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Legal English Languages UK recently provided you with a list of phrasal verbs for use within the law from letters A through to D. In this article from our team of English for Law trainers, we take a look at some more phrasal verbs in Legal English. As always, this list is not comprehensive.
Engage in means: In legal English terminology, this means to be involved in something. For example, ‘the defendant has been systematically engaged in serious deception."
Enlarge upon means: to say or write in greater detail about something. For example, ‘Would you care to enlarge upon this statement?"
Enter into means: (1) to begin an agreement. For example, ‘the parties entered into an agreement relating to a Transfer’. (2) To begin to discuss something. For example, ‘the company agreed to enter into negotiations’.
Entitled to means: be given the right to do something. For example, ‘the parties are entitled to discuss the matter further should they wish to.'
Factor in means: to feature a particular idea. For example, ‘you have to factor in the idea that he will not return the money."
File away means: to put documents away in a place where you can find them easily. For example, ‘The deeds were filed away in a special drawer.'
Hand down means: (1) to pass from one generation to another as an inheritance. For example, ‘this house has been handed down from generation to generation’. (2) To announce an official decision (particularly from a court of law). For example, ‘the judge handed down the sentence with his customary aplomb.'
Hand over means: (1) to give somebody else your position of authority or to give somebody else the responsibility for dealing with a particular situation. For example, 'the Prime Minister handed over the reins to his successor with a tear in his eye’. (2) To give someone else a turn to speak when you have finished talking. For example, ‘I am now going to hand over to Steve, who has something else to say.'
Limit to means to make something exist or happen only within a limited sphere, or for a particular purpose. For example, ‘limited to this area only.'
Object to means to say that you do not agree with something. 'I object strongly to the idea that the Mayor should run for Prime Minister.'
Opt for means to choose something. For instance, "The clients opted for the partner as he had more experience in insolvency law.'
Opt in means that you choose to participate in a particular action. "Members can choose whether to opt in or not to the scheme by ticking this box.'
Opt out means the opposite - to not participate in a scheme. For example, ‘very few staff members have opted out of the scheme.'
Pass off means: (1) to pretend that you are somebody or that you represent something that is untrue. For example, ‘the company has been accused of trying to pass of that it is a bank’. (2) If an event passes off in a particular way, it takes place and is finished in the preferred way. For example, ‘the meeting passed off without any trouble’.
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