Some Common Phrasal Verbs With Examples
A phrasal verb is a verb plus a preposition or adverb which creates a meaning different from the original verb.
break down – stop functioning
That old Jeep had a tendency to break down just when I needed it the most.
break down – get upset
The woman broke down when the police told her that her son had died.
drop by – visit without appointment
We used to just drop by, but they were never home, so we stopped doing that.
keep away – remain at a distance
The judge warned the stalker to keep away from his victim’s home.
show off – demonstrate
Whenever he sat down at the piano, we knew he was going to show off.
break in – force entry to a building
Somebody broke in last night and stole our stereo.
come apart – separate
The top and bottom come apart if you pull hard enough.
come forward – volunteer for a task or to give evidence
The woman came forward with her husband’s finger prints.
fall apart – break into pieces
My new dress fell apart in the washing machine.
go against someone – compete/oppose
We are going against the best soccer team in the city tonight.
hang up – end a phone call
He didn’t say goodbye before he hung up.
hold on – wait a short time
Please hold on while I transfer you to the Sales Department.
look down on someone – think less of, consider inferior
Ever since we stole that chocolate bar, your dad has looked down on me.
look after someone/something – take care of
I have to look after my sick Grandmother.
look into something – investigate
We are going to look into the p[rice of snowboards today.
make up – forgive each other
We were angrv last night, but we made up at breakfast.
put up with someone/something – tolerate
I don’t think I can put up with three small children in the car.
run into someone/something – meet unexpectedly
I ran into an old school-friend at the mall.
run over someone/something – drive a vehicle over a person or thing
I accidentally ran over your bicycle in the driveway.
run out – have none left
We ran out of shampoo, so I had to wash my hair with soap.
Show off – act extra special for people watching (usually boastfully)
He always shows off on his skateboard.
turn off – start to fly
My Diane takes off in five minutes.
turn up – appear suddenly
Our cat turned up after we put posters up all over the neighbourhood.
work out – exercise
I work out at the gym three times a week.
wore off – fade away
Most of mv make-up wore off before I got to the party.
shop around – compare prices
I want to shop around a little before I decide on these boots.
go ahead – start, proceed
Please go ahead and eat before the food gets cold.
hand something down – give something used to someone else
I handed mv old comic books down to mv little cousin.
hand something in – submit
I have to hand in my essay by Friday.
hand something out – to distribute to a group of people
We will hand out the invitations at the door.
put forward – proposal/propose