Study phrasal verbs online

An online resource for learners of English as a foreign language

List of phrasal verbs

There are over 10,000 phrasal verbs in English. It's not our intention to include anywhere near even 10% of these verbs. Instead, here's a fairly long list (132 verbs and counting) of what we'd consider the most useful phrasal verbs for learners of English as a foreign language. Bear in mind that a single phrasal verb can have a number of different meanings: there may be other meanings than the one(s) listed here. is a work in progress and the list is slowly growing.


act up: to behave badly (someone) or work incorrectly (something)

add up: to make sense


break down: to stop functioning (vehicle or machine)

break in: to force an entry to somewhere

break into: to force an entry to somewhere

break off: to separate from the main part of something

bring about: to make something happen or to cause a change

bring along: to take someone or something with you when you go somewhere

bring forward: to change the time of a scheduled event so that it happens earlier

bring out: to release a new product

bring up: to introduce a topic in a conversation

bring up: to raise and educate a child

bump into: to meet someone by chance


call off: to cancel an event

carry on: to continue doing an activity

catch up: to reach the same level as other participants in a physical or intellectual activity

catch up: to talk to someone to get up to date on their news etc.

chase up: to contact someone to remind them to do something

chat up: to talk to someone with the intention of making them romantically or sexually attracted to you

cheer up: to make someone happier

clean up: to make a place tidy and clean

come across: to find by chance

come across: to give appearance or impression to other people

come along: to develop or make progress

come apart: to break into individual pieces

come back: to return

come down with: to become unwell with a particular illness, normally not serious

come off: to happen or succeed

come round: to regain consciousness after fainting or after suffering a head injury

come to: to regain consciousness after fainting or after suffering a head injury

come up: to be mentioned or discussed

come up with: produce an idea or a plan


drop in: to visit someone briefly, normally at their home

drop off: to fall asleep, often unintentionally

drop out: to stop attending an educational course


eat in: to have lunch or dinner at home rather than going to a restaurant to eat

eat out: to have lunch or dinner at a restaurant as opposed to eating at home

eat up: to finish eating all of something


fall out: to lose friendship with someone after a difference of opinion or argument

find out: to obtain or discover information about something


get around to: to eventually find the time to do something

get away: to escape from someone/something

get off: to leave a bus, train, etc. or dismount from a bike, motorbike, horse, etc

get on: to have a good relationship with someone

get over: to start to feel well or happy again after an illness or unpleasant experience

get together: to meet in order to socialise etc.

give away: to let someone have something without charging them money

give back: to return something to someone

give up: to stop doing something, usually a habit

go ahead: to proceed

go away: to leave a person or place, often on holiday

go down: to decrease in value or level

go for: to choose

go in for: to enter a competition or to present oneself for an exam

go off: to explode

go over: to check something

go up: to increase in value or level


hand out: to give something to each person in a group or place

hand over: to give, by hand, something to someone

head off: to leave


knock out: to make someone unconscious by hitting them on the head


leave out: to not include someone/something

let down: to disappoint someone by not doing what they expect of you

let in: to allow somebody to enter a place

look after: to take care of

look back: to think about a time or event in the past

look for: to search for something

look forward to: to be excited about a future event

look in on: to visit someone briefly to check that they are OK

look into: to investigate or research

look over: to check or examine something (for quality, errors etc)

look up: to consult a reference book for meaning, definition etc.

look up to: to respect or admire someone

lose out: to not have an advantage or benefit that other people are having


mix up: to confuse things


name after: to give someone or something the same name as someone or something else

nod off: to fall asleep (normally when not in bed)


open up: to talk about what you feel and think


pass away: to die

pass out: to faint or lose consciousness for a short time

patch up: to settle a disagreement and become friends again. Normally 'patch things up'.

pay back: to return money or a favour to someone

play up: to behave badly (someone) or work incorrectly (something)

point out: to make someone aware of something

pop out: to leave a place and go outside briefly

pull off: to succeed in doing something

pull over: to drive to the side of the road and stop the vehicle

pull through: to recover from serious illness or injury

put across: to communicate something, often a new idea

put away: to store something in its place

put back: to change the time of a scheduled event so that it happens later

put back: to return something to its original location

put off: to postpone an event to a later time

put out: to extinguish, to stop something burning

put up: to give someone accommodation

put up with: to tolerate someone who/something which is unpleasant


rule out: to stop considering something as a possibility

run out of: to finish a supply of something, e.g. petrol, money etc.

run over: to hit someone with a motor vehicle


send back: to return something that is not satisfactory or up to standard

set about: to start doing something, usually with enthusiasm

set off: to leave on a journey

set up: to establish a business, institution, or other organisation

split up: to end a romantic relationship or marriage

stick around: to stay in the same place

stick out: to be easily noticed

stick up for: to defend someone


take after: to resemble a parent or relative

take apart: to separate something into its different parts

take in: to make someone believe something that isn't true

take off: to leave the ground (plane or bird)

take on: to accept a job or responsibility, especially a difficult one.

take over: to take control of or responsibility for something

take to: to start to like or enjoy someone or something

take up: to start a new hobby or regular activity

tear up: to destroy something (normally paper or cloth) by pulling it into small pieces

throw away: to dispose of something that you don't need

throw up: to vomit

tidy up: to make somewhere look better by putting things in their correct place

trip over: to catch your foot on something and fall

trip up: to make a mistake

try on: to wear temporarily an article of clothing or footwear to test for size, comfort, etc.

try out: to test something

turn away: to face in the opposite direction

turn away: to not allow someone to enter a place or an event

turn down: to reject an offer

turn in: to go to bed

turn into: to change or develop into something different

turn up: to arrive, often unexpectedly


wear off: to gradually stop having an effect

wear out: to use something so much that it stops working or becomes unusable

work out: to settle or solve a problem