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ESL Lesson: Phrasal verb look

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Phrasal verb look or "Look Out!"

This story contains a lot of combinations with the phrasal verb look. Do you know the meaning of all of them? Read the story and then look at the explanations below to check your knowledge.

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"Look Out!"

If you happen to report to the authorities you''ve seen a U.F.O (Unidentified Flying Object), very often you are looked on as if you''re someone who needs looking after. In other words they don''t believe you. People are usually reluctant to believe the extraordinary. You happen to have a room in a hotel looking on to the lake in Scotland where there''s supposed to be a monster and you''re just looking out of the window and there is the monster. You''re looking at it now. You point at it and tell everyone to look out of the window because you''ve seen it. What do they do? They look away. They''ve heard it all before. I suppose it''s not surprising because whenever you look at photographs of so-called monsters and beasts, they''re never very clear. People sometimes look into the matter but there never seems to be any proof. Whenever I read in the newspaper about someone who has allegedly had a mystical or strange encounter with a person or thing and is looking for support or is looking forward to finding someone who will accept their story, I look back to a time some years ago when something similar happened to me.

At the time I was living in a house which had a small alley at the side. When you walked down the path you passed a window in the house next door and you tried to look ahead of you to avoid looking through the window and seeing what was going on. This house had been empty for some time but now seemed to be occupied. One night as the light was on in the room I couldn''t resist looking through the window and saw a very short woman waving at me. She opened the window, introduced herself and invited me to look in on her one day soon. I looked her up and down because she seemed so small and spoke in a strange cracked voice. I forgot all about the invitation when one morning in the high street I noticed a woman seeming to come towards me. I took no notice because I assumed she was about to speak to the person next to me. I obviously didn''t know her. To my surprise she addressed her remarks to me: "''I''ve been looking out for you. You looked right through me as though I wasn''t there." Several shoppers round about looked on wondering what was happening. "We spoke through the window — I''m from next door." I apologized, agreed to come round the following afternoon and said I was looking forward to meeting the rest of the family. I looked round to take a closer look at the woman but there was no sign of her. The reason why I wanted to look her over again was that she seemed to be twice the height. The face was the same and the voice. My imagination was telling me that possibly she was a witch.

Although I was a little apprehensive about the visit, I had agreed to look her up and duly called the next day. As I looked about the hall, I noticed signs of the zodiac cut into the floor and a large broom leaning in the corner. "The rest of the family" I had referred to in the high street consisted of seven black cats. Fortunately my hostess remained the same size as we chatted over a cup of tea. She said how delighted she was that I had agreed to visit her as she had the feeling that the other neighbours looked down on her. After an hour and a half I looked her straight in the face, made some excuse about an appointment and left hoping that I hadn''t been put under a spell for telling a lie. When I got home, I looked up the word "witch" in my encyclopedia and was amazed to find that one of abilities a witch has is to change size. From then on I tended to walk down the left side of my house after that near my other neighbour, Mrs Tendett. Some weeks later she hailed me as I came home: "Things are looking up", she exclaimed. "That empty house on the other side has apparently been sold at last." It didn''t seem a good idea to inform Mrs Tendett that I had had tea in the "empty" house with a witch, especially as she had always looked up to me for some reason. I didn''t make a particular point of looking out for my new neighbours but when I did meet them they seemed a normal enough young couple. What disturbed me slightly was the name. To make sure I had heard it right, I looked it up in the telephone directory: Mr and Mrs Broom.

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Author: Alan Townend

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