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!
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.
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.
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 soExample: 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
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.
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?