Meaning of NOT DO in English



do something

1. to do something

2. to do something that has already been planned or ordered

3. to do something after a delay or pause

4. to do something that is bad or wrong

5. ways of asking what someone is doing

6. when someone is doing something

7. something that someone does

8. something that people do for enjoyment

to do something in order to deal with a situation

9. to do something in order to deal with a bad situation

10. something that someone does in order to deal with a situation

to do something well

11. to do something skilfully or carefully

to do something badly

12. to do something in a careless or unskilful way

to not do something

13. to not do something that you should do

14. to decide it is better not to do something

15. to not do something because it does not seem important

16. to not do anything because there is nothing to do

17. not doing anything


to start doing something : ↑ START

see also






1. to do something

▷ do /duː/ [transitive verb]

▪ I do half an hour of exercises every morning.

▪ What is Carla doing? She’s been in the garage for a half an hour.

▪ Howard did some rapid calculations on the back of an envelope.

▪ Listen, I’m only trying to do my job - don’t yell at me.

do work/housework/homework etc

▪ She does a lot of work for charity.

▪ I want you to do your homework before you start watching TV.

do the washing/cooking/shopping etc

▪ You wash the dishes, and I’ll do the drying.

do a test/exam/course etc


▪ He’s doing an art course at Wrexham College.

▷ make /meɪk/

to do something - use this with these words :

make an effort/decision/start

▪ We can’t wait any longer. You need to make a decision now.

▪ Archie doesn’t even make an effort to help out around the house.

make a speech/suggestion/remark/complaint/joke

▪ At school the other kids always made jokes about my name.

▪ I’d like to make a suggestion if that’s all right.

▪ The governor will be making a speech here next week.

▷ give /gɪv/ [transitive verb]

give a talk/speech/performance etc

talk, speak, sing, perform etc in front of a group of people :

▪ Mr Banks gave a short talk about his travels in Africa.

▪ Professor Williams will be giving a series of lectures on environmental pollution.

▪ Davis gives a wonderful performance as an 81-year-old man.

▷ go about /ˌgəʊ əˈbaʊt/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to start or continue doing a job - use this when someone does a job in their usual way, or when you are talking about the way they do it :

▪ The old man hummed to himself as he went about his gardening.

▪ I’m thinking about changing careers, but I don’t quite know how to go about it.

go about doing something

▪ How would you go about reorganizing the kitchen?

go about your business

continue doing what you were doing or always do

▪ The next morning, she went about her business as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

▷ perform /pəʳˈfɔːʳm/ [transitive verb]

perform a duty/operation/task etc

to do a duty, operation, or piece of work :

▪ The ship’s captain performed the wedding ceremony.

▪ The operation was performed by a team of surgeons at Addenbrookes Hospital.

▪ Students perform increasingly difficult tasks as the course continues.

▷ conduct /kənˈdʌkt/ [transitive verb]

conduct an experiment/survey/inquiry etc

to do something, especially in order to find out or prove something :

▪ All the children in the class have to conduct their own science experiments.

▪ The committee will conduct a thorough investigation of the bribery charges.

▪ The data comes from a survey conducted by the company last fall.

▷ dabble in /ˈdæb ə l ɪn/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to do something that you are interested in or enjoy, but not very often or regularly, or not in a very serious way :

▪ When he was younger he used to dabble in astronomy.

▪ Beck has dabbled in poetry over the years, but this is her first published book of poems.

2. to do something that has already been planned or ordered

▷ carry out /ˌkæri ˈaʊt/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to do something that has been planned or that someone has asked you to do :

carry out tests/research/a search etc

▪ Police are carrying out a thorough search of the area.

▪ Technicians carried out extensive tests on the equipment.

carry out somebody’s orders/instructions/wishes

▪ If my instructions had been carried out, the accident would not have happened.

carry out a threat/promise

▪ The terrorists carried out their threat and shot two of the hostages.

▷ execute /ˈeksɪkjuːt, ˈeksəkjuːt/ [transitive verb] formal

to do something that you have carefully planned or that you have agreed to do - used especially in official, legal, or business contexts :

▪ We will not be able to execute the programs without more funding.

