A list of phrasal verbs from a to z with examples
What will I learn from the list of phrasal verbs from a to z?
This lesson you will learn the meaning of some of the phrasal verbs that you might not understand. The lesson is to be used to help you understand the meanings when you come across phrasal verbs you don't understand.
** Warning please don't try and memorize all of the phrasal verbs listed use as a reference when you need to understand what they mean **
Phrasal verbs beginning with A
Adhere to: If you keep refusing to adhere to the rules of the school, you may be expelled.
Aim at: Most of his books are aimed at teenager readers.
Answer back: How dare you answer back like that?!
Answer for: I can answer for her qualifications in the field.
Answer for: You can't make me answer for his mistakes. That's unfair!
Ask after: He seems to be really interested - he keeps asking after you.
Ask out: You behave like a moron! Ask her out and then you will know if she likes you or not!
Associate with: It's ridiculous to associate happiness with full bank account...
Phrasal verbs beginning with B
Back out: Make them sign the agreement so that they would not back out from the project.
Back me: Will you back me up if I present the alternative solution to the problem?
Bank on: Tom is very disappointed as he banked on the pay rise and finally he didn't get it.
Be after: John is after a job in marketing.
Be made for: Mary and Paul seem to be made for each other.
Beat up: He was dragged out of the car and beaten up by the street gang.
Bend down: Johnny! Bend down and do your shoelaces.
Blend in/into: Chameleons can blend in with their surroundings.
Boss about/ round: I hate when somebody wants to boss me around!
Break away: He wanted to break away from the traditional image of an artist and always wore suits in his studio.
Break down: They got caught quite easily as their runaway car broke down after few miles.
Break down: The discussion broke down because nobody wanted to accept any compromise.
Break out: He broke out of the state prison last night.
Break out: The anthrax epidemic was prevented from breaking out.
Break through: The soldiers are reported to successfully break through the enemy's trenches.
Break up: I didn't know Leven has broken up with Joe!
Breeze into: She usually breezes into the meeting and shares her opinions witheverybody present.
Breeze through: He breezed through the university entrance exams.
Brighten up: She put some flowers to the vase to brighten the room up.
Bring about: now we can just wait what these changes will bring about.
Bring back: the photos we watched together brought back a lot of memories.
Bring down: the present acute crisis in economy may bring the government down.
Bring around/round: we tried to bring her round but in vain.
Bring together: the disaster brought the local community together.
Bring up: she was brought up to respect other people.
Brush aside: He brushed aside his advisor's ideas and consequently lost the campaign.
Brush up: He went to France to brush up on his French before the exam.
Bump into: I bumped into my Mum when I tried to leave the house unnoticed.
Bundle up: She bundled the kittens up in blankets before taking them to the vet.
Burst in: The crowd burst in the palace and started the plunder.
Burst out: He burst out laughing when he heard this joke for the first time.
Butt in: She got mad as he butted in once again with his stupid remarks.
Button up: Button up John, will you? It's quite cold today.
Phrasal verbs beginning with C
Call in: Call in for a cup of coffee when you are in town.
Call off: They had to call the meeting off because their partners asked for more time to decide on conditions.
Calm down: They had a hard time in their relationship but now everything seems to have calmed down.
Care: She cares for her younger sister.
Carry on: The light went out but the surgeon insisted on carrying on with the operation.
Carry out: I hope she will carry out her research as it may be a real breakthrough.
Catch up: You will have to work harder in order to catch up with the rest of the team.
Cheat on: She had a nervous breakdown when she discovered that her husband has been cheating on her.
Check in: All the passengers should check in one hour before the departure.
Check off: Please check off all the names on the list to make sure everyone's present.
Check out: can somebody check out who is at the door?
Check out: She checked out early in the morning and continued her journey.
Check up on: I hate when he checks up on me to be sure that I go where I tell him.
Cheer up: She went to the hairdresser to cheer herself up after the test.
Chew something over: OK. There is no need to hurry - you can just chew it over and give the answer next week.
Chill out: Oh, come on! Get a drink and chill out!
