Phrasal Verbs


deal in

deal … in

deal out



deal with

To buy and sell a particular product.

To bring in a new player in a card game.

To distribute something, e.g. deal out cards to players in a card game.


To do business with someone, e.g. I’ve been dealing with him for the past several years.

To take appropriate measures to solve one’s problem, e.g. I’m on medication to deal with my depression problem.

To deal with a particular subject, e.g. The book deals wholly with acupuncture.


decide on

To select one thing from many, e.g. to decide on a wedding date.


declare for/against

To state publicly you support or oppose someone or something.


defer to

To agree or accept someone’s opinion or decision.


delight in

To take great pleasure in something.


deliver up

To give or pass over something to someone.


delve into

To search for more evidence about someone or something.


depart from

To deviate from the normal or usual course of action.


depend on/upon

To rely on others for their help and support.


deprive … of

To prevent someone from having something they want or need.


derogate from

To reduce the worth or value of something so as to make it seem less impressive.


descend from



descend on/upon



descend to

To have developed from something or to be related to someone who existed in the past.


To be able to feel or know when something descends on you, e.g. when darkness descends, it begins to get dark.


To pass by inheritance.

To behave in an unacceptable manner.


detract from

To underrate the value or importance of something.


devolve on/upon



devolve to

To entrust responsibility, duties, etc. to someone at a lower level.


To entrust responsibility, duties, etc. to someone at a lower level.

To transfer property to someone when the owner dies.


die away



die back


die down


die off


die out

To become weaker, less loud or strong, e.g. light, sound, or wind.


(Plant) to remain alive at the roots but dead above the ground.


To becomes less active, strong or loud.


To become extinct.


To become extinct



dig in



dig into




dig … out




dig … up

(Soldiers) to protect themselves by making a trench; to begin eating;


To mix fertilizer with soil by digging.

To make use of what one has, e.g. to dig into one’s energy or strength.


To unearth something from the ground.

To find something that one has been searching for, e.g. to dig out the photo one has been looking for.


To find something in the ground by digging.

To discover something after investigating or searching, e.g. to dig up information about someone.


dilate on/upon

To write or speak fully or in detail about something.


din … into

To firmly instill in someone’s mind by continuous repeating.


dine on/off

dine out

dine out on

To eat a particular kind of food, especially expensive food.

To eat outside the home, e.g. at the restaurant.

To entertain friends and others at meal by telling anecdotes


dip into

To put one’s hand into a bag, container, etc. in order to take something out.

To have to use something that one has such as one’s savings.


disagree with

(Weather, seafood) to have a bad effect on someone.


discourse on/upon

To make a long speech about something;


dish … out

To serve food to people.

To distribute something indiscriminately.


dispense with

To discontinue using something because it is no longer required.


dispose of

To get rid of something.

To deal effectively with a difficult problem or situation.


dive in

To begin to take part in an activity with enthusiasm.


divest … of

To remove oneself of whatever clothing one is wearing.

To rid oneself of an interest or investment under obligation.

To deprive someone of power, rights, etc.


do away with




do by


do ... down 



do for


do … for


do … in



do … out



do ... out of


do ... over








do ... up





do with





do without

To get rid of something, e.g. Kissing the hand of women should be done away with.

To kill someone, e.g. Some neighbours believe she did away with her husband while others believe he ran away.


To treat or deal with something in a specified way.


To criticize someone, especially behind his or her back.


To do something to something else, e.g. what is to be done for the leak?


To ruin or kill someone.


To improve the quality or appearance of someone or something.


To kill someone;

To make someone feel very tired.


To cheat or do a secretly dishonest thing to someone.


To decorate or furnish a room or building in a particular way.

To attempt again at doing something, e.g. My homework is so full of mistakes that the teacher has no choice but to tell me to do all over.

To decorate a wall, room, etc.

To injure someone by beating him up.

To ransack and steal from a place.


To fasten or fix something, especially one’s clothing.

To improve an old car, building, etc. by repairing or redecorating it.

To make oneself look attractive by dressing and making up.


To need or would like to have something, e.g. I could do with a drink.

To connect one thing to another, e.g. When questioned by police about a robbery case, he said he had nothing to do with it.


To have to manage on one’s own without something or someone, e.g. Her husband has just passed away, so she has to do without.

To have to tolerate someone or something, e.g. I can do without all her endless grumbling.


dole … out

To distribute something such as money, food, etc. to people.


doll … up

To dress and make oneself up attractively.


doss down



doss around/about

To sleep somewhere which is not the usual place or one’s bed.


To do very little work.



dote on/upon

To have a very strong affection or liking for and is clearly demonstrated by one’s actions.


double as

double back


double up

To have a second use, job, or purpose.

To return the way you have come.


To share something such as a room.

To use the winnings from a bet as stake for another bet.

To bend one’s body due to excessive laughing, pain, etc.

To play another or different role in a play, etc.


doze off

To fall asleep unintentionally, e.g. Each time he listens to the same speaker, he dozes off.


drag down



drag ... in



drag ... into


drag on


drag ... out


drag ... up

To cause someone to feel upset, lose confidence or enthusiasm.


To involve someone in something with which he has nothing to do.


To get someone unwillingly involved in something such as a discussion, conversation, etc.


(Meeting, etc.) to last longer than is necessary.


To prolong a meeting, argument, etc. unnecessarily.


To raise unpleasant or embarrassing subject without regard to the feelings of the persons involved.

