When was the last time you were turned away? Has anyone ever turned against you? Tim Bowen presents a pivotal collection of phrasal verbs.

‘Reports suggest that some factions within the opposition have turned against each other as the power struggle intensifies’. Here, turn against means to stop liking or supporting someone and start opposing them. It can also be used in the sense of making someone stop liking or supporting someone, as in ‘She’s managed to turn your whole family against you. That’s what she’s done’.

If a situation turns around or if you turn it around, it stops being unsuccessful and starts being successful, as in ‘Sales had been declining for a number of years but the new strategy has turned the company’s fortunes around’. If you turn an argument or a question around, you consider or express it in a different way, as in ‘If you turn this argument around, you’ll see that it’s equally valid’.

If you turn someone away, you refuse to let them come into a place, as in ‘Although we all had valid visas, we were turned away at the border’, and if people turn away from something, they reject it, as in ‘The rapid growth of out-of-town shopping centres has meant that many shoppers are turning away from the traditional high street’.

If you turn down an offer, an opportunity or a request, you do not accept it, as in ‘I was offered the chance of promotion but it would have meant moving to London so I turned it down’.

To turn someone in means to tell the police about someone who has committed a crime or to take them to the police to be arrested, as in ‘Police are appealing to the thief to turn himself in’.