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Tư liệu Tiếng Anh: Phrase verbs


Phrasal verbs

What are phrasal verbs?


  1. A phrasal verb is a verb plus a preposition or adverb which creates a meaning different from the original verb.


I ran into my teacher at the movies last night. run + into = meet He ran away when he was 15. run + away = leave home

  1. Some phrasal verbs are intransitive. An intransitive verb cannot be followed by an object.


He suddenly showed up. "show up" cannot take an object

  1. Some phrasal verbs are transitive. A transitive verb can be followed by an object. Example:

I made up the story. "story" is the object of "make up"

  1. Some transitive phrasal verbs are separable. The object is placed between the verb and the preposition. In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, separable phrasal verbs are marked by placing a between the verb and the preposition / adverb.


I talked my mother into letting me borrow the car.

She looked the phone number up.

  1. Some transitive phrasal verbs are inseparable. The object is placed after the preposition. In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, inseparable phrasal verbs are marked by placing a + after the preposition / adverb.


I ran into an old friend yesterday. They are looking into the problem.

  1. Some transitive phrasal verbs can take an object in both places. In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, such phrasal verbs are marked with both and+

. Example:

I looked the number up in the phone book. I looked up the number in the phone book.

  1. WARNING! Although many phrasal verbs can take an object in both places, you must put the object between the verb and the preposition if the object is a pronoun.


Ilooked the number up in the phone book.

I looked up the number in the phone book.

I looked it up in the phone book. correct

I looked up it in the phone book. incorrect

Phrasal Verb ( A )

Phrasal Verb



act up

behave or function


I think I need to take my car to the mechanic because it's acting up


add up +

calculate a sum

I added up the receipts and it totaled $135.46.

add up to +

equal an amount

The total expenses added up to $325.00.

add up

make sense

Her story doesn't add up. I think she is lying.

ask out +

invite on a date

I can't believe that Joe finally asked me out on a date!

ask over +

invite to one's home

Why don't we ask the Johnsons over for dinner?

Phrasal Verb ( B )

Phrasal Verb Definition Example

back down

stop defending your opinion in a debate

Jane never backs down. She always wins arguments.

back out

not keep (a promise, agreement,deal)

Sam backed out at the last second.

back out of +

not keep (a promise, agreement, deal)

Sam backed out of the agreement at the last second.

back up +

give support

You need examples to back up your opinion.

back up

move backwards, reverse

Could you back up a little so I can open this drawer.

bawl out

criticize, reprimand (inf.)

She bawled him out for arriving late.

bear down on +


The soldier had to bear down on the leather strap while the doctor removed a bullet from the soldier's arm.

bear down on +

take strong measures against

The U.S.A. is bearing down on drug traffickers.

bear on +

have to do with

This information may bear on this case.

bear up


I didn't think he would bear up so well in that situation.

bear up under +


How did he bear up under such extreme pressure.

bear with +

be patient

Please bear with me while I fill out the paperwork.

blow in

visit unexpectedly (inf.)

My cousin blew in unexpectedly with his entire family.

blow over

pass without creating a problem

All this negative publicity will blow over in a couple of weeks.

blow up +

make explode;destroy using explosives

The terrorists blew the bridge up.

blow up


The bomb blew up before they could defuse it.

blow up

suddenly become very angry

When Joan heard the news, she blew up and rushed out of the room.

break down +

analyze in detail

We need to break this problem down in order to solve.

break down

stop working properly

The truck broke down in the desert.

break down

become mentally ill

She broke down after her husband died.

break in +

wear or use something new until it is


I need to break these shoes in before I go hiking.

break in


While we were discussing the situation, Terri broke in to give her opinion.

break in

enter a place unlawfully

The burglar broke in between midnight and 3 AM.

break in on +

interrupt (a conversation)

Jane broke in on the conversation and told us to get back to work.

break into +

enter a house unlawfully

The burglar broke into the house between midnight and 3 AM.

break into +

interrupt (a conversation)

Jane broke into the conversation and told us what she knew.

break off +

end something

Sally broke her engagement to John off.

break out

appear violently

Violent protests broke out in response to the military coup.

break out +

use something extravagant for celebration

He broke out the champagne to celebrate his promotion.

break out of +


The murderer broke out of the prison.

break up +

break into pieces

I broke the cracker up into pieces and put it in the soup.

break up +

disperse (a crowd), stop (a fight)

The police broke the demonstration up before it got out of control.

break up

end a relationship

Sam and Diane broke up again. What a rocky relationship.

bring about +

cause to happen

Democracy brought about great change in the lives of the people.

bring along +

bring with

When we go to the forest, bring your wildlife guide along.

bring around

change someone's mind, convince someone

She doesn't want to go, but we'll eventually bring her around.

bring away

learn or gain (from an experience)

My trip across the Sahara was difficult, but I brought a new appreciation for life away from the experience.

bring off +

succeed at something difficult or unexpected

You robbed the bank! I can't believe you brought that off.

bring on +

cause something

I can't believe she got so angry. What brought that on?

bring out +

highlight, stress

Your new shirt brings out the color of your eyes.

bring over +

bring to someone's house

When you visit me, why don't you bring over your son.

bring to

revive consciousness

We used smelling salts to bring her to after she fainted.

bring up +


I didn't want to bring up the fact that she was unemployed.

bring up +

raise ( a child)

Sam was brought up in South Carolina.

brush off +

ignore something or someone (inf.)

