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150 Phrasal verbs (with sentence examples)

150 Phrasal verbs (with sentence examples)

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150 common phrasal verbs

Items (158)

  • ABIDE BY--If you want to keep your job here, you must abide by our rules.

    respect or obey a decision, a law or a rule

  • ACCOUNT FOR--I hope you can account for the time you were out!

    explain, give a reason

  • ADD UP--The facts in the case just don't add up.

    make sense, seem reasonable

  • ADVISE AGAINST--I advise against walking alone in this neighborhood.

    recommend not doing something

  • AGREE WITH--I agree with you. I think you should go as well.

    have the same opinion as someone else.

  • ALLOW FOR--We need to allow for unexpected charges along the way.

    take into consideration

  • APPEAL TO (1)--He appealed to the court to change its decision.

    plead or make a request

  • APPEAL TO (2)--A vacation of sunbathing doesn't appeal to me.

    be attractive or interesting

  • APPLY FOR--He applied for a scholarship for next semester.

    make a formal request for something (job, permit, loan etc.)

  • BACK AWAY--When he saw the bear, he backed away in fright.

    move backwards, in fear or dislike

  • BACK DOWN--Local authorities backed down on their threats to build on that part of the beach.

    withdraw, concede defeat

  • BACK UP (1)--I’m going to be very strict with him. I hope you’ll back me up on this?

    give support or encouragement

  • BACK UP (2)--You should back up all your computer files in a secure location.

    make a copy of (file, program, etc.)

  • BANK ON--I’m banking on you to help with the charity event.

    base your hopes on something / someone

  • BLACK OUT--Jenna fell in the parking lot and blacked out.

    faint, lose consciousness

  • BLOCK OFF--The police blocked off the street after the explosion.

    separate using a barrier.

  • BLOW UP (1)--Tommy blew up the red balloon.


  • BLOW UP (2)--Don’t blow up at me. It’s not my fault.

    get angry

  • BOIL DOWN TO--It all boils down to who has more power.

    be summarized as

  • BOOT UP--You need to boot up your computer before you begin to work.

    start a computer by loading an operating system or program

  • BREAK AWAY--One of the wolves broke away from his pack.

    separate from a crowd

  • BREAK DOWN (1)--The washing machine broke down so we had to call in the repair technician.

    go out of order, cease to function

  • BREAK DOWN (2)--John broke down when he heard the news.

    lose control of one’s emotions

  • BREAK INTO--Burglars broke into my car last night.

    enter by force

  • BREAK OUT--Rioting broke out after the government raised the fuel prices again.

    start suddenly

  • BREAK OUT OF--Several prisoners broke out of jail.

    escape from a place by force

  • BREAK UP--She broke up with Daniel after dating him for five years.

    come to an end (marriage, relationship)

  • BRING UP--Sara is bringing up her children by herself.

    raise (a child)

  • BRUSH UP ON--I must brush up on my French before going to Paris next month.

    improve, refresh one’s knowledge of something

  • BUMP INTO--I bumped into Adam at the bank. He says “hello”.

    meet by chance or unexpectedly

  • BURN OUT (1)--The light bulb burnt out. Please change it.

    stop (something) working

  • BURN OUT (2)--She needs to work fewer hours. Otherwise she will burn out.

    become exhausted from over-working

  • CALL BACK--Could please call back in ten minutes?

    return a phone call

  • CALL OFF--The game was called off because of bad weather.


  • CALM DOWN--It took Kylie several hours to calm down after she saw the accident.

    become more relaxed, less angry or upset

  • CARRY ON--The soldiers carried on walking in order to get to their post before dark.


  • CARRY OUT (1)--His orders were carried out to the letter.

    do something as specified (a plan, an order, a threat)

  • CARRY OUT (2)--That company does not carry out tests on animals.

    perform or conduct (test, experiment)

  • CHECK IN--They said I must check in at least three hours before my flight.

    register at a hotel or airport

  • CHECK OUT (1)--Donna checked out of the hotel this morning.

    pay one’s bill and leave (a hotel)

  • CHECK OUT (2)--I don’t know if this price is correct. I’ll check it out online.


  • CLAM UP--When the police started asking questions, the suspect clammed up.

    refuse to speak

  • CLAMP DOWN ON--The local authorities have decided to clamp down on illegal parking in handicapped parking places.

    act strictly to prevent something

  • COME ACROSS (1)--I was cleaning up and came across some old photos of you.

    find by chance

  • COME ACROSS (2)--The politician came across as a complete fool during the TV interview.

    appear, seem, make an impression

  • COME FORWARD--Has the owner of the winning lotto ticket come forward?

    present oneself

  • COUNT ON--You can count on me to keep your secret.

    rely or depend on (for help)

  • CUT DOWN ON--I’ve decided to cut down on the amount of sweets I eat.

    reduce in number or size

  • CUT OUT (1)--She cut out a coupon from the newspaper.

    remove using scissors

  • CUT OUT (2)--You need to cut out all red meat from your diet.

