keep an eye out: meaning and explanation

to keep an eye out for something = to be alert or watch out for something.

This expression can be used to warn people to be careful. If you are visiting a dangerous part of a city and I think you need to be alert or careful, I might tell you to keep an eye out for pickpockets.

This expression can also be used to ask someone to stay alert for news or so they will be prepared to take advantage of an opportunity. For example, a company or organisation might tell you top keep an eye out for updates on a new product.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: Scotland

you out for the taxi – be here .
you keep an out for the taxi – should be here minute.

…it should be here any minute…

If you say that something will happen any minute, you mean that you expect it to happen very soon – almost immediately. e.g. Can you come and sit down? Dinner will be ready any minute.

Discussion question

Write your answers to this question in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • If I visit your country, should I keep an eye out for anything?

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