Verb-Particle Combinations: Phrasal Verbs, Prepositional Verbs & Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs

Phrasal verbs are a type of verb that consists of a verb and a particle (or two particles). This lesson becomes so tricky that the particle can change the meaning of the verb. Phrasal verbs rely on figurative meanings1 and are often more idiomatic and expressive than one-word verbs. Let's take a look to some examples.

  1. "Stir up" is a phrasal verb made up of the verb "stir" and the particle "up." The particle "up" changes the meaning of the verb "stir" from "to mix something together" to "to cause something to become more active or intense."
    • The politician tried to stir up support for his campaign.
    • The wind stirred up the dust.
  2. "Move on" is a phrasal verb made up of the verb "move" and the particle "on." The particle "on" changes the meaning of the verb "move" from "to change position" to "to start doing or discussing something new."
    • After the break, we will move on to the next topic.
    • It's time to move on from this relationship.
  3. "Stay up" is a phrasal verb made up of the verb "stay" and the particle "up." The particle "up" changes the meaning of the verb "stay" from "to remain in a place" to "to remain awake."
    • I stayed up late to watch the movie.
    • The children were allowed to stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve.
    • I am going to stay up all night to study for my exam.
  4. "Throw away" is a phrasal verb made up of the verb "throw" and the preposition "away." The preposition "away" changes the meaning of the verb "throw" from "to propel something through the air" to "to get rid of something."
    • I threw away the old newspaper.
    • Don't throw away your chances of success.
    • He threw away his career by making a bad decision.

Although it seems simple, in fact, it is not that simple like you think. Phrasal verbs can be confusing for learners, because the meaning of a phrasal verb can change depending on the preposition that is used.

For example, the phrasal verb "turn in" can have two different meanings: (1). To go to bed, and (2) To hand in an assignment or report.

The meaning of the phrasal verb "turn in" depends on the preposition that is used. If you say "I'm going to turn in early tonight," you mean that you are going to go to bed early. But if you say "I have to turn in my paper tomorrow," you mean that you have to hand in your assignment tomorrow.

The phrasal verbs "turn off," "turn on," and "turn up" also have different meanings depending on the preposition that is used.

  • Turn off: 1. To stop something from working.; and 2.To ignore someone or something.
  • Turn on: 1.To start something working.; and 2.To make someone angry or upset.
  • Turn up: 1. To increase the volume of something.; and 2. To arrive at a place.

Let's take a look to the following sentences which all use the phrasal verb "turn off" with different prepositions, but they have different meanings.

  1. I turned off the lights before I left the house.
    • It means I stopped the lights from working
  2. He turned off from the main road.
    • It means He took a different route than the main road.

By now, you have noticed that learning phrasal verbs is crucial for your English. In learning phrasal verbs, it is important to be aware of the different meanings of phrasal verbs, more especially in formal writing.

  root((Phrasal Verbs))
      Take aback
      Take after
      Take apart
      Take away
        Take away from
      Take down
      Get across
      Get after
      Get ahead
      Get along
      Get around to
      Make off
      Get out
      Make out
      Make over
      Move away
      Move in
      Move on
      Move out
      Move towards
      Throw away
      Throw in
      Throw out
      Throw up

Garnier & Schmitt (2014)2 provide the list of 150 common phrasal verbs called frequency ranking order (in this page is termed as FRO - see table below). This means that the following list of phrasal verbs is essential for understanding and using English effectively.

FRO Base Form Past Verb Past Participle Present Participle Definitions Example
1 Go on Went on Gone on Going on 1. To continue or proceed with an activity, task, or event.

2. To happen or occur.

3. To express disbelief or surprise and ask someone to provide more information or explanation.
1. The show must go on despite the technical difficulties.

2. What's going on in the class today?

3. He said he won the match, and I asked him to go on and tell me more.
2 Pick up Picked up Picked up Picking up 1. To lift or raise something from a surface or location.

2. To improve or recover in condition, strength, or speed.

3. To start or continue an activity or task that was previously paused or abandoned.

4. To acquire new skills, knowledge, or habits.

5. To collect or gather something, often from a specific place.
1. Please pick up the books that fell off the shelf.

2. After a week of rest, he's starting to pick up his energy.

3. Let's pick up where we left off in our discussion.

4. She decided to pick up a new hobby and learn how to paint.

5. He picks up groceries from the store on his way home.
3 Come back Came back Come back Coming back 1. To return to a place or location.

2. To recover or regain a particular condition, feeling, or state.

3. To reply or respond to something, often in a conversation or argument.

4. To become popular or relevant again after a period of decline or obscurity.
1. He promised to come back home before dinner.

2. She's slowly starting to come back to her usual self after the illness.

3. When he insulted her, she had a sharp comeback.

4. Vinyl records have come back in style among music enthusiasts.
4 Come up Came up Come up Coming up 1. To approach or move closer to someone or something.

2. To be mentioned or discussed in a conversation, meeting, or presentation.

3. To arise or occur, often unexpectedly.

4. To become available or be scheduled in the near future.
1. He came up to me and introduced himself.

2. The topic of climate change came up during the conference.

3. A sudden problem came up, and we had to find a solution quickly.

4. The new movie is coming up in theaters next week.
5 Go back Went back Gone back Going back 1. To return to a previous place or location.

2. To revert to a previous condition or state.

3. To recall or reminisce about past experiences or memories.
1. She decided to go back to her hometown after many years away.

2. The weather was warm yesterday, but it's going back to being cold today.

3. They often go back to the stories of their childhood when they get together.
6 Find out Found out Found out Finding out 1. To discover or obtain information or facts about something through investigation, research, or inquiry.

2. To learn the truth about a situation or someone's actions.
1. I need to find out more about this new project before I can make a decision.

2. She found out that her friend had been keeping a secret from her.
7 Come out Came out Come out Coming out 1. To emerge or appear from a concealed or hidden place.

2. To be published or released, often in the context of media, literature, or products.

3. To publicly disclose or reveal something about oneself, such as one's sexual orientation or beliefs.
1. The cat finally came out from under the bed.

2. The new novel by the famous author will come out next month.

3. She decided to come out to her family as non-binary.
8 Go out Went out Gone out Going out 1. To leave one's current location or residence, typically for social or recreational activities.

