Phrasal Verbs List from A-Z – Most Common Phrasal Verbs with Examples

Phrasal verbs are very common in English. This ESL phrasal verb reference guide is intended for English learners. The guide contains some of the most important phrasal verbs used in everyday English. There are many, many more phrasal verbs, but we have chosen these verbs as a good starting point for English learners. Each phrasal verb is defined, has an example sentence for context, and states whether the definition is separable or inseparable, transitive or intransitive.

Phrasal Verbs List from A-Z - Most Common Phrasal Verbs with Examples

What Are Phrasal Verbs?

Phrasal Verbs are the combination of two or more words that create a new word. They also have at least one preposition or adverb – known as a particle that changes the meaning of the verb from the original verb.

They are very common in daily English conversation. For example, “stand up,” “turn off,” and “shut up.

It’s almost impossible for an English-speaking person to go a day without using any of those phrasal verbs.

Different types of Phrasal Verbs

There are four type of phrasal verbs:

  • Transitive.
  • Intransitive.
  • Separable.
  • Inseparable

List of Common Phrasal Verbs with Meanings and Examples:

A complete collection of over 1000 Phrasal Verbs in English with their definitions and examples are provided below:

(S = Separable, IS = Inseparable, T = Transitive, IT – Intransitive)

Phrasal Verbs List from A-Z - Most Common Phrasal Verbs with Examples

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter A.

account for explain, be the reason for His lack of interest accounts for his poor grades. IS T
act on take an action Tom acted on the information. IS T
add to increase the size This chair will add to the furniture we already have. S T
add up make sense Your guess adds up based on all the facts. IS IT
agree with have the same opinion as someone I agree with Tom about the need for better schools. IS T
allow something for provide time, money, or other resource for something You need to allow two hours for traffic. S T
answer for something be responsible for something The director answers for the drop in sales last quarter. IS T
argue something out discuss all the details to come to an agreement We argued our differences out and signed a contract. S T
arrive at something agree upon something We arrived at a contract last week. IS T
ask after somebody ask how someone is doing I asked after Kate last week and her mother told me she was doing well. IS T
attend to something take care of something you need to do Peter attended to preparations for the party while his wife cooked the dinner. IS T
average something out arrive at the average figure I average the contracts out and we’ll make a profit of $250,000. S T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter B.

back away from doing something avoid doing something unpleasant She backed away from taking on the responsibility IS T
back down take back what you have said Tom backed down and Peter went away without a fight. IS IT
back off stop doing something annoying OK, I’ll back off this week, but next week you owe me the money! IS IT
back up go in reverse direction I’ll back the car up and we’ll leave. S T
bail somebody out help someone in a difficult situation Peter bailed Tom out last week when he offered his apartment as a place to stay. S T
band together create a group We banded together three years ago and performed all over Oregon. S T
bang away at something do repeatedly Keep banging away at the grammar and you’ll soon be a master! IS T
bank on someone or something rely on someone or something You can back on Tim to always do the right thing. IS T
bandy something about discuss The men bandied their past about as they sipped their beers in a pub. S T
barge in enter a place or a conversation unexpectedly I hate to barge in, but I think you’re wrong! IS IT
bash on continue working hard Let’s bash on and get this done. IS IT
be in for something experience soon I’m in for taking a trip to Florida. IS T
be into enjoy very much I’m into jazz music from the 1950s. IS T
be onto something discover something with a lot of potential He’s onto some new stock and he thinks he’ll make a million. IS T
be up to something be busy doing something, usually bad Kevin, what are you up to?! IS T
beg off excuse yourself from doing I have to beg off tonight. I’m just too tired. IS T
belt out sing Let’s belt out a song for the old times! S T
black out become unconscious Mary blacked out last night, so she is visiting the doctor today. IS IT
blow over eventually finish These problems will blow over with time. Don’t worry so much. IS IT
blunder around move about clumsily Stop blundering about the room. Turn on the light. IS T
blurt out say suddenly I blurted out the answer without raising my hand in class. S T
bomb along move very quickly We bombed along the highway at 100 miles per hour! IS T
bounce back recover from Tom bounced back well and is at work this week. IS IT
bounce something off someone discuss an idea with someone I bounced a few ideas off Doug for his opinion. S T
break off separate form We broke off some chocolate because we were hungry. S T
break through overcome difficulties to achieve success We finally broke through and the company started to do well. IS T
bring something about make happen Susan brought about the various changes at school. S T
bring off manage to do something difficult We brought off the project though it wasn’t easy. S T
bring someone around convince someone of something It took me some time, but I brought Jennifer around to my point of view. S T
buckle down become serious about something We need to buckle down and get the work done. IS IT
bugger something up make a failure out of something that should be a success Don’t bugger it up! You’ll only get one chance. S T
build on continue to improve on something The company wants to build on its success in Asia. IS T
bum around waste time Let’s bum around today at the house. I don’t want to go anywhere. IS IT
bump into meet unexpectedly I bumped into Fred last week at the supermarket. IS T
buy into believe I don’t buy into that story. I think there are some major problems. IS T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter C.