▪ The directors make the decisions, but it’s the managers who have to execute them.

▪ The goal of landing people on Mars will not be an easy one to execute.

execution /ˌeksɪˈkjuːʃ ə n, ˌeksəˈkjuːʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

execute of

▪ The department is responsible for the planning and execution of military operations.

▷ implement /ˈɪmplɪment, ˈɪmpləment/ [transitive verb] formal

to do something after an official decision has been made that it should be done :

implement a plan/a proposal/recommendations/policy etc

▪ We need a strategy that can be implemented quickly.

▪ Very few parties in government ever want to implement major political reform.

▪ An international team has been set up to implement recent UN recommendations.

implementation /ˌɪmplɪmenˈteɪʃ ə n, ˌɪmpləmenˈteɪʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

▪ A clear timetable for the implementation of new city programs is lacking.

▷ put something into practice /ˌpʊt something ɪntə ˈpræktə̇s/ [verb phrase]

if you put an idea or something you have learned into practice, you use it in your work or in your life, and you find out if it is effective :

▪ The office has been slow to put the new proposals into practice.

▪ A lot of these modern theories about teaching sound really good until you actually try and put them into practice.

▷ deliver the goods/come up with the goods /dɪˌlɪvəʳ ðə ˈgʊdz, kʌm ˌʌp wɪð ðə ˈgʊdz/ [verb phrase] informal

to successfully do what other people have asked you to do or expect you to do - used especially in business :

▪ What the country needs is an economic and political system capable of delivering the goods.

▪ When the company’s director failed to come up with the goods, he was out.

3. to do something after a delay or pause

▷ get on with /get ˈɒn wɪð/ [transitive phrasal verb not in passive] especially British, spoken

to start doing something that you should have started already, or continue doing something that you have stopped doing for a short time :

▪ I’m glad the guests are gone so I can get on with my work.

▪ Heavy rain is preventing rescue teams from getting on with the search.

get on with it

▪ Stop messing around - just get on with it!

▷ get around to also get round to British /get əˈraʊnd tuː , get ˈraʊnd tuː/ [transitive phrasal verb not in passive]

to finally do something that you have been intending to do for a long time, but have been too busy or too lazy to do :

▪ I was going to fill out an application, but I never got around to it.

get around/round to doing something

▪ I must get round to painting the kitchen some day.

▷ get going /get ˈgəʊɪŋ/ [verb phrase] spoken

to start doing something, especially when you should have started already :

▪ We’ve got so much to do - let’s get going.

get going on

▪ You need to get going on that report. It’s due tomorrow.

4. to do something that is bad or wrong

▷ be up to /biː ˈʌp tuː/ [verb phrase] informal

if someone is up to something they are probably doing something bad, but you do not know exactly what :

▪ I know he’s lying - what do you think he’s up to?

be up to something

▪ The kids have been whispering and giggling all day - I think they’re up to something.

be up to no good

be doing something bad

▪ She was beginning to suspect that the handsome stranger was up to no good.

▷ get up to /get ˈʌp tuː/ [verb phrase] British

to do something that other people disapprove of, especially because you think it is funny or because you enjoy it :

▪ She peeped into the bedroom to see what mischief her grandson was getting up to.

▪ When we were students, we used to get up to all sorts of things.

▷ commit /kəˈmɪt/ [transitive verb]

to do something that is a crime, especially a serious crime :

commit a crime/murder/robbery etc

▪ Women commit far fewer crimes than men.

▪ The murder must have been committed between 7 and 10pm.

▷ indulge in /ɪnˈdʌldʒ ɪn/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to do something that you enjoy, even though there is a reason you should not do it :

▪ I was downtown, so I decided to indulge in a little shopping.

▪ Most people indulge in harmless fantasies to relieve the boredom of their lives.

▷ stoop to /ˈstuːp tuː/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to do something that you know is morally wrong because you think it is the only way that you can achieve what you want to achieve :

▪ ‘She even tried to get him fired.’ ‘I can’t believe she’d stoop to that.’

stoop to doing something

▪ They ended up stooping to hair-pulling and name-calling.

