Top 100 phrasal verbs


  1. aim at (phr v) – to target.
    – The magazine is aimed at teenagers.
    – The new budget aims at providing extra support for the unemployed.


  1. believe in (phr v) – to feel confident about something or someone.
    – Gradually, since her divorce, she’s beginning to believe in herself again.
    – Do you believe in ghosts?
  2. blow away (phr v) – when the wind moves on object or person from where it was.
    – Our trashcans were blown away in that bad storm, and we finally found them down the street  in our neighbor’s yard.
    – I was almost blown away on my walk to the library because it’s so windy out!
  3. blow up (phr v) – to make something explode.
    – The car blew up as soon as it hit the wall.
    – The boiler blew up, wrecking the whole house.
  4. break down (phr v)- to stop working( for a machine, etc).
    – Our car broke down on the motorway.
    – That’s the third time our car’s broken down this month!
  5. break into (phr v) – to enter illegally or interrupt a conversation.
    – A house in Brecon Place was broken into last night.
    – He broke into the discussion.
  6. break out (phr v) – start suddenly (of war, fire, etc).
    – It seems that the fire broke out in the kitchen.
    – Forest fires have broken out across Indonesia.
  7. break up ( phr v) – to stop having a relationship with somebody.
    – Their marriage broke up as a result of long separations.
    – He got into serious debt after his marriage broke up.
  8. bring back (phr v) – to return something you’ve borrowed
    – Can you bring me back some milk?
    – Astronauts brought back specimens of moon rock.
  9. bring up (phr v) – look after a child until he or she becomes an adult.
    – She brought up three sons on her own.
    – She was partly brought up by her grandparents.
  10. build up (phr v)- to cause something to increase.
    – These exercises are good for building up leg strength.
    – She does exercises daily to build up her strength.
  11. burst out (phr v) – to suddenly do or say something.
    – They both burst out laughing.
    – Everyone burst out “Surprise!” as he walked through the door.


  1. call back (phr v) – to call someone again.
    – I’ll call you back when I’ve heard something.
    – I’m waiting for someone to call me back with a price.
  2. call off (phr v) – to cancel an event that has been previously planned.
    – The union threatened a strike but called it off at the last minute.
    – He has called off the trip.
  3. calm down (phr v) – to become less violent, nervous, excited or angry.
    Calm down for a minute and listen to me.
    – He needs to calm himself down and find a balance.
  4. care for (phr v) – to nurture or take care of someone or something.
    – She moved back home to care for her elderly parents.
    – He really cared for her.
  5. carry on (phr v) – to continue doing something.
    – She carried on watching the TV.
    – The assistant carried on talking.
  6. carry out (phr v) – to do something that you have said you will do or have been asked to do or complete a task.
    – The training necessary to enable them to carry out their duties.
    – Extensive tests have been carried out on the patient.
  7. catch on (phr v) – to become popular or fashionable.
    – I wonder if the game will ever catch on with young people?
    – Sports drinks have caught on as consumers have become more health- conscious.
  8. catch up (phr v) – to move faster to reach someone or something that is ahead of you.
    – He stopped and waited for Lily to catch up.
    – Slow down so that I can catch up with you.
  9. check in (phr v) – to register at a hotel or airport upon arrival.
    – You must check in at least one hour before take-off.
    – I got a taxi to the airport and checked my bags in.
  10. check out (phr v) – to leave a hotel or other from of an accommodation after your stay there.
    – Don’t forget to hand in your room key when you check out.
    – Guests should check out of their rooms by noon . I’m sorry they aren’t here. They checked out this morning.
  11. clear up (phr v) – to do something to solve a problem or tidy something up by removing rubbish or other unwanted items.
    – He wanted to clear up some misconceptions.
    – I keep meaning to come down here and clear up.
  12. close down (phr v) – when the activities or services of a business permanently end.
    – The company closed down some years later.
    – The government promised to close down the nuclear plants within twenty years.
  13. come across (phr v) – meet or find someone or something by chance.
    – I came across these old photos recently.
    – He comes across as a bit of a bore in interview
  14. come back (phr v) – to return to a place or to return in a memory to (someone).
    – I felt I’d never come back to the old home place.
    – I had forgotten a lot of what I learned about music, but it’s all coming back to me now.
  15. come up with (phr v) – when you think of a solution, idea, plan, or excuse.
    – She’s come up with some amazing scheme to double her income.
    – We’ll think about a present for her and see what we can come up with.
  16. cross off (phr v) – to remove or delete someone or something from a list.
    – They crossed off the names of the people who had already invited.
    – We can cross her off our list of potential donors.
  17. cut down on (phr v) – to do or less of something.
    – I’m trying to cut down on caffeine.
    – The doctor told him to cut down on cigarettes.


