10 Essential Phrasal Verbs Using LOOK


In today’s lesson, we are going to explore Phrasal Verbs with Look!

Phrasal verbs are one of the toughest parts of learning English! They combine a simple verb with one or more words to create a totally new verb with a totally new meaning! for example, “to give” is the simple verb, and becomes a phrasal verb like this:

  • to give ‘in’
  • to give ‘out’
  • to give ‘up’

Usually, the added element includes a preposition or an adverb!

We are going to explore 10 phrasal verbs with LOOK! I’m combining them with different situations and examples where you would use them in real life to improve your English fluency.

A closer LOOK!

Today’s first look phrasal verb is: to look into! Which means to investigate or research.

This is what you’re doing right now! You are looking into phrasal verbs! 

A common situation: If someone complains about an issue, a worker or company will say, “We will look into that…”

A common situation: If your friend talks about something interesting, you might say, “Woah…that sounds great. I want to look into that!”


Our second phrasal verb today: To look up to!

If you look up to someone, it means you admire and respect them! This is most common when you talk about someone you really appreciate.

A common situation: “Who do you look up to?” “I look up to my mom because she is kind and loving.”

A common situation: “I look up to Roger Federer because he is a great athlete and father!”


Number 3! To look after.

When you look after something it means you keep it safe and are responsible for the safety. Usually, this involves taking care of another person, like a younger sibling or grandparent.

A common situation: If you babysit your little cousins, you can say “I look after my little cousins.”

A common situation: If you are totally independent and don’t have help from others…you might say “I look after myself.” If you say this with a soft tone it implies humility, and if you use a darker tone, it seems like something bad happened and caused you to look after yourself. So just be aware!


Next is a simple command: look out!

This means be careful! You would probably shout this if something was flying at your friend!

A common situation: “LOOK OUT!! Here comes a ball!”

A common situation: *being sarcastic* “Look out…here comes Alec.” This is a common meme with Neil DeGrasse Tyon! Look out meme!


Number 5: To look out for

This one means to protect someone or something. Parents often use this with kids: they will tell the older sibling to look out for the younger sibling.

A common situation: “Ryan, make sure youlook out forKyle at school.”

A common situation: “Look out for each other on your trip!” This could be said to a couple or a group of friends traveling together.


Number 6: To look down on.

This one is a bit harsh, and it means to think someone/something is inferior. If you look down on someone you think you’re better than them. It could be in sports, or school, anything.

A common situation: “Don’t look down on anyone. You never know what they’ve been through.”

A common situation: “The evil king looked down on all the villagers.”


Number 7: To look forward to.

This means you are happy about something that will happen! This is a very common expression at the end of a conversation with a friend. Many emails also end with this phrasal verb!

A common situation: *last line of an email* “I look forward to hearing from you soon!”

A common situation: *after planning a hang out with a friend* “Ok awesome bro, I’m looking forward to that!”


Number 8: To look around.

To visit and wander through a place! I travel a lot, so I am often looking around new cities. You can look around museums, stadiums, houses..just about anything! 

A common situation: “Tomorrow morning I will look around the old town in Vienna.”

A common situation: “Carlos spent hours looking around the art museum!”

Number 9: To look away.

This means turning your head away from something that is very upsetting. Phrasal Verbs Using LOOK, when you can’t look at something because it is very bad, you look away. You can also look away if something is embarrassing or very cringe-worthy!

A common situation: “I couldn’t watch the hyenas eat the zebra. I had to look away.”

A common situation: “That karaoke was so bad I had to look away!”


Number 10: To look over.

This means to review or examine something. Usually, this is applied when looking at writing. Phrasal Verbs Using LOOK,  If you ask a friend to check your English essay for errors, he/she can say “I’ll look over it. No worries!”

A common situation:Would you mind looking over my project proposal?”

A common situation: “I looked over Tania’s English essay.”


Number 11: To look upon.

Our final word today is for something poetic. It means to gaze upon something, usually magnificent or powerful in meaning. You might look upon the Grand Canyon in amazement!

A common situation: “I stood at the edge of the water, and looked upon the beautiful landscape.”

A common situation: “I sat down, and looked upon the incredible Machu Picchu.”


Look Out For The Snow Storm!

In 2016 I lived in Montevideo, Uruguay! I spent 3 months in Brazil and traveled to many countries in South America. Eventually, I arrived to Peru and trekked for 4 days in the “Cordillera Blanca” Andes. I will never forget the 3rd day; I stood at the top of the mountain pass. I had only shorts and a hoodie in the middle of a snow/rain storm. I was freezing and in a lot of pain; I kept slipping and falling into a freezing snowmelt. I couldn’t feel my feet anymore. I couldn’t feel much of anything. I’ve never been so cold in my life. Despite that, I eventually made it to the pass. I looked upon the landscape and appreciated the beauty and power of nature. This moment made me very happy. I thought of my family, of all the things that led me to that moment in life. Then I remembered the cold and pain I was in…and continued the journey. Some hours later I arrived to the campsite, exhausted, cold, but undeniably happy.

So that wraps up today’s lesson! Did you discover a new word? What phrasal verb do you look forward to using? Let me know in the comments below!

I hope you enjoyed learning today! And if you’d like to continue on your English journey, you can check out one of our other fun lessons HERE



Picture of Gabby Wallace, M.Ed TESOL

Gabby Wallace, M.Ed TESOL

About the Author
Gabby Wallace is the Founder of Go Natural English, where you can quickly improve your confidence speaking English through advanced fluency practice. Even if you don't have much time, this is the best place for improving your English skills. Millions of global intermediate - advanced English students are learning with Gabby's inspiring, clear, and energetic English lessons. Gabby has a Masters Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Boston University and 20+ years experience helping students become fluent through her online courses and membership program.

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