I explain seven phrasal verbs with SLEEP: sleep around, sleep in, sleep off, sleep over, sleep through, sleep together, and sleep with.

Contents:

Sleep around

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.”

Sleep in

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.”
Preposition: In 

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?”

Sleep over

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.”

Sleep together

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

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