10 Phrasal Verbs For The New Year

How are you going to celebrate the New Year?

If you’re going to a party on 31 December, check out this list of ten phasal verbs for the New Year. They’re all common in spoken English, so when you use them, you’ll sound more like a native speaker.

There are also notes on how to use these phrasal verbs, so you can be sure you’re using them correctly!

To See In

When you “see in” the New Year (or “see the New Year in”) you stay up until after 12.00 to welcome the new year. Often you do this with fireworks, or by counting the seconds to midnight. Here are some ways you can use it in a sentence:

“Are you seeing in the New Year?”
“I always stay up to see in the New Year.”

To Count Down

When you “count down” the seconds, you count from ten to nothing. For example, “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, Happy New Year!” Here are some ways you can use “count down” in a sentence (we say “count down the seconds”, not “count the seconds down”):

“Everyone in the square was counting down the seconds to midnight.”
“We always count down the seconds and then shout “Happy New Year!”

To Dress Up

When you “dress up” for a special occasion (like a New Year’s party), you wear your best or nicest clothes. Remember, “dress up” doesn’t need an object, so you can “dress up” or “dress up for something”. Here are some examples:

“I love dressing up for parties.”
“You don’t need to dress up – just wear anything you want.”
“Are you going to dress up for the party?”

To Squeeze Into

If you have to “squeeze into something”, your clothes are too tight – perhaps because you ate too much over the holidays! Remember, you need an object with “squeeze into”. Here are some examples:

“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to squeeze into this dress.”
“If you breathe in, you might be able to squeeze into your jeans.”

To Dance Away

When you “dance the night away”, you dance all night at a party. Here are some examples:

“I’m planning to dance the night away.”
“They danced the night away.”

To Sit Out

When you “sit something out” (not “sit out something”) you decide to sit down rather than dance to a song. Perhaps you don’t like the song, or you just need to rest because you’ve been dancing the night away! Here are some examples:

“I think I’m going to sit this one out.”
“Do you want to sit this out?”

To Chat Up

You can chat up a person, or chat a person up (the “up” can go before or after the person). It means that you talk to someone because you like them and you want them to dance with you, or even become your girlfriend / boyfriend. Here are some examples for you:

“Look at him chatting up that girl over there.”
“Why don’t you chat that girl up and leave me alone!”

To Live Up To

This is a “three-part phrasal verb”, which means you have the verb (live) and two particles (up to). You can’t separate any of the three parts. If you “live up to”, or something “lives up to” another thing, it means that you (or it) meets expectations. Here are some examples:

“Tony really lives up to his reputation as a gentleman.” (= Tony really behaves like a gentleman.)
“The party didn’t really live up to expectations.” (= The party wasn’t as good as we’d expected.)

To Shell Out

When you “shell out a lot of money” it means that you pay a lot of money for something. Here are some examples:

“They shelled out hundreds of pounds for those fireworks.”
“They must have shelled out a lot of money to hire the DJ.”

To Give Up

When you “give up something”, you stop doing something which is bad. We often say we’re going to give up something in the New Year as part of our “New Year’s Resolutions” (= promises of better habits in the New Year.” Here are some examples:

“He always says he’ll give up smoking, but he never does.”
“I’m going to give up sugar in January.”


Phrasal verbs are very common in English conversations. When you can use a couple, you’ll sound more natural when you speak! That’s why I include them in my fluency programs – which you can get for free when you join the English Fluency Club.

10 Phrasal Verbs For The New Year
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