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Michael IELTS Band 9
Professional Teacher
Everyday UK Expressions (3): Sort yourself out

"Sort yourself out" is a really common expression in everyday conversation in the UK.  

(It seems to be common in Australia and New Zealand, and I suspect Ireland too, though it would be helpful to have confirmation.)

In this discussion, I won't give you a definition now but just some sample sentences of my own and from a sentence database.  Thumbs-up for anyone who gives a good definition and good sentence of their own.

Example 1

[Wife is in the bedroom upstairs.]

[Husband shouts] "Are you ready to leave for the party yet, dear?"

[Wife replies] "Not yet - just give me a few more minutes to sort myself out.

Example 2

"My last boyfriend was a nightmare - he really needs to sort himself out before he starts dating again."

See also sentences here:

Have a nice day!

Sep 21, 2016 9:35 AM
Comments · 18

I like how you give the context before the definition - so much better than the other way round, in my opinion.

If you don't mind, I'll give a couple alternatives. Do you feel these express the same meaning as the original? I do.

"He really needs to sort himself out before he starts dating again."

"He really needs to pull himself together before he starts dating again"

(Less formal) "He really needs to get himself sorted before he starts dating again"

I'm looking forward to your post on the quintessential British expression "Am I bovvered?", preferably accompanied by a Catherine Tate clip.

September 21, 2016

I think it seems like the italian sistemare o sistemarsi. It's when you fix yourself up both pshysically and mentally (sistemarsi, "Not yet- just give me a few more minutes to sort myself out", "he really needs to sort himself out before he starts dating again", "That surely is enough time to sort yourself out, save some money and then come into the real world.") or when you have a temporary accomodation (sistemarsi, "If you were to inherit a huge house and needed to furnish it in impeccably Bohemian style, you could sort yourself out here with one visit"), or you find a solution or make things right (sistemare, "I would have thought the whole point of being a god is that you are powerful enough to sort things out by yourself").

September 21, 2016

"Short someone out " means to fix something or get someone ready.Am I right?

In the 1st example,Wife---It will take me a little more time to get ready,please wait!!

In the 2nd example--Girlfriend---my boyfriend is really a weird person so before going for a next date,he should make himself groomed well or look smart to make that date a successful one.

Thank you@Michael for the discussion:)

September 21, 2016


Perhaps, "sort yourself out" means to freshen up oneself.

My example:  ‘Come along, dear, we must be at the theater in 5minutes.’ ‘I have almost sorted myself out.’

For the second example, the meaning could be to pull oneself together, to understand what to do with problems.

September 21, 2016

That sounds great. i will use this idiom in my conversation often

September 21, 2016
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Michael IELTS Band 9
Language Skills
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Learning Language
German, Italian