Phrasal Verbs - Ordered List by Verbs


Phrasal Verb



act like (inseparable)

behave in a way that's like _____ Note: This phrasal verb is very informal.

What's wrong with Bob? He's acting like an idiot.

act up (no object)

misbehave (for people); not work properly (for machines)

The baby sitter had a difficult time. The children acted up all evening. "I guess I'd better take my car to the garage. It's been acting up lately."

Add up

(make sense)

His evidence just doesn 't add up.

add up (1. no object)

logically fit together Note: This phrasal verb is often negative

His theory is hard to believe, but his research adds up. "His theory seems, at first, to be plausible, but the facts in his research don't add up."

add up (2. separable)

find the total.

What's the total of those bills? Could you add them up and see?

add up to (inseparable)

to total.

The bills add up to $734.96. That's more than I expected!

Ask after

(inquire about)

Jim was asking after you.

ask out (separable)

ask for a date.

Nancy has a new boy friend. Joe asked her out last night.

back down (no object)

not follow a threat; yield In an argument

Tom was going to call the police when I told him I'd wrecked his car, but he backed down when I said I'd pay for the damages. Shella was right, so Paul had to back down.

back off (no object)

not follow a threat

Tom was ready to call the police when I told him I'd wrecked his car, but he backed off when I said I'd pay for the damages.

back up (1. no object)

move backward; move in reverse

You missed the lines in the parking space. You'll have to back up and try again. "The people waiting in line are too close to the door. We won't be able to open it unless they back up."

back up (2. separable)

drive a vehicle backwards (in reverse)

You're too close! Back your car up so I can open the garage door.

back up (3. separable)

confirm a story, facts, or information

If you don't believe me, talk to Dave. He'll back me up.

back up (4. separable)

make a "protection" copy to use if there are problems with the original

When my computer crashed, I lost many of my files. It's a good thing I backed them up.

Bargain for

(take into acount)

We hadn't bargained for there being so much traffic, and we missed the plane.

be off (1) usually used in the present tense (of an event / an arrangement etc.)

to be cancelled

The lead singer of 'The Rolling Beatles' pop group is ill, so tonight's concert is off. The concert is off.

be off (2) (of food)

to have gone bad

Nick decided to have a fried egg for breakfast, but there was a terrible smell when he cracked the egg. 'This egg is off,' he thought. I can't eat it.' The egg is off.

be over

to be finished

The storm is over; it has stopped raining and the sun is shining. The storm is over.

be taken aback used in the passive

to be surprised and confused

Jeff was taken aback when he opened the door and discovered an elephant. Jeff was taken aback by the discovery of an elephant. Jeff was taken aback.

Bear out

(confirm the truth)

Helen's alibi was borne out by her sister.

beat up

to hurt someone badly by hitting and punching

Two men beat Fred up and left him lying unconscious on the pavement. They beat up Fred. They beat Fred up. They beat him up.

beg off (no object)

decline an invitation; ask to be excused from doing something

At first Lily said she would be at the party. Later she begged off.

blow up (1)

to destroy (something or someone) by explosion; to explode

Mr Trent hated his house, so he blew it up with dynamite and built a new one instead. Mr Trent blew up his house. Mr Trent blew his house up. Mr Trent blew it up. The house blew up.

blow up (1. separable)


We needs lots of balloons for the party. Will you blow them up?

blow up (2)

a balloon/a tyre /a football etc. to fill with air; to inflate

Uncle Joe blew up the balloons for the Christmas party. Uncle Joe blew up the balloons. Uncle Joe blew the balloons up. Uncle Joe blew them up.

blow up (2. separable)

explode; destroy by exploding

A: "That old building really came down quickly!" B: "That's because the construction company used dynamite to blow it up."

blow up (3. no object)

suddenly become very angry

Whe I told Jerry that I'd had an accident with his car, he blew up.

bone up on (inseparable)

review / study thoroughly for a short time

If you're going to travel to Peru, you'd better bone up on your Spanish.

break down (1) (of machinery)

to stop working.

Tom's car broke down on the way to the airport, and he had to get a taxi. I His car broke down.

break down (1. separable)

separate something into component parts

We spent a lot of money at the supermarket. When we broke the total cost down, we spent more on cleaning supplies than food.

break down (2)

to lose control emotionally or mentally.

Alec broke down and cried when his mother died. I Alec broke down. David broke down and wept when he heard the news.

break down (2. no object)

stop working / functioning

Sharon will be late for work today. Her car broke down on the freeway.

break in (1. often no object; with an object, break into--inseparable)

enter by using force (and breaking a lock, window, etc.)

Jane's apartment was burglarized last night. Someone broke in while Jane was at the movies. / "Somebody broke into Jane's apartment while she was at the movies.

break in (2. separable)

wear something new until it's / they're comfortable

These are nice shoes, but they're too stiff. I hope it doesn't take too long to break them in.

break in (3. separable)

train; get someone / something accustomed to a new routine

I hope I can learn my new job quickly. The manager hasn't scheduled much time for breaking me in.

break into a building / a bank / a house etc.

to enter somewhere (e.g. a house) illegally, especially by force.

Last night a burglar broke into my house and stole my television set. A burglar broke into my house. A burglar broke into it.

break off talks / negotiations / an engagement / a relationship / an agreement etc.

to end; to interrupt; to discontinue, stop talking

Peace talks between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. have broken off after three days of serious disagreement. Peace talks between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. have broken off. The U.S.A. has broken off peace talks with the U.S.S.R. They have broken off peace t

break out (of unpleasant things e.g. wars, epidemics, fires, violence etc.)

to start, usually suddenly

The Second World War broke out on 3 September, 1939. In 1939 World War Two broke out. World War Two broke out in 1939. World War Two broke out on 3 September, 1939.

Break out in spots / a rash / a cold sweat ('to show signs of great fear)

to become covered by (something).

Cyril broke out in spots this morning. He broke out in spots. He broke out in them.

break up (1. no object)

disperse; scatter; come to an end

What time did the party break up last night? The party finally broke up at 3.00 am.

Break up (2) (of a marriage / a family / a relationship etc.)

to end; to separate.

The Greens' marriage broke up in 1985 after only two years. Their marriage broke up. They broke up. Money trouble broke up their marriage. Money trouble broke it up.

Break up (2) an activity

to stop.

The headmaster broke up the fight between Roger and Clive. The headmaster broke up the fight. The headmaster broke the fight up. The headmaster broke it up. The fight broke up.

break up (2. usually no object; with an object, break up with [inseparable)])

end a personal relationship

Tim and Julie aren't going steady any more. They got really angry with each other and broke up. "Have you heard the news? Julie broke up with Tim!" "I'm sorry to hear that their marriage broke up. I'm sure the divorce will be difficult for the children."

bring / take back (separable)

return something

Yes, you can borrow my pen, don't forget to bring it back to me when you're finished. "This book is due tomorrow. I guess I should take it back to the library."

Bring about

(cause to happen)

The crisis was brought about by Brenda 's resignation.

Bring off

(succeed in doing something)

The team tried few ears to win the competition and they finally brought it off.

bring off (separable)

accomplish something difficult; accomplish something people had considered impossible or unlikely

No one thought Chuck could get an A in that course, but he brought it off.

Bring on (1)

(cause the onset of an illness)

Sitting in the damp brought on his rheumatism.

Bring on (2)

(cause trouble to happen to) oneself

You have brought this on/upon yourself.

Bring round

(influence someone to your point of view)

After much discussion, I brought the committee round to my point of view.

bring up (1. separable)

mention (as a topic of discussion)

We planned to discuss overtime pay in the meeting. Why didn't someone bring that topic up? I feel I ought to bring up another small matter.

bring up (2. separable)

raise; rear; to take care of a child until it is fully grown and able to care for itself; to train and prepare a child for adult life. Note: Children are educated at school.

Lucy's parents died when she was a baby. Her grandparents brought her up. Joe's mother brought him up well. She loved him, cared for him and taught him how to behave himself. Now he is a polite young man and his mother is proud of him. She brought up Joe.

brush up

to improve your knowledge, skill, or memory of (something you used to know, or do, but have now partly forgotten).

Frank's visit to the international business conference in Paris was a disaster because his French was so bad. His boss said, 'When you get back to England you must brush up your French by enrolling in an evening class.' Frank must brush up his French. Fra

brush up on (inseparable)

review / study thoroughly for a short time

If you're going to travel to Peru, you'd better brush up on your Spanish.

burn down (no object)

become destroyed / consumed by fire Note: For upright things--trees, buildings, etc.—only

Lightning struck Mr. Kennedy's barn last night. It burned down before the fire fighters arrived.

burn down (usually of buildings)

to destroy by burning.

