Phrasal verbs examples

What are phrasal verbs and why every English learner hates them?

Phrasal verb is a phrase that indicates an action and consists of two or three distinct but related constructions = verb, particle and preposition. Together they form a single semantic unit.

Types of phrasal verbs with examples:

1. verb + particle (pay off – to return a debt; sneak out – silently leave the place)
2. verb + preposition (stop by – to make a quick stop, run into – meet someone unexpectedly)
3. verb + particle + preposition (put up with – to endure negative experience, watch out for – be careful about something)
particles: up, down, in, out, over, on, off
prepositions: after, into, for, by, with, at

So far it seems pretty easy. However, here is the problem:

Phrasal verb usually cannot be understood based on the meanings of its individual parts, but must be taken as a whole.

What does it mean in real world?

Firstly, it means that if you hear phrases like “hold off“, “work out” or “give in“, you usually can’t guess what that particular additionally phrase means. You have to understand the meaning and learn it like a new word.

The most annoying thing is, however, that native English speakers use phrasal verbs very often. So except for learning standard English vocabulary, you also have to learn a lot of phrasal verbs.

Confusing theory

The theory around English phrasal verbs is also quite confusing. In some sources, only particle phrasal verbs (e.g. bring up, figure out, break down) are considered as “real”. In contrast, other sources include both prepositional and particle phrasal verbs.

If you want to dig deeper into this topic, more information can be found on Wikipedia.

Anyway, theory is nice, but you can’t have a good conversation, if you just don’t understand what the native speakers are saying to you. So the only thing that matters is to learn them and know how to use them.

It’s good to have a resource, where you can systematically learn all most important phrasal verbs that are commonly used in everyday English.

We are trying hard to be such a resource. 🙂

Our 2-step method:

In order to help you to understand correctly when somebody uses a phrasal verb in a speech or conversation, we have created a concept based on examples from movies.

As you probably know, you can hear lots of these phrases in American movies and TV shows. In fact, they are really frequently used in spoken English.

The method is very simple, yet very effective.

STEP 1. Listen to phrasal verbs in short video samples in real-life situations
to cheer up
to figure out

These are the examples of some of them, which you will certainly hear in many conversations with English speakers on a daily basis.
So the best way to master them is to learn them in context in real sentences. And I am pretty sure that the best context is your favorite movie or TV show 🙂

STEP 2. Practice them in short exercises
People say you can’t turn ______ (refuse) a wedding gift.
Phrasal verbs sample
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Some examples of sentences with phrasal verb, where you might not understand the meaning

1. Don’t hold out on me. I know too much.
2. WILL: And why did you think that, Marcus? MARCUS: Suzie said we hit it off.
3. Jack’s attitude towards his job really puts me off!
4. That’s so nice. See what they do, they fight, then they make up and it’s good.