▪ His lawyers even stooped to using the children to gain public sympathy.

5. ways of asking what someone is doing

▷ what is somebody doing? /ˌwɒt ɪz somebody ˈduːɪŋ/ spoken :

▪ What are you two doing?

▪ He’s been in the yard a long time - what’s he doing out there?

▷ what is somebody up to? /ˌwɒt ɪz somebody ˈʌp tuː/ spoken

say this when you think someone is secretly doing something bad :

▪ You look guilty, Stuart. What have you been up to?

▪ They’ve been locked in there all morning - what are they up to?

▷ what is somebody playing at? /ˌwɒt ɪz somebody ˈpleɪ-ɪŋ æt/ British spoken

say this when you are angry and think someone has done something wrong or stupid :

▪ She shouldn’t have told him what I said. What was she playing at?

▪ You boys! What on earth do you think you’re playing at? Stop it at once!

6. when someone is doing something

▷ active /ˈæktɪv/ [adjective]

always doing things or ready to do things, especially physical activities or activities within an organization :

▪ They’re both in their seventies, but they’re still very active.

active in

▪ In Washington Harriman quickly became active in Democratic Party affairs.

active member

▪ Today there are over 5,000 active members in the Accra church.

▷ in action /ɪn ˈækʃ ə n/ [adverb]

if you see someone in action, you see them doing the job or activity that they are trained to do or usually do :

▪ I’ve heard a lot about his dancing - I’d love to see him in action.

▪ The advertisement shows two firefighters in action putting out a blaze.

▪ I had seen him in action during the San José strike, and I was very impressed.

7. something that someone does

▷ thing /θɪŋ/ [noun phrase]

something that someone does - always use this with the verb do :

▪ The first thing you should do is connect the printer to the computer.

a nice/stupid/nasty etc thing to do

▪ That was a really nice thing to do - I know Leona enjoys your visits.

▪ I know I shouldn’t have hit him - it was a dumb thing to do.

the right/best/smart/only etc thing to do

▪ He gave her half the money because it was the right thing to do.

▷ action /ˈækʃ ə n/ [countable noun]

something that someone does :

▪ You can’t be blamed for the actions of your parents.

▪ Bedell’s financial problems do not excuse his actions.

course of action

something that you could do in order to deal with a situation

▪ There was only one possible course of action - he had to resign.

▷ activities /ækˈtɪvɪtiz, ækˈtɪvətiz/ [plural noun]

things that people do, especially as an organized group - use this especially about illegal things that people do :

▪ The FBI is investigating the company’s business activities.

▪ There is growing evidence of drug-smuggling activities in and around the port.

▪ Alberts created false documents to hide his activities from his employers.

▷ activity /ækˈtɪvɪti, ækˈtɪvəti/ [uncountable noun]

when people are doing things, moving around, and looking busy :

▪ There’s a lot of activity downstairs - do you know what’s going on?

▪ Military activity was secretly taking place for weeks before the invasion.

▷ act /ækt/ [countable noun]

a particular kind of action :

act of courage/stupidity/cruelty/kindness etc

▪ Saving the boys from the river was an act of great courage.

▪ We condemn all acts of violence, no matter what the reason.

▪ The whole nation is very grateful for the numerous acts of kindness rendered in this time of crisis.

▷ deed /diːd/ [countable noun]

something very brave, very good or very bad that someone does - used especially in literature :

▪ One day he will pay for his evil deeds.

▪ He grew up reading the tales and legends of heroic deeds.

good deed

▪ Well, that’s my good deed for the day.

▷ feat /fiːt/ [countable noun]

something that someone does that is admired because it is very difficult and you need a lot of skill or strength to do it :

feat of

▪ Using the code requires incredible feats of memory.

perform/accomplish/achieve a feat

▪ The circus acrobats perform amazing feats on the trapeze.

▪ He led his team to victory for the tenth time, a feat no captain had achieved before.

▷ exploits /ˈeksplɔɪts/ [plural noun]

brave or exciting actions that people are told about and admire :

▪ The children loved to hear their father tell stories of his wartime exploits.

