Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verbs are the combination of verbs and adverbs or prepositions or both with completely new meanings.

Difference in Meaning between Verbs and Group Verbs

Verbs Meaning Group Verb Meaning
Look See Look after Care
Call Ask to come Call up Remember
Come Move towards a place where the speaker or the writer is Come about Happen
Make Prepare, create or construct Make out Understand

Formation of Group Verbs Rules

The Group Verbs are formed from the combination of verbs and adverbs or prepositions or both as shown below:

Verb + Adverb Verb + Preposition Verb + Preposition + Adverb
Bring out – Bring + out Look after – Look + after Loo down upon – Look + down + upon
Come in – Come + in Bring on – Bring + on Set out for – Set + out + for
Sit down – Sit down Laugh at – Laugh + at Come up with – Come + up + with
Set in – Set + in Carry on – Carry + on Do away with – Do + away + with
Call out – Call + out Call at – Call + at Fall back on – Fall + back + on
Go up – Go + up Put on – Put + on Go along with – Go + along + with

Placing Adverbs with Phrasal Verbs Rules

  • The Group Verbs are Intransitive Verbs, the adverb is placed either between the verb and the particle or after the particle:

Example: The dog ran away fast. – The dog ran fast away.

  • In case of Transitive /separable Phrasal Verbs, if the object is a noun, it may be placed after the verb or between verb and the adverb.

Example: Mohammad Kaif picked up the ball. – Mohammad Kaif picked the ball up.

  • But when the object is a pronoun, it is placed between the verb and adverb.

Debobrata shot it (the bird) down.

He bought it (the letter) back.

Note: Separable verbs are those that have an item inserted between the verb and the particle.