2. To be extinguished or no longer burning, in the context of flames or lights.

3. To be in a romantic or social relationship with someone.
1. They often go out for dinner on weekends.

2. The candle went out, and the room was dark.

3. They have been going out for three months now.
9 Point out Pointed out Pointed out Pointing out 1. To identify, indicate, or bring attention to something or someone, often by using a finger or hand gesture.

2. To mention or highlight something in a conversation or discussion.
1. She pointed out the beautiful sunset over the horizon.

2. During the meeting, he pointed out several key issues that needed to be addressed.
10 Grow up Grew up Grown up Growing up 1. To mature and develop physically, mentally, and emotionally from childhood to adulthood.

2. To spend one's childhood and formative years in a particular place or environment.
1. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

2. He grew up in a small town in the Midwest.
11 Set up Set up Set up Setting up 1. To establish or create something, such as a business, organization, system, or event.

2. To arrange or assemble things or equipment for a specific purpose or function.
1. They decided to set up a new company together.

2. He's busy setting up the stage for the concert tonight.
12 Turn out Turned out Turned out Turning out 1. To result in a particular way or have a particular outcome, often after an event or situation has concluded.

2. To attend or appear at a social gathering, event, or place.

3. To produce or manufacture something, often in large quantities.
1. The party turned out to be a great success.

2. Many people turned out to support the charity event.

3. The factory turns out thousands of cars every month.
13 Get out Got out Got out Getting out 1. To leave a place, location, or situation.

2. To remove or extract something from a container, surface, or object.

3. To express disbelief, annoyance, or frustration, often in a confrontational manner.
1. Please get out of the room so I can clean it.

2. He tried to get the stain out of the fabric.

3. Get out! I can't believe you did that!
14 Come in Came in Come in Coming in 1. To enter a place or location.

2. To become available or be received, often in the context of information or messages.
1. Please come in and make yourself comfortable.

2. The news just came in, and it's not looking good.
15 Take on Took on Taken on Taking on 1. To accept or agree to do a task, responsibility, or challenge.

2. To acquire or assume a particular role, identity, or appearance.

3. To confront or deal with a difficult situation or opponent.
1. She decided to take on the role of team leader.

2. The actor took on a completely different persona for the role.

3. The company is ready to take on the challenges of the competitive market.
16 Give up Gave up Given up Giving up 1. To quit or stop doing something, often because it is difficult, challenging, or no longer worth the effort.

2. To surrender or yield in a contest, competition, or conflict.
1. He didn't give up even when faced with setbacks.

2. The team decided to give up the game after falling behind by a large margin.
17 Make up Made up Made up Making up 1. To invent or fabricate something, often a story or excuse that is not true.

2. To reconcile or resolve a disagreement or conflict with someone.

3. To apply cosmetics or beauty products to one's face.
1. He tried to make up an excuse for being late.

2. After their argument, they decided to make up and be friends again.

3. She likes to make up in a natural and subtle way.
18 End up Ended up Ended up Ending up 1. To eventually reach a particular state, condition, or result, often unexpectedly or as a consequence of previous actions.

2. To conclude or finish in a certain way or place.
1. Despite his initial plans, he ended up staying home for the weekend.

2. The road trip ended up at a beautiful mountain resort.
19 Get back Got back Got back Getting back 1. To return to a previous location or state.

2. To recover or regain something that was lost or taken away.
1. They will get back from their vacation next week.

2. I need to get back my lost wallet.
20 Look up Looked up Looked up Looking up 1. To search for information or details, often in reference materials, books, or online sources.

2. To improve or become more positive, as in a situation or someone's mood.
1. You can look up the meaning of that word in the dictionary.

2. After some time, things started to look up for the company.
21 Figure out Figured out Figured out Figuring out 1. To solve or understand a problem, situation, or mystery by thinking or analyzing.

2. To determine or estimate a particular value or amount.
1. She couldn't figure out how to use the new software.

2. Can you figure out the total cost of the project?
22 Sit down Sat down Sat down Sitting down 1. To take a seat in a chair or on a surface.

2. To have a formal meeting or discussion, often with others.
1. Please sit down and make yourself comfortable.

2. They decided to sit down and discuss the matter at the conference.
23 Get up Got up Gotten up Getting up 1. To rise from a sitting or lying position, typically when getting out of bed or a chair.

2. To stand or become upright after being in a lower position.
1. I usually get up early in the morning.

2. He got up from his desk and walked to the window.
24 Take out Took out Taken out Taking out 1. To remove something from a particular place or container.

2. To go to a restaurant or order food for consumption outside the restaurant.
1. Please take out the trash when you leave.

2. They decided to take out pizza for dinner.
25 Come on Came on Come on Coming on 1. To encourage or urge someone to do something, often used to motivate or persuade.

2. To start or begin, especially in reference to a process or event.
1. Come on, you can do it!

2. The show is coming on in a few minutes.
26 Go down Went down Gone down Going down 1. To move or travel from a higher place or level to a lower one.

2. To decrease or decline in value, quality, or quantity.

3. To be remembered or recorded for future reference.
1. The elevator is going down to the ground floor.

2. The prices of these goods have gone down recently.

3. This event will go down in history.
27 Show up Showed up Shown up Showing up 1. To arrive or appear at a place or event, often when expected or required.

2. To become visible or evident, especially in the context of a problem or issue.
1. He promised to show up at the meeting on time.

2. Issues like this tend to show up when you least expect them.
28 Take off Took off Taken off Taking off 1. To remove something, such as an article of clothing or an object, from a person or surface.

2. To become airborne, as an aircraft during departure.

3. To experience sudden and significant success or popularity.
1. Please take off your shoes before entering.

2. The plane took off from the runway.

3. His career really took off after that movie.
29 Work out Worked out Worked out Working out 1. To engage in physical exercise or fitness activities.

2. To find a solution or resolve a problem through effort and analysis.

3. To result in a particular way or outcome, especially after a period of time or effort.
1. I usually work out at the gym in the evenings.

2. Let's work out this math problem together.

3. Hopefully, everything will work out in the end.
30 Stand up Stood up Stood up Standing up 1. To rise from a sitting or lying position and assume an upright stance.

2. To speak or act in support of a particular cause, idea, or person.
1. Please stand up when the national anthem is played.

2. She decided to stand up for her beliefs.
31 Come down Came down Come down Coming down 1. To move or descend from a higher place or position to a lower one.