Mary brushed her ex-boyfriend off at the party.

burn down +

destroy by setting fire to

The children burned the house down while playing with matches.

burn down

burn until completely gone (building)

Two buildings burnt down in the fire.

burn up

be hot

I am burning up in here - open the window.

burn up

consume by fire

The papers were burned up in the fire.

burn up +

destroy by fire

He burnt up the files.

buy out +

buy the shares of a company or the

shares the other person owns of a business

Pacific Inc. was bought out by a company from Oregon.

buy up +

purchase the entire supply of something

We bought up all the beer in the store.

Phrasal Verb ( C )

Phrasal Verb



call for +

require (as in a recipe)

This recipe calls for milk, not water.

call off +

cancel something

They called the picnic off because of the rain.

call off +

order to stop (an invasion, guard dogs)

He called off the dogs when he saw it was his


call on +


Mark called on Naomi while he was in town.

call on +

invite someone to speak in a meeting or a


Professor Tanzer called on Tim to answer the


call up +


I called Sam up to see if he wanted to go to the movies.

calm down +

make someone relax

You can calm the baby down by rocking her gently.

care for +

nurse someone or something

He cared for the bird until its wing healed.

care for +

like someone or something

I don't care for sour cream on my potato.

carry on +

continue (a conversation, a game)

Please, carry on. I didn't mean to interrupt you.

carry on about +

continue in an annoying way

He kept carrying on about how much money he makes.

carry on with +


I want you to carry on with the project while I

am out of town.

carry out +

complete and/or accomplish something

The secret agent carried out his orders exactly as planned.

carry over +

continue on a subsequent day, page, etc.

The meeting carried over into lunch time.

catch on

slowly start to understand (inf.)

He caught on after a few minutes.

catch up

make up for lost time

I will never catch up. I am too behind in my work.

catch up with +

speed up to be at the same place as a person or thing in front of you

I had to run to catch up with the others.

catch up on +

become up-to-date

I need to catch up on world events. I haven't

seen the news in ages.

check back

return to see if everything is OK

We will check back tomorrow to make sure the project is finished.

check by +

go to a place to see if everything is OK

We need to check by the office to see if the documents are ready.

check for +

try to find

They checked for termites before they bought the house.

check in

enter a hospital, hotel etc.

They need to check in before noon.

check into +

enter a hospital, hotel etc.

They checked into the hotel at 11:00 AM.

check into +

investigate, look for (often through a service)

We are checking into discount flights to London.

check off +

make a mark next to (an item on a list)

Check each name off the list.

check on +

make sure something is OK

Let's check on the baby again before we go to sleep.

check out +

investigate, take a look at

He checked out the new restaurant down the street.

check out

leave a hotel, hospital

It's already eleven. We need to check out.

check out of +

leave a hotel, hospital

We checked out of the hotel before ten.

check over +

closely examine the condition of something

He checked over the old car to see if it was worth buying.

check up on +

investigate someone or something

The police are checking up on the bomb threats.

check through

send luggage through (to a destination)

Your luggage will be checked through to Paris.

check with +

ask a person for confirmation

He needs to check with his parents before he goes.

cheer up

make someone feel cheerful

The party really cheered me up.

cheer up

become cheerful

Cheer up. Everything will be all right.

chew up +

chew into small pieces

The dog chewed up my shoe.

chop down +

fell/cut ( a tree)

The lumberjack chopped the tree down.

chop up +

chop/cut into small bits

He chopped the meat up into little pieces.

clean up +


Susan cleaned the mess up before she left.

clear out

leave ( inf.)

Everybody clear out! We're closed.

clear up +


Susan cleared up the mess before she left.

close down +

close a place permanently

The corner market closed down because they didn't have many customers.

close down

close permanently

The bar was closed down because they served

alcohol to minors.

close in on +

approach and threaten

The rebels were closing in on the capital, so the government called in the army.

close up +

close temporarily

They are closing the ski resort up for the summer.

close up

close temporarily

The ski resort is closing up for the summer.

come about

occur / happen

How did you idea for the book come about.

come across +

discover by accident

They came across some lost Mayan ruins in the jungle.

come across +

initially seem or have the appearance

He comes across as rather rude, but he isn't.

come along

accompany someone

If you want, you can come along.

come along with +


Sam came along with us to the beach.

come along


How's the research paper coming along.

come along with +


How are you coming along with the research paper.

come away

leave a place with a particular feeling or impression

I came away from the meeting feeling like the presentation was a success.

come back


What time are you coming back?

come by +

get, receive

How did you come by that new Mercedes?

come by

visit a person at their house

I'll come by later this afternoon.

come down with +

become sick with

He came down with the flu.

come into +


He came into a large sum of money when his aunt died.

come off +

fall off, break off

The handle came off the suitcase when I picked it up.

come out


I didn't see the car at first. It came out of nowhere.

come out

reveal you are homosexual

Sam finally came out last month.

come out

turn out, end up

The pictures came out great.

come out with +

produce and distribute a product

Microsoft is coming out with a new video game system next month.

come over

visit someone at their house

Why don't you come over after work for


come to

regain consciousness

Don't worry! She faints all the time. She always comes to after a few minutes.

come through

do what is needed or expected

Terry really came through for us in the end.

come up to +

approach; to equal

The job offer didn't come up to her expectations.

come up with +

produce or create (an idea, a plan)

She came up with a great proposal for the new

advertising campaign.

come with +

include (an accessory)

The computer system doesn't come with aprinter.

count in +


Did you count expenses in?