Chip in: We all chipped in for our parents' present.
Clean up: Clean up your room before you leave.
Clear something out: Next weekend I'm going to finally clear my wardrobe out.
Clear something up: Yes, we had an argument but we cleared it up already.
Clear up: The weather's clearing up.
Cloud over: as the sky clouded over, we had to resign from sunbathing that day.
Come about: He said he had no idea how all these things may have come about in his company.
Come across: John came across as being an extremely shy person.
Come across: I came across this precious painting while I was tidying my basement.
Come apart: we need a new bed; the old one is coming apart.
Come around/round: as she was the only witness of the accident, the police officer waited tillshe came round to ask her some questions.
Come back: don't wait for me; I don't know when I'll be coming back.
Come down: This shelf is overloaded! It may come down any minute!
Come down on: the press came down on his new play.
Come down with: He came down with flu and had to stay in bed.
Come out: The first issue of this newspaper came out in 1956.
Come out with: She came out with her accusations quite unexpectedly.
Count on: You can always count on Jim in situation like this.
Cross out: Your essay is too long - cross some sentences out.
Cuddle up: I often cuddle up to my pony when I feel unhappy.
Cut down: I think you should cut down hours you spend in front of computer screen.
Cut down on: I try to cut down on sweets and coffee.
Cut in: He cursed and slammed on the brakes as the car suddenly cut in in front of him.
Cut in: She shows no respect to anyone - she is always cutting in! No matter who is speaking?
Cut off: Electricity has been cut off for the whole week.
Phrasal verbs beginning with D
Deal with: Do you think you can deal with this sort of problem?
Decide on: We have decided on holiday in Spain.
Delve into: I don't want to delve into details concerning his death. It's too painful.
Depend on: you can always depend on me. The tram is late again! You really can't depend on public transport.
Depend on: Our decision depends on the results of the test.
Deprive of: Living in the country will deprive you of all the nightlife you like so much.
Devote to: She devoted all her life to fighting for human rights.
Die away: her voice gradually died away and there was silence again.
Die out: Dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.
Dig out: I spent hours in the library but finally I dug out everything I needed.
Do away with something: why don't they do away with all these stupid rules!
Do: Could you help me do up my dress?
Do without: I'm afraid she'll have to do without my help.
Drag away: Drag him away from the TV somehow! He needs more exercise.
Drop by / in: do not hesitate to drop in whenever you're in the neighbourhood.
Drop off: I'm going to the city centre now, so if you want I can drop you off to the library.
Drop: Sue decided to drop out of school.
Dwell: John! Please stop moaning and dwelling on your past mistakes! The show must go on!
Phrasal verbs beginning with E
Eat out: Do you feel like eating out today's evening?
Enter into: He doesn't want to enter into details at the moment.
Phrasal verbs beginning with F
Fade away: the ink writing has faded away and now it is barely visible.
Fall apart: her relationship fell apart after two years. When Mark left Eve, her whole world fell apart.
Fall behind: The horse started the race quite promising but then fell behind on the last bend. Tom has fallen behind in his English recently.
Fall for somebody / something: I fell for her the moment I saw her for the first time.
Fall out: I haven't seen him since we fell out last week. And I don't think I want to...
Feel for: We felt for her when her husband disappeared and left her with all his debts.
Fight back: don't stand like this! Fight back!
Fill (something) up: the room was filled up with people.
Fill something in: Please fill in the application form.
Find out: did you find out how much he had paid?
Focus on / upon: His research focuses on developing new information technologies.
Fold up: You can fold the map up - I know where we are.
Fool around/about: Stop fooling around with the knife or you'll get hurt.
Frolic about / around: He loves frolicking around with his dog.
Phrasal verbs beginning with G
Get (somebody) through (something): He got through the exams and got into college.
Get away: I thought I would never get away from that boring guy!
Get away with something: we all knew he was lying but he managed to get away with it.
Get back: when did you get back?
Get in: what time did you get in last night?
Get in (into): how did all of you manage to get into such a small car? The doors were closed and I couldn't get in.
