English Phrasal Verbs You Must Know

What are phrasal verbs and how to use them?

Phrasal verbs are like the cool kids of the English language – they’re a combo of a verb and one or more prepositions or adverbs.

Think of them as those dynamic duos that spice up your conversations.

Using phrasal verbs can make your language more vivid and informal. Instead of saying “look for,” you can jazz it up with “search for.”

Or swap out “give up” for the more laid-back “quit.”

Here’s the thing: sometimes the meaning of a phrasal verb isn’t obvious by just looking at the individual words.

You kinda need to get the vibe of it through usage.

Like, take “hang out.” It doesn’t mean hanging clothes; it means chilling with friends.

So, to really get the hang of phrasal verbs, you gotta pay attention to how people use them in context.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with phrasal verbs in your own speech. Just go with the flow, and soon you’ll be tossing them around like a language ninja.

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

Also read:

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Break down

Meaning: To stop functioning; to analyze something into smaller parts.

Example Sentence: My car broke down on the way to work this morning.

Example Sentence: We need to break down the project into smaller tasks.

Call off

Meaning: To cancel something.

Example Sentence: They had to call off the meeting due to a scheduling conflict.

Example Sentence: The event was called off because of bad weather.

Come across

Meaning: To find or encounter by chance.

Example Sentence: I came across an interesting book at the bookstore yesterday.

Example Sentence: She came across some old photos while cleaning the attic.

Give up

Meaning: To surrender; to stop trying.

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

Example Sentence: After several failed attempts, he decided to give up.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Look forward to

Meaning: To anticipate with pleasure.

Example Sentence: I’m looking forward to the weekend.

Example Sentence: She looks forward to meeting new people at the conference.

Put off

Meaning: To postpone or delay.

Example Sentence: They had to put off the meeting until next week.

Example Sentence: Don’t put off doing your homework until the last minute.

Take after

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

Example Sentence: Sarah takes after her mother; they both have the same sense of humor.

Example Sentence: The son takes after his father in terms of musical talent.

Turn down

Meaning: To reject or refuse.

Example Sentence: Unfortunately, they turned down my job application.

Example Sentence: She turned down the offer because it didn’t meet her expectations.

Run out of

Meaning: To exhaust the supply of something.

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

Example Sentence: Be careful not to run out of gas on your way home.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Set up

Meaning: To establish or arrange.

Example Sentence: They set up a new business in the city.

Example Sentence: Can you help me set up the tent for the camping trip?

Bring up

Meaning: To mention or introduce a topic.

Example Sentence: She brought up the idea of a team-building retreat during the meeting.

Example Sentence: Don’t bring up sensitive issues during family gatherings.

Calm down

Meaning: To become less agitated or emotional; to relax.

Example Sentence: Take a deep breath and try to calm down before responding.

Example Sentence: It took a while for the child to calm down after the excitement.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Check out

Meaning: To investigate or examine; to leave a place.

Example Sentence: I need to check out these new books at the library.

Example Sentence: We decided to check out of the hotel early in the morning.

Figure out

Meaning: To understand or solve a problem.

Example Sentence: It took me some time to figure out how to use the new software.

Example Sentence: Can you help me figure out the best route to the airport?

Give in

Meaning: To yield or surrender; to admit defeat.

Example Sentence: After a long argument, she finally gave in and agreed to the compromise.

Example Sentence: Don’t give in to peer pressure; stick to your principles.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Hold on

Meaning: To wait or pause.

Example Sentence: Hold on a moment, I’ll be right back with the information you need.

Example Sentence: Please hold on while I transfer your call to the appropriate department.

Look up

Meaning: To search for information; to improve.

Example Sentence: I’ll look up the definition of that word in the dictionary.

Example Sentence: The company’s profits are starting to look up after a difficult quarter.

Pass away

Meaning: To die.

Example Sentence: I’m sorry to hear that your grandfather passed away.

Example Sentence: The community mourned when the well-known artist passed away.

Put up with

Meaning: To tolerate or endure.

Example Sentence: I can’t put up with his constant complaining any longer.

Example Sentence: She put up with the challenging work environment for years before finding a new job.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Run into

Meaning: To encounter unexpectedly.

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

Example Sentence: Be careful not to run into any problems during the project.

Settle down

Meaning: To establish a permanent residence; to calm down.

Example Sentence: After years of traveling, she decided it was time to settle down and buy a house.

Example Sentence: The children finally settled down after the exciting birthday party.

Show up

Meaning: To arrive; to make an appearance.

Example Sentence: I hope he shows up to the meeting on time.