List of Common Phrasal Verbs


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Act upon Affects Over-exercise acts upon one’s health.
Act for On behalf of He acted for me while I was ill.
Act on Affect I acted on my brother’s advice.
Act under Act in obedience to She acted under the orders of the Chairman.
Act up to Act according to He always act up to my advice.
Act against Do anything against We should do anything against his opinion.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Ask for Pray for He asked for a holiday.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Bear away Win He bore away the first prize.
Bear down Overcome He bore down all resistance.
Bear off Carry with proud He bore off the prize.
Bear on Relevance He has no bearing on the present case.
Bear out Confirms Your reports bear out his story.
Bear with Tolerate I can not bear with such conduct.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Blow off Emit The engine blows off carbon dioxide.
Blow out Extinguish Blow out the fire.
Blow up Destroy by explosion The soldiers blew up the bridge.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Break away Freed himself The thief broke away from the jail.
Break down Suffer physical weakening His health broke down through overwork.
Break in Force their way in The robbers broke in at night.
Break into Enter by breaking Last night a thief broke into our house.
Break off Stop He broke off at the middle of the speech.
Break out Appear suddenly Cholera has broken out in the town.
Break up End The meeting broke up at 5 p.m.
Break with Part from He has broken with me.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Bring about Cause His ruin was brought about by his own folly.
Bring down Lower This will bring down the prices of things.
Bring forth Produce This tree brings forth good fruit.
Bring in Yields My business brings in good income.
Bring forward Placing matter for discussion The subject was brought forward for discussion in the meeting.
Bring out Publish He has brought out a new book.
Bring on Causes Overeating brings on dyspepsia.
Bring through Restoration of health He was very ill but proper medicine and good nursing brought him through.
Bring to Conduct The boy fainted but was soon brought to.
Bring up Rear He was brought up by his aunt.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Burst into Express emotion He burst into tears to see her dead son.
Burst out Begin suddenly She burst out laughing.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Call at Visit I shall call at your house soon.
Call by Pay a short visit Mr. Roy will call by me tomorrow.
Call off Cancel The strike was called off.
Call for Demand I called for his explanation.
Call forth Elicit His heroism called forth the admiration of all.
Call in Invite Please call in a doctor.
Call on Visit a person I shall call on you tomorrow.
Call out Call for mission The troops were called out to restore order.
Call up Remember I cannot call up his name.
Call upon Order He was called upon to explain his conduct.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Carry about Carry with He carries about a pistol wherever he goes.
Carry off Won He carried off all the prizes.
Carry on Continue I shall carry on the work in your absence.
Carry out Execute Let us carry out his order.
Carry away To move He was carried away by the current.
Carry through Fulfil He carried the bill through the council.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Cast about Move about He is casting about for an opportunity.
Cast aside Throw off He cast away his old shirt.
Cast out Reject As he is my friend, I shall not cast him out.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Catch at Take the opportunity A drowning man catches at a straw.
Catch up Come up with India is trying to catch up with the advanced countries.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Come about Happen How did it come about?
Come across Meet I came across him on the way.
Come at The truth is very difficult to come at.
Come along Hurry Come along, otherwise you’ll miss the train.
Come by Get Jobs are very difficult to come by.
Come down Decrease The rent of houses have come down.
Come of Descended from He comes of a rich family.
Come off Take place The ceremony comes off tomorrow.
Come out Reveal The secret came out.
Come round Recover He came round very soon.
Come to Amount to His monthly salary has come to a high figure.
Come upon Meet by chance I came upon my friend at the hotel.
Come up to Is not equal to Your essay does not come up to expectation.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Cry down Decry Do not cry down anything without considering the pros and cons of it.
Cry for Demand They are crying for a master plan for the prevention of flood.
Cry out Shout He cried out for help.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Cut down Reduce Cut down the tree with an axe.
Cut off Reduce Cut down your expenses.
Cut in Separate He lives in England, cut off from his relations.
Cut up To take part suddenly He cut in in the middle of our talk.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Do away with Abolish We should do away with our bad habits.
Do for Serve the purpose of The cloth will do for a flag.
Do up Put into order He had to do up many rooms everyday.
Do with Deal with He has to do with all sorts of people.
Do without Manage without I cannot do without the help of my assistant.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Deal in Carry on business He deals in book.
Deal with Behave He deals with me very well.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Draw Away Divert My attention was drawn away by the noise.
Draw Back Recede You should not draw back from your promise.
Draw On Near The Pujas are drawing on.
Draw Out Draw out the aching tooth.
Draw To Feet attraction I drew to the boy from the first day.
Draw Up Draft I drew up a petition.
Draw Off Drop off False friends fall off in misfortune.
Draw In Give away The roof fell in.
Draw In with Agree with I cannot fall in with your views.
Draw Through Fail The scheme fell through for want of funds.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Drive away Turn out He was driven away from the village.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Fall at Show disappointment His face fell at news.
Fall among Happen to come among He fell among the thieves.
Fall back upon Have recourse to Having lost his job he feel back upon agriculture.
Fall in with Agree with I cannot fall in with his views.
Fall from Come out Not a word fell from his lips.
Fall off Decline The quality of goods has fallen off.
Fall on Attack The robbers fell on the passerby.
Fall out Quarrel Do not fall out with your friend.
Fall through Fail All his plans fell through.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Fill in, up complete Fill in (up) the blanks.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Find out detect Find out the mistakes.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Get Along/on To continue How are you getting along/on without any help?
Get Away Escape The prisoner got away from the prison.
Get At Reach We could not get at the truth.
Get About Spread A rumour got about that he was ill.
Get In Arrive What time did the train get in?
Get Into Ascend He got into a carriage.
Get Off Escape The boys got off the car.
Get On Do How is he getting on now?
Get Out Exit Get out of this room.
Get Over Overcome He got over the difficulties.
Get Through Finish Try to get through the work quickly.
Get Up Rise Get up at five.
Get down descend He got down from the car.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Give Away Make over He has given away his all in charity.
Give In Yielded He ultimately gave in.
Give Over Hand over He gave over the charge to me.
Give Up Abandon Give up this bad habit.
Give Off/forth Emit This flower gives off/forth a sweet smell.
Give out disclose He will never give out the truth.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Go after Follow The dog went after the hare.
Go about Move about I am too weak to go about.