To improperly bring up a child.


dragoon … into

To force someone into doing something.


drain … off

To cause liquid in something to run off, leaving it empty or dry.


draw back

draw in




draw into


draw ... off



draw on




draw out


draw … out




draw up

To recoil or to withdraw from doing something.

To get dark earlier in the evening and so there are fewer hours of daylight.

To get someone involved in something.


To cause someone to participate in, especially criminal, activities


To extract some liquid from specific holder of liquid.


To suck in smoke from a cigarette, cigar, etc.

To make use of expertise, savings, resources, etc. for a particular purpose.

(Winter, spring, etc.) to come nearer when it is drawing on.


(Days) to become longer due to the changing seasons.


To induce someone to open up by being more willing to talk.

To prolong or extend something such as an event, meeting, etc.


(Vehicle) to reach a place and stop there.

To prepare an official document such as a list of appointees, etc.

To pull one’s legs closer to the body, e.g. knees drawn up to the chest


dream … away



dream on



dream ... up

To idle by thinking about something that one would like to happen.


To be used to tell someone that what they are hoping for may most likely not happen, e.g. “You think of striking the jackpot? Dream on!”


To imagine or mentally invent something, e.g. Who could have dreamed up those ideas of how the dinosaurs became extinct?


dredge … up

To bring out something from the distant past.

To remove whatever there are from the bottom of a river, harbour, etc.


dress down

dress … down



dress up




To wear informal clothes.

To express disapproval that something someone has done is very wrong.


To put on clothes, e.g. She always dresses up to appear younger than her age.

To wear a special costume appropriate for a formal occasion, e.g. At every costume party he attends, he dresses up like Popeye.


drift apart

drift off

(Relationship) to end gradually.

To doze off.


drill … into

To continuously impress something on someone’s mind to produce a lasting effect.


drink … in

drink to …



drink up

To enjoy taking in all the sights and sounds.

To wish someone success, good luck, good health, etc. before drinking alcohol.


To finish up all the rest of a drink.


drive at

drive … away

drive off




drive … out

drive … up

The point that one is attempting to make.

To behave in a way that forces someone to leave him/her.

To leave in a vehicle.

To cause an enemy, animals, etc. that are threatening or attacking you, to flee.


To force someone or something to leave.

To cause rapid rise in prices, costs, etc.


drone on

To speak at length in a boring way.


drop away

drop in




drop off







drop out

To become lower in level or amount.

To visit someone without appointment, e.g. Jack dropped in on Jill and almost couldn’t recognize her as she had not had her usual make-up on.


To doze off or begin to sleep, e.g. He dropped off while watching television.

To move someone or something to another place, e.g. He dropped me off at the Post Office.

To become lower in level, interest, amount, etc., e.g. Readership of the magazine has been dropping off since early last year.


To abandon an activity, course, etc. before completing it, e.g. dropped out of school.

(A term or phrase) to be no longer in use if it drops out of a language.


drum … into

drum … out


drum … up

To drive something into someone by constant repetition.

To remove or expel someone from, or force someone to leave employment, office, school, etc.

To attempt to obtain support by meeting a large number of people.


dry off



dry out




dry up

To become dry or to make something dry, e.g. He rubbed his head vigorously with a towel to dry off his wet hair.


To become or make something, such as washed clothing, very dry after it has been very wet.

To succeed in dealing with alcoholism.


To deprive a place of water, e.g. The rivers and lakes completely dry up in areas that suffer severe drought.

(Supply) to diminish with no addition, e.g. research fund has dried up. To dry plates, dishes, etc. with a cloth.


duck out of

To avoid doing what you have to do or promised to do..


duff … in

duff … up

To fight someone and injure them.

To beat someone up.


dump on

To treat or criticize someone badly or harshly.

To unload all of one’s problems onto someone else.


dust … down



dust … off

To remove dust from surface of one’s clothes by brushing with hands.


To clean something by brushing or wiping it with a cloth.

To use something again after a long period of disuse.


dwell on/upon

To think, speak, or write at length about something.


ease … away/off

ease off /up


ease out

ease … out

ease up

To slacken a rope or sail slowly or gently.

To do something with more moderation;

(Situation) to get better.

(Vehicle) to slowly move forward into the traffic.

To deliberately try to make someone leave office.

To take it easy after working too fast or too hard.


eat … away at




eat into



eat … up

To erode or destroy gradually; to worry someone constantly, e.g. the thought of contracting a serious illness is eating away at her.


To reduce something over time such as money, time, etc.

To damage or destroy something gradually, e.g. rust is eating into the metal door.


To use resources excessively.

To finish eating all of something, e.g. Our uncle ate all the donuts up, leaving us none.


edit … out

To remove harmful, objectionable, or unpleasant material in preparing a recording or broadcast.


egg … on

To encourage someone to do something foolish or risky.


eke … out

To make something last longer by using or consuming it sparingly, e.g. to eke out a living/existence.


emanate from

To emit or come from a source.


embark in/upon

To begin a new course of action.


empty out

To discharge the contents from a container, e.g. I empty out a container by holding it upside down and let all the sweets drop out.

To discharge itself of someone or people, e.g. As soon as a movie ends, the people head for the exit and soon the cinema empties out.


encroach on/upon

To intrude on someone’s rights, time, territory, possessions, etc.

To advance on more and more land, e.g. housing development encroaching on farmland.


end in

end up

To have a particular result, or finish in a particular way.

To come to be in a particular situation or place, e.g. We took a wrong turn and ended up in an unknown place.


endear … to

To make someone popular or liked.


endow … with

To naturally have a good feature or quality.

