Phrasal Verbs

 

A

Abide by – to show respect towards.

All the students must abide by the rules.

Account for – to give reasons, to explain.

Ex: You should account for your absence.

Add up – to be reasonable, to make sense.

Ex: Paul’s story doesn’t add up.

Agree with: to share opinion with someone.

Ex: I agree with you regarding that matter.

Allow for: to consider something.

Ex: We should allow for bigger money spendings during the holiday.

Appeal to:  1) to plead or make a request.

Ex: He appealed to the court to change their decision.

2) to be attractive or interesting.

Ex: Horror movies do not appeal to me.

Apply for: to make a formal request.

Ex: Many people applied for that position.

Ask around – to seek for information from many different people.

Ex: He was asking around if someone had seen his dog.

B

Back away (off): to move backwards from someone or something.

Ex: The horse backed away from the snake.

Back down: to withdraw, to retreat.

Ex: I believe it’s better to back down from this situation.

Back up: to give support or encouragement.

Ex: Will you please back me up on this at the meeting?

Bank on: to rely on someone or something.

Ex: I wouldn’t bank on that train arriving on time if I were you.

Be around – be present.

Ex: If you want to talk to me I’ll be around.

Black out: to faint, to lose consciousness.

Ex: Mary nearly blacked out when she heard the news.

Blow up: to explode.

Ex: They blew up the construction and built it up again.

Boot up: to start a computer by loading an operating system or program.

Ex: You have to boot up your computer before you start to work.

Boss around – to tell someone what to do.

Ex: He’s bossing around although he’s not a boss.

Break down: to stop working, to go out of order.

Ex: The washing machine broke down so we had to call the service.

Break into: to enter by force.

Ex: Burglars broke into our neighbour‘s apartment last night.

Break out: to begin suddenly.

Ex: The Second World War broke out in 1939.

Break up: to end a relationship.

Ex: They broke up because he started seeing another girl.

Bring up: to raise a child.

Ex: She brought her children up during the war.

Bump into: to meet someone unexpectedly.

Ex: I bumped into Sarah this morning.

Burn out: to run out of fuel and go out.

Ex: The light bulb in the garage burnt out. Could you please change it?

C

Call back: to return a phone call.

Ex: I’m busy at the moment. Could you please call back later?

Call for – make necessary, recommended.

Ex: This recipe is calling for thyme.

Call off: to cancel.

Ex: I’m afraid I’ll have to call off our meeting on Saturday.

Call on – to invite someone in a formal way to do something.

Ex: I call on all of you to raise your glasses.

Calm down: to relax; to become less active.

Ex: You shouldn’t worry. Calm down!

Carry on: to continue.

Ex: Please carry on with your reading.

Carry out: 1) to do something as specified (a plan, an oder)

Ex: His orders were carried out to the letter.

2) to perform or conduct (test, experiment).

Ex: That company doesn’t carry our experiments on animals.

Check in: to register at a hotel or airport.

Ex: We checked in at the airport before our flight.

Check out: to pay a bill and leave a place (hotel)

Ex: I checked out of the hotel at noon.

Clam up: to say nothing, to refuse to speak.

Ex: When they asked him about the burglary, he clammed up.

Come across: 1) to meet or find by chance.

Ex: I came across some old photos while I was tidying up the room.

2) to appear, seem, make an impression.

Ex: He seemed like a gentle man, but sometimes he came across as an unpleasant one.

Come down with: to begin being ill from an illness.

Ex: I don’t think I’ll be able to come to work today. I’ve come down with the flu.

Come forward: to present oneself, to come forward.

Ex: Colin came forward and stood before the class.

Come up with: to produce or discover something, to improvise.

Ex: It is believed that the scientists came up with the cure for cancer.

Count on: to rely or depend on someone or something.

Ex: You can count on him to fix your car.

Cut down on: to reduce the amount of something.

Ex: I gained weight. I’ll have to cut down on cakes.

Cut out: 1) to remove something using scissors.

Ex: I cut out the coupon from the newspapers.

2) to stop doing something.

Ex: You need to cut out sugar from your diet.

D

Deal with: to handle something (a problem).

Ex: I can’t deal with all these problems at the same time.

E

F

Fool around – to behave in a silly and dangerous way.

Ex: One shouldn’t fool around with fire.

G

Get around – travel to a lot of places.

Ex: He’s visited three countries this year. He’s getting around!

