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to cheer up / cheer someone up

Example 1:

Emily: I just failed my driving test. I’ll never get my license!

Matt: Oh no! That’s ok. Don’t be so sad. I can help you practice for your next test appointment.

Emily: I never want to drive again! I’m so discouraged!

Matt: Come on, Emily! Cheer up! Everything will be fine! You just need a little more practice.

Example 2:

Rita: Good morning, Betty! How are you?

Betty: Oh, hi, Rita… I didn’t see you come in…

Rita: Are you ok? You look sad.

Betty: I am very sad today. My goldfish died yesterday. I only had him for two weeks!

Rita: I’m so sorry to hear that! Is there anything I can do to cheer you up?

Betty: No, that’s ok. Thank you for your concern.


to cheer up is most often used in an imperative sentence (giving instructions, commands, or advice). When you say this to another person, you are instructing/advising/commanding them to feel better and stop feeling so sad or down.

In the first example, Emily is upset because she failed her driving test. Her friend Matt says, “cheer up” because it’s not necessary to be so sad since she has another chance to take the test.

to cheer someone up is used when one person tries to make another person feel better. Remember to use object pronouns or names in place of someone.

In the second example, Betty is upset because her goldfish died. Rita asks, “is there anything i can do to cheer you up (make you feel better)?

This idiom is from LSI’s book “Speaking Transitions,” which is used in the level 4 Listening/Speaking class. For more information, please visit

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