List 14 - Phrasal Verbs

accede to:  She would not accede to parental pressure to get married. (To agree to do something)

account for:  Increasing disappearance of icebergs in the Arctic is accounted for by global warming. (To provide explanation for)

agree to:  She agreed to meet me only after I’ve apologized to her. (To consent)

agree with:  I don’t like you but I agree entirely with what you have said. (To think the same)

amount to:  His decision amounts to an outright refusal. (To be the same as)

answer back: He was told off for answering her back. (To react rudely) 

answer for:  David will have to answer for his impoliteness. (To be responsible for something wrong that one did)

attribute to:  He attributed his success to his wife’s constant encouragement. (To say something is caused by someone or something else)

back away: He backed away when challenged to a fight. (To move away; to withdraw) 

back down:  The government backed down over the issue after widespread protests. (To withdraw from a commitment)
back off:  They told him to back off after he put too much pressure on them. (To retreat)
back out:  We were shocked when he backed out of the project at the last minute. (To withdraw from doing something or before it is completed)
back up:  The witnesses backed up his account of the incident. (To confirm what someone says is true)

blow away: They threatened to blow the hostages away if the soldiers attempted a rescue mission.  (To kill by shooting with a gun)

blow out:  One of our tyres blew out while we were on our way to catch a train. (To burst)
blow over:  We waited until the storm blew over before continuing our journey. (To become weaker)
blow up:  A suicide bomber blew up a van carrying soldiers. (To explode; to destroy by explosion of a bomb)

boil away:  I overslept and the water boiled away leaving the kettle intensely hot. (To heat until liquid disappears)

boil down to:  What his endless arguments boil down to is that he wants others to believe him. (To be the main reason or equivalent of)
boil over:  The discussion boiled over into a shouting match. (To lose control of one’s temper)

break away:  The leading runner broke away from the pack on the final lap. (To move from or ahead of a group)

break down:  After ten years, their marriage broke down irretrievably leading to a divorce. (To fail owing to some reason)
break in: He was arrested for trying to break in through the window of a house.  (To enter a building forcibly or illegally)
break into:  They broke into a research laboratory and removed all the animals. (To forcibly enter a building to steal)      
break of:  She found it hard to break herself of biting nails. (To make someone give up a habit)
break off:  Jack broke off with Jill after only three months. (To discontinue a relationship)
break out:  A plan by some prisoners to break out of the prison was foiled by the prison guards. (To escape from a place such as a prison)
break through: The crowd managed to break through the police cordon. (To force oneself through an obstruction)
 
break up:  The police used tear gas to break up the protest demonstration. (To disperse a crowd)
break up:  The house-warming party broke up around midnight. (To come to an end)
 
bring about: Global warming will bring about changes in man’s attitude towards the environment. (To cause something to happen)
bring around/round: They were trying to bring him around by giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. (To make someone regain consciousness)
bring back:  More and more people are advocating that the death penalty be brought back. (To reuse something)
bring down:  Corruption and bribery scandals had brought down the government. (To cause to collapse)
bring forth:  A quarrel about money that  brought forth tragic deaths. (To produce)
bring forward:  The matches have been brought forward to avoid the bad weather. (To make something happen earlier)
bring in:  The police had to be brought in to settle a seemingly private dispute. (To invite someone for a purpose)
bring on/upon:  There are people who bring misfortune upon themselves. (To make something happen)
bring out:  Disasters bring out the best in human nature when many volunteer in rescue operations. (To make a good quality noticeable)
bring together:  What brought them together is their common interests. (To make people come into close association)
bring up:  The divorcee brought up her six children single-handedly. (To care and educate a child)

brush aside: He brushed their suggestions aside, saying they are not practical. (To be unwilling to consider something)

brush off:  The film star brushed off a rumour of his impending divorce. (To refuse to give one’s attention to something)
brush up:  I must brush up on my driving before I get a car. (To resume practicing a skill)

burn away:  Fire burnt away the building leaving only the pillars standing. (To be destroyed by fire)

burn down:  By the time the firemen arrived, the fire had burnt the houses down. (To be destroyed by fire)
burn out:  The fire was too huge to be extinguished and had to be left to burn itself out. (To stop burning as there’s nothing left to burn)
burn up:  The forest fire burnt up vast tracts of woodland. (To be destroyed completely by fire)

buy into:  That’s your personal belief; I’m not buying into it. (To believe wholeheartedly in something)

buy off:  The accused man’s father tried to buy the judge off but was arrested. (To bribe)
buy out:  He bought out some shareholders and now he has a controlling interest in the business. (To purchase stock, etc in order to gain complete control of a company, etc.)
buy up:  The dealer bought up a huge quantity of a scarce commodity in anticipation of its price increase. (To purchase all that is available of something)
call back:  I have already called her ten times and she hasn’t called back. (To return a telephone call)
call for:  The people are calling for a change of government. (To demand)
call in:  They tried to settle the matter without calling in the police. (To telephone someone at a particular place)
call off:  The couple called off their engagement by mutual consent. (To postpone or cancel)
call on:  She’s never in when I called on her. (To make a brief visit)
call up:  That was the first time he was called up to play for the national team. (To select, e.g. as a player)

carry on:  When the rain started to fall, we carried on playing football as if nothing happened. (To continue doing something)

carry out:  She got into trouble for not carrying out her assignment. (To do or complete something)
carry over:  Leave not used up may be carried over into next year. (To bring something forward)

catch on: He became popular when his new song caught on very fast. (To become popular)