call for something or someone require something or someone This situation calls for someone with a good understanding of politics. IS T
call something off cancel We called the meeting for Friday off because no one could come. S T
capitalize on something take advantage of something Let’s capitalize on this opportunity. IS T
care for something or someone like something or someone Do you care for Earl Grey Tea? IS T
carry on with something continue Let’s carry on with our discussion of the market. IS T
carry something out do something that was requested of you Have you carried out my requests? S T
cash in (on something) profit form something We cashed in on the interest in social media. IS T
cast something aside throw away We cast the trash aside and continued the hike with a much lighter load. S T
catch someone out find a mistake that someone else makes He caught you out last week, didn’t he? S T
catch up talk about what has happened to you since you’ve seen someone We spent the day catching up. It was great. IS IT
catch up on something do necessary work that was left undone I need to catch up on my homework tonight. IS T
cave in admit defeat He caved in and let his daughter travel to Europe. IS IT
change into / out of put on new clothing Let me change into something more comfortable. IS T
chase something or someone down find Did you chase down that book at the library? S T
chat someone up flirt with someone Tom went to the bar to try to chat up a pretty woman. S T
check something out look at, examine Check out the flowers in the garden. They’re beautiful! S T
cheer someone up make someone happier Let me cheer you up with a beer at the bar. S T
chime in (on something) make a comment about something Peter chimed in on the new project. IS T
chicken out not do something in the end I chickened out and didn’t go bungee jumping. IS IT
choke up become sad I choked up when I heard the news about the poor dog. IS IT
clamp down (on something) become strict about something The teacher clamped down on cheating during the test. IS T
clear out leave quickly The students cleared out and began the long weekend. IS IT
clog up something block, make difficult to move The traffic clogged up the entire city yesterday. S T
close out sell everything at a low price The store closed out and moved away. IS IT
clown around have fun, joke The boys are clowning around in the back yard. IS IT
come about happen I guarantee your wishes will come about soon. IS IT
come across appear to be He comes across as a very friendly man. IS IT
come by something manage to get something He came by the money through lots of hard work. IS T
come into inherit She came into a lot of money last year. IS T
cook something up invent They cooked the invention up while they were drinking beer. S T
cost something out estimate costs I’d like you cost production out to see if we can afford to invest. S T
cough something up pay for I’d like you to cough the fee up for this club. S T
crash out sleep I crashed out at ten last night. IS IT
crop up appear, start to happen A number of problems cropped up as we worked on the project. IS IT
cut back (on something) reduce We need to cut back on smoking. IS T
cut something down reduce I think you should cut your drinking down to one drink per day. S T
cut out quit working The engine cut out and we had to push the car to a gas station. IS I

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter D.

dawn on someone realize something It dawned on me that I had left my books at home. IS T
deal something out share with others They dealt the responsibilities out and began to work on the project. S T
deal with something or someone solve a problem Sarah dealt with the problem and went home. IS T
decide on something choose I decided on the blue shorts. IS T
delve into something explore something in detail Peter delves into lots of different philosophies. IS T
depend on someone or something need, require the assistance of Diana depends on her tutor to help her get good grades. IS T
die out be no more remaining Unfortunately, too many species of animals have died out. IS IT
dip into something read or watch I enjoy dipping into a little Shakespeare from time to time. IS T
dispose of something throw away Please dispose of any litter before you leave. IS T
dive into something learn with enthusiasm My son dove into math and did very well. IS T
do away with something prohibit, stop using The government tried to do away with the high taxes but was unsuccessful. IS IT
do for something need to have, desire something I could do for a steak tonight. IS T
do something over repeat Please do exercise two over on page 124. S T
do without something not use, abstain from using We should do without alcohol for a week. IS T
double back return Let’s double back to the cabin to get something to eat. IS IT
drag on continue for a very long time This meeting has dragged on too long! IS IT
draw something out continue for a longer period of time Tom shouldn’t have drawn out the meeting so long. S T
dream something up invent The man dreamt up the invention and became a millionaire. S T
dress someone down criticize strongly The boss dressed him down, so he quit. S T
drive at mean He’s driving at the need to change. IS T
drop by visit by surprise Let’s drop by Tom’s house and see if he wants to have a picnic. IS T
drop in visit by surprise Our son dropped in for a moment yesterday. IS T
drum something up find Can you drum up some dishes for dinner? S T
dry up not be available any more, run out I think the rice has dried up. Let’s go to the store. IS IT
dumb down something make easy on purpose Many new devices have been dumbed down so more people can use them. IS T
dwell on something continue speaking or thinking about I don’t want to dwell on the past, but I can remember when I was a young man … IS

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter E.

ease into something start slowly Let’s ease into the day with a few stretches. IS T
ease up slow down I’ve been working hard all day. Let’s ease up. IS IT
eat away at someone bother Not knowing whether I won or not is eating away at me. IS T
eat in eat at home Let’s eat in tonight. IS IT
end in something finish with The story ended in tragedy. IS T
enter into something agree We entered into a contract on July 2nd. IS T
even something out make smooth Even the sheets out when you make a bed. S T
expand on something give more detail Could you expand on the theory of relativity? IS T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter F.

