100+ of the Most Useful Phrasal Verbs in English (With Meaning & Examples) 1

100+ of the Most Useful Phrasal Verbs in English (With Meaning & Examples)

Phrasal verbs are an important part of learning the English language. Use this list when you don’t understand what the phrasal verbs mean.

Phrasal Verbs in English

Phrasal Verbs with BE

1. Be afterTry to find or get

E.g. The police are after him because of the theft.

2. Be alongArrive

E.g. The next bus should be along in the next quarter of an hour or so.

3. Be awayBe elsewhere; on holiday,…

E.g. She‘s away on business for three weeks.

4. Be down onHave negative feelings toward someone

E.g. After the argument, James is down on his boss.

5. Be down withBe ill

E.g. I didn’t go to work because I was down with the flu.

6. Be fed upBe bored, upset or sick of something

E.g. I am fed up of his complaints.

7. Be inBe at home or at work

E.g. They are never in; I always get their answerphone.

8. Be inBe submitted, arrive

E.g. The application form must be in by 3 pm on Friday.

9. Be in onBe involved in

E.g. Susan was the only one who wasn’t in on the plan.

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Phrasal Verbs with UP

1. Blow upExplode

E.g. The car blew up after it crashed into the wall.

2. Build upIncrease in amount, size or intensity

E.g. We have built up the business over the years and it now employs over 20 people.

3. Burn upHave a high temperature

E.g. You’re burning up—have you seen a doctor?

4. Call upTelephone

E.g. I’m going to call up and cancel my subscription.

5. Check upTo make sure that somebody is doing what they should be doing

E.g. My mother is always checking up on me.

6. Come upHappen unexpectedly

E.g. I’m afraid I can’t make the meeting tomorrow. Something has come up.

7. Divide upDistribute

E.g. We can divide up the commission among the sales staff.

8. Drive upForce up the prices or costs

E.g. The uncertainty in the markets is driving up labor costs.

9. Do upFasten up

E.g. Do you know how to do up your seat belt?

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Phrasal Verbs with BREAK

1. Break offTo stop (temporarily)

E.g. He broke off in the middle of a sentence.

2. Break offTo become separate

E.g. The back section of the train had broken off.

3. Break outTo begin suddenly (of war, fire, conflict, etc.)

E.g. They’re worried that war will break out.

4. Break throughTo successfully deal with smt that is stopping you making progress

E.g. She attempts to break through prejudice in the workplace.

5. Break upBreak into many pieces

E.g. The cup broke up when he dropped it on the floor.

6. Break out in“Sweat heavily, develop skin sores or irritation”

E.g. The measles caused me to break out in a rash.

7. Break out ofEscape

E.g. Two dangerous prisoners broke out of Dark Prison last night.

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Phrasal Verbs with OUT

1. Act outPerform something with actions and gestures

E.g. They acted out the story on stage.

2. Act outExpress emotion in your behavior

E.g. Their anger is acted out in their antisocial behavior.

3. Back out ofNot keep an agreement/arrangement

E.g. We’re hoping that no one will back out of the deal.

4. Check outLeave a hotel

E.g. Joan had already checked out of the hotel.

5. Cut outRemove completely

E.g. He’s cut out all the fat from his diet and he’s a lot slimmer.

6. Draw outTo persuade someone to express their thoughts

E.g. Can you draw out the plans?

7. Find outDiscover some information

E.g. Did she find out about the party?

8. Hand outDistribute, to give, pass out

E.g. The teacher handed out the English books to the students.

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Phrasal Verbs with OVER

1. Carry overTo transport over by carrying

E.g. We carried this house model over the bridge.

2. Carry overTo transfer (something) to a later point in time

E.g. The rent was carried over to December.

3. Change overTo make a transition from one system to another

E.g. The farm has changed over to organic methods.

4. Fall overTo stop working suddenly

E.g. My computer keeps falling over.

