ESL Phrasal Verbs

Explanations of several "live" phrasal verbs, with a printable worksheet.

click here to download this ESL phrasal verbs worksheet (FREE!)


“Live” Phrasal Verbs - Definitions

live (x) down: to stop being embarrassed about something; to get over the shame from an embarrassing event.

· I can’t believe I fell off the stage when I was singing the solo. I’ll never live that down!

· When the pretty girl said “Hi” to him, James tripped on his shoelaces and fell. He’ll never live that down.


live it up: to have a good time while you can; to spend a lot of money and party

  • My bachelor party is next week. My friends and I are going to go to Las Vegas and live it up one last time before I tie the knot*.


live off / live on: to use some source of money to support oneself

  • Monica doesn’t have to work. She can live off her father’s inheritance for the rest of her life.
  • This job is really tiring, but at least the salary is enough to live on and I’m able to make ends meet*.


live up to: to meet the expectations, standards, or hopes of someone (usually a parent or respected friend)

  • Since he was a young child, everyone expected Brian to become a star basketball player because of his height. It was almost impossible for him to live up to the hype.
  • I heard this movie was one of the best of the decade, but it didn’t quite live up to the expectations. I give it three out of four stars.
  • Michael Jordan was often called the greatest basketball player ever, and he consistently lived up to this title.


live with: to accept/endure something even though it is undesirable or less than ideal (similar to “make do”)

  • I know that you wish you had a bigger bedroom, but this is the best house we can afford, so you’ll just have to live with it.
  • Celebrities have to learn to live with the paprazzi. There is nothing they can do about the constant photographs, even though it is really annoying.


*tie the knot = get married
*make ends meet = to have enough money to pay for your basic necessities


“Live” Phrasal Verbs - Worksheet

Fill in the blanks with the correct words to complete these “live” phrasal verbs.

1. My father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all famous politicians, so I
have some big expectations to _______________ to.

2. During my first semester in college, I was really _______________, partying
every night and waking up late. However, I quickly ran out of the money that my
parents had given me, and I had to _____________ the little money that I got
from my part-time job.

3. John: I don’t want a used car! I want a new car! All of my friends have new cars!

Dad: Tough! I’m not made of money. You’ll just have to _______________ it.

4. Jessica’s friends posted embarrassing pictures of her on Facebook last week.
She’s never going to ________ that __________.

5. The baseball player was named “Rookie of the Year” last year, but this year he
has been unable to _______________ that title, and he was sent to the minor

6. When I was homeless, I was able to _____________ the spare change that
people gave me.

7. People still talk about the time the famous singer fell off the stage and hurt
herself, even though that was several years ago. She’ll never be able to


8. I don’t want to stay home for New Year’s Eve. I want to go _______________
and party with all of my friends!


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