▪ Powell’s exploits on the Colorado River made him a hero of the old West.

8. something that people do for enjoyment

▷ activity /ækˈtɪvɪti, ækˈtɪvəti/ [countable noun]

▪ What kind of activities do you enjoy?

outdoor/indoor activities

▪ Rebecca has always loved hiking and other outdoor activities.

leisure/social/cultural etc activities

▪ The retirement home arranges social and cultural activities for its seniors.

lay on activities

British provide them

▪ In the afternoon, there will be plenty of activities laid on for the kids.

▷ pursuits /pəʳˈsjuːtsǁ-ˈsuːts/ [plural noun] formal

things that people do because they enjoy them :

leisure/outdoor/artistic etc pursuits

▪ Her husband never gave her much support in her artistic pursuits.

▪ After he retired, my grandfather was able to devote his time to literary pursuits.

▷ pastime /ˈpɑːstaɪmǁˈpæs-/ [countable noun]

an activity that is pleasant, relaxing and usually not very difficult, that you do when you are not working, because you enjoy it :

▪ Our cat’s favourite pastime is sitting at the window and watching the people walk by.

▪ Watching talk shows has become a national pastime in this country.

▷ something to do /ˌsʌmθɪŋ tə ˈduː/ [noun phrase]

something that you can do and that will stop you feeling bored when you have nothing to do :

▪ I don’t mind helping - it’ll give me something to do.

▪ He really needs something to do in his spare time to keep him out of trouble.

▷ hobby /ˈhɒbiǁˈhɑː-/ [countable noun]

something that you do for interest and enjoyment regularly over a long period of time, for example, collecting things or making models :

▪ My hobbies are wind-surfing and playing the guitar.

▪ I never saw my song-writing as anything more than a hobby until recently.

9. to do something in order to deal with a bad situation

▷ do something /ˈduː ˌsʌmθɪŋ/ [verb phrase]

to do something to deal with a problem, especially one that is urgent :

▪ Quick, do something - there’s water all over the kitchen floor.

▪ We need to do something before everyone gets fed up and quits.

do something about

▪ When are you going to do something about this broken window?

▪ Teenagers were dropping out of school in huge numbers, until a group of parents and teachers decided to do something about it.

▷ take action /ˌteɪk ˈækʃ ə n/ [verb phrase]

to do something to stop a bad situation from happening or continuing - use this to talk about people who have a clear plan for dealing with a problem :

▪ Unless governments take action, the Earth’s atmosphere will continue to heat up.

take action against

▪ The school will take strong action against any students using illegal drugs.

take action on

▪ Congress is expected to take action on campaign finance reform soon.

take action to do something

▪ The President may step in and take action to lower energy prices.

▷ act /ækt/ [intransitive verb]

to use your power or authority to deal with an urgent problem :

▪ We must act before the situation gets out of control.

▪ Despite the crisis, the Commission seems unwilling to act.

▪ Critics accuse the company of acting too slowly in notifying residents of the chemical leak.

▷ take steps/take measures /ˌteɪk ˈsteps, ˌteɪk ˈmeʒəʳz/ [verb phrase]

if a government or someone in a position of power takes steps or measures, they do what is necessary to improve a situation or to deal with a problem :

▪ The governor has not yet decided what measures should be taken.

take steps/take measures to do something

▪ All departments must take measures now to reduce costs.

▪ We apologize for the error and have taken steps to see that it does not happen again.

take drastic measures

▪ Drastic measures will be taken against those who engage in terrorism.

▷ move /muːv/ [intransitive verb]

if a person or organization moves to do something, they start to take action, especially in order to deal quickly with an urgent matter :

▪ If anyone wants to put in a bid on the property they’ll have to move quickly.

move to do something

▪ Airport authorities are moving fast to improve security following a series of bomb threats.

▪ In the past year the leadership has moved to strengthen their control over the party.

▷ intervene/step in /ˌɪntəʳˈviːn, ˌstep ˈɪn/ [intransitive verb/intransitive phrasal verb]

to get involved in a difficult situation in order to stop a fight or deal with someone else’s problem :

▪ The referee intervened when two of the players started to fight.

