List 14 - Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verb Phrasal Verb Meaning Example Sentence
call back To return a telephone call. I have already called her ten times and she hasn’t called back.
call for To demand. The students are calling for more books for the library.
call in To telephone someone at a particular place.  The manager called in to say he was on the way. 
To ask for someone’s help or services. They tried to settle the matter without calling in the police.
call off To postpone or cancel. The couple called off their engagement by mutual consent.
call on To make a brief visit. She must be hiding every time I called on her as she’s never in.
call up To select, e.g. as a player. That was the first time he was called up to play for the team.
carry on To continue doing something. When heavy rain started falling, we carried on playing football.
carry out To do or complete something. She screamed at them when her instructions were not carried out to the letter.
carry over To extend beyond a place or time. Letting his problems at work carry over into his private life caused him to drink to excess.
catch on To become popular. He became popular when his new bawdy song caught on very fast.
catch up To reach same standard as others. Having been ill for the last few days, I now have got to catch up on my studying.
catch up with To finally discover someone had done wrong and punish them. After all these years the law finally caught up with him.
clean out To remove dirt, rubbish, etc from a place. They have to clean out the attic before they move out.
clean up To make a place free from dirt, stains, rubbish, etc. The group of volunteers gathered to clean up the beach.
clear away To remove unwanted things or put them back to where they belong so that the place becomes tidy. The children quickly cleared away all their toys before mum reached home.
clear off To leave quickly. They cleared off from chatting in the canteen when the boss entered.
clear out To make a place tidy by getting rid of unwanted things. It’s time to clear your bedroom out; it’s cluttered up with piles of books and old magazines.
clear up To improve, especially weather. The weather cleared up and we went for a drive along the coast.
close down To cease operation such as a business, shop, etc. The factory was forced to close down by falling demand for its products.
close in To move in on a target and prevent its escape. The police are closing in on the gang’s hideout.
close off To not allow access. Two lanes were closed off for roadwork.
close out To dispose of something cheaply. The store is closing out a particular brand of shoes.
close up To not open for the time during which something is being done. The supermarket is closed up for renovation.
come about To happen. How did it come about that we didn’t meet when we’re both there at the same time?
come across To meet or find by chance. I came across a bronze statue of a brontosaurus in an antique shop.
come along To go somewhere with. I wanted to go to the cinema but my girlfriend refused to come along with me.
come apart To separate into pieces. My glasses came apart when I walked right into someone in the dark.
come around To change one’s opinion. He came around after I showed him all the evidence.
come at To rush threateningly at someone. I dreamed he came at me with a dagger and demanded, “Your money or your life?”
come back To regain success after setback. He came back from five-nil down to level at seven-all.
come before To be more important. She said her children would always come before her career.
come between To cause conflict between two persons. He doesn’t allow anything, not even his wife, to come between him and his work.
come by To find something that is difficult to get. Plum jobs are hard to come by these days.
come down To travel south. They are coming down from Iceland this weekend.
come down on To punish. Her parents really came down hard on her for playing truant.
come down to To be the most important factor. When it comes down to her political beliefs, she is not prepared to compromise.
come down with To suffer something infectious, though not serious. He just came down with a cold, so we have to postpone the trip.
come for To arrive so as to get something or someone. You had better hide; they are coming for you.
come forward To volunteer to provide information. Despite the high reward offered, no one has come forward with any information.  
come from To have started from. He comes from a long line of actors.
come in To be useful when needed. These small tools come in handy when we need them.
come of To happen because of something. His persistent cough comes of smoking heavily.
come off To take place or occur. Despite all our efforts, the social gathering did not come off very well.
come out To become known. The truth of the matter will come out sooner or later.
come out of To result from something The police combed the entire area for evidence, but nothing came out of it.
come out with To say something that is unexpected. He came out with his own interpretation which is not entirely accurate.
come over To make a casual visit. If you come over next week, we can do it together.
come round To visit someone at home. I expected you to come round for the drinking session, but you didn’t.
come to To regain consciousness. She came to about an hour after he was admitted to the hospital.
come through To become clear or obvious. Her anger came through in her facial expression.
come under To experience or suffer. The politician came under widespread criticism for what he proposed.
come up To move towards. A stranger came up to me and asked for the way to the museum.
come up against To deal with. In parliament, he had to come up against experienced opposition members.
come up for To be dealt with in the future. The proposal will come up for revision next week.
come up with To think of a plan for something.   They intend to come up with a solution soon. 
To think of an idea. We welcome anybody who can come up with an alternative plan.
come upon To discover by chance.  We came upon a headless corpse when we stepped into a disused mine. 