face off compete against The Lions and the Reds face off next week. IS IT
factor something in include You need to factor the manufacturing costs in before you make an estimate. S T
fade away slowly disappear Physical abilities fade away over many years. Exercise will help you keep them. IS IT
fall apart become ruined The lawn mower is falling apart. IS IT
fall behind need to do more work to keep up I’m falling behind in class. Can you help me? IS IT
fall for someone or something be attracted to Susan fell for Anna when they first met. IS T
fall through fail to happen The job fell through and she had to find another position. IS IT
farm something out ask another company to do, outsource The corporation farmed its customer service out to three companies. S T
fart around waste time Stop farting around and let’s get going! IS IT
feel for someone have sympathy for someone I feel for Viki because she’s having a difficult week at work. IS T
fend for someone take of someone financially I can only fend for myself. It’s a tough job market out there! IS T
fiddle around spend time on no specific task, waste time I like to fiddle around on Saturdays. It’s relaxing. IS IT
fight something down repress, not show Many people fight down tears. They should just have a good cry! S T
figure something out understand over time You will figure the problem out in five minutes. S T
fill something out complete in written form Please fill this survey out for our research. S T
find against someone rule against someone in a court of law The court finds against Mr. Smith and fines him $1,000. IS T
find something out discover, hear of She found out the news just last week. S T
finish with something no longer need He swore he was finished with beer. IS T
fire away ask Go ahead and fire away. What are your questions? IS IT
fit in belong to a group, feel comfortable Do you fit in at school? IS IT
flare up begin to happen in a bad situation My pain flared up last week. IS IT
flash back to something remember Let’s flash back to the 1960s. IS T
flesh something out provide details Please flesh your ideas out in your body paragraphs. S T
flood back return suddenly The memories come flooding back when you hear certain songs. IS IT
flunk out (of something) fail in a class Tim flunked out of math last year. IS T
fly by go quickly Last year flew by! IS IT
follow up (on something) report back to a group or person I’d like to follow up on our meeting last week. IS T
fool around waste time Please don’t fool around. Eat your dinner! IS IT
force something on someone require someone to do something Dan forced the extra work on Tom last week. S T
forge ahead continue Let’s forge ahead and discuss last quarter’s results. IS IT
fork money over pay Please fork over the money for the meal. S T
foul something up make mistakes Peter fouled up the directions, so we have to start again. S T
frown on / upon something or someone disapprove of The pastor frowns upon any kind of fun. IS T
fuss over someone or something pay much attention to Stop fussing over your hair. You look fine. IS T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter G.

get something across make something understood He got his point across and he won the debate. S T
get along (with someone) have a good relationship The children get along very well. IS T
get away escape The thieves got away during the night. IS IT
get away with something do something wrong but not be punished The boy got away with skipping school. IS T
get back at someone take revenge I’ll get back at you for doing that! IS T
get by mange to survive, have just enough money We’re getting by at the moment, but it isn’t easy. IS IT
get down on something or someone criticize Stop getting down on George. He’s doing his best. IS T
get in arrive We got in at midnight last night. IS IT
get into somewhere be accepted at an institution My daughter got into her first choice university. IS T
get on / off something board or leave I got on the bus on 50th street and got off at 83rd street. IS T
get out be released from School gets out at three o’clock. IS IT
get over something recover from sad news or illness It’s taken him three months to get over his illness. IS T
get through make a connection on the telephone I got through to Tom at four o’clock yesterday. IS IT
get together meet Let’s get together on Saturday. IS IT
give something away not ask payment for, provide for free He gave his bike away to another boy! S T
give off something emit, send out from The garbage can gives off a distinct order of trash. IS T
give something up stop doing something Alan gave up tennis a few years ago. S T
gloss over something spend very little time doing The teacher glossed over the more difficult grammar. IS T
go about something continue to do She went about her work as if nothing had happened. IS T
go after something try to achieve I think you should go after a career in football. IS T
go along progress, move forward Go along this street to 52nd Avenue. IS IT
go back to somewhere return to somewhere We went back to our high school and met some friends. IS T
go for something choose something I’ll go for two slices of pizza. IS T
go in / into enter Please go in the room and sit down. IS T
go on continue Please go on. I’m listening. IS IT
go out date They have been going out for three years. IS IT
go through something experience, often difficulties John went through a difficult divorce, but he was fine in the end. IS T
go together need to be together, match Her clothes go together well. IN IT
gobble something up eat quickly Jack gobbled up his breakfast and left for work. S T
grow into something become He grew into a very responsible young man. IS T
grow up become older, become more mature I grew up in Olympia, Washington. IS IT

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter H.