My house burned down last night. In the morning it was just a pile of ashes. My house burned down. Someone burned down my house. Someone burned my house down. Someone burned It down.

burn up (1. no object)

become destroyed / consumed by fire Note: For people and non-upright things only

All of Mr. Kennedy's hay burned up when his barn burned down.

burn up (2. separable)

cause someone to become very angry

Did you hear how rudely Fred talked to me? That really burned me up!

butt in (no object)

impolitely interrupt (a conversation, an action)

Hey, you! Don't butt in! Wait for your turn!

butter up (separable)

praise someone excessively with the hope of getting some benefit

I guess Martin really wants to be promoted. He's been buttering his boss up all week.

call off an event / an arrangement / an activity etc. often used in the passive (separable)

cancel something that has been scheduled; to abandon something that has already begun.

The Football Association called off the match between England and Greece because of bad weather. The Football Association called off the match. The Football Association called the match off. The Football Association called it off. The match was called off

call on (inseparable)

ask someone for an answer in class

I don't know why the teacher never calls on you. You always know the answer.

Call up

(mobilise for military service)

Mark was called up when the war broke out.

calm down a person / a difficult situation etc. (with or without an object; with an object, separable)

become calm / less agitated or upset; help someone become calm / less agitated or upset

Why are you so upset? Suzie didn't intend to spill orange juice on you. Calm down! "I know Ralph is upset, but can you calm him down? He's making so much noise that he's irritating everyone in the office." My father was very angry and it took him ten minu

care for (1. inseparable) Note. used with (not)

like; want Note: This phrasal verb is usually negative, though it may be used affirmatively in questions

A: "Would you care for something to drink? We have coffee, tea, or orange juice." B: "Could I have water, please? I don't care for coffee, tea, or juice."

care for (2. inseparable)

take care of; supply care to; attend / watch.

Amy's father got out of the hospital last week. The family is caring for him at home.

Carry off

(complete successfully - perhaps despite a problem)

Jane had a difficult role to play, but she carried it off.

Carry out

(complete a plan)

The attack was successfully carried out.

carry out instructions / a duty / an order / a threat / a test etc.

to fulfill or perform (something).

Sergeant Jones ordered Private Wilson to push the waggon across the field. The waggon was very heavy but Private Wilson carried out his orders without complaining. He carried out his orders. He carried his orders out. He carried them out.

Cash in

obtain cash for

catch on

to become popular (colloquial)

David's strange new hair-style is really catching on; all the young boys in the neighbourhood are copying it. I David's new hai r-style is catching on. This new hair style is beginning to catch on.

catch on (no object)

develop understanding or knowledge of something

Bill had never used a computer until he took this class, but he caught on very quickly and is now one of the best students.

catch up (with) (often without an object; with an object, inseparable)

stop being behind

Terry stopped to rest for a few minutes. He'll catch up / catch up with us later.

check in(to) at a hotel, an airport etc. (inseparable)

to report one's arrival; register for / at a hotel, conference, etc.; let someone know officially that you have arrived

Jack took a taxi to the hotel and checked in. Jack checked in. Jack checked in at the hotel. Jack checked in to the hotel. Note: When Jack left the hotel he checked out. My plane will arrive around 5:00 PM. I should be able to check into the hotel by 6:00

check off (separable)

make a mark to indicate that something on a list has been completed

Here are the things you need to do. Please check each one off when you've finished it.

check out (2. separable)

follow procedures for borrowing something (usually for a limited period of time)

I'm sorry, but you can't take that encyclopedia home. The library won't allow you to check reference books out.

check out (of) (1. inseparable)

follow procedures for leaving (a hotel, etc.)

Don't forget to take your room key to the front desk when you check out (when you check out of the hotel).

cheer up (separable)

to become happier; help someone feel less worried / depressed / sad

Jack was feeling unhappy, but he cheered up when he heard that he had passed his exam. Jack cheered up. The good news cheered Jack up. The good news cheered up Jack. The good news cheered him up. Suzie's brother was depressed about not getting a promotion

chew out (separable)

scold someone severely; berate

Tom's father was really angry when Tom didn't come home until 3:00 AM. He chewed Tom out and then said Tom had to stay at home for two weeks.

chicken out (no object)

lose the courage or confidence to do something--often at the last minute

Sam said he was going to ask Lulu for a date, but he chickened out.

chip in (inseparable)

contribute / donate (often money) to something done by a group

We're going to buy a birthday cake for our boss and I'm collecting donations. Do you want to chip in?

clam up (inseparable)

suddenly become quiet / refuse to talk about something

Lila wouldn't talk about the accident. When I asked her what happened, she clammed up.

Come about


Let me explain how the situation came about.

come across something or someone (inseparable)

to find (unexpectedly) or meet by chance

A lucky tramp came across a wallet full of money as he was walking down the street. He came across a wallet. He came across it. I've lost my extra car keys. If you come across them while your're cleaning the room, please put them in a safe place.

Come down to

(be in the end a matter of)

It all comes down to whether you are prepared to accept less money.

come down with _____ (inseparable)

become ill with _____

George won't be at the office today. He came down with the flu over the weekend.

Come in for

(receive - especially criticism, blame)

The government has come in for a lot of criticism over the decision.

come into money / property / a fortune etc

to receive something (usually money or property) after someone's death.

Peter came into a fortune when his father died. Peter came into a fortune. Peter came into it.

Come off

(take place successfully)

I'm afraid that deal didn 't come off after all.

Come out


All the flowers have come out. When the news came out, everyone was shocked. My photos didn't come out very well.

come round or come to

to regain consciousness

James fainted when the air-conditioning stopped working. Two of his colleagues took care of him until he came round (came to). James came round. James came to.

come to (1. inseparable)


Your charges come to $124.38. Will you pay by check, in cash, or with a credit card?

come to (2. no object)

regain consciousness

When I told Gina that she'd won a million dollars, she fainted. When she came to, I told her it was a joke and she almost hit me!

Come up

(occur- usually a problem -colloquial)

Look, something has come up, and I can't meet you.

Come up against

(meet a difficulty)

We've come up against a bit of a problem.

Come up to

(equal - especially expectations, standard)

The play didn't come up to expectations.

come up with an idea/a plan/a suggestion etc.

to think of; to produce; think of-especially an answer, a plan, a solution

Arnold and his girifriend were separated by a deep ravine. Eventually, Arnold came up with the idea of cutting down a tree and using it as a bridge. He came up with the idea. He came up with it. We still haven't come up with a solution to the problem.

count on (inseparable)

depend on; rely on; trust that something will happen or that someone will do as expected

I'm counting on you to wake me up tomorrow. I know I won't hear the alarm. Don't worry, you can count on me.

Crop up

(happen unexpectedly - colloquial)

I can't come to your party, something has cropped up.

cross out (separable)

show that something written is wrong or unnecessary by making an X across it

We can't afford to buy everything on your shopping list, so I've crossed all the unnecessary things out.

cut back (on) (often without an object; with an object, cut back on [inseparable])

use less of something

You drink too much coffee. You should cut back. "You should cut back on the amount of coffee that you drink."

cut down on smoking / cigarettes / drinking / spending / production etc.

to reduce in size or amount.

Last year Peter was very ill and his doctor told him to cut down on the number of cigarettes he smoked. This year Peter smokes much less and feels a lot better. Peter cut down on cigarettes. Peter cut down on them. Peter cut down on smoking.

cut off (often used in the passive)

This verb can refer to either: a) the service or supply that is cut off e.g. water, electricity, etc. or b) the person who is cut off to disconnect, interrupt or discontinue something or someone.

Paul was talking to Anna on the telephone. Suddenly they couldn't hear each other. Paul phoned Anna again immediately. 'What happened?' Anna asked him. 'We were cut off,' replied Paul. The operator cut them off. The operator cut off their call. They were

die out

to disappear completely; to become extinct

The great dinosaurs died out millions of years ago. The dinosaurs died out.

Do away with (1)


Dog licences have been done away with.

