Phrasal Verbs Examples and Exercises

Phrasal Verbs and Verb Combinations

Certain Verbs, when followed by certain Prepositions or Adverbs, acquire a new significance; as,

He backed up (supported) my claims.

He backed out of (withdrew from) the contest.

Study carefully the following Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verbs With BEAR

Bear down (overthrow or crush by force): He was able to bear down all opposition.

Bear off or away (win): He bore off or away from the first prize.

Bear out (establish or confirm): If the evidence bears out the charge, the man will be sent to prison.

Bear up (not to despair): It is not easy to bear up when one is beset with difficulties on all sides.

Bear with (tolerate): We could not bear with her violent temper.                                             ,

Phrasal Verbs With BLOW

Blow up (explode): There were only a few persons in the mine when it blew up.

Blow out (extinguish): The wind has blown out the candle.

Phrasal Verbs With BREAK

Break down (demolish; collapse; fail): The resistance of the garrison broke down (collapsed). If you go on working like this your health is sure to break down (fail).

Break out (to appear suddenly): Cholera has broken out in the city. War has broken out.

Break into (enter by force): The thieves broke into the house.

Break up (dissolve): The meeting broke up in great confusion. When the sun rose the ice broke up (dispersed, disappeared).

Break with (cease to be friendly with): He was my friend once, but now I have broken with him altogether.

Phrasal Verbs With BRING

Bring about (cause): His dishonest ways have brought about his ruin.                                  ‘

Bring forth (produce): A good tree brings forth good fruit.

Bring forward (produce): He has brought forward several arguments in support of his case.

Bring in (to yield as the result of sale): How much will the auction bring in? No more than Rs. 1,200, I suppose.

Bring out (bring to light): The inquiry is sure to bring out certain important facts. The publishers have recently brought out (published) a cheap edition of this book.

Bring up (educate or rear): She brought up the orphan as her own child.

Phrasal Verbs With CALL

Call for (demand): His actions call for an explanation.

Call forth (evoke): His feats called forth applause from the crowds.

Call in (invite): Always call in a doctor when you are ill.

Call off (divert; distract): The crash of thunder called off my attention from the burning house. The strike has been called off (has been either not started or has been stopped).

Call on (visit): We called on her yesterday.

Call over (recite): Please call over the names of the absentees.

Call up (recollect): I cannot call up the events of my childhood.

Phrasal Verbs With CARRY

Carry away (bear off): The crow carried away a golden ring.

Carry off (kill): Cholera carried off half the population of this village.

Carry on (manage): He carried on business in the absence of his father. Carry out (execute) : He carried out my orders.

Carry through (sustain): Patience and perseverance will carry a man through many difficulties.

Phrasal Verbs With CAST

Cast aside (reject): He cast aside all the facts that were brought to his notice. Cast down (dejected) : She was much cast down with grief.

Cast off (discard): He cast off old garments.

Cast out (expel): He was cast out from society.

Phrasal Verbs With COME

Come about (occur): I do not know how these things came about.

Come across (to meet with accidentally): Reorganising the books of the library, he came across a valuable manuscript.

Come after (succeed ): The Tughlaks came after the Khiljis.

Come by (acquire): How did you come by this pen?

Come down (descend; lower in price): Please come down from the tree. Cotton has come down (become cheaper) recently.

Come of (issue from): He comes of a noble family.

Come off (take place): When does the prize distribution come off?

Come out (transpire): At last, the truth has come out.

Come round (recover): I hope you will soon come round. He came round (agreed) to our views.

Come upon (encounter): While digging, the farmer came upon a pot full of gold coins.

Phrasal Verbs With CRY

Cry down (depreciate): Men of dissolute lives cry down religion.

Cry out against (complain loudly against): They cried out against prohibition.

Cry up (extol; praise): Who does not cry up his own wares?

Phrasal Verbs With CUT

Cut down (reduce): I advised her to cut down her expenditure.

Cut off (death, remove): He was cut off in the prime of life; (isolated, remote). It was a cut-off area in the western part of the island.

Cut out for (fitted; for): He was never cut out for a public leader.

Cut up (cause grief and pain): The news of his wife’s death has cut him up greatly.

Phrasal Verbs With DO

Do away with (abolish): The British Government wisely did away with sati.

To do for (to ruin): You are done for.

Phrasal Verbs With DRAW

Draw back (recede): He will never draw back.