▪ The situation was allowed to continue for several months before the local authorities stepped in.

intervene in something

▪ The UN was not authorized to intervene in a country’s internal affairs.

intervene/step in to do something

▪ Soldiers intervened to prevent further bloodshed.

▪ Thomas had listened to the argument for long enough and he stepped in to defend Miss Price.

intervention /ˌɪntəʳˈvenʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

▪ We don’t need more government intervention in private industry.

10. something that someone does in order to deal with a situation

▷ action /ˈækʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

what someone does when they use their power to deal with a problem or to achieve something :

▪ Strong action is needed to restore law and order.

▪ It’s been politics as usual - all talk and no action.

action on

▪ The agency has promised action on the pollution problem for years, but nothing has happened.

▷ step /step/ [countable noun]

one of a series of things that someone does in order to deal with a problem or to achieve success :

▪ Her first big step towards a career in movies was her move to Hollywood.

▪ Now that we’ve identified the problem, what’s the next step?

▪ These steps are necessary if the company is to succeed in the European market.

▷ measure /ˈmeʒəʳ/ [countable noun usually plural]

an action taken by a government or someone in authority to deal with a problem or improve a situation, for example by making a new law or rule :

▪ Government officials refused to say what measures were being planned to deal with the refugee crisis.

measure to do something

▪ Lawmakers are searching for the best measures to strengthen Social Security.

drastic measures

▪ Drastic situations require drastic measures.

▷ move /muːv/ [countable noun]

something that you decide to do in order to achieve a particular result, especially as one of a series of planned actions :

somebody’s move

▪ The management have offered less money than we wanted so what’s our next move?

▪ His first move after taking office was to appoint four communists to his cabinet.

move to do something

▪ The UN’s latest move to stop the fighting has ended in failure.

11. to do something skilfully or carefully

▷ do (something) well /ˌduː something ˈwel/ [verb phrase]

▪ Don’t worry about the test - I’m sure you’ll do well.

▪ She enjoys her job and does it very well.

▪ If a firm does a job well, we use them again.

▷ do a good job /duː ə ˌgʊd ˈdʒɒbǁ-ˈdʒɑːb/ [verb phrase] especially spoken

to do something well, especially a job that you have been asked to do :

▪ You can always rely on Brian to do a good job.

▪ You’re doing a good job there, Sally. I don’t know what we’d do without you.

do a good job of doing something

▪ They did a really good job of decorating my bathroom.

▷ make a good job of /ˌmeɪk ə gʊd ˈdʒɒb ɒvǁ-ˈdʒɑːb-/ [verb phrase] British

to do something well, especially a piece of practical work, so that it looks good or works well :

▪ The hairdresser made a good job of your hair. It looks lovely.

▪ We’ve just had a new heating system installed, but unfortunately they didn’t make a very good job of it.

▷ excel /ɪkˈsel/ [intransitive verb not in progressive]

to do something much better than most other people, especially because you have a natural ability to do it well :

▪ I didn’t exactly excel academically and I left school as soon as I had the chance.

excel at/in

▪ He played cricket for Middlesex but it was football that he really excelled at.

▪ Many parents put too much pressure on their children to excel in school.

excel yourself

British do even better than usual

▪ Costner has excelled himself in this movie - definitely his best performance yet.

▷ outdo /aʊtˈduː/ [transitive verb]

to be better or more successful than someone else at doing something :

▪ The Canadian hockey team has outdone all its rivals.

outdo somebody in something

▪ Each state seems to be trying to outdo its neighbors in cutting health services.

outdo yourself

do even better than usual

▪ The singer outdid himself at the festival, singing for almost three hours to noisy applause.

not to be outdone

so that no one else does better than you

▪ Not to be outdone, Stern went on television and made a speech of his own.

▷ distinguish yourself /dɪˈstɪŋgwɪʃ jɔːʳself/ [verb phrase]

to do something very well, so that people notice you, praise you, and remember you :

▪ Bradley has distinguished himself as the top scorer on the team.

▪ After joining the newspaper, she quickly distinguished herself with a series of hard-hitting exposés.

