“The two most powerful warriers are patience and time” – LeoTolstoy


After spending the weekend in Madrid and paying a visit to the Reina Sofia art gallery to see Guernica again, I thought some phrasal verbs/ expressions related to everyday conflict could be a good idea.


5 Phrasals:

  • To fall out with sb – When you have an argument/ you are no longer on speaking terms.  You can also make it into a noun, eg. we had a fall out/ a falling out.
  • To fight off – To defend yourself from an attacker, either a physical one or an illness eg. I’m fighting off a cold at the moment.
  • To gang up on sb – When people get together to attack an individual in a fight or a discussion.
  • To lay into sb – When sb attacks sb rather fiercely, with physical violence or their words.
  • To stand up to sb – To be confident in your position and to confront your opposition.


Expressions of conflict:

  • To be at odds – To always be fighting, on opposite sides of an argument.
  • To fight a losing battle – To still be arguing something that you cannot win.
  • To split hairs – To argue about insignificant things.

In the middle of conflict:

  • To be caught in the crossfire – To unwillingly be in the middle of other people´s fight.
  • To sit on the fence – To be neutral, not take sides.

Ending conflict:

  • To clear the air – To make up.
  • To let bygones be bygones – To leave the past behind.
  • To let sleeping dogs lie – To not get drawn into conflict again concerning past fights.
  • It’s water under the bridge – To say that the fight/pain is in the past.
  • To wipe the slate clean – To leave the past behind.




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