Go against I don’t like to go against your wish.
Go by Is known by He goes by a false name here.
Go off Pass The party went off well.
Go on Continue Go on with your work.
Go down Decrease The sun has gone down.
Go in for Become I shall go in for the law.
Go over Examine Please go over the accounts.
Go out The lamp went out suddenly.
Go through Check vividly I have gone through your book.
Go up Increase The cost of living has gone up.
Go with Agree I go with you in this matter.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Hand over Place someone or something at the custody of some other The thief was handed over to the police.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Hang about Move suspiciously Why do you hang about the examination hall?
Hang on Depend I do not like to hang on others for my bread.
Hang down lower He hung down his head with shame.
Hang up Suspend Hang up the picture here.
Hang over Postpone The debate has been hung over.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Hold back Conceal Don’t hold back anything from me.
Hold in Check Hold in your temper.
Hold off Keep aloof You should hold off from such agitation.
Hold on East Bengal held on 1-0 lead till the end.
Hold out Extend Davy held out his hand to Faraday.
Hold over Postpone The debate has been held over.
Hold together The whole family held together for a long time.
Hold to Stick to Do you still hold to your plan?
Hold up Stop All traffic was held up for an hour.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Keep away/off Keep away/off from bad boys.
Keep back Concealed I never kept back anything from you.
Keep in Continue to agree I cannot keep in with you any longer.
Keep down Control He failed to keep down his anger.
Keep on Continue He kept on ringing the bell.
Keep from Remain aloof from You must keep from such friends.
Keep out I was kept out of business.
Keep to Stick to Keep to your business. Keep to the right.
Keep up Maintain I shall keep up the prestige of my family.
Keep up with Keep pace with Try to keep up with the class.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Lay aside Reserve Lay aside something for old age.
Lay by store up for future use Lay by something for old age.
Lay down No such rules are laid down in the book.
Lay out The garden is well laid out.
Lay up confined to bed I am laid up with fever.
Lay out invested He laid out his all in business.
Lay on Put/apply He laid his hand on my shoulder.
Lay with cover He laid the floor with a carpet.
Lay up with Be confined to bed He was laid up with pneumonia.
Lay in store The potatoes were laid in for the off-season.
Lay off Dismiss temporarily The workers were laid off for three months.
Lay before Place something He laid the facts before the committee.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Look after take care He will look after my boy.
Look down upon deride Don’t look down upon the poor.
Look for search Look for the letter in the box.
Look forward to search We look forward to his visit.
Look in pay a short visit I shall look in when I pass by his house.
Look into enquire into I shall look into the matter.
Look upon regard I look upon you as my best friend.
Look out on the watch for The eagle is looking out for prey.
Look over examine Please look over this application.
Look through examined carefully I have looked through the book.
Look to rely on I look to you for help.
Look up visit Please look me up on your way to the office.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Make after pursued The dog made after the hare.
Make off ran away The man made off with my bag.
Make of composed of This table is made of teak wood.
Make out understand I cannot make out what you say.
Make over delivered He made over charge to me.
Make up settled We made up our quarrel.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Pass away died He passed away at night.
Pass by overlooked He passed by my faults.
Pass for He passed for a rich man there.
Pass off ceased The rain has passed off gradually.
Pass on proceed Let us pass on to another subject.
Pass over neglected My claim was passed over.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Pull down demolish We decided to pull down the old building.
Pull in entered the platform The train pulled in on time.
Pull off removed The children pulled off the cover of the pocket.
Pull together work in harmony They are pulling together nicely.
Pull up reprimanded He was pulled up for his bad behaviour.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Put down write Put down your name on this paper.
Put in submitted I have put in my claim.
Put off postpone Don’t put off your work.
Put out stretched out He put out his hand.
Put up Put up a fence round the garden.
Put on wear Put on your clothes.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Run after pursued They all ran after the thief.
Run at attacked The dog ran at the hare.
Run away stole My servant ran away with my watch.
Run down sickly He looks much run down.
Run off The thief saw me and ran off.
Run out were exhausted The garrison did not surrender until provisions ran out.
Run over overflowed The water of the river ran over its banks.
Run through glanced over hastily I ran through the book in an hour.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
See off To bid goodbye I went to the station to see of my friend.
See through understand I have seen through his plan.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Send for Summon Please send for a doctor.
Send up Recommended for competition Three candidates have been sent up for the competition.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Set about begin Set about your task immediately.
Set aside/apart He set aside / apart some money for me.
Set in began The rain set in.
Set off started He set off for Mumbai.
Set out started He has set out for England.
Set up established He set up a school there.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Sit for Appear in He sat for IIT JAM.
Sit up Continue to sit His mother sat up the whole night.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Stand for represent The letter “X” stands for ten.
Stand off kept aloof I stood off from the quarrel.
Stand by supported The chief stood by the king.
Stand to stick to I shall stand to my promise.
Stand against oppose They stood against their common enemy.
Stand over Be postpone Let this matter stand over till the next meeting.
Stand out Be prominent His work stand out from others.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Take after resembles The child takes after its father.
Take back withdraw I cannot take back my word.
Take down record Take down the notes.
Take for regarded as I took him for a doctor.
Take in understand I cannot take in the meaning of the passage.
Take off remove Take off your coat.
Take out Take out the aching tooth.
Take over Accept He will take over charge tomorrow.
Take to habituated himself to He has taken to gambling.
Take upon He took upon himself the burden of the family.
Takt by catch He took the man by his neck.
Take off Put off Tale off your shirt.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Talk over discuss They are talking over the matter.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Tell of Describe He told of his plan in details.
Tell on/upon Affect Over eating may tell on(upon) your health.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Turn away Keep away The sight pained me and I turned away.
Turn back Don’t turn back a beggar from your door.
Turn down rejected He turned down my proposal.
Turn in went to bed I turned in early last night.
Turn on Turn on the switch.
Turn out driven out The boy was turned out for misconduct.
Turn up Appear He did not turn up in time.
Turn aside Deviate from We should not turn aside from the path of virtue.
Turn against Become hostile They soon turned against us.
Turn into Change into Turn the sentence into English.
Turn off stop Turn off the switch before leaving the room.
Turn to Engage oneself I advised him to turn to the study of medicine.