count on +

depend/rely on

You can really count on Sarah.

count out +


You can count James out. He hates playing poker.

count up +


Count the change up and see how much we have.

crack down on +

become tougher on, better enforce laws on

The police have been cracking down on drunk driving.

crack up

laugh uncontrollably, laugh a lot

When I told the joke, they all cracked up.

crack up at +

laugh uncontrollably about, laugh a lot about

I cracked up at his joke.

cross out +

draw a line through something, eliminate

Why did you cross my name out on the list?

cut down

decrease the amount of

You eat too much fat. You need to cut down.

cut down on +

decrease the amount of

You need to cut down on your fat intake.

cut in


She suddenly cut in and delivered the news

cut in on +


She cut in on the conversation and delivered the news.

cut off

interrupt someone while they were speaking

She cut him off before he said something he would regret later.

cut off +

sever ( with a knife)

His finger was accidentally cut off in an industrial accident.

cut out +


He cut the bone out of the steak.

cut out

stop an action

Cut it out! You're bothering me.

cut up +

cut into small pieces

He cut the beef up and put the pieces in the soup.

Phrasal Verb ( D )

Phrasal Verb



die away

diminish in intensity

The applause died away after 5 minutes.

die down

diminish in intensity

The controversy about the president's affair finally died down.

die off/out

become extinct

Whales are in danger of dying off.

disagree with +

cause to feel sick due to food or drink

Spicy food disagrees with me.


do away with+


Some Americans want to do away with the death penalty.


do over +


You made many mistakes, so I want you to do the report over.


do without +

manage without something one wants or


I couldn't do without a car in California.


draw up +

create ( a contract)

Let's draw an agreement up before we go any further

with this project.


dress down

reprimand severely

The mother dressed her son down for skipping school.



dress down


dress casually

I am dressing down because we're going to a barbecue by the beach.


dress up +


You could dress this house up with some bright colors


dress up

wear elegant clothes

She always dresses up at work.


drive back +


The invaders were driven back by the army.


drop in

visit someone unexpectedly

Meg dropped in yesterday after dinner.


drop in on +

visit someone unexpectedly

Let's drop in on Julie since we're driving by her house.


drop out

quit an organized activity

Yuri isn't on the team any more. He dropped out.



drop out of +


quit an organized activity (school)

It's difficult to get a good job if you drop out of high school.


drop over

visit someone casually

Drop over any time you feel like talking.


Phrasal Verb ( E )

Phrasal Verb



eat away

gradually destroy, erode

The heavy rains ate away at the sandstone cliffs.

eat up +


Ken ate the cookies up.

eat in

eat inside the home

We usually eat in instead of going out for dinner.

eat out

eat outside the home

They eat out once a week.

Phrasal Verb ( F )

Phrasal Verb




face up to +

acknowledge something difficult or embarrassing

I'll never be able to face up to my colleagues after getting so drunk last night at the work party.


fall back on +

be able to use in case of emergency

Yuki can fall back on her degree in biology if she doesn't succeed in her acting career.

fall behind

go slower than scheduled, lag

Hurry up or you will fall behind!

fall behind in +

go slower than scheduled, lag

Cheryl has missed several days of school and now she is



falling behind in her homework.


fall off



Interest in the project fell off when they realized it wouldn't be profitable.


fall out with +


have an argument with

I had a falling out with my sister last month and we haven't talked to each other since.


fall through


fail to happen

Unfortunately, my trip to Indonesia fell through because I

couldn't save enough money.


feel up +



She sued her boss for sexual harassment after he felt her up.


feel up to +


have the energy to do something

I don't feel up to going out tonight because I had a long day at work.

figure on +


Where do you figure on living when you move to the the



figure out +


solve something, understand

I finally figured the joke out. Now I understand why everybody was laughing.


figure up +



I need to figure my expenses up before I give you an


fill in +


Don't forget to fill in all the blanks on the application.

fill in


Who is going to fill in while you're gone?


fill in for +


substitute for

Miguel filled in for me at the meeting yesterday because I was sick.

fill out +

complete (an application)

I filled out an application to rent the apartment last week.

fill out

mature, get breasts

Now that you're filling out honey, we need to get you a bra.

fill up +

fill to the top

Fill the car up with unleaded gas, please.

find out +


You will never find out all my secrets!


find out



Vicky's parents are going to be so mad when they find out she got a tattoo.

fix up +

repair, renovate, remodel

My neighbors are fixing their house up.

Phrasal Verb ( G )

Phrasal Verb



get across +

cause to be understood

It's difficult to get humor across in another language.

get ahead

make progress

I can't get ahead even though I work two jobs.

get ahead of +


You need to work overtime in order to get ahead of


get along

have a good relationship

Do you and your sister get along?

get along with

have a good relationship

Giovanna doesn't get along with her two brothers.

get around +

avoid someone or something

Some people get around paying taxes by hiring a good accountant.

get around

go many places

It's easy to get around town with public


get away


The bank robbers got away.

get away with


do something against the rules or illegal and not get caught or punished

My sister gets away with everything!

get by

survive without having the things you

need or want

I lost my job, so I am having a hard time getting by this


get by on +

survive with minimal resources

It's nearly impossible to get by on making

minimum wage.

get by with +

manage with

You don't need a computer. You can get by with the


get down to +

get serious about a topic

Enough small talk. Let's get down to business.

get in +

enter ( a car, a small boat)

Get in the front seat. You will have more leg room.

get in


Get in. I will give you a ride to school

get off +

send (a package)

I finally got my sister's birthday present off yesterday.

get off

remove ( a spider from your shirt)

Can you get this spider off my shirt?

get off +

leave (a bus, plane, train, boat)

We need to get off the bus at the next stop.

get off


It's dangerous to sit on the roof. Get off!

get off

idiomatic phrase - How does he justify

saying that?!

