Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verb

Meaning

Example

act up behave or function improperly The teacher will meet with Alexander’s parents because he’s been acting up in class again.
add up calculate a sum We add up all the income from the different points of sales to get the total.
add up make sense The detective realized that the witness’ version of the story didn’t add up and decided to ask her more questions.
add up to equal an amount All the groceries I bought added up to over $500.
ask around ask many people the same question I’m going to ask around and see if anyone wants to go the the baseball game with me.
ask over invite to one’s home Should we ask your brother over for dinner?
ask someone out invite on a date That cute girl asked me out and I said yes!
back down stop defending your opinion in a debate Don’t back down. Stand up for what you believe in.
back out not keep (a promise, agreement,deal) We had plans to go fishing but my brother backed out at the last minute.
back someone up support My boyfriend backed me up when I decided to go back to school.
back something up reverse Can you back your truck up so that I can get in the driveway?
back up move backwards, reverse Could you please back up so that I can pass by?
bawl out criticize, reprimand (inf.) His mother bawled him out for breaking the window.
bear down on take strong measures against My university is bearing down on people who cheat on their exams.
bear on have to do with How does the economy bear on finding a job?
bear up withstand My football team bears up well against competition and pressure.
bear with be patient Bear with me, I will explain in a moment.
blow up make explode;destroy using explosives They will blow up the mountain to make a train tunnel.
blow in visit unexpectedly (inf.) My friend always blows in without telling me.
blow over pass without creating a problem Our company received bad publicity but it will blow over in a week or two.
blow up explode I forgot to turn the gas off and my oven blew up.
blow up suddenly become very angry Jackson blows up every time we try to talk about politics.
break down analyze in detail It’s a big problem so let’s break it down.
break in wear or use something new until it is comfortable My new ski boots are a bit stiff but I’ll break them in tomorrow.
break off end something Frank and Sue were together for six years but they broke it off last summer.
break up break into pieces Don’t feed the baby the whole cookie. Break it up so that she doesn’t choke.
break up disperse (a crowd), stop (a fight) The police had to be called in the break up the riot.
break down stop working properly I’m late for work because my car broke down on the side of the road.
break down become mentally ill Jack broke down after he lost his job and his best friend died.
break in interrupt While I was fighting with my sister, my mom broke in to give her opinion.
break in enter a place unlawfully The bank robbers broke in and stole a lot of money.
break in on interrupt (a conversation) Samantha broke in on the discussion and asked for some advice.
break into enter a house unlawfully The burglar broke into our home by smashing a window.
break out appear violently Anger broke out in the streets after the election results came in.
break out use something extravagant for celebration We should break out some champagne and celebrate your new job.
break out of escape The prisoners broke out of the jail by hiding in the laundry.
break up end a relationship My friend wants to break up with her boyfriend. They’re not a good match.
bring about cause to happen Patience and activism can bring about social change.
bring along bring with It’s cold outside. Bring a jacket along.
bring around change someone’s mind, convince someone My daughter used to hate vegetables but we’re bringing her around by cooking them in different ways.
bring away learn or gain (from an experience) I’m sad that my relationship is ending but I’m bringing away positive things from the experience.
bring on cause something His dad started crying and nobody knows what brought it on.
bring over bring to someone’s house We’re having a big dinner party. Could you bring over a few extra plates?
bring to revive consciousness The man fainted but they’re bringing him to with smelling salts.
bring up mention Jennifer’s very sensitive about her divorce. Don’t bring it up.
bring up raise ( a child) Sam was brought up by his grandparents.
bring out highlight, stress I love your new hat. It brings out the shape of your face.
brush off ignore something or someone (inf.) If you don’t want to go the the party with Caden, you should brush him off.
burn up destroy by fire My papers burned up in the fire.
burn down burn until completely gone (building) The pet store burned down in the fire.
burn down destroy by setting fire to Be careful that you don’t burn down the house when you’re using matches.
burn up be hot This house is so hot! I’m burning up.
buy out buy the shares of a company or the shares the other person owns of a business All the small airlines were bought out by American Airlines.
buy up purchase the entire supply of something People are preparing for the storm and buying up all the food in the grocery store.
call off cancel something They will call off the baseball game if it keeps raining.
call off order to stop We called off the party because of the bad weather.
call up telephone Let’s call up John and ask him to go to the movies.
call for require (as in a recipe) We should buy chocolate chips. The recipe calls for them.
call on visit If you are in Chicago, you should call on Joe. He’ll show you the city.
call on invite someone to speak in a meeting or a classroom I never read the book so I hope the teacher doesn’t call on me to answer any questions.
calm down make someone relax Calm down! You shouldn’t drive when you’re angry.
care for nurse someone or something The doctors cared for the patient until he got better.
care for like someone or something I don’t care for fast food. It’s gross.
carry out complete and/or accomplish something The workers couldn’t carry out the job until they bought more materials.
carry over continue on a subsequent day, page, etc. The party went all night and carried over to the next day.
carry on continue Carry on with what you’re doing, I’ll be right back.
carry on about continue in an annoying way My father’s always carrying on about how I need to go back to school.
catch on start to understand Don’t worry if you don’t understand the rules yet. You’ll catch on after we start playing.