To give something to someone.


endue … with

To endow someone with a good quality or ability


engage in

To participate or become involved in an activity.


enlarge on/upon

To speak or write about in greater detail.


enter into


enter on/upon

To begin to be involved in something.

To impose an obligation on oneself to do something.

To begin something such as job, an activity, etc.


even out

even up

To make equal in number, amount, value, etc.

To make a situation or competition more equal.


eventuate in

To result in.


expand on/upon

To give more details about something.


expatiate on/upon

To speak or write in detail about a particular subject.


explain … away


explain oneself

To minimize the significance of something embarrassing by giving an excuse or justification.

To excuse or justify one’s behaviour.


eye … up

To look at someone with sexual interest.


face … down

face up to

face … with

To deal with someone in a strong and confident way.

To face fact however objectionable it is.

To provide someone with evidence of their guilt.


factor … in

To include something as a relevant element when making a decision or an estimate.


fade … in/out


To make a picture or sound appear/disappear or be heard/become quieter gradually.


faff about/around

To perform some useless task.


fake … out

To deceive someone.


fall about

fall apart





fall away




fall back



fall back on



fall behind








fall down




fall for




fall in




fall in behind


fall into





fall in with




fall off




fall on/upon




fall out






fall over



fall through






fall to

To have a good laugh about something.

To break into pieces;

(System) to stop working or become ineffective;

To suddenly develop a lot of, especially personal, problems.

(Machine, car, etc.) to be in very bad condition.


(Noise, feeling, scenery, etc.) to recede as you move through it.

To separate from the main part.


(Soldiers) to retreat.

To make sudden backward movement caused by fright, pain, surprise, etc.


To have a source of help in a difficult situation when needed.


To slacken so that others move ahead or finish, e.g. In long distance running competitions, runners try to keep pace with the leader, but increasingly they fall behind due to a variety of reasons.

To become less successful than someone else, e.g. Industrial disputes have caused production to fall behind schedule.

To fail to keep up with schedule for payments, e.g. I fell behind with the payments on the car and it was repossessed, and now I move around on a bicycle.


To drop onto the ground, e.g. All the onlookers were shocked to see a monkey fall down from a tree.

(Plan, system, etc.) to fail to work or to become ineffective.


To feel strongly attracted to someone or something.

To be deceived by someone, e.g. The seller claims it is a magic stone that can cure all illnesses, yet there are people who fall for it.


To drop within, e.g. part of the ceiling falls into the sitting room.

(Soldiers) to form neat lines behind each other.


To form a line behind someone.


To belong to a part, section, etc.

To move down somewhere, e.g. fall into the drain;

To develop a particular feeling, e.g. fall into despair or holiday mood.


To meet by chance and become involved with someone.

To agree or accept someone’s suggestions, decisions, etc.


To drop to the ground from a higher place, e.g. He fell off his horse and landed in a ditch.

To become detached or disconnected from the main body.

(Demand, prices, quality, amount) to drop or become less.


To launch a sudden or unexpected attack on someone.

To delegate a duty or responsibility to someone.

To have one’s gaze directed towards someone or something.


(Hair, tooth, etc,) to drop out, e.g. Did your tooth fall out or you pull it out?

To have a misunderstanding, disagreement or quarrel with someone, e.g. Jack fell out with his best friend as both have fallen in love with the same girl.

(Soldiers) to leave one’s place in a military formation.


(Someone) to fall onto the ground or (something) to fall from an upright position onto its side.


To not end or complete a plan, meeting, project, etc. successfully, e.g. The commercial venture fell through after one party decided to withdraw.

To drop through something, e.g. A meteorite fell through the roof of a cottage and landed on the floor in the living room.


To be entrusted with a duty or responsibility.

(Property) to revert to the ownership of someone.


fan out

To walk forwards while spreading over a wide area.


farm … out

To subcontract work to others instead of doing it yourself.


fart around/about

To waste time not doing very much or on trivial things.


fasten … off

fasten on/upon


fasten onto

To secure the end of a thread with stitches or a knot.

To quickly single out an idea, etc. as the best one and concentrate firmly on it.

To follow and stay with someone.


father … on

To assign paternity of a child to someone, or the source or originator of something to someone.


fatten … up

To become fat or fatter, or make someone or an animal fat or fatter.


favour … with

To give someone something such as a smile, salute, reply, etc.


fawn on/over

To give an excessive display of exaggerated flattery or affection to someone.


feed off/on

To eat a particular food, or obtain regular nourishment from a substance; to make a feeling stronger, e.g. jealousy feeds on insecurity.


feel for

feel … out

feel … up

feel up to

To have a sympathetic feeling towards someone.

To ask someone’s opinions or feelings.

To fondle someone for one’s own sexual stimulation.

To have the strength and confidence to do something, e.g. I would like to go canoeing too, but I don’t feel up to doing it.


fence … in/off

To enclose an area with a fence.

To make someone feel restricted.


fend … off

To defend oneself from an attack or attacker.

To avoid answering difficult questions directly, e.g. to fend off reporters’ provocative questions.


ferret … out

To search out a desired piece of information.


fess up

To confess to committing a minor wrong.


fetch up

To arrive at a place unintentionally, especially because of having fallen asleep in a public vehicle.

To vomit.


fiddle around


fiddle with

To waste time doing unimportant things.

To keep playing around with something.

To play around with somebody else’s thing in an annoying way.


fight back






fight ... off


fight ... out

To struggle violently against an attacker, e.g. They chose to fight back until reinforcements arrive..

