#20 – TO END UP

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+ – ing
= to find yourself in a situation or position as the result of doing other things. You don’t set out to be in that situation, it just happens as a consequence of other things.
“I went to Vegas for fun and I went to a casino. I ended up losing everything”
“The Beatles started out as a hard working rock & roll band. They ended up becoming one of the most influential groups of all time”

Hello, ladies and gents.

This is Luke from Luke’s English Podcast. This year I’m teaching you loads of phrasal verbs.

Today’s phrasal verb is TO END UP



…and that’s followed by + ING verb form. TO END UP + doing something.

This means that you…, you find yourself in a particular place or situation after doing something else or as a result of doing a number of things. It’s just a final situation that you find yourself in at the end of a series of events.

Now, you don’t necessarily plan to get into that situation or to be doing that thing. It’s just what happens as a consequence of other things you’ve done.

Alright? So, for example, you know, people say to me:

– “Why did you…”, em, you know.

– “What brought you to Paris? Why did you decide to become an university teacher in Paris?”

and I’d say:

– “Well, I never really knew what I wanted to do. I just sort of became an English teacher years ago, because I wanted to travel and to work, and I taught in lots of different places, and I just ENDED UP living in Paris, which is pretty amazing. I never really expected it.”


…or you can talk about a night out you had. So…

– “What happened to you last night? You didn’t come home!”

– “Yeah. I went out for just, you know, a couple of drinks with a friend. We ENDED UP going to a club, and then… Well, I just… I don’t know. I don’t really remember. I just ENDED UP back into someone’s flat, and I slept on the floor. It was a crazy night”


– “I went to Vegas, just for a holiday, weekend, and I went to a casino just to do a little bit a gambling. I ENDED UP losing all my money including my house, and now I’ve got nothing.”

Don’t go to Vegas! Okay? It’s just a random example.

The Beatles. Alright?

Now, the Beatles were just an ordinary band, a rock’n’roll band from Liverpool. When they started out they just intended to be a really great rock’n’roll band. They wanted to be as popular as possible, and so, they worked hard, and they released some really good songs. They just wanted to be successful. They ENDED UP becoming one of the most famous and influential group of musicians we’ve ever had. They just ENDED UP becoming world famous.


So, there you go. That’s your phrasal verb of the day.

I’ll speak to you tomorrow, but for now it’s goodbye.

Bye bye bye bye.

  • Denis Paraschuk

    I need to end up doing these tasks as soon as possible.

    • Hi Denis – good work on the examples. They’re all good, except for this one. ‘To end up’ doesn’t mean to ‘stop’ or ‘finish’, it means “to ​finally be in a ​particular ​place or ​situation” (Cambridge dictionary). It’s a way of talking about the end result of something, or the final situation at the end of a process. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/end-up

      • Denis Paraschuk

        Hi Luke – Thank you very much for your explanation. It seems, it’s clear now. “I ended up in unknown place after this crazy party. O, Gosh! My head… :)”. Is that correct example? I’ll appreciate you feedback.

    • Exactly. That’s it.

      On Thursday, 3 March 2016, Disqus <notifications@disqus.net

      • Denis Paraschuk

        Great! Thx!

  • María José

    My plan was going to the movies yesterday evening but I ended up having some drinks with my friend

  • euoamo

    Hi Luke,

    It’s nothing to do with this episode but I just have a question about British English. I know there are some differences between American English and British English.
    In The UK, as for building floor, they say “ground floor” instead of “first floor” right? So if British say “second floor” it means “third floor” for American. So I was wondering if there is a building with four floor, how Do they(British) say that? Is it the same as American do? “Four story(storey)house”? Hope you understand my question

    • Yes, we’d say it was a four-storey building.