2. To decrease in intensity, quantity, or significance.

3. To be handed down or passed on, as in a tradition or information.
1. The rain started to come down heavily.

2. The price of the product has come down recently.

3. This story has come down through generations.
32 Go ahead Went ahead Gone ahead Going ahead 1. To proceed or continue with an action or task.

2. To give permission or approval for someone to do something.
1. You can go ahead and start without me.

2. The manager decided to go ahead with the project.
33 Go up Went up Gone up Going up 1. To move or travel to a higher place or position.

2. To increase in value, quantity, or level.
1. They decided to go up the mountain for a hike.

2. The prices of houses have gone up in this area.
34 Look back Looked back Looked back Looking back 1. To review or reflect on past events or experiences.

2. To turn one's gaze in the direction from which one came or in the opposite direction.
1. Let's take a moment to look back on all that we've achieved.

2. He looked back to see who was following him.
35 Wake up Woke up Woken up Waking up 1. To become conscious and alert after sleeping.

2. To cause someone to become awake.
1. I usually wake up at 4 AM.

2. Please wake me up at 2 PM tomorrow.
36 Carry out Carried out Carried out Carrying out 1. To perform or complete a task, action, or objective.

2. To execute or implement a plan or decision.
1. We need to carry out the instructions exactly as stated.

2. The company plans to carry out a market research study.
37 Take over Took over Taken over Taking over 1. To assume control or responsibility for something, often from someone else.

2. To become dominant or prevalent.
1. She will take over as the new CEO next month.

2. The new fashion trend has taken over the industry.
38 Hold up Held up Held up Holding up 1. To delay or impede the progress of something.

2. To support or lift something up physically.
1. Traffic was held up due to the accident.

2. He held up the heavy box for several minutes.
39 Pull out Pulled out Pulled out Pulling out 1. To remove something from a particular place or position.

2. To withdraw or depart, often from a commitment or situation.
1. He decided to pull out the chair and sit down.

2. The company had to pull out of the project due to budget constraints.
40 Turn around Turned around Turned around Turning around 1. To change direction and face the opposite way.

2. To improve a situation, especially after a period of difficulty or decline.
1. She asked him to turn around so she could see his face.

2. The company managed to turn around its financial situation and become profitable again.
41 Take up Took up Taken up Taking up 1. To begin a new activity, hobby, or pursuit.

2. To occupy space or time.
1. She decided to take up painting as a hobby.

2. This project will take up most of my day.
42 Look down Looked down Looked down Looking down 1. To direct one's gaze downward, typically to see what is below.

2. To view or consider someone or something as inferior or with disdain.
1. He looked down and noticed a small object on the ground.

2. It's not fair to look down on people who are less fortunate.
43 Put up Put up Put up Putting up 1. To place or position something in a higher position or location.

2. To construct or assemble something, such as a building or structure.

3. To tolerate or endure a difficult situation or person.

4. To offer or suggest something, such as an idea or proposal.
1. She decided to put up a new painting in the living room.

2. The company plans to put up a new office building.

3. I can't put up with his rude behavior any longer.

4. He put up the idea of organizing a charity event.
44 Bring back Brought back Brought back Bringing back 1. To return with something or someone to the original or a specific location.

2. To reintroduce or revive something, such as a trend or tradition.
1. She went to the store to bring back some groceries.

2. They decided to bring back the annual neighborhood picnic.
45 Bring up Brought up Brought up Bringing up 1. To raise or rear a child.

2. To introduce a topic or issue for discussion.

3. To mention or remind someone of something.
1. They did their best to bring up their children in a loving environment.

2. He decided to bring up the issue of budget cuts during the meeting.

3. She brought up the idea of going on a vacation.
46 Look out Looked out Looked out Looking out 1. To be watchful and attentive to potential danger or problems.

2. To watch for or anticipate something in order to take action or avoid harm.
1. Look out! There's a car coming.

2. He always looks out for opportunities to invest in promising startups.
47 Bring in Brought in Brought in Bringing in 1. To introduce something new or different.

2. To earn or generate income or profit.
1. The company plans to bring in innovative changes to its product line.

2. The new marketing strategy should bring in more customers.
48 Open up Opened up Opened up Opening up 1. To begin or start something, often used when discussing opportunities or possibilities.

2. To become more communicative or revealing, especially about one's thoughts or feelings.

3. To unlock or unfasten something that is closed.
1. The new job will open up many career opportunities for her.

2. He finally opened up and talked about his childhood.

3. Can you open up the door, please?
49 Check out Checked out Checked out Checking out 1. To investigate or examine something to gather information or assess its quality.

2. To leave a hotel or place of accommodation after settling the bill.

3. To look at or observe someone or something, often casually.
1. You should check out that new restaurant downtown.

2. We need to check out of the hotel by noon.

3. She checked out the latest fashion trends in the magazine.
50 Move on Moved on Moved on Moving on 1. To continue or progress forward, often used when leaving a difficult or unpleasant situation behind.

2. To shift one's focus or attention to something new or different.
1. After the breakup, she decided it was time to move on with her life.

2. It's important to move on to the next stage of the project.
51 Put out Put out Put out Putting out 1. To extinguish or quench something that is on fire.

2. To make an effort or inconvenience oneself to help or accommodate someone.

3. To publish or release something, such as a book or a statement.
1. He quickly put out the small fire in the kitchen.

2. She was kind enough to put out extra chairs for the guests.

3. The author plans to put out a new novel next year.
52 Look around Looked around Looked around Looking around 1. To examine or explore a place or area, often with the intention of finding something or gaining knowledge.

2. To consider or evaluate a situation, options, or possibilities.
1. She decided to look around the city to find a nice place to eat.

2. Before making a decision, it's essential to look around and weigh your options.
53 Catch up Caught up Caught up Catching up 1. To reach the same level or pace as someone or something that was ahead.

2. To make up for lost time or progress quickly.

3. To have a conversation with someone to find out about their recent experiences or news.
1. She ran to catch up with her friends who were already ahead.

2. He needed to catch up on his assignments after missing a week of school.

3. Let's meet for coffee and catch up.
54 Go in Went in Gone in Going in 1. To enter a place or location.

2. To become involved in a particular activity, situation, or course of action.
1. She decided to go in and see what was happening.

2. Are you ready to go in on this business venture with me?
55 Break down Broke down Broken down Breaking down 1. To stop functioning or operating correctly, often used when referring to machinery or vehicles.