Example Sentence: She didn’t show up for the event, and we were all worried.

Take off

Meaning: To remove clothing; to become successful or popular.

Example Sentence: It’s hot in here; I need to take off my jacket.

Example Sentence: The new product really took off in the market.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Turn up

Meaning: To increase in volume or intensity; to arrive unexpectedly.

Example Sentence: Can you turn up the music a bit? It’s too quiet.

Example Sentence: He turned up at the party uninvited.

Back up

Meaning: To support; to make a copy of data.

Example Sentence: I’ll back you up in the argument if you need me to.

Example Sentence: Make sure to back up your important files regularly.

Break in

Meaning: To enter a building forcibly; to wear something in until it becomes more comfortable.

Example Sentence: The burglars attempted to break in through the back door.

Example Sentence: You should break in those new shoes before wearing them for a long walk.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Count on

Meaning: To rely on or trust.

Example Sentence: You can count on me to help you with the project.

Example Sentence: I know I can count on my friends to support me.

Hold back

Meaning: To restrain or hold something in reserve.

Example Sentence: She had to hold back her tears during the emotional speech.

Example Sentence: The company decided to hold back some funds for future investments.

Look after

Meaning: To take care of or watch over.

Example Sentence: Can you look after my pet while I’m away on vacation?

Example Sentence: It’s important to look after your health as you get older.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Point out

Meaning: To draw attention to something; to indicate.

Example Sentence: He pointed out the key features of the new software during the presentation.

Example Sentence: Can you point out the location of the nearest gas station on the map?

Catch on

Meaning: To understand or become popular.

Example Sentence: It took a while for the new technology to catch on, but now everyone is using it.

Example Sentence: The trend started to catch on among young people.

Come up with

Meaning: To produce or create, especially an idea or solution.

Example Sentence: Can you come up with a plan for the project by tomorrow?

Example Sentence: The team brainstormed and came up with some innovative concepts.

Cut down on

Meaning: To reduce the amount of something.

Example Sentence: I’m trying to cut down on caffeine, so I switched to decaf coffee.

Example Sentence: Doctors often advise patients to cut down on salt intake for better health.

Fall apart

Meaning: To break into pieces; to fail or collapse.

Example Sentence: The old book started to fall apart when I opened it.

Example Sentence: The business deal fell apart due to disagreements between the partners.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Get over

Meaning: To recover from an illness or emotional distress.

Example Sentence: It took her a long time to get over the loss of her pet.

Example Sentence: I hope you get over your cold soon.

Go through

Meaning: To experience or undergo a process.

Example Sentence: Everyone goes through challenges in life.

Example Sentence: Let’s go through the steps of the experiment one more time.

Hold up

Meaning: To delay or hinder; to support or withstand.

Example Sentence: The traffic accident held up the entire highway for hours.

Example Sentence: The old bridge held up surprisingly well during the storm.

Keep up with

Meaning: To stay at the same level or rate as something.

Example Sentence: It’s challenging to keep up with the latest technology trends.

Example Sentence: Try to keep up with the pace of the class; don’t fall behind.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Look into

Meaning: To investigate or examine closely.

Example Sentence: The committee will look into the allegations of misconduct.

Example Sentence: I need to look into getting a new phone; mine is not working properly.

Make up

Meaning: To invent or create; to reconcile after an argument.

Example Sentence: Children often make up imaginary friends to play with.

Example Sentence: It’s time to make up and move past this disagreement.

Run out

Meaning: To deplete the supply of something; to expire.

Example Sentence: We ran out of milk and need to buy more.

Example Sentence: The lease on the apartment will run out at the end of the month.

Settle for

Meaning: To accept something less satisfactory than what was wanted.

Example Sentence: I wanted a specific brand, but I had to settle for what was available.

Example Sentence: Don’t settle for a job you’re not passionate about; keep searching for the right one.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Sort out

Meaning: To organize or resolve a problem.

Example Sentence: I need to sort out my schedule for the week.

Example Sentence: The manager helped the team sort out their differences.

Take up

Meaning: To start a new activity or hobby; to occupy space.

Example Sentence: I decided to take up painting as a form of relaxation.

Example Sentence: The new furniture took up a lot of space in the living room.

Turn around

Meaning: To reverse direction; to improve or change for the better.

Example Sentence: The car turned around and headed back to the city.

Example Sentence: The company was struggling, but a new CEO managed to turn it around.

Back out

Meaning: To withdraw from a commitment or agreement.

Example Sentence: He promised to help, but he backed out at the last minute.

