30+ Useful English Phrasal Verbs with “BE”

Looking for phrasal verbs with "be"? Here you'll get phrasal verbs with "be" plus their meaning and examples.


1. Be after

  • Try to find or get

E.g. The police are after him because of the theft.

2. Be along

  • Arrive

E.g. The next bus should be along in the next quarter of an hour or so.

3. Be away

  • Be elsewhere; on holiday, etc.

E.g. She's away on business for three weeks.

4. Be cut out for

  • Be suitable, have the necessary qualities

E.g. She's not cut out for this kind of work.

5. Be cut up

  • Be upset

E.g. He was very cut up about coming second as he thought he deserved to win.

6. Be down

  • Be depressed

E.g. He's been down since his partner left him.

7. Be down

  • Be reduced or less

E.g. The firm's profits are down by ten percent this quarter.

8. Be down on

  • Have negative feelings toward someone

E.g. After the argument, James is down on his boss.

9. Be down with

  • Be ill

E.g. I didn't go to work because I was down with the flu.

10. Be fed up

  • Be bored, upset or sick of something

E.g. I am fed up of his complaints.

11. Be in

  • Be at home or at work

E.g. They are never in; I always get their answerphone.

12. Be in

  • Be submitted, arrive

E.g. The application form must be in by 3pm on Friday.

13. Be in on

  • Be involved in

E.g. Susan was the only one who wasn't in on the plan.

14. Be not on

  • Be unacceptable

E.g. The way he's behaving is just not on.

15. Be off

  • Be bad (of food)

E.g. This yoghurt must be off; it smells foul.


16. Be off

  • Depart, leave

E.g. I'm off home; it's five o'clock.

17. Be on

  • Be functioning (of machines)

E.g. The computer is on.

18. Be on

  • Take place

E.g. The show is on for the next three months.

19. Be on

  • Take medication or drugs, especially when they affect the person badly

E.g. He is on anti-depressants and has become very difficult to please.

20. Be on

  • Be at the top of one’s game, performing very well

E.g. He is really on right now- three goals in five minutes!

21. Be on about

  • Mean, try to say

E.g. I couldn't understand what he was on about- it made no sense.

22. Be onto

  • Pursue, be aware of someone's true nature

E.g. He's being very careful because he thinks the police are onto him.

23. Be out

  • Be absent from a place

E.g. She is out on a visit for the day with her family.

24. Be out of

  • Have no more left

E.g. We're out of coffee so I'll have to go and get some.

25. Be out to

  • Attempt

E.g. She is out to get him sacked because she hates him.

26. Be snowed under

  • Have too much work

E.g. I am completely snowed under at work because it's the end of the tax year.

27. Be taken aback

  • Be shocked or surprised

E.g. I was taken aback when I saw him because he's lost all his hair.

28. Be taken with

  • Like something

E.g. I was very taken with the performance - it was superb.

29. Be up

  • Be out of bed

E.g. He's not up yet.

30. Be up

  • Have increased or risen

E.g. The company's profits are up by fifteen percent.

31. Be up

  • When the time for something finishes or expires

E.g. Time's up, please finish your drinks and leave.

32. Be up for

  • Be enthusiastic about an upcoming event

E.g. Are you up for the climb of Mt. Blanc?

33. Be up to

  • Be good enough

E.g. He's not up to the job; get someone else.

34. Be up to

  • Doing something naughty or wrong

E.g. What are those kids up to?

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30+ Useful English Phrasal Verbs with “BE”

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