hand something back return Please hand the books back at the end of class. S T
hand something in give to the teacher or other authority Please hand the assignment in before the end of class. S T
hand something out give to others The volunteers handed food out to everyone who wanted a lunch. S T
hang around wait I’m going to hang around until eight o’clock. IS IT
hang on not give up Hang on. Life will get better. IS IT
hang out spend time Teenagers like to hang out at the shopping mall. IS IT
hang up stop a telephone call Please hang up and call back in three hours. IS IT
happen along something find by chance Mary happened along the book at a garage sale. IS T
hash something out argue about The hashed over the problems during dinner. S T
have someone on joke with someone I don’t believe you. You’re having me on. S T
have someone over invite to dinner or to meet at your house We’re having guests over on Friday. S T
head for something or somewhere go in the direction of, be on the way to doing something We’re heading for breakfast. Would you like to join us? IS T
hear about / of something hear news concerning something I heard of the issue, but I don’t know much. IS T
heat something up make warm I’ll heat the pasta up. S T
help someone out provide help Let me help you out with that. S T
hinge on something be dependent upon something The election hinges on his popularity. IS T
hire something out find consultants or another outside the company source for help We’re hiring out our customer service department. S T
hold someone back keep someone from doing something He said his parents held him back, but I think it’s his fault. S T
hold off on something wait to do something We’re holding off on buying the house for a few months. IS T
hold out for something insist that something happen before you agree I’m holding out for $20,000 before I sell. IS T
hold up remain healthy Peter’s holding up well these days. IS IT
home in on something concentrate on, come close to finding I’m holding in on this math problem, but it’s difficult! IS T
horse around not be serious, have fun Stop horsing around and get to work! IS IT
hurry someone or something up encourage to go faster Try to hurry Susan up. It’s getting late. S T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter I.

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter J.


Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter K.

keel over (from something) fall over from exhaustion I got home and keeled over. I was so tired! IS T
keep up (with something or someone) stay at the same rate with another I can’t keep up with my math class! IS T
keep at something or someone continue doing, or bothering a person You need to keep at your homework if you want to get good grades. IS T
keep away (from something or someone) not go near Keep away from Tom. He’s not good for you! IS T
keep someone from doing something not allow someone to do something All the extra work is keeping John from taking a vacation. S T
keep on continue Keep on,. You’ll be successful one day. IS IT
keep off something stay away from Keep off my property! IS T
keep out (of something) not go into Keep out of this room! IS T
keep up continue If the snow keeps up we’ll never leave! IS IT
keep something up take care of Barbara keeps the garden up beautifully. S T
kick somethign around consider We’re kicking his ideas around this weekend. S T
kick something off begin We’re kicking off the sale this weekend. S T
kick someone out exclude, not allow to participate They boys kicked Johnny out of their club. S T
knit someone together have in common Our love of nature knits us together. S T
knock something about / around treat poorly The schoolboys knocked the books about. S T
knock somethign back drink Let’s knock back a few beers after class. S T
knock something off stop doing Would you please knock all the noise off?! S T
knock someone off kill The gangsters knocked four people off on Saturday. S T
knock something together prepare quickly Let’s knock some lunch together. S T
knuckle down become serious about working, studying, etc. We need to knuckle down and prepare for the test. IS IT

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter L.

lace something up tighten with string, usually with shoes Lace up your shoes and let’s go. S T
land up finish in a place or situation I landed up buying the new house. IS IT
lead off with something begin a meeting, presentation, discussion Let’s lead off with the new project in Chicago. IS T
lead to something finish in The discussions might lead to a new position. IS T
lean on someone or something rely on I lean on my parents for emotional support through the hard times. IS T
leave something aside not discuss Let’s leave the proposition aside for the moment and discuss last week’s decision. S T
leave off stop Let’s leave off here and meet again tomorrow. IS IT
leave something out not include He left out the part about the dragon in the story. S T
let someone down disappoint someone I’m afraid she let me down last week. S T
let someone off not punish severely The teacher let the students off with a make-up test even though they skipped class. S T
let out finish a session or a period of time School lets out at three o’clock. IS IT
let up become less The rain is letting up, let’s run to the car! IS IT
level with someone be honest with someone I need to level with you. I’m in love with your wife! IS T
lie ahead be in the future Many tests lie ahead of you in the path to success. IS IT
lie in stay in bed I lay in this morning until 9. It was great. IS IT
light on / upon someone or something find by chance Walking down the road I lit upon a piece of gold! IS T
lighten something up make more comfortable, more relaxed Let’s lighten the mood up by listening to some jazz. S T
line someone or something up to arrange for someone or something I lined two new employees up this week, S T
linger on something spend more time on something I’d like to linger on the topic for a few moments. IS T
listen up pay attention Listen up! Let’s talk about the problem. IS IT
live off of something use to make a living, or to survive They lived off just $1,000 a month for two years. IS T
live it up have a fun time Let’s live it up this weekend! S Set phrase
liven something up make more fun to do This is boring! Let’s liven the party up with some music. S T
loaf around waste time, do nothing I loafed around on Saturday. It was good to relax. IS IT
lock someone out not allow to in a room, not allow to join They locked the students out of the classroom. S T
log in / on (to something) make a network connection on a computer I logged in and started work. IS T
long for something want very much I long for some good chocolate ice-cream. IS T
look after someone or something take care of Please look after my cat while I’m away on vacation. IS T
look ahead think about the future It’s a good idea to look ahead every once in a while. IS IT
look forward to something enjoy the idea of something in the future, anticipate I look forward to meeting you soon. IS T
look in (on someone or something) check, make sure everything is OK I’ll look in on you on Thursday. IS T
look something over inspect, make sure everything is OK I looked the car over and could find no problems. S T
look through something read quickly, skim I looked through the essay and everything looks fine. IS T
look something up find in a reference book or source Look the word up in the dictionary. S T
look up to someone think highly of someone, respect someone John looks up to his father. IS T
lug something around carry with you I lugged my baggage around the airport. S T
luxuriate in something enjoy very much He luxuriates in all the attention from his daughter when she visits. IS T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter M.