Phrasal Verbs Meaning Examples
Work at Be engage in The carpenter is working at the chair.
Work on continued They worked on till sunset.
Work out solve Work out this sum.
Work up excite Antony worked up the feeling of Roman mob by his speech.

Worked Out Examples on Phrasal Verbs

Replace the bold faced words in the following sentences with appropriate group verbs given within boxes below, changing their forms where necessary.

(a) (i) My servant escaped with all my money.
(ii) You must solve this problem.
(iii) The proposal failed as nobody supported it.
(iv) Please invite a doctor, I am sick.
(v) Do not always chase after money.
List –  run after, fall through, call in, work out, run away.

(b) (i) Please examine this paper.
(ii) Extinguish the lamp, please.
(iii) Remove the cover immediately.
(iv) You should not reject this offer.
(v) You must wear this beautiful dress tonight.
List – put off, put on, take out, turn down, look over.

(c) (i) You must obey the order.
(ii) The enemy retreated on the face of constant shelling.
(iii) A prisoner escaped from the police custody yesterday.
(iv) I do not know how it happened.
(v) The meeting was postponed as it was raining.
List come about, fell back, got away, called off, carry out.

(d) I shall continue the work till I finish it.
(ii) This child has none to take care of him.
(iii) You must write whatever you have to say.
(iv) The monsoon will start within a fortnight.
(v) All the rules have been written in this book.
List – put down, look after, set in, lay down, carry on.

(e) (i) I shall visit you tomorrow morning.
(ii) Please pass on this paper to Runu.
(iii) I met him accidentally today.
(iv) Prices of everything have increased.
(v) Try to minimise your expenses.
List – hand on, gone up, keep down, come across, call on.


(a) (i) ran away, (ii) work out, (iii) fell through, (iv) call in, (v) run after.
(b) (i) look over, (ii) put off, (iii) take out, (iv) turn down, (v) put on.
(c) (i) carry out, (ii) fell back, (iii) got away, (iv) came about, (v) called off.
(d) (i) carry on, (ii) look after, (iii) put down, (iv) set in, (v) laid down.
(e) (i) call on, (ii) hand on, (iii) came across (iv) gone up, (v) keep down.

Phrasal Verb Exercises