Get Ready for Phrasal Verbs about Preparation!

raceThis installment of our phrasal verbs series focuses on how we discuss preparations. Are you ready?

Get Ready/ – to prepare

  • We got ready to leave while my brother shoveled the snow off the driveway.

Note: This verb can be followed by the infinitive form of a verb, as in the example above, or by “for” and a noun, as in the example below, but in either case it is roughly equivalent to “prepare.”

  • I have to get ready for my presentation. It’s in an hour and I haven’t memorized my opening speech yet!

Note: This verb can be both intransitive, as in the previous examples, or it can be separated and made transitive, as in the following example:

  • I always get my bags ready the night before I go to the airport so I won’t forget anything.

Gear up for/ – to make preparations

  • We’re gearing up for our annual staff appreciation celebration. It’s a huge event that brings employees from all of the different areas together.

Note: Taken more literally, this verb can be used to express that one is “gathering the equipment necessary to accomplish something,” like in the example below:

  • Ok, everyone, let’s gear up for the morning hike. Make sure you have your canteen, walking stick, and raincoat.

Brush up on/ – to practice an old skill or refresh old knowledge

  • I’ll have to brush up on my Spanish before we go to Chile for our vacation. I haven’t spoken a word of it since high school!

Note: A very similar – albeit more informal – expression with the same meaning substitutes “bone” for “brush,” like in this example:

  • I’m boning up on my jazz scales before the show tomorrow night. I’ve been playing mostly blues for a while now.

Set … Up/ – To put things in their place

  • I have to set up the salad bar because the guy who usually does it is sick and didn’t come to work today. It’s a lot of work bringing out all of those vegetables and plates!

Note: In another context, this verb can mean “betray someone to their enemies,” like in the following example:

  • The undercover police officer setup the drug dealer with a DEA sting operation. He was arrested in possession of narcotics, cash, and weapons.

Still not feeling ready? Have no fear! Check out our phrasal verbs homepage and practice a little more!


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