Draw near (approach): Spring is drawing near.

Draw on or upon (issue a cheque): He drew on the National Bank for Rs. 500.

Draw out (to extract; prolong): He drew out my tooth without any pain. He drew out his speech to a great length. He drew out his sword.

Draw up (compile; arrange): Please draw up a code of honour. Napoleon drew up his forces near the river. The agenda for the meeting has not yet been drawn up.

Phrasal Verbs With FALL

Fall back (retreat): At last, the invaders fell back due to rough weather.

Fall back upon (to have recourse to some help): I have nothing to fall back upon in my old age.

Fall in with (concur with): He will soon fall in with our views. While going to Kashmir, I fell in with (met accidentally) two sanyasis.

Fall off (deteriorate; decrease): The standard of efficiency has recently fallen off. The subscribers to this newspaper have fallen off.

Fall out (quarrel): The two friends have fallen out upon a trivial difference in opinion.

Fall to (apply one self): He fell to eating and drinking again.

Fall upon (attack): They fell upon the enemy in full force.

Fall through (fail): The project fell through for lack of funds.

Phrasal Verbs With GET

Get at (obtain): Our object in this inquiry is to get at the facts.

Get back (recover): He was able to get back all his money. He has just got back (returned) from pilgrimage.

Get down (descend): He has climbed up the top of the tree, but how will he get down?

Get off (escape): His offence was grave, but he got off with a fine.

Get on (advance, make progress): How is your daughter getting on at school?

Get on with (live agreeably with): It is hard to get on with a spendthrift.

Get over (surmount): We have now got over all our difficulties.

Get through (pass): Bali will get through the examination.

Get up (rise): When do you get up in the morning?

Phrasal Verbs With GIVE

Give away (distribute): The Commissioner gave away the prizes.

Give forth (announce): He gave it forth that he was going to retire from politics.

Give in (submit, yield): He was compelled to give in.

Give off (emit): Some flowers give off a sweet fragrance at night.

Give out (emit): The rose gives out a sweet perfume. He gave out (announced) that he was going to America. He gave out (distributed) tickets to all.

Give over (transfer): I gave over charge of my office to my assistant yesterday.

Give up (abandon; surrender): He has given up his claim to the property. The murderer has given himself up to the police.

Phrasal Verbs With GO

Go after (pursue): The hunters went after the wounded stag.

Go beyond (exceed): Do not go beyond the limits prescribed by the Company.

Go forward (proceed): Let us go forward with our work.

Go on (continue): We went on working till late at night.

Go through (examine): You must first go through the accounts. We have gone through (suffered) many hardships.

Go up (ascend): Two women went up in a balloon. Cotton has gone up (risen-in price).

Go up to (approach): He went up to her and asked her why she had insulted him.

Phrasal Verbs With HOLD

Hold back (to keep back; to conceal): I shall hold back nothing from you.

Hold on (continue holding or clinging to): Don’t let the rope go. Hold on!

Hold out (endure): The garrison held out (offered resistance) bravely for forty days. He said he could hold out (offer) to be no promise of a rise in my salary.

Hold up (support; sustain): The boys held up a heavy shield. The progress of the work has been held up (arrested).

Phrasal Verbs With KEEP

Keep back (conceal): I shall keep nothing back from you.

Keep from (refrain from): Keep from evil.

Keep to (adhere to): Always keep to your promise.

Keep under (control): He bravely kept his passions under.

Keep up (maintain): He keeps up the reputation of the firm. My father, though old, still keeps up. his energy.

Keep on (continue): She kept on weeping.

Phrasal Verbs With LAY

Lay by (save for future use): Lay by something for a rainy day.

Lay down (surrender): The rebels laid down their arms. He laid down (sacrificed) his life for the sake of his country.

Lay out (invest): He has laid out a large sum of money in gilt-edged securities.

Lay up (deposit): He has laid up all his money in banks. He is laid up (confined to bed) with fever.

Phrasal Verbs With LOOK

Look after (take care): Look after my family when I am away.

Look down upon (despise): Don’t look down upon a poor beggar.

Look for (search for): We are looking for the lost keys. What news are you looking for (expecting)?

Look forward to (expect with pleasure): We are looking forward to your visit.

Look into (inspect): The auditor looked into all the accounts. I shall certainly look into (investigate) the matter.