To wage a campaign against something such as unfair discrimination.

To hide one’s feelings, e.g. to fight back tears.


To defend oneself against an attack by someone or something


To engage in violence until the dispute is resolved.


figure on


figure … out

To expect or plan for something, e.g. I didn’t figure on such massive traffic jam; I would have stayed at home.

To ponder over something until a solution is found or one has gained an understanding of it, e.g. He can’t figure it out why his wife is behaving strangely.


fill in




fill out




fill up

To provide answers or information on an official document.

To block up a hole, etc. with something.

To do someone else’s work for a specified reason.


To write down all the required information on an official document, e.g. Many people hate filling out forms, but most of the time they have to do it.


To fill a place such as a cinema, church, container, etc. with people, things, etc., e.g. As soon as the doors are opened, the cinema quickly started to fill up.

To write down required details on an official document, e.g. I had to fill up everything on the form before I could submit it for approval.

To eat something in excess, e.g. He has a strong liking for cookies and when any are available he will fill up on them.

To keep refilling a glass, etc., e.g. Do you have to keep filling up my glass? I’m feeling a bit tipsy already.


filter … out

To pass liquid or gas through a device to remove impurities or other particles.


find against/for

find out

(Court) to make a decision against/in favour of someone.

To discover information or a fact about someone or something, e.g. They no longer remained friendly to him when they found out he had been a prisoner.


fine … down

To improve something by making it thinner, smaller, more exact, etc.


finish off






finish up



finish with

To kill someone or animal, or decisively defeat someone in a match, etc.

To finish eating all of something;

To do the final thing before breaking up or dispersing, e.g. finish off the evening by having a drink.


To end up at a particular place or doing one final thing.

To eat or drink all the rest of something.


To no longer need to use something.

To end a relationship with someone.


fire back


fire off

To shoot back with gun, etc.

To respond promptly and angrily to a question or remark.

To use a weapon to shoot.

To send something quickly, e.g. a fax, letter.


firm … up

To make something such as an agreement, ideas, plan, arrangements, etc. more definite and explicit.


fit in

fit … in

fit … out

fit … up

To adapt to a group

To find time to see someone or do something.

To meet the requirements of someone.

To make someone appear guilty of a crime or wrongdoing by falsifying evidence against them.


fix on


fix … up

To decide or settle on a suitable person, thing, etc. for a particular purpose.

To provide someone with something, e.g. They fix us up for a night’s stay at their place.

To arrange a date for someone with a member of the opposite sex, e.g. Jack brought Jill along, hoping his friends will find someone to fix her up with.

To improve on a place to make it more attractive or suitable, e.g. They intend to fix up their house to look more like a palace than a house.

To enhance one’s appearance, e.g. She has fixed herself up gorgeously for it’s her birthday party tonight.


fizzle out

To gradually end in a disappointing way.


flag … down

To wave or signal to a driver to stop.


flake out

To fall asleep because of exhaustion.


flare out

flare up

To suddenly say something angrily.

To suddenly become angry or violent.


flash … around

To flaunt one’s wealth in order to gain admiration.


flesh … out

To add more details to something in order to improve it.


flick through

To look quickly through a book, magazine, set of photographs, etc.


fling … into

fling … off



fling … out

To get wholeheartedly engaged in an activity or enterprise.

To quickly remove something such as a piece of clothing, cover, etc.


To dispose of unwanted things.

To suddenly make someone leave a place or organization.


flip … off

flip out



flip over

flip through

To rudely show your middle finger to someone.

To suddenly become very angry or upset or start to behave in a crazy way, e.g. Jack flipped out when Jill called to say she couldn’t turn up for the appointment as she was very tired.

To turn something from one side onto the other.

To look quickly through something such as a book, magazine, etc.


flirt with

To behave as though one is sexually attracted to someone but not in a very serious way.

To willingly risk danger, death, etc. without worrying about it.


float around

(Something) to be somewhere, e.g. Everyone knows the spreadsheet file is floating around but no one knows exactly where it is.

(Rumour, information, etc.) to be circulated and talked about, e.g. The latest gossip about the manager’s private affair is floating around in the office building.


flood … out

To force someone to leave their home or to be evacuated because of floods.


flunk out

To be expelled from school or college for failing examinations.


fly at/into

To attack verbally or physically.

To suddenly go into a rage or other strong emotion.


fob … off


fob … off on

To satisfy someone by making excuses to deceive them or make them receive something of low quality.

To make someone accept something inferior by trickery.


foist … on/upon

To force to accept someone or something that they do not want.


fold … in

To mix an ingredient with another when preparing food.


follow around

follow through





follow up

To keep following someone everywhere they go.

To continue an action after the main task is completed in order to ensure a successful conclusion.

To continue the arm movement of a stroke after the ball has been struck as in sport.


To conduct further investigation or probe, e.g. The police follow up the investigation with new information leading to the arrest of the wanted man.

To put in additional efforts to attain a desired aim, e.g. He follows up his doctor’s diagnosis by seeing another specialist for a second opinion.


fool about/around

To waste time behaving in a silly way, e.g. He’s fooling around in the library when he should be reading or doing some writing.

To act in an irresponsible way, e.g. Someone must have fooled around with this telephone, now the public can’t make calls with it.

To engage in a casual or extramarital sexual activity, e.g. A doctor is fooling around with one of his patients and nobody knows about it.


force … back

force … down

force  … on/upon

force … out of

To refrain from displaying one’s emotions.

To forcibly swallow something that one does not want.

