about to (do something)
- to be on the point of doing something
I was about to leave when the phone rang.
according to (someone or something)
- as said or told by someone, in agreement with something, in the order of something, in proportion to something
According to our teacher, there will be no class next week.
We did everything according to the terms of our agreement.
account for (something)
- to provide an explanation or answer for something
The bad weather accounts for the fact that few people came to the meeting.
- considering the fact that something happened, something that is usually assumed
"You don't need to phone him. After all, he never phones you."
all of a sudden
- suddenly, without advance warning
All of a sudden it became cloudy and began to rain.
as a matter of fact
"As a matter of fact, we have been to the history museum many times."
as far as
- to the extent or degree of something
As far as I know the movie will start in a few minutes.
- with regard to, concerning
"As for me, I think that I will return home now."
- in the same way that something would be, that
The drink tastes as if it were made with orange juice.
It seemed as if the whole town came to the concert.
as long as
- provided that, on condition that
"As long as you promise to be careful you can borrow my car."
as soon as
- just after something, when
I phoned my friend as soon as I finished dinner.
- with regard to, according to
"As to your question, I will answer it tomorrow."
The players were put into groups as to their ability.
- in addition, also, too
I plan to take a computer course this summer as well.
as well as
- in addition to
"Please bring your swimming suit as well as your towel."
back and forth
- backwards and forwards, first one way and then the other way
The argument went back and forth before the judge made a decision.
- to be in a better situation than before
My friend would be better off if he sold his old car and bought a new one.
break down (something)
- to divide something into parts, to separate something into simpler substances
We tried to break down the problem for further study.
The sugar began to break down soon after it was swallowed.
- to separate, to divide into groups or pieces, to put an end to something
Nobody wanted to break up their groups.
We usually break up into small groups during our class.
by the way
"By the way, could you please bring your laptop computer tomorrow."
carry out (something)
- to put something into action, to accomplish something, to do something
The scientist wanted to carry out several experiments before discussing the new medicine.