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Phrasal Verb

Meaning

Example Sentence

stay behind

To not leave a place after others have left.

We like to stay behind in the office after five o’clock for a nice chat.

stay in

To not go out of one’s house.

I’m staying in tonight to finish some office work.

stay on

To continue to do something or be in a place after others have left.

She failed her exam and had to stay on at school for another year.

stay out

To stay outdoors and not come home or come home late.

He sometimes stays out late for a drink with colleagues after work

stay out of

To not get oneself involved in something.

I was told to stay out of their arguments and mind my own business.

stay up

To not go to bed at the usual time.

Tonight, we are staying up to watch a football match on television.

step aside

To leave one’s office or position.

There were calls for him to step aside when his health began to fail.

step down

To resign from an important job or high position.

The minister who was involved in a sex scandal was forced to step down.

step forward

To offer one’s help or services.

A third candidate has stepped forward in the leadership contest.

step in

To become involved in order to help.

The leaders had to step in to resolve long-standing disputes between the two factions of the party.

step out

To go outside for a short time.

I need to step out for some fresh air.

step up

To increase.

The police are stepping up surveillance of the building used by a suspected criminal.

stick around

To remain somewhere for some time.

Let’s stick around until he arrives, then we will go for a meal.

stick at

To continue doing something in spite of difficulty.

We decided to stick at it until we completed the 5,000-piece jigsaw.

stick by

To honour one’s promise, obligation, etc.

You must stick by your promise to help us to get this done.

To continue to support someone.

The children promised to stick by their single mother through thick and thin.

stick out

To protrude from something.

He donned a party hat with a feather sticking out of it.

To hold something out towards someone.

She stuck out her tongue as requested by the doctor.

To be easily noticeable.

With his towering height, he certainly sticks out in a crowd.

To tolerate something until the end

If we just stick it out, I am sure we will find a way out.

stick to

To do or use the same thing and not change to something else.

Stick to the point, otherwise our meeting will never end.

To honour one’s words.

Every time you make a promise, you never stick to it.

stick together

To be mutually loyal.

They have always stuck together since their immigration here.

stick up

To rob someone.

A stranger tried to stick him up, but he fought him off.

stick up for

To support or defend.

Will you stick up for me? There are too many of them.

stick with

To continue with someone or something.

I have stuck with the same barber for the past seven years.

stop by

To make a brief visit to a place.

Will you be stopping by the supermarket on your way home?

To make a brief visit to someone.

Jack stopped by Jill’s with a present to wish her a happy birthday.

stop in

To visit a place briefly.

He stopped in at a florist’s on his way to visit her.

To stay in.

She decided to stop in to do her laundry.

stop off

To make a short visit to a place on the way to one’s destination.

We stopped off in one of the coastal resorts for a day before leaving the country.

stop over

To stay for a brief period before continuing one’s journey.

They stopped over in Moscow for a night on the way to London.

strike back

To make an attack in return for an attack made by the opposing side.

The guerrillas struck back by killing two soldiers for a bomb attack the previous day.

strike down

To hit someone hard.

He struck the man down with a single blow of his iron rod.

To kill or make someone unable to act in the normal way.

He was struck down by polio at an early age.

strike off

To remove from the official record, list, etc.

He should be struck off the roll of solicitors.

strike on

To discover or think of something, especially by chance.

We struck on the idea of being freelance journalists while chatting in a train.

strike out

To draw a line through something in a document to show it is not applicable.

Her name was struck out as she had withdrawn from the competition.

To start to do something independently.

She left the quartet to strike out on her own.

strike up

To begin a friendship or conversation with someone.

He finally found the courage to strike up a conversation with her.

To start to play.

An expectant crowd gathered as the band was about to strike up.

swarm with

To be crowded with people.

On weekends the zoo is swarmed with visitors.

To be overrun with something.

The carrion of an unknown animal was swarming with flies.

switch off

To use a switch to turn off light, television, etc.

She seldom switches off the computer when she has finished using it.

switch on

To use a switch to turn on light, television, etc.

Some cars have already switched on their lights before it gets dark.

switch over

To replace a way of doing something with another.

They are going to switch over to the new teaching method.

To change from one television station, etc. to another.

Why do you keep switching over to another channel?