12. to do something in a careless or unskilful way

▷ do (something) badly /ˌduː something ˈbædli/ [verb phrase]

▪ I think I did pretty badly in the exam today.

▪ They packed the glass and china for us, but they did it very badly and a lot of stuff got broken.

▷ mess up /ˌmes ˈʌp/ [intransitive/transitive phrasal verb] informal

to do something badly because you have made mistakes, often so that you do not get the result you wanted :

▪ I’ve practiced all week, but I’m still afraid I’ll mess up.

mess something up

▪ Don’t ask Terry to do it - she’ll probably just mess it up.

mess up something

▪ Danny messed up three plays and made us lose the game.

▷ make a mess of also make a hash of British /ˌmeɪk ə ˈmes ɒv , ˌmeɪk ə ˈhæʃ ɒv/ [verb phrase] informal

to do something badly and make a lot of mistakes, especially when it is important that you do it well :

▪ Let’s be honest. Most people make a mess of handling money.

▪ She picked herself up and started the dance again, determined not to make a hash of it this time.

make a complete hash of something

▪ I made a complete hash of the interview - I don’t stand a chance of getting the job.

▷ screw up /ˌskruː ˈʌp/ [intransitive/transitive phrasal verb] informal

to spoil something you are trying to do, by making stupid mistakes :

▪ If you screw up too many times, they’ll kick you off the team.

screw something up

▪ I was so nervous about the driving test that I screwed the whole thing up.

screw up something

▪ My audition was going really well until I screwed the last part up.

▷ do a bad job /duː ə ,bæd ˈdʒɒbǁ-ˈdʒɑːb/ [verb phrase]

to do something badly, especially a job you have been asked to do :

▪ Most people think the mayor is doing a pretty bad job.

do a bad job of doing something

▪ He did such a bad job of labeling these envelopes I don’t think I’ll ask for his help again.

▷ bungle /ˈbʌŋg ə l/ [transitive verb]

if an organization or someone in authority bungles what they are trying to do, they fail to do it successfully because of stupid or careless mistakes :

▪ The plan seemed simple enough, but the CIA managed to bungle the operation.

▪ Analysts agree that the company bungled its response to the crisis.

bungling [uncountable noun]

▪ Because of bureaucratic bungling the hospital had never been built.

bungled [adjective]

▪ a bungled rescue attempt

▷ botch/botch up /bɒtʃ, ˌbɒtʃ ˈʌpǁˌbɑːtʃ-/ [transitive verb/transitive phrasal verb]

to do something badly, especially a practical job such as making or repairing something, as a result of being too careless or not having enough skill :

▪ They were supposed to fix the roof, but they completely botched the job.

botch something up

▪ We hired someone to fix the computer system, but he botched it up even more.

botch up something

▪ I wouldn’t take your car to that garage - they botch up the simplest jobs.

botched [adjective]

▪ He was killed by burglars in a botched robbery at his mansion.

▷ mismanage /ˌmɪsˈmænɪdʒ/ [transitive verb]

if someone who is in charge mismanages a system or planned piece of work, they do it badly because they did not organize and control it properly :

▪ The whole project was seriously mismanaged from the beginning.

▪ Many people accused the government of mismanaging the environment and indirectly causing the flooding.

▷ fluff /flʌf/ [transitive verb] informal

to do something badly because you are not paying enough attention, especially when it is your turn to do something in a play or in a game :

▪ I was so nervous that I fluffed my lines.

▪ It should have been an easy catch, but he fluffed it.

▷ not do yourself justice /nɒt ˌduː jɔːʳself ˈdʒʌstə̇s/ [verb phrase] British

to do something less well than you could, in an examination, game etc :

▪ My grandfather was very intelligent, but he never did himself justice at school.

▪ There were a couple of good performances, but most of the players didn’t really do themselves justice.

13. to not do something that you should do

▷ not do /nɒt ˈduː/ [verb phrase]

▪ I haven’t done my taxes yet and they’re due next week.

▪ The electrician came round yesterday, but he didn’t do all the jobs I asked him to do.

▪ She was afraid that if she didn’t do what her boss told her she would be fired.