catch up make up for lost time I can’t start that project right now. I have to catch up on work from last week.
catch up on become up-to-date The manager needed to catch up on the latest technologies.
catch up with speed up to be at the same place as a person or thing in front of you If we run a little bit faster, we’ll catch up with the rest of the athletes.
check off mark something as completed (often on a list) Check off the names on the list as they register.
check out investigate, take a look at We’re going to check out the new art exhibition this weekend.
check over closely examine the condition of something If you’re going to buy a used motorcycle you should check it over carefully first.
check through send luggage through (to a destination) Our luggage was checked through to Tokyo.
check back return to see if everything is OK I’ll check back tomorrow to make sure the workers finished the job.
check by go to a place to see if everything is OK Can we check by the house before leaving? I want to make sure the kids are okay.
check for try to find We checked for pineapples at the store but they were sold out.
check in enter a hospital, hotel etc. We can’t check in at the hotel until noon.
check into enter a hospital, hotel etc. The Smith family checked into the hotel room yesterday.
check into investigate, look for (often through a service) Maybe we should check into the cost of flights to Hawaii for our vacation.
check on make sure something is OK I need to check on our project before I leave for the weekend.
check out leave a hotel, hospital As soon as Peter was better, he checked out of the hospital.
check up on investigate someone or something Let’s check up on the facts before we publish this.
check with ask a person for confirmation I need to check with my dad to see if I can borrow the car tonight.
cheer up make someone feel cheerful Liam always cheers me up with all his silly jokes.
cheer up become cheerful I cheered up after that delicious meal.
chew up chew into small pieces Jane’s dog chewed up her homework.
chop down fell/cut ( a tree) The tree in our yard was rotten so we chopped it down.
chop up chop/cut into small bits The chef chopped up the onions for the soup.
clear up become clear After I started washing my face with honey, my skin really cleared up.
clear out leave The party ended early and everyone cleared out of the bar.
close down close a place permanently The restaurant wasn’t very popular and closed down after three months.
close in on approach and threaten The storm was closing in on the island so people stayed indoors.
close up close temporarily The golf course closed up for the winter.
come about occur / happen How did the invention of the internet come about?
come across discover by accident We came across a great coffee shop while we were exploring the city.
come across initially seem or have the appearance My cousin comes across as really loud and obnoxious.
come along accompany someone We’re going to the beach. Do you want to come along?
come along progress The new project is coming along just great!
come along with accompany Is it okay if my little brother comes along with us to the restaurant?
come along with progress Luke is coming along really well with his recovery after the surgery.
come away leave a place with a particular feeling or impression He came away from the class with a better knowledge of the English language.
come back return Please come back before midnight.
come by visit a person at their house Isabella will come by to study later today.
come by get, receive I bet you all want to know how I came by this unusual artifact.
come down with become sick with Ava came down with a serious flu.
come into inherit Mia came into a fortune after her mother passed away.
come off fall off, break off A screw came off and the whole shelf crashed to the floor.
come out appear While I was crossing the street, a fast car came out of nowhere.
come out reveal you are homosexual Aiden came out officially last year, but his family had always known he was gay.
come out turn out, end up Those Instagram photos really come out great.
come out with produce and distribute a product Apple seems to comes out with a new iPhone every few months.
come over visit someone at their house My friend’s coming over for dinner tonight.
come through do what is needed or expected The soccer player was having a bad game but she came through with a goal in the second half.
come to regain consciousness Noah fainted, but he’s coming to now.
come up with produce or create (an idea, a plan) The journalist came up with a great headline right before the deadline.
come with include (an accessory) Does that new toy come with batteries?
 count out exclude You can count me out of the next round of cards. I need a break.
count up add Count up the change in your pocket and see if you have enough for a smoothie.
count on depend/rely on Your brother’s really dependable. You can always count on him.
crack down on become tougher on, better enforce laws on The police have cracked down on underage drinking.
crack up laugh uncontrollably, laugh a lot Lily is really funny. She cracks me up.
crack up at laugh uncontrollably about, laugh a lot about Mason’s a good audience. He always cracks up at my jokes.
cross out draw a line through something, eliminate We can cross out the ideas we’re not going to use.
cut off interrupt someone while they were speaking That guy is so rude. He always cuts me off when I’m speaking.
cut off sever (with a knife) I cut off the the tip of my finger when I was slicing the tomatoes.
cut out stop an action Tell your children to cut it out. They’re jumping on my couch.
cut out remove The doctor cut the bullet out of the woman’s leg.
cut up cut into small pieces Please cut up the mushrooms and add them to the soup.
cut down decrease the amount of I need to cut down on sugar and salt.
cut in on interrupt Can I cut in on this conversation and say something?
die away diminish in intensity The noise in the streets died away and I could finally go back to sleep.
die down diminish in intensity I hope this scandal dies down soon so I won’t have to hear anymore about it.
die off/out become extinct Sea stars are dying off in huge numbers.
disagree with cause to feel sick due to food or drink I shouldn’t eat cheese. It disagrees with me.
do over repeat My teacher will let me do the test over if I fail the first time.
do away with abolish Will the United States ever do away with such lax gun laws?
