Verbs: State and Action
Common Phrases with Verbs “Believe” & “Cook”
Stative Verb “Believe”
Betsy-Jane and Amelia-Ann were buzzing in one corner of the place, and making believe to read out of a picture-book, which one of them held topsy-turvy. (W. Thackeray, ‘Pendennis’, vol. II, ch. X)
you’d better believe
My old gentleman means to be Mayor… before he goes off the handle, you’d better believe. (O. W. Holmes, ‘The Poet at the Breakfast-Table’, ch. X)
believe in one’s star
It is natural for them to believe in their star. (J. Bryce, ‘The American Commonwealth’, ch. LXXX)
Action Verb “Cook”
Let me see if I can cook up a way to get you some money.
She cooked up an interesting party at the last minute.
cook one’s goose
Among the reporters and lawyers at Fort Penn it was not difficult to find several men who were willing to be that Baum’s goose was cooked, and that the best he could hope for was life imprisonment. (J. O’Hara, ‘A Rage to Live’, book I, ch. III)
cook with electricity (gas or radar)
Many a student… figured that… Thurman Arnold was cooking with gas. (Suppl)
‘You’re cooking on the front burner, Mac,’ I replied… (Suppl)
Difference between TO and FOR
The Best Phrases with TO and FOR
“Go to, son”, rejoined the friar; “what is this thou sayest?”
You are not to leave school without my permission.
John needs to improve his technique if he is to win gold at the next Olympics.
The Terpsichore continued to lay to under bare poles.
to and fro
The dining-room was full and the waiters were hurrying to and fro. (W. S. Maugham, ‘Complete Short Stories’, ‘Virtue’)
for a change
No, you’ve got Anne all day and all night. Come with me for a change. (J. Galsworthy, ‘Swan Song’, part II, ch. 3)
‘I told, Margie’s coming for dinner.’ ‘I know, but why all the festive hurly-burly?’ ‘We haven’t had a dinner guest in ages.’ (J. Steinbeck, ‘The Winter of Our Discontent’, part I, ch. V)
For all his faults he is a nice fellow.
For all you say he will stick to his opinion.
SHOULD, COULD, WOULD
Modal Verbs in Spoken English
I should say so
“Did you enjoy your stay in New York?” “I should say so!”
I should say not
“You’re not going to accept that offer, are you?” “I should say not”
You should worry!
I should worry!
people who live in glass houses should not throw stones
Trench (dazed): “Do you mean to say that I am just as bad as you are?.. Well, people who live in glass houses have no right to throw stones. But on my honour, I never knew that my house was a glass one until you pointed it out. I beg your pardon.” (B. Shaw, ‘Widowers’ Houses’, act II)
if each would sweep before his own door, we should have a clean city
No one of us but what ought to engage in the important work of self-reformation… If each would sweep before his own door, we should have a clean street. (DEP)
could do with something
You look as if you could do with a good night’s sleep.
could kick oneself
I could have kicked myself for having refused that invitation.
one could hear a pin drop
I stood and listened till my ears ached, but the night was hollow about me like an empty church; not even a ripple stirred upon the shore; it seemed you might have heard a pin drop in the country. (R. L. Stevenson, ‘The Master of Ballantrae’, ch. V)
you could have mocked me down with a feather
Crickey, Claire, are you really going to be married?.. Jeepers! was that one or her ladyship! You could have knocked her down with a feather when you told her that. (D. Cusack and F. James, ‘Come in Spinner’, ‘Thursday I’)
couldn’t agree more
“After all, what happens when a boxer gets knocked out in the ring? He’s lost the fight” “I couldn’t agree more”
I would not have it as a gift
…next time you hear some sob from Yahooville-on-the-Hudson chewing the rag and bulling and trying to get your goat, you tell him that no two-fisted enterprising Westerner would have New York for a gift! (S. Lewis, ‘Main Street’, ch. XXXV)
one would give one’s ears to…
Stanley: “…there isn’t a manager on Broadway, that wouldn’t give his eye-teeth to have Joe Rasmussen work for him.” (J. O’Hara, ‘The Champagne Pool’, act 1, sc. 7)
he who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom
I was the lowest of the four in rank – but what then? – he that climbs a ladder must begin at the first round. (W. Scott, ‘Kenilworth’, ch. VII)
whom God would ruin, he first deprives of reason
She lifted up her face and looked into his eyes admiringly… ‘Well, whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.’ He kissed her. (Th. Dreiser, ‘The Genius’, book III, ch. XXII)