look into: meaning and explanation

to look into sth = to investigate sth.

When you look into something (such as a crime, a problem or the possibility of something) you are trying to discover or find out more information about it.

For example, before making a big purchase (such as a car), you probably spend some time looking into the advantages and disadvantages of different models, or how much different cars cost.

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

Listening exercises

Micro-listening #1

Accent: Scotland

the receptionist and she into .

About the sentence

…she promised to look into it

Notice the important verb pattern to promise to do something, e.g. She promised to tidy her room but she obviously couldn’t be bothered.

Micro-listening #2

Accent: England (RP)

, .
We possibility of larger premises, deciding .

About the sentence

…but ended up deciding against it…

The phrasal verb to end up doing sth is a useful way to introduce the conclusion or end-point of a story or sequence of events. Often, this ending is unexpected. e.g. I had only planned to stay at the party for half an hour or so, but I ended up being one of the last ones to leave.

Micro-listening #3

Accent: Australia

The police of the disturbance and are .

About the sentence

…the police have been informed…

Notice the present perfect passive (have been informed) here. The passive is used when the person or thing that does an action (the agent) is unknown, obvious, or less important than the person or thing that receives the action (the object).

For example, it is more natural to say My bike was stolen than A thief stole my bike. In this situation, the thief is unknown, obvious, and less important than the bike.

Extra practice

Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:

  • Are you investigating or researching anything at the moment?
  • Is there anything strange or unexplained that you think should be looked into?

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