2. To analyze or examine something in detail, often to understand its components or causes.

3. To lose control of one's emotions and start crying or become emotionally distressed.
1. The car broke down on the highway, and we had to call for help.

2. Let's break down the problem and identify its root causes.

3. She couldn't handle the stress anymore and broke down in tears.
56 Get off Got off Gotten off Getting off 1. To physically disembark from a vehicle or mode of transportation.

2. To escape punishment or consequences for something one has done.

3. To experience sexual gratification or achieve orgasm.
1. We need to get off the bus at the next stop.

2. He was lucky to get off with just a warning instead of a fine.

3. The intimate scene in the movie made some viewers uncomfortable.
57 Keep up Kept up Kept up Keeping up 1. To maintain the same pace or level as someone or something that is moving or progressing.

2. To stay informed about current events or developments.

3. To continue doing something without interruption.
1. She struggled to keep up with the faster runners during the race.

2. It's essential to keep up with the news to stay informed.

3. He managed to keep up his exercise routine even during his busy work schedule.
58 Put down Put down Put down Putting down 1. To place something on a surface.

2. To criticize or belittle someone or something.

3. To euthanize or kill an animal humanely.
1. Please put down the book on the table.

2. It's not right to constantly put down your colleagues in front of others.

3. Sadly, we had to put down our old dog when his health deteriorated.
59 Reach out Reached out Reached out Reaching out 1. To extend one's arm or hand in order to touch or grasp something.

2. To make an effort to communicate or establish contact with someone, often to offer help or support.

3. To strive to achieve or attain something.
1. She reached out and grabbed the book from the shelf.

2. He decided to reach out to his estranged friend and apologize.

3. The company is reaching out to new markets to expand its business.
60 Go off Went off Gone off Going off 1. To explode or burst, typically referring to explosives or alarms.

2. To become spoiled or inedible, often used for food.

3. To suddenly become very angry or lose one's temper.
1. The fireworks went off with a loud bang.

2. The milk has gone off, so don't drink it.

3. He tends to go off when things don't go his way.
61 Cut off Cut off Cut off Cutting off 1. To sever or disconnect something by cutting.

2. To interrupt or stop someone or something, often abruptly.

3. To isolate or make inaccessible.
1. He had to cut off a piece of the rope to free himself.

2. The phone call was cut off before I could finish speaking.

3. The floodwaters cut off the town from the rest of the region.
62 Turn back Turned back Turned back Turning back 1. To reverse one's direction and return from where one came.

2. To cause someone or something to reverse their course or decision.

3. To age or deteriorate, often used for time or the effects of aging.
1. We had to turn back because the bridge was closed.

2. She tried to turn him back from making a rash decision.

3. The clock can't be turned back, so make the most of your time.
63 Pull up Pulled up Pulled up Pulling up 1. To bring a vehicle or object to a stop.

2. To lift something upward.

3. To approach or arrive at a location, often in a vehicle.
1. He had to pull up the car to avoid hitting the obstacle.

2. She pulled up the window blinds to let in more light.

3. The bus will pull up at the station in a few minutes.
64 Set out Set out Set out Setting out 1. To start a journey or a task with a particular goal or intention.

2. To arrange or display things in a particular way.

3. To explain or present something in a clear and organized manner.
1. We set out on a road trip across the country.

2. She set out the ingredients for baking on the kitchen counter.

3. The report sets out the findings of our research.
65 Clean up Cleaned up Cleaned up Cleaning up 1. To make something clean and tidy by removing dirt, dust, or clutter.

2. To improve or restore a situation, often by resolving problems or mistakes.

3. To win decisively in a competition or game.
1. Let's clean up the living room before the guests arrive.

2. The new manager had to clean up the mess left by the previous administration.

3. The team managed to clean up in the championship game.
66 Shut down Shut down Shut down Shutting down 1. To close or stop the operation of a machine, system, or business.

2. To cease or put an end to something, often abruptly.

3. To become unresponsive or inactive, especially in the context of computers or electronics.
1. They had to shut down the factory for maintenance.

2. The authorities decided to shut down the illegal operation.

3. My computer tends to shut down unexpectedly.
67 Turn over Turned over Turned over Turning over 1. To rotate or flip something so that the other side is facing up or in a different position.

2. To transfer control, possession, or responsibility of something to someone else.

3. To generate or yield income, often in a business context.
1. Please turn over the page to continue reading.

2. The manager decided to turn over the project to a more experienced team.

3. The company's investments turned over significant profits last year.
68 Slow down Slowed down Slowed down Slowing down 1. To reduce speed or decrease the rate of motion.

2. To become less active or less rushed.

3. To calm down or become less intense, often used in emotional contexts.
1. Please slow down when approaching the intersection.

2. I need to slow down and take a break; I've been working non-stop.

3. Take a deep breath and slow down; there's no need to panic.
69 Wind up Wound up Wound up Winding up 1. To conclude or finish something, often in a particular way.

2. To tighten or twist a mechanical device, such as a clock or toy, by turning a key or handle.

3. To find oneself in a particular situation, often unexpectedly.
1. Let's wind up the meeting with some final remarks.

2. He wound up the old music box, and it played a nostalgic tune.

3. I never expected to wind up living in this small town.
70 Turn up Turned up Turned up Turning up 1. To appear or arrive, especially when unexpected.

2. To increase the volume or intensity of something, such as music or a device.

3. To find or discover something, often after searching for it.
1. She didn't RSVP, but she turned up at the party anyway. (RSVP is derived from the term Répondez s'il vous plaît, which is the French for 'Please respond' or 'Respond, if you please')

2. Can you turn up the heat in the room?

3. I finally turned up that book you were looking for.
71 Line up Lined up Lined up Lining up 1. To arrange people or objects in a straight line or in an orderly fashion.

2. To schedule or organize events, appointments, or tasks in a coordinated manner.

3. To identify or gather a group of potential candidates, suspects, or items for inspection.
1. Please line up in single file.

2. We need to line up the meetings for next week.

3. The police are trying to line up witnesses for the investigation.
72 Take back Took back Taken back Taking back 1. To retract or withdraw something that was said, offered, or given.

2. To return an item to the place where it came from, often because it is defective or unwanted.

3. To revisit or return to a place, especially a location from the past.
1. I didn't mean to offend you; I take back what I said.

