List of 150+ Powerful Phrasal Verbs in English! In this lesson, we will learn about the most common phrasal verbs (phrasal verbs with get, phrasal verbs with make…) in English, with meanings and example sentences.
Important Phrasal Verbs List
Here is the frequently used phrasal verbs list:
Ask somebody out
- Meaning: Invite on a date
- Example: Brian asked Judy out to dinner and a movie.
- Meaning: Ask many people the same question
- Example: I asked around but nobody has seen my wallet.
Add up to something
- Meaning: Equal
- Example: Your purchases add up to $205.32.
Back something up
- Meaning: Reverse
- Example: You’ll have to back up your car so that I can get out.
Back somebody up
- Meaning: Support
- Example: My wife backed me up over my decision to quit my job.
- Meaning: Explode
- Example: The racing car blew up after it crashed into the fence.
Blow something up
- Meaning: add air
- Example: We have to blow 50 balloons up for the party.
- Meaning: Stop functioning (vehicle, machine)
- Example: Our car broke down at the side of the highway in the snowstorm.
- Meaning: Get upset
- Example: The woman broke down when the police told her that her son had died.
Break something down
- Meaning: Divide into smaller parts
- Example: Our teacher broke the final project down into three separate parts.
- Meaning: Force entry to a building
- Example: Somebody broke in last night and stole our stereo.
Break into something
- Meaning: enter forcibly
- Example: The firemen had to break into the room to rescue the children.
Break something in
- Meaning: wear something a few times so that it doesn’t look/feel new
- Example: I need to break these shoes in before we run next week.
- Meaning: interrupt
- Example: The TV station broke in to report the news of the president’s death.
- Meaning: End a relationship
- Example: My boyfriend and I broke up before I moved to America.
- Meaning: Start laughing (informal)
- Example: The kids just broke up as soon as the clown started talking.
- Meaning: Escape
- Example: The prisoners broke out of jail when the guards weren’t looking.
Break out in something
- Meaning: develop a skin condition
- Example: I broke out in a rash after our camping trip.
Bring somebody down
- Meaning: make unhappy
- Example: This sad music is bringing me down.
Bring somebody up
- Meaning: raise a child
- Example: My grandparents brought me up after my parents died.
Bring something up
- Meaning: start talking about a subject
- Example: My mother walks out of the room when my father brings up sports.
Bring something up
- Meaning: vomit
- Example: He drank so much that he brought his dinner up in the toilet.
- Meaning: Phone many different places/people
- Example: We called around but we weren’t able to find the car part we needed.
Call somebody back
- Meaning: Return a phone call
- Example: I called the company back but the offices were closed for the weekend.
Call something off
- Meaning: Cancel
- Example: Jason called the wedding off because he wasn’t in love with his fiancé.
Call on somebody
- Meaning: Ask for an answer or opinion
- Example: The professor called on me for question 1.
Call on somebody
- Meaning: Visit somebody
- Example: We called on you last night but you weren’t home.
Call somebody up
- Meaning: Phone
- Example: Give me your phone number and I will call you up when we are in town.
- Meaning: Relax after being angry
- Example: You are still mad. You need to calm down before you drive the car.
- Meaning: Get to the same point as somebody else
- Example: You’ll have to run faster than that if you want to catch up with Marty.
- Meaning: Arrive and register at a hotel or airport
- Example: We will get the hotel keys when we check in.
- Meaning: Leave a hotel
- Example: You have to check out of the hotel before 11:00 AM.
Check somebody/ something out
- Meaning: Look at carefully, investigate
- Example: The company checks out all new employees.
Check out somebody/ something
- Meaning: Look at (informal)
- Check out the crazy hair on that guy!
- Meaning: Become happier
- She cheered up when she heard the good news.
Cheer somebody up
- Meaning: Make happier
- I brought you some flowers to cheer you up.
- Meaning: Help
- Example: If everyone chips in we can get the kitchen painted by noon.
Clean something up
- Meaning: Tidy, clean
- Example: Please clean up your bedroom before you go outside.
Come across something
- Meaning: Find unexpectedly
- Example: I came across these old photos when I was tidying the closet.
- Meaning: Separate
- Example: The top and bottom come apart if you pull hard enough.
Come down with something
- Meaning: Become sick
- Example: My nephew came down with chicken pox this weekend.
- Meaning: Volunteer for a task or to give evidence
- Example: The woman came forward with her husband’s fingerprints.
Come from some place
- Meaning: Originate in
- Example: The art of origami comes from Asia.
Count on somebody/ something
- Meaning: Rely on
- Example: I am counting on you to make dinner while I am out.
Cross something out
- Meaning: Draw a line through
- Example: Please cross out your old address and write your new one.
