Phrasal Verbs

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Phrasal Verb

Phrasal verbs are a mash-up of a verb and usually a preposition or adjective that come together to form a different meaning. It’s one of the unique ways that we create new meaning in the English language without having to coin new words for everything.

Some verbs have multiple phrasals formed by attaching different prepositions, pronouns, and adjectives.

For example, the verb TURN and can be used in the following ways:

Turn aroundTurn overTurn up
Turn intoTurn downTurn off

Likewise, the preposition UP can attach to many verbs to form a phrasal verb and create new meaning:

Blow upCheck upDress upEnd upGrow up
Heat upMeet upOpen upSet upSpeak up

Phrasal verbs themselves can even have multiple meanings, like the phrasal “dress up.” It can mean to put on a costume or to dress fancier than normal.

Take a look at the list below and see how many you can recognize!

Phrasal Verb- MeaningExample
Break down- Deconstruct
- Make into smaller pieces or segments
We always break down our cardboard boxes for recycling.
Mrs. Wise helped me break down the word into syllables so I could sound it out.
Calm down- Change from angry to homeostasis or state or normalcyI was so angry it took 20 minutes of deep breathing for me to calm down.
Cheer (somebody) up- Doing something to change from sad to happy Eating chocolate and watching a funny movie always cheers me up!
Chip in- Give money or help towards We all chipped in to pay for the pizza.
Do away with- Finish using, as an actual or hypotheticalI wish we would do away with homework so I could play more.
Drop back- Move back in action, while continuing to move forward The fourth runner dropped back in the race during the second lap, but sprinted at the end to win!
Get around to- Delaying focus or delaying doing somethingI’ll get around to it by the end of today.
Go ahead- Affirmative command or approval The boss gave me the go ahead to begin the project.
Hang out- Spend time togetherWe all decided to hang out at my place after the football game.
Let down- Disappointment or talking through something potentially disappointing or sadI let her down easy after realizing she was not the right person for the job.
Look forward to- Anticipate with excitement I’m looking forward to going to the amusement park tomorrow.
Make up- Put aside differences
- create/imagine
We made up after not speaking for three days.
I just made up this game today!
Put up with- Endure, usually with negative sentimentI can put up with this cold weather as long as summer comes soon.
Run into- Meet unexpectedlyI ran into my old English teacher today at the mall.
Shop around- Look for different prices to get the best dealI’m going to shop around before buying a car.
Think back- Remember something in the pastLet me think back to last year when we all went to the library and see if I can recall the title.
Throw down- Cause a disagreement with the intent of resolutionWe’re going to throw down about this paint color or we will both be unhappy.
Wake up- Awaken The first thing I do when I wake up is brush my teeth.
Work out- exercise I always work out in the morning so I can shower off the sweat.

Here is a list of other common phrasal verbs:

Abide byAdd up (to)Ask (someone) aboutAsk aroundAsk (someone) out
Back upBlow upBreak downBreak outBreak up with
Bring upBring downBuild upBurn upCall around
Call backCall upCare forCatch upCheck in
Check outCheck upCheer upChip inChop up
Clean upCome acrossCome apartCome down withCome in
Come upCount onCut back onCut inDivide up
Do away withDo overDo upDraw upDress down
Dress upDrop backEat outEat upEnd up
Fall apartFall downFall outFigure outFill in
Find outFix upGet acrossGet aroundGet around to
Get away withGet backGet back atGet back intoGet off
Get onGet alongGet outGet together (with)Get up
Give awayGive backGive inGive upGo after
Go againstGo aheadGo backGo outGo out with
Go upGrow apartGrow intoGrow out ofGrow up
Hand outHang inHang outHang upHold back
Hold onHold upHurry upKeep fromKeep on
Keep upLet downLet inLiven upLog in
Log onLog outLog offLook afterLook back
Look down onLook intoLook forLook forward toLook out for
Look upMake upMeet upOpen upPass away
Pass upPay backPay forPick upPoint out
Put downPut offPut onPut togetherPut up
Put up withRun intoRun outRun overRun through
Run overSend backSet upShop aroundShow off
Show upSit downSleep overSort outSpeak up
Speed upStand upStick toSwitch offSwitch on
Take afterTake offTake upTear downThink back
Throw downTry onTry outTurn aroundTurn off
Turn onTurn upUse upWake upWarm up
Wear offWork outWrite up

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