1. Linking verb [v-n] there is / are to exist; to be present: Is there a God? Once upon a time there was a princess … I tried phoning but there was no answer. There’s a bank down the road.
2. [V + adv. / Prep.] To be located; to be in a place: The town is three miles away. If you’re looking for your file, it’s on the table. Mary’s upstairs.
3. [V + adv. / Prep.] To happen at a time or in a place: The party is on Friday evening. The meetings are always in the main conference room.
4. [V + adv. / Prep.] To remain in a place: She has been in her room for hours. They’re here till Christmas.
5. [V + adv. / Prep.] To attend an event; to be present in a place: I’ll be at the party. He’ll be here soon (= will arrive soon).
6. [V + adv. / Prep.] (Only used in the perfect tenses) to visit or call: I’ve never been to Spain. He had been abroad many times. (BrE) Has the postman been yet? (NAmE) has the mailman come yet?
7. [V] “be” from … used to say where sb was born or where their home is: She’s from Italy.
8. Linking verb used when you are naming people or things, describing them or giving more information about them: [v-n] ‘Who is that?’ ‘It’s my brother.’ She’s a great beauty. He wants to be (= become) a pilot when he grows up. [V-adj] It’s beautiful! Life is unfair. He is ten years old. ‘How are you?’ ‘I’m very well, thanks.’ Be quick! [V (that)] The fact is (that) we don’t have enough money. [V –Ing, v to INF] The problem is getting it all done in the time available. The problem is to get it all done in the time available.
9. Linking verb it is / was used when you are describing a situation or saying what you think about it: [v-adj] it was really hot in the sauna. It’s strange how she never comes to see us any more. He thinks it’s clever to make fun of people. [V-n] It would be a shame if you lost it. It’s going to be a great match.
10. Linking verb it is / was used to talk about time: [v-n] it’s two thirty. [V-adj] It was late at night when we finally arrived.
11. Linking verb [v-n] used to say what sth is made of: Is your jacket real leather?
12. Linking verb [v] “be” mine, yours, etc. | be for me, you, etc. used to say whom sth belongs to or whom it is intended for: The money’s not yours, it’s John’s. This package is for you.
13. Linking verb [v-n] to cost: ‘How much is that dress?’ ‘Eighty dollars.’
14. Linking verb [v-n] to be equal to: Three and three is six. How much is a thousand pounds in euros? London is not England (= do not think that all of England is like London).
15. Linking verb [v-n] be everything, nothing, etc. (to sb) used to say how important sth is to sb: Money isn’t everything (= it is not the only important thing). A thousand dollars is nothing to somebody as rich as he is.
The be-all and end-all (of sth): (Informal) the most important part, all that matters: Her career is the be-all and end-all of her existence.
As / that was: As sb/sth used to be called: Jill Davis that was (= before her marriage) the Soviet Union, as was
(He, she, etc. has) been and done sth: (BrE, Informal) used to show that you are surprised and annoyed by sth that sb has done: Someone’s been and parked in front of the entrance!
If it wasn’t / weren’t for …: Used to say that sb/sth stopped sb/sth from happening: If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be alive today.
Leave / let sb/sth be: To leave sb/sth alone without disturbing them or it: Leave her be, she obviously doesn’t want to talk about it. Let the poor dog be (= don’t annoy it).
-To-be: (In compounds) future: his bride-to-be, mothers-to-be (= pregnant women)
1. Used with a past participle to form the passive: He was killed in the war. Where were they made? The house was still being built. You will be told what to do.
2. Used with a present participle to form progressive tenses: I am studying Chinese. I’ll be seeing him soon. What have you been doing this week? I’m always being criticized.
3. Used to make question tags (= short questions added to the end of statements): You’re not hungry, are you? Ben’s coming, isn’t he? The old theatre was pulled down, wasn’t it?
4. Used to avoid repeating the full form of a verb in the passive or a progressive tense: Karen wasn’t beaten in any of her games, but all the others were. ‘Are you coming with us?’ ‘No, I’m not.’
5. Be to do sth used to say what must or should be done: I am to call them once I reach the airport. You are to report this to the police. What is to be done about this problem?
6. Be to do sth used to say what is arranged to happen: They are to be married in June.
7. Be to do sth used to say what happened later: He was to regret that decision for the rest of his life. (= he did regret it).
