live up to 28

live up to: meaning and explanation

to live up to somethingย is a useful phrasal verb to talk about your reaction to something, specifically to say whether it was better or worse than you were expecting or hoping.

There are a few ways you can use this (and similar) expressions, depending on how you feel:

The film didn’t live up to my expectations = the film was worse than I was expecting

The film lived up to my expectations = the film was as good as I was expecting

The film exceeded my expectations = the film was better than I was expecting.

You can also use this phrasal verb to ask someone what they thought of something, and how their opinion compared to their expectations. e.g. How was the meal last night? Did it live up to your expectations?

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

Dictation #1

Accent: English (RP)

The film disappointing . didn't expectations.
The film a bit disappointing . It didn't really up to expectations.

Discussion questions

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

  • Stonehenge is one of the most famous and popular attractions in the UK. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of my students are a bit disappointed when they visit it, because it wasn’t as good as they were expecting – Stonehenge didn’t live up to their expectations. Is there anything in your country that often doesn’t live up to people’s expectations?
  • Can you think of an example of something you experienced recently which was better or worse than you were expecting?

Photo byย Ankit Soodย onย Unsplash

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Sveta
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Sveta

Hi. The most of parents whose children have learned English for 3 or 4months are disappointed when their children can’t speak very well. Having English lessons didn’t live up to the expectations.

Tanya
Guest
Tanya

There is a rock in my city that is famous for having a form of a human head. But during some time it’s deformed and now it doesn’t live up to people’s expectation.

Alejandro
Guest
Alejandro

I went to a park in the northern part of Mexico which was like a safari ride, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. The weather was too hot in that part of the season, and there was almost no shade to get cover.

Tanya
Guest
Tanya

No…could you tell me please, what mistake I’ve done?)

samy
Guest
samy

In the place I live, there is a famous event every year in which people enjoy listening to music from famous singers, but also enjoy the food of the different restaurans meeting in that place, but this year it didn’t live up to my expectations.

amens
Guest
amens

I was expecting good result in my fourth year of bacheolars but it didn’t live up to my expectations

mferna
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mferna

Awesome listening practice this is close to c1 level test

Veronica Silva
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Veronica Silva

My country has always suffered from different natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcano eruptions, floods, tsunami, fire, etc. I wish this year wouldn’t have any natural disaster and it will live up my expectations.

Sveta
Guest
Sveta

Actually I have the example not from my recent experience ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the cartoon “How to train your dragon” very much! To everyone who knows me well it’s not a surprise I’m waiting for the new part (not sure if “part” is appropriately used). Hope it will live up to my expectations! ๐Ÿ™‚

Marisela
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Marisela

Well, last year I was dating a handsome guy, but the more I know him, the less I I like him because he was such a self-centered person, show-off and much of what he used to talk about was nonsense for me. Shortly after, I realised that he didn’t live up to my expectations so I decided to split up. Many of my friends who come to visit Bogota find the city more exciting and lively than they were expecting. When I ask them what they think of the city they tell me: “this city really has lived up to… Read more »

Nazgul
Guest
Nazgul

Last year opened mini exotic zoo park in our hometown. We are a bit disappointed when visited it. The exotic zoo didn’t live up to our expectations.

labiba
Guest
labiba

The exercise was very easy .It didn’t live up to my expectations

Aline
Guest
Aline

There’s a city famous by its dinosaurs footprints, but they didn’t live up to some people’s expectations.

A couple of days ago I watched the movie Escape Room, but it didn’t live up to my expectations

Question: Can I use the expression in simple present? About something that never lives up to someone’s expectation?

Aline
Guest
Aline

Oh, now I see people using the expression in simple present hehe

Gustavo
Guest
Gustavo

Hi everyone! Cody here.
Well, answering the question: I’m venezuelan and although all the economic and politics problems we have ritgh now, Venezuela is also famous along Latin america because its beaches, and a lot of friends from others countrys, when they visited Venezuela fell in love with it. Beaches have really exceeded their expectations.
By the way talking about my yesterday dinner, that pizza didn’t live up to my expectations, when I opened the box, it was burned hahaha.

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