I explain seven phrasal verbs with SLEEP: sleep around, sleep in, sleep off, sleep over, sleep through, sleep together, and sleep with.
1. (informal, intransitive) To have many casual sex partners.
This is usually considered disapproving.
- “Just because you don’t sleep around doesn’t mean you’re not at risk of getting an STI.”
- “I don’t want to marry someone who sleeps around.”
1. (informal, intransitive) To stay in bed later than usual in the morning.
- “I always look forward to sleeping in on the weekends.”
- “He slept in and almost forgot our brunch date.”
Here, we can also use “in” to refer to the clothes someone is wearing when they are sleeping.
- “I don’t understand how some people can just sleep in their birthday suit.”
- “I always look forward to winter so I can sleep in my flannel pyjamas.
Sleep (something) off
1. (separable) – To recover from something by going to sleep.
- “If your headache is not too bad, you should sleep it off instead of taking an aspirin.”
- “Can you sleep off a cold?”
1. (intransitive) To sleep in someone else’s home for the night.
- “My nephew sleeps over where his father has a late shift.”
- “She slept over at a friend’s place because she missed the last train.”
Sleep through (something)
1. (inseparable) To sleep without being awakened, usually by loud noise or activity.
- “She slept through the thunderstorm last night.”
- “I think I slept through the entire movie.”
1. (informal, intransitive) To have sex together, especially if they’re not married to each other.
- “I do not want to think about them sleeping together.”
- “We slept together for the first time last night.”
Adverb: Together – With each other.
“Sleep” with “together” can mean they are sharing a bed. Although “sleep together” always implies sex for adults, this is not the same for children and immediate family.
- “My sibling and I used to sleep together until we moved to a bigger house.”
Sleep with (someone)
1. (informal, inseparable) To have sex with someone.
- “Did you hear? She got promoted because she’s been sleeping with the boss.”
- “He found out his girlfriend slept with his best friend while they were on a break.”
Preposition: With – Accompanied by another person or thing.
When talking about children or immediate family, it is common to say that they were accompanied by something or someone else while they slept.
- “Our son used to sleep with his teddy bear when he was a baby.”
- “It’s fairly common for children to sleep with their parents.”
“Could do something in your sleep”
– (idiom) To say that you can do something very easily because you have done it so many times before.
- “She’s been knitting for as long as I can remember, I’m pretty sure she could do it in her sleep.”
“Lose sleep (over something)”
– (idiom) To worry about something so much that you cannot sleep.
Although this can be used in the affirmative, it’s often used in the negative as advice or to comfort someone.
- “I know it’s your first day at work but there’s no point losing sleep over it.”
“Sleep on (something)”
– (expression) To delay making an important decision until the next day, to have time to consider it carefully.
- “Why don’t you sleep on it and see how you feel?”
Original posts: 12 April 2021