Phrasal verb: tidy up

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1. To tidy up something (or tidy something up) is to put everything in its correct place and make it tidy.

Examples of use:

a) Can I go out when I have tidied up my room?

b) I must tidy my books up. I can't find the one I need for my studies.

c) We must tidy up before my mother comes to visit.

d) Can you help me tidy up the kitchen? It's such a mess

e) I'm tired of tidying up after my children!


2. To tidy up something (or tidy something up) is to correct mistakes and make small changes to something in order to make it better.

a) My English essay needs a bit of tidying up and then it's finished.

b) If you tidy up your article on global warming we can use it in next week's newspaper.



3. To tidy up somebody (or tidy somebody up) is to make them look neat and clean by brushing their hair, washing their face and hands, and putting on clean clothes etc.

Often reflexive.

Examples of use:

a) Give me five minutes to tidy myself up, and I'll come with you.

b) Tidy yourself up – grandma will be here in ten minutes.


tidy up
present simple
tidy up and tidies up
-ing form
tidying up
past simple
tidied up
past participle
tidied up

Can you write a sentence with the phrasal verb 'tidy up'?

Do you need to tidy up your house or your study materials?

See also, jumble up


Image by Barbara L. Slavin

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  1. shingabis says

    ”Australia knows only how to sell ore and the US has trouble on Wall Street. It would be better for them to kneel down and beg for China not to tidy them up.”

    Song Xiaojun, former People’s Liberation Army strategist


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