do without manage without something one wants or needs My dad can’t do without his iPhone. He loves it.
draw up create ( a contract) Let me draw up a proposal to present to the board of directors.
dress up decorate The boys dressed the room up nicely for the party.
dress down dress casually You should dress down because it’s not a formal occasion.
dress up wear elegant clothes You should dress up a bit for the wedding.
drive back repulse The platoon drove back the enemy to the other side of the hill.
drop in visit someone unexpectedly To my surprise, Tom dropped in out of the blue.
drop in on visit someone unexpectedly The Johnsons dropped in on us while we were having dinner.
drop out quit an organized activity Emily isn’t on the soccer team anymore. She dropped out because she was too busy.
drop out of quit an organized activity (school) Jayden dropped out of high school when he was 15.
drop over visit someone casually She said you can drop over any time.
eat up devour Layla was so hungry that she ate up everything in two minutes.
eat away gradually destroy, erode The rain storms eat away at the cliffs and can cause landslides.
eat in eat inside the home Let’s eat in. I really don’t feel like going to a restaurant.
eat out eat outside the home We don’t have any groceries. Let’s eat out.
face up to acknowledge something difficult or embarrassing You’re going to have to face up to the consequences of your actions.
fall back on be able to use in case of emergency If plan A doesn’t work, we can always fall back on plan B.
fall behind go slower than scheduled, lag Logan fell behind during the race and finished tenth.
fall behind in go slower than scheduled, lag Madison fell behind in history last week, so she’s going to start studying to catch up.
fall off decrease Sales for the product fell off after the summer.
fall out with have an argument with She fell out with the manager, but they were able to resolve the disagreement.
fall through fail to happen The project fell through because we couldn’t agree on the basics.
feel up grope He lost his job and went to jail for feeling a woman up.
feel up to have the energy to do something He doesn’t feel up to an all night party.
figure out solve something, understand I figured out how to solve that difficult algebra problem.
figure up calculate After I figure up the costs, I’ll send you the estimate.
figure on expect Do you figure on becoming a teacher?
fill in complete In the next part of the test, you have to fill in the blanks.
fill out complete (an application) Aubrey filled out the application for her favorite university.
fill up fill to the top I’m going to go fill up the gas tank before the trip.
fill in substitute Mr. Smith will fill in for Ms. Johnson while she’s away.
fill in for substitute for I won’t be able to teach my class next Wednesday. Could you fill in for me?
fill out mature, gain weight James was very slender until he hit puberty, then he filled out.
find out discover Tom’s parents are upset because they found out he used the car without permission.
fix up repair, renovate, remodel They fixed up their house after the damage caused by the storm.
get across cause to be understood Do you understand the message I’m trying to get across?
get off remove Can you get this stain off my shirt?
get off send She finally got her college application letter off last week.
get on put on (clothes) Come on, get your shoes on. We’re late.
get up get out of bed; rise I usually get up at 6 am.
get ahead make progress It’s tough to get ahead in this world.
get ahead of surpass If you want to get ahead of schedule, you will need to work more hours.
get along with have a good relationship I get along with all my relatives.
get around go many places It’s very difficult to get around Miami if you don’t have a car.
get around avoid someone or something They got around the law by bribing an inspector.
get away escape The killer got away.
get away with do something against the rules without getting caught or punished You will never get away with it.
get by survive without having the things you need or want I may not have a lot of money, but I get by.
get by on survive with minimal resources I had a tough time getting by on one salary so I got a second job.
get by with manage with Can you really get by without a mobile phone these days?
get down to get serious about a topic We need to get down to business because we have a lot to discuss.
get in enter Get in. I’ll give you a ride!
get in enter ( a car, a small boat) Get in the boat and sit down so we don’t tip over.
get off leave Please get off the grass.
get off stop using a piece of equipment (phones, computers etc…) When you get off the phone, I need to talk to you.
get off leave (a bus, plane, train, boat) I need to get off at the next bus stop.
get on have a good relationship My colleagues and I get on really well.
get through complete They got through the obstacle course by working together.
get on enter (a bus, train), mount ( a horse, a bike) The first time I got on a horse, I was really scared.
get on with have a good relationship Do you get on with your co-workers?
get on with continue an activity Let’s get on with today’s agenda and not waste any more time.
get out of exit (a small boat, car, an enclosed area) They were lucky to get out of the burning car alive.
get over recover (a cold, a disease, an ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend) It takes time to get over a relationship.
hang around stay in a place for fun ( inf.) We usually hang around the gym after school and play some basketball.
get through penetrate The SWAT team got through the barricaded building and rescued all the hostages.
get through (with) finish You may only watch TV after you get through all your homework.
get through to make contact The connection was patchy, but I finally got through to our correspondent in Iraq.
get up rise (from sitting position or a bed) I got up before dawn today. I just couldn’t sleep.
give away give something without asking for anything in exchange My mother gave away all my toys without asking me for permission.
give away betray (a secret) We don’t want to give away our plan to our competitors so don’t show too much at the meeting.
give back return something you borrowed I’m going to the library to give back a couple of books.
give off release (a smell, light) Skunks give off a terrible smell.
give out distribute We’re giving out free samples of all our products today.
give up surrender something I gave up smoking last week.
