live up to: meaning and explanation

to live up to something 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 these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Dictation #1

Accent: English (RP)

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

Dictation #2

Accent: Northern England

Available soon

Dictation #3

Accent: North America

Available soon

Photo by Ankit Sood on Unsplash

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