Get off (something): to get to the museum you have to get off at fifth stop. What time do you usually get off work?
Get on: The bus was full so we couldn't get on.
Get on / along: how is she getting on in the marketing course?
Get on / along (with somebody): I and Susan get on with each other.
Get out: I got out of the car and went home.
Get out: Get out of my house!
Get out of something: I don't feel like going to her parents but I can't get out of it now.
Get over: It took him over two years to get over his wife's death.
Get over: There were many technical problems but they got over it.
Get round/around: We still have to get around the lack of resources.
Get somebody down: I hate autumn. It's always getting me down.
Get something back: Can I borrow this book? You'll get it back next week.
Get something down: Did you get her telephone number down?
Get through: I tried to contact her but I couldn't get through.
Get together (with somebody): Let's get together and talk about it.
Get up: Everyone got up as the president arrived.
Get up: Mike always gets up at 7 o'clock.
Give back: Please give me back my CDs.
Give in to somebody / something: She gave in to despair and refused to take medicine.
Give somebody away: The bride's father usually gives her away.
Give somebody/something away: He's so self-controlled that he never gives his true feelings away.
Give something away: Mary gave her old clothes away to poor people.
Give something out: Could you give out the leaflets to everyone?
Give up: Don't give up. There's still a chance.
Give up something: I gave up smoking two months ago.
Go ahead we can't go ahead with the project without him.
Go away: Leave me alone! Go away!
Go back: When are you going back to London?
Go by: As time went by, her fear grew more and more.
Go by: She was standing at the window and watching people go by.
Go down: Now, as the prices went down, I can afford this car.
Go down: The Titanic went down on her virgin voyage.
Go off: Two people died when a bomb went off in a shop.
Go off: All the lights went off when a thunderbolt hit the house.
Go on: Sorry for the interruption, please go on.
Go out: Mark doesn't go out much.
Go out: Let's go out for a walk.
Go out: The light went out as we sat for dinner.
Go out: Tom and Mary have been going out for seven years.
Go through something: During her marriage she went through hell with her husband.
Go together: In my opinion the dark shirt and this tie go together perfectly.
Go under: After being hit with a torpedo the ship went under in few minutes.
Go under: My Company went under and I was fired.
Go up: The price of bread has gone up again.
Go with something: White wine best goes with fish.
Go with something: Riots usually go with unnecessary bloodshed.
Go without: You'll have to go without bonus this month.
Grow up: Don't behave like a child! Grow up!
Phrasal verbs beginning with H
Hand out: My job is to stand on the pavement and hand out leaflets to people.
Hand something in: Please finish writing and hand in the essays.
Hang on: Hang on a second, I'll be right there.
Hang on: Hang on or you'll fall.
Hang out: In summer a lot of young people hang out here.
Hang up: She was so annoying that I just hung up.
Have on: Do you have any money on you?
Head for: do the troops were heading for the capital city.
Hear from: I haven't heard from him for ages.
Heat up: His rude answer heated up the discussion.
Heat up: Heat the dish up before serving.
Hit back: You have to hit back after what he's told you.
Hold back: Bodyguards had to hold back the crowd as Madonna stepped out of the car.
Hold on: Hold on a second, I'm almost ready.
Hold up: The flight to London was held up due to bad weather conditions.
Hook up: Have you hooked up to the Internet yet?
Hurry up: Hurry up! We have to be there at 5.
Hush up: The government will do anything to hush it up as one of the ministers was involved in the case.
Phrasal verbs beginning with I
Identify with: Many girls try to identify with their idols.
immerse in: After having her first baby, she was totally immersed in family life.
impose something on/upon: Spanish invaders imposed their culture and beliefs on native Americans.
indulge in: I indulged in a cup of hot chocolate in the morning.
inform on somebody: The police have somebody here to inform on the terrorists' movements.
infringe on/upon: This new law will infringe on freedom of speech, I'm afraid.
inquire into: The judge wants the deputy to inquire into the case in greater detail.
insist on/upon: Lucy insisted on seeing her lawyer before giving any answers to officer's questions.
interfere with: I don't want my kids to interfere with any electrical stuff that we have at home.
itch for: I was itching for the lesson to end, as we were supposed to have a match right after it.