Cut back on something
- Meaning: Consume less
- Example: My doctor wants me to cut back on sweets and fatty foods.
Cut something down
- Meaning: Make something fall to the ground
- Example: We had to cut the old tree in our yard down after the storm.
- Meaning: Interrupt
- Example: Your father cut in while I was dancing with your uncle.
- Meaning: Too closely in front of another vehicle
- Example: The bus driver got angry when that car cut in.
- Meaning: Start operating (of an engine or electrical device)
- Example: The air conditioner cuts in when the temperature gets to 22°C.
Cut something off
- Meaning: Remove with something sharp
- Example: The doctors cut off his leg because it was severely injured.
Cut something off
- Meaning: Stop providing
- Example: The phone company cut off our phone because we didn’t pay the bill.
Cut somebody off
- Meaning: Take out of a will
- Example: My grandparents cut my father off when he remarried.
Cut something out
- Meaning: Remove part of something (usually with scissors and paper)
- Example: I cut this ad out of the newspaper.
Do somebody/ something over
- Meaning: Beat up, ransack (BrE, informal)
- Example: He’s lucky to be alive. His shop was done over by a street gang.
Do something over
- Meaning: Do again (AmE)
- Example: My teacher wants me to do my essay over because she doesn’t like my topic.
Do away with something
- Meaning: Discard
- Example: It’s time to do away with all of these old tax records.
Do something up
- Meaning: Fasten, close
- Example: Do your coat up before you go outside. It’s snowing!
- Meaning: Wear nice clothing
- Example: It’s a fancy restaurant so we have to dress up.
- Meaning: move back in a position/group
- Example: Andrea dropped back to third place when she fell off her bike.
Drop in/ by/ over
- Meaning: Come without an appointment
- Example: I might drop in/by/over for tea sometime this week.
Drop somebody/ something off
- Meaning: Take somebody/ something somewhere and leave them/it there
- Example: I have to drop my sister off at work before I come over.
- Meaning: Quit a class, school etc.
- Example: I dropped out of Science because it was too difficult.
- Meaning: Eat at a restaurant
- Example: I don’t feel like cooking tonight. Let’s eat out.
- Meaning: Eventually reach/do/decide
- Example: We ended up renting a movie instead of going to the theatre.
- Meaning: Break into pieces
- Example: My new dress fell apart in the washing machine.
- Meaning: Fall to the ground
- Example: The picture that you hung up last night fell down this morning.
- Meaning: Separate from an interior
- Example: The money must have fallen out of my pocket.
- Meaning: (of hair, teeth) Become loose and unattached
- Example: His hair started to fall out when he was only 35.
Figure something out
- Meaning: Understand, find the answer
- Example: I need to figure out how to fit the piano and the bookshelf in this room.
Fill something in
- Meaning: To write information in blanks, as on a form (BrE)
- Example: Please fill in the form with your name, address, and phone number.
Fill something out
- Meaning: To write information in blanks, as on a form (AmE)
- Example: The form must be filled out in capital letters.
Fill something up
- Meaning: Fill to the top
- Example: I always fill the water jug up when it is empty.
- Meaning: Discover
- Example: We don’t know where he lives. How can we find out?
Find something out
- Meaning: Discover
- Example: We tried to keep the time of the party a secret, but Samantha found it out.
Get something across/ over
- Meaning: Communicate, make understandable
- Example: I tried to get my point across/over to the judge but she wouldn’t listen.
- Meaning: Like each other
- Example: I was surprised at how well my new girlfriend and my sister got along/on.
- Meaning: Have mobility
- Example: My grandfather can get around fine in his new wheelchair.
- Meaning: Go on a vacation
- Example: We worked so hard this year that we had to get away for a week.
Get away with something
- Meaning: Do without being noticed or punished
- Example: Jason always gets away with cheating in his maths tests.
- Meaning: Return
- Example: We got back from our vacation last week.
Get something back
- Meaning: Receive something you had before
- Example: Liz finally got her Science notes back from my room-mate.
Get back at somebody
- Meaning: Retaliate, take revenge
- Example: My sister got back at me for stealing her shoes. She stole my favourite hat.
Get back into something
- Meaning: Become interested in something again
- Example: I finally got back into my novel and finished it.
Get on something
- Meaning: Step onto a vehicle
- Example: We’re going to freeze out here if you don’t let us get on the bus.
Get over something
- Meaning: Recover from an illness, loss, difficulty
- Example: I just got over the flu and now my sister has it.
Get over something
- Meaning: overcome a problem
- Example: The company will have to close if it can’t get over the new regulations.