phrasal verbs

Collocations | Idioms | Phrasal verbs | Words

(224 terms)
sack upto gather courage or energy for a difficult task
let outto rent
take outto remove from a packaging
pissed offangry
cut outto leave in a hurry
pick upto take someone to a vehicle
turn downto fold or prepare the bedsheets
freak outto lose control of emotion due to a fear
stop byto make a quick stop
get aroundto bypass
put outto place
stumble overto come closer walking like a drunk
step over (something or someone)to take a step in order to avoid something on the ground
spy on (somebody)to secretly watch somebody
clean upto make oneself neat and presentable
blow offto ignore (slang)
pull (oneself) togetherregain control of emotions
write downto write something on a piece of paper
stay awayto keep away at a distance
doll upto dress nicely for a special occasion
be up toplanning to do something
wiped outtotally destroyed
fire upto start the engine
go through withto survive a difficult situation
give into stop fighting and accepting that he/she cannot win
screw aroundto cheat a partner, to have sex outside relationship
pay offto return a debt
spout offto talk about something in a very boring and annoying way
book into make a reservation
kick offto start
throw aroundto talk about something without meaning it
figure outto think about a problem to solve it
get over (something)overcome hard obstacles
put up withto endure negative experience
tied up (at work)busy at work and unable to leave from office
pass onto transfer something to someone else
take up withto discuss
go byto pass (time)
throw upto vomit
help outto help out of some problem
count onto rely on, to trust
Piss off!Angrily saying someone to leave, Get away, Get lost
bring out ofto overcome some negative emotions
come alongslowly making progress, moving towards the goal
come upgetting closer, approaching
crack upto amuse
kick outto throw out by kicking
carry aroundto have a memory inside of an unpleasant experience
hone in on (something)to focus and move towards a target
drop bystop by, to visit
chase offto drive somebody or something away
work outto find a solution
turn off (something)switch off, disconnect the power
mark downto reduce an amount on a price tag (in store)
put on (something)dress something
scope outto examine thoroughly, to inspect
leave outto exclude
close into enclose, to come to an end
track downto find somebody after longer search
mess aroundto kill time by doing unplanned activities
throw outto force to leave
freak outto be excited, to lose control of emotions
pull upto bring closer
screw upto make a terrible mistake causing the things go wrong
work offto repay a debt by working
go awayto leave
slap aroundhit someone's face with a palm
take offto remove dress and get naked
fall outto fall from some place downwards
gobble downquickly eat large quantities of food
to be stood upwhen girlfriend or boyfriend does not come to a date
dry upto become dry, to get old
be into somethingto like something
pay offto bring a profit or benefit
change outchange something for something else
move outto move to a different place
sort outto solve a problem
get offto remove
suck outto remove by sucking
show aroundwhen somebody introduces new places to other person
man upto develop characteristics typical for man, such as courage, decisiveness
screw around withto play with emotions in a negative way
wait out (something)wait until something (usually negative) is over
look overto quickly explore, to examine
make it up toto compensate or repay a favor to somebody
go along (with someone or something)to follow, to cooperate
act outto act and repeat behavior according to some pattern
blow outto extinguish
live up toto fulfill the expectations or standards
stop byto make a quick stop
work outwhen things go OK at the end
run throughto quickly look at several options
finish upto complete, to finish
tone downto make something more moderate
get outto reach the public attention (information)
look aroundto look in all directions in order to search for something
ring upto record the amount of sold items on a cash register
go throughto experience a long difficult times
screw upto make a big mistake
get downto unleash emotions and do things without control
set upto prepare a trap
lean up against somebodyto rest the body against someone else
dig up (something)to get something from under the ground by digging, to excavate
boil off (something)evaporate by boiling
psyche intoconvince oneself into certain thoughts
get off mindto stop thinking about something
bring togetherto put together, to unite
hook upto start dating somebody
zone outto lose control under the influence of alcohol or drugs
weird outto become nervous, to start panicking
wig outto become very excited after using drugs or alcohol (slang)
get downto make depressed
go aheadphrase used to encourage someone to do something or to move forward
squeeze into do something, even when there is not much time
frown upondisapprove something with a frown
mess upto make a big mistake
turn outwhen something finally shows how it is
show upto arrive, to visit
live offto receive money from some source
track downto find somebody after longer search
go through (something)to browse or search through something
take awayto steal
firm upto confirm agreed information
turn onto prepare for intimacy
drive apartto divide
messed upconfused
leave behind (something)to remain as a result of something
tone downto make something more moderate
drag awaymove someone to a different location by force
run downto trace, to find, to chase
pay off to bring a profit or benefit
tear upto destroy by tearing
racked upunder the influence of alcohol or drugs
heat upto reheat
shut downto cancel, to force to stop
hang outto spend time
squeeze out to push somebody out from a position in order to get someone's benefits
take overto assume responsibility
bring upto mention some topic
knock offto reduce a price
cash inin casino, to change chips for cash
boot outto expel from a position, to force to leave
go outto meet somebody as a girlfriend or a boyfriend
look forward to (something)to anticipate/await something eagerly
hold offto wait some time, to delay
beat downto attack physically
let outto let somebody go/leave
load up (something)to put a lot of stuff in certain place
pull offto achieve or make something happen
carry outto accomplish, to perform
color outin casino, to change lower denominated chips for higher denominated chips, color up
keep something upto continue doing something (usually well)
lay outto say something straight and clearly
shut upbe quiet
find outto discover, to gain some kind of knowledge
come overto visit somebody
cramp upto suffer cramps
get overto recover from a difficult situation
make something upto lie about something using false explanation
pass alongto deliver information to other person
gross outto have a feeling of disgust
mop upto clear with the mop
hold outto wait
break upto end a relationship
keep it downto talk quietly
give upto stop trying
come overto visit somebody
listen uplisten carefully
tuck awayto eat a lot of food
come byto visit, to show up
flash bygo (fly) very quickly
cut offto separate by cutting
cheat on somebodyto be unfaithful, having another relationship
pull outto get something or someone from previous place
stay away fromto avoid somebody
make outto suggest something, to make a false impression
play outto finish a play
pay backto return a debt
be fed upto have enough of something
turn into change to (something else)
Get off me!Leave me alone!
blown away to be amazed, impressed
throw downto do something in a big way, to contribute a lot of money
rip offto rob, to steal
hit on (somebody)to start a conversation with someone in order to establish a sexual relationship
color up (slang)in casino, to change lower denominated chips for higher denominated chips
storm outto angrily leave a place
hang upto end a call
hold outsurvive in difficult circumstances
work outto solve an issue, to find a solution
numbers check outnumbers are exactly as expected
ask outto ask someone for a date
figure outthink about something thoroughly
watch overto protect someone making sure they are safe
Cut it out!Stop doing it!
slack offto slow down or decrease an effort
throw aroundto talk about something without meaning it
freshen upto regain vitality
tuck into hide something (by tucking)
plan on (something)to have something planned
go at somethingto start doing something
pass byto move around or past something or someone
map outto make a detailed plan, to plan something thoroughly
hang outdoing nothing, killing time
run outwhen supplies get exhausted
make up toto compensate something to someone
break upto end a relationship
turn outwhen something finally shows how it is
grope awayto touch another person with hands
root for (someone)to support, to applaud, to cheer for somebody
lock (oneself) indiscontinue contacts with people around you
chilled upcalm, relaxed
sneak outsilently leave the place so that nobody knows about it
boil upto cook by boiling in water
cap offto conclude or finish something
move outto move to a different place
scare awayto make someone to run away with fear
move into start living in a new place
pile upaccumulate
let downto disappoint
turn downto reject, to refuse
mull overto think carefully about something over certain period of time
back downto withdraw from the position or opinion
stand byto be alert and awaiting further instructions