Welcome to www.engvid.com.
In today's video I want to talk to you about academic writing.
So this is especially for those of you who will be taking the IELTS or TOEFL, or any
English exam where you have to write an essay.
Now, before I get into this, a lot of you have been told by teachers, by classmates,
by whoever that you should not use phrasal verbs in your academic writing, in your essays,
because you think that they are too informal.
Well, what I want to tell you today is that not only can you use phrasal verbs, you should
use phrasal verbs in your writing.
Phrasal verbs are part of the English language.
We use them in everyday situations, as well in very formal situations; in academics, in
So what I have here, I have a few phrasal verbs to show you that are very common, but
are very useful for academic writing.
And some of them are a little bit more rare, but if you can use them properly in your essays,
your scores should go up; you'll actually impress the graders a little bit.
But, again, if you're using them correctly.
So just before we begin, what is a "phrasal verb"?
You have a verb in conjunction with a preposition; and together, the two words have a slightly
different meaning or slightly different meanings - most of them have more than one.
So, today we're going to look at: "account for", "take into account" or "take into consideration",
but the actual phrasal is: "take into".
With something else.
"Carry out"; "look into" or "find out" - these are kind of synonyms, you can use them one
or the other.
"Cut down" or "cut back on" - these are also generally synonymous; you can use them in
In same situations; slightly different usage.
Just so you know, "cut back" can also become a noun: "cutback" or "cutbacks".
"Do without", "follow through", "frown upon" which is a little bit one of the rare ones,
"resort to" which should be used more but people don't use it enough, "rule out", and
So, let's go through each one separately.
"To account for something" means to consider it; to make it part of your thought process
when you're thinking about something, especially making a plan or maybe making a budget, etc.
And basically it means the same thing as: "Take into account".
Now, you have "account" and "account".
This is a noun; this is a verb.
So, be very careful not to mix the two expressions up somehow.
So, "account for", and it's also part of your calculations.
That's why we have "account", like accountant does.
"Take into consideration" and "account" - same idea.
When you're making a plan or you're thinking about something, don't forget to include whatever
Whatever the topic is into that thinking process.
So, if you're creating a budget...
Let's say you have limited money, and you have to make yourself a budget for each month.
So, make your budget for, like, school, work, going out, food, rent, etc. but don't forget
to take into account or don't forget to account for emergencies or surprise expenses; things
that you weren't planning for that inevitably happen.
So: "Account for surprises in your budget calculations."
Put a little bit extra money aside.
Now: "carry out".
"Carry out" essentially means do.
But we use it with specific collocations.
And "collocations" are groupings of words that generally go together to create a particular
So, for example, you would carry out an experiment.
You don't do an experiment; you carry out an experiment.
So, it means do or make happen.
So, for example, you have plans, you create plans for the weekend, and then the weekend
comes and now it's time to carry out those plans; make them happen, do them.
"Look into" or "find out" is essentially the same meaning.
"Look into" means more, like, investigate; "find out" means get some more information.
So, you investigate in order to get the information.
So, in many cases you can use one or the other; but, again, don't mix them.
Don't "look out" or "find into"; don't mix them, which happens quite a bit.
So, the police, they don't look into every complaint that they get on the telephone.
Sometimes people call the FBI, let's say, or just the police, and they want to make
a complaint of something.
So, the police, they get so many of these phone calls that they can't look into everything;
they can't investigate everything.
They can't find out if all of these complaints are real.
So, they investigate.
"Cut down" or "cut back on".
So, let's start with "cut down".
"Cut down" basically means reduce.
So, a company wants to cut down its...
It wants to reduce its expenses, so maybe it has to let go of some staff.
It has to fire some staff.
"Cut back on" means also reduce, but basically do less of something.
"Cut down" - spend less; "cut back on", basically you're moving backwards.
You're still going to spend on this particular something, but you're just going to spend
less on it.
So, "cut back on expenses" or "cut down the company's expenses".
Or: "the company's expenditures" is more correct.
"Cutbacks" are the situation.
When a company is experiencing cutbacks, generally it means people are going to lose their jobs
because the easiest cutback to make is staff salaries.
So, the company wants to cut back on expenses; it's going to let go a few people and salaries
go down, and they save money.
So, "do without" basically means be able to succeed or survive without something.
So, if you can do without it, means you'll be okay if you don't have it.
