40 English Phrasal Verbs with Meanings

What are phrasal verbs and how to use them?

Phrasal verbs are super cool in English – they’re a mix of a verb and one or more prepositions or adverbs.

They’re like those awesome pairs that add flavor to your chats.

Using phrasal verbs can make your language more lively and casual. Instead of saying “look for,” you can switch it up with “search for.” Or trade “give up” for the more relaxed “quit.”

Sometimes, the meaning of a phrasal verb isn’t obvious just by looking at the words.

You kinda have to understand it through how it’s used.

For example, “hang out” doesn’t mean hanging clothes; it means spending time with friends.

So, to really understand phrasal verbs, you need to pay attention to how people use them.

Don’t be scared to try out phrasal verbs in your own talk. Just go with it, and soon you’ll be using them like an expert.

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So, kick back, have fun, and let those phrasal verbs add some flair to your English game!

Here’s a list of phrasal verbs along with their meanings and example sentences:

Call off

Meaning: To cancel or abandon something.

Example: They had to call off the meeting due to the sudden snowstorm.


Come across

Meaning: To find or discover by chance.

Example: While cleaning the attic, I came across an old photo album.


Look forward to

Meaning: To anticipate or be excited about something in the future.

Example: I’m looking forward to our vacation in the Bahamas next month.


Break up

Meaning: To end a relationship or a group; to separate.

Example: They decided to break up after years of being together.


Bring up

Meaning: To mention or introduce a topic in conversation.

Example: It’s not easy to bring up the subject of salary during a job interview.


Turn down

Meaning: To reject or refuse something.

Example: Unfortunately, she had to turn down the job offer due to personal reasons.


Take off

Meaning: To become successful or popular; also, to leave the ground (for an airplane).

Example: The new product really took off in the market. / The plane took off on time.


Run out of

Meaning: To exhaust or deplete the supply of something.

Example: We ran out of milk, so I need to go to the store to buy more.


Get over

Meaning: To recover from an illness or a setback; to overcome something.

Example: It took her a while to get over the loss of her pet.


Put off

Meaning: To postpone or delay.

Example: They had to put off the meeting until next week due to scheduling conflicts.


Turn up

Meaning: To arrive or appear, often unexpectedly.

Example: She didn’t expect him to turn up at the party.


Hold on

Meaning: To wait or hang on; to keep something in one’s possession.

Example: Please hold on for a moment, I’ll be right back.

Set up

Meaning: To establish or arrange something.


Example: They set up a new business together.


Bring about

Meaning: To cause or make something happen.

Example: The new law brought about positive changes in the community.


Look into

Meaning: To investigate or examine closely.

Example: The committee will look into the matter and report back.


Put up with

Meaning: To tolerate or endure something unpleasant.

Example: I can’t put up with his constant complaining anymore.


Cut down

Meaning: To reduce in size or quantity.

Example: Doctors advised him to cut down on his sugar intake.


Run into

Meaning: To encounter someone or something unexpectedly.

Example: I ran into an old friend at the grocery store yesterday.


Bring up

Meaning: To raise a topic or mention something in conversation.

Example: It’s not polite to bring up personal issues during a formal meeting.

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Give up

Meaning: To surrender or stop trying.

Example: Don’t give up on your dreams, keep working towards them.


Go over

Meaning: To review or examine carefully.

Example: Let’s go over the details of the plan one more time.


Hold up

Meaning: To delay or hinder.

Example: The traffic accident held up our journey by several hours.


Look after

Meaning: To take care of or be responsible for someone or something.

Example: She looks after her younger siblings while their parents are at work.


Come up with

Meaning: To produce or think of something new or creative.

Example: They came up with a brilliant idea for the marketing campaign.


Bring down

Meaning: To reduce or cause a decrease.

Example: The government implemented measures to bring down inflation rates.


Check out

Meaning: To examine or investigate; also, to pay for and leave a hotel.

Example: I’ll check out the information and get back to you. / We need to check out of the hotel by noon.


Back up

Meaning: To support or provide assistance.

Example: I’ll back you up in the upcoming presentation.

Bring in

Meaning: To introduce or bring something new.

Example: The company decided to bring in a new policy to improve employee satisfaction.

Catch up

Meaning: To reach the same level or status as someone or something.

Example: After being away on vacation, she had to catch up on her work.

Fill in

Meaning: To complete a form or provide missing information.

Example: Please fill in your name and address on the registration form.

Hold off

Meaning: To delay or postpone.

Example: They decided to hold off on the project until they had more information.

Put forward

Meaning: To suggest or propose an idea.

Example: Sarah put forward a plan to improve communication within the team.

Sort out

Meaning: To organize or resolve a problem.

Example: We need to sort out the issues before moving forward with the project.

Turn out

Meaning: To result in a certain way; to attend an event.

Example: The experiment turned out to be successful. / Many people turned out for the charity event.

Bring back

Meaning: To reintroduce or recall something from the past.

Example: The company decided to bring back the classic design for their anniversary.

Cut out

Meaning: To remove or eliminate.

Example: I need to cut out sweets from my diet to lose weight.

Give in

Meaning: To surrender or yield.

Example: After a long negotiation, they finally gave in to the demands.

Take on

Meaning: To accept a responsibility or challenge.

Example: The manager decided to take on the new project despite the tight deadline.

Break down

Meaning: To fail or stop functioning; also, to analyze or divide into parts.

Example: The car broke down on the highway. / Let’s break down the problem and find a solution.

Look up

Meaning: To search for information in a reference source.

Example: If you don’t know the meaning of a word, you can look it up in the dictionary.

Take after

Meaning: To resemble or inherit traits from a family member.

Example: She really takes after her grandmother, both in looks and personality.

Hold back

Meaning: To restrain or keep something from progressing.

Example: He had to hold back tears during the emotional farewell.

Last thoughts:

So, phrasal verbs are like the secret sauce that adds flavor to your English.

Sure, they might seem a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of them, it’s a game-changer.

Think of phrasal verbs as your language sidekicks, giving your words that extra oomph.

So, don’t shy away from using them.

Dive in, have a play, and soon you’ll be tossing them around effortlessly.

Just remember, it’s all about context and feeling the vibe.

Don’t stress over it—phrasal verbs are here to make your language game more exciting.

So go ahead, spice up your sentences, and own those phrasal verbs like a boss!

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