To impose something on someone.

To force information out of someone by repeated questioning or threat, etc.,


forge ahead

To make progressive and successful headway.


fork out

To unwillingly pay money for something.


foul up

To spoil something or do something wrong by making mistakes.


freak out

To become or cause someone to become very upset, angry or irrational, e.g. She freaked out when she was stopped by traffic policemen for speeding.


freeze … out



freeze over

To deliberately exclude someone by adopting a hostile or obstructive attitude.


To turn the surface of pool, lake, etc. into ice.


freshen … up

To wash oneself or changing one’s clothes to feel clean and comfortable.


frig about/around

To waste time doing unnecessary or unimportant things.

To treat someone badly or unfairly.


frighten … away



frighten … off

To make an animal or someone go away by making them feel afraid.


To drive someone away by frightening them.


fritter … away

To waste time, money, or effort on something unimportant or trivial.


front for

To act as the person or organization serving as a cover for illegal activities.


frost up

To become covered in frost.


frown on/upon

To disapprove of something, especially someone’s behaviour.


fuck around



fuck off


fuck ... off


fuck … over

fuck ... up

fuck up

To behave in a silly way or waste time or other people’s time.


To go away.


To anger or annoy someone.


To treat someone very badly.

To make someone confused or unhappy.

To make a mistake or do something badly.


function as

To fulfil the purpose or task of something.


fuss over

To treat someone with excessive attention or affection.


futz around

To idle or occupy oneself without purpose.



To go to different places in search of pleasure.


gain on/upon

To gradually get closer to a person or thing pursued.


gallop through

To proceed at great speed in doing something.


gamble … away

To lose money or other things by gambling.


gang up on

To join together into a group to intimidate or attack someone.


gas … up

To fill petrol in a car.


gather … in

gather … up

To collect things such as crop, clothes, etc. together.

To pick up lots of things from different places.


gee up

To encourage someone to work harder and quicker.


gen up

gen … up

To learn a lot about something for a specific purpose.

To provide someone with information about something.


get … across


get ahead




get along




get around to



get at



get away








get away with



get back








get back at






get back to



get behind



get by


get down








get down to


get in





get into 








get off 














get off on




get on
















get out 













get out of 



get over




get ... over





get round


get round to



get through 









get to








get together






get up 


get ... up





get up to

To successfully convey a message, an idea, etc. to someone.


To have achieved success in one’s life or career, e.g. He comes from a wealthy family and getting ahead seems easy to him.


To manage to live or survive, or interact with people, e.g. He never seems to get along with anybody.

To be able to do something, e.g. He is getting along fine in his new job.


To finally do something after some time, e.g. He didn’t get around to preparing for his exam until the last moment.


To be able to reach something.

To criticize someone repeatedly.


To succeed in leaving a place; escape, e.g. The robbers managed to get away through the back exit just before the police arrived.

To have not been punished or criticized for a wrongful act, e.g. He has been shoplifting for a considerable time, and he always gets away with it.

To take a holiday, e.g. I have been working very hard and long hours, but still have no plan to get away for a week or two.


To escape blame or punishment for a wrongful act.


To return a place, e.g. I think we can get back in time for dinner.

To have something returned to one, e.g. I lent him my umbrella two days ago and I haven’t got it back.

To move away from danger, etc., e.g. The onlookers were told to get back as the firemen battled the blaze.

To move back to the real discussion, e.g. He was told to get back to the main point of the discussion as his comments seemed irrelevant.


To plan to retaliate, e.g. Jill cannot forget what Jack said about her and intends to get back at him.

To take revenge on someone, e.g. He swears he would get back at his step-father who ill-treated him while they were living together.


To talk to someone later, e.g. He said he would get back to me, and after two days I’m still waiting.


To have not done what one should have done earlier, e.g. He has gotten far behind with his work which should have been finished one week ago.


Manage to live but with difficulty or accomplish something.


To move from higher to lower level, e.g. I got down to the beach by walking down a flight of steps.

To move someone or something from a higher to lower level, e.g. Some one called a fireman to get a cat down from a tree.

To cause unhappiness, depression, etc. to someone, e.g. The prolonged illness of her mother is beginning to get her down.


To start work on something.


To try to enter a place, e.g. It was very crowded at the stadium, and those without tickets also tried to get in.

To engage someone to do something, e.g. We have to get the plumber in as the tap isn’t working properly.


To enter a place, e.g. We got into the stadium for the match as soon as we arrived there.

To put something into something else, e.g. We tried quite unsuccessfully to get all the things into the luggage.

To come into an adverse situation, e.g. They had to sell off their house when they got into financial difficulty.

To form a habit, routine, etc., e.g. She has gotten into the habit of biting her nails.


To escape punishment or be acquitted, e.g. The lucky murderer got off scot-free when the sole witness suddenly passed away.

To alight, e.g. When a train arrives at a station and stops, a lot of people get off it.

To end a telephone conversation, e.g. She started a lengthy telephone conversation and got off it only after being told to do so for the third time by her angry father.

To leave one’s workplace after a day’s work, e.g. Jill is always very punctual getting off the workplace after the day’s work.

To have difficulty removing something, e.g. He has already spent hours trying to get the lid off a drum.

To send something such as a letter, parcel, etc., e.g. The clerk has to get the parcels off by courier service before evening.


To find something enjoyable or be excited by something, e.g. He gets off on skydiving and has been doing it for many years.


To continue doing something, e.g. We had to get on with it until it’s completed because there isn’t much time left.

