Compare up and down
put something up (on a wall, etc.)
– I put some picture up on the wall
pick something up
– There was a letter on the floor.
I picked it up and looked at it.
– Alan stood up an walked out.
turn something up
– I can’t hear the TV. Can you turn it up a little?
take something down (from a wall, etc.)
– I didn’t like the picture, so I took it down.
Put something down
– I stopped writing and put down my pen.
sit down / bend down / lie down
– I bent down to tie my shoes.
turn something down
– The oven is too hot. Turn it down to 325 degrees.
Tear down, cut down, etc.
tear down a building / cut down a tree / blow something down
– Some old houses were torn down to make room for the new shopping mall.
– A : Why did you cut down the tree in your yard?
B : I didn’t. It was blown down in the storm last week.
burn down = be destroyed by fire
– They were able to put out the fire before the house burned down.
Down – becoming of having less
slow down = go more slowly
– You’re driving too fast. Slow down.
calm somebody down = become calmer, make somebody calmer
– Calm down. There’s no point in getting mad.
cut down (on something) = eat, drink, or do something less often
– I’m trying to cut down on coffee. I drink too much of it.
Other verbs + down
break down = stop working (for machines, cars)
– The car broke down and I had to call for help.
Also discussions, talks, etc. can break down (= fail)
– Talks between the two groups broke down without a solution being reached.
(= the talks failed)
close down = stop doing business
– There used to be a shop on this street; it closed down a few years ago.
let somebody down = disappoint somebody because you didn’t do what they hoped
– You can always rely on Pete. He’ll never let you down.
turn somebody/something down = refuse an application, an offer, etc.
– I applied for several jobs, but I was turned down for all of them.
– Rachel was offered the job, but she decided to turn it down.
write something down = write something on paper because you may need the information later
– I can’t remember Tim’s address. I wrote it down, but I can’t find it.