Do away with (2)

(murder - colloquial)

What if they do away with the old man ?

do in (1. separable)

cause to become very tired

The Ajax and Tip-Top Banks have decided to merge. Their lawyers will draw all the official documents up sometime this month.

do in (2. separable)

to kill; to murder

The said that the murdered man was done in between 10 and 11 o'clock last night.

do over (separable)

do something again

Oh, no! I forgot to save my report before I turned the computer off! Now I'll have to do it over!

do up (1) a house / a room /a flat/an old car etc.

to repair; to improve the condition and appearance of something; decorate (colloquial)

We are having our living room done up. When Bob and Sally bought their house it was in a bad state, so they spent six months doing it up. The house looked beautiful by the time they finished. They did the house up. They did up the house. They did it up.

do up (2) a shoelace / a zip / a dress / a coat etc.

to fasten; to button; to zip; to tie.

It was a very cold day, so Brian did up all the buttons on his overcoat. He did up the buttons. He did the buttons up. He did them up.

drag on (no object)

last much longer than expected or is necessary

I thought the meeting would be a short one, but it dragged on for more than three hours.

draw out (separable)

prolong something (usually far beyond the normal limits)

I thought that speech would never end. The speaker could have said everything important in about five minutes, but he drew the speech out for over an hour!

Draw up (1)

(come to a stop)

A white sports car drew up outside the door.

draw up (2. separable)

organise — especially a document; create a formal document

The contract is being drawn up at the moment. The Ajax and Tip-Top Banks have decided to merge. Their lawyers will draw all the official documents up sometime this month.

drop by (inseparable)

visit informally (and usually without scheduling a specific time)

If you're in town next month, we'd love to see you. Please try to drop by the house.

drop in

to pay a short visit, often without warning.

Laura was shopping near her friend, Lynn, and decided to drop in and see her. Laura dropped in to see Lynn. Laura dropped in to see her. Laura dropped in on Lynn. Laura dropped in on her. Laura dropped in.

drop in (on) (inseparable)

visit informally (and usually usually without scheduling a specific time); pay a visit (colloquial)

If you're in town next month, we'd love to see you. Please try to drop in. (Please try to drop in on us. Drop in any time you 're passing.

drop off (1) something or someone

to stop a vehicle and let someone get out; to take something (or someone) to a place and leave it there.

David drove his wife, Sue, into town and dropped her off in the cinema. David dropped oft his wife. David dropped his wife off. David dropped her off.

drop off (2)

to fall asleep (often unintentionally).

The baby has just dropped off. John sat in his favourite armchair and dropped off. Five minutes later, his young son came into the room and woke him. He dropped off.

drop off (separable)

deliver something; deliver someone (by giving him/her a ride)

Yes, I can take those letters to the post office. I'll drop them off as I go home from work. "You don't have to take a taxi. You live fairly close to me, so I'll be happy to drop you off."

drop out

to withdraw from, or stop taking part in (a competition, a social group, a school, a university, a job etc.)

Sam dropped out of the race because he felt tired and ill. He dropped out of the race. He dropped out.

drop out (of) (inseparable)

stop attending / leave school or an organization

No, Paul isn't at the university. He dropped out. / He dropped out of school.

eat out (no object)

have a meal in a restaurant

I'm too tired to cook tonight. Why don't we eat out?

egg on (separable)

urge / encourage greatly toward doing something (usually something negative)

At first Bob and Chuck were just having a mild argument, but Bob's friends egged them on until they started fighting.

end up (1. no object)

finish in a certain way, or place; finally arrive at; arrive at an unexpected place

We got lost last night and ended up in the next town. We ended up staying there for lunch. The car ended up in a ditch.

end up (2. no object)

arrive somewhere as a result or consequence

You're working too hard. If you don't take it easy, you'll end up in the hospital!

face up to (inseparable)

have courage to deal with - especially responsibilities; admit to; take responsibility for

You have to face up to your responsibilities. You can't pretend that you're doing OK in this course, Joe. Sooner or later, you'll have to face up to the fact that you're failing it.

Fall about

(show amusement - especially laughing - colloquial)

Every one fell about when Jane told her joke.

Fall back on

(use as a last resort)

If the worst comes to the worst, we've got our savings to fall back on.

Fall for (1)

(be deceived by - colloquial)

It was an unlikely story but h e fell for it.

Fall for (2)

(fall in love with - colloquial)

I fell for you the moment I saw you.

fall out

to quarrel

George and Sam went out for dinner together. The evening ended badly because they fell out over who should pay the bill. George tell out with' Sam over' ' the bill. George and Sam fell out.. Note. "fall out with a person " fall out over something

Fall out with

(quarrel with)

Peter has fallen out with his boss.

Fall through

(fail to come to completion)

The plan fell through at the last minute.

fall through (no object)

not happen. (Note: describes something that was planned but didn't happen.)

We had originally intended to go to Mexico for our vacation, but our trip fell through when I got sick.

feel up to (inseparable)

feel strong enough or comfortable enough to do something

Old Mr Smith didn 'tfeel up to walking all that way. I know the accident was a terrible shock. Do you feel up to talking about it?

figure out (1. separable)

logically find the answer to a problem; solve a problem by thinking about it carefully

For a long time I couldn't understand the last problem, but I finally figured it out.

figure out (2. separable)

understand why someone behaves the way she/he does

I can't figure Margie out. Sometimes she's very warm and friendly and sometimes she acts as if she doesn't know me.

fill in (1. separable) a form / a questionnaire etc.

add information to a form; to complete (a form)

The office needs to know your home address and phone number. Could you fill them in on this form? It took me an hour to fill in the application form. It took me an hour to fill in the form. It took me an hour to fill the form in, It took me an hour to fil

fill in (on) (2. separable)

supply information that someone doesn't know

I wasn't able to attend the meeting yesterday, but I understand that it was important. Could you fill me in? / Could you fill me in on what was discussed?

fill in for (inseparable)

temporarily do someone else's work; temporarily substitute for another person

Professor Newton is in the hospital and won't be able to teach for the rest of the term. Do you know who's going to fill in for her?

fill out (1. separable)

complete a form by adding required information

Of course I completed my application! I filled it out and mailed it over three weeks ago!

fill out (2. no object)

become less thin; gain weight

Jerry used to be really skinny, but in the last year he's begun to fill out.

find out (about) (inseparable)

learn / get information (about)

I'm sorry that you didn't know the meeting had been canceled. I didn't find out (find out about it) myself until just a few minutes ago.

find out the truth / a secret / an address / the time i when / what / why / where / who / which etc.

to make an effort to discover or get to know (something)

Mr Jones wanted to catch the train to London. He was late and he didn't know which platform the London train left from. He found out which platform by asking a ticket collector. He found out which platform the train left from. He didn't know which platfor

Follow up (1)

(act upon a suggestion)

Thanks for the information about that book. I'll follow it up.

Follow up (2)

(take more action)

We'll follow up this lesson next week.

get across (separable)

make something understood; communicate something understandably; be understood - especially get an idea across

Alan is really intelligent but sometimes he has problems getting his ideas across. I had the feeling I wasn 't getting across.

get along (with) (inseparable)

have a friendly relationship (with); be friendly (toward)

Why can't you and your sister get along? Everyone else gets along with her just fine!

get around (1. inseparable)

avoid having to do something

Teresa got around the required math classes by doing well on a math proficiency test.

get around (2. no object)

move from place to place

She doesn't have a car. She gets around by bicycle, bus, or taxi.

get around to (inseparable)

do something eventually

I really should wash the dishes, but I don't feel like it. Maybe I'll get around to them tomorrow morning.

Get at

(imply - about personal matters - colloquial)

What are you getting at exactly ?

get away

to escape

The prisoner got away from his guards and ran into the forest. The prisoner got away from his guards. The prisoner got away from them. The prisoner got away.

get away with

to do something wrong or illegal without being punished (usually without even being discovered or caught)

Last year Jack robbed a bank and got away with it; the police didn't even find his fingerprints. Nowadays Jack lives a life of luxury on a beautiful tropical island. Jack got away with the bank robbery. Jack got away with robbing the bank. Jack got away w

get by (no object)

survive, financially, in a difficult situation

It's going to be hard to pay the rent now that you've lost your job, but somehow we'll get by.

Get down

(make to feel depressed - colloquial)

This cold weather really gets me down.

Get down to

(begin to seriously deal with)

It's time we got down to some real work.

get in (1. inseparable)

enter a small, closed vehicle

I don't know where Carole was going. She just got in her car and drove away.

get in (2. no object)


Do you know what time Fred's plane gets in?

get off (1. inseparable)

leave a large, closed vehicle

When you get off the bus, cross the street, turn right on Oak Street, and keep going until you're at the corner of Oak and Lincoln Boulevard.

get off (2. separable)

be excused (for a period of time) from work, class, or other regularly scheduled activities

Some schools got President's Day off but ours didn't. We had classes as usual.

get off (3. separable)

make it possible for someone to avoid punishment

Everyone knew he was guilty, but his lawyer was clever and got him off.

