The word ‘look‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to glance at a particular thing or to seem/appear.
- Look at my new shoes! They are ruined. (glance)
- It looks as though my date isn’t going to show. (seem/appear)
Look is a regular verb. The past tense and past participle is looked.
phrasal verbs with look
Phrasal verbs with ‘look’ include:
- look after
meaning – take care of someone/something
example – I’ve been looking after my mum’s dog for the past few weeks.
- look at
meaning – focus attention on
example – Look at the cloud formation in the sky, it’s very odd.
- look away
meaning – turn your focus away
example – Look away while I choose a card.
- look back
meaning – review something from the past or turn around and look behind
example – I’ve been looking back through my old school photos.
- look down on
meaning – treat someone as inferior or watch from heaven
example – Your dad will be looking down on you and smiling when you get married.
- look for
meaning – search for something
example – I’m going to look for somewhere else to live, my rent is going up a lot.
- look forward to
meaning – be excited about something that will happen in the future
example – I look forward to Christmas every year.
- look in on
meaning – visit briefly
example – I looked in on the baby when I went to the toilet, he is sound asleep.
- look into
meaning – investigate or look inside a room/object
example – I looked into different modes of transport. The train works out the cheapest.
- look on
meaning – watch but don’t participate
example – The pedestrians looked on in horror as the bus burst into flames.
- look out
meaning – watch something on the outside from inside or be careful
example – He looked out the window and watched the snowflakes falling.
- look out for
meaning – keep watch or care for/keep your eye one care of
example – Janet’s daughter is moving to your school tomorrow, make sure you look out for her.
- look over
meaning – examine/inspect or look to a specified direction
example – I looked over at her and she was looking at me. It must be love.
- look round
meaning – inspect a building or explore somewhere
example – I’ve been looking round town all afternoon but, I can’t find anything to wear to the party.
- look through
meaning – read quickly or search for something among a lot of things
example – I love looking through the paper with a big mug of tea.
- look to
meaning – hope to do something
example – Rangers look to build a new stadium if they get promoted.
- look up
meaning – search for some information or turn your eyes to the sky
example – I’m looking up but, I can’t see a hot air balloon.
- look up to
meaning – admire/respect
example – All the young boys look up to Ronaldo. He’s a great football player.
Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘look’ in more detail and see some examples in use.
Did you know that many idiomatic expressions (idioms) in English also contain a lot of verbs? Just like phrasal verbs, idioms are a major part of the English language (slang in particular). They are used constantly amongst native English speakers and are handy to know and understand.
Now you’ve learnt all the phrasal verbs with look, how about learning the idioms with look too?