To find what one has been looking for. The police finally came upon the spot where the murder supposedly took place.
count down To call out numbers in descending order to zero. We like to join in when they count down before the launch of a rocket.
count in To include someone. If you are having a drinking session this evening, you can count me in.
count on To depend. You can count on my help whenever you need it.
count out To not include someone. If you are going on a shopping spree this weekend, count me out.
cross off To remove an item from a list by drawing a line through it. As you perform each task, cross it off the list.
cross out To draw a line through something that is written wrongly. When you make a mistake, cross it out.
cut across To take a shorter route than an alternative longer one. We’d better cut across the park and get home before it rains.
cut away To remove unwanted parts. We spend the whole afternoon cutting away the dead branches.
cut back To reduce. Businesses are cutting back on staff to remain profitable.
cut down To reduce the quantity. You ought to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke.
cut in To interrupt.  His annoying habit is to cut in whenever a conversation is going on. 
To suddenly drive into the space in front of another car. The stupid driver suddenly cut in right in front of us.
cut off To stop someone from continuing talking by interrupt them. He tried to explain but they cut him off and warned him not to be late again.
cut out To tell someone to stop doing something. Can you fellows cut it out? I’m trying to read.
cut up To cut into pieces. The murderer cut up the victim’s body into eight pieces.
Phrasal Verb Phrasal Verb Meaning Example Sentence
dawn on To begin to become known or obvious. The truth finally dawned on him that she really meant what she said.
deal in To trade in something. My uncle’s business deals in genuine monkey skin.
deal with To take action to solve a problem. They seem unable to deal with the long-standing problem.
decide on To make up one’s mind about something. She can’t decide on the dress to wear for the occasion.
delight in To get great pleasure out of something. Jack delights in telling stories about his days in the prison.
depend on/upon To need something in order to continue doing what one wants to do. They know their future depends on their hard work, and not on their teachers.
die away To become lesser until it disappears. I could only sleep after the noise caused by thunderstorm died away.
die down To subside. The storm has died down and the sea become calmer.
die off To decline in population. A few plant species in the area were dying off when they started breeding goats. 
die out To become extinct. The old French custom of serving the vegetables separate from the meat has died out.
do away with To get rid of.  His wife wants him to do away with his vast collection of old magazines. 
To kill. The gang threatened to do away with his entire family if he stood for the election.
do for To provide for. Employing a temporary worker will do for the time being.
do in To tire out completely.  Painting the house really did me in. 
To kill. It is believed a hired killer did his boss in
do out To clean or tidy out. We need to do out the room before we can rent it out.
do out of To cheat. She was done out of $100 by a door-to-door salesman this morning.
do over To do again or differently. The report contains errors and the boss wants him to do it over.
do up To make improvement through repairing or redecoration.  He bought an old car and did it up. 
To do something to make oneself more attractive.  She looks more beautiful when she did her hair up. 
To wrap something.  He did the birthday present up in coloured shiny paper for her. 
To fasten. Can you do up the zip at her back?
do with To require something. With this warm weather, I could do with a cold drink.
do without To manage without something. Our boat was adrift and we had to do without solid food for two days. 
To prefer not to have something. I wish she would keep quiet; I can do without all this grumbling.
draw away To move further ahead. After the third lap, the leading runner drew away from the pack.
draw in To get involved. The quarrel is between you two; don’t draw me in.
draw into To involve someone. Some of these kids get drawn into drug addiction by their peers.
draw off To take off a small amount from a larger supply. If you want some beer, you can draw off some from that barrel.
draw on To make use of Luckily I have a savings to draw on to buy her a present.
draw out To take money out of an account. We don’t know why she drew out such a large amount of money from her account.
draw up To draft a legal document.  Thinking he’s going to die soon, he drew up a will. 
To come to a stop.  The taxi drew up in front of me. 
To prepare a list. The party drew up a list of candidates for the forthcoming election.
dream away To pass time idly thinking of something. At times, I couldn’t help but dreamed away the hours.
dream of To pass time idly thinking of something. He told me he had always dreamed of winning the first prize in the lottery.
dream on To tell someone what they wish for is improbable or unrealistic. When I asked if she’s going to help me with the cooking, she told me to dream on.
dream up To invent mentally. The professor dreamt up the possibility of building a new breed of robots that would think like him.
drive at To really try to say something. He didn’t say exactly what he meant, but we knew what he was driving at.
drive away To behave in a way that forces people to stay away. His bossiness has driven his relatives and friends away.
drive off To leave in a car. He was probably angry when without a word, he just got into his car and drove off.
drive out To force someone or something to leave. The new supermarket has driven out small retail shops from the area.
drive up To force other things to go up. The rise in oil price drives up other prices.
drop behind To fall behind. She dropped behind in her schoolwork during her illness.
drop by To visit someone for a short time. They dropped by their grandparents every weekend.
drop in To stop in for a short visit. He always drops in for a chat without prior notice.
drop off To decrease.  Sales usually drop off at this time of the year. 
To begin to fall asleep.  After listening to the speech for five minutes, I was dropping off. 
To drive someone to a particular place. He dropped us off at the post office.
drop out To withdraw before completing something.  He shouldn’t have dropped out of school, but he did. 
To leave before finishing something. After three laps, he had to drop out because of injury.
dry off To make or become dry. We lay on the beach to dry off after a swim.
dry out To make or become dry. Our washing dried out very quickly in this hot weather
dry up To have no more water. The prolonged drought had caused some of the rivers to dry up.