▷ do nothing/not do anything /ˌduː ˈnʌθɪŋ, ˌnɒt duː ˈeniθɪŋ/ [verb phrase]

to not try to help someone or prevent a bad situation, even though you know it is happening :

▪ How could neighbors listen to her scream and do nothing?

do nothing/not do anything about

▪ We told the police months ago, but they still haven’t done anything about it.

do nothing/not do anything to do something

▪ No one did anything to stop the purse snatcher.

▷ take no action /ˌteɪk nəʊ ˈækʃ ə n/ [verb phrase] formal

to do nothing, especially when this is a deliberate decision :

▪ If you have already paid the amount shown on this bill, you need take no further action.

take no action to do something

▪ Local police took no action to protect the family from the attacks.

▷ fail to do something /ˌfeɪl tə ˈduː something/ [verb phrase not usually in progressive] formal

to not do something that you should do, especially when this has serious results :

▪ The driver of the car failed to stop in time, and the boy was killed.

▪ If you fail to provide all the information, we will be unable to process your application.

▷ neglect to do something /nɪˌglekt tə ˈduː something/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

to not do something because you do not pay enough attention or forget, especially when this could have serious results :

▪ Marie decided not to move, but she neglected to inform the rental agency.

▪ The public are demanding to know why the government neglected to warn them of the oil shortages.

▷ omit to do something /əʊˌmɪt tə ˈduː something/ [verb phrase not in progressive] formal

to not do something, either because you forget to do it or because you deliberately choose not to do it :

▪ Mrs Hobbs told me about the meeting but she omitted to tell me where it was.

▪ Starr’s account omits to mention that it was his own actions that caused the fire.

▷ stand by/sit by /ˌstænd ˈbaɪ, ˌsɪt ˈbaɪ/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to not do anything to stop something bad from happening, when you should do something to show that you care about the situation :

▪ Why did people just stand by while she was attacked?

▪ We can’t afford to just sit by and watch more of our local industry shut down.

▷ just stand there/just sit there /dʒʌst ˈstænd ðeəʳ, dʒʌst ˈsɪt ðeəʳ/ [verb phrase] spoken

to not even move or start to do something when there is an urgent situation :

▪ Don’t just stand there - help me catch the cat!

▪ When the fire alarm went off she just sat there as if she hadn’t heard a thing.

14. to decide it is better not to do something

▷ refrain /rɪˈfreɪn/ [intransitive verb not in progressive] formal

to not do something that you want to do or usually do, especially because you do not want to offend or upset someone :

▪ Kate wanted to slap Keith round the face but she refrained.

refrain from

▪ Rand refrained from comment on the scandal involving his opponent.

refrain from doing something

▪ Please refrain from smoking in the restaurant.

▷ abstain /əbˈsteɪn/ [intransitive verb]

to decide not to do something, especially something enjoyable, because it is considered to be bad for your health or morally wrong :

▪ Most of the church members drink only moderately or abstain completely.

abstain from

▪ You should abstain from food and caffeinated drinks before the operation.

abstain from doing something

▪ Junior politicians are supposed to abstain from criticizing the government.

abstinence /ˈæbstɪnəns, ˈæbstənəns/ [uncountable noun]

▷ stop short of /ˌstɒp ˈʃɔːʳt ɒvǁˌstɑːp-/ [verb phrase not in progressive or passive]

to not do something extreme, even though what you have been doing or saying until now makes this very likely to be the next thing you do :

▪ The US was willing to support sanctions, but stopped short of military intervention.

stop short of doing something

▪ Morris has strongly criticized Paulson’s writings but stops short of calling him a racist.

▷ hold back /ˌhəʊld ˈbæk/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to not do something, especially because you are worried about what will happen if you do :

▪ He wanted to tell her everything, but something made him hold back.

hold back from doing something

▪ Republicans have expressed interest in the plan but have held back from making a commitment.

▷ keep from doing something /ˌkiːp frəm ˈduːɪŋ something/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

to stop yourself from doing something you want to do, because you do not want to offend someone, spoil a secret etc :

▪ It was all I could do to keep from hitting him.

keep yourself from doing something

▪ Sara was so excited, she could hardly keep herself from giving away the whole plan.