Get off with

(avoid punishment)

They were lucky to get off with such light sentences.

Get on

(make progress - especially in life)

Sue is getting on very well in her new job.

get on (inseparable)

enter a large, closed vehicle

I'm sorry, but you're too late to say goodbye to Angela. She got on the plane about 20 minutes ago.

Get on for

(approach a certain age/time/number)

He must begetting on for seventy.

get out of (1. inseparable)

leave a small, closed vehicle

There's something wrong with the garage door opener. You'll have to get out of the car and open it by hand.

get out of (2. inseparable)

escape having to do something

Lisa said she had a terrible headache and got out of giving her speech today.

Get over

(be surprised)

I couldn 't get over how well she looked.

get over (1. no object)

finish. (Note: for individual activities, not ones that happen again and again.)

What time do your classes get over?

get over (2. inseparable) an illness /a failure/a difficulty/a shock etc.

recover from an illness or painful experience

Katy was really upset when she failed the test. She thought she would never get over feeling so stupid. Sam has got over his operation and expects to leave hospital tomorrow. He has got over his operation. He has got over it.

Get over with

(come to the end of something, usually unpleasant)

I'll be glad to get this awful business over with.

get rid of (1. inseparable)

dispose of; give away or throw away

That shirt is really ugly. Why don't you get rid of it?

get rid of (2. inseparable)

dismiss someone; fire someone from a job; cause someone to leave

The treasurer of the XYZ company was spending too much money so the company president got rid of him.

get round (1)

a problem / a difficulty etc. to solve or avoid a problem

Brian and Dan couldn't move the wardrobe because it was too heavy. They got round the problem by putting the wardrobe on a trolley and pushing it. They got round the problem. They got round it.

get round (2) someone

to persuade someone to do what you want; to persuade someone to let you do what you want

Tim wanted some sweets, but his father told him they were bad for his teeth. After five minutes of persuasion, Tim managed to get round his father and they both went into the sweet shop. Tim got round his father. Tim got round him.

Get round to

(find time to do - also around)

Sorry, but I haven't got round to fixing the tap yet.

get through (1)

to contact someone (usually by telephone)

Jim (phoning his friend Roger): Hello, Roger. I've been trying to get through to you for hours! Roger: Sorry, Jim. I had to make a lot of calls this morning. Jim tried to get through to Roger. Jim tried to get through to him. Jim tried to get through,

get through (2) some work / at ask / a book etc.

to finish; to complete

Roger had a lot of work to do yesterday, but he got through it all by five o'clock. Roger got through his work. Roger got through it.

get up (usually no object; with an object, separable)

leave bed after sleeping and begin your daily activities

You'll have to get up much earlier than usual tomorrow. We have to leave by no later than 6:00 AM. "I know I won't hear the alarm tomorrow morning. Can you get me up at 6:00 AM?"

Get up to

(do something - usually bad when about children - colloquial)

The children are getting up to something in the garden. What have you been getting up to lately?

Give away


His false identity papers gave him away.

give in

to stop resisting; to surrender

The fight between Tom and Dick stopped when Tom hurt his hand and had to give in. Tom gave In.

Give off

(send off a smell - liquid or gas)

The cheese had begun to give off a strange smell.

Give out

(be exhausted)

When our money gave out we had to borrow.

give out books / examination papers / pills etc

to give(some thing or things) to each person in a group of people; to distribute

The teacher gave out the books, so that the pupils could read the story. The teacher gave out the books. The teacher gave the books out. The teacher gave them out.

Give over (1)

(abandon, devote)

The rest of the time was given over to playing cards.

Give over (2)

(stop - colloquial)

Why don't you give over! You 're getting on my nerves!

give up (1. separable)

stop doing something (usually a habit)

He knows smoking isn't good for his health, but he can't give it up.

give up (1. separable) / give (oneself) up

to surrender oneself (usually to someone)

The police surrounded the criminal's house and ordered him to give himself up. After a few minutes, he came out and they took him to the police station. The criminal gave himself up to the police. The criminal gave himself up. The escaped prisoner gave he

give up (2)

to stop trying to do something (often because it is too difficult)

One day a hungry dog saw a bunch of juicy grapes hanging from a vine. The dog tried very hard to get the grapes, but it couldn't jump high enough to reach them. After ten frustrating minutes, the dog gave up the attempt and walked home angrily. The dog ga

give up (2. no object)

decide not to try (unsuccessfully) to solve a problem; believed to be dead or lost

After ten days the ship was given up for lost. A: "What's black and white and red all over?" B: "I give up. What?" A: "An embarrassed zebra!"

give up (3) (of an habitual activity, smoking / drinking / a job etc.)

to stop doing or having (something)

Howard decided to give up cigarettes after seeing a poster on the dangers of smoking. Howard gave up cigarettes. Howard gave cigarettes up. Howard gave them up. Howard gave up smoking.

Go back on

(break a promise)

The management has gone back on its promise.

go down

to become less swollen

Phil's cheek became swollen because he had a bad tooth ache. The dentist treated his bad tooth and his swollen cheek soon went down. His swollen cheek went down.

go for

a person, an animal to attack

The dog went for Joe and hurt his arm. The dog went for Joe. The dog went for him. Note: this verb is not used in the passive.

Go in for (1)

(make a habit of)

I don 't go in for that kind of thing.

Go in for (2)

(enter a competition)

Are you thinking of going in for the race?

Go off

(become bad - food)

This milk has gone off.

go off (of explosive devices e.g. bombs, guns etc.)

to explode or fire; (of alarms or alarm clocks) to ring suddenly

Many people were killed when the bomb went off. The bomb went off.

Go on

(happen - usually negative)

Something funny is going on.

go out with (inseparable)

have a date with

You went out with Sharon last night, didn't you?

Go round

(be enough)

There weren't enough life-jackets to go round.

go through

to examine (something)

When Ben entered this country, a custom's officer went through his suitcase. The officer took all of Ben's clothes out of his suitcase and looked at them very carefully. A custom's officer went through Ben's suitcase. A custom's officerwent through it.

Go through with

(complete a promise or plan - usually unwillingly)

When it came to actually stealing the money, Nora couldn't go through with it.

go with (1. no object)

to match or suit (something); look pleasing together. (Note: for clothes, furniture, etc.)

You should buy that shirt. It will go well with your dark brown suit. Tom wanted to see if checked trousers go with a striped jacket; he looked in a mirror and thought they looked horrible together. After trying a few other pairs of trousers he decided th

go with (2. no object)

date regularly and steadily

Is Gina going with Jim? I see them together all the time.

goof off (no object)

be lazy; do nothing in particular

A: "Do you have any special plans for your vacation?" B: "No. I'm just going to stay home and goof off."

Grow on

(become more liked - colloquial)

This new record is growing on me.

grow up (1. no object)

to develop from a child into an adult; spend the years between being a child and being an adult

Joe has grown up into a fine young man. Joe has grown up. Did you know that Frank grew up in Malaysia?

grow up (2. no object)

behave responsibly; behave as an adult, not a child

A: "Lee really irritates me sometimes. He's really silly and childish." B: "I agree. I wish he would grow up."

hand in (separable)

submit homework, an assignment, etc.

You'd better get started on your report. You know that you have to hand it in at 8:30 tomorrow morning!

hand out (separable)


Why don't you have a course description and list of assignments? The teacher handed them out on the first day of class.

hand over

Hang onto

(keep - colloquial)

I think we should hang onto the car until next year.

hang up (no object)

end a phone conversation by replacing the receiver

I'd like to talk longer, but I'd better hang up. My sister needs to make a call.

Have it in for

(be deliberately unkind to someone - also as have got)

My teacher has (got) it in for me.

Have it out with

(express feelings so as to settle a problem)

I put up with the problem for a while but in the end I had it out with her.

Have someone on

(deceive - colloquial)

I don't believe you. You 're having me on.

have to do with (inseparable)

be about

This class has to do with the behavior of people in groups.

Hit it off

(get on well with - colloquial)

Mark and Sarah really hit it off at the party.

Hit upon/on

(discover by chance - often an idea)

They hit upon the solution quite by chance.

hold on

to wait (especially on the telephone)

George phoned his office because he wanted some information. 'Hold on a minute and I'll get it for you,' said his assistant. His assistant asked him to hold on.

Hold out

(offer - especially with hope)

We don't hold out much hope that the price will fall.

hold up (1. separable)

raise; lift to a higher-than-normal position

The winner of the race proudly held his trophy up for all to see.