2. I need to take back this shirt; it's the wrong size.

3. Let's take back a trip to our hometown for old times' sake.
73 Lay out Laid out Laid out Laying out 1. To arrange or spread something out in a systematic way.

2. To explain or present something clearly and in detail.

3. To prepare and display items, such as food or clothing, for a particular purpose or event.
1. Let's lay out the tools we need for the project.

2. He will lay out his plans for the new business during the meeting.

3. They laid out a delicious buffet for the party.
74 Go over Went over Gone over Going over 1. To review or examine something carefully, often to check for errors or understand it better.

2. To revisit or cross a particular area or location.

3. To discuss or explain something in detail with someone.
1. Please go over the report and make sure there are no mistakes.

2. We'll go over the bridge to get to the other side of the river.

3. Let's go over the new project requirements with the team.
75 Hang up Hung up Hung up Hanging up 1. To end a telephone call by disconnecting the phone.

2. To suspend or place something, such as clothes, on a hook or hanger.

3. To encounter an obstacle or delay in progress.
1. I'll hang up now; we can continue the conversation later.

2. Please hang up your coat in the closet.

3. The roadwork has caused traffic to hang up for hours.
76 Go through Went through Gone through Going through 1. To examine, investigate, or experience something thoroughly or in detail.

2. To endure or survive a difficult or challenging situation.

3. To follow a process or complete a series of actions or tasks.
1. We need to go through all the documents before the meeting.

2. She had to go through a lot of hardship to achieve her goals.

3. Let's go through the steps to set up the new software.
77 Hold on Held on Held on Holding on 1. To wait or pause for a short period of time.

2. To maintain a grip or grasp on something.

3. To endure or persevere through a difficult situation.
1. Please hold on while I check for your reservation.

2. He held on tightly to the railing as he climbed the stairs.

3. She's holding on despite facing many challenges in her life.
78 Pay off Paid off Paid off Paying off 1. To give someone the money that you owe them.

2. To result in success or a positive outcome, especially after hard work or effort.

3. To pay the final installment or complete a financial obligation.
1. I'll pay off my debt by the end of the month.

2. All the hours of studying paid off when she aced the exam.

3. We'll pay off the mortgage on the house next year.
79 Hold out Held out Held out Holding out 1. To extend or offer something to someone, typically in one's hand.

2. To resist or endure something, often against difficult circumstances or pressure.

3. To have hope or expectations for a positive outcome.
1. She held out her hand to greet the new arrival.

2. The soldiers held out against the enemy forces for weeks.

3. We'll hold out for a better offer before selling the house.
80 Break up Broke up Broken up Breaking up 1. To end a romantic relationship.

2. To separate into smaller pieces or parts.

3. To disperse or scatter a group of people or things.
1. They decided to break up after being together for five years.

2. You can break up the chocolate bar into smaller pieces to share.

3. The police had to break up the crowd that had gathered.
81 Bring out Brought out Brought out Bringing out 1. To reveal or make something known, often something hidden or unnoticed.

2. To produce or introduce a new product or publication to the public.

3. To enhance or emphasize a quality or characteristic.
1. Her speech brought out the truth about the incident.

2. The company plans to bring out a new line of smartphones next year.

3. The right lighting can bring out the colors in a painting.
82 Pull back Pulled back Pulled back Pulling back 1. To move away from a particular location or situation.

2. To withdraw or retreat from a position or course of action.
1. The troops had to pull back due to heavy enemy fire.

2. The company decided to pull back from the project due to budget constraints.
83 Hang on Hung on Hung on Hanging on 1. To hold onto something tightly.

2. To wait or delay for a short period.
1. He had to hang on to the railing to keep from falling.

2. Hang on for a moment; I'll be right back with your order.
84 Build up Built up Built up Building up 1. To develop or increase something gradually over time, such as strength, confidence, or a collection.

2. To accumulate or amass something, often referring to a stockpile or buildup of resources or materials.

3. To praise or promote something or someone, often in a positive way.
1. Regular exercise can help build up your physical stamina.

2. They've been able to build up a substantial savings account.

3. The company aims to build up its brand through advertising.
85 Throw out Threw out Thrown out Throwing out 1. To discard or get rid of something, usually because it's no longer useful or needed.

2. To expel or eject someone from a place.

3. To mention or propose something for consideration.

4. To reject or dismiss an idea or suggestion.
1. I need to throw out these old magazines; they're taking up too much space.

2. The bouncer threw out the unruly patrons from the bar.

3. Let me throw out an idea for our next project.

4. The committee decided to throw out the proposal due to budget constraints.
86 Hang on Hung on Hung on Hanging on 1. To grasp or hold something tightly.

2. To wait or remain in a state of expectation.

3. To continue to survive or endure despite challenges.

4. To keep talking on the phone during a call.
1. Hang on to the railing so you don't fall.

2. Can you hang on for a moment while I check the information?

3. The old bridge hung on for years despite the harsh weather.

4. I'll hang on while you get the manager on the line.
87 Put on Put on Put on Putting on 1. To dress oneself in clothing or accessories.

2. To apply makeup or cosmetics.

3. To start a piece of clothing, such as a coat or hat.

4. To act or feign a particular attitude or behavior.
1. I need to put on my coat; it's getting cold outside.

2. She takes her time putting on makeup before going out.

3. Put on your thinking cap and solve this problem.

4. Don't put on an act; just be yourself.
88 Get down Got down Gotten down Getting down 1. To descend from a higher position or level.

2. To lower something to a surface or ground.

3. To disembark from a vehicle or transportation.

4. To engage in a task or work seriously and diligently.

5. To feel depressed or sad.
1. Please get down from that ladder; it's not safe.

2. Get down the heavy box carefully.

3. We'll get down from the train at the next station.

4. Let's get down to business and finish this project.

5. He's been feeling down lately.
89 Come over Came over Come over Coming over 1. To visit or arrive at a specific place or location.

2. To suddenly experience a particular feeling or emotion.

3. To communicate an idea or message clearly and effectively.

4. To change sides or switch to a different perspective or opinion.
1. Can you come over to my house later?

2. A sense of calm came over her as she watched the sunset.

3. During the presentation, make sure to come over the key points.

4. After hearing the arguments, he decided to come over to our point of view.
90 Move in Moved in Moved in Moving in 1. To start living in a new residence.