8. Be not, never, etc. to be done used to say what could not or did not happen: Anna was nowhere to be found (= we could not find her anywhere). He was never to see his wife again (= although he did not know it would be so at the time, he did not see her again). She wanted to write a successful novel, but it was not to be (= it turned out never to happen).
9. If sb / it were to do sth … | were sb / it to do sth … (formal) used to express a condition: If we were to offer you more money, would you stay? Were we to offer you more money, would you stay?
1. [Vn] used to refer to actions that you do not mention by name or do not know about: What are you doing this evening? The Company ought to do something about the poor service. There’s nothing to do (= no means of passing the time in an enjoyable way) in this place. There’s nothing we can do about it (= we can’t change the situation). What can I do for you (= how can I help)?
2. [V + adv. / Prep.] Do (as) to act or behave in the way mentioned: Do as you’re told! They are free to do as they please. You would do well to (= I advise you to) consider all the options before buying.
3. [V + adv. / Prep.] Used to ask or talk about the success or progress of sb/sth: How is the business doing? She did well out of (= made a big profit from) the deal. He’s doing very well at school (= his work is good). Both mother and baby are doing well (= after the birth of the baby). (Informal) How are you doing (= how are you)?
4. [Vn] to work at or perform an activity or a task: I’m doing some research on the subject. I have a number of things to do today. I do aerobics once a week. Let’s do (= meet for) lunch. (Informal) Sorry. I don’t do funny (= I can’t be funny).
5. [Vn] used with nouns to talk about tasks such as cleaning, washing, arranging, etc.: to do (= wash) the dishes to do (= arrange) the flowers. I like the way you’ve done your hair.
6. [Vn] do the ironing, cooking, shopping, etc. | do some, a little, etc. acting, writing, etc. to perform the activity or task mentioned: I like listening to the radio when I’m doing the ironing.
7. [Vn] (usually used in questions) to work at sth as a job: What do you do (= what is your job)? What does she want to do when she leaves school? What did she do for a living?
8. [Vn] to learn or study sth: I’m doing physics, biology and chemistry. Have you done any (= studied anything by) Keats?
9. [Vn] to find the answer to sth; to solve sth: I can’t do this sum. Are you good at doing crosswords?
10. Do sth (for sb)/ do (sb) sth to produce or make sth: [vn] to do a drawing / painting / sketch Does this pub do (= provide) lunches? Who’s doing (= organizing and preparing) the food for the wedding reception? [Vn, vnn] I’ll do a copy for you. I’ll do you a copy.
11. [Vn] to perform or produce a play, an opera, etc.: The local dramatic society is doing ‘Hamlet’ next month.
12. [Vn] to copy sb’s behaviour or the way sb speaks, sings, etc., especially in order to make people laugh: He does a great Elvis Presley. Can you do a Welsh accent?
13. Have / be done | get sth done to finish sth: [v] Sit there and wait till I’ve done. [V –Ing] I’ve done talking—let’s get started. [Vn] did you get your article done in time?
14. [Vn] to travel a particular distance: How many miles did you do during your tour? My car does 40 miles to the gallon (= uses one gallon of petrol / gas to travel 40 miles).
15. [Vn] to complete a journey / trip: We did the round trip in two hours.
16. [Vn] to travel at or reach a particular speed: The car was doing 90 miles an hour.
17. [Vn] (Informal) to visit a place as a tourist: We did Tokyo in three days.
18. [Vn] to spend a period of time doing sth: She did a year at college, but then dropped out. He did six years (= in prison) for armed robbery.
19. [Vn] to deal with or attend to sb/sth: The hairdresser said she could do me (= cut my hair) at three.
20. Do (for sb/sth) | do (as sth) to be suitable or be enough for sb/sth: [v] these shoes won’t do for the party. ‘Can you lend me some money?’ ‘Sure—will $20 do?’ The box will do fine as a table. [Vn] (Especially BrE) This room will do me nicely, thank you (= it has everything I need).
21. [Vn] to cook sth: How would you like your steak done?
22. [Vn] [usually passive] (BrE, Informal) to cheat sb: This isn’t a genuine antique—you’ve been done.
23. [Vn] (BrE) do sb (for sth) (Informal) to punish sb: They did him for tax evasion. She got done for speeding.
24. [Vn] (Informal) to steal from a place: The gang did a warehouse and a supermarket.