Hold up (2)

(use as an example - i.e. a model of good behaviour)

Jack was always held up as an example to me.

hold up (2) a person / a bank / a vehicle etc.

to rob, especially using a weapon (e.g. a gun)

Earlier today a masked robber with a gun held up the bank and escaped with a hundred thousand pounds. A robber held up the bank. A robber held the bank up. A robber held it up.

hold up (2. Separable, usually used in the passive)

to stop; to delay

I'm sorry I'm late. There was an accident on the freeway and traffic held me up. Sorry I'm late, I was held up in the traffic. The traffic was held up for a few hours because of an accident that blocked the road. The accident held up the traffic. The acci

hold up (3. separable)

rob; threaten someone with harm unless he/she gives her/his money or other valuable things

Sarah is very upset. When she was walking home last night, two men held her up and took her purse and jewelry.

Hold with

(agree with - an idea)

I don't hold with the idea of using force.

iron out (separable)

mutually reach an agreement; mutually resolve difficulties

Yes, I know we disagree on lots of things, Susan, but we can iron them out.

jack in


jack up (1. separable)

raise / life by using a jack

We'll have to jack the back of the car up before we can change the tire.

jack up (2. separable)

raise (used for prices)

The car dealer bought my old Ford for $750 and jacked the price up to $1,500 when they sold it.

jump all over (inseparable)

severely scold someone; berate someone

Arthur is really upset. His boss jumped all over him because he's been late for work three times this week.

keep on (1. inseparable--followed by an -ing verb)


I'm not ready to stop yet. I think I'll keep on working for a while.

keep on (someone) (2. inseparable)

continue to remind someone to do something until he/she does it (even if this irritates her/him)

Bill's very forgetful. You'll have to keep on him or he'll never do all the things you want him to do.

Keep up


Well done' Keep up the good work.

kick out (separable)

expel; force someone to leave because of his/her poor performance or unacceptable behavior

Jim's club kicked him out because he didn't pay his dues or come to meetings.

knock oneself out (separable)

work much harder than normal or than what is expected

We completed the project on time because of Chuck. He knocked himself out to be sure we didn't miss the deadline.

knock out (separable)

make unconscious

The boxing match ended when one boxer knocked the other one out. "That medicine really knocked me out. I slept for 14 hours straight!"

Lay down

(state arule- especially lay down the law)

The company has laid down strict procedures for this kind of situation.

lay off (separable; often passive)

to stop employing (a worker), often for a short time because there is not enough work (not because of poor performance)

Last year the manager of Bloggs Ltd laid off a hundred workers because business was very bad. He laid off a hundred workers. He laid a hundred workers off. He laid them off. They were laid off. I feel really sorry Sally's family. Her father was laid off y

leave out (separable)

forget; omit

Oh, no! When I made the list of those who attended the meeting, I left your name out!

let down (separable)

to disappoint someone (often by breaking a promise or an agreement)

Sorry to let you down, but I can't give you a lift today. Julia promised to meet Rick outside the cinema at eight o'clock, but she let him down. He waited for two hours and then he went home angrily. Julia let Rick down. Julia let him down. I know I let

Let in on

(allow to be part of a secret)

We haven't let Tina in on the plans yet.

let off

to excuse (someone) from (a punishment, a duty, or doing something)

As Dave was young, the judge let him off with a fine. Bill should have been sent to prison for six months, but the judge decided to let him off so that he could stay out of prison and take care of his family. The judge let Bill off going to prison. The ju

Let on

(inform about a secret - colloquial)

We're planning a surprise for Helen, but don't let on.

let out

to allow (a person or an animal) to leave (a place); to release

They let Fred out of prison after five years. They let Fred out of prison. They let Fred out. They let him out.

let up (no object)

become less intense or slower

It's been raining hard for a long time. Will it ever let up?

Live down Note. used with (not)

(suffer a loss of reputation)

If City lose, they'll never live it down.

Live up to

(reach an expected standard)

The play quite lived up to my expectations.

look after someone or something

to take care of someone or something

Looking after a baby is a full-time job. You have to bath it, dress it and feed it. She looks after the baby. She looks after It.

look back on (inseparable)

to remember and think about the past; reflect on / consider something in the past

When they looked back on their many years together, they realized that their marriage had been a very happy one. The Blacks have been married for many years. They like talking about the past and looking back on old times. At the moment they are looking at

look down on (inseparable)

hold in contempt; regard as inferior

It's not surprising that Fred has few friends. He seems to look down on anyone who doesn't like the same things that he does.

look down on someone or something

to think that someone (or something) is inferior, low or worthless; to disapprove of (someone or something)

Sir Douglas is a very rich aristocrat. Fred is a very poor tramp. Sir Douglas thinks that he is a much better person than Fred-he looks down on Fred. Sir Douglas looks down on Fred. Sir Douglas looks down on him.

look for something or someone

to try to find (something or someone), often athing or person that is lost

Fred wanted to open his front door but he couldn't find his key. He looked for it everywhere. It's in one of my pockets,' he thought. He looked for his key. He looked for it.

look forward to a future event (inseparable)

anticipate pleasantly; to think with pleasure about a future event that you expect to enjoy

I'm really looking forward to vacation. I can't wait for it to begin! Bill Bloggs has been in prison for the last ten years. Next year he'll be released from prison and he'll be a free man. Bill is looking forward to next year. Bill is looking forward to

look in on (inseparable)

visit in order to check something's / someone's condition

My father just came home from the hospital. I plan to look in on him today after I finish work.

look into a situation / a crime / a problem /a complaint etc. (inseparable)

investigate / get more details about something; to carefully examine a situation or event and try to discover the reasons for it

The police have promised to look into the problem. Someone said there was a meeting at 9:30 but I haven't heard anything about it. Shall I look into it? The police are looking into the death of Mr James. They want to know how he was murdered. They are loo

look like (inseparable)

resemble (in appearance)

Does he look like his father or his mother?

Look on


We look on this town as our real home.

look over some work / a car / a house / a document / a suggestion / an applicant etc. (separable)

check; review; to examine (someone or something) carefully and fully

I think I may have some typos in this report. Could you look it over? Joe wanted to buy a second-hand car. 'That one looks good,' he said to the salesman. 'Give me some time to look it over. If it's in good condition, I'll buy it.' He looked the car over.

look round a house / a shop / a town / a factory / an exhibition etc.

to visit and tour round a place.

Mr and Mrs Smith wanted to buy a house. The estate agent took them to see a house in the centre of town and said, 'Look round the house and see if it's what you want.' They looked round the house. They looked round it. They went into the house and looked

look up (1. separable) a word / a telephone number / an address / a train time/a date etc.

to find (or try to find) something (e.g. a telephone number) in a book (e.g. a telephone directory)

"I'm sorry, but I don't know what that word means. I'll have to look it up." While Peter was reading he found a word that he didn't understand. 'This is a difficult word,' he thought. I'll look it up in the dictionary and see what it means. He looked up

look up (2. separable)

visit when in the area; find where someone lives or works and visit him/her

If you're passing through Athens, look me up. Thanks for giving me your brother's address. When I'm in Chicago next month, I'll be sure to look him up.

look up to someone (inseparable)

to respect (someone); to admire (someone)

Everyone looks up to Joyce because she always makes time to help others. Young Jimmy's favourite footballer is Ted Ross of Arsenal. Jimmy looks up to Ted and he tries to be like him. Jimmy looks up to Ted Ross. Jimmy looks up to him.

luck out (no object)

be unexpectedly lucky

Gloria was worried because she wasn't prepared to give a report at the meeting, but she lucked out because the meeting was postponed.

make for (1. inseparable)

go to or toward

Her teen-aged children are always hungry. As soon as they arrive home from school, they make for the refrigerator.

make for (2. inseparable)

result in; cause

Many hands make for light work. (If many people work together, there's less work for everyone.) The power steering makes for easier parking.

make fun of (inseparable)

make jokes about (usually unkindly)

I agree that Bob looks ridiculous since he shaved his head, but don't make fun of him. You'll hurt his feelings.

Make off with

(run away with)

The thief made off with a valuable necklace.

Make out (1)


Tim made out that he hadn 't seen the No Smoking sign.

make out (1) often used in the negative with can't and couldn 't

manage to see or understand; to see, hear, or understand (something or someone), often with difficulty; see / hear something well enough to understand what it means. (Note: often negative.)

