Phrasal verbs list
As well as learning their meanings, you can study the grammar of phrasal verbs.
phrasal verbmeaningexample sentence
ask someone outinvite on a dateBrian asked Judy out to dinner and a movie.
ask aroundask many people the same questionI asked around but nobody has seen my wallet.
add up to somethingequalYour purchases add up to $205.32.
back something upreverseYou'll have to back upyour car so that I can get out.
back someone upsupportMy wife backed me upover my decision to quit my job.
blow upexplodeThe racing car blew upafter it crashed into the fence.
blow something upadd airWe have to blow 50 balloons up for the party.
break downstop functioning (vehicle, machine)Our car broke down at the side of the highway in the snowstorm.
break downget upsetThe woman broke down when the police told her that her son had died.
break somethingdowndivide into smaller partsOur teacher broke the final project down into three separate parts.
break inforce entry to a buildingSomebody broke in last night and stole our stereo.
break into somethingenter forciblyThe firemen had tobreak into the room to rescue the children.
break something inwear something a few times so that it doesn't look/feel newI need to break these shoes in before we run next week.
break ininterruptThe TV station broke into report the news of the president's death.
break upend a relationshipMy boyfriend and Ibroke up before I moved to America.
break upstart laughing (informal)The kids just broke upas soon as the clown started talking.
break outescapeThe prisoners broke out of jail when the guards weren't looking.
break out insomethingdevelop a skin conditionI broke out in a rash after our camping trip.
bring someone downmake unhappyThis sad music isbringing me down.
bring someone upraise a childMy grandparentsbrought me up after my parents died.
bring something upstart talking about a subjectMy mother walks out of the room when my father brings up sports.
bring something upvomitHe drank so much that he brought his dinnerup in the toilet.
call aroundphone many different places/peopleWe called around but we weren't able to find the car part we needed.
call someone backreturn a phone callI called the companyback but the offices were closed for the weekend.
call something offcancelJason called the wedding off because he wasn't in love with his fiancé.
call on someoneask for an answer or opinionThe professor called onme for question 1.
call on someonevisit someoneWe called on you last night but you weren't home.
call someone upphoneGive me your phone number and I will callyou up when we are in town.
calm downrelax after being angryYou are still mad. You need to calm downbefore you drive the car.
not care forsomeone/somethingnot like (formal)I don't care for his behaviour.
catch upget to the same point as someone elseYou'll have to run faster than that if you want tocatch up with Marty.
check inarrive and register at a hotel or airportWe will get the hotel keys when we check in.
check outleave a hotelYou have to check outof the hotel before 11:00 AM.
checksomeone/somethingoutlook at carefully, investigateThe company checks out all new employees.
check outsomeone/somethinglook at (informal)Check out the crazy hair on that guy!
cheer upbecome happierShe cheered up when she heard the good news.
cheer someone upmake happierI brought you some flowers to cheer youup.
chip inhelpIf everyone chips in we can get the kitchen painted by noon.
clean something uptidy, cleanPlease clean up your bedroom before you go outside.
come acrosssomethingfind unexpectedlyI came across these old photos when I was tidying the closet.
come apartseparateThe top and bottomcome apart if you pull hard enough.
come down withsomethingbecome sickMy nephew came down with chicken pox this weekend.
come forwardvolunteer for a task or to give evidenceThe woman came forward with her husband's finger prints.
come fromsomewhereoriginate inThe art of origamicomes from Asia.
count onsomeone/somethingrely onI am counting on you to make dinner while I am out.
cross something outdraw a line throughPlease cross out your old address and write your new one.
cut back onsomethingconsume lessMy doctor wants me tocut back on sweets and fatty foods.
cut something downmake something fall to the groundWe had to cut the old tree in our yard downafter the storm.
cut ininterruptYour father cut in while I was dancing with your uncle.
cut inpull in too closely in front of another vehicleThe bus driver got angry when that car cut in.
cut instart operating (of an engine or electrical device)The air conditioner cuts in when the temperature gets to 22°C.
cut something offremove with something sharpThe doctors cut off his leg because it was severely injured.