give in stop trying Don’t give in. Keep trying, I know you’ll make it.
give out become very tired (inf.) After training hard all week, she just gave out and collapsed on the field.
give up surrender We will fight on. We will never give up!
go away leave Please go away. I’m working.
go back return When do you go back to the office?
go back on not keep (one’s word, a promise) If you go back on what you promised, I will never trust you again.
go by go past, go close to, visit quickly I just went by the store and bought a couple of things.
go down decrease The price of oil rarely goes down.
go for enjoy; desire I could go for a beer right now.
go for try to achieve Charlotte is going for the top prize in the Math contest.
go in for participate (informal) I really go in for drama. I’m in the drama club and try out for all the after school plays.
go into discuss in detail I don’t have time to go into it right now.
go off explode The bomb was set to go off at midnight.
go off begin, start (used with signals, alarms, warning sounds) His alarm clock goes off at 5:00 AM.
go off stop (a machine) The iPad goes off automatically if you are not using it.
go off become angry Amelia went off like a madman after she found out someone stole her car.
go on continue Go on. We’re listening.
go on happen I don’t know what went on here, but I want this mess cleaned up right now.
go on with continue ( a plan, a conversation) How long are you going to go on with this awful plan?
go out stop burning ( a fire) It took three days for the fire to go out.
go out take part in social activities (usually at night) We might go out tomorrow night. Do you want to come?
go over be well received, succeed Unfortunately, the plan did not go over well.
go over review I’m going to go over my notes before the test.
go through examine in detail, study carefully I will have my assistant go through every detail with you.
go through endure; experience challenges, difficulties or traumas I went through a difficult time after the economic collapse.
go through with continue or proceed despite difficulties or fears We have decided to go through with our plans.
go with match (clothing) Those shoes don’t go with those pants.
go with accompany a person She’s going with Mary to the party.
go with have a boyfriend/girlfriend Mia has been going with Anne since they met last year.
go without abstain from something you want or need He can’t go without Facebook for more than a day.
go under go out of business The company went under during the crisis.
grow up mature Grow up, you’re behaving like a baby.
hand back return I hope the teacher hands back our tests today.
hand down announce formally The CEO will hand down the new company policy at the meeting.
hand down give as an inheritance My brothers always handed down their clothes to me.
hand in submit We have to hand in the project by the end of the week.
hand out distribute They handed out free tickets to the show.
hand over relinquish control of Hand over those documents. They belong to me.
hang up suspend (clothes on a hanger) He hung his coat up in the closet.
hang out spend time ¬†somewhere for fun (informal) We’re going to hang out at the beach this afternoon.
hang up put down the telephone receiver Please hang up. You’ve been talking for three hours.
have on wear I have my sunglasses on because it’s too bright out here.
have over invite guests to your home We’re having my grandparents over for dinner tonight.
hear from receive news from (a letter, an e-mail) I haven’t heard from Dean in a week.
hear of know about something or somebody Have you heard of a little island in Florida called Captiva?
hit on find on accident She hit on the idea while staring at the clouds.
hit on flirt with Ella hit on the guy she met in the bar and he gave her his number.
hold back restrain Security held back the crowd until the band could enter their limousine.
hold off restrain Hold off the soldiers until the civilians escape.
hold up delay (a flight, traffic); I got held up in the rush hour traffic.
hold up rob (a bank, a person) with a weapon That’s the second time this bank has been held back.
hold back not allow to advance in school Bill was held back in high school due to bad grades.
hold off on delay Let’s hold off on the party until after the test.
hold on grasp tightly Hold on to me when we’re on the mo-ped.
hold on tell someone to wait on the telephone Hold on, I’ll be back in a minute.
hold on to grasp tightly She held on to the rope for dear life as the firefighters rescued her.
hold out not give in, continue to resist The more you hold out on the information, the more we’re going to press you.
hold out against not give in, resist We held out against the corporate buy out as long as we could.
hook up make the electrical connections required for a machine or information service Do you know how to hook up the DVD player?
iron out eliminate We agree on most issues, but we still have to iron out a few differences.
jack up to raise Jack up the volume. I love this song!
joke around to be humorous If you’re always joking around, no one is going to take you seriously.
jump in enter a conversation If anyone has any ideas to contribute, feel free to jump in.
jump to make a quick, poorly thought out decision Don’t jump to conclusions until you have all the facts
keep around have handy, have accessible No one knew that she kept a gun around until the thieves entered the house.
keep away prevent access to, hold back Please keep all non-essential personnel away from this room.
keep back maintain a safe distance, cause to maintain a safe distance Keep back! There is still danger of the building collapsing.
keep down not vomit, not throw up, keep in one’s stomach Despite feeling queasy all morning, Brian kept his breakfast down.
keep in keep in a particular place, have something in a specific location We keep our silverware in this drawer.
keep off prevent from stepping or climbing on to something Please keep off the lawn. It’s private property.
keep out prevent from entering Please keep out of this room. It’s dangerous in here.
keep over cover something with, put something above You should keep a lid over that bowl if you don’t want the cat to eat it.
keep up continue Keep up the great work!
keep at not give up (an activity), to persevere Keep at it! I know you will succeed.
