Learning common phrasal verbs in English is one of the best ways to sound more like a native speaker.
Phrasal verbs are difficult to learn but still very important to master because English natives use them a lot.
Let’s learn the most common phrasal verbs in English!
Common Phrasal Verbs with ACT
List of useful phrasal verbs with ACT.
- Act on
Meaning: Act decisively on the basis of information received or deduced.
Example: The policeman decided to act on the tip from his informant.
- Act on
Meaning: Take action against something.
Example: World leaders have repeatedly stated that we must act on climate change.
- Act out
Meaning: Perform a scene from a play, a charade or an exercise.
Example: Despite already being aware, he will be acting out the pretence of a surprise
- Act out
Meaning: Express one’s feelings through disruptive actions.
Example: I know you’re angry, but you can’t act out and break dishes like that.
- Act up
Meaning: Misbehave; cause trouble
Example: Children may act up in class in an effort to get attention.
- Act up to
Meaning: Equal in action; fulfill in practice.
Example: He has acted up to his engagement or his advantages.
- Act upon
Meaning: Take action on the basis of information received or deduced.
Example: The policeman decided to act upon the informant’s phone call.
Useful Phrasal Verbs with ANSWER
Learn useful phrasal verbs with ANSWER in English.
- Answer back
Meaning: Reply impertinently; to talk back
Example: I’ll thank you not to answer back like that! Where are your manners?
- Answer for
Meaning: Be held responsible for; to take the blame for something
Example: The mayor will be answering for his crimes for many years.
- Answer for
Meaning: Vouch for (someone); to attest to the character of (someone)
Example: She’s known me for years, and she’s always answered for me!
- Answer to
Meaning: Justify oneself to (someone)
Example: You’re going to have to answer to all of these charges to my satisfaction.
- Answer to
Meaning: Respond to (a name); to treat as one’s own name
Example: She’s answered to Katie her entire life.
Commonly Used Phrasal Verbs with BACK
Learn common phrasal verbs with BACK in English.
- Back off
Meaning: Become less aggressive, particularly when one had appeared committed to act
Example: You need to back off, or the situation could turn ugly.
- Back onto
Meaning: Reverse a vehicle onto something
Example: The car backed onto my toe.
- Back out
Meaning: Reverse a vehicle from a confined space
Example: He backed out of the garage.
- Back up
Meaning: Move backwards, especially for a vehicle to do so
Example: That beeping sound indicates that the truck is backing up.
- Back up
Meaning: Copy (data) as a security measure
Example: Back up your documents folder before applying the update.
- Back up
Meaning: Provide support or the promise of support
Example: You should be careful. This guy is backed up by the local gang.
Phrasal Verbs with BE in English
Learn frequently used phrasal verbs with BE in English with meaning and examples.
- Be above
Meaning: Be too good, classy or mature to do something; to disdain
Example: I thought you said you were above these kinds of antics.
- Be along
Example: I expect John will be along soon.
- Be around
Meaning: Be alive, existent, or present
Example: I’ll be around for another hour or so.
- Be cut out for
Meaning: Be suitable, have the necessary qualities
Example: He‘s not cut out for teaching.
- Be down
Meaning: Be depressed
Example: I got some bad news this morning, so I‘m a bit down at the moment.
- Be down to
Meaning: Be reduced or less
Example: Because of the big sale, the price of these shirts is now down to four dollars.
- Be fed up
Meaning: Be bored, upset or sick of something
Example: I‘m fed up with my job.
- Be in for
Meaning: Be able to expect or anticipate, generally said of something unpleasant
Example: The weather forecast says we are in for three feet of snow over the next week.
- Be there for
Meaning: Be available to provide comfort and support for someone, especially in a period of difficulty
Example: She knows that I’ll always be there for her.
- Be snowed under
Meaning: Have too much work
Example: I’d love to go out to dinner tonight, but I‘m totally snowed under at the office right now.
Common Phrasal Verbs with BEAT
Commonly used phrasal verbs with BEAT in English.
- Beat down
Meaning: Strike with great force
Example: It was a ghastly morning, with the rain beating down in sheets.
- Beat off
Meaning: Waste time
Example: I beat off at work all day; I didn’t get anything done.
- Beat out
Meaning: Sound a rhythm on a percussion instrument such as a drum
Example: The drummer beat out a steady slow march.
- Beat up
Meaning: Give a severe beating to, to assault violently hitting the victim repeatedly
Example: I got beaten up by thugs on my way home.
Phrasal Verbs with BLOW
Learn common phrasal verbs with BLOW in English.
- Blow away
Meaning: Cause to go away by blowing, or by wind
Example: He blew away the dust which had collected on the book.
- Blow away
Meaning: Flabbergast; to impress greatly
Example: The critics were blown away by their latest album.
- Blow down
Meaning: Knock over with an air current, most often wind
Example: I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.
- Blow off
Meaning: Let steam escape through a passage provided for the purpose
Example: The engine or steamer is blowing off.
- Blow over
Meaning: Blow on something causing it to topple
Example: The wind blew over the pole.
- Blow up
Meaning: Explode or be destroyed by explosion
Example: Why do cars in movies always blow up when they fall off a cliff?
Phrasal Verbs with BREAK
List of phrasal verbs with break.
- Break away
Meaning: Leave suddenly
Example: She was brought up in a very religious household, but broke away from the church in her teens.
- Break down
Meaning: Fail, to cease to function
Example: I am afraid my computer will break down if I try to run it at too high a speed.
- Break even
Meaning: Neither gain nor lose money
Example: After an entire night playing poker, he nearly broke even.
- Break in
Meaning: Enter a place by force or illicit means
Example: Someone broke in and stole his radio.
- Break off
Meaning: End a relationship.
Example: I’ve decided to break it off with her.
- Break into
Meaning: Enter illegally or by force, especially in order to commit a crime
Example: Somebody broke into his car and stole his tools and CDs.
- Break out
Meaning: Escape, especially forcefully or defiantly
Example: They broke out of prison in the middle of the night.
- Break through
Meaning: To make new and important discoveries
Example: Scientists think they are beginning to break through in the fight against cancer.
- Break up
Meaning: Break or separate into pieces; to disintegrate or come apart
Example: It broke up when it hit the ground.
Phrasal Verbs with BRING
List of commonly used phrasal verbs with BRING.
- Bring about
Meaning: Cause to take place
Example: The collapse of the gold standard brought about much of the economic turmoil of that era.
- Bring along
Meaning: Bring someone or something to certain place.
Example: I brought my uncle along to the party.
- Bring around
Meaning: Persuade or convince someone.
Example: Sam was sure he could bring them around to the deal.
- Bring back
Meaning: Fetch something
Example: I brought back the groceries.
- Bring down
Meaning: Make a legitimate rulership lose their position of power
Example: The rebel forces are trying to bring down the president and his government.
- Bring forth
Meaning: Produce, bear as fruit
Example: Their orchard brings forth magnificent fruit.
- Bring forward
Meaning: Make something happen earlier than originally planned
Example: The meeting has been brought forward by one day.
- Bring in
Meaning: Move something indoors
Example: Could you bring in the groceries?