I couldn 't quite make out what the notice said. Bob saw something on the horizon as he was looking through his binoculars. At first he couldn't make out what it was, but after a few minutes he could just make out the shape of a yacht. He couldn't make ou

make out (2) a cheque

to write (a cheque)

I made out a cheque for ten pounds. I made out a cheque. I made a cheq ue out. I made it out.

Make someone out

(understand someone's behaviour)

Janet is really odd. I can't make her out.

make up (1)

to become friends again after a quarrel

Yesterday Joan and Jack had a big argument about politics. Earlier today they decided to forget their differences and make up. Joan and Jack made up. Joan and Jack made up their quarrel. Joan and Jack made it up. Jack made up with Joan. Jack made it up wi

make up (1. separable)

invent / create (imaginary) information

Judy's story is hard to believe. I'm sure she made it up. I think you made up the whole story.

make up (2) a story / a poem / an excuse / an explanation etc.

to invent, sometimes with the purpose of deception

Colin overslept and was late for work. It was the third time he had overslept that month, so he decided to make up an excuse. He told his boss that the engine of his car had exploded. He made up an excuse. He made an excuse up. He made It up.

make up (2. separable)

compensate for something missed or not done by doing extra or equivalent work

I'm sorry I missed the test. May I make it up?

make up (with) (3. inseparable)

re-establish a friendly relationship by admitting guilt

Jack and his girlfriend were very angry with each other, but last night they finally made up. "Jack and his girlfriend were very angry with each other, but last night they finally made up with each other."

make up for a mistake /doing or not doing something etc.

to compensate for

Our success makes up for all the hard times. June and Ron arranged to meet outside the cinema at 7.30 p.m. June was very upset when Ron arrived an hour late. Ron made up for being late by apologizing to June and giving her a big bunch of flowers. He made

mark down (separable)

reduce the price (as an incentive to buy)

These shoes were really a bargain! The store marked them down by 40%!

mark up (separable)

increase the price (for resale)

Mrs. White's import shop is profitable because she buys things inexpensively and then marks them up.

Miss out (1)

(fail to include)

You have missed out a word here.

Miss out (2)

(lose a chance - colloquial)

Five people got promoted, but I missed out again.

mistake for

to think wrongly that (one thing or person) is (another thing or person)

I frightened rpyself last night when I mistook a piece of old rope for a dangerous snake. I mistook a piece of old rope for a dangerous snake. I saw a piece of old rope and I mistook it for a dangerous snake.

mix up (separable)

cause to become confused

I didn't complete the assignment because I didn't know how. The directions mixed me up.

nod off (no object)

fall sleep (usually unintentionally)

The speech was so boring that several people in the audience nodded off before it was finished.

own up

confess - colloquial; to tell (someone) that you have done something wrong, or that you are at fault

James owned up to drawing a silly picture of his teacher on the board. None of the children would own up to breaking the window.

Pack in

(stop an activity - colloquial)

John has packed in his job.

pan out (no object)

succeed; happen as expected (for plans). (Note: almost always negative when in statements.)

I'll be here next week after all. My trip to Chicago didn't pan out.

pass away pass on pass over (usually of a person) (no object)

to die

Fred Bloggs passed away (passed on/passed over) in 1985afteralong illness. Fred passed away. Fred passed on. Fred passed over. I was very sorry to hear that your grandfather passed away.

pass out (1. no object)

faint; lose consciousness

When Ella heard that she'd won a million dollars, she was so shocked that she passed out. When the air-conditioning stopped working, James found it difficult to breathe and passed out. He passed out.

pass out (2. separable)


Everyone in the room needs one of these information sheets. Who will help me pass them out?

Pay back

(take revenge - colloquial)

She paid him back for all his insults.

pick on (inseparable)

bully; intentionally try to make someone upset

You should be ashamed of teasing your little brother, Bob! Pick on someone your own size!

pick out (separable)

choose; select

Billy's grandmother especially liked her birthday card because Billy had picked it out himself.

pick up (1. separable)

lift; take up

Those books don't belong on the floor. Will you help me pick them up?

pick up (2. separable) something or someone

arrange to meet someone and give her/him a ride; to collect someone or something (sometimes in a vehicle)

Of course we can go there together. What time should I pick you up? Jeff was driving home when he saw a hitchhiker. He stopped the car and picked the hitchhiker up. Jeff picked up the hitchhiker. Jeff picked the hitchhiker up. Jeff picked him up.

pick up (3. separable)

get; buy

The children just drank the last of the milk. Could you pick some more up on your way home this evening?

pick up (4. separable)

refresh; revitalize; improve (colloquial)

The weather seems to be picking up. He was feeling a little tired, so he drank a glass of orange juice. It picked him up enough to finish his work.

Pin someone down

(force to give a clear statement)

I asked Jim to name a suitable day, but I couldn't pin him down.

pitch in (no object)

help; join together to accomplish something

We'll be finished soon if everyone pitches in.

Play up

(behave or work badly)

The car is playing up again. It won't start.

point out something or someone

to draw attention to something or someone

I pointed out that I would be on holiday anyway. My uncle showed me the building he used to work in and he pointed out his old office on the sixth floor. He pointed out his office. He pointed his office out. He pointed it out.

Pull off

(manage to succeed)

It was a tricky plan, but we pulled it off.

pull over (no object)

drive a vehicle to the side of the rode

When the policeman indicated that I should pull over, I knew he was going to give me a ticket.

Push on

(continue with some effort - colloquial)

Let's push on and try to reach the coast by tonight.

put (someone) out (separable)

inconvenience someone

I hate to put you out, but I need a ride to the train station and hope you can take me.

Put across

(communicate ideas)

Harry is clever but he can't put his ideas across.

put away (separable)

return something to the proper place

I just took these clothes out of the dryer. Will you help me put them away?

put back (separable)

return something to the proper place

I've finished with these books. Do you want me to put them back on the shelves?

Put down to

(explain the cause of)

Diane's poor performance was put down to nerves.

put forward a proposal / a plan / a suggestion / an idea etc.

to offer (a proposal / a plan etc.) for consideration

Mr Smith put forward the idea of introducing traffic lights at the crossroads as a way of preventing traffic jams. The planning committee thought his idea was very good. He put forward the idea. He put the idea forward. He put it forward.

Put in for

(apply for a job)

Sue has put in for a teaching job.

Put off (1) an event / doing something etc.

to delay doing something until a late date; to delay an event or arrangement until a later date

Martin v/as very unhappy when he saw the huge pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen. He felt a little happier after deciding to put off the washing-up until the next day. Martin put off the washing-up until the next day. Martin put the washing-up off till t

put off (1. separable)

postpone; delay; avoid

I can't put this work off any longer. If I don't do it soon, it'll be impossible to finish it in time. "When will Mr. Smith agree to a meeting? I keep asking for an appointment, but he keeps putting me off."

put off (2) / put (someone) off (2)

to discourage, or distract, (someone) from doing doing, upset

The crowd put the gymnast off, and be fell. Ron was trying to read, but the noise from the television put him off and he had to stop. The noise from the TV put Ron off his book. The noise from the TV put him off his bOOK. The noise from the TV put Ron oft

put on (1. separable) clothes / glasses I a ring / a necklace etc.

begin to wear; don; to dress oneself

It's a little bit chilly outside. You'd better put a sweater on. Perry put on his nevi' sweater because he wanted to wear it for work. Perry put on his sweater. Perry put his sweater on. Perry put it on.

put on (2. separable)

try to make someone believe something that is ridiculous or untrue

Don't believe a word of what Jim was saying. He was just putting us on.

Put oneself out

(take trouble - to help someone)

Please don't put yourself out making a meal. A sandwich will do.

put out a cigarette / a light / a fire etc.

to extinguish

Steve put out the light in the lounge before going upstairs to bed. Steve put out the light. Steve put the light out. Steve put it out.

put through

to connect a telephone caller to the number he or she wants

Mr Pratt phoned the offices of Gunn and Company. 'Who would you like to speak to?' asked the switchboard operator. 'Put me through to Mr Guhn please,' Mr Pratt replied. She put Mr Pratt through to Mr Gunn. She put him through to Mr Gunn. She put through M

put up (1. separable)

return something to the proper place

Your toys are all over the floor, Timmy. Please put them up.

put up (2. separable)

offer accommodation; provide someone with a place to sleep

There's no need for you to check into a hotel. I'll be happy to put you up. We can put you up for a few days.

put up with

to suffer (a difficult situation or person) without complaining

When Uncle Mike comes to visit us, the children behave very badly. They hit him, they play tricks on him and they make a lot of noise. Uncle Mike must love them very much because he puts up with everything they do, and he never gets annoyed with them. Unc

put up with (inseparable)

tolerate; bear

I can 't put up with all this noise! It's really important to come to work on time. The boss won't put up with tardiness.

rip off (separable)

cheat; take advantage of; charge too much; charge too much (colloquial)

Don't even think about buying a car there. They'll rip you off. You paid £50? They really ripped you off!

round off (separable)

change from a fraction to the nearest whole number

Round all prices off to the closest whole-dollar amounts. For example, round $33.73 off to $34.00.