major in something work towards getting a degree in at university Peter majors in economics at U of P. IS T
make for something move in the direction of I’m going to make for the parking lot. IS T
make something out see in the distance Can you make the building out over there? S T
make out kiss The young couple made out all evening. IS IT
make something up invent, tell an untrue story He made the story up about his aunt. S T
make up become friends / boyfriend / girlfriend again They made up last week. It’s so sweet. IS IT
make up for something balance the lack of something else His strength makes up for his stupidity. IS T
mark something down write Mark October 5th down on your calendar. S T
mark something up make the price higher The company marks up its products by 20%. S T
marvel at something be surprised or impressed by I marvel at his ability to make friends. IS T
match something up put together Match the pictures up to find a prize. S t
max something out reach a financial or other limit I’ve maxed out my bank account this week. S T
measure up to someone or something be of the same high quality as someone or something I’m afraid she doesn’t measure up to our standards. IS T
mess around / about waste time Don’t mess around. We’ve got work to do. IS T
mess something up fail at doing something Study hard and don’t mess your grades up. S T
mess with something or someone interfere with Please don’t mess with those jars on the table. IS T
mix something or someone up confuse He mixed Mary up when he told her the news. S T
mock something up make a model of Please mock the web page up for our director. S T
move along (on something) make progress We moved ahead on the project last week. IS T
move away leave the place where you live forever We moved away from Seattle three years ago. IS IT
move forward (with something) take the next step in a process Let’s move forward with the proposal. IS T
move on continue in a journey The tourists moved on and the square become empty. IS IT
move up improve in position Peter moved up three ranks in the tennis list last week. IS IT
muck about / around spend time in a relaxed way with no specific purpose I mucked around on Saturday. IS IT
mull something over think about, consider I’ll mull your suggestions over this weekend. S T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter N.

nag at someone continue to complain Stop nagging at me. I’ll get the job done when I can! IS T
nail something down get an agreement on something Did you nail down the contract? S T
narrow down something reduce the number of choices We’ve narrowed down our choices to just three homes. IS T
nose around try to find out information, intrude Why are you nosing around here? IS IT
number among something belong to a group Sarah numbers among my best friends. IS T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter O.

occur to someone have an idea It occurred to Tom that we should you over to dinner next week. IS T
ooze out come out of slowly a Water is oozing out of the wall. IS IT
open out (onto something) become wider The living room opens out onto the dining room. IS T
open up to something become willing to explore Here husband has opened up to visiting a therapist. IS T
opt for something choose something We’ll opt for two weeks in Hawaii over work! IS T
opt out (of something) choose not to do We’ve decided to opt out of all mailing lists. IS T
order something in have food delivered to your home Let’s order in Chinese food this evening. S T
own up (to something) admit doing something wrong The boy owned up to stealing the candy. IS

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter P.

