The English verb CHEER (use it 3 different ways!)


The world cup has started! Will your team make it to the second round?

Yesterday one of my private students asked me a great question about the verb cheer. Do we say… 

Cheer on?

Cheer up?

Cheer for?

Let’s look at what each of these phrases mean, and learn how to use them with some natural English examples.

A great resource for students learning English!


Cheer on

cheer someone on

to give shouts of encouragement to someone in a race, competition, etc. We use cheer on when the game is happening, during the contest

“Many volunteers stand on the marathon route to offer drinks and cheer on the runners.” = the people on the marathon route encourage the participants as they run with cheers and shouts.

“Keep going! You’re doing great!”

Cheer up

cheer up | cheer somebody/something up
to become more cheerful; to make someone or something more cheerful
“My friend from Saudi Arabia was sad after they lost to Russia in their first match. I bought him some ice cream to cheer him up!” = I hope that ice cream will make him more cheerful, make him happier.
Have some ice cream, you’ll feel better!

Cheer for

The verb cheer means to shout loudly, to show support or praise for someone, or to give them encouragement
“The fans cheered as the teams ran on to the field.”
~ We cheer for someone that we want to encourage to do their best.
“Mexico beat Germany in their first match of the World Cup. The whole country is cheering for them to win!” 

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