keep on continue We have to keep on working after the store closes to do inventory.
keep on doing something continue doing Keep on checking your email until you hear from us.
keep someone/something out stop from entering Please keep visitors out of this room.
keep something from someone not tell He kept that secret from his children because he was ashamed.
keep something up continue at the same rate Keep up production at this pace and you should be able to hit your quota.
keep to continue, persist in (an activity) If you keep to the task, you will finish it soon.
keep up stay on the required schedule I can’t keep up with the program. There is too much to do.
keep up with stay on schedule with (a person, the workload, homework) We need to keep up with the work of the other department or we will get behind schedule.
kick back sit or lie back (to relax) After work, she kicks back and has a drink.
kick in begin taking effect The medicine I took is finally kicking in.
lay away save for the future He laid away his money for the future.
lay off suspend someone from a job (during a slow period) During the crisis, GM laid off many workers.
lay out arrange Riley laid out the plan so we could all understand it.
lay down establish (laws, rules) At school, my teacher lays down the law every time we misbehave.
lay in on scold or criticize severely The professor laid in on her students for not remembering the equations.
lay into scold or criticize severely Don’t let the boss lay into you.
leave out not include, omit The project description leaves out the most important part.
let down disappoint He felt let down by the people he trusted the most.
let down lengthen (pants in sewing) Oliver let down his pants because they were too short.
let out release Due to good behavior, they let him out of prison early.
let out make bigger (in sewing) The man let out the jacket because he had gained weight.
let someone down fail to support or help, disappoint Our leaders let us down.
let someone in allow to enter You can let the dog in when it rains.
let up weaken in intensity I thought she would quit the team because of the hard training, but she refused to let up.
lie down rest, recline I’m going to lie down for a while because I have a splitting headache.
lie down on rest, recline ( on a couch, bed) Don’t let the dog lie down on the bed please.
lie with be decided by The decision to veto the bill lies with the White House.
light up illuminate A bigger window would light up this room.
light up to smoke Hey, don’t light up in here. This is a non-smoking area.
live down survive an embarrassment After I slipped on a banana peel and fell headfirst into the punch bowl, I didn’t think I could ever live it down!
live on survive from She loves seafood so much. She could live on shrimp and lobster.
live up to keep a standard It will be hard to live up to my grandmother’s expectations.
log in (or on) sign in (to a website, database etc) I had trouble logging into Gmail today.
log out (or off) sign out (of a website, database etc) I recommend you log out and then log in again.
look over examine, review You should look over your notes before the test.
look up find; define The teacher wants us to look up the vocabulary words in the dictionary.
look up locate and visit Look me up if you’re ever in town.
look after take care of (a child, a house, a pet) Please look after my cat while I’m on vacation.
look back on to remember nostalgically I look back on my high school days with mixed emotions.
look down on someone think less of, consider inferior Ignore that arrogant man. He looks down on everyone.
look for someone/something try to find I’ve been looking for my car keys all morning. Have you seen them?
look forward to anticipate with pleasure Boy, I’m really looking forward to my vacation next week.
look into investigate I’ll look into the cause of the system failure when I access the server.
look on observe as a spectator The spectators looked on as the cars sped around the track.
look out be careful, vigilant, and take notice Look out for falling debris because there is construction going on.
look out for someone/something be especially vigilant for Please look out for poison ivy when you take hike through the forest.
look something over check, examine The teacher looked over my exam and said it looked great.
look something up search and find information in a reference book or database I’ll try to look up a taxi cab company on Google.
look up to respect, admire someone Her hard-working mother was someone Tina looked up to.
look up to someone have a lot of respect for I’ve always looked up to my grandmother.
make out decipher Please type this up. I can’t make out your handwriting.
make out write a check or other document Place make the check out to me.
make over do again Mr. Johnson made the kids do the assignment again.
make up invent ( a story) Ethan just made up that story. It isn’t true at all.
make up complete what was missed You’ll need to make up the work you missed while you were out this year.
make up put on cosmetics Before the show, the actor makes up his face.
make out succeed Emma really made out as an entrepreneur.
make out progress How are you making out with that new software?
make out kiss passionately Avery and Jayce are always making out in public.
make out with kiss someone passionately Tommy made out with Gina.
make someone up apply cosmetics to Make sure to make him up before the camera crews arrive.
make something up invent, lie about something Tom made up a story about the dog eating his homework.
make up forgive each other After they fought, they made up.
make up reconcile You two stop fighting and make up.
make up for compensate for You will have to make up for all the damage you caused.
mix up confuse I’m still mixed up about how to use this machine.
mix up blend Mix up the vegetables in the bowl and add oil and salt.
mix up make lively (a party) The DJ mixed it up with an eclectic choice of songs.
mix something up confuse two or more things I always mix up the names of the twins.
name after name a child using another family member’s name Richard was named after his dad.
nod off fall asleep Lisa nodded off in class.
nose around sneak around Don’t nose around my room while I’m out.
occur to pop into one’s mind, come to one’s mind It just occured to me that we left the door unlocked.
open up share feelings The man opened up and admited he felt guilty about what he did.
out to + verb try to Harper is out to get revenge on whoever scratched her car.