  1. deal with (phr v) – when you do everything you must do to solve a problem or complete
    – The way that building societies deal with complaints.
    – The President said the agreement would allow other vital problems to be dealt with.
  2. do over (phr v) – to do something again in order to improve or correct mistakes.
    – If she had the chance to do it over, she would have hired a press secretary.
    – What would they do differently if they had it to do over again.
  3. drop in (phr v ) – to visit someone unexpectedly or without making arrangements first.
    – Whenever I’m up there I always drop in.
    – She spent most of the day dropping in on friends in Edinburg.
  4. drop out (phr v)- to quit a school program at training course.
    – She had dropped out of college.
    – He’d dropped out of high school at the age of 16.


  1. eat out (phr v) – to eat in a restaurant.
    – When I lived in Spain, I used to eat out all the time.
    – Do you feel like eating out tonight?
  2. end up (phr v) – the end result of something planned or unplanned.
    – The book ended up in the trash.
    – He didn’t want to end up like his father.


  1. figure out( phr v) – to understand or solve something.
    – It takes most people some time to figure out new software.
    – If they know the cause of the problem, they might be able to figure out how to prevent it happening again.
  2. fill in (phr v) – to add personal information in the blank spaces of an official document.
    – If you want your free copy of the magazine, fill this form in.
    Fill in the coupon and send it first class to address shown.
  3. find out (phr v)- to get information about something because you want to know more about it.
    – How did you find out about the party?
    – I’ll just go and find out what’s going on outside.


  1. get ahead (phr v) – become successful in one’s life or career.
    – I want to get ahead in my career.
    – It’s tough for a woman to get ahead in politics.
  2. get along (with) (phr v) – to have good interactions with others.
    – It’s impossible to get along with him.
    – They seemed to be getting along fine.
  3. get away (phr v) – to escape from a person or place or to manage to leave place , especially your work.
    – A police officer grabbed him, but he got away.
    – He said he’d meet me for lunch if he could get away.
  4. get back (phr v) – to a state they were in before , they are then in that state again.
    – Then life started to get back to normal.
    – I couldn’t get back to sleep.
  5. get by (phr v)- to manage to live or do a particular thing using money, knowledge, equipment etc, that you have.
    – How does she get by on such a small salary ?
    – I can just about get by in German.
  6. get in (phr v)- to succeed in entering a place, especially a building.
    – They must have got in through the bathroom window.
    – Anyway, no one can get in there without going through the ref library.
  7. get on with ( phr v) – to make progress with a particular activity, plan.
    – The sooner we finish the speeches, the sooner we can get on with the celebration.
    – The board leaves the management teams to get on with day-to-day running of each business.
  8. give away (phr v) – to give something freely as a gift or donation
    – I gave away my all books.
    – Ten thousand copies of the software package are being given away.
  9. give up (phr v) – to stop doing something without completing it.
    – You’ll never guess the answer – do you give up?
    – I give up – tell me the answer!
  10. go ahead ( phr v) – to start to do something.
    – We’ve received permission to go ahead with the music festival in spite ot opposition from local residents.
    – I got so fed up with waiting for him to do it that I just went ahead and did it myself.
  11. go away (phr v) – to leave home for a period of time, especially for a vacation.
    – They went away for a few days.
    – I’m going away on business.
  12. grow up (phr v) – to gradually become an adult.
    – I grew up in Scotland (= I lived there when I was young).
    – Taking responsibility for yourself is part of the process of growing up.