Look on (regard): We looked at him as a wise man.

Look over (examine): He looked over his accounts.

Look up (search for): Look up this word in the dictionary. Prices are looking up (rising).

Look up to (respect): They all looked up to him as their leader.

Phrasal Verbs With MAKE

Make away with (destroy): He made away with the princess with the help of the conspirators. He made away with (stole) two thousand rupees.

Make for (conduce to): Contentment makes for happiness in life.

Make out (discover): Can you make out the author’s meaning? I think the lawyer has made out (proved or established) by arguments a good case.

Make over (transfer): He has made over all his property to his second wife.

Make up (reconcile or compose): The two parties have made up their quarrel. Please makeup (complete) all your accounts. They expect the Government to make up (compensate or make good) their losses.

Make up one’s mind (determine): He made up his mind to punish all the offenders.

Phrasal Verbs With PUT

Put down (suppress): The king was able to put down the rebellion.

Put forth (exert): She put forth all her strength to achieve her objective. The trees put forth (thrust out) their leaves.

Put off (postpone): Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today. He put me off (evaded) with an excuse. Please put off (remove) your shoes before going into the temple.

Put on (assume): He put on haughty airs. He put on clothes, a turban, shoes, etc.

Put out (extinguish): Please put out the light. The firemen put out the fire. He was rather put out (confused) by their questions.

Put up (propose): They put up their own candidate.

Put up with (tolerate): I can no longer put up with her insolence. Poor people have to put up with (endure) many hardships. Whenever he comes to Mumbai he puts up with me (stays at my house for a time).

Phrasal Verbs With RUN

Run after (pursue with attention): The boy ran after the ball. People run after riches in this world.

Run down (decry; disparage): He always runs down his rivals. He feels much run down (enfeebled in health) on account of overwork.

Run into (incur): He has run into debt.

Run off (flee): Hearing the noise, the thief ran off

Run out (come to an end of period or of stock): The lease of this building has run out. Our stocks of wheat have run out.

Run out of (exhaust one’s stock of): We have run out of our stocks of sugar.

Run over (overflow of vessel or contents): The reservoir is running over. He ran over (glanced over) the documents. The motor-car ran over (passed over) a dog.

Run through (consume estate, etc., by reckless or quick spending): He has run through his fortune within two years. I had to run through (examine hurriedly) the accounts in half an hour.

Run up (grow quickly): My expenses have run up recently.

Run up to (amount to): The goods she had bought run up to a large amount.

Phrasal Verbs With SEE

See into (hold an inquiry; examine): The solicitors will see into your claim to the property.

See off (witness one’s departure): Her friends and relatives were present at the station to see her off.

See through (penetrate): Only a clever man can see through her game.

Phrasal Verbs With SET

Set about (begin): As soon as he took over he set about organising the department.

Set apart (reserve): He set apart some money for the education of his children,

set aside (reject): He set aside all objections and accepted my claim.

Set down (record): The magistrate set down in writing our complaint. He is an insolent fellow and needs someone to set him down (snub).

Set forth (explain): He set forth his views before the audience.

Set in (begin): The rainy season has set in.

Set off (depart): They set off at sunrise. This golden frame sets off (embellishes or decorates) the picture.

Set on (incite): He set her on to abuse them.

Set out (start on a journey): When will he set out on his travels?

Set up (begin a new business): He has set up as a broker. They have set up (erected) a pillar in his memory. I do have not money enough to set me up (establish myself) in business.

Set up for (pretend or profess to be): Do you mean to set up for an astrologer?

Set upon (attack): The robbers set upon the travellers and robbed them off I their gold.

Phrasal Verbs With STAND

Stand against (withstand; resist): No Indian kind could stand against the attack of Alexander.

Stand by (support): A faithful friend stands by us through thick and thin.

Stand for (present oneself as a candidate for): At the last elections, he stood for this constituency.

Stand out against (persistently oppose or refuse to yield): He stood out \ against all efforts of the Government to introduce the bill.

Stand up for (defend): He always stood up for the rights of the oppressed.

Phrasal Verbs With STRIKE

Strike at (aim a blow at): He struck at me but I avoided his blow.

Strike down (attack): He is struck down with cholera.

Strike off (remove): They struck off his name from the list of volunteers.                           ‘

Strike out (erase): He struck out the last paragraph.

