English Phrasal Verbs

English Phrasal Verbs
08-September 2018...........

English Phrasal Verbs

The Phrasal verbs are certain verbs which are followed by certain prepositions or Adverbs, which give a new significance to them. For instance ;

  • She backed up my claims.
  • She backed out the contract.

In the first sentence the meaning of phrasal verb is supported. While in the second sentence, the meaning of ‘backed out of’ means withdrew from.
Hence, by adding prepositions or Adverbs to the verbs, different meanings are achieved. Phrasal verbs are a significant part of English language. They are primarily used in spoken and informal text. In formal and academic writing, phrasal verbs are better avoided.

Transitive Phrasal Verbs:

In transitive phrasal verb, there is always an object. These phrasal verbs have three words. For example;

My sister dropped out of school before she could graduate.

Intransitive Phrasal Verbs:

In the intransitive phrasal verb, there is no object in the sentence. These phrasal verbs are not followed by an object. For example;

Once you leave prison, you can always go back again.

Phrasal Verb

It’s Meaning

An Example

ask around

ask multiple people the same question

I asked around but nobody has seen my car.

add up to xyz

equals to xyz

Your purchases add up to $3200.

back abc up

to support

My mother backed me up over my decision to quit my job.

blow xyz up

add air

We have to blow 90 balloons up for the party.

break down

stop functioning (vehicle, machine)

Our car broke down at the side of the freeway in the snowstorm.

call someoneback

return a phone call

I called the company back but the offices were closed for the holiday.

call xyz off


Jack called the wedding off because he wasn’t in love with his fiancé.

calm down

relax after being angry

You are still mad. You need to calm down before you drive the truck.

cut xyz off

stop providing

The company cut off our phone because we didn’t pay the bill.

cut someone off

take out of a will

My grandparents cut my mother off when she remarried.

drop back

move back in a position/group

Andrew dropped back to third place when he fell off his bike.

drop in/by/over

come without an appointment

I might drop in/by/over for coffee sometime this week.

drop out

quit a class, school etc

I dropped out of Arts because it was too difficult.

eat out

eat at a restaurant

I don’t feel like cooking dinner. Let’s eat out.

end up

eventually reach/do/decide

We ended up renting a film instead of going to the theatre.

fall apart

break into pieces

My new dress fell apart in the washing machine today.

fall down

fall to the ground

The picture that you hung up last night fell down today.

fall out

separate from an interior

The money must have fallen out of her pocket.

find xyz out


We tried to keep the time of the party a secret, but Sam found it out.

get xyzacross/over

communicate, make understandable

I tried to get my point across/over to the judge but he wouldn’t listen.

get around

have mobility

My grandmother can get around fine in her new wheelchair.

get away

go on a vacation

We worked so hard this month that we had to get awayfor a week.

get away withxyz

do without being noticed or punished

Jack always gets away with cheating in his maths tests.

get back


We got back from our vacation last weekend.

get xyz back

receive xyz you had before

Sara finally got her Science notes back from my room-mate.

get together

meet (usually for social reasons)

Let’s get together for a movie this weekend.

get up


You should get up and give the elderly woman your seat.

give someoneaway

reveal hidden information about someone

His boss gave him away to the police.

give someoneaway

take the bride to the altar

My father gave me away at my wedding.

give xyz away

ruin a secret

My little brother gave the surprise party away by accident.

give xyz away

give xyz to someone for free

The library was giving away old books on Thursday.

go after someone

follow someone

My sister tried to go after the thief in her car.

go after xyz

try to achieve xyz

I went after my dream and now I am a published writer and scholar.

go againstsomeone

compete, oppose

We are going against the best soccer team in the league tonight.

grow apart

stop being friends over time

My best friend and I grew apart after he changed schools.

hand xyz down

give xyz used to someone else

I handed my old comic books down to my little cousin sister.

hang in

stay positive (N.Amer., informal)

Hang in there. I’m sure you’ll find a vacancy very soon.


prevent from doing/going

I had to hold my dog back because there was a dog in the park.



A man in a black mask held the bank up this evening.

keep on doingxyz

continue doing

Keep on stirring until the syrup comes to a boil.

let someonedown

fail to support or help, disappoint

I need you to finish the project. Don’t let me down this time.

let someone in

allow to enter

Can you let the dog in before you go to work?

look aftersomeone/xyz

take care of

I have to look after my sick grandfather.

look down onsomeone

think less of, consider inferior

Ever since we stole that car your dad has looked down on me.

look forsomeone/xyz

try to find

I’m looking for a white dress for the wedding.

look xyz up

search and find information in a reference book or database

We can look her phone number up in the directory.

look up tosomeone

have a lot of respect for

My little brother has always looked up to me.

mix xyz up

confuse two or more things

I mixed up the twins’ names yet again!

pass away


His uncle passed away last evening after a long illness.

put xyz down

put what you are holding on a surface or floor

You can put the groceries down on the counter.

put someonedown

insult, make someone feel stupid

The students put the substitute teacher down because her skirt were too short.

put up withsomeone/xyz


I don’t think I can put up with three young children in the car.

put xyz on

put clothing/accessories on your body

Don’t forget to put on your new stockings for the party.

run intosomeone/xyz

meet unexpectedly

I ran into an old friend at the new mall.

run oversomeone/xyz

drive a vehicle over a person or thing

I accidentally ran over your bike in the driveway.

run out

have none left

We ran out of detergent so I had to wash my clothes with soap.

set someone up

trick, trap

The police set up the car thief by using a bait.

shop around

compare prices

I want to shop around a little before I decide on these pants.

stick to xyz

continue doing xyz, limit yourself to one particular thing

You will lose weight if you stick to the diet regime.

switch xyz off

stop the energy flow, turn off

This light’s too bright. Could you switch it off.

take xyz back

return an item

I have to take our new Dishwasher back because it doesn’t work.

take off

start to fly

My plane takes off in five hours and two minutes.

tear xyz up

rip into pieces

I tore up my husband’s letters and gave them back to him.

throw xyz away

dispose of

We threw our old computer away when we won the lottery.

try xyz on

sample clothing

I’m going to try these pants on, but I don’t think they will fit.

try xyz out


I am going to try this new brand of soap out.

use xyz up

finish the supply

The kids used all of the flour up so we need to buy some more.

wake up

stop sleeping

We have to wake up early for work on Sunday.

wear off

fade away

Most of her make-up wore off before she got to the party.

work out

be successful

Their plan worked out fine.

Also Read...

Leave a Reply