Where does he get off saying that?!

get on

put on (clothes)

You should get your jacket on because it's going to be cold.

get on

enter (a bus, train), mount (a horse, a


The train is leaving. Quick, get on!

get on +

enter (a bus, train), mount ( a horse, a bike)

Get on my bike and I will give you a ride home.

get on

have a good relationship

Natasha doesn't get on with her co-workers.

get on with +

have a good relationship

Do you get on with your neighbors?

get on with +

continue an activity

Now that the police have left, let's get on with the party!

get out of +

exit (a small boat, car, an enclosed area)

I fell into the water when I tried to get out of thecanoe.

get over +

recover (a cold, a disease, an ex-

Jennifer still hasn't gotten over her breakup with




get through +


We will never get through all of these boxes by 9:00 PM.

get through +


We need a stronger drill to get through this wall.

get through


The door was jammed, so we couldn't get through.

get through (with) +


Have you gotten through with your homework yet?

get through to+

make contact

It's hard to get through to Janet because her telephone line is always busy.

get up

cause someone to rise (from a sitting

position or a lying position)

Ahmed got Abdul up at 5:30 in the morning by

turning the music up really loud.

get up

rise (from sitting position or a bed)

What time did you get up this morning?

give away +

give something without asking for anything in exchange

Why did Nancy give all of her furniture away?

give away +

betray (a secret)

We are having a surprise party for Susan next Saturday, so don't give our surprise away by acting suspicious.

give back +

return something you borrowed

When are you going to give that book back to yourteacher?

give in

stop trying

Never give in! You can do it!

give off +

release (a smell, light)

That white flower gives off a beautiful smell.

give out +


I earn extra money by giving out brochures on the street.

give out

become very tired (inf.)

I hope this car doesn't give out in the middle of the desert.

give up +

surrender something

The police told the thief to give his gun up.

give up


Never give up learning English!

go away


I yelled at the dogs to make them go away.

go back


When are you going back to your house?

go by +

go past, go close to, visit quickly

We go by the coffee shop everyday.

go back on +

not keep (one's word, a promise)

Don't trust him. He always goes back on his promises.

go down


The cost of flight tickets is going down.

go for +

try to achieve

Our team is going for the gold medal in the Olympics.

go for

idiomatic phrase - I am craving

pepperoni pizza.

I could go for pepperoni pizza.

go in for +

participate ( inf.)

Are you going to go in for soccer this year at school?

go into +

discuss in detail

I really don't want to go into that now.

go off


The bomb could go off at any moment.

go off

begin, start (used with signals, alarms, warning sounds)

The alarm clock went off at 6:00 AM.

go off

stop (said of a machine)

The DVD player goes off automatically if you are not using it.

go off

become angry

Maria went off last night after I told her about losing her bike.

go on


Please, go on. Don't let me interrupt you.

go on


This place is a mess! What went on here last night?

go on with +

continue ( a plan, a conversation)

I think we should go on with the meeting and stop wasting time.

go out

stop burning ( a fire)

The fire went out after three days.

go out

take part in social activities (usually at night)

They love to go out every Saturday night.

go over +


Do you usually go over your notes before class?

go over

be well received, succeed

That didn't go over well.

go through +

examine in detail, study carefully

I need to have my lawyer go through this contract before I sign it.

go through +

endure; experience challenges, difficulties or traumas

She has gone through so much in her life.

go through with +

continue or proceed despite difficulties or fears

I have decided to go through with the operation.

go with +

match (clothing)

That shirt doesn't go with those pants.

go with +

accompany a person

I am going with Alejandro to the party.

go with +

have a boyfriend/girlfriend

I am going with Yuri.

go without +

abstain from something you want or need

A person can go without water for three days.

grow under

go out of business

The restaurant went under after it lost its liquor


grow up


Your brother needs to grow up and start thinking

about his future.

Phrasal Verb ( H )

Phrasal Verb



hand back +


Is the teacher going to hand back our tests today?

hand down +

pronounce formally

The president is going to hand his decision down on health care tonight.

hand down +

give as an inheritance

When my clothes got too small for me as a child, I handed them down to my sister.

hand in +


I have to hand in an offer by March 12.

hand out +


We should hand the concert fliers out at school.

hand over +

relinquish control of

Hand your car keys over. You're too drunk to drive.

hang around +

stay in a place for fun ( inf.)

Maria and Salvador usually hang around the beach after school.

hang around

stay in a place for fun

Those guys just hang around all day.

hang up +

suspend (clothes on a hanger)

You can hang your jacket up in the front closet.

hang up

put down the telephone receiver

Don't hang up. I'm going to change phones.

hang out +

stay in a place for fun (inf.)