pan out be successful, turn out well The project we had planned didn’t pan out like we had hoped.
pass off try to convince someone that something is real Some dude on the street tried to pass this plastic purse off as real leather.
pass on transmit It’s very important that you pass this message on to William.
pass out distribute We will pass out an answer sheet before the test.
pass up not take advantage (of an opportunity) Don’t pass up the opportunity to travel.
pass away die John passed away when he was 101.
pass on die I am afraid Roger Williams has passed on.
pass on not accept (an invitation to eat or do something) We invited her out, but she decided to pass on it.
pass out become unconscious Caleb passed out when he hit his head.
pass out faint She felt dizzy and passed out in the classroom.
pass something out give the same thing to many people Dr. Smith passed out the guidelines to the research team.
pass something up decline (usually something good) I can’t believe he passed up the opportunity to work for Apple.
pay back repay I loaned him two thousand dollars, but he never paid me back.
pay off complete payment on a debt I’m so happy that I finally paid off my debt.
pay off to bribe The contractor tried to pay off a public official, but was arrested.
pay for something be punished for doing something bad If you bother me you’re going to pay for it.
pay someone back return owed money I paid Jillian back for the drinks she bought me last night.
pick up to lift an object Pick up the box carefully because it is heavy.
pick up come and get someone in a car Can you pick me up at 6pm?
pick up learn something without effort Bill picked up Japanese after three months in Tokyo.
pick up try to initiate a relationship with someone (often in a bar) Do you go to bars to pick up people?
pick on to tease, bully Those mean kids are picking on my brother.
pick out choose Have you picked out the photo you like for the yearbook?
pick something out choose I have difficulty picking out a tie in the morning.
pick up grow, increase (informal) Sales are finally picking up after a slow season.
play down make less important (informal) Just because you play down the problem, doesn’t mean it’s going to go away.
play up highlight something (informal) The press is playing up the court case in order to avoid talking about the economy.
play up to flatter someone for your personal advantage Don’t play up to me because you’re not going to get any special favors.
point out indicate He pointed out all of our flaws.
point someone/something out indicate with your finger The witness pointed out who the killer was in the police line-up.
pull down earn Anna pulls down about $500,000 a year.
pull in park (a vehicle) I pulled in just as you were leaving.
pull out depart (a vehicle) The train pulls out at 6 am.
pull through barely survive We’re confident that you’ll pull through.
put across communicate (an idea or suggestion) clearly so that it is understood It was difficult to put across, but I believe they understand our message.
put away return to the proper place of storage Put away the calculators. This is a math test.
put down insult, say bad things about Don’t put your brother down. He’s crying.
put off postpone I’ll put off the meeting until next week.
put on wear Put on a coat. It’s cold outside.
put on deceive I don’t believe you. Are you putting me on?
put out extinguish (a fire) The firefighters tried to put out the fire, but were overwhelmed by the flames.
put out inconvenience someone Would it put you out to pick me up after work?
put up have a guest stay in your house for a short time I’ll see if my cousin can put me up while I’m in London.
put in officially submit a request (in the armed forces or public services) Captain Smith put in for a transfer back to the United States.
put out spend (usually used with unreasonably large sums of money) Do you have any idea how much money I put out each month?
put someone down insult, make someone feel stupid The mean kids put Josh down because he couldn’t play soccer well.
put something down lay an object down The Police told the robbers to put down their guns.
put something off postpone We’re putting off the party until next month.
put something on put clothing/accessories on your body Please put something on, we have guests in the house.
put something out extinguish We put out the fire with buckets of water and sand.
put something together assemble Can you help me put this desk together?
put up with tolerate I will not put up with rude kids in my class.
quiet down be quiet, or cause to be quiet I need everybody to quiet down so I can explain how the test is going to be.
read up on research a topic for a reason You should read up on Steve Jobs for your report on entrepreneurs.
ring up telephone Ring up dad and tell him we’re ready to be picked up.
rule out eliminate The police still haven’t ruled out suicide as the cause of death.
run down trace Have you run down those names I asked you for?
run down criticize Tom runs down everybody at the office.
run down hit with a car The man was run down by a speeding car.
run off reproduce (photocopies) I need you to run off 100 copies of this handout.
run off make leave They want to run off all the homeless people in town.
run across find or meet unexpectedly Recently, I ran across my old friend Liam.
run against compete in an election She could run against any candidate and still win.
run away leave home permanently before you are a legal adult Sally ran away when she was only 16 years old.
run away leave unexpectedly, escape At the last second, she ran away from her own wedding.
run away from escape from He ran away from the burning car.
run down lose power, be very tired You’ll run down the engine if you leave your car running.
run for campaign for a government position Who will run for president next year?
run into someone/something meet unexpectedly You won’t believe who I ran into last night.
run off leave quickly The woman ran off with her secretary.
run off waste water That’s where the water runs off into the lake.
run out have none left They spent so much that they ran out of money.
run out of not have any more of something We just ran out of coffee. Could you go and buy some?
run over someone/something drive a vehicle over a person or thing An elderly person was run over by a truck.
run over/through something rehearse, review Let’s run over the plan, before we do it.
save up accumulate (money) Work hard and save up for retirement.