2. To get closer to a particular target or goal.

3. To take a position or become involved in a situation or group.
1. They decided to move in together after getting married.

2. The company is trying to move in on the smartphone market.

3. He's planning to move in on the negotiations and offer his perspective.
91 Start out Started out Started out Starting out 1. To begin a journey or a process.

2. To begin a particular career, activity, or phase in life.
1. We'll start out early in the morning to avoid traffic.

2. He started out as a trainee but quickly rose through the ranks.
92 Call out Called out Called out Calling out 1. To shout or say something loudly, typically to get someone's attention.

2. To publicly criticize or denounce someone or something.
1. I had to call out to him from across the street.

2. The activists decided to call out the government's actions in a public statement.
93 Sit up Sat up Sat up Sitting up 1. To rise from a lying or reclining position to a sitting position.

2. To be attentive and alert, often used in a figurative sense.
1. She sat up in bed when she heard a noise in the night.

2. During the lecture, he sat up and took notes to stay engaged.
94 Turn down Turned down Turned down Turning down 1. To refuse or reject an offer, invitation, or request.

2. To decrease the volume or intensity of something, such as sound or heat.

3. To fold or bend something downward.
1. Unfortunately, she had to turn down the job offer due to scheduling conflicts.

2. Please turn down the music; it's too loud.

3. He decided to turn down the corner of the page to mark his place in the book.
95 Back up Backed up Backed up Backing up 1. To make a copy of data or files for safekeeping.

2. To provide support or help.

3. To reverse or move backward, especially in a vehicle.
1. Make sure to back up your important documents regularly.

2. The team will back up the project with additional resources.

3. He had to back up the car to park it in the tight space.
96 Put back Put back Put back Putting back 1. To return something to its original place or position.

2. To postpone or reschedule an event or task.

3. To restore something to a previous condition or state.
1. Please put the books back on the shelf when you're done.

2. They had to put back the meeting to next week due to scheduling conflicts.

3. The renovation will put back the house to its original design.
97 Send out Sent out Sent out Sending out 1. To dispatch or transmit something, often by mail or electronically.

2. To emit or radiate a signal, sound, or scent.

3. To distribute or distribute widely, such as information or invitations.
1. I will send out the invitations to the party tomorrow.

2. The lighthouse sends out a powerful beam of light.

3. The company sends out a monthly newsletter to its subscribers.
98 Get in Got in Gotten in Getting in 1. To enter or access a place, vehicle, or location.

2. To be accepted or become involved in a group or activity.

3. To arrive at a destination, especially by traveling.

4. To successfully make contact with someone, usually by phone or email.
1. Please get in the car; we're going to the store.

2. He wanted to get in on the project because it seemed exciting.

3. The flight will get in around noon.

4. I'll try to get in touch with her and let you know.
99 Blow up Blew up Blown up Blowing up 1. To explode or cause something to explode.

2. To become very angry or emotional.

3. To enlarge or inflate something, like a balloon.

4. To exaggerate or make something seem more important than it is.
1. The engineers had to blow up the old bridge to build a new one.

2. He blew up at his colleague during the meeting.

3. She used a pump to blow up the balloons for the party.

4. The media tends to blow up minor issues into major controversies.
100 Carry on Carried on Carried on Carrying on 1. To continue doing something.

2. To behave in a certain way, especially when it's not appropriate or sensible.

3. To carry luggage onto a plane or transport it from one place to another.

4. To maintain or support something, like a tradition or a legacy.
1. We need to carry on with our work to meet the deadline.

2. Despite the challenges, she insisted on carrying on with her plan.

3. Passengers are allowed to carry on one small bag.

4. It's important to carry on the family tradition of giving back to the community.
101 Set off Set off Set off Setting off 1. To start a journey or trip.

2. To cause something, such as an alarm or explosion, to start or go off.

3. To trigger a reaction or event.
1. We plan to set off on our vacation early tomorrow morning.

2. The fireworks are scheduled to set off at midnight.

3. His careless comment set off a heated argument.
102 Keep on Kept on Kept on Keeping on 1. To continue doing something without stopping.

2. To persist or persevere in a task or activity.
1. Despite the challenges, she kept on working towards her goal.

2. The team decided to keep on searching for a solution.
103 Run out Ran out Run out Running out 1. To deplete or exhaust a supply of something, usually completely.

2. To leave a place quickly, often in a hurry.

3. To expire or become invalid, as in documents or licenses.

4. To extend beyond a certain limit or point.
1. We've run out of milk, so we need to buy some more.

2. She had to run out of the building when the fire alarm went off.

3. My passport has run out, so I need to renew it.

4. His patience eventually ran out after waiting for hours.
104 Make out Made out Made out Making out 1. To engage in passionate kissing and caressing.

2. To discern or understand something, often with difficulty.

3. To represent or describe something, typically in writing or drawing.

4. To succeed or progress, especially in difficult circumstances.
1. They were making out in the park when it started raining.

2. I can't quite make out what that sign says from here.

3. The artist made out the details of the landscape in his painting.

4. Despite the challenges, they managed to make out alright in the end.
105 Shut up Shut up Shut up Shutting up 1. To stop talking or become quiet.

2. Used as a rude or impolite way to tell someone to be quiet.
1. I wish you would shut up for a moment so I can concentrate.

2. He told her to shut up when she wouldn't stop talking during the movie.
106 Turn off Turned off Turned off Turning off 1. To stop the operation or flow of something, such as a device or a light.

2. To lose interest or enthusiasm for something.
1. Please turn off the lights before leaving the room.

2. The boring presentation made me turn off and start daydreaming.
107 Bring about Brought about Brought about Bringing about 1. To cause or make something happen.

2. To create a particular situation or condition.
1. The new regulations will bring about significant changes in the industry.

2. Their hard work and dedication brought about a positive transformation in the community.
108 Step back Stepped back Stepped back Stepping back 1. To move backward, away from something.

2. To take a break or pause from a situation or activity to reconsider or evaluate it.
1. I had to step back to avoid getting hit by the swinging door.

2. It's essential to step back and assess the situation before making any decisions.
109 Lay down Laid down Laid down Laying down 1. To place something in a horizontal position, typically on a surface.

2. To establish rules, principles, or guidelines.
1. She asked me to lay down the book on the table.

2. The company decided to lay down a new set of policies for employee conduct.
110 Bring down Brought down Brought down Bringing down 1. To cause something or someone to fall or collapse.