To have a friendly relationship with each other, e.g. Having known each other for only a short while we seem to get on very well.

To make progress in one’s activity, e.g. How are you getting on with writing the book?

To climb on to an animal, bicycle, etc., e.g. They have to use a ladder to get on an elephant.

To enter a vehicle, etc. e.g. As soon as the bus opened its door, people rushed to get on it.

To put on something such as clothes, etc., e.g. Those shoes are sure too small for me, I can’t get them on.

To leave or escape from a place, e.g. Visitors to the zoo rushed out for their life when they heard a tiger get out from its enclosure.


To help someone leave or escape from a place, e.g. Gang members helped a prisoner get out from the prison.

To have a regular break from the same environment, e.g. Every weekend we get out of this city for an activity in the country.

To run away from danger, etc. We managed to get out when a fire started to burn in the building.

To get something from something else, e.g. He couldn’t get any coin out of his piggy-bank no matter how he tried.

To remove something from something else, e.g. What should I use to get this stubborn stain out of my shirt?

To prevent secret information from being known, e.g. If this information gets out we will be directly implicated.

To publish something, e.g. The first issue should get out at the end of this month.


To escape from an unpleasant situation, e.g. He got out of visiting his mother-in-law with his wife by claiming falsely that he had to attend an important office meeting.


To succeed in dealing with an unpleasant or difficult situation, e.g. Many speakers prefer to be the first or among the earlier ones on the list to get it over with than to be nervous awaiting their turns.


To recover from something such as an illness, a bad experience, etc. Her husband passed away one month ago and she still hasn’t gotten over it.

To go or be asked to go to a place, e.g. I think I’ll call and ask them to get over here for a drinking bout.


To complete a task.


To resolve a problem; evade something such as a restriction, etc.


To deal with a task in due course, e.g. After we get through painting the house, we can start on tiling the floor.

To communicate successfully with someone, e.g. He has explained to his family again and again the need to move house, but he just can’t get through.

To fail in trying to speak to someone by telephone, e.g. He has tried numerous times to call his brother overseas but he has not been able to get through.

To have undergone a bitter experience.


To annoy or upset someone, e.g. Now he is looking for someone to blame, but don’t let him get to you.

To arrive at a place, e.g. We managed to get to our destination before it gets dark.

To have to do something, e.g. I haven’t finished my homework; I’ll get to it later.

To upset or annoy someone, e.g. The baby’s constant crying is beginning to get to its young mother.


To meet or gather for a specific purpose, e.g. We have agreed to get together tomorrow night to do some crazy thing like looking for ghosts.

To put things in the same place, e.g. We are getting all the ingredients together to make some cakes.


To rise from bed when awake, e.g. I don’t feel like getting up in this frosty morning.


To make someone wake up and get out of bed, e.g. I think I’ll prepare the breakfast before I get him up.

To stand up from a sitting position, e.g. Everyone present got up when he entered.


To be involved in something, especially something illicit, e.g. The neighbours all along didn’t know what he got up to until the police arrived and arrested him.


ginger … up

To make someone or something full of interest or excitement.


give … away











give in


give out








give over




give up





give ... up




give up on

To willingly transfer one’s thing or things to someone, e.g. He has been giving money away to the various charities.

To unintentionally disclose evidence that implicates someone in a crime, e.g. He told his wife he would work late but instead went to a party after work, and his colleague gave it away when the wife called the office.

To hand over a bride to her bridegroom, e.g. The bride’s father was too sad to give her away, and asked his eldest son to do it instead.

To make a secret known, e.g. The culprit gave himself away by feeling and appearing very nervous when questioned by the police.


To stop fighting or arguing and concede to their demand.


To distribute something to many people, e.g. Campaign workers give out thousands of leaflets about the danger and prevention of AIDS to everyone on the street.

To stop functioning properly, e.g. As we get older increasingly more parts of our body can easily give out.

To have none left, e.g. Explorers ensure their provisions, especially food and drink, do not give out in the midst of their exploration.


To hand over for a particular purpose.

To delegate the responsibility for someone or something to somebody else.


To stop doing something before completing it, e.g. He gave up midway in a marathon race because he felt exhausted.

To willingly admit defeat, e.g. When the soldiers realized they were completely outnumbered by the enemy, they gave up without fighting.


To hand someone or something to someone else, e.g. give up one’s seat in a bus to an old lady; the missing men were given up for dead.


To shop hoping that someone or something will change for the better, e.g. The parents have given up on their drug addict son.


glance at/through



glance off

To look at or through quickly, e.g. glance through a photo album.


To strike a surface at an angle and bounce off in another direction.


glass … in

To cover something with glass or build a glass structure around something.


glory in

To take great pride or pleasure in something, such as praise, people’s attention, etc.


gloss over

To prevent something from being known by avoiding talking about them.


gnaw at

To make someone feel uneasy or distressed.


go about




go after




go against



go ahead


go along with




go around













go away







go back



go back on




go by








go down

















go for




go in



go in for






go into








go off








go on






go out








go over









go round



go through








go through with




go under



go up







go ... up 



go with 







go without

To begin or continue doing something, e.g. I wish I knew how to go about starting a business.

To do something that you usually do.


To pursue someone, especially to apprehend them, e.g. Having arrested most of the gang members, the police are going after the leaders.


To oppose or resist something or someone;

To have something such as a judgement, etc. that is unfavourable to you.


To go earlier than other members of the group; to proceed.


To agree with someone or something, e.g. The majority of the members voted for him as they go along with what he proposed.