see off say goodbye to someone at the beginning of their trip (at the airport, train station) My uncle saw me off at the airport.
see through finish something despite difficulties He’s worried he may not be able to see his studies through now that he is a father.
see about arrange or consider something Why don’t you go see about that job?
see to make sure something happens, arrange I’ll see to it that the job gets done.
sell out tell on someone You sold us all out when you gave the other team our game plan.
send something back return (usually by mail) Send the package back. It’s not what we ordered.
set up falsely incriminate a person Although the police believe he is guilty of the crime, I believe John was set up.
set up arrange a relationship Their parents set them up together.
set someone up trick, trap The soldiers were set up by their own government as the scapegoats for the horrendous war crime.
set something up arrange, organize Let’s set a meeting up for next Tuesday at 4pm.
set up arrange (an appointment, a meeting,etc.) She set up an appointment with Dr. Brown.
settle on make a decision after a period of time After some debate, we’ve settled on which candidate we prefer.
settle up pay one’s debts Should we settle up on the money you owe me?
shop around compare prices I recommend you shop around before you buy that phone.
show off show to everybody with a lot of pride Tom showed off his new tablet at school today.
show up make someone seem inferior I can’t stand people who try to show up their colleagues.
show off boast, draw attention to oneself He’s just showing off to impress girls at the beach.
show off act extra special for people watching (usually boastfully) Don’t show off during a race. Focus on doing your best.
show up arrive without previous notice My sister showed up early this morning at home.
shut off stop from functioning The power company shut off our electricity because we didn’t pay our bill.
shut up make quiet Shut him up before I really get mad.
sort something out organize, resolve a problem Let’s sort out who’s going to do what on this project.
sleep over stay somewhere for the night (informal) My daughter invited her best friend to sleep over.
slow down make move more slowly Why did the computers slow down?
slow up make move more slowly This traffic jam goes on forever. I wonder what is slowing us up.
spell out to explain something in a detailed way so that the meaning is clearly understood Let me spell it out for you. You are not welcomed here.
stand up not arrive to a date or an appointment (informal) We had agreed to meet at the bar, but she stood me up.
stand by wait Please stand by. We’ll call you any minute.
stand for represent NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
stand for tolerate We won’t stand for this level of corruption. Something must be done.
stand out be very noticeable That man with the weird hat really stands out.
stand up for defend (something one believes in) Stand up for what you believe in.
stand up to defend oneself against someone or something Are you really going to stand up to that group of bullies?
stay over spend the night at a person’s house When I was a kid, I would often stay over at my grandparents’ house.
stick it to severely criticize a person (inf.) The people really stuck it to the president after the scandal became public.
stick to persevere, keep trying Even if you’re defeated, don’t give up. Stick to it and you will win.
stick to something continue doing something, limit yourself to one particular thing Stick to practicing everyday and you’ll get on the team.
stick up for defend oneself or opinions You always defend your friends, but never stick up for your sister.
switch something off stop the energy flow, turn off I switched off the radio because no one was listening to it.
switch something on start the energy flow, turn on Hey, could you switch the TV on? I think the game is on.
take away remove, seize or capture The prisoners were taken away by the prison guards.
take back retract something you said You better take back what you said or I will never talk to you again.
take back return an item to a store I’m going to take my iPad back to the store because it’s broken.
take down write down what is said Did you take down what the teacher said? He speaks so fast.
take down remove (from a high place) They took down that painting because it was too big for the space.
take for consider, view as He doesn’t like to be taken for a fool.
take in learning I can’t take in all this information. I need a break.
take in deceive a person Some sales associates will try to take you in just to make a sale.
take in make smaller when sewing I should have these pants taken in because they’re too long.
take off when a plane or rocket leaves the ground You need to have your seatbelt on when the plane takes off.
take off remove Please take off your hat when you’re indoors.
take off leave work or school for a period of time He took one week off to visit his brother in Spain.
take out accompany a person on a date (for dinner, the movies) She took him out to a nice French restaurant.
take over take control of A group of armed pirates took over the ship.
take up begin a new hobby She took up karate over the summer.
take up discuss (at a later date) Let’s take this up tomorrow. We don’t have time to talk about it today.
take up shorten a garment when sewing We should take up these pants because they’re too long.
take after resemble a parent or relative Bobby takes after his dad.
take off leave He was in a hurry and took off with your camera by accident.
take off start to fly The plane has been cleared to take off on runway 9.
take on accept (responsibilities, work) Don’t take on too many activities or you will not finish any of them.
take something apart purposely break into pieces Lillian took apart her phone to find out why it wasn’t working.
take something off remove something (usually clothing) Please take off your shoes in the house.
take something out remove from a place or thing I’m going to take the garbage out. I’ll be back.
take up occupy space Do you have any idea how much space that TV takes up?
talk over discuss Let’s talk it over tomorrow at lunch.
talk back respond in an impolite way to an adult Don’t talk back to your teachers.
tear down destroy Those bulldozers tore down my favorite building in town.
tear up tear or rip into small pieces When he got his draft card, he tore it up.
tell off criticize a person severely, reprimand (informal) The principal told them off for breaking a window.
tell on report a crime to the police or bad behavior to a parent If you touch the TV again, I’m going to tell on you.
