The phrasal verb “monkey around” means to do something randomly in a playful or unserious way. If you think of how monkeys act in the wild, they seem to always be playing and enjoying themselves but they don’t seem to be very serious or get a lot done.
Here are examples to help you understand the phrasal verb better:
- “Don’t monkey around in your Dads office” his Mum warned him when she saw her son playing in the office.
- The teacher told his students to stop monkeying around and be more serious.
- If you monkey around with the computer, you will break it.
- It’s been raining all day today so the kids have been monkeying around inside the house all day.
The phrasal verb “horsing around” is used to describe how somebody plays in a loud or boisterous way.
Let’s have a look at some examples:
- My little brothers were horsing around earlier. They were making so much noise that I couldn’t study for the test.
- The police warned the men to stop horsing around as it could get violent.
- We had a great time horsing around together on our holiday.
- The teacher asked two of his students to stop horsing around as their classmates were trying to concentrate on their work but they couldn’t because of the noise.
As you can see the two phrasal verbs have similar meanings; “monkey around” refers to actions done in a playful way whereas “horsing around” refers to games or activities played in a playful or rough way.