I’d like to focus on the phrasal verb ‘make up for’ in today’s example.
Here are the most common ways to say it:
“I (do/did something) to make up for (something else).
I made up for (something) by doing (something else).
I make up for (being something) by being (something else).
Simply said, ‘to make up for’ means to compensate. One of the most common expressions you’ll hear this phrasal verb is in, “make up for lost time”. This means to spend more time doing something now that you didn’t do in the past.
Another way you will hear this is like today’s example. People talk about how they are sometimes. This is said, “I can be ( negative adjective)” which means, “I am sometime (negative adjective).”
You can combine ‘make up for’ with this phrase to say that you also have a good quality that makes the negative quality better. For example, you might say, “I can be forgetful, but I make up for it by being very organized.”
If you look up the definition for ‘narcissistic’ you might notice something strange about today’s example sentence from Twitter. Narcissistic means to be in love with how you look. OK, so how does the speaker say he makes up for being narcissistic? By being, “incredibly handsome and charming,” he says. Thinking that you are incredibly handsome and charming is exactly what a narcissistic person would say, so it doesn’t make up for being narcissistic. This is why today’s example is humorous.
Situations & Examples
Read the situations, but write down your own sentence using today’s target. When you finish, click ‘Show Example’. Share your own sentences in the comments!
You were late to a date last night because your boss needed you to work overtime. She felt bad for doing that, so she asked you if your date was upset. You told her everything was OK because you bought a dozen red roses. You say,
“To make up for being late to dinner, I took my date a dozen red roses.”
You’re at a job interview, and the interviewer asks you about an accomplishment on your resume. You describe a time you suggested increasing exports because the company was losing money in the small domestic market. You explain,
“Our company made up for the shrinking domestic market size by increasing our exports.”
Your friend came over for tea. She asks where your kids are, and you tell her they are in the back playing with your dad. He just retired and never had much time to spend with them before. You tell her,
“My father’s been coming over to play with my kids a lot lately. He says he’s making up for lost time.”
You are telling a friend how you and your husband missed your little sister’s wedding in Hawaii. There was a problem with the airline, and you got stranded in two different cities for two days. The hotel gave you hotel vouchers, but you explain how that can’t give you another chance to see your sister’s wedding. You say,
“Even though the airline gave us free hotel vouchers, they could never have made up for us missing the wedding.”