catch up:  Having been ill for the last few days, I now have got to catch up on my studying. (To reach same standard as others)
catch up with:  After all these years the law finally caught up with him. (To finally discover someone had done wrong and punish them)

clean out:  They have to clean out the attic before they move out. (To remove dirt, rubbish, etc from a place)

clean up:  The group of volunteers gathered to clean up the beach. (To make a place free from dirt, stains, rubbish, etc)

clear away:  The children quickly cleared away all their toys before mum reached home. (To remove unwanted things or put them back to where they belong so that the place becomes tidy)

clear off:  They cleared off from chatting in the canteen when the boss entered. (To leave quickly)
clear out: It’s time to clear your bedroom out; it’s cluttered up with piles of books and magazines. (To make a place tidy by getting rid of unwanted things)
clear up:  The weather cleared up and we went for a drive along the coast. (To improve , especially weather)

close down:  The factory was forced to close down by falling demand for its products. (To cease operation such as a business, shop, etc)

close in:  The police are closing in on the gang’s hideout. (To move in on a target and prevent its escape)
close off:  Two lanes were closed off for roadwork. (To not allow access)
close out:  The store is closing out a particular brand of shoes. (To dispose of something cheaply)
close up:  The supermarket is closed up for renovation. (To not open for the time during which something is being done)

come about:  How did it come about that we didn’t meet when we’re both there at the same time? (To happen)

come across:  I came across a life-size bronze statue of a horse in an antique shop. (To meet or find by chance)
come along:  I wanted to go to the cinema but nobody wanted to come along with me. (To go somewhere with)
come apart:  My glasses came apart when I accidentally dropped them. (To separate into pieces)
come around:  He came around after I showed him all the evidence. (To change one’s opinion)
come at:  I dreamed he came at me with a dagger and demanded my wallet. (To rush threateningly at someone)
come back:  He comes back from five-nil down to level at seven-all. (To regain success after setback)
come before: She said her childrenwould always come before her career. (To be more important)
come between:  He doesn’t allow anything, not even his wife, to come between him and his work. (To cause conflict between two persons)
come by:  Plum jobs are hard to come by these days. (To find something that is difficult to get)
come down: They are coming down from Iceland this weekend. (To travel south) 
come down on:  Her parents really came down hard on her for playing truant. (To punish)
come down to:  When it comes down to her political beliefs, she is not prepared to compromise. (To be the most important factor)
come down with:  He just came down with a cold, so we have to postpone the trip. (To suffer something infectious, though not serious)
come for:  You had better hide; they are coming for you. (To arrive so as to get something or someone)
come forward:  Despite the high reward offered, no one has come forward with any information.  (To volunteer to provide information)
come from:  He comes from a long line of actors. (To have started from)
come in:  These small tools come in handy when we need them. (To be useful when needed)
come of:  His persistent cough comes of smoking heavily. (To happen because of something)
come off:  Despite all our efforts, the social gathering did not come off very well. (To take place or occur)
come out:  The truth of the matter will came out sooner or later. (To become known)
come out of:  The police combed the entire area for evidence, but nothing came out of it. (To result from something)
come out with:  He came out with his own interpretation which is not entirely accurate. (To say something that is unexpected)
come over:  If you come over next week, we can do it together. (To make a casual visit)
come round:  I expected you to come round for the drinking session, but you didn’t. (To visit someone at home)
come to:  She came to about an hour after he was admitted to the hospital. (To regain consciousness)
come through: Her anger came through in her facial expression. (To become clear or obvious)
come under:  The politician came under widespread criticism for what he proposed. (To experience or suffer)
come up:  A stranger came up to me and asked for the way to the museum. (To move towards)
come up against:  In parliament, he had to come up against experienced opposition members. (To deal with)
come up for:  The proposal will come up for revision next week. (To be dealt with in the future)
come up with:  They intend to come up with a solution soon. (To think of a plan for something)
come up with:  We welcome anybody who can come up with an alternative plan. (To think of an idea)
come upon:  We came upon a headless corpse when we stepped into a disused mine. (To discover by chance)
come upon:  The police finally came upon the spot where the murder supposedly took place. (To find what one has been looking for)
 
count down: We like to join in when they count down before the launch of a rocket. (To call out  numbers in descending order to zero)   
count in:  If you are having a drinking session this evening, you can count me in. (To include someone)
count on:  You can count on my help whenever you need it. (To depend)
count out:  If you are going on a shopping spree this weekend, count me out. (To not include someone)
 
cross off:  As you perform each task, cross it off the list. (To remove an item from a list by drawing a line through it)
cross out:  When  you make a mistake, cross it out. (To draw a line through something that is written wrongly)

cut across:  We’d better cut across the park and get home before it rains. (To take a shorter route than an alternative longer one)

cut away:  We spend the whole afternoon cutting away the dead branches. (To remove unwanted parts)
cut back:  Businesses are cutting back on staff to remain profitable. (To reduce)
cut down:  You ought to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke. (To reduce the quanity)
cut in:  His annoying habit is to cut in whenever a conversation is going on. (To interrupt)
cut in:  The stupid driver suddenly cut in right in front of us. (To suddenly drive into the space front of another car)
cut off:  He tried to explain but they cut him off and warned him not to be late again. (To stop someone from continuing talking by interrupt them)
cut out:  Can you fellows cut it out? I’m trying to read. (To tell someone to stop doing something)
cut up:  The murderer cut up the victim’s body into eight pieces. (To cut into pieces)