Language Tips

to arrive, part 2

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Written by Liz Potter

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This set of language tips explores the words and phrases we use to describe movement. This week’s tip looks at phrasal verbs and phrases that mean to arrive:



turn up to arrive somewhere, often unexpectedly or without making arrangements or telling someone you are coming:

  • She just turned up on my doorstep with a suitcase.
  • You don’t need to book, just turn up.
  • She failed to turn up at work on Monday.
  • He eventually turned up three hours late.

show up to arrive in a place where people are expecting you:

  • I’ll be very surprised if they show up on time.
  • He didn’t show up until well after midnight.

Show up is fairly informal. You can also say that someone shows, but this is more common in American English than British English:

  • We didn’t really expect Austin to show, but he did.

make it if someone makes it, they manage to arrive in time, even though they have some problems on the way:

  • We just made it in time for the wedding.
  • They made it to the ferry with minutes to spare.

roll in to arrive late, and in a way that shows you do not care:

  • Susan rolled in half an hour after the rehearsal had started.

Roll in is informal.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘to arrive‘.

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Liz Potter

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