Let's go hang out at the mall tonight.

hang out

stay in a place for fun

What are you doing? - - I'm just hanging out.

have on +


Do you have your hiking boots on?

have over

invite guests to your home

Why don't we have Mr. and Mrs. Jones over for dinner tonight.

hear from +

receive news from (a letter, an e-mail)

Have you heard from Steve lately?

hear of +

know about something or somebody

Have you heard of chocolate covered ants?

hit on +

find on accident

I hit on the idea while watching the Simpsons show.

hit on +

flirt with

Jay's friend Marc was trying to hit on my sister last n ight.

hold back +


The police held the demonstrators back while the politicians entered the building.

hold back

not allow to advance in school

The teacher held Frank back a year, so he couldn't enter fifth grade.

hold off +


Mr. Johnson held the dog off while we crossed the yard.

hold off on +


We should hold off on making dinner until your parents arrive.

hold on

grasp tightly

Hold on tight! The roller coaster is about to take off.

hold on

tell someone to wait on the telephone

Hold on a minute. I'll get Carol.

hold on to +

grasp tightly

Make sure you hold on to the hand rail as you walk down the stairs

hold out

not give in, continue to resist

Stop holding out and tell us where you found all of these old records.

hold out against +

not give in, resist

They held out against enemy attack.

hold up +

delay (a flight, traffic);

The accident held traffic up for an hour.

hold up +

rob (a bank, a person) with a weapon

Five men held the bank up yesterday.

hook up +

make the electrical connections required for a machine or information service

Can you hook up the fax machine for me?

Phrasal Verb ( I )

Phrasal Verb



iron out


We need to have a meeting this week in order to iron out the distribution problems.

Phrasal Verb ( J )

Phrasal Verb



jack up +

to raise

We need to jack up the car before we change the tire.

joke around

to be humorous

Mike is always joking around at work.

jump in

enter a conversation

Feel free to jump in at any moment while we are talking.

jump to +

make a quick, poorly thought out decision

You shouldn't jump to conclusions.

Phrasal Verb ( K )

Phrasal Verb



keep around

have handy, have accessible

I always keep a dictionary around to translate new words.

keep at +

not give up (an activity), to persevere

You should keep at your studies.

keep away

prevent access to, hold back

Keep the kids away from the cookies.

keep back

maintain a safe distance, cause to maintain a safe distance

Keep back! The burning building is about to collapse.

keep down

not vomit, not throw up, keep in one's stomach

If I ate that, I down know if I could keep it down.

keep in

keep in a particular place, have something in a specific location

When I am not using it, I keep my passport in this drawer.

keep off

prevent from stepping or climbing on to


Keep the cat off the couch.

keep on


He kept on talking after everybody asked him to stop.

keep out

prevent from entering

Keep the dog out of the garden; he keeps digging up the flowers.

keep over

cover something with, put something


I keep a tarp over my bicycle at night to prevent it

from getting wet.

keep to +

continue, persist in (an activity)

Everybody said she would never finish the puzzle, but

she kept to it until it was done.

keep up

stay on the required schedule

You have to keep up if you want to work here.

keep up +


You are doing a great job! Keep it up.

keep up with +

stay on schedule with (a person, the workload, homework)

I have so much reading that I can't keep up with the writing exercises.

kick back

sit or lie back (to relax)

After work, I like to kick back in front of the TV and relax.

kick in

begin taking effect

The medicine takes one hour to kick in.

Phrasal Verb ( L )

Phrasal Verb



lay away +

save for the future

Why don't you lay away your wedding outfit?

lay down +

establish (laws, rules)

Lori lays down the law in her class. English only!

lay in on +

scold or criticize severely

My mom really laid in on me when I got home at 4:00 in the morning last night.

lay into +

scold or criticize severely

I saw Reto's mom lay into him when he came home late last night.

lay off +

suspend someone from a job (during a slow period)

The company was losing money, so they had to lay off 100 workers.

lay out +


Why don't we lay the pieces of the table out before

we put it together.

leave out +

not include, omit

Why did your parents leave you out of their vacation plans?

let down


I felt let down when I didn't receive a birthday card from my sister.

let down

lengthen (pants in sewing)

My uncle is a tailor, so he can let your pants down.

let out


I am happy my brother was let out of prison early.

let out

make bigger (in sewing)

I need to let out this skirt because I have gained weight.

let up

weaken in intensity

I told her NO a thousand times, but she won't let up.

lie down

rest, recline

I need to lie down before we go out tonight.

lie down on +

rest, recline ( on a couch, bed)

I'm going to lie down on the sofa for a while.

lie with +

be decided by

Whether or not you can go to the party lies with your father.

light up +


Let's get some candles to light this room up.

light up +

to smoke

Do you have to light up another cigarette? I thought you were trying to cut down.

live down +

live in a way that a shameful or embarrassing event is forgotten

Jose will never live down singing that song at the karaoke bar.

live on +

survive from

I could live on bread and cheese.

live up to +

keep a standard

It would be hard to live up to her parent's expectations. They are so demanding.

look after +

take care of (a child, a house, a pet)

When my sister goes on vacation, I look after her dog.

look back on +

to remember nostalgically

When I look back on my childhood, I often feel angry.

look down on +

see as inferior

She's so conceited. She looks down on everybody else.

look for +

to seek or search for

I'm looking for my keys. Have you seen them?

look forward to +

anticipate with pleasure

I am looking forward to traveling to New York next year.

look into +


The police are looking into the murder.

look on

observe as a spectator

Everybody just looked on as the two men fought.

look out

be careful, pay attention, heed a certain danger

Look out, there's a black widow spider on the wall.

look over +

examine, review

When I'm camping, I look my shoes over before I

put them on.

look up +

search for (in a dictionary)

I takes time to look up new vocabulary words.

look up +

locate and visit

If you ever travel to California, you should look me up.

look up to +

respect, admire someone

He looks up to his father.