(Illness, news, etc.) to pass from person to person, e.g. There’s a rumour going around in the workplace that the manager is keeping a secret lover.

To be enough for everyone to have a share, e.g. There aren’t enough blankets to go around, and some of the evacuees may suffer the cold.

To deliberately do something to offend people, e.g. The new manager goes around telling everyone in sight to put in more effort in their work.

To behave in an unacceptable way, e.g. The cleaner goes around chatting loudly with everyone in the office.

To go from place to place looking for something, e.g. A bargain hunting housewife goes around from store to store looking for the really cheap, discounted items on sale.


To leave a place or person, e.g. Jack bade his friend farewell and went away leaving his friend alone on a park bench.

To spend some time elsewhere, e.g. We are going away for a holiday next week.

(Condition, difficulty, etc.) to gradually disappear, e.g. She’s on mediation for her backache and the pain is slowly going away.


To return to where you have come from, e.g. He has to go back for his wallet which he left behind.

His smoking habit goes back to his early childhood.


To break a promise or an agreement, e.g. He went back on his promise to his wife that he would never to see his ex-lover again.


To pass near something or place, e.g. Every day I go by his house on my way to work.

(Time) to pass away, e.g. Five years have gone by since she passed away, and memory of her lives on.

To strictly obey or refer to something, or use it as a guide, e.g. Deeply religious people go by their holy books.

To have an opinion of someone or something, e.g. To choose an employee, would an employer go by looks?


To get to a lower level e.g. When the doorbell rang, he went downstairs to answer it.

To get down to another place, e.g. After breakfast we went down to the pool for a swim.

To lose in a match, contest, etc., e.g. They went down 2 -1 in the final.

To get an unfavourable reaction or perception, e.g. His critical attitude does not go down well with his friends and colleagues.

(Something such as computer system, etc.) to stop working, e.g. Long queues formed in the bank as its computer system went down.

To choose  a course of action, e g. The captain chose to go down with the ship.

To become lower, e.g. The price of tomatoes has gone down, attracting many buyers.

To disappear from sight, e.g. We played football until the sun had gone down.


To try to get or gain something or get someone.

To decide on achieving something, e.g. He intends, after completing his education, to go for professional sports.

To have a preference, e.g. She goes for tall men.


To enter a place such as a building, e.g. We went in as soon as they opened the doors of the cinema.


To attack someone physically or verbally.

To enter a contest, etc. or take an examination, etc, e.g. She decided to go in for the quiz show on television.

To like or do something often, e.g. When he was young, he would go in for any kind of sea sports.


To enter a profession, business, e.g. I decided not to go into that commercial venture with him.

To expend something on doing something, e.g. A great of time, money, and resources have gone into producing this scientific paper.

To sort out details of something, e.g. They have been going into the details of the draft agreement to finalize it before the meeting.


(Gun, bomb, etc.) to fire or explode, e.g. Someone planted a bomb in the police station but it didn’t go off.

(Alarm) to sound, e.g. .Every morning he can only wake up when the second alarm clock goes off.

(Machine, system, etc.) to stop operating, e.g. Every worker leaves the building before the central heating goes off at 8 o’clock.

To do something, e.g. to go off to sleep.


To continue to do something, e.g. to go on working on it;

To take place, e.g. something goes on in that building.

To talk for a long time.

To go on with the speech after the break.

To take medication, e.g. go on the pill.


To leave the home for some place, e.g. Everyone goes out except me as I have a television program to watch.

(Tide) to ebb, e.g. Tonight we sit at seaside to watch the tide going out to sea.

(Fire) to stop burning, e.g. Firemen battled the forest fire for five straight days before it went out.

To carry on a romantic relationship, e.g. Jack is the only one Jill goes out with, but one cannot be sure about Jack.


To visit someone at their house, e.g. go over to uncle’s house.

To move to another place, e.g. go over to the kitchen for a drink.

To examine or check something, e.g. We go over the documents and discuss their contents.

To explain something, e.g. Some students don’t understand the passage, so the teacher goes over it.

To change religion, etc, to go over from this religion to that one.


To be enough, e.g. not enough chairs to go round;

To spread, e.g. a rumour goes round that ….


To search through or examine carefully, e.g. to go through the files.

To suffer from an ordeal, bitter experience, etc.

To be officially approved, e.g. the bill has gone through parliament with majority approval.

To look for something, e.g. have to go through this drawer to find it.


To do something despite opposition, danger, difficulty, etc., e.g. The government decided to go through with its proposal to legalize prostitution despite strong opposition from many quarters.


(Ship, etc.) To sink.

(Business) to become bankrupt.


To burn or explode, e.g. to go up in flames.

To increase in price, quality, etc., e.g. The increase in demand for flour has caused its price to go up.

To reach further up, e.g. He has gone up the hill twice.

To move from lower to higher level, or from south to north, e.g. We seldom go up to his house as the weather there is so much colder.


To confront another person, e.g. She went straight up to him and told him off.


To have a romantic relationship with someone.

To accept an idea, etc., e.g. We all have decided to go with his proposal.

To escort, e.g. mother goes with her young daughter to the shop.

To match an item of clothing with another, e.g. She is searching her wardrobe for a skirt to go with her blouse.


To experience lack or deprivation, e.g. go without food for two days.


goof around



goof off

To waste time doing silly things, e.g. He goofs around maybe to prove something, but nobody knows what.


To idle or avoid doing any work.


gouge … out

To cut or force something out roughly or violently.


grab at

To quickly seize something with the hand.