Get round to something
- Meaning: finally find time to do (AmE: get around to something)
- Example: I don’t know when I am going to get round to writing the thank you cards.
- Meaning: Meet (usually for social reasons)
- Example: Let’s get together for a BBQ this weekend.
- Meaning: Get out of bed
- Example: I got up early today to study for my exam.
- Meaning: Stand
- Example: You should get up and give the elderly man your seat.
Give somebody away
- Meaning: Reveal hidden information about somebody
- Example: His wife gave him away to the police.
Give somebody away
- Meaning: Take the bride to the altar
- Example: My father gave me away at my wedding.
Give something away
- Meaning: Ruin a secret
- Example: My little sister gave the surprise party away by accident.
Give something away
- Meaning: Give something to somebody for free
- Example: The library was giving away old books on Friday.
Give something back
- Meaning: Return a borrowed item
- Example: I have to give these skates back to Franz before his hockey game.
- Meaning: Reluctantly stop fighting or arguing
- Example: My boyfriend didn’t want to go to the ballet, but he finally gave in.
Give something out
- Meaning: Give to many people (usually at no cost)
- Example: They were giving out free perfume samples at the department store.
Give something up
- Meaning: Quit a habit
- Example: I am giving up smoking as of January 1st.
- Meaning: Stop trying
- Example: My maths homework was too difficult so I gave up.
Go after somebody
- Meaning: Follow somebody
- Example: My brother tried to go after the thief in his car.
Go after something
- Meaning: Try to achieve something
- Example: I went after my dream and now I am a published writer.
Go against somebody
- Meaning: Compete, oppose
- Example: We are going against the best soccer team in the city tonight.
- Meaning: Start, proceed
- Example: Please go ahead and eat before the food gets cold.
- Meaning: Return to a place
- Example: I have to go back home and get my lunch.
- Meaning: Leave home to go on a social event
- Example: We’re going out for dinner tonight.
Go out with somebody
- Meaning: Date
- Example: Jesse has been going out with Luke since they met last winter.
Go over something
- Meaning: Review
- Example: Please go over your answers before you submit your test.
- Meaning: Visit somebody nearby
- Example: I haven’t seen Tina for a long time. I think I’ll go over for an hour or two.
Go without something
- Meaning: Suffer lack or deprivation
- Example: When I was young, we went without winter boots.
- Meaning: Stop being friends over time
- Example: My best friend and I grew apart after she changed schools.
- Meaning: Regrow
- Example: My roses grew back this summer.
Grow into something
- Meaning: Grow big enough to fit
- Example: This bike is too big for him now, but he should grow into it by next year.
Grow out of something
- Meaning: Get too big for
- Example: Elizabeth needs a new pair of shoes because she has grown out of her old ones.
- Meaning: Become an adult
- Example: When Jack grows up he wants to be a fireman.
Hand something down
- Meaning: Give something used to somebody else
- Example: I handed my old comic books down to my little cousin.
Hand something in
- Meaning: Submit
- Example: I have to hand in my essay by Friday.
Hand something out
- Meaning: To distribute to a group of people
- Example: We will hand out the invitations at the door.
Hand something over
- Meaning: Give (usually unwillingly)
- Example: The police asked the man to hand over his wallet and his weapons.
- Meaning: Stay positive (informal)
- Example: Hang in there. I’m sure you’ll find a job very soon.
- Meaning: Wait a short time (informal)
- Hang on while I grab my coat and shoes!
- Meaning: Spend time relaxing (informal)
- Example: Instead of going to the party we are just going to hang out at my place.
- Meaning: End a phone call
- Example: He didn’t say goodbye before he hung up.
Hold somebody/ something back
- Meaning: Prevent from doing/going
- Example: I had to hold my dog back because there was a cat in the park.
Try something on
- Meaning: sample clothing
- Example: I’m going to try these jeans on, but I don’t think they will fit.
Try something out
- Meaning: Test
- Example: I am going to try this new brand of detergent out.
Use something up
- Meaning: Finish the supply
- Example: The kids used all of the toothpaste up so we need to buy some more.
- Meaning: stop sleeping
- Example: We have to wake up early for work on Monday.
Warm somebody/ something up
- Meaning: increase the temperature
- Example: You can warm your feet up in front of the fireplace.
- Meaning: prepare the body for exercise
- Example: I always warm up by doing sit-ups before I go for a run.
- Meaning: Fade away
- Example: Most of my make-up wore off before I got to the party.
- Meaning: exercise
- Example: I work out at the gym three times a week.
- Meaning: be successful
- Example: Our plan worked out fine.
Work something out
- Meaning: make a calculation
- Example: We have to work out the total cost before we buy the house.
Common Phrasal Verbs | Infographics