pack something away put into storage Pack away those boxes in the attic. S T
pack someone off send to live elsewhere The parents pack their children off to private school. S T
page through something browse, skim through You can page through a magazine while you wait IS T
paint something out remove from by putting point over something Can you paint out that graffitti? S T
pair up (with someone) find a partner Please pair up and begin the exercise. IS T
palm something off convince people about an explanation that is not true You can’t palm that story off on me! S T
pander to someone or something try to please Angie panders to the director thinking she can get a promotion. IS T
paper over something hide a problem The government is trying to paper over its ineptitude. IS T
part with something let go She parted with her old toys with tears in her eyes. IS T
pass away / on die Mr. Smith passed away last week. IS IT
pass for something or someone function as something else, be like someone else She could pass for Marilyn Monroe. IS T
pass out become unconscious Tim passed out and had to be taken to the hospital. IS IT
pass something up not take advantage of something George decided to pass the opportunity up even though it looked like fun. IS T
pay for something need to suffer or hurt for something You’ll pay for your crimes! IS T
pay someone off bribe, give money to do or not do something The man tried to pay Peter off. S T
pencil something in make an appointment Please pencil the meeting in for next week. S T
pepper something with include a large a number of with some other main component She peppered her talk with jokes about her college days. S T
pertain to something be about This meeting pertains to last quarter’s fall in profit. IS T
pick on someone treat badly, bully Don’t pick on Jimmy! IS T
pick something out choose Which dress have you picked out? S T
pick someone up drive to a place and give a ride I picked Tim up at the airport. S T
pick something up learn a little bit I picked some Italian up in Rome. S T
pick up on something understand from a conversation Did you pick up on how he wanted to find a new job? IS T
pig out eat lots of food Let’s pig out on Saturday! IS IT
pin someone down get a commitment from He finally pinned his boss down on his raise. S T
pipe down be quiet Pipe down in this room. I can’t hear myself think. IS IT
piss off get out of here! Piss off! I don’t want to talk to you. IS IT
pitch in help with money or physically Let me pitch in. That looks heavy. IS IT
plan ahead (for something) make arrangements for a situation in the future We need to plan ahead for our trip to Arizona. IS T
plan something out make plans very carefully They planned the week out hour by hour. S T
play around not be serious Stop playing around. This is a workplace! IS IT
play out happen to the end Let’s see how this plays out next week. IS IT
play something up talk a lot about He is playing the new product up at the meeting. S T
plug away (on something) continue working on I plugged away on the report until three o’clock. IS T
plug something up repair by filling a hole I plugged the leak up on the faucet. S T
plunk down (on something) spend money on I plunked down $500 on the computer. IS T
point something out mention, inform someone that something exists He pointed the problem out during the meeting. S T
polish something off finish Would you like to polish the cake off? S T
pop up appear suddenly The deer popped up and the driver almost hit it. Luckily, he missed! IS IT
pour something down consume He poured the glass of whiskey down like it was water. S T
power something up turn on Power up your computer and let’s get to work. S T
press for something urge someone be done He pressed for more quality controls in negotiations. IS IT
provide against something make plans for the bad times They’ve purchased many goods to provide against disaster. IS T
prowl around move around very quietly She prowled around the room to not wake her sleeping child. IS IT
pull away begin to move The train pulled away from the station. IS IT
pull something off take off clothing She pulled her sweater off and put on a blouse. S T
pull something out present meting, take out of another place Anna pulled the money out of her purse. S T
pull over move to the side of the road The policeman asked the truck drive to pull over. IS IT
pull through survive The injured man pulled through in the end. IS IT
pull together work together well as a group to achieve something If we pull together, we can win this match. IS IT
pull something up get information onto a computer screen Let me pull your file up from last month. S T
punch in start work I punch in at seven o’clock. IS IT
push ahead / forward / on continue working hard on a task Let’s push ahead with the project. IS IT
push for something to try to convince others to do The president pushed for reform, but was unsuccessful. IS T
push towards something move in the direction of a goal Let’s push towards finishing the project by April. IS T
put something across make understood He put his ideas across at the meeting. S T
put something away return to its proper place Please put your clothes away. S T
put someone down criticize Don’t put Debby down. She’s nice. S T
put something forward suggest I put forward that we find a new director. S T
put something off postpone, delay Let’s put the meeting off until next week. S T
put someone on joke with someone Stop putting me on! S T
put something on dress I put the shirt on and left the house. S T
put someone through make someone experience I’m sorry I put you through such a difficult week. S T
put someone through pay for The father put her daughter through college. S T
put up with someone or something tolerate I’m tired of putting up with your stupid jokes. IS T
put upon someone inconvenience I don’t want to put upon you, but could you make a cup of coffee? IS T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter Q.

queue up stand with other people in a line We queued up two hours before the concert began. IS IT
quiet down be quiet Quiet down. Let’s get to work. IS IT
quit on someone stop helping or working for someone I had to quit on Tom. He just wasn’t trying hard enough. IS T

Phrasal verbs in English star with the letter R.

rack something up make profit, get more of We’re racking the dollars up with our new invention. S T
rake something up talk about something unpleasant or bad news from the past He keeps raking up his difficulties in Paris. S T
ramble on (about something) continue speaking for a long time in a disorganized manner He keeps rambling on. I can’t understand him. IS T
rat on someone tell the authorities that someone did something bad Don’t rat on Tom. He’ll kill you! IS T
ration something out give out very slowly We have to ration the cookies out. There are too many of us! S T
rattle something off say very quickly, often with lists He rattled the list off in less than a minute. S T
reach out to someone contact I’d like to reach out to anyone who needs help with the exam. IS T
read something into another thing make a connections between, understand from the context I read an opportunity into this offer. Tell me more. S T
reek of something smell very strongly of something You reek of garlic! IS T
refer to someone or something speak about in context I refeed to his comments from earlier. IS T
reflect on something consider, think about I’d like you to reflect on all the good times we’ve had. IS T
rein something in reduce, limit We need to rein our spending. S T
resort to something do as a last effort to accomplish something I had to resort to candy treats to get her to do her homework. IS T
revolve around put all of your attention towards My life revolves around her. I can’t live without her! IS T
ring off hang up the telephone I rang off and went back to work. IS IT
ring something up charge someone at the cash register Let’s ring the clothes up and go home. S T
rip someone off cheat someone out of their money with a poorly made product, steal The ripped me off on this shirt. It tore after two days. S T
rip into someone become very angry with He ripped into John about the problems at school. IS T
rise up (against someone) fight against The employees rose up and demanded a raise. IS T
roll in arrive We rolled in after midnight. IS IT
roll something out introduce a product We rolled the new computer out last month. S T
rope someone into something convince someone to do I roped Peter into helping me with my presentation. S T
rub off (on someone) influence behavior I hope something rubbed off on him and he becomes more serious. IS T
rule something out exclude, refuse to do I’m ruling moving out. I love this city. S T
run across something find by chance I ran across this article yesterday. IS T
run away with (something or someone) take from, steal He ran away with my heart. IS T
run into someone meet by accident I ran into Doug at the market yesterday. IS T
run off / on something use as power This machine runs off / on gasoline. IS T
run out of something not have any more of We ran out of milk. I’ll go to the supermarket. IS T
run through something practice something from beginning to end Let’s run through the piece one more time. IS T
run up something add up to an amount of money We ran up a large bill last night at the restaurant. IS T

