outcome was similar to a journey and that the “place” of agreement is almost like the end of a journey (whether everyone is completely happy or not.)…  “Though not everyone got exactly what he or she wanted, we were finally able to come to a consensus on how to divide the left-over food and alcohol from the employee party.”

  • (to) Come To Grips With/About – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Verb Phrase which is used to mean:  “To understand, comprehend, and finally accept some some information, which is either hard to comprehend, hard to believe, or hard accept”.  The phrase means the same thing with either the preposition “with” or “about”, but it is more common to use “with”…

“People all around the world are finally coming to grips with the fact that their governments do not, have not, and will not ever give a shit about them; and that voting for new leaders is a waste of time.  They will never stop being slave-masters to the mass of sheep which they see the people as.”

  • (to) Come Up With (something) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which means:  To think of, create, find, produce something…  “How did you manage to *come up with* such a brilliant idea in such a short time?”

  • (to) Cool Down – This phrase can be used literally to talk about resting in order to decrease one’s body heat after physical excursion of some sort, or to reduce the temperature of something (food, molten glass, the barrel of a gun, etc.) – However this phrase is also, often-times, used idiomatically to refer to relaxing in a way to *cool down* one’s emotional “temperature”.  In other words, if a person is getting very “Stressed Out” or angry about something, he or she may need to take a moment to *cool down* so that he or she does not “Lose It” and do something drastic.

  • (to) Cope With (something) – This is a phrasal verb which means:  To “deal” with or “handle” a situation which is stressful or just not very pleasant, and unfortunately, can not be avoided…  “*Coping with* the pressures of having a high work-load and not enough of a labor-force is a common problem for many business owners.”

  • (to) Count On (someone / something) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to mean the same thing as to “rely on” or “depend on”; to put one’s trust into something or someone…

“I was counting on you to actually do what you said you were going to.  I guess the only person I can count on is myself.”

  • (to) Crack Down On (something) – This is an idiomatic verb phrase which is used to mean:  To become very strict about something.  This phrase is usually used by police and politicians to talk about becoming very tough on and strict about the punishment of people who break some rules or commit some crimes…  “Organized crime and politics can barely be separated anymore, so when the politicians say they are going to *crack down on* corruption, they are most-likely lying.”  –  (See Also:  (to) Crack The Whip”)

  • (to) Cross (something) Off The List – Literally speaking, this phrasal verb is used to describe when you erase, put a line through, or somehow mark (“cross off”) something on a list of things to do as being finished/completed.  Figuratively, this means the same thing but becomes figurative because there may not actually be a physical list or act of “crossing” the thing “off” of it.

  • (to) Cut Through The Bullshit – This is a phrasal verb which means:  to eliminate all of the unnecessary and detrimental aspects of whatever situation one is referring to…  “It’s time to *cut through the bullshit* and finally get rid of these politicians and so-called “leaders” who are nothing but liars and criminals.”

  • (to) Cut Through The Clutter – This phrase is very similar to:  “(to) Cut Through The Bullshit” however this is a bit more focused as it is usually referring to unnecessary information that is causing confusion…  “We really just need to *cut through the clutter* and only focus on the situation at hand.  We will deal with all other issues after we complete this more important task.”

  • (to) Cut To The Chase – This is one of those idiomatic verb phrases which doesn’t seem to make any logical sense.  This is because it has absolutely nothing to do with chasing or cutting, and what it is used to mean is not even closely related.  This phrase is also often used as an interjection to mean:  Eliminate all of the un-necessary talk & action, and go straight to the most important part of something…  “There’s no point in beating around the bush, so *I’ll just cut to the chase*…  It turns out, that Darth Vader really IS your father.” > “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  • (to) Be In Charge Of – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to describe the things which are one’s responsibility and the things which that person is expected to take control of…  “In my job, I’m *in charge of* training all the new employees that come into my department.”

–  ( Phrasal-VerbsLetter C )  –

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