Phrasal Verbs


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.

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.

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.

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?

Call back: to return a phone call.

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

Call off: to cancel.

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

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.

Deal with: to handle something (a problem).

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