Everyday grammar 2 : Phrasal Verbs

Frequently used Phrasal Verbs in British English

Bring up
1.     To mention something. He likes Politics and often brings up the subject in conversation.

2.    To be sick. She ate too much chocolate and brought it up.

Bring on
To cause something to happen, usually something negative. His illness was brought on by years of smoking.

Call on
To visit someone: I’ll call on you this evening to see how you’re feeling.

Call off
To cancel something.The picnic was called off because of the rain.

Come up (with something)
To have an idea.  came up with a solution for teaching English to people who cannot attend classes. SKYPE lessons!
Come in
To enter.  Come in, the door is open!
Come across
To meet someone  or find something by chance.
1. I came across David in the park.
2. I was cleaning the attic and I came across an English dictionary.
Come forward
To volunteer information about something, like a crime. The police are encouraging people to come forward with any information about the kidnapped girl.

Cut off
This phrase can be used in several ways, but its general meaning is to interrupt or stop something.
1.     While driving, to get in front of another car suddenly: That red car just cut me off and I almost crashed into it.

2.    To stop supplying things to or communicating with someone: His father is rich but he cut him off without any money of his own.

Cut (it) out
This phrase has the same meaning as saying “Stop it.”
“Hey, cut it out! I was watching that movie, so stop changing the channel!”

Cut in
To interrupt someone when they are speaking.
“I was about to ask that girl a question, but her friend cut in and answered first.”


Drop by/in
To stop by for a visit, for a short time.
Andrew is such a great boyfriend, when he heard that his girlfriend had a cold he dropped by to bring her some soup.

Drop off
To leave something or someone in their destination.
It can be separated by the object being dropped off.
“I can give you a ride and drop you off at work.”

Fall down/over/off/in
To drop to the ground, usually by accident.
My friend slipped on a banana peel and fell down.
I fell over the sleeping dog.
He fell off the ladder
She fell in(to) the river.

Fill (someone) in
To give someone the details about something.
 “Quickly, let’s go! There’s no time to explain, I’ll fill you in on the way.”

Fill up
To  eat a lot  and become completely full.
The little girl filled up on sweets before dinner, and didn’t want to eat any of the chicken.

Get away
To escape/ take a break
He got away from work for a few days
Get around
To solve a problem by avoiding the main issue.
Some people know all the different ways to get around tax laws.

Get along (with)
To have a friendly relationship with someone.
Some people are surprised that I get along with my mother-in-law really well!

Get up
To stand up, or to wake up.
I have so much trouble getting up in the morning that I have to set three alarms.

Get back to
To return to someone or something. This phrase is often used to say that you will return with an answer to a question or a request at a later time.
He wasn’t sure what time our meeting was, so he said he’d get back to me with the time.

Give in
To surrender, especially in a fight or argument.
Ben’s mother gave in and let him stay out late with his friends.

Give away
To offer things for free.
This phrasal verb can be separated by the item being given away.
When my cat had kittens, I gave them all away to good homes.

Give up
To stop trying, surrender.
I need to give up smoking.

Go out (with)
To go on a date with someone.
Sarah was so happy when Peter finally asked her to go out with him!
Go ahead
To go in front of someone, or to give permission to do or say something.
Go ahead, explain to me why there are so many phrasal verbs!
Hang on
Used alone means wait
Hang on! I will come with you.

Hang on to something
To keep something.
When everyone else was getting fired, Paul managed to hang on to his job.

Hang out
To spend time with someone, casually.
My friends and I used to hang out in the park after school.

Hang up
To end a call on the phone, especially if it’s before the other person is ready.
I was in the middle of a sentence, and he hung up on me! How rude.
Hold on
The same as hang on (wait)
To hold on to something
You’d better hold on to your hat, it’s windy out there!

Look at
Watch or see
Look at the beautiful flowers in the garden!
Look into
Investigate something
I am looking into the possibility of learning Japanese.
Look up
To check the meaning of something—can be separated by the item being looked up.
If you don’t know the meaning of a word, you should look it up in the dictionary.

Look out
To be careful
Look out, there’s a big hole in the road!

Pay back
To give someone back money that you owe them—can be separated by the person getting paid back.
When it’s written as one word, “payback” means revenge.
Thanks for buying me lunch when I forgot my wallet at home! I’ll pay you back tomorrow.

Put away
To keep in one place to be tidy or safe
She put her clothes away ( in the wardrobe)
Put out
 To extinguish/stop a fire
 The firemen managed to put out the fire before it spread to other houses.

Put on
To get your clothes or makeup on.
Every morning she puts on her dress, lipstick, shoes and hat—in that order.

Take off
This phrase can mean to remove clothing, or to leave for a journey (e.g. planes take off when they begin their flights).
She was very happy when she finally got home and took off her shoes. They had been hurting her feet all day!
The plane took off from Gatwick at 2pm.

Take out
To remove something, like from a pocket or a bag.
The children sat at their desks and took out their pens and paper.
This phrase can also mean to take someone on a date. It can be separated by the item or person being taken out.
He took her out to the most expensive restaurant in the city.

Turn on/off
To switch a machine or light on or off.
Turn off the light, I’m trying to sleep!

Turn around
To move so that you’re facing the opposite direction.
Sam was about to get on the bus, but she turned around when someone called her name.

Turn up
When something that was lost is found unexpectedly.
Anything I lose usually turns up under the chair.

When someone visits you unexpectedly.

David turned up at my house on Sunday.

Work out
To do exercise (gym)
I work out every morning doing press-ups and lunges.

Work (something) out
To come up with a solution or a compromise with someone.
Don’t worry, I’m sure we can work out a convenient time for your English classes.


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