2. To reduce or lower something, such as prices, costs, or expectations.

3. To make someone feel sad or depressed.
1. The demolition team used explosives to bring down the old building.

2. The company decided to bring down the prices to attract more customers.

3. The news of the accident brought down everyone's spirits.
111 Stand out Stood out Stood out Standing out 1. To be easily noticeable or distinguishable from others due to being different, unique, or exceptional.

2. To excel or be outstanding in a particular field or activity.
1. Her bright red dress really made her stand out at the party.

2. His academic achievements have helped him stand out among his peers.
112 Come along Came along Come along Coming along 1. To make progress or advance, often referring to a project, plan, or journey.

2. To accompany someone to a particular place or event when invited.
1. The construction of the new bridge is coming along nicely.

2. Would you like to come along to the movie with us?
113 Play out Played out Played out Playing out 1. To unfold or develop, especially a situation, in a particular way over time.

2. To act out or perform a scene, scenario, or role, often in a dramatic or theatrical context.
1. The political drama played out on the world stage for months.

2. The actors played out a thrilling confrontation in the final scene of the movie.
114 Break out Broke out Broken out Breaking out 1. To suddenly start or erupt, usually referring to something negative or undesirable, such as a fire, war, or disease outbreak.

2. To escape from a place, often forcibly or illegally.

3. To develop skin blemishes like acne or rashes.
1. A fire broke out in the old building overnight.

2. Several prisoners attempted to break out of the jail, but only a few succeeded.

3. Stress can sometimes cause people to break out with acne.
115 Go around Went around Gone around Going around 1. To move or travel to different places, often in a circular or indirect route.

2. To be sufficient or adequate for a particular purpose.

3. To circulate or spread, as information or news.
1. We'll need to go around the mountain to reach the other side.

2. Is there enough food to go around for everyone?

3. Rumors about the incident quickly went around the office.
116 Walk out Walked out Walked out Walking out 1. To leave a place, especially suddenly or as a form of protest.

2. To stop working as a form of protest or strike.
1. The employees decided to walk out of the meeting in protest.

2. The workers walked out demanding better working conditions.
117 Get through Got through Gotten through Getting through 1. To successfully complete or finish something, often something challenging or difficult.

2. To make contact or communicate with someone, especially by phone.

3. To endure or survive a difficult situation.
1. She managed to get through the tough exam with a lot of hard work.

2. I couldn't get through to him on the phone; he must be busy.

3. The family helped each other get through the loss of their loved one.
118 Hold back Held back Held back Holding back 1. To restrain or keep someone or something from moving forward.

2. To refrain from doing something, often due to hesitation or fear.

3. To conceal or keep secret information or feelings.
1. The police had to hold back the crowd from entering the restricted area.

2. She wanted to speak her mind but held back out of respect.

3. He held back his true feelings about the situation.
119 Write down Wrote down Written down Writing down 1. To record information by writing it on paper or another surface.

2. To make a note or jot down something for future reference.
1. Please write down the important points from the meeting.

2. I need to write down this phone number before I forget it.
120 Move back Moved back Moved back Moving back 1. To go or relocate in the opposite direction of where you were.

2. To retreat or withdraw from a position or situation.
1. I had to move back a few steps to make room for the others.

2. When the situation became too dangerous, the troops were ordered to move back.
121 Fill out Filled out Filled out Filling out 1. To complete a form or document by providing required information or details.

2. To make something appear larger or fuller by adding substance or material.
1. Please fill out this application form with your personal information.

2. She used padding to fill out the costume and make it fit perfectly.
122 Sit back Sat back Sat back Sitting back 1. To relax in a seated position, often while observing or not taking an active role.

2. To wait patiently for a situation to develop or unfold.
1. After a long day, he likes to sit back in his favorite chair and unwind.

2. We'll just have to sit back and see how things progress.
123 Rule out Ruled out Ruled out Ruling out 1. To eliminate or exclude something as a possibility or option.

2. To reject or dismiss a potential course of action.
1. The doctor will conduct tests to rule out any serious medical conditions.

2. We had to rule out that idea because it was too expensive.
124 Move up Moved up Moved up Moving up 1. To advance or progress to a higher position, level, or rank.

2. To shift or relocate to a higher position or place.
1. She quickly moved up the corporate ladder due to her hard work and dedication.

2. Let's move up to the front row so we can see the stage better.
125 Pick out Picked out Picked out Picking out 1. To choose or select something from a group or collection.

2. To identify or notice something among others.

3. To distinguish or recognize someone or something visually or audibly.
1. I'll let you pick out a movie for us to watch tonight.

2. Can you pick out the key details from this document?

3. He could easily pick her voice out from the crowd.
126 Take down Took down Taken down Taking down 1. To remove something from a higher position.

2. To record or write down information.

3. To defeat or bring down an opponent or enemy.
1. Please take down the decorations after the party.

2. I'll take down the minutes of the meeting.

3. The champion boxer was finally taken down by a young contender.
127 Get on Got on Gotten on Getting on 1. To board a vehicle or mode of transportation.

2. To have a good working relationship with someone.

3. To continue with a task or activity.

4. To progress in age or experience.
1. We need to get on the bus before it leaves.

2. I get on well with my colleagues at work.

3. Let's get on with the project.

4. As you get on in years, you gain more wisdom.
128 Give back Gave back Given back Giving back 1. To return something to its owner or the place it came from.

2. To reciprocate or return a favor or gesture.
1. Please give back the book when you're done reading it.

2. He wanted to give back the kindness they had shown him.
129 Hand over Handed over Handed over Handing over 1. To transfer or relinquish something to another person or authority.

2. To surrender or yield control or possession of something.
1. He had to hand over his passport at the border.

2. The company decided to hand over the project to a more experienced team.
130 Sum up Summed up Summed up Summing up 1. To provide a brief summary or overview of something.

2. To condense or state the main points or conclusion of a discussion or presentation.
1. Can you please sum up the main findings of the report?

2. In conclusion, to sum up, we need to prioritize safety above all else.
131 Move out Moved out Moved out Moving out 1. To leave a place, especially a residence, in order to live elsewhere.

2. To vacate or exit from a particular location or area.
1. They decided to move out of the city and into the countryside.

2. The tenants will move out of the apartment by the end of the month.
132 Come off Came off Come off Coming off 1. To succeed or achieve a desired result, often in a performance or competition.

