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  Weekly Feature (August 7, 2004)

"Here's Looking at You, Kid"
Some Useful Idioms to Learn



The use of idioms is essential to successful communication in listening, speaking, reading or writing. There are no rules to be follow; idioms must simply be memorized and used to become part of one’s working vocabulary.

The following idioms all have “to look” as their base. Learn the following idioms, and then practice them in the quiz. Finally, to really make these idioms part of your working vocabulary, write sentences with them and ask a teacher to correct them.

1. to look at: give one’s attention, to watch The guide at the zoo told us to look at the lion. My friend likes to look at flowers when he goes for a walk.

2. to look for: to try to find, to search for John spent several days looking for the perfect birthday gift for his wife. Chang looked everywhere for his keys.

3. to look up: to locate information in a directory, dictionary, book, etc. When Navinder was writing a report on Mexico, she looked up information on the Internet. Sometimes it is time consuming to look up every word you don’t know in the dictionary.

4. to look out for: to be careful or cautious Be sure to look out for deer on the highway when you are driving at night.

5. to look over: to examine, to inspect closely Always look over your notes before a test. The lawyer looked over the contract to see if there were any errors.

6. to look into: to investigate, to examine carefully The government is going to look into the cost overruns. I will look into the matter of the missing pets right away.

7. to look up to: to admire, to respect greatly Many people look up to Nelson Mandela. Often children look up to their older brothers and sisters.

8. to look out on: to face, to overlook The cabin looks out on a beautiful green lake. When the children are playing in the backyard, their mother often looks out on them to make sure they are not getting into trouble.

Try the To Look Quiz

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