▷ forget /fəʳˈget/ [transitive verb]

to decide or agree not to do something, especially because it is likely to be unsuccessful or is unnecessary :

▪ Look, we aren’t making any progress - let’s just forget the whole idea.

forget it


▪ If you’re not going to take this project seriously we might as well forget it.

▷ think twice /ˌθɪŋk ˈtwaɪs/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

to not do something that you were going to do, or to think very carefully before you do it, because you know it could have a bad result :

▪ Anyone thinking about having unprotected sex should think twice.

think twice about

▪ I hope this latest attack will make people think twice about mindless violence towards ethnic minorities.

think twice before doing something

▪ The heavy penalties are designed to make people think twice before committing a crime.

15. to not do something because it does not seem important

▷ not bother /nɒt ˈbɒðəʳǁ-ˈbɑː-/ [verb phrase] especially spoken

to not do something because you do not think it is important or necessary, or because you want to do something else :

▪ ‘Shall I come get you at the station?’ ‘Don’t bother - I can walk.’

not bother to do something

▪ Most people don’t bother to make a will while they’re still young.

▪ I don’t even bother to open most of the junk mail I get.

▷ give something a miss /ˌgɪv something ə ˈmɪs/ [verb phrase not in passive] British

to decide not to do something that you had planned to do, for example because you are too tired :

▪ I think I’ll give my exercise class a miss tonight - I’m worn out.

▪ ‘Do you want to come to the cinema?’ ‘No thanks, I’ll give it a miss this time.’

▷ skip /skɪp/ [transitive verb]

to not do something that you usually do or that you should do, especially because you would prefer to do something else :

▪ Bill likes to leave work early, so he skips lunch sometimes.

▪ The weather’s so nice today - let’s skip class and go to the beach.

16. to not do anything because there is nothing to do

▷ have nothing to do/not have anything to do /hæv ˌnʌθɪŋ tə ˈduː, nɒt hæv ˌenɪθɪŋ tə ˈduː/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

if you have nothing to do, there is nothing interesting for you to do, and you feel bored :

▪ I get depressed if I have nothing to do.

▪ The kids are always complaining that they don’t have anything to do.

with nothing to do/without anything to do

▪ She was sick of sitting around at home with nothing to do.

▷ sit around/stand around /ˌsɪt əˈraʊnd, ˌstænd əˈraʊnd/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to sit or stand somewhere for a long time, feeling bored, when you are waiting for something to happen or when you are just being lazy :

▪ I spent the whole morning sitting around waiting for him to call.

▪ A group of teenagers were standing around outside the station.

▪ If you’re just standing around, why don’t you come help me?

▷ be at a loose end British /be at loose ends American /biː ət ə ˌluːs ˈend, biː ət ˌluːs ˈendz/ [verb phrase]

to be unable to think of anything to do :

▪ After her husband died, Mildred found herself suddenly at loose ends.

▪ I felt rather at a loose end at the end of the term so I decided to take a trip to London.

17. not doing anything

▷ idle /ˈaɪdl/ [adjective not usually before noun]

not doing anything, especially work, because there is nothing to do :

▪ Almost half the skilled workers in this country are now idle.

sit/stand idle

▪ Hundreds of workers sat idle on the factory floor waiting for the assembly line to start again.

▷ inactive /ɪnˈæktɪv/ [adjective]

not doing anything, for example, because you are old or ill :

▪ She dreads becoming old and inactive.

▪ Very shy people often become socially inactive.

inactivity /ˌɪnækˈtɪvɪti, ˌɪnækˈtɪvəti/ [uncountable noun]

▪ Failing health is the biggest reason for Herman’s long period of inactivity.

▷ passive /ˈpæsɪv/ [adjective]

not making decisions or taking control of situations yourself but allowing other people to do it for you, especially in a situation where other people are trying to control or influence you :

▪ Emma plays far too passive a role in group discussions.

▪ You’re too passive, Harry. You should just tell her you don’t want to go.

passively [adverb]

▪ The majority of people will passively accept what newspapers tell them.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .