inseparable phrasal verb: lay into

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This week’s phrasal verb is “lay into”, and we use it when we want to talk about one person scolding another person in a serious way. To scold someone means to criticize someone’s behavior directly to that person. Here are some example sentences for “lay into”:

My mom is always laying into my dad about not spending enough time with her.

My father really laid into me after he caught me smoking and drinking. He told me he was really ashamed of my behavior.

I can’t be late for work again! If I’m even two minutes late, my boss will really lay into me about it.

Nobody in our class did the assignment, so our teacher laid into us about the importance of completing our homework.

So, with this phrasal verb, we always put a person after the word “into”, and then if we want to talk about the topic of what the person was saying, we use “about” followed by the topic.

In my second example, the person whose father laid into him about smoking and drinking is a teenager because a adult would probably not be criticized for smoking and drinking by his father.

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