intransitive phrasal verb: let up

2012-10-04-rain

The phrasal verb for today is “let up”, and it is used in two different ways in English.

1. for a bad weather condition to stop (often rain). For example:

It’s been raining hard all day, and the forecast says it won’t let up until tomorrow.

It looks like the rain is starting to let up, so we can finally walk home.

If the storm lets up by tonight, we can go to the party.

2. for someone to decrease the intensity of their treatment of another person. For example:

When my father gets angry, he starts to yell, and he doesn’t let up for a long time.

My mother and father have really been pressuring me to get married. I wish they would just let up.

My friend has been asking me to lend him money, and he just won’t let up. It’s really annoying!

So, in both cases, the phrasal verb “let up” has the meaning of “stop”. In the first case, it means for a bad weather condition to stop, and in the second case, it means for someone’s difficult behavior towards another person to stop.

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