Verb Phrase G

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 + surpass You need to work overtime in order to get ahead of schedule.
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 transportation.
get away escape 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 year.
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 typewriter.
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 enter 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 leave 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 bike) 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 the canoe.
get over + recover (a cold, a disease, an ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend) Jennifer still hasn’t gotten over her breakup with Peter.
get through + complete We will never get through all of these boxes by 9:00 PM.
get through + penetrate We need a stronger drill to get through this wall.
get through penetrate The door was jammed, so we couldn’t get through.
get through (with) + finish 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 your teacher?
give in stop trying Never give in! You can do it!
giveĀ  off + release (a smell, light) That white flower gives off a beautiful smell.
give * out + distribute 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 surrender Never give up learning English!
go away leave I yelled at the dogs to make them go away.
go back return 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 decrease 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 explode 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 continue Please, go on. Don’t let me interrupt you.
go on happen 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 + review 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 license.
grow up mature Your brother needs to grow up and start thinking about his future.

Verb Phrase F

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 decrease 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 + grope 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 + expect Where do you figure on living when you move to the the U.S.A.?
figure * out + solve something, understand I finally figured the joke out. Now I understand why everybody was laughing.
figure * up + calculate I need to figure my expenses up before I give you an estimate.
fill * in + complete Don’t forget to fill in all the blanks on the application.
fill in substitute 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 + discover You will never find out all my secrets!
find out discover 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.

Verb Phrase C

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 neighbor.
call on + visit Mark called on Naomi while he was in town.
call on + invite someone to speak in a meeting or a classroom Professor Tanzer called on Tim to answer the question.
call * up + telephone 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 + continue 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 + tidy Susan cleaned the mess up before she left.
clear out leave ( inf.) Everybody clear out! We’re closed.
clear * up + tidy 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 + accompany Sam came along with us to the beach.
come along progress How’s the research paper coming along.
come along with + progress 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 return 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 + inherit 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 appear 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 dinner.
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 a printer.
count * in + include Did you count expenses in?
count on + depend/rely on You can really count on Sarah.
count * out + exclude You can count James out. He hates playing poker.
count * up + add 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 interrupt She suddenly cut in and delivered the news
cut in on + interrupt 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 + remove 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.

A. What are phrasal verbs?

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

  • Some phrasal verbs are intransitive.
    An intransitive verb cannot be followed by an object.
  • Some phrasal verbs are transitive.
    A transitive verb can be followed by an object.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Some transitive phrasal verbs can take an object in both places.
    In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, such phrasal verbs are marked with both * and + .
  • 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.

Verb Phrase B

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 + bite 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 withstand I didn’t think he would bear up so well in that situation.
bear up under + withstand 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 explode 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 comfortable I need to break these shoes in before I go hiking.
break in interrupt 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 outĀ  of + escape 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 + mention 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.