Phrasal verbs


add up – add
back up – cause to move backwards; support; blow up; cause to explode; destroy by explosives
break down – analyze; list the parts of separately
break into – go into a house or room forcibly; suddenly; begin; bring about – cause to happen
bring off – accomplish
bring on – cause
bring out – publish; emphasize
bring over – bring
bring to – revive
bring up – raise; care for from childhood
brush out – brush the inside of
burn down – destroy by burning
burn up – consume by fire
buy out – by the other person’s share of a business
buy up – buy the whole supply of
call off – cancel; order away
call up – telephone; summon for military service
calm down – become calm
carry on – continue
carry out – fulfill; complete; accomplish; perform
carry over – carry; continue at another time or place
cheer up – cause to become cheerful
chew up – chew thoroughly
chop up – chop into small pieces
clean off – clean the surface of
clean out – clean the inside of
clean up – clarify; tidy
clear out – clear the surface of
clear up – clear the inside of
close down – close permanently
close up – close temporarily
count in – include
count out – exclude
count up – calculate; count; add to a total
cross out – eliminate
cut off – interrupt; sever; amputate
cut out – eliminate; delete
cut down – reduce in quantity
draw up – write; compose (a document)
dress up – put clothes on; adorn
dust out – dust the inside of
eat up – eat completely
figure out – interpret; understand
figure up – compute
fill in – complete (a printed form)
fill out – complete (a printed form)
fill up – fill completely (a container)
find out – discover
fix up – repair; arrange in a suitable manner
get across – cause to be understood
give back – return
give out – distribute; announce
give up – surrender something
hand down – deliver; pronounce formally; leave as an inheritance
hand over – yield control of
hang up – suspend
have on – be dressed in
have over – entertain someone informally at one’s home
hold off – delay; restrain
hold up – delay; rob; threaten with a weapon
keep up – continue; keep the same pace
leave out – omit
let down – disappoint
let out – release from confinement; make larger (in sewing)
light up – light; illuminate thoroughly
live down – live in such a way as to cause something to be forgotten
make over – remake
move over – move to the side
pass out – distribute
pass up – not take advantage of (as an opportunity)
pass on – transmit
pay back – repay
pay off – discharge a debt completely; give someone his final pay
pick up – come to meet an escort; lift with hands or fingers; learn casually;
initiate an association publicly
play down – minimize
play up – emphasize
point out – indicate
pull down – pull in a downward direction; raze
push across – cause to be understood or accepted
put off – postpone
put on – dress in; deceive or fool
put up – preserve (food); receive as an overnight guest
quiet down – be quiet
ring up – the telephone
rinse off – rinse the surface of
rinse out – rinse the inside of
rule out – eliminate
run down – trace; disparage; hit with a vehicle
run off – cause to depart; reproduce mechanically
save up – accumulate
see through – complete; in spite of difficulties
see off – accompany someone to the beginning of a trip
send back – send to a place where formerly located
send over – send to where someone is
set up – arrange
show off – exhibit ostentatiously
shut off – cause to cease functioning
slow up – cause to move more slowly
spell out – enumerate; state in detail
stand up – fail to keep an appointment with
sweep out – sweep the inside of
take back – return; retract a statement
take down – remove from a high position; write from dictation
take in – understood; fool; deceive; make smaller (in sewing)
take over – take; assume command of
tear down – destroy
tear up – tear into small pieces
tell off – scold; reprimand
think over – consider
think through – consider from beginning to end
think up – create; invent
throw away – discard
throw over – reject
tie up – tie securely or tight
tire out – cause to be exhausted
touch up – repair
try on – put on a garment to verify the fit
try out – test
turn down – refuse; lower the volume
turn out – produce; force into exile, extinguish (a light)
wash off – wash the surface of
wash out – wash the inside of
wear out – use until no longer usable; tire greatly
wind up – finish, tighten the spring of a watch or machine
wipe off – wipe the surface of
wipe out – wipe the inside of; decimate
work out – solve
write down – record
write out – write down every detail; spell out
write up – compose; prepare (a document)