    stop doing something

  • DEAL WITH--Catherine is not good at dealing with stress.

    handle, take care of (problem, situation)

  • DIE DOWN--After the storm died down, we went outside to see the damage it had caused.

    calm down, become less strong

  • DO WITHOUT--She didn’t get a salary this month, so she’ll have to do without extra treats.

    manage without

  • DRAG ON--The suspect’s trial dragged on longer than we had expected!

    last longer than expected

  • DRAW UP--They drew up a contract and had me sign it.

    write (contract, agreement, document)

  • DRESS UP--Their wedding gave us a chance to dress up and get out of the house.

    wear elegant clothes

  • DROP IN--Why don’t you drop in to see us on your way home?

    visit, usually on the way somewhere

  • DROP OFF (1)--I’ll drop off the papers later today.

    deliver someone or something

  • DROP OFF (2)--I often drop off in front of the TV.

    fall asleep

  • DROP OUT--Zack dropped out of college and joined the army.

    leave school without finishing

  • EASE OFF--Traffic usually eases off about 7pm

    reduce, become less severe or slow down (pain, traffic, work)

  • END IN--Her marriage ended in divorce.

    finish in a certain way; result in

  • END UP--If you don’t improve your work habits, you’ll end up being fired.

    finally reach a state, place or action

  • FALL THROUGH--His plans to trek through South America fell through when he got sick.

    fail; doesn’t happen

  • FIGURE OUT--He’s trying to figure out how to earn enough money to go on the trip to Spain.

    understand, find the answer

  • FILL OUT--Please fill out the enclosed form and return it as soon as possible.

    complete (a form/an application)

  • FIND OUT--I’m going to  find out who’s responsible for the power cut.

    discover or obtain information

  • FOCUS ON--Tom had difficulty focusing on work the day before his holiday started.

    concentrate on something

  • GET ALONG (WITH)--It’s important to get along with your team supervisor.

    be on good terms; work well with

  • GET AT--What are you getting at? Do you think I’m to blame?


  • GET AWAY--I think we should get away for the weekend.

    leave work for a holiday; escape

  • GET BY--Students without jobs have a hard time getting by.

    manage to cope or to survive

  • GET IN--When did you get in last night?


  • GET INTO (+NOUN)--How did you get into your car without the keys?


  • GET OFF (1)--You should get off the train in Kings Heath.

    leave (bus, train, plane)

  • GET OFF (2)--I can’t get the ink stain off my shirt.


  • GET ON--I’m trying to get on the flight to Brussels.

    board (bus, train, plane)

  • GET ON WITH (smthing)--After they split up, she had a hard time getting on with her life.

    continue to do; make progress

  • GET ON WITH (smbody)--He doesn't get on very well with the other members of the committee.

    have a good relationship with

  • GET OUT--He had a hard time getting out of Newark because of the snow?


  • GET OUT OF--Edna’s trying to get out of working the night shift.

    avoid doing something

  • GET OVER--Mary had the chickenpox last week but she got over it.

    recover from (illness, disappointment)

  • GET RID OF--Please get rid of that old t-shirt. It’s so ragged.


  • GET TOGETHER--Let’s get together for your birthday on Saturday.

    meet each other

  • GET UP--Will you please get up? You’ve got a class in 20 minutes.

    rise, leave bed

  • GIVE IN (1)--We will never give in to the terrorists’ demands.

    cease opposition; yield

  • GIVE IN (2)--I’ll give in my paper tomorrow.

    To hand in; submit

  • GIVE UP--Morris gave up drinking 10 years ago.

    stop doing something

  • GO THROUGH--Andy went through a lot of pain after his mother died.


  • GROW UP--He’s like Peter Pan. He never really grew up at all.

    spend one’s childhood; develop; become an adult

  • HAND IN--Please hand in your papers before Friday.

    submit (report, homework)

  • HAND OUT--Susan volunteered at the shelter where she handed out warm clothes.


  • HANG OUT--Which pub does the team hang out at after the game?

    spend time in a particular place or with a group of friends

  • HANG UP--If you hang up now, I’ll never speak to you again.

    end a phone conversation

  • HOLD ON (1)--Please hold on and a representative will answer your call.


  • HOLD ON (2)--She was so scared on the rollercoaster ride that she held on for dear life.

    grip tightly

  • HURRY UP--Hurry up and finish your lunch or we’ll miss the train.

    be quick, act speedily

  • IRON OUT--The two countries met at the conference to iron out their differences.

    resolve by discussion, eliminate differences

  • JOIN IN--Yes David, you can join in the discussion any time you like.


  • JOIN UP (1)--There was a war on, so some kids were only sixteen when they joined up.

    engage in, become a member of

  • JOIN UP (2)--Let’s separate now and join up later at the restaurant.

    meet and unite with

  • KEEP ON--If you keep on making that noise I will get annoyed.

    continue doing something

  • KEEP UP WITH--I read the paper every day to keep up with the news.

    stay at the same level as someone or something

  • KICK OFF--The rugby match kicked off at 3 o’clock.

    begin, start

  • LEAVE OUT--Please check your form again and make sure nothing is left out.

    omit, not mention

  • LET DOWN--I feel so let down because they promised me a puppy but all I got was a doll.