Run down (1)


She's always running down her husband.

Run down (2)

(lose power, allow to decline)

/ think the batteries are running down.

run in a motor cycle / a new car / a machine etc.

to use a new (or reconditioned) engine carefully until it is ready for normal use

George is running in his new car. so he can't drive fast. George is running in his hew car. George is running it in. Running in, please pass. (a notice sometimes seen on new cars)

run into (inseparable) someone

meet by chance

Guess who I ran into at the supermarket! Yesterday at the supermarket, Jan ran into her former roommate. Before yesterday, they hadn't seen each other for nearly five years. I was on my way to work when I ran into Jeremy Thomas. It was a lovely surprise b

run out of (inseparable) coffee / sugar / money /' patience / time etc.

to use all of (something) and have no more left

On the way home from work, Art ran out of gas. Howard has run out. of bread, so he can't make himself a sandwich. If he wants a sandwich, he'll have to go to the baker's shop and buy some more bread. Howard has run out of bread. Howard has run out of it.

Run over

(check - also run through)

Let's run over the plan once more.

Run to

(have enough money)

I don't think we can run to a holiday abroad this year.

Run up

(a bill - let a bill get longer without paying)

I ran up a huge telephone bill at the hotel.

Run up against

(encounter - usually a problem)

We've run up against a slight problem.

see someone off

to say goodbye to someone who is going on a journey at the place (e.g. airport, station etc.) where the journey begins; go to station, airport, etc to say goodbye to someone

Bill arranged to go to Scotland to stay with his grandmother for a few days. His father, Frank, drove him to the railway station and saw him off. Frank saw Bill off. Frank saw him off. I went to the station to see them off.

See through

(realise the truth about)

I saw through his intentions at once.

Send up

(make fun of by Imitating)

Jean is always sending up the French teacher.

Set about

(start working)

We must set about re-organising the office.

set back (1. separable)

cause a delay in scheduling

We've had some problems with the project that have set us back at least two days . We'll give you a progress report tomorrow.

set back (2. separable)


I wonder how much Bill's new car set him back?

Set in

(establish itself-especially weather)

/ think this ram has set infer the day.

set off

to start a journey

Barry set off on his camping holiday at six o'clock in the morning and reached the campsite, in France, at midday. Barry set off. Barry set off at six o'clock. Barry set off on a camping holiday. Barry set off for France.

Set on / set (up) on


We were set upon by a gang of hooligans.

Set out (1)

(give in detail in writing)

This document sets out all the Union demands.

Set out (2)


I've set out the refreshments in the hall.

Set out (3)

(start an action)

Sue set out to write a biography hut it became a novel.

set up (separable)

make arrangements for something; establish

An inquiry into the accident has been set up. You'll see Mr. Thomas tomorrow. I've set a meeting up for 9:30 AM.

show up (1. no object)

arrive; appear

The boss was very upset when you didn't show up for the meeting. What happened?

show up (2. separable)

do a noticeably better job (often unexpectedly) than someone else

Everyone thought Marsha would win, but Jean did. Actually, Jean really showed Marsha up.

Sink in

(realise slowly - colloquial, Intransitive)

Slowly the realisation that I had won began to sink in.

slip up (no object)

make a mistake (colloquial)

Someone slipped up and my application was lost. You slipped up here. The amount should be $135.28, not $132.58.

soak up a liquid / information / knowledge / punishment etc.

to absorb; to become filled with (something)

The sponge soaked up the spilt milk. The sponge soaked up the milk. The sponge soaked the milk up. The sponge soaked it up.

Sort out

(find a solution - colloquial)

Don't worry, Mary will sort out your problem.

speak up often used in the imperative

to speak louder

Terry was talking to his grandfather. 'Speak up, Terry,' his grandfather said. I'm a bit deaf and I can't hear you.' Grandfather told Terry to speak up. Grandfather said, 'Speak up'.

Stand by

(keep to an agreement)

The company agreed to stand by its original commitment.

stand for (1)

to represent or mean; to be a sign or short form of something else; initials

The letters B.B.C. stand for the British Broadcasting Corporation. B.B.C. stands for British Broadcasting Corporation. What do the letters B.B.C. stand tor? e.g. stands for exempli gratia, it's Latin.

stand for (1. no object)


These letters seem to be an abbreviation. Do you know what they stand for?

Stand for (2)


/ will not stand for this kind of behaviour in my house!

stand for (2. inseparable)

tolerate; permit (usually negative)

I'm not surprised that Mrs. Johnson rejected your report. She won't stand for shoddy work.

Stand in for

(take the place of)

Carol has kindly agreed to stand in for Graham at the monthly meeting.

stand out (no object)

be noticeably better than other similar people or things

Good job, Ann! Your work really stands out!

stand up (1. no object)

rise to a standing position

When the Chairperson entered the room, everyone stood up.

stand up (2. separable)

make a date but not keep it

Angela was supposed to go to the dance with Fred, but she stood him up and went with Chuck instead.

Stand up to

(resist, bear stress)

The engine won 't stand up to the strain.

Step down

(resign - colloquial)

The Chairman has stepped down after criticism from shareholders.

Step up


Production at the Leeds plant has been stepped up.

Stick up for

(defend- especially yourself, your rights -colloquial)

You must learn to stick up for yourself.

Take (it) out on

(make someone else suffer because of one's own sufferings)

/ know you are unhappy, but don't take it out on me!

take / bring back (separable)


This book is due tomorrow. I guess I should take it back to the library. "Yes, you can borrow my pen, but don't forget to bring it back to me when you're finished."

take after (inseparable)

resemble; favor (in appearance) Note: used for people

Both my sister and I take after our father.

take after someone

to look or be like an older relative

Little Christopher takes after his father. He has black hair, big feet and a bad temper just like his dad. Christopher takes alter his father. Christopher takes after him.

take care of (1. inseparable)

provide care for; watch one's health

Lois has been taking care of her father since he returned home from the hospital. "You've been working too hard lately. You'd better take care of yourself!"

take care of (2. inseparable)

make arrangements (for something to happen); take responsibility for

Will you take care of making reservations for our flight to Boston?

take down a statement / a telephone number / some information etc.

to record in writing

When the policeman arrived at the scene of the accident he took down the witness's statement. He took down the statement. He took the statement down. He took it down.

take in (often used in the passive)

to deceive (someone); to cheat (someone)

Don't be taken in by her apparent shyness. The hungry wolf had a problem: all the sheep in the neighbourhood knew him and ran away when they saw him. After some thought he decided to disguise himself as a sheep. The neighbourhood sheep were taken In by th

take off (1) (of an aeroplane)

to rise from the ground

At the beginning of a journey an aeroplane takes off. At the end of a journey an aeroplane lands. The aeroplane took off.

take off (1. separable)

remove (something you're wearing)

Please take your hat off when you go inside a building.

take off (2)

to remove anything that is worn on the body (especially clothes)

Nick took off his jacket because he was feeling very hot. Nick took off his jacket. Nick took his jacket off. Nick took it off.

take off (2. no object)

leave; depart (often suddenly or quickly)

Was something wrong with Jill? She took off without saying goodbye. "When does your plane take off?"

take off (3. separable)

make arrangements to be absent from work

Susan isn't here today. She's taking today and tomorrow off.

Take off (4)

(imitate - colloquial)

Dave takes off the Prime Minister really well.

Take on (1)

(acquire a new characteristic)

My grandmother has taken on a new lease of life since her operation.

Take on (2)

(do something extra)

She has taken on too much with a full-time job as well.

Take out

(insurance - sign an insurance agreement)

Ann has taken out life insurance.

take over

gain control of; to assume responsibility for, or control of, (something or a situation) from someone else

The army tried to take over the country. Simon took over the manager's job from Mr Jones when he retired. Simon took over the manager's job from Mr Jones. Simon took over the manager's job. Simon took the manager's job over. Simon took it over. Simon too

Take to someone

(develop a liking for)

You'll soon take to your new boss, I'm sure.