Example Sentence: Don’t back out of your responsibilities; people are depending on you.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Bring about

Meaning: To cause or make something happen.

Example Sentence: The new law will bring about significant changes in the industry.

Example Sentence: Hard work and dedication can bring about success in your career.

Check in

Meaning: To register or confirm one’s arrival, especially at a hotel or airport.

Example Sentence: We need to check in at the hotel before 3:00 PM.

Example Sentence: Passengers are advised to check in two hours before their flight.

Find out

Meaning: To discover or obtain information.

Example Sentence: I need to find out more about the company before the interview.

Example Sentence: She found out the truth about the situation through careful investigation.

Hold off

Meaning: To delay or postpone; to resist an attack or pressure.

Example Sentence: The meeting was held off until the CEO could attend.

Example Sentence: The army managed to hold off the enemy forces for several days.

Look back on

Meaning: To reflect on or reminisce about past events.

Example Sentence: As she reached her retirement, she looked back on her long and successful career.

Example Sentence: It’s always interesting to look back on childhood memories.

Put off

Meaning: To postpone or delay an event or task.

Example Sentence: The meeting was put off until next week due to scheduling conflicts.

Example Sentence: Don’t put off studying for the exam; start preparing now.

Run over

Meaning: To hit with a vehicle; to review quickly.

Example Sentence: The cat was unfortunately run over by a car.

Example Sentence: Let’s run over the main points of the presentation before the meeting.

Break up

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

Example Sentence: They decided to break up after years of dating.

Example Sentence: The crowd started to break up as the event concluded.

Cut out

Meaning: To remove by cutting; to eliminate.

Example Sentence: She cut out a picture from the magazine for her project.

Example Sentence: I need to cut out sugary snacks from my diet.

Fall through

Meaning: To fail to happen; to collapse or be canceled.

Example Sentence: The business deal fell through at the last minute.

Example Sentence: Our plans to go hiking on the weekend fell through due to bad weather.

Get away with

Meaning: To escape punishment or criticism.

Example Sentence: He always seems to get away with breaking the rules.

Example Sentence: It’s unlikely that you’ll get away with submitting your work late.

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Hold onto

Meaning: To grasp or keep something firmly.

Example Sentence: Hold onto the railing while climbing the stairs.

Example Sentence: It’s important to hold onto your values in challenging situations.

Keep on

Meaning: To continue doing something.

Example Sentence: Even in the face of challenges, you should keep on pursuing your goals.

Example Sentence: Don’t give up; keep on trying until you succeed.

Look up to

Meaning: To admire or respect someone.

Example Sentence: Many students look up to their teachers as role models.

Example Sentence: I’ve always looked up to my older brother for guidance.

Pass out

Meaning: To lose consciousness; to distribute something.

Example Sentence: He passed out after running a marathon.

Example Sentence: The teacher passed out the exam papers to the students.

Run into

Meaning: To meet someone unexpectedly.

Example Sentence: I ran into my neighbor at the grocery store.

Example Sentence: We were surprised to run into our friends at the concert.

Set up

Meaning: To arrange or establish.

Example Sentence: They set up a charity to help those in need.

Example Sentence: Can you help me set up the equipment for the presentation?

Phrasal verbs with their meanings:

Take off

Meaning: To remove clothing; to become successful or popular.

Example Sentence: It’s hot, so I’ll take off my jacket.

Example Sentence: The new product really took off in the market.

Turn down

Meaning: To reject an offer or request.

Example Sentence: Unfortunately, they turned down my job application.

Example Sentence: She turned down the invitation due to prior commitments.

Back up

Meaning: To support; to make a copy of data.

Example Sentence: I’ll back you up in the argument if you need me to.

Example Sentence: Make sure to back up your important files regularly.

Bring up

Meaning: To mention or introduce a topic.

Example Sentence: She brought up the idea of a team-building retreat during the meeting.

Example Sentence: Don’t bring up sensitive issues during family gatherings.

Catch up

Meaning: To reach the same level or status as others; to update oneself.

Example Sentence: After missing a few classes, he had to work hard to catch up with the rest of the students.

Example Sentence: Let’s grab coffee and catch up on each other’s lives.

Hold off

Meaning: To delay or postpone; to resist an attack or pressure.

Example Sentence: The meeting was held off until the CEO could attend.

Example Sentence: The army managed to hold off the enemy forces for several days.

Look after

Meaning: To take care of or watch over.

Example Sentence: Can you look after my pet while I’m away on vacation?

Example Sentence: It’s important to look after your health as you get older.

Last thoughts:

They’re 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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