  1. hand out (phr v)- to give something to each of a number of people.
    – Would you please hand out the balloons to the children?
    – Would you hand these papers out for me?
  2. hang on(phr v) – to wait for a short time.
    – Sally’s on the other phone – would you like to hang on?
    Hang on, I’m not ready yet.
  3. hear about (phr v) – to learn about someone or something , typically (but not always ) via word of mouth.
    – That website gave me a survey , asking me how I heard about it.
    – Did you hear about Jade? She was in a car accident and broke her leg in three places.
  4. hold off (phr v) – to not do something immediately.
    – Let’s hold off making a decision until next week.
    – They’ve decided to hold off on buying a car until they’re both working.
  5. hold on (phr v) – used to tell someone to wait for a short time.
    Hold on, I’ll check in my diary.
    – She’s on the other line – can you hold on?
  6. hurry up (phr v) – to do something quickly.
    Hurry up and finish your soup.
    – Franklin told Howe to hurry up and take his bath; otherwise, they’d miss their train.


  1. join in (phr v) – to do an activity with people who are already doing it.
    – She laughed and Tom joined in.
    – Pat didn’t feel like joining in the celebrations.


  1. keep from (phr v)- to manage to prevent yourself from doing something.
    – I couldn’t keep from smiling when she told me what she’d done.
    – She’s been trying to keep herself from eating too much candy.
  2. keep up with ( phr v) – to do whatever is necessary to stay level or equal with someone or something.
    – Wages are falling to keep up with inflation.
    – She walks so fast I can never keep up with her.
  3. know about (phr v)- to be knowledgeable about, familiar with , or skilled at something.
    – Sarah knows about all that tech stuff, you should ask her to help you set the computer up.
    – I knew a bit about plumbing, so I was able to fix the problem myself.


  1. let down (phr v) – to make someone feel disappointed or less hopeful.
    – I was a bit late but I couldn’t let them down completely.
    – The families of the victims feel that the justice system has let them down.
  2. let in (phr v) – to allow someone to enter a house , room etc.
    – Don’t let anybody in – I’ll back in 15 minutes.
    – The door staff didn’t let him in the nightclub because he was wearing jeans.
  3. live on (phr v) – if you live on an amount of money, that is the money that you use to buy the things that you need.
    – We lived on very little when we first got married.
    – The job provides enough to live on.
  4. lock out ( phr v ) – to prevent someone from coming into a room or building by locking the door.
    – She locked him out of the house after an argument.
    – I’ve locked myself out again – could I use your phone?
  5. look forward to (phr v) – to feel pleased and excited about something that is going to happen.
    – I’m really looking forward to my holiday.
    – She was looking forward to seeing the grandchildren again.
  6. look up (phr v)– a fact or a piece of information, you find it out by looking in something such as a reference book or a list.
    – I looked your address up in the personal file.
    – Many people have to look up the meaning of this word in the dictionary.


  1. make up ( phr v) – something such as a story or excuse, you invent it, sometimes in order to deceive people.
    – I think it’s very unkind of you to make up stories about him.
    – I’m not making it up. The character exists in real life.


  1. name after (phr v) – to give someone or something the same name as another person or thing.
    – Paul was named after his grandfather.
    – I was named after my uncle who died in the war.
  2. narrow down (phr v) – to reduce the number of possibilities or choices.
    – We narrowed the choices down to five categories.
    – The following list may help narrow down the cause of the problem.


  1. pass away (phr v)- die.
    – She’s terribly upset because her father passed away last week.
    – Sadly, Georgia’s uncle passed away yesterday after a short illness.
  2. pay back (phr v) – to return money to someone from whom you have borrowed it.
    – I’ll pay you back as soon as I get my next paycheck.
    – I’ll be able to pay you back next week.
  3. pick up (phr v)– to increase or improve:
    – The number of applicants will pick up during the autumn.
    – Her career only began to pick up when she was in her forties.
  4. plan on (phr v)– to intend to do something, or to expect to happen.
    – We are planning on going to Australia this year.
    – We hadn’t planned on so many people coming.
  5. plug in( phr v) – to connect an electrical device to an electrical outlet.
    – He went to plug in his phone for the night.
    – I filled the kettle while she was talking and plugged it in.
  6. point out (phr v) – to tell someone about some information, often because you believe they do not know it or have forgotten it.
    – He was planning to book a rock-climbing holiday, till I pointed out that Denis is afraid of heights.
    – I feel I should point out how dangerous it is.
  7. put up with ( phr v) – tolerate or endure something.
    – She put up with his violent temper.
    – I’m too tired to put up with any nonsense.