So: "These days, people, like young people are learning math, and science, and art at
school, but a lot of the bigger tech companies and a lot of the bigger international companies
are warning parents and young people that in the future they will not be able to do
without some programming skills."
Now, you can use this at the beginning, like, you can do without something, or you can put
it after the something.
Something that you cannot do without.
So: "Programming skills are something that young people cannot do without if they want
to get a good job in the future."
So, if you're talking about employment.
If you can do without it, great; if you can't do without it, make sure you get it - whatever
"Follow through" has a couple of meanings.
One is to complete.
If I started a project, I will follow it through to the end.
And notice I say: "Follow it through to the end" means I will continue until it's finished.
"Follow through" can also means to, like, keep a promise.
So, if I promised my friend that I will help him move this weekend, then I have to follow
through on that promise; I have to go and actually help him move to his new apartment.
So, keep a promise or complete a task.
Follow through on a project, follow through on one's plans, follow through on a promise.
Notice the collocations, there.
Now, first of all, what does "frown" mean?
So, the opposite of a smile is a frown.
So, we always say...
This is a smile; this is a frown.
So: "Turn that frown upside down", and you get a smile.
That's just for the kids, anyway.
So, "to frown upon" means to basically not accept something or to think something is
not a good thing.
Now, generally speaking, when you frown upon something, means that technically it's okay
or it's legal, or whatever, but it's frowned upon - means people don't want you to do it.
It's not really accepted.
So, let's say in politics.
Realistically and legally, a politician can attack another politician, like, verbally;
not physically, obviously.
Verbally and in terms of ads or campaigns, etc.
But in many countries, this is frowned upon.
If you do that, people look badly at you and it's actually going to hurt you more than
You're allowed to; nobody can stop you, but it's frowned up, so better not to do it.
When you resort to something, you're using this option, or this tactic, or this thing
that you can do as the last option.
So, for example, if you want to...
If you need to resort to something, it's usually something that you don't want to do, but you
have no more options.
So, people resort to legal action, or people resort to violence when they have nothing...
There's nothing else they can do.
So, for example: I live in a building and my neighbour, every weekend has a party and
it's really loud, and lots of people come.
Come to the apartment, and it really bothers me.
So I've gone to the neighbour and I've spoken to him, and I've asked him many times to please
turn down the music and invite fewer people - that didn't work.
I went to the landlord, I complained, I said: "This person is making too much noise."
So, finally, I resorted to calling the police.
I resorted to legal action.
I had no other choice.
I was trying to be nice, talking to my neighbour, but finally I had no choice; I resorted to
calling the police to come and do something about it.
"To rule out" is to say: "Impossible.
This is not going to happen."
So, especially when you're talking about negotiations, for example, in business.
"We're going to negotiate with you, but we're not ruling out legal action."
So, again, I'm using legal action.
I'm keeping this option available.
So: "not rule out" means to leave something...
An option available.
"To rule out" means to make an option not available; impossible.
So, a lot of...
A lot of companies rule out the op-...
The opportunity to be bought out, or to pay more, or to do whatever.
So, I have a company and I say: "Okay, the minimum wage is $15 per hour, and I will rule
Any opposition or anybody who wants to pay less for whatever reason."
So: "rule it out" - not going to happen.
I think many people know this one; it's a bit more common.
"To put off" basically means to postpone; to schedule for a later date.
So, we were supposed to have a meeting at the company today, but the...
The weather has been terrible, and many people are stuck in traffic or just can't get to
the office because of the weather, so we will put off the meeting until next week; we will
postpone it, we will do it again next week.
Now, very common phrasal verbs.
And yes, use these in your writing.
In your IELTS and TOEFL writing, use these for the essays; don't be afraid of them.
There's no such thing as bad English.
It's all English.
There are informal or slang phrasal verbs - those you should avoid.
Otherwise, if they're formal or neutral, absolutely use them; you're going to get a higher vocab
Now, if you have any questions about this, please ask me in the comment section at www.engvid.com.
There's a quiz as well, if you want to practice and make sure you understand the meanings
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And come back next week.
Oh, and don't forget: If you want more help and more ideas about writing for the IELTS
or TOEFL, don't forget to check out my site: WriteToTop.com or "Write to Top" at YouTube,
and you'll get a lot more help there as well.
I'll see you next time for another lesson.