25. [Vn] (Informal) to take an illegal drug: He doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs.
Be / have to do with sb/sth: To be about or connected with sb/sth: ‘What do you want to see me about?’ ‘It’s to do with that letter you sent me.’
Have (got) something, nothing, a lot, etc. to do with sb/sth: Used to talk about how much sb/sth is connected with sb/sth: Her job has something to do with computers. ‘How much do you earn?’ ‘What’s it got to do with you?’ Hard work has a lot to do with (= is an important reason for) her success. We don’t have very much to do with our neighbours (= we do not speak to them very often). I’d have nothing to do with him, if I were you.
It won’t do: (Especially BrE) used to say that a situation is not acceptable and should be changed or improved: This is the third time you’ve been late this week; it simply won’t do.
Not do anything / a lot / much for sb: (Informal) used to say that sth does not make sb look attractive: That hairstyle doesn’t do anything for her.
Nothing doing: (Informal) used to refuse a request: ‘Can you lend me ten dollars?’ ‘Nothing doing!’
No you don’t: (Informal) used to show that you intend to stop sb from doing sth that they were going to do: Sharon went to get into the taxi. ‘Oh no, you don’t,’ said Steve.
That does it: (Informal) used to show that you will not accept sth any longer: That does it, I’m off. I’m not having you swear at me like that.
That’s done it: (Informal) used to say that an accident, a mistake, etc. has spoiled or ruined sth: That’s done it. You’ve completely broken it this time.
That will do: Used to order sb to stop doing or saying sth: That’ll do, children—you’re getting far too noisy.
What do you do for sth? : Used to ask how sb manages to obtain the thing mentioned: What do you do for entertainment out here?
What is sb/sth doing? : Used to ask why sb/sth is in the place mentioned: What are these shoes doing on my desk?
Do away with sb / yourself: (Informal) to kill sb/yourself
Do away with sth: (Informal) to stop doing or having sth, to make sth end. SYN abolish: He thinks it’s time we did away with the monarchy.
Do sb/sth down: (BrE, Informal) to criticize sb/sth unfairly
Do for sb/sth: [Usually passive] (Informal) to ruin, destroy or kill sb/sth: Without that contract, we’re done for.
Do sb / yourself in (Informal) 1. To kill sb/yourself. 2. [Usually passive] to make sb very tired: Come and sit down—you look done in.
Do sth in: (Informal) to injure a part of the body: He did his back in lifting heavy furniture.
Do sb out of sth: (Informal) to unfairly prevent sb from having what they ought to have: She was done out of her promotion.
Do sb over: (Informal, especially BrE) to attack and beat sb severely: He was done over by a gang of thugs.
Do sth over: 1. To clean or decorate sth again: The paintwork will need doing over soon. 2. (NAmE) to do sth again: She insisted that everything be done over. 3. (BrE, Informal) to enter a building by force and steal things: He got home to find that his flat had been done over.
Do up: To be fastened: The skirt does up at the back.
Do sth up
1. To fasten a coat, skirt, etc.: He never bothers to do his jacket up. OPP undo
2. To make sth into a package. SYN wrap: She was carrying a package done up in brown paper.
3. (BrE) to repair and decorate a house, etc.: He makes money by buying old houses and doing them up.
Do yourself up: (Informal) to make yourself more attractive by putting on make-up, attractive clothes…
Do sth with sb/sth: (Used in negative sentences and questions with what): I don’t know what to do with (= how to use) all the food that’s left over. What have you done with (= where have you put) my umbrella? What have you been doing with yourselves (= how have you been passing the time)?
Do with out (sb/sth): To manage without sb/sth: She can’t do without a secretary. If they can’t get it to us in time, we’ll just have to do without. [+ -Ing] (Ironic) I could have done without being (= I wish I had not been) woken up at three in the morning.
1. Used before a full verb to form negative sentences and questions: I don’t like fish. They didn’t go to Paris. Don’t forget to write. Does she speak French?
2. Used to make question tags (= short questions at the end of statements): You live in New York, don’t you? She doesn’t work here, does she?
3. Used to avoid repeating a full verb: He plays better than he did a year ago. She works harder than he does. ‘Who won?’ ‘I did.’ ‘I love peach.’ ‘So do I. ‘I don’t want to go back.’ ‘Neither do I.’