  • LOOK AFTER--Andy can you look after your sister until I get back?

    take care of

  • LOOK DOWN ON--She’s such a snob. She always looks down on anyone who is poor.

    consider as inferior

  • LOOK ON--If you don’t want to take part in the game you can look on for now.

    be a spectator at an event

  • LOOK FOR--Harry went to the shop to look for a new computer.

    try to find something

  • LOOK FORWARD TO--I’m looking forward to my birthday. It’s in two days time.

    await or anticipate with pleasure

  • LOOK UP TO--I always looked up to my father. He was a great man.


  • MAKE FUN OF--It’s not nice to make fun of people in wheelchairs.

    laugh at/ make jokes about

  • MAKE UP--That’s a good excuse. Did you make up it up yourself?

    invent (excuse, story)

  • MIX UP--She had so many cats that she kept mixing up their names.

    mistake one thing or person for another

  • MOVE IN--Did you hear? Our new neighbors are moving in this afternoon.

    arrive in a new home or office

  • MOVE OUT--When are you moving out? We need your office for the new guy.

    leave your home/office for another one.

  • NOD OFF--You were so tired after the game that you nodded off on the couch.

    fall asleep

  • OWN UP--Come on. Own up. We know you did it!

    admit or confess something

  • PASS AWAY--Your grandfather passed away peacefully in his sleep last night.


  • PASS OUT--He didn’t drink enough water so he passed out at the end of the race.


  • PAY BACK--I’ll pay you back as soon as I get the loan.


  • PUT OFF--Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

    postpone, arrange a later date

  • PUT ON--It’s very dark in here. Please put on the light on.

    turn on, switch on

  • PUT OUT--The fire fighters were able to put out fire in ten minutes.


  • PUT UP--I can put you up until the weekend but then I’m going away.

    accommodate, give somebody a bed

  • PICK UP--I’ll pick you up at around 7:00 to take you to the airport.

    collect somebody

  • POINT OUT--As I already pointed out, there was a mistake in your calculation.

    indicate/direct attention to something

  • RELY ON--You can rely on me. I always arrive on time.

    count on, depend on, trust

  • RULE OUT--Since he had a sound alibi, the police ruled him out as a suspect.


  • RUN AWAY--He ran away from home and joined the circus.

    escape from a place or suddenly leave

  • RUN INTO--I’m so glad I ran into you. I need to ask you something.

    meet by accident or unexpectedly (also: bump into)

  • RUN OUT OF--We’ve run out of milk. I’ll just pop next door to borrow some.

    have no more of something.

  • SET OFF--Let’s set off early to miss the rush hour traffic.

    start a journey;

  • SET UP--They set up their own company when they were still in high school.

    start a business

  • SHOP AROUND--Don’t buy that. Let’s shop around and see if we can find something cheaper.

    compare prices

  • SHOW OFF--He’s such a show off. He has to tell everybody about his new computer.

    brag or want to be admired

  • SHOW UP--I don’t think she’ll show up tonight. Her daughter is sick.


  • SHUT UP (IMPOLITE)--Shut up, you’re spoiling the movie!

    be silent, stop talking

  • SIT DOWN--I think you should sit down. It’s bad news.

    take a seat

  • STAND UP--The whole stadium stood up for the national anthem.

    rise from a sitting position

  • STICK UP FOR--My big brother always stuck up for me when I got into a fight.


  • TAKE AFTER--Angie really takes after her grandmother.

    resemble, in appearance or character

  • TAKE CARE OF--Please take care of my cat when I’m away.

    look after

  • TAKE OFF--The plane will take off as soon as the fog lifts.

    leave the ground

  • TAKE ON--I hear they’re taking on extra staff for this event.

    hire or engage staff

  • TAKE OUT--Please take out your mobile phones and turn them off.

    remove; extract

  • TELL OFF--The coach told her off for not trying hard enough.

    reprimand/criticize severely

  • THINK OVER--Take your time and think it over before you decide.


  • TRY ON--Go ahead, try it on and see if it fits?

    wear something to see if it suits or fits

  • TURN DOWN--I asked her out but she turned me down flat.


  • USE UP--Your parents used up all the coffee!

    finish a product (so that there’s none left)

  • WATCH OUT--Watch out! There’s a dog in the road.

    be careful

  • WEAR OUT (1)--Julie wore out her shoes running the marathons.

    become unusable

  • WEAR OUT (2)--Julie was worn out after all that running.

    become very tired

  • WORK OUT (1)--You should work out twice a week at the gym.

    do physical exercise

  • WORK OUT (2)--Can you work this out? I’m no good at math.

    find a solution or calculate something

  • WIPE OFF--I’ll wash up if you wipe off the table.

    clean (board, table).