Phrasal Verb ( M )

Phrasal Verb



make out


I can't make out your handwriting. What does this say?

make out +

write a check or other document

Who should I make this check out to?

make out


He really made out in the stock market last year.

make out


How is your son making out in his new job?

make out

kiss passionately

I saw Benno and Isabelle making out in the movie theater last night

make out with +

kiss someone passionately

Did you make out with Sally?

make over

do again

The teacher made me do my homework over.

make up +

invent ( a story)

Don't believe anything she says. She always makes things up.

make up +

complete what was missed

Fortunately, my professor let me make up the exam I missed yesterday.

make up +

put on cosmetics

I takes me 10 minutes to make my face up.

make up


You two have been friends for so long that I think you should make up.

make up for +

compensate for

Allen made up for being late by getting me flowers.

mix up +


I sometimes mix the verb tenses up.

mix up +


We need to mix up these different kinds of nuts before we put them in a bowl.

mix up +

make lively (a party)

Let's mix up this party with a little disco music.

Phrasal Verb ( N )

Phrasal Verb



name after+

name a child using another family member's name

I was named after my grandfather.

nod off

fall asleep

The movie was so boring that I nodded off before it was


nose around +

sneak around

I hate it when my mother noses around my room.

Phrasal Verb ( O )

Phrasal Verb



occur to +

pop into one's mind, come to one's mind

It didn't occur to us that we had left the iron on.

open up

share feelings

I'm glad that John feels comfortable enough around me to open up.

out to + verb

try to

She is out to get revenge now that her husband left her for another woman.

Phrasal Verb ( P )

Phrasal Verb



pan out

be successful, turn out well

The trip to Vegas didn't pan out.

pass away


After battling cancer for several years, he finally passed away at the age of 87.

pass off +

try to convince someone that something is real

He tried to pass the fake watch off as a real Rolex.

pass on +


Please pass this message on to your co-workers.

pass on +

not accept (an invitation to eat or do something)

Jennifer passed on the invitation to join us for dinner.

pass on


I am afraid Professor Johnson has passed on.

pass out +


We need to pass out these flyers for the concert tomorrow.

pass out

become unconscious

He passed out because the room was too hot.

pass up +

not take advantage (of an opportunity)

I can't believe she passed up the opportunity to study in Rome.

pay back +


If I loan you money, will you pay me back.

pay off +

complete payment on a debt

It took me ten years to pay off my credit card debt.

pay off +

to bribe

Don't try to pay the police officer off if you get pulled over for speeding.

pick on +

to tease, bully

She keeps picking on me! Make her stop.

pick out +


Diane picked out a lovely dress for the dance.

pick up +

to lift an object with the hands

Keep your back straight when you lift the TV up.

pick up +

come and get someone in a car

What time are you going to pick me up.

pick up +

learn something without effort

It's possible to pick up enough English in two weeks to get by on your trip to Los Angeles.

pick up +

try to initiate a relationship with someone (often in a bar)

Some weird guy tried to pick Patricia up at the bar.

pick up

grow, increase (inf.)

Business is really picking up this quarter.

play down+

make less important (inf.)

The President played down his affair with the intern.

play up

highlight something (inf.)

She played up her part in the new movie, but it was actually a very small role.

play up to +

flatter someone for your personal advantage

She has been playing up to the boss because she wants a promotion.

point out +


I'd like to point out that figures in column two

might be outdated.

pull down


He pulls down about $300,000 a year.

pull in

park (a vehicle)

Mark pulled in too quickly and crashed into the wall.

pull out

depart (a vehicle)

Our train pulls out at 8:00, so don't be late.

pull through

barely survive

I didn't think she was going to make it, but she pulled through in the end.

put across +

communicate (an idea or suggestion)

clearly so that it is understood

I thought Ms. Smith put her ideas across rather

clearly in the meeting.

put away +

return to the proper place of storage

I told you kids to put your toys away.

put down +

insult, say bad things about

She always puts down people who don't share her opinions.

put in +

officially submit a request (in the armed

forces or public services)

He put in for a transfer to the division in Los


put off +


Don't put off your work - do it now!

put on +


Make sure you put on a sweater before you go outside.

put on +


I didn't believe a thing he said. I think he was

putting me on.

put out +

extinguish (a fire)

Don't use water to put out a grease fire.


put out +


inconvenience someone

I don't want to put you out, but could you pick me up at the airport.

put out +

spend (usually used with unreasonably large sums of money)

I can't put out that much money each month.

put up

have a guest stay in your house for a short time

Can you put me up while I'm in town.

put up with +


Sandy will not put up with smoking in her house.

Phrasal Verb ( Q )

Phrasal Verb



quiet down +

be quiet, or cause to be quiet

The neighbors told us to quiet down last night or they would call the police.

Phrasal Verb ( R )

Phrasal Verb



read up on +

research a topic for a reason

I need to read up on the company before I go on the job interview.

ring up


Jack rung me up last night at 3:00 in the morning.

rule out +


I wouldn't rule out the possibility of moving to another country if I get a good job offer.

run across +

find or meet unexpectedly

I ran across some old photos while I was cleaning my house.

run against +

compete in an election

Gore ran against Bush in the 2000 elections in the U.S.A.

run away

leave home permanently before you are a legal adult

The child ran away because her parents beat her.

run away from +

escape from

The child ran away from its parents.

run down


Have you run down those phone numbers I asked for last week?

run down


My boss runs everyone down.

run down

hit with a car

My dog was run down by a bus.

run down

loose power, be very tired

You need to wind your watch so it doesn't run down.

run for +

campaign for a government


Gore is running for president of the U.S.A.

run into +

meet unexpectedly

I ran into my English teacher at the movies last night.