4. Used when no other auxiliary verb is present, to emphasize what you are saying: He does look tired. She did at least write to say thank you. (BrE) do shut up!
5. Used to change the order of the subject and verb when an adverb is moved to the front: Not only does she speak Spanish, she’s also good with computers.
Household jobs: do or make?
To talk about jobs in the home you can use such phrases as wash the dishes, clean the kitchen floor, set the table, etc. In conversation the verb do is often used instead: Let me do the dishes. Michael said he would do the kitchen floor. It’s your turn to do the table. Do is often used with nouns ending –Ing: to do the shopping / cleaning / ironing / vacuuming.
The verb make is used especially in the phrase make the beds and when you are talking about preparing or cooking food: He makes a great lasagne. I’ll make breakfast while you’re having a shower. You can also say get, get ready and, especially in NAmE, fix for preparing meals: Can you get dinner while I put the kids to bed? Sit down — I’ll fix supper for you.
(In some senses have got is also used, especially in British English.)
1. (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to own, hold or possess sth: He had a new car and a boat. Have you got a job yet? I don’t have that much money on me. She’s got a BA in English.
2. (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) be made up of: In 1999 the party had 10 000 members.
3. (Also have got) (not used in the progressive tenses) to show a quality or feature: [vn] the ham had a smoky flavour. The house has gas-fired central heating. They have a lot of courage. [Vn-adj] He’s got a front tooth missing.
4. (Also have got) [vn to Inf] (not used in the progressive tenses) to show a particular quality by your actions: Surely she didn’t have the nerve to say that to him?
5. (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) used to show a particular relationship: He’s got three children. Do you have a client named Peters?
6. (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to be able to make use of sth because it is available: Have you got time to call him? We have no choice in the matter.
7. (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to be in a position where you ought to do sth: We have a duty to care for the refugees.
8. (Also have got) (not used in the progressive tenses) to be in a position of needing to do sth: [vn] I’ve got a lot of homework tonight. [Vn to Inf] I must go—I have a bus to catch.
9. (Also have got) [vn + adv. / prep.] (Not used in the progressive tenses) to hold sb/sth in the way mentioned: She’d got him by the collar. He had his head in his hands.
10. (Also have got) [vn + adv. / prep.] (Not used in the progressive tenses) to place or keep sth in a particular position: Mary had her back to me. I soon had the fish in a net.
11. (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to let a feeling or thought come into your mind: He had the strong impression that someone was watching him. We’ve got a few ideas for the title. (Informal) I’ve got it! We’ll call it ‘Word Magic’.
12. (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to suffer from an illness or a disease: I’ve got a headache.
13. [Vn] to experience sth: I went to a few parties and had a good time. I was having difficulty in staying awake. She’ll have an accident one day.
14. [Vn] to organize or hold an event: Let’s have a party.
15. [Vn] to eat, drink or smoke sth: to have breakfast / lunch / dinner I’ll have the salmon (= for example, in a restaurant). I had a cigarette while I was waiting.
16. [Vn] to perform a particular action: I had a swim to cool down. (BrE) to have a wash / shower / bath
17. [Vn] to give birth to sb/sth: She’s going to have a baby.
18. [Vn] to produce a particular effect: His paintings had a strong Influence on me as a student. The colour green has a restful effect.
19. [Vn] (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to receive sth from sb: I had a letter from my brother this morning. Can I have the bill, please?
20. [Vn] to be given sth; to have sth done to you: I’m having treatment for my back problem. How many driving lessons have you had so far?
21. (Also have got) [vn –Ing] (not used in the progressive tenses) to experience the effects of sb’s actions: We have orders coming in from all over the world.
22. [Vn] (used with a past participle) have sth done to suffer the effects of what sb else does to you: She had her bag stolen.
23. [Vn] (used with a past participle) have sth done to cause sth to be done for you by sb else: You’ve had your haircut! We’re having our car repaired.
24. To tell or arrange for sb to do sth for you: [vn Inf] He had the bouncers throw them out of the club. (Informal) I’ll have you know (= I’m telling you) I’m a black belt in judo. [Vn + adv. / Prep.] She’s always having the builders in to do something or other.
25. (Used in negative sentences, especially after will not, cannot, etc.) to allow sth; to accept sth without complaining: [vn] I’m sick of your rudeness—I won’t have it any longer! [Vn –Ing] we can’t have people arriving late all the time.