think over consider Don’t sign the contract without thinking it over.
think through consider carefully I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I really need to think it through.
think up create or invent a false story Can you think up an excuse so that we don’t have to attend the party?
think back remember (often + to, sometimes + on) Sometimes when I think back on my early years, I can’t believe how poor I was.
throw away discard I can’t believe you threw away my favorite armchair.
throw out discard Please don’t throw out my things without asking me.
throw out remove by force from (a room, school, a house, etc.) John was thrown out of school due to his bad behavior.
throw something away dispose of Don’t throw this bag away. It has clothes in it.
throw up vomit He threw up on the boat ride.
tie up tie securely The terrorists tied up the hostages.
tire out cause someone to be very tired Going to the store three times a day really tires me out.
touch on talk about for a short time The documentary barely touches on inequality in the workplace.
touch up make the final improvements We’re almost finished painting the room. We just need to touch up the doors.
try on put on to make sure a piece of clothing fits Why don’t you try on these pants?
try out test You should try out this chair. It’s so comfortable.
turn around change or reverse direction We turned the game around and won.
turn away refuse to deal with or give service The security guards at the nightclub turned them away because they were minors.
turn down refuse an offer; reject an application I can’t believe you turned down that amazing job offer.
turn down lower the volume or intensity of a TV, radio, or other machine Please turn down the music. I’m trying to read.
turn in submit Can we turn our tests in if we have already finished?
turn off stop the function of (a stove, a water faucet, a car, etc.) Please turn off the heater before you leave.
turn on cause to be excited sexually Not everybody is turned on by perfume.
turn on start the function of a TV, a radio, a machine Let’s turn on the TV. I want to watch the match.
turn out produce How many cars can this factory turn out in a day?
turn out switch off a light Let’s turn out the light to watch the movie.
turn over give to authorities (said of evidence or stolen / lost property) Never turn over anything to the police.
turn up increase the volume or intensity of a TV, radio, or other machine Could you turn up the radio? I can’t hear it.
turn in go to bed (informal) I’m really tired. I’m going to turn in.
turn into become something different, transform The superhero has the power to turn into a lion.
turn on attack unexpectedly The cat always turns on me when I go past the kitchen.
turn out audience members to a function How many people turned out for the concert?
turn out end up being Bill turned out to be the winner of the contest.
turn something off stop the energy flow, switch off Turn the computer off and come to bed.
turn something on start the energy, switch on Turn the radio on. I want to hear the weather.
turn something up increase the volume or strength (heat, light etc) Turn the volume up. I can’t hear a thing.
turn up find unexpectedly My cell phone finally turned up. I’m so relieved.
use up use all of something I used up all the oil. You’ll have to get some more.
veer away from stay away from, avoid I veer away from long lines.
wait on serve, service (a table) When she was young, she used to wait on tables.
wait up not sleep because you are waiting for something or someone Don’t wait up for me because I’m going to be late.
wake up awaken someone A strange sound woke me up in the middle of the night.
wake up awaken I wake up at 6 am every morning.
warm someone/something up increase the temperature This blanket will warm you up.
warm up prepare body for exercise Don’t forget to warm up before you go running.
wash up clean I’ll wash up the dishes.
wash up clean oneself Mom said to wash up now.
watch out be careful Watch out – there’s a train coming!
watch out for be careful of Watch out for falling rocks when you pass by this cliff.
wear out use until something is not usable anymore Bill wore out his jacket after wearing it everyday for a year.
wear out cause to be very tired This silly discussion has really worn me out.
wear off disappear after a period of time You may be in pain for a few hours, but it should wear off.
wear off fade away Her make up wore off after a full day under the sun.
wind up tighten the spring of a watch or similar machine You need to wind up your watch if you want it to work.
wind up cause an animal or a child to behave wildly Her cousins got really wound up after they ate all that candy.
wind up finish (informal) Let’s wind up this meeting. Everyone’s ready to go home.
wipe out massacre or destroy They wound up buying a new car.
work out solve The massive storm wiped out the city.
work out be successful The new plan is working out.
work out exercise She works out at the gym everyday.
work something out make a calculation We need to work out how many people still haven’t got an account with us.
write down record Please write down what I’m going to tell you.
write out write down every word or letter You should write out every single word I said, so you don’t forget.
write up prepare a report Please write up a business plan so we can move forward.
yak on to continue talking in an annoying way (“on” can be repeated for emphasis) They’ve been yakking on and on all day.
yak on about to continue talking in an annoying way about something (“on” can be repeated for emphasis) Bryce yakked on about how the results were achieved.
yammer on to talk in an annoying way or complain (“on” can be repeated for emphasis) When Cameron starts talking, he can yammer on for a long time.
yammer on about to talk in an annoying way about something or complain about (“on” can be repeated for emphasis) He will yammer on about religion if you let him.
zero in on discover, pinpoint The police have zeroed in on the suspects.
zip around move quickly from place to place Max zipped around the shopping mall.
zone out stop paying attention Gavin zoned out in the middle of class.
zonk out fall asleep She zonked out in class.
zoom in focus Zoom in. Get a tighter angle.
zoom in on focus on something, pinpoint Owen zoomed in on the cat and took the photo.