She's so nice!

run off +

make leave

The new government is trying to run the drug traffickers off.

run off

reproduce (photocopies)

Would you mind running off 10 copies of this

document for me?

run off

leave quickly

Why did you run off after the party?

run off

Waste water

You shouldn't swim where the sewage runs off into the ocean.

run out of +

not have any more of something

We ran out of milk this morning, so we need to go to the store.

Phrasal Verb ( S )

Phrasal Verb



save up +

accumulate (money)

I hope I will be able to save up enough money to go to


see about +

Arrange or consider something

My dad said he was going to see about buying me a car.

see off

say good-bye to someone at the beginning of their trip (at the airport, train station)


Did you see your sister off at the train station?

see to +

make sure something happens, arrange

I'll see to it that Mr. Ramirez gets your message.

see through

finish something despite difficulties

Are you going to be able to see your studies through now that you have a baby?

sell out

tell on someone

My partner in crime sold me out for a reduced jail sentence.

set up

Arrange a relationship

My mom set me up with her friend's son.

set up

falsely incriminate a person

I don't think he killed those men. Somebody set him

set up +

arrange (an appointment, a meeting,etc.)

I set up an appointment with my doctor at 3:30 this


settle on +

make a decision after a period of time

I settled on the job at the oil company.

settle up

pay one's debts

We need to settle up before you move.

show off +

show to everybody with a lot of pride

He always shows off his new things.

show off

boast, draw attention to oneself

Young boys show off in order to impress girls.

show up

make someone seem inferior

He's always trying to show up his co-workers in order to get ahead.



I hadn't seen my cousin for years, and all of a sudden, he showed up at my workplace yesterday!

shut off

stop from functioning

If you don't pay your electric bill, your power is going

to get shut off.

shut up

make quiet

Would someone shut him up! He's talking so loudly that we're going to get in trouble.

slow down +

make move more slowly

Because Mary's level in English is lower than the rest of the students, she slows the class down.

slow up +

ake move more slowly

Because Mary's level in English is lower than the rest of the students, she slows the class up.

spell out +

to explain something in a detailed way so

that the meaning is clearly understood

He's so stupid that you have to spell everything our for


stand by


I need you to stand by and answer the phone when

my broker calls.

stand for +


SCUBA stands for "self contained underwater breathing apparatus."

stand for +


I won't stand for people criticizing me.

stand out

be very noticeable

Soledad is so beautiful! She really stands out in a crowd.

stand up

not arrive to a date or an appointment (inf.)

I arranged to meet Joe at the library at 8:00, but he stood me up. I hope he has a good excuse.

stand up for +

defend (something one believes in)

Every individual must stand up for what they believe in.

stand up to +

defend oneself against someone or


I think you should stand up to your older brother and

tell him to stop pushing you around.


stay over


spend the night at a person's house

It takes you so long to take the bus home, so why don't you just stay over?

stick it to +

Severely criticize a person (inf.)

My boss really stuck it to me when I arrived late to work for the third time this week.

stick to +

persevere, keep trying

Even though English is a hard language to master, you must stick to it!

stick up for +

defend oneself or opinions

Joseph joined the army because he believes he must stick up for his country.

Phrasal Verb ( T )


Phrasal Verb



take after +

resemble a parent or relative

I take after my father. Who do you take after?

take away +

remove, seize or capture

The soldiers took the captives away.

take back +

retract something you said

I demand that you take back what you said.

take back +

return an item to a store

The dress my grandmother bought for me didn't fit, so I took it back and exchanged it for a pair of pants.

take down +

write down what is said

Would you mind taking down my messages while I am on vacation?

take down +

remove (from a high place)

The city government made the shop take down their bright, neon sign.

take for

consider, view as

Do you take me for an idiot?

take in +


Are you taking in all of these phrasal verbs?

take in +

deceive a person

He was taken in by the con artist.

take in +

Make smaller when sewing

I lost weight, so I need to take some of my skirts to the tailor to have them taken in.

take off

when a plane or rocket leaves the ground

My stomach felt funny when the plane took off.

take off +


In many cultures, it is appropriate to take off your shoes when entering a house.

take off +

leave work or school for a period of time

I was sick last week, so I took a few days off of work.

take off


We took off after dinner.

take on +

accept (responsibilities, work)

She has taken on too much responsibility in this project.

take over +

take control of

Who is going to take over the family business when Aretha's father dies?

take over

take control of

If the President is assassinated, the Vice-president will

take over.

take out +

accompany a person on a date (for

dinner, the movies)

I can't meet you tonight because I am taking

Fernanda out to dinner.

take up +

Begin a new hobby

Have you taken up any new hobbies since you moved here?

take up +

discuss (at a later date)

We should take this issue up in the meeting tomorrow.

take up +

shorten a garment when sewing

This dress is too long, I am going to take it up.

take up +

occupy space

This couch takes up too much space in the living room.

talk back

respond in an impolite way to an adult

Don't talk back!

talk back to +

respond in an impolite way to an adult

Children should not talk back to their parents.

talk over +


I hope my parents talk their relationship problems over before they get divorced.

tear down +


The county decided to tear down the dilapidated school and build a new one.

tear up +

tear or rip into small pieces

I always tear up my personal papers before I throw them out.

tell off +

criticize a person severely, reprimand (inf.)

