to rule something out

by | Last updated Jul 25, 2019 | Phrasal verbs | 0 comments

to rule something out

by | Last updated Jul 25, 2019 | Phrasal verbs | 0 comments

This sentence contains the English phrasal verb 'to rule something out'. Do you know the meaning of this phrasal verb? How much of the sentence can you understand?

Listen as many times as you need to, then check the definition and examples of the phrasal verb and practise using 'to rule something out' in your own sentences.

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Language: B2 (Upper-Intermediate)  //  Accent: North American

Photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash

, .
Although it’s , we can’t possibility started the .
Although it’s very likely, we can’t out the possibility someone started the deliberately.

About the sentence

to rule something out

If you rule something out, then you eliminate it as an option and no longer consider it. e.g. "I think we can rule out having the Christmas party on the roof terrace of The Shard - we just can't afford it this year".

Ruling something out can also be used to say that something is impossible, or definitely won't happen. e.g. "During his speech, the Prime Minister ruled out the possibility of stepping down before the next election"

This phrasal verb is often used with the noun 'possibility' - to rule out the possibility of something happening.

This phrasal verb is often use negatively (as in the micro-dictation) to say that something is still an option or a possibility. e.g. "I think it is unlikely that we'll be making additional redundancies this year, but I wouldn't rule it out completely".


'Deliberately' is a useful synonym of 'on purpose' or 'intentionally'.

Discussion questions:

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I'll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Think about your life over the next 5 years. Is there anything that you think definitely won't happen?

  • Do you have any plans for the weekend? Is there anything that you are not considering as an option?

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