To immediately seize an opportunity that is offered.


graft off

To gain money or advantages by dishonest use of influence.


grapple with

To strive to cope with a difficult problem.


grasp at

To seize and hold firmly on to something.

To accept an opportunity eagerly.


grass … over

To cover land with grass.


grind away

grind … down

grind on

grind … out

To work or study hard.

To overwhelm someone with long cruel treatment.

To continue for an unpleasantly long time.

To produce something laboriously.


gross … out

To make someone feel disgusted by something, e.g. The sight of natives eating cooked rats for a meal really grossed them out.

To add deductions, etc. to a net amount.


ground in

To learn the basics in order to do something.


grow apart

grow into






grow on


grow out of







grow up

(Relationship) to become less close.

(Child’s clothes) to become big enough to wear when the child grows into clothes.

To develop into a particular kind of person or thing over time.

To learn successfully to do a job or deal with a situation.


(Someone or something) to become more attractive or interesting.


(Child’s clothes) to become too big to wear when the child grows out of clothes, e.g. She has grown out of her clothes and is not sure to throw or give them away.

To develop into something bigger or more serious.

To no longer do the thing one does when small, e.g. He has grown out of climbing trees.


(Child) to develop to maturity or adulthood.


grub … up/out

To dig something out of the ground.


guard against

To take precautions against something happening.


gulp … back

To refrain from expressing one’s feelings.


gum … up

To clog up something and prevent it from working properly.


gun … down

To shoot someone with a gun.


gussy … up

To make someone or something more attractive


gutter out

To become gradually weaker and then stops completely.


hack into

To use or change someone’s information on their computer system.


hail … as



hail from

To acclaim someone or something in newspapers, magazines, etc.


To have been born in a particular place.


hammer in/into

hammer out

To instill something into someone forcefully and repeatedly.

To laboriously work out the details of an agreement, plan, etc.


hand … around

hand … back




hand … down




hand … in



hand ... on



hand ... out



hand over

To distribute to all members of a group.

To pass back or return something to someone, e.g. The traffic policeman handed my driving licence back to me after inspecting it.


To leave something to a successor or those who come after oneself, such as a son, daughter, etc.

To pass or announce something such as a verdict, punishment, etc.


To give something to a person in authority, e.g. to hand in one’s papers at the end of an examination, or to hand in a resignation letter.


To pass something to another person.


To distribute something among a group or publicly.

To pass a verdict, punishment or penalty, etc. on someone.


To pass someone or something to someone else for a reason, e.g. He handed his ticket over to the ticket collector.


hang about

hang around



hang around with


hang back



hang in



hang on









hang on to


hang out







hang together


hang up

To spend time at a place without a good purpose.

To loiter or wait somewhere needlessly, e.g. They like to gather in a group and hang around a shopping centre.


To spend a lot of time with someone.


To remain behind or unwilling to move around and mix with others.


To remain persistent and determined in difficult circumstances.


To hold tightly onto something, e.g. She hung tightly on to the rail to prevent herself from falling.

To continue doing something in spite of difficulties, e.g. He has to hang on until the next shift worker arrives to take over.

To rely on someone or something, e.g. Does the relay race hang largely on the ability of the last runner to run very fast?

To ask someone to wait for a short while, e.g. Please hang on. He’ll be taking over in a while.


To keep something and reluctant to let go.


To be at some place or with some people for some time, e.g. After he dropped out of school he can be seen very often hanging out with a couple of friends at the shopping centre.

To hang something such as clothes, etc. outside to dry them, e.g. I hung out my shoes to dry this morning and now they have gone missing.


To cooperate and work towards the same goal.


To put the telephone down, e.g. We had to hang up as we had been talking for more than an hour.

To put something up on a hook, etc., e.g. She is always hanging up several clothes on one hook.


hanker after/for

To secretly harbour a strong feeling of wanting to have something.


happen by

happen on

happen to

To find a place by chance.

To come across something or meet someone by chance.

To experience a misfortune.

To wonder the whereabouts and wellbeing of someone after a long time, e.g. whatever happened to my niece?


hark back

To recall things that happened in the past.


harp on

To talk or write continuously and tediously on a topic.


haul … up

To officially bring someone to a court of law to be judged.


have on


have … on



have … out

To be wearing something, e.g. He has on a hat imported from Mexico.

To be using something, e.g. Each time he has the radio on it has to be extremely loud.


To have something removed, e.g. to have the appendix out by medical operation.

To bring someone to court to answer for an alleged offence.


haze over

To become hazy.


head back


head for


head off

To return to a place where one was before, e.g. I had to head back when I realized I had left my wallet at home.

To move toward one’s destination, e.g. I am headed for Montreal and have to speed up in order to arrive there before it gets dark.

To intercept and prevent something from happening.


heal over

(Wound) to have new skins grown over it and become healthy again.


hear from



hear of



hear ... out

To receive news from someone by letter, telephone call, etc.


To have knowledge of something or someone’s existence, e.g. I had never heard of Black Hole until recently.


To listen to all that someone wants to say.


heat up

To become or to make something warm or hot, e.g. By the time I arrived home with the pizza, it had cooled down so I had to heat it up.

(Situation) to become unstable or dangerous.


heave to

(Ship) to turn across the wind in order to stop moving.


hedge … in




hedge against

To be enclosed by something, e.g. a park hedged in with trees.

To feel restricted.


To protect against possible problems, especially financial loss.


heel over

To lean to one side as if going to fall, e.g. ship heels over in the storm.