Get in touch (with someone) – to initiate contact with someone.
Ex: I’ve been trying to get in touch with you all morning. Where have you been?

Go around – behave in a certain way.

Ex: He’s going around and calling people names.

H

Hand around – to give something to each person in a group.
Ex: She poured the soup into plates and handed them around to us.

Hand back – to give back something you’re holding back to someone.
Ex: Paul handed her back the book after he looked at it.

Hand down – to give something to someone (usually to a member of the family) so they can have it after you die.
Ex: She was handed down that necklace by her grandmother.

Hand in – to give documents or written papers to officials or teacher so they can deal with it.
Ex: I handed my passport in to the custom officer.

I

J

K

Keep at – if you keep at something, then you’re persisting on doing something although it may be difficult.
Ex: I know it is difficult, but you have to keep at it.

Keep away – if you keep away from people, then you don’t come close to them. If you keep away from things, then you don’t touch them, or use them.
Ex: Jane had a bad cold yesterday and everyone kept away from her. I’m trying to keep away from the fridge as I want to lose weight.

Keep down
1.You keep something like your voice, noise, music, etc. down. If music is too loud and you want it to be quieter, you can say:
Please, keep that music down!
2. You keep something down when you’re trying to keep it on a lower lever.
Our company is trying to keep the prices down .

Keep in touch – stay in contact with someone.
Ex: I’ve always been trying to keep in touch with my schoolmates

Keep from
1.If you keep from something, then you’re trying to refrain from doing it, although it is hard.
Ex: I really wanted to punch that guy, but I kept from it.
2.If you keep people from doing something, then you’re trying to stop them doing it.
Ex: We should keep from laughing that much.

Keep off
1.You keep off something if you’re trying not to step on it.
Ex: Please, keep off the grass.
2.If you keep off addictive substances like alcohol or cigarettes, it means that you don’t use them.
Ex: He is a nice guy for as long as he keeps off alcohol.

Keep on – if you keep on doing something, then you continue doing it.
Ex: Paul told Stuart to stop laughing, but he just kept on with it.

Keep to
1.If you keep an information to yourself, then you keep it to yourself.
Ex: It is a secret, keep it to yourself.
2. If you avoid to leave a place or activity.
Ex: It was raining outside, so I kept to my room.

Keep up
1.If you keep up doing something, then you continue doing it.
Ex: The coach told them to keep up running.
2. To advance at the same rate as someone.
Ex: Mary missed many lessons due to illness so she found it difficult to keep up with other children.

L

Look after take care of someone.

Ex: My neighbor will look after my cat while I’m away.

Look around – to visit a place and look at things in it.

Ex: We looked around the gallery.

Look down think that you are better than someone else.

Ex: She’s always looking down on uneducated people.

Look into to consider the facts related to a problem or situation.

Ex: We are looking into buying a new house.

Look out be careful!

Ex: Look out! There’s a car behind you.

Look up to be better, improve.

Ex: Our son’s grades are looking up. It was about time!

Lose one’s touch – lose an ability to do something as well as we used to.
Ex: It seems like Jane’s lost her touch with skiing.

Lose touch with – lose contact with someone.
Ex: Although they lived in different countries, they’ve never lost touch with each other.

M

Mess around – to do unimportant things, waste time.

Ex: You should stop messing around and do your homework!

Monkey around – to behave in a silly and annoying way.

Ex: Don’t monkey around with my computer!

N

O

Out of touch – lack of information or communication.
Ex: I’m out of touch with Brenda so I couldn’t tell you when she’s coming.

P

Q

R

Run around – to be very busy.

Ex: I’m so tired; I’ve been running around all morning.

S

T

Touch a nerve with – make someone upset.
Ex: Any talk of raising the cost of oil touches a nerve with citizens.

Touch a sore spot (point) – sensitive matter.
Ex: We shouldn’t touch a sore spot and ask him about the accident.

Turn around – to begin doing something successfully.

Ex: The new manager turned our company around. It performs much better now.

Turn off – switch off

Ex: Laila turned off TV and went to bed.

Turn on – switch on

Ex: Ken turned on his computer and began to work

Turn out – how the things develop or end.

Ex: It turned out that what we did was right.

Turn over – turn a page, turn your body in a lying position, change the TV channel.

Ex: The conductor turned over a page in his note book.

U

V

W

Walk around – to walk without particular goal.

Ex: We were walking around for hours.

X

Z

 

 

 

 

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