Common Phrasal Verbs with the Word LOOK in English

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1. Look after           

  • Meaning: Watch or protect; to keep safe             
  • Example He asked me to look after his daughter while he was away

2. Look after           

  • Meaning: Consider the future, to anticipate future events           
  • You should forget the past and look ahead

3. Look around      

  • Meaning 1: Inspect a building or area     
  • Example: We’re interested in buying this house. Can we look around tomorrow?
  • Meaning 2: Search a place           
  • Example: I can’t find my keys, so I’ll look around
  • Meaning 3: Turn one’s head to see what is behind oneself           
  • Example: He heard a voice and looked around to see a man wearing dark clothes

4. Look at

  • Meaning 1: Consider     
  • Example: I looked at the possibility of buying a new car, but my current one still runs great and it’s paid off
  • Meaning 2: To read something quickly
  • Example: Can you have a look at the notes I gave you last week?
  • Meaning 3: To confront or face something
  • Example: He is looking at a large fine if he doesn’t comply with the court order.

5. Look for               

  • Meaning: Search for; to seek     
  • Example: He spent his life looking for the truth

6. Look into             

  • Meaning: Investigate, explore, or consider         
  • Example: If you are buying a new car, you might want to look into getting a hybrid or other high-efficiency vehicle

7. Look on

  • Meaning:  to observe
  • Example: My performance seems somehow always to get worse when there are other people looking on

8. Look on as           

  • Meaning: Treat someone in a particular role; to consider someone in a particular way     
  • Example: I’ve always looked on him as the ideal candidate for the job

9. Look out             

  • Meaning: Look from within to the outside           
  • Example: Look out, and you will see the rain has stopped

10. Look out             

  • Meaning: Be vigilant and aware 
  • Example: While you’re in the city center, look out for the dodgy street vendors

11. Look round         

  • Meaning 1: Inspect a building or area         
  • Example: We're interested in buying this house, can we look round tomorrow?     
  • Meaning 2: Search a place           
  • Example: I can't find my keys, so I'll look round
  • Meaning 3: Turn one's head to see what is behind oneself           
  • Example: He heard a voice and looked round to see a man wearing dark clothes

12. Look through

  • Meaning 1: Gaze through a gap or aperture
  • Example: He looked through the binoculars at the bird
  • Meaning 2: Search, either with the eyes or by hand         
  • Example: Airport security looked through her purse and confiscated her nail scissors
  • Meaning 3: Pretend not to see something or someone who is clearly visible
  • Example: I tried to get Michele's attention at the party, but she looked right through me!

13. Look to

  • Meaning: Seek inspiration or advice or reward from someone   
  • Example: Whenever I'm upset, I look to Mary to cheer me up

14. Look up               

  • Meaning 1: Have better prospects, to improve 
  • Example: Things started looking up after Jim moved back in with his parents
  • Meaning 2: Obtain information about something from a text source       
  • Example: I didn't know what a mitochondrion was until I looked it up in a dictionary

15. Look up to

  • Meaning: Show respect or admiration for             
  • Example: A boy should look up to his father

16. Look upon           

  • Meaning: Consider or regard something in a specific manner     
  • Example: Some people look upon lexicography as their life's work

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