Phrasal Verbs With TAKE

Take after (resemble): Your daughter does not take after you in any way.

Take away (remove): They took away all her ornaments.

Take down (a record): I have taken down your statement.

Take for (think one to be): We took him for a priest (that is, we thought he was a priest).

Take in (deceive): He was taken in by sharpers. The boys could not take in (comprehend) her lecture.

Take off (remove): Please take off your shoes before entering.

Take over (receive charge of an office): He has recently taken over.

Take to (get into a habit): Recently he has taken to (become addicted to) drinking.

Take up (occupy): It would take up much of my time to explain to you the whole case. Why don’t you take up (commence) some other work?

Phrasal Verbs With THROW

Throw away (lose by neglect): You have thrown away a golden chance.

Throw out (reject): The bill was thrown out by Parliament.

Throw up (resign): This man has thrown up his appointment.

Phrasal Verbs With TURN

Turn’against (become hostile to): All his friends turned against him.

Turn off (dismiss): His servant was lazy; he has turned him off

Turn on (switch on): Turn on the lights, please.

Turn out (expel): He turned out the tenant. How much cloth does this factory turn out (produce) in a day? Everything turned out (proved to be) well (satisfactorily).

Turn up (arrive): He turned up late. We cannot say what will turn up (happen) next.

Exercise 1: Express in simple language the meaning of the following sentences.

  1. He bore away the first prize.
  2. The new sultan was able to be^r down all opposition.
  3. He broke off in the middle of his^peech.
  4. The burglars broke into the house at night.
  5. I gave her no cause to break with me.
  6. Faith in God bears up a man in his trials.
  7. His evidence bears out your statement.
  8. She could not call up past events.
  9. You must carry out my orders.
  10. His son carried on his business in his absence.
  11. She was much cast down by the loss of her ring.
  12. At last, the truth has come. out.
  13. We should not cry down on religion.
  14. That young singer is cried up by his friends.
  15. He is cut out for a soldier.
  16. I am done for.
  17. The rebels held out for about a month.
  18. The poor traveller was held up by his friends.
  19. I was kept in by a bad cold.
  20. He has done his best to keep up the reputation of his family.
  21. I shall keep nothing back from you.
  22. The rebels laid down their arms.
  23. Lay by something for a rainy day.
  24. Through he was found guilty, he was let off with a fine.
  25. He was pulled up by his officer.
  26. The doctor says that the patient will pull through.
  27. His speech worked up the rioters.
  28. He is quite well off now.
  29. I closed with his offer.
  30. In disgust he threw up the job.

Exercise 2: Fill in the blank spaces with one of the following phrases. Pay attention to the tense form of the verb.

look down on  look out of  fall back on  keep up with

watch out for  come up to  put up with  go in for

do away with  make up for  break in on  look up to

  1. She refused to______ his nonsense any longer.
  2. Do you intend to____ the competition?
  3. Don’t walk so fast; I can’t___
  4. I hope the book _____ your expectations.
  5. Such ridiculous laws should have been__ a long time ago.
  6. You promised to help her. You can’t__ ^ your promise now.
  7. There’s a sharp bend in the road; ,__
  8. How can she_____ the time she has lost?
  9. I’m sorry to______ you like thir, but you’re wanted on the phone.
  10. Only a fool would___ a person who did manual labour.
  11. He’s a wonderful person. He’s____ by every man in the office.
  12. He is not at all proud of his inheritance. He is glad to know that he can have it_______.

Exercise 3: Fill in the blank spaces with one of the following phrases. Pay attention to the tense form of the verb.

get out of  look forward to  fed up with  catch up with

live up to  stand up for  get on with  come down upon

run out of look back on cut out for  get away with

  1. You have been away from school for more than a month; you’ll have to work hard to______ the class.
  2. The Headmaster_____ the boy like a ton of bricks.
  3. He is not_______ that sort of work.
  4. I’m_______ this waiter.
  5. He began forging cheques and at first he was able to it but in the end he was caught and sent to prison.
  6. How are you______ your class-fellows at school?
  7. He smokes too much, it is very difficult for him to the habit.
  8. He had high ideals and tried all his life to__
  9. Sometimes it does one great good to___ one’s past.
  10. My niece is visiting us this week-end. We are all___ her visit.
  11. I have_______ Put some lemon in your tea instead.
  12. His father blamed him, but his mother__ him and said that the

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