Settle down and enjoy another of Tim Bowen’s useful articles on phrasal verbs.

‘Despite dominating for long periods of the game, the home team couldn’t break the visitors’ defence down and in the end had to settle for a draw’. If you settle for something, you are forced through circumstances to accept it although it is not exactly what you wanted.

If you settle on something, you make a decision between two or more people or things after not being certain which to choose, as in ‘After weeks of discussion and disagreement, the planning committee has finally settled on a name for the new shopping centre’.

To settle in means to become familiar with a new way of life, place or job, as in ‘He soon settled in to the routine of college life’ or ‘How are you settling into your new home?’ It can also be used to mean to make yourself comfortable in a place because you are going to stay there for a long time, as in ‘This is your room. I’ll leave you to settle in’.

Settle down can be used in a similar way, as in ‘I settled down in front of the television for the evening’. Settle down can also mean to begin to live a quieter life by getting married or staying permanently in a place, as in ‘Geoff, you’re thirty-eight now. Are you ever going to settle down and get married?’ A third meaning of settle down is to become calm after being upset, nervous or excited, as in ‘The class took ages to settle down after the break’.

To settle up means to pay all of an amount of money you owe to a particular person or company, as in ‘I went to the hotel reception to settle up and check out’.