Phrasal verbs beginning with J
join in: We're going for a picnic tomorrow. Why don't you join in?
jot down: She called the helpline and jotted down a few telephone numbers.
Phrasal verbs beginning with K
keep away: Keep away from him or you'll get into trouble.
keep on: Why you always keep on asking me about Mark? I don't want to talk about him!
keep up (with): I can't keep up with computers, it's all changing too fast for me.
kick back: Tonight I just want to kick back in front of TV.
kick off: What time do they kick off?
Kicked off: She rushed into the house, kicked off her shoes and ran upstairs.
knock down: She is in hospital after being knocked down by a car.
knock out: All these drinks yesterday just knocked me out. His doctor gave him some tranquilizers that have knocked him down.
know of: Do you know of any Italian restaurants in Paris?
knuckle down: He usually does nothing all year round and knuckles down right before the exam.
Phrasal verbs beginning with L
land up: He landed up living in a cardboard box under the bridge.
laugh at: What are you laughing at?
lavish on/upon: His parents lavish a lot of money and attention on his education.
lay off: Many people working in this factory were laid off without previous notice.
leave out: Prepare the list carefully, I don't want anyone to be left out.
let down: You let me down again, I can't trust you anymore.
let out: The classes finished earlier but we were not let out before 3 o'clock.
line-up: She lined up her books on the shelf.
Litter: His inaugural speech was littered with clichés and empty rhetoric.
log in / on: I can't log in, I forgot the password.
log out / off: Please log out and turn the computer off.
look after: We need to find someone to look after the kids when we're out tomorrow evening.
look around: Look around and check if you find something interesting for you.
look at: What are you looking at?
look back: When I look back, I must admit that I don't regret anything in my life.
look down on somebody: She looks down on people of lower financial status than hers.
look for: I'm looking for a room to rent. Do you know of any in this area?
look forward to: I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon.
look into: The police are looking into the cause of the accident.
look out: Look out!
look out: Look out for your bag or someone will steal it.
look through: She looked through the fashion magazines but found nothing interesting.
look up: Could someone look up this word in a dictionary?
loom ahead: I can't fully relax with my exams looming ahead.
loom up: The castle's gloomy silhouette loomed up in the horizon.
Phrasal verbs beginning with M
make for: He tried to make for the exit but was too drunk to reach it.
make it up to somebody: They helped me so much... I don't know how I am going to make it up to them.
Make: What do you make of Ralph? I think he's very intelligent.
make out: I know this song but they sing so fast that I have never managed to make the words out.
make up: I always make up before I leave house.
make up: I wouldn't believe her! I bet she has made the story up!
make up: for She spends so much probably making up for the years when she was penniless.
match up: They will have to be interrogated once again as their stories proved not to match up.
melt down: Put some butter on the pan and wait till it melts down. Then add onion rings.
merge in: She watched him for a while but then he merged in the crowd.
mess about/around: Will you stop messing around and start working?
mess with: Do not mess with mixing alcohol.
mess with somebody: Do not mess with him! He is eager to solve problems with his fists.
mete out: The court meted out such severe penalty that even the victim was stunned.
move in: I didn't like this flat when I moved in but now I think it's quite cosy.
move out: We have to move out till the end of the month.
mull over: I hate going shopping with her! She mulls over everything for hours and then buys nothing.
Phrasal verbs beginning with N
nail down: She told us just the news - we will need to nail her down to reveal more details.
name after: Jacky was named after her grandmother.
narrow down: We wanted to narrow down the list of candidates for the elections.
nod off: He usually nods off in front of the TV.
nose about/around: Call the security! Somebody was nosing around in my office.
note down: Please note down the following emergency numbers.
Phrasal verbs beginning with O
object to: The President objected to the idea of further cuts in defence spending.