back out of – desert; fail to keep a promise
bear down on – lean on; browbeat
bear on – have to do with
bear up under – endure
break in on – interrupt
break into – interrupt
call for – come to get; require
care for – like; guard; supervise; maintain
carry on with – continue
catch up with – cover the distance between oneself and
check up on – examine; verify
come across – find accidentally
come along with – accompany; make progress
come by – find accidentally
come down with – become ill with
come out with – utter; produce
come up with – utter; produce
count on – rely on
cut in on – interrupt
disagree with – cause illness or discomfort to
do away with – abolish
do without – deprive oneself of
drop in at/on – visit casually without planning
drop out of – leave; quit
face up to – acknowledge
fall behind in – lag; not progress at required pace
fall back on – use for emergency purpose
fall out with – quarrel with
fill in for – substitute for
get ahead of – surpass; beat
get around – evade; avoid
get away with – do without being caught or punished
get by with – manage with a minimum of effort
get down to – become serious about; consider
get in – enter (a vehicle)
get off – descend from; leave
get on – enter (a vehicle); mount
get on with – proceed with
get through with – terminate, finish
go back on – desert; fail to keep (a promise)
go for – like a great deal
go in for – be interested in; participate in
go on with – continue
go over – review
go with – harmonize with; look pleasing together
go without – abstain from
hang around – remain idly in the vicinity of
hear from – receive a communication from
hear of – learn about (sometimes accidentally)
hit on – discover accidentally
hold on to – grasp tightly
hold out against – resist
keep at – persevere at
keep to – persist in; continue
keep up with – maintain the pace of
lie down on – evade; fail to do
live on – support or sustain oneself by means of
live up to – maintain the standard demanded of
look after – take care of
look back on – remember nostalgically
look down on – feel superior to
look forward to – anticipate
look up to – respect; admire
make up for – compensate for
pass on – transmit
pick on – tease; bully
play up to – flatter for personal advantage
put up with – tolerate
read up on – search out information on
run against – compete against in an election
run away with – leave; escape from
run for – campaign for
see about – consider; arrange
see to – arrange; supervise
settle on – decide on; choose
stand for – represent; permit
stand up for – support; demand
stand up to – resist
stick to – persist
stick up for – support; defend
take after – resemble
talk back to – answer impolitely
talk over – discuss
tell on – report misbehavior to authority
touch on – mention briefly
turn into – become
wait on – serve
wait up for – not go to bed while waiting for
watch out for – be careful for


back down – retreat from a position in an argument
back out – desert; fail to keep a promise
back up – move backwards
bear up – endure
blow in – drop in to visit unexpectedly
blow over – pass without doing harm
blow up – explode; lose one’s temper
call up – telephone
calm down – become calm
carry on – continue as before; misbehave
catch on – understand
catch up – cover the distance between oneself and a moving goal
check up – investigate
check out – leave; pay one’s bill
cheer up – become cheerful
clear out – leave
clear up – become clear
close down – close permanently
close up – close temporarily
came about – happen
come along – accompany; make progress
come back – return
come by – visit someone in his home
come out – appear; make a social debut
come over – come to someone’s house, to where someone is
come through – succeed
come to – regain consciousness
cut in – interrupt
die away – fade; diminish
die down – fade; diminish
die off/out – disappear; become extinct
dress up – don fancy or unusual clothes
drive back – return by car
drop in – visit someone casually without planning
drop out – abandon some organized activity; leave; quit
drop over – visit someone casually
fall behind – not progress at required pace
fall off – decrease; lose weight
fall through – fail; not be accomplished
fill in – substitute
find out – learn
fly back – return by air
fly over – fly to where someone is
get ahead – make progress
get along – have a friendly relationship
get around – circulate; move about
get away – escape
get by – manage; either just barely or with a minimum of effort
get in – enter
get off – descend from leave
get on – enter (a vehicle); mount (a horse, etc.)
get on/along – progress; be compatible
get up – rise
get through – finish
give out – become exhausted
give up – surrender; fail to finish
go back – return
go off – explode
go on – happen; continue
go out – stop burning; leave one’s residence
go over – go; succeed
grow up – mature
hang around – remain idly; dawdle
hang up – replace a telephone receive on its hook
hold on – grasp tightly; persevere; wait while telephoning
hold out – continue to resist; persevere; persist
keep on – continue
keep up – maintain the required pace or standard; continue
let up – diminish in intensity
lie down – recline
look on – be a spectator
make out – progress; succeed
make up – become reconciled
move over – move to the side
pan out – turn out well; be successful
pass out – become unconscious
pass on – die
pick up – grow; increase
pull in – arrive
pull out – deport
pull through – survive (barely)
ride over – ride to where someone is
run away – escape; leave; leave quickly without permission
run down – slowly lose power so as to stop functioning
run off – depart running; drain
sell out – sell the ownership or responsibility
settle up – pay one’s bills or debts
show off – boast by words or actions
show up – arrive; appear unexpectedly
shut up – stop talking
slow up – reduce speed
stand by – wait; be prepared to assist
stand up – stand; rise from sitting; last; endure
stay over – remain at someone’s house overnight or longer
step aside – move to one side
take off – leave the ground
take over – assume command
talk back – answer impolitely
throw up – vomit
turn around – turn so that one is facing another direction
turn in – go to bed
turn out – succeed; come; appear, as at a public meeting
turn up – arrive; be found unexpectedly
wait up – remain awake in anticipation
wake up – awaken
walk back – return on foot to where one was
walk over – walk to where someone is
wash out – fade or disappear from washing
watch out – be careful
wear off – fade; disappear through use or time
wear out – become unusable through use; become used up
work out – be successful