5. Hand overGive something to somebody with your hands

E.g. The captured thief was ordered to hand over his gun.

6. Make overTo convert to a different use

E.g. We’re going to make over the garage into a guest suite.

7. Pass overTo by pass or skip (something)

E.g. They chose to pass over her rude remarks.

8. Pull overDrive to the side of the road and stop your car

E.g. When she noticed the police car behind her, she pulled over.

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Phrasal Verbs with FALL

1. Fall aboutLaugh so much that one’s entire body moves somewhat uncontrollably

E.g. Every time he performed the trick people would fall about laughing.

2. Fall apartDisintegrate

E.g. My old briefcase is falling apart. I’ll have to buy a new one.

3. Fall awayCease to support a person or cause

E.g. After the divorce, all his friends fell away one by one.

4. Fall back onUse something for support in a difficult situation

E.g. I have $10000 in my savings to fall back on.

5. Fall behindBe late (for a regular event)

E.g. You’re falling behind with the rent.

6. Fall downFall to the ground, to collapse

E.g. The beams supporting the roof had rotted, causing the entire house to fall down.

7. Fall forFall in love with someone

E.g. He really fell for the attractive waitress at his favorite restaurant.

8. Fall inCollapse inwards

E.g. The heavy rain caused the roof to fall in.

9. Fall intoBe classified as; to fall under

E.g. That falls into three categories.

10. Fall offBecome detached or to drop from

E.g. A button fell off my coat.

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Phrasal Verbs with PUT

1. Put acrossExplain or state something clearly and understandably

E.g. All good communicators try to use popular, well-understood examples to put across complex ideas

2. Put asideSave (money)

E.g. I try to put a few dollars aside each week, just in case I need money in an emergency

3. Put awayTake a large lead in a game, especially enough to guarantee victory

E.g. They put the game away by scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter

4. Put backReturn something to its original place

E.g. He carefully put the vase back on the shelf

5. Put byPreserve food by canning, freezing, drying, …

E.g. Our family has been putting food by for generations

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Phrasal Verbs with BRING

1. Bring aboutMake something happen

E.g. Social changes that have been brought about by new technology.

2. Bring alongBring someone or something to certain place

E.g. You can bring your friends along if you like.

3. Bring aroundBring something with you when you visit

E.g. He brought some books around when he came last night.

4. Bring downMake something cheaper/ to reduce

E.g. The improvements in technology have brought the prices of computers down considerably.

5. Bring forthRemove something from where it is kept or hidden

E.g. She brought forth the diary and showed it to us.

6. Bring forwardMake something happen earlier than originally planned

E.g. The meeting has been brought foward to this Friday instead of next week.

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Phrasal Verbs with the Word LOOK

1. Look afterWatch or protect; to keep safe

E.g. He asked me to look after his daughter while he was away

2. Look toSeek inspiration or advice or reward from someone

E.g. Whenever I’m upset, I look to Mary to cheer me up.

3. Look forSearch for; to seek

E.g. He spent his life looking for the truth

4. Look intoInvestigate, explore, or consider

E.g. If you are buying a new car, you might want to look into getting a hybrid or other high-efficiency vehicle

5. Look outLook from within to the outside

E.g. Look out, and you will see the rain has stopped.


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Phrasal Verbs with PULL

1. Pull AwayGain in distance

E.g. She pulled away just as he was about to kiss her.

2. Pull Downdemolish

E.g. They pulled down the old sports stadium to build a new one.

3. Pull Forsupport; especially teams

E.g. Who are you pulling for in the cup finals?

4. Pull Intrain or bus arrival at a station

E.g. The train pulled in right on time.

5. Pull Offmanage to do

E.g. The Yankees pulled off a great upset in the finals.

6. Pull Overstop a vehicle by the side of the road

E.g. We pulled over to check our tires as something was making a funny sound on the car.

7. Pull Throughrecover from and illness

E.g. We didn’t know if he was going to pull through but in the end he did.

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