26. To cause sb/sth to be in a particular state; to make sb react in a particular way: [vn-adj] I want to have everything ready in good time. [Vn –Ing] He had his audience listening attentively.
27. (Also have got) [vn] (Informal) (not used in the progressive tenses) to put sb at a disadvantage in an argument: You’ve got me there. I hadn’t thought of that.
28. [Vn] [usually passive] (Informal) to trick or cheat sb: I’m afraid you’ve been had.
29. [Vn] [no passive] to take care of sb/sth in your home, especially for a limited period: We’re having the kids for the weekend.
30. [Vn + adv. / Prep.] [No passive] to entertain sb in your home: We had some friends to dinner last night.
31. (Also have got) [vn] have sb with you (not used in the progressive tenses) to be with sb: She had some friends with her.
32. [Vn] [no passive] have sb as sth to take or accept sb for a particular role: Who can we have as treasurer?
Have done with sth: (Especially BrE) to finish sth unpleasant so that it does not continue: Let’s have done with this silly argument.
Have had it (Informal)
1. To be in a very bad condition, to be unable to be repaired: The car had had it.
2. To be extremely tired: I’ve had it! I’m going to bed.
3. To have lost all chance of surviving sth: When the truck smashed into me, I thought I’d had it.
4. To be going to experience sth unpleasant: Dad saw you scratch the car—you’ve had it now!
5. To be unable to accept a situation any longer: I’ve had it (up to here) with him—he’s done it once too often.
Have it (that): To claim that it is a fact that: …Rumour has it that we’ll have a new manager soon.
Have (got) it / that coming (to you): To be likely to suffer the unpleasant effects of your actions and to deserve to do so: It was no surprise when she left him—everyone knew he had it coming to him.
Have it in for sb: (Informal) to not like sb and be unpleasant to them
Have it in you (to do sth): (Informal) to be capable of doing sth: Everyone thinks he has it in him to produce a literary classic. You were great. I didn’t know you had it in you.
Have (got) nothing on sb/sth: (Informal) to be not nearly as good as sb/sth
Not having any: (Informal) not willing to listen to or believe sth: I tried to persuade her to wait but she wasn’t having any.
What have you: (Informal) other things, people, etc. of the same kind: There’s room in the cellar to store old furniture and what have you.
Have (got) sth against sb/sth: (Not used in the progressive tenses) to dislike sb/sth for a particular reason: What have you got against Ruth? She’s always been good to you.
Have sb back: To allow a husband, wife or partner that you are separated from to return
Have sth back: To receive sth that sb has borrowed or taken from you: You can have your files back after we’ve checked them.
Have (got) sth in: (Not used in the progressive tenses) to have a supply of sth in your home, etc.: Have we got enough food in?
Have sb on: (Informal) to try to make sb believe sth that is not true, usually as a joke: You didn’t really, did you? You’re not having me on, are you?
Have (got) sth on (not used in the progressive tenses)
1. To be wearing sth: She had a red jacket on. He had nothing (= no clothes) on.
2. To leave a piece of equipment working: She has her TV on all day.
3. To have arranged to do sth: I can’t see you this week—I’ve got a lot on.
Have (got) sth on sb: [No passive] (Informal) (Not used in the progressive tenses) to know sth bad about sb, especially sth that connects them with a crime: I’m not worried—they’ve got nothing on me.
Have sth out: To cause sth, especially a part of your body, to be removed: I had to have my appendix out.
Have sth out (with sb): To try to settle a disagreement by discussing or arguing about it openly: I need to have it out with her once and for all.
Have sb up (for sth): (BrE, Informal) [Usually passive] to cause sb to be accused of sth in court: He was had up for manslaughter.
Used with the past participle to form perfect tenses: I’ve finished my work. He’s gone home, hasn’t he? ‘Have you seen it?’ ‘Yes, I have / No, I haven’t. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it. (Formal) Had I known that (= if I had known that) I would never have come?
Have you got / do you have
Have got is the usual verb in BrE to show possession, etc. in positive statements in the present tense, in negative statements and in questions: They’ve got a wonderful house. We haven’t got a television. Have you got a meeting today? Questions and negative statements formed with do are also common: Do you have any brothers and sisters? We don’t have a car.