Carolina told me off when she found out I was gossiping about her date with Martin.

tell on +

report a crime to the police or bad behavior to a parent

Every time I did something wrong when I was a child, my sister would tell on me.

think over +


Think over the offer before you sign the contract.

think through +

consider carefully

You need to think this through carefully before you make a decision.

think up +

create or invent a false story

I need to think up an excuse for not going to her party.

throw away +


Don't throw away those bottles; we can recycle them.

throw out +


I asked him not to throw out the Sunday newspaper because I wanted to save an article.

throw out +

remove by force from (a room, school, a house, etc.)

Mary threw out her roommate because she stopped paying rent.

throw up


If you drink too much alcohol, you might throw up.

tie up +

tie securely

When we dock, make sure you tie the boat up.

tire out

cause someone to be very tired

Speaking English all day tires me out.

touch on +

talk about for a short time

The presidential candidates touched on the subject of health care during the debates.

touch up

Make the final improvements

We didn't paint the whole kitchen, we just touched up

the cabinets.

try on +

put on to make sure a piece of clothing fits

Try on the pants before you buy them.

try out


Try out this massage chair - it feels great!

turn away

refuse to deal with or give service

They turned us away at the border because we didn't have visas.

turn around

change or reverse direction

Turn the car around and go back home.

turn down +

refuse an offer; reject an application

She turned down the new job in New York, because she

didn't want to move.

turn down +

lower the volume or intensity of a TV, radio, or other machine


I'm studying! Please turn down the TV.

turn in


You need to turn your essays in next week.

turn in

go to bed (inf.)

It's getting late. I think it is about time to turn in.

turn into +

become something different, transform

When she kissed the frog, it turned into a handsome prince.

turn off +

stop the function of (a stove, a water

faucet, a car, etc.)

Don't forget to turn off the iron before you leave the


turn on +

attack unexpectedly

The pit bull suddenly turned on the small child.

turn on

cause to be excited sexually

Scientists have discovered that the smell of cinnamon turns many people on.

turn on +

start the function of a TV, a radio, a machine

Turn on the TV. The baseball game starts in a few minutes.

turn out


The weavers can turn out two or three rugs a month.

turn out

switch off a light

Turn out the light before you go to bed.

turn out

audience members to a function

Over 100,000 people turned out for the concert.

turn out

end up being

She turned out to be the murderer after all.

turn over

give to authorities (said of evidence or stolen / lost property)


They turned the wallet over to the police.

turn up +

increase the volume or intensity of a TV, radio, or other machine


Turn up the TV. I can't hear what they're saying.

turn up

find unexpectedly

My keys turned up in the bedroom.

Phrasal Verb ( U )

Phrasal Verb



use up

use all of something

I used up all of the soap, so we need to buy some more.

Phrasal Verb ( V )

Phrasal Verb



veer away from +

stay away from, avoid

I veer away from the same old summer blockbuster films.

Phrasal Verb ( W )

wake up +

Awaken someone

The car alarm woke me up at 6:00 in the morning.

wake up


Wake up. It's time to get ready for work.

wash up

clean oneself

Make sure you wash up before dinner.

wash up +


If we work together, we can wash the kitchen up in a few minutes.

watch out

be careful

Watch out - there's a rattlesnake!

watch out for +

be careful of

Watch out for snakes while you are hiking in the desert.

wear off

disappear after a period of time

The affects of the medicine will wear off after a few hours.

wear out

use until something is not useable anymore

If you wear the same shoes everyday, you'll wear them out.

wear out

cause to be very tired

Her three kids wore me out.

wind up +

finish (inf.)

If he doesn't get his act together, he is going to wind up in jail.

wind up +

tighten the spring of a watch or similar machine

He wound up the toy dog and set it on the floor.

wind up +

cause an animal or a child to behave wildly

The kids always get wound up when Uncle Henry comes over.

wipe out +

massacre or destroy

The tidal wave wiped out the small fishing village.

wipe out

cause to be very tired

After surfing all day, I was completely wiped out.

work out +


I hope you two can work out your problems.

work out


I work out three times a week at the fitness center.

work out

be successful

I am glad your new catering business is working

write down +


Write down the directions so you don't forget them.

write out +

write down every word or letter

He wrote out the lyrics so I could understand what the singer was saying.

write up +

Prepare a report

He wrote up a business proposal in order to get a loan.

Phrasal Verb ( X )-no

Phrasal Verb




Phrasal Verb ( Y )

Phrasal Verb Definition Example

yak on

to continue talking in an annoying way ("on" can be repeated for emphasis)


He just yakked on and on and on.

yak on about +

to continue talking in an annoying way about something ("on" can be repeated for emphasis)

She just yakked on and on about her husband's new job.

yammer on

to talk in an annoying way or complain ("on" can be repeated for emphasis)


They yammered on and on and on.

yammer on about +

to talk in an annoying way about something or complain about ("on" can be repeated for emphasis)

He just yammered on and on about how horrible the waiter was.

Phrasal Verb ( Z )

Phrasal Verb



zero in on +

discover, pinpoint

I think I have zeroed in on what has been causing the problem.

zip around +

move quickly from place to


I zipped around town after work today.

zone out

stop paying attention

He zoned out during class.

zonk out

fall asleep

Jill was so exhausted after taking the TOEFL test that she zonked out before dinner.

zoom in


You need a telephoto lens to zoom in.

zoom in on +

focus on something, pinpoint

She zoomed in on his face while taking the picture.


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