Phrasal verbs beginning with P
pass away: The old lady passed away yesterday at ten.
pass by: Every day I pass by this shop when I'm on my way to work.
pass on: Have you passed on the message I sent you?
pass out: It was so stuffy in the room that I wasn't surprised at all that some people passed out.
pay back: I will pay you back next week. Is that OK?
pay off: I hope to pay this loan off before the deadline.
pay somebody back: I'm going to pay him back for all these stinging remarks.
pick out: We spent hours looking for presents and finally picked out some books.
pick up: Sue picked up the phone and dialled her boyfriend's number.
pick up: I picked up a lot of new words during my trip to London.
pick up: Will you pick me up from the station on Monday?
pin down: He didn't tell me much. We will need to pin him down to details.
piss off: She was absolutely pissed off with his behaviour.
plug in: I haven't plugged in the TV yet, I just bought it.
point out: She pointed out common writing mistakes her students should be aware of.
polish up: His Spanish is not bad but he should polish it up a bit.
print out: Could you please print out this document for me?
pull down: They had to pull down the old building to build a new shopping centre there.
pull in: The train from Manchester is pulling in on platform 1.
pull in: I need a break, I'll pull in over there and we'll have some rest.
pull out: A train has just pulled out of the station.
pull out: Can you imagine it? I had to wait 5 minutes to pull out!
pull up: A blue car has just pulled up near the cinema.
put back: Remember to put back the CDs when you don't listen to them.
put back: I'm afraid we have to put back our appointment.
put back: Remember to put back your watch when you'll land in London.
put down: Put down your bags and let's go to the kitchen.
put down: How could you put me down in front of all these people?!
put down to: She was unbearable yesterday but we put it down to the problems she has in her marriage.
put forward: We put the clocks forward in spring.
put off: Can you put off the meeting? I need to talk to you.
put off: Oh yeah, he is handsome but his manners put me off!
put on: It's quite cold so you'd better put on your coat.
put on: Put on the light please.
put out: Put out the lights, I'm tired and want to go sleep. Put the cigarette out, it's non-smoking area.
put up with: How do you put up with him? He's so irritating.
Phrasal verbs beginning with R
ramble on: I almost fell asleep when he started rambling on about his childhood.
reach out: Could you reach out to press this button, please.
read out: Now I will read out the names of our competition winners.
reduce to: do Their accusations reduced her to tears.
refer to: In his academic writing he always refers to Professor Johnson's research.
refer to: Refer to user's handbook if you have any problems with the programme.
relate to: This book relates to the case of JFK's assassination.
rely on/upon: He relies on her common sense in situations like this one.
remind of: She reminds me of a girl I knew years ago.
resort to: To gain their goals they even resorted to violence.
result in: His negligence resulted in severe health problems.
ring back: She can't talk at the moment, can you ring back later?
ring up: Ring me up in the evening.
round down: They rounded it down to one hundred pound.
round up: Round it up to fifty pounds, please.
rub out: You can write in pencil so if anybody wants to correct something just rub
it out and write once again.
rule out: The police had ruled him out as a suspect.
run across: She run across her old love when she was buying present for her husband.
run away: Run away or they'll beat you up.
run down: The press will run the Congress down for passing this bill.
run into: You won't believe whom I ran into this morning!
run into: You'll run into problems if you take this case.
run out: We've run out of the paper for printing. Times running out, we've got only 3 minutes left. I ran out of butter in the morning so I had to go shopping.
run up: I ran up to him and gave him a hug.