Take up

(time - occupy time)

The meeting took up a whole morning

take up (separable)

begin (a hobby or leisure-time activity)

A: "Do you like to ski?" B: "I've never been skiing, but I think I'd like to take it up."

take up a hobby / a sport / a job / a habit etc.

to begin to Study, practice, or do (something)

Tim wanted to take up painting, so he joined an evening class at the local College of Art. He took up painting. He took painting up. He took it up. He took up a new hobby.

Talk out of or into

(dissuade from, persuade into)

Paul talked me into going skiing, against my better judgement.

tall through

to fail to happen or be completed (of plans, arrangements, schemes etc.)

Eric's plan to go on a skiing holiday fell through because he broke his leg. His plan fell through.

tear up a piece of paper / a letter / a newspaper etc.

to destroy completely by tearing.

Brian tore up the letter angrily.Brian tore up the letter. Brian tore the letter up. Brian tore it up.

tell (someone) off (separable)

speak to someone bluntly and negatively, saying exactly what she/he did wrong; to speak angrily to someone who has done something wrong; to find fault with someone

Our teacher told us off for being late. Julie was really angry at Bob; she told him off in front of all of us. Howard told his son oH for breaking a window with his football. Howard told oil his son. Howard told his son off. Howard told him off. Howard to

think over a problem / a proposal / a situation etc.

to consider (something) carefully

Owen is playing chess with a friend. At the moment he is thinking over his next move. He is thinking over his next move. He is thinking his next move over. He is thinking it over.

throw away (separable)

discard; put in the garbage

You shouldn't throw those newspapers away; they're recyclable.

throw out (1. separable)

discard; put in the garbage

This food smells bad. You'd better throw it out.

throw out (2. separable)

forcibly make someone leave (usually because of bad behavior)

Those people are drunk and making everyone uncomfortable. The manager should throw them out.

throw up (usually no object; with an object, separable)


Paul was so nervous about his job interview that he threw up just before he left for it.

tick off (1. separable)

irritate someone; make someone upset or angry

It really ticks her off when someone is late for an appointment.

tick off (2. separable)

show that something has been completed by putting a tick (check) beside it

Here are the things you need to do. Tick each one off when you finish it.

Tie in with

be in agreement with

I'm afraid your party doesn't quite tie in with aor arrangements.

Track down

trace the whereabouts of

The police tracked down killer and arrested him.

try on (separable)

wear something briefly to check its fit, how it looks, etc.

I'm not sure that jacket is large enough. May I try it on?

try on a hat / a new pair of shoes / a dress etc.

to put on an article of clothing to see if it fits and how it looks

Last week I went into a shop and tried on three hats. The first hat was too big; the second one was too small; but the third one fitted me perfectly and looked good, so I bought it. I tried on three hats. I tried three hats on. I tried them on.

try out (for) (inseparable)

try to win a place on a team or other organization

I know you want to be on the football team. Are you going to try out? "If you like to sing, you should try out for the choir.

try out (separable)

test - a machine; use a machine briefly to determine how well it works

I really like the way this car looks. May I try it out? Let's try out the new washing machine.

try out something or someone

to test something (or someone) by using it

Angela saw an advertisement for a new soap powder called 'Zap'. She decided to try it out because she wanted to see if it was better than her usual soap powder. Angela tried out new 'Zap'. Angela tried new 'Zap' out. Angela tried it out.

turn around (1. usually no object)

move so that you are facing the opposite direction

Everyone turned around and stared when I entered the meeting late.

turn around (2. separable)

move so that someone / something is facing the opposite direction

I don't want this chair facing the window. Will you help me turn it around?

turn around (3. separable)

make changes so that something that was unprofitable is profitable

The company was doing poorly until it hired a new president. He turned it around in about six months and now it's doing quite well.

turn down (1. separable)

decrease the volume

Your music is giving me a headache! Please turn it down or use your headphones!

turn down (2. separable) a request / an offer / an applicant / an application etc.

to refuse or reject (something or someone)

Another company offered me a job but I turned them down. I thought I could borrow some money from Joe, but when I asked, he turned me down. Jeff was interviewed for the job at Bloggs Ltd but they turned him down because he was too young. They turned down

turn in (1. separable)

give / deliver / submit to someone

I've written my report, but I haven't turned it in.

turn in (2. no object)

go to bed

I'm pretty tired. I guess I'll turn in.

turn in (3. separable)

report or deliver wrongdoers to the authorities

Two days after the robbery, the thieves turned themselves in.

turn into something or someone

to change; to become

The beautiful princess kissed the frog and it turned into a handsome prince. The frog turned into a prince. The kiss turned the frog into a prince,

turn off (1. separable)

stop by turning a handle or switch

I'm cold. Do you mind if I turn the air conditioner off?

turn off (2. separable)

bore; repel (very informal)

That music turns me off. Please play something else!

turn on (1. separable)

start by turning a handle or switch

It's cold in here. I'm going to turn the heater on

turn on (2. separable)

interest very much; excite (very informal)

What kind of music turns you on?

turn out

happen to be in the end

He turned out to be an old friend of Helen's.

turn out

come to a meeting or to form a crowd

Thousands of fans turned out to welcome the team.

turn up (1. separable)

increase the volume

I can barely hear the TV. Can you turn it up a little?

turn up (2. no object)

appear, arrive unexpectedly

We were all surprised when Pam turned up at the party. We didn't even know she was in town. Not many people turned up for the lesson.

turn up (3)

be discovered by chance

Don't worry about that missing book, it's bound to turn up sooner or later.

wait for (inseparable)

wait until someone / something arrives or is finished with something else

When will Kenny be finished with work? I've been waiting for him for almost an hour! "I'm tired of waiting for the bus. I guess I'll take a taxi instead."

wait on (1. inseparable)

serve (usually customers in a restaurant, shop, etc.)

I want to make a complaint. The person who just waited on me was very impolite.

wake up (1. no object)

stop sleeping

I usually wake up around 5:00 AM each day.

wake up (2. separable)

rouse someone; cause someone to stop sleeping

I have an important meeting tomorrow and I'm afraid I won't hear my alarm. Will you wake me up at 6:00 AM?

watch out for (inseparable)

be careful of; beware of

There's a school at the end of this block. Watch out for children crossing the street. "If you take that road, watch out for ice during the winter."

wear off (1)

to disappear gradually

The pain in Jim's foot wore off after he took some painkiller. The pain wore off.

wear off (2)

loose effect - especially a drug

These painkillers wear off after about two hours.

wear out (1)

to use (something) until it becomes unfit for further use; to become unusable after excessive use

Paul wore out his favourite jumper after wearing it every day for ten years. Paul wore out his jumper. Paul wore his jumper out. Paul wore it out. The jumper wore out.

wear out (1. separable)

wear something / use something until it can no longer be worn / be used

I need a new pencil sharpener. I wore this one out. "I suppose I should get some new shoes. I've almost worn this pair out."

wear out (2) often used in the passive

to tire greatly; to exhaust

Carrying the heavy box across the street wore Fred out. When he got home he went straight to bed. Carrying the heavy box wore out Fred. Carrying the heavy box wore Fred out. Carrying the heavy box wore him out. Fred was worn out by carrying the heavy box.

wear out (2. separable)

cause to become exhausted; cause to become very tired

I had four different meetings today. They wore me out. "I suppose I should get some new shoes. I've almost worn this pair out."

work out (1. no object)

exercise (usually in a gym, etc.) to build muscles, body tone, etc

Instead of eating lunch on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Sheila goes to the recreation center to work out.

work out (2. separable) a problem /a plan/a method etc.

solve a problem / resolve a difficult situation (usually by working together); to produce a way of dealing with a problem or situation by thinking

I know we disagree on many points, but I believe we can work things out. Jimmy is busy doing his homework. At the moment he is working out the answer to a sum. He is working out the answer. He is working the answer out. He is working it out.

work out (3) a sum

calculate - also work out for a specific ammount; to solve a problem by calculation or study

The hotel bill worked out at over $500.

wrap up (1. no object)

wear enough clothes to keep warm

It's really cold today. Be sure you wrap up when you leave the house.

wrap up (2. separable)

finish something; bring something to a conclusion

We've been talking about the problem for nearly three hours. I hope we'll be able to wrap the discussion up soon.

write down (separable)

record something in writing

Could you tell me your e-mail address again? I want to write it down.

write up (separable)

record; report in writing

You'll need to make a report on your business meetings. Be sure you write them up as soon as possible after you return from your trip.

zonk out (no object)

fall asleep quickly because of exhaustion

I intended to go shopping after work, but I was so tired that I zonked out as soon as I got home.