2. To detach or be removed from something.
1. The team worked hard, and their plan to win the game came off perfectly.

2. The label on the package came off during shipping.
133 Pass on Passed on Passed on Passing on 1. To give something to someone else, often because you don't want or need it.

2. To transmit or convey information or a message to others.
1. She decided to pass on the dessert because she was full.

2. Please pass on the news about the meeting to your colleagues.
134 Take in Took in Taken in Taking in 1. To allow someone or something to enter a place or to become part of a group or situation.

2. To understand or absorb information or knowledge.

3. To deceive or trick someone.

4. To provide shelter or accommodation for someone, often temporarily.
1. The theater can take in a large audience.

2. She's very intelligent and quickly takes in new concepts.

3. He tried to take her in with his elaborate story.

4. The local church took in several homeless individuals during the winter.
135 Set down Set down Set down Setting down 1. To place something in a particular position or location.

2. To write or record something, typically in a document or on paper.

3. To establish rules, regulations, or guidelines.

4. To land an aircraft.
1. Please set the package down on the table.

2. I'll set down the details of the meeting in the minutes.

3. The company decided to set down strict safety protocols.

4. The pilot will set the plane down at the airport shortly.
136 Sort out Sorted out Sorted out Sorting out 1. To organize or arrange things in a systematic manner.

2. To resolve or deal with a problem or situation successfully.

3. To clarify or understand something after careful examination.

4. To separate or categorize items or information.
1. Let's sort out these papers and file them properly.

2. The team managed to sort out the technical issues before the presentation.

3. It took me a while to sort out the meaning of that complex passage.

4. I need to sort out the books on this shelf by genre.
137 Follow up Followed up Followed up Following up 1. To pursue or continue a task, action, or inquiry to its conclusion.

2. To check on the progress or status of something previously discussed or initiated.
1. The detective promised to follow up on the leads.

2. After the initial meeting, we should follow up with a detailed proposal.
138 Come through Came through Come through Coming through 1. To successfully complete a task or meet a commitment.

2. To provide help, support, or assistance when needed.
1. Despite the challenges, she managed to come through and finish the project on time.

2. Thank you for coming through when I needed your support.
139 Settle down Settled down Settled down Settling down 1. To become calmer, quieter, or more relaxed after a period of excitement, activity, or unrest.

2. To establish a stable and permanent home or life in a particular place.

3. To get married and lead a more stable and responsible life.
1. After the party, it took a while for everyone to settle down.

2. They decided to settle down in a small town after years of traveling.

3. They planned to settle down and start a family.
140 Come around Came around Come around Coming around 1. To change one's opinion or attitude, especially to become more agreeable or open-minded.

2. To visit someone's home informally or without a prior arrangement.
1. At first, he didn't agree, but he eventually came around to our point of view.

2. Feel free to come around for coffee anytime.
141 Fill in Filled in Filled in Filling in 1. To complete or provide missing information on a form, document, or a blank space.

2. To temporarily replace someone, often in a job or position.
1. Please fill in your name and address on the form.

2. She had to fill in for her colleague who was sick.
142 Give out Gave out Given out Giving out 1. To distribute or hand out something to others.

2. To become exhausted or depleted, often used for physical or emotional energy.

3. To emit a sound or signal.
1. They give out free samples at the store.

2. I was so tired that my legs gave out.

3. The radio gave out a strange noise.
143 Give in Gave in Given in Giving in 1. To surrender or yield to someone or something, often after a struggle or resistance.

2. To finally agree to a request or demand.
1. He didn't want to give in, but the evidence was overwhelming.

2. After much negotiation, they decided to give in to the union's demands.
144 Go along Went along Gone along Going along 1. To proceed or continue, often in a cooperative or agreeable manner.

2. To accompany someone or something.
1. We decided to go along with their plan.

2. She asked me to go along on her business trip.
145 Break off Broke off Broken off Breaking off 1. To abruptly stop or discontinue something, often a conversation, relationship, or an action.

2. To detach or separate a part from something larger.
1. They had to break off their discussion when the fire alarm went off.

2. He accidentally broke off a piece of the sculpture.
146 Put off Put off Put off Putting off 1. To postpone or delay something to a later time or date.

2. To discourage or deter someone from doing something.

3. To extinguish or quench a fire, light, or flame.
1. They had to put off the meeting until next week.

2. Don't let anyone put you off pursuing your goals.

3. Please put off the candles before you leave.
147 Come about Came about Come about Coming about 1. To happen or occur; to take place.

2. To change direction or orientation, especially for a ship or boat.
1. I'm not sure how it came about, but we found a solution to the problem.

2. The captain ordered the crew to come about and change course.
148 Close down Closed down Closed down Closing down 1. To cease operations or shut the doors of a business, organization, or establishment.

2. To stop or terminate an activity, event, or operation.

3. To shut off or deactivate a machine, system, or device.
1. The company had to close down due to financial difficulties.

2. They decided to close down the event early due to bad weather.

3. Please close down the computer when you're done.
149 Put in Put in Put in Putting in 1. To insert or place something into a particular position or location.

2. To spend time or effort on a task or activity.

3. To formally submit or apply for something, such as a job or a request.
1. She put in the key and opened the door.

2. He put in a lot of effort to complete the project on time.

3. They decided to put in an application for the vacant position.
150 Set about Set about Set about Setting about 1. To begin or undertake a task, activity, or project, often with a sense of purpose or determination.

2. To approach or address a problem, situation, or challenge.
1. They set about renovating the old house as soon as they bought it.

2. Let's set about solving this issue together.

Alphabetically-ordered Phrasal Verbs

If you need more phrasal verbs, here is a list of 1000+ phrasal verbs, along with a variety of definitions and contextual examples for each definition. Some of the following phrasal verbs are made private. Consider being Premium Member to unlock all the lessons.

  1. Tsaroucha, E. (2019). The Conceptualization of English Phrasal Verbs by Greek Primary School Learners: An Empirical Cognitive Approach. Languages, 4(3), 51. doi:10.3390/languages4030051 ↩︎

  2. Garnier, M., & Schmitt, N. (2014). The PHaVE List: A pedagogical list of phrasal verbs and their most frequent meaning senses. Language Teaching Research, 19(6), 645–666. doi: 10.1177/1362168814559798 ↩︎