Phrasal verbs in English star with the letter S.

safeguard against something do something to prevent harm We safeguarded against freezing weather. IS T
save on something keep the cost of something low We’re trying to save on vegetables by growing our own. IS T
sail through something complete something very quickly We sailed through the meeting and left for lunch. IS T
scare someone off make someone not want to do something by speaking about negatives She scared him off talking about the big insects you can see on hikes. S T
save (money) up Save money to purchase something I’m saving up to buy a new watch. S T
scope something out find out detailed information about Let’s scope the situation out before we decide. S T
scrape by survive with great difficulty We’re just scraping by in this economy. IS IT
scrape something together find enough of Let me scrape together twenty dollars and then we’ll go. S T
screen something out decide not to include in We screen a number of applicants out before we had the final interviews. S T
screw something up make a serious mistake, fail at something I’m afraid I screwed the job interview up. I’ll never get the job. S T
scrounge around (for something) look in many places for something I always need to scrouge around for my keys! IS T
see something in celebrate the beginning of something Let’s see in the New Year with a few drinks. S T
see through something or someone understand the hidden truth I can see through your tricks. IS T
see to something take responsibility for I’ll see to the beer if you cook dinner. IS T
seek someone or something out make a great effort to find He sought the guru out by hiking 200 miles to a remote area. S T
sell out betray an ideal for a lot of money Many people accuse their favorite rock stars of selling out. IS IT
send someone away tell someone to leave I sent the boy away with a note to his mother. S T
send for someone have someone come to you Please send for a doctor. I’m not feeling well. IS T
send someone off give a party for someone who is leaving We sent him off with a proper celebration. S T
serve something up give food to people who are waiting to eat She served lasagna up and it was delicious. S T
set about something begin to do a task She set about writing the report. S T
set someone apart make different from others His intelligence sets him apart. S T
set aside save I’m setting aside $1,000 every month. S T
set off (on something) leave for a destination We set off on our journey on Saturday. IS T
set to something begin doing an activity We set to work at seven in the morning. IS T
set someone up put someone into a difficult situation She set him up for a broken heart. S T
settle down stop making noise, come calm Please settle down children. We need to do our homework. IS IT
shake someone down get money from someone by threats The mobster tried to shake him down, but he refused to pay a penny. S T
shake something off stop worrying about something negative that happened You need to shake your failed marriage off and start a new life. S T
shape up improve You need to shape up. You’ve been a very bad boy lately. IS IT
shell out spend money I shelled out over $4,000 for the car. IS T
shoot something down not approve of something My boss shot my idea down. I hate working here. S T
show off do something that you are very good at in conceited manner Stop showing off. I know you can golf well. IS IT
show something off make other people try to notice something you have He’s showing his Porsche off this week. S T
show up arrive He showed up late for the meeting. IS IT
shrug something off not worry about something bad that has happened He shrugged off the failure and continued on his way. S T
shut someone out not include They tried to shut him out of discussions, but he insisted. S T
shut up do not talk Please shut up! IS IT
shy away from something try not to do Mary shied away from looking for a new job. IS T
sift through something to consider a large amount of information, or objects We sifted through the data trying to fine a clue. S T
sign up (for something) register to do I signed up for the health club last week. IS T
sign something over give the ownership of something to someone He signed over the car and bought a new one. S T
sink in realize, understand completely The reality sank in and he tried to go back to his old life. IS IT
sit down take a seat Please sit down and let’s begin. IS IT
sit something out not participate in something He sat the match out last Saturday. S T
size someone or something up take time to understand a person or situation I sized him up and decided we could be friends. S T
slave away work without rest, work very hard I slaved away all day today. I’m exhausted IS IT
sleep in get up later than usual I slept in this morning. IS IT
slim down lose weight You need to slim down and get in shape. IS IT
slip away leave Let’s slip away. I’m tired. IS IT
smell of something seem to be influenced by The situation smells of corruption. IS T
snuggle down become comfortable in bed and get ready to sleep I snuggled down for a long night’s sleep. IS IT
soften someone up make someone willing to do something His daughter soften him up with her sweet smile. S T
sound off (about something) complain He employees are sounding off about the poor health benefits. IS T
speak out (against / in favor of something) take a strong position on something and tell others She spoke out against the corruption in her company. IS T
spell something out say exactly what needs to be done Let me spell everything out for you. S T
spice something up make more interesting, improve the looks of I’d like to spice our relationship up with a nice dinner in a romantic restaurant. S T
spin something off create a new business from We want to spin off two new products. S T
splash out spend a lot of money to have a good time They splashed out and went to New York for the weekend. IS IT
sponge off someone Take advantage of the money of someone else Stop sponging off your parents and get a good job. IS T
spring for pay for something, invite someone and pay I’ll spring for dinner tonight. IS T
square something away finish all the details of something We squared away the contract and began the project. S T
stake something out watch very carefully The police staked the bar out waiting for the criminal. S T
stand about / around waste time We stood around waiting for a table. IS IT
stand in for someone take the place of someone The actor had a stunt man stand in for him in the scene. IS T
stand up for something or someone defend, say something positive about She stood up for her rights. IS T
stand up to someone defend yourself against Don stood up to Peter and never had a problem again. IS T
start off something begin doing Let’s start off by introducing ourselves. IS T
starve for something want to do very much We’re starving for some fun this weekend. IS T
stay away (from something) avoid, try not to do She stayed away from beef all last week. IS T
stay up not go to sleep We stayed up late last night. IS IT
step down quit a position of leadership The president stepped down over the scandal. IS IT
stop by visit We stopped by their house on our way home. IS T
storm off leave angrily She stormed off. I don’t know what happened. IS IT
subscribe to something believe, agree with I subscribe to his views on religion. IS T
sum (something) up conclude, make a summary of I’d like to sum up by saying how much I enjoyed this meeting. IS T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter T.


Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter U.

urge someone on encourage someone to continue doing something Ted urged his daughter on at the race last week. S T
use something up use completely until there is no more I used the toothpaste up last night. S T
usher something or someone in welcome, mark the beginning of The decision ushered in a new era of happiness. S T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter V.

veer off move away from, change direction The airplane veered off to the west. IS IT
veg out waste time, do nothing I vegged out over the weekend. IS IT
verge on something be very close to or similar to something HIs desire to succeed verges on madness. IS T
vote something down not approve by election Citizens voted the measure down last week. S T
vouch for something or someone tell someone that something or someone is good, reliable I can vouch for Peter. He’s an excellent employee. IS T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter W.

wait on someone bring food to She waited on the businessmen until three o’clock. IS T
wait something out stay in a place or position until something stops Let’s wait the storm out in the barn. S T
wake up stop sleeping in the morning I woke up at seven o’clock. IS IT
walk away from something leave, never do again She walked away from her job last year. IS T
walk out (on something) leave suddenly and in a disapproving manner They walked out as they hated the music. IS T
want in on something desire to be a part of He wants in on the opportunity. IS T
warm up do exercises to get ready I do a few stretches to warm up before a race. IS IT
wash something up clean Wash the plates up and let’s eat dinner. S T
water something down make something easier to understand He watered the information down so everyone could understand. S T
wave someone aside / away instruct to go around, avoid He waved the people away from the scene of the crime. S T
wean off something slowly reduce I’m weaning myself off cigarettes this month. IS T
wear something out use so much that a replacement needs to be bought She wore the blouse out and has to go shopping. S T
weed someone or something out remove from a group I’d like you to weed the applicants out and find two people to interview. S T
weigh in on something give an opinion about Susan weighed in on the conversation. IS T
whizz through something do quickly I whizzed through the book in two days. IS T
wimp out decide you can’t do something in the end because you are afraid Jack wimped out and didn’t come on the hike. IS IT
win someone over convince someone His presentation won everyone over to the project. S T
wind something down bring to a close, finish something Let’s wind the meeting down for today. S T
wipe something out destroy something the tornado wiped the town out. S T
wolf something down eat very quickly Don’t wolf your dinner down. Enjoy it. S T
work something in include I think we can work your presentation in this afternoon. S T
work out do exercise I worked out until five o’clock. IS IT
work something out calculate, complete the details of Let’s work the deal out tomorrow. S T
work towards something move towards a goal We’re working towards ending hunger in the inner cities. IS T
work someone up make angry, nervous Be careful what you say so you don’t work her up. S T
wrap something up finish Let’s wrap the meeting up for today. S T
wrestle with something work hard to understand or do We’re wrestling with the scheduling this week. IS T
write something off cancel a debt They wrote $3,000 off. S T
write something up report on something in written form Can you write the report up for next week? S T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter X.


Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter Y.

yearn for something or someone want someone or something very much I’m yearning for some chocolate today. IS T
yield to something be replaced by something Cars must yield to bicycles on this road. IS T

Phrasal verbs in English start with the letter Z.

zero in on something concentrate on something, find the most important part We’re zeroing in on the cause of the problem. IS T
zip something up close using a zipper Zip your coat up and let’s go. S T
zone out not pay attention, not think about anything I often zone out if I’ve worked more than eight hours. IS IT
zonk out fall asleep I zonked out as soon as I got home. IS IT
zoom off leave quickly He zoomed off after the meeting finished. IS IT


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