  1. run out of ( phr v) – to use all of something and not have any more left.
    – By now the plane was running out of fuel.
    – They ran out of money and had to abandon the project.
  2. run over (phr v) – to hit someone or something with a vehicle, and drive over them:
    – He was run over and killed by a bus.
    – She got run over outside the school.


  1. settle down (phr v) – to become familiar with a place and to feel happy and confident in it.
    – She quickly settled down in her new house/school/job.
    – Come on, have a cup of tea and settle down.
  2. set off ( phr v) – to start on a trip.
    – What time do we set off tomorrow ?
    – We set off for Boston just after ten.
  3. set up ( phr v) – to formally establish a new company, organization, system, way of working, etc.
    – A committee has been set up to organize social events for the students.
    – She plans to set up her own business.
  4. show off (phr v) – to try to make people admire your abilities, achievements, or possessions – used to show disapproval.
    – He couldn’t resist showing off on the tennis court.
    – She only bought that sports car to show off and prove she could afford one.
  5. show up (phr v) – to arrive somewhere in order to join a group of people, especially late or unexpectedly.
    – I invited him for eight o’clock, but he didn’t show up until 9.30.
    – We were expecting 30 people to come , but half of them never showed up.
  6. shut up (phr v) – to stop talking or making a noise.
    – Will you tell Mike to shut up?
    – When they’d finally shut up, I started again.
  7. slow down (phr v) – to be less active.
    – The doctor has told him to slow down or he’ll have a heart attack.
    – The car slowed down as they passed Customs.
  8. sort out ( phr v) – to successfully deal with a problem or difficult situation.
    – She went to a psychiatrist to try to sort out her problems.
    – I’ll be glad to get this misunderstanding sorted out.
  9. speed up (phr v) – to move or happen faster.
    – You see drivers speeding up when they should be slowing down.
    – The daring new technique dramatically speeded up the construction process.
  10. split up ( phr v) – to stop having a relationship with somebody.
    – I was beginning to think that nothing could ever split us up.
    – She split up with her boyfriend last week.
  11. stand for (phr v) – to support or represent something.
    – I hated the organization and all it stood for.
    – Her behavior is totally out of order and I’m not going to stand for it.
  12. start up (phr v) – to bring a business, organization, or project into existence.
    – The Agency helps over 1,000 firms start up each year.
    – She left the company last year to start up her own business.


  1. take back (phr v) – to return something.
    – If I buy something and he doesn’t like it , I’ll take it back.
    – I went to the library and took your books back.
  2. take up ( phr v ) – to begin to do something.
    – I’m not very good at golf – I only took it up recently.
    – Chris has taken up jogging.
  3. tear up (phr v) – to destroy something such as a piece of paper or cloth by pulling it into pieces.
    – I tore up all the photos of my old boyfriend.
    – She tore up all the letters he had sent her.
  4. tell off (phr v)- to speak angrily to someone because they have done something.
    – If you make your sister cry, you’ll get told off.
    – Their teacher told them off for chattering in the lesson.
  5. turn down (phr v) – to decrease the temperature, sound etc.
    – He kept turning the central heating down.
    – She could not bear the relentless music and turned down the volume.
  6. turn out (phr v) – to develop in a particular way, or to have a particular result.
    – Obviously, I’m disappointed at the way things have turned out.
    – I’m sure it will all turn out well in the end.
  7. turn up ( phr v) – put in appearance, arrive.
    – Half the guests failed to turn up.
    – This is similar to waiting for a bus that never turns up.


  1. use up ( phr v)- to finish a supply of something.
    – Don’t use up all the milk – we need some for breakfast.
    – The earth’s resources are being used up at an alarming rate.


  1. watch out (phr v) – used to warn someone of danger or an accident that seems likely to happen.
    Watch out for thieves round here.
    Watch out! It’s rather wet over there.
  2. wear off (phr v) – if a feeling or the effect of something wears off, it gradually disappears.
    – Most patients find that the numbness from the injection wears off after about an hour.
    – The painkillers wore off after a couple of hours.
  3. work out (phr v) – to exercise in order to improve the strength or appearance of your body:
    – I try to work out twice a week.
    – Make sure you drink plenty if water if you are working out.
  4. write down (phr v) – to write something on a piece of paper so that you do not forget it.
    – Did you write down Jo’s phone number?
    – Only by writing things down could I bring some sort of order to the confusion.