31 Phrasal Verbs and Idioms about Learning

How to describe learning in conversational English? Learn some useful idioms and set expressions from our 'Figure Out English' podcast.

Happy new school year! Let’s learn phrasal verbs and idioms about learning which you can use to describe your learning process and successes.

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Learn these expressions and idioms about learning

1. Go back to school/school year

I’m going back to school on the first of September because it’s the beginning of a new school year.

‘Go back to school’ can also mean that you have made up your mind to continue your education. For example, if you decided to go to college after working for a while or do a Master’s degree. You’ll say I am going back to school meaning ‘I am learning again’.

2. To do a course

  • This year I am doing mathematics again.
  • I don’t do language courses this year.

3. To take up a course / to give up a course

If you start a new course, you will use a phrasal verb ‘take up’.

  • I want to take up more courses this year.
  • I want to take up sailing.

If you decide to stop learning something without finishing, we’ll say ‘give up’.

  • I want to give up singing – I don’t have time.

4. To drop out

if you give up the whole course, the whole university studying process, it’s called ‘drop out’.

  • He dropped out of school last year.
  • Here is a list of famous drop-outs. (here it’s used as a noun)

5. To skip class

If you study hard, if you’re a very good student, you will probably be called ‘a nerd’.

But everybody at some moment needs to study hard, especially if you have been ‘skipping class’ throughout the semester. It means you didn’t go to the class, you were supposed to but you didn’t show up.

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Idioms about studying hard

6. To cram

And then, for example, after three months of skipping classes, you need to learn all the material of the semester in a month or in a week, for example, and in this case, you will be cramming. ‘Cram’ means to learn by heart a lot of information in a very short time.

Figure Out English 31 Phrasal Verbs and Idioms about Learning

7. To hit the books (to study actively)

  • I need to hit the books – it’s the end of the semester.

8. To pull an all-nighter

  • Did you pull many all-nighters last year?
  • Are you going to pull an all-nighter?

9. To catch up with

  • I need to catch up with the mathematics course – I have skipped a lot of classes, and I am late with the deadlines.

Idioms about success in learning

10. To sail through the course

  • I just sailed through it. (meaning it was such an easy course)

11. To know something backwards and forwards

  • It will be an easy test – I know everything backwards and forwards.

I am certainly hoping that you can find your own strategy to sail through the university course, to do only the courses which will help you in the future and happy new school year, guys!

Hope you like this episode!

More episodes about idioms

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One comment

  1. Hi, this is cool. Because i am an English teacher at KSTUniversity. It helos to boost my and students ‘ voc.

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