Phrasal verbs beginning with S
sail through: She sailed through all the examinations. We sailed through the passport control.
save up: I want to save up for a new computer.
screw up: You'd better not screw it up this time.
scribble down: You can't scribble down like that - nobody can read it.
see off: All my friends came to see me off at the airport.
see through: I didn't see her through and now I'm toasted.
sell out: The bookstore sold out his new book in just few hours.
send in: Please send in application forms before the end of the month.
set off: We set off early in the morning.
set out: We are planning to set out at about 8.
settle down: He thinks it is high time to settle down and start a decent life.
shoot down: Three enemy planes have been shot down during the battle.
show off: What a jerk! All he can do is just showing off!
show up: We'd been waiting for him 2 hours and he didn't show up.
sign in: First of all you have to sign in at reception.
sign out: Don't forget to sign out before you leave.
sign up: John has signed up for almost all classes. When will he find time for that?
slip away: Go for it! Don't let that opportunity slip away!
slow down: You're driving too fast, please slow down.
sort out: She needs to sort out things concerning their relationship.
speak for: Speak for yourself. I hate this place.
speed up: Speed up, we can't drive so slow on a highway.
splash out: She needed some entertainment so decided to splash out in the city centre.
split up: I'm not with Susan any more, we split up two weeks ago.
spread out: The forests spread out to the horizon.
stake on: He staked his own reputation on and decided to support the strike.
stand back: The police told everyone to stand back.
stand by: The antiterrorist squads are standing by behind this building.
stand for: Do you know what CNN stands for?
stand up for: You should always stand up for your beliefs.
start over: I made so many mistakes that I better start everything over again.
stave off: In this climate you should drink a lot of water to stave off dehydration.
stay away: You'd better stay away from my brother.
stay in: I don't feel like going out today, I'll stay in.
stay out: I don't mind if he stays out but yesterday he went too far.
stay out of: Stay out of any trouble or you'll get back to jail.
stay up: Tom stayed up till 3 in the night to watch the final NBA play.
stem from: His shyness stems from his low self-esteem.
stick to: It looks yummy but I need to stick to my diet, you know...
stock up: I think we should stock up with beer - your friends are coming tonight...
stoop to: I don't think Sally would stoop to sharing the details of their intimate life with tabloids.
strike back: If we attack them, they will strike back for sure.
sum up: To sum up our discussion - we need to hire two more people.
switch off: Switch off the radio before you leave.
switch on: Switch on the TV, there's weather forecast in few minutes.
Phrasal verbs beginning with T
take aback: I was taken aback when I heard Sue married Tom.
take after: Peter takes after his father, he's very tall.
take away: Mary took away a knife from her child.
take back: Adam took his new trousers back as he discovered a flaw on them.
take back: I admit that I was wrong about Helen. I take back everything I said about her.
take in: She was taken in by his lofty promises.
take off: When I was young I loved watching planes take off.
take off: She is really good at taking her teacher off.
take off: He was so tired that he didn't even take his clothes off.
take on: Our company wants to take on two new programmers.
take out: He had his tooth taken out.
take-over: I wonder who will take over from me when I'm on long holiday.
take to: I took to her the moment I saw her smile.
take up: Sue's taken up basketball recently.
tell apart: They ceased fire as it was too dark to tell allies apart from enemies.
tell off: He told me off for not being ready with the project yet.
throw away: When will you finally throw away this old coat?
throw in: If you buy this coat, madam, we will throw the gloves in.
touch down: The plane touched down safely and on time.
track down: They managed to track down that stolen jewellery from the Royal collection.
traffic in: They were charged with trafficking in drugs.
trigger off: This street fight may trigger off more serious events.
try on: Try on the red blouse, I think it suits better.
try out: We're trying out a new computer system in our company.
turn back: After two days we had no money and had to turn back.
turn down: Mark asked Susan to marry him but she turned him down.
turn in/into: You wouldn't recognize her - she has turned into a dedicated women rights fighter.
turn off: Turn off the radio please, I'd like to read.
turn on: Turn on the TV, the game starts in few minutes.
turn out: It turned out that we've bought the same skirt.
turn to: He turned to the judge to postpone the date of the trial.
turn up: He disappeared as quick as he had turned up.
Phrasal verbs beginning with W
wake up: He woke up too late and had to leave without breakfast.
wash up: I hate washing up.
watch out: Watch out! You are not allowed to walk here without proper equipment!
wind down: like to wind down watching movies with my friends.
write down: Would you like to write down my address?
Phrasal verbs beginning with Y
Yank out: He fought for a while with the cord but finally yanked out the plug from the socket.
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