1. A phrasal verb is a verb plus a preposition or adverb which creates a meaning different from the original verb.
Example:
I ran into my teacher at the movies last night. RUN + INTO = MEET
He ran away when he was 15. RUN + AWAY = LEAVE HOME
2. Some phrasal verbs are intransitive. An intransitive verb cannot be followed by an object.
Example:
He suddenly showed up. "SHOW UP" CANNOT TAKE AN OBJECT
3. Some phrasal verbs are transitive. A transitive verb can be followed by an object.
Example:
I made up the story. "STORY" IS THE OBJECT OF "MAKE UP"
4. Some transitive phrasal verbs are separable. The object is placed between the verb and the preposition. In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, separable phrasal verbs are marked by placing a * between the verb and the preposition / adverb.
Example:
I talked my mother into letting me borrow the car.
She looked the phone number up.
5. Some transitive phrasal verbs are inseparable. The object is placed after the preposition. In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, inseparable phrasal verbs are marked by placing a + after the preposition / adverb.
Example:
I ran into an old friend yesterday.
They are looking into the problem.
6. Some transitive phrasal verbs can take an object in both places. In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, such phrasal verbs are marked with both * and + .
Example:
I looked the number up in the phone book.
I looked up the number in the phone book.
7. WARNING! Although many phrasal verbs can take an object in both places, you must put the object between the verb and the preposition if the object is a pronoun.
Example:
I looked the number up in the phone book.
I looked up the number in the phone book.
I looked it up in the phone book. CORRECT
I looked up it in the phone book. INCORRECT

Phrasal Verb Definition Example
lay away + save for the future Why don't you lay away your wedding outfit?
lay down + establish (laws, rules) Lori lays down the law in her class. English only!
lay in on + scold or criticize severely My mom really laid in on me when I got home at 4:00 in the morning last night.
lay into + scold or criticize severely I saw Reto's mom lay into him when he came home late last night.
lay * off + suspend someone from a job (during a slow period) The company was losing money, so they had to lay off 100 workers.
lay * out + arrange Why don't we lay the pieces of the table out before we put it together.
leave * out + not include, omit Why did your parents leave you out of their vacation plans?
let * down disappoint I felt let down when I didn't receive a birthday card from my sister.
let * down lengthen (pants in sewing) My uncle is a tailor, so he can let your pants down.
let * out release I am happy my brother was let out of prison early.
let * out make bigger (in sewing) I need to let out this skirt because I have gained weight.
let up weaken in intensity I told her NO a thousand times, but she won't let up.
lie down rest, recline I need to lie down before we go out tonight.
lie down on + rest, recline ( on a couch, bed) I'm going to lie down on the sofa for a while.
lie with + be decided by Whether or not you can go to the party lies with your father.
light * up + illuminate Let's get some candles to light this room up.
light up + to smoke Do you have to light up another cigarette? I thought you were trying to cut down.
live * down + live in a way that a shameful or embarrassing event is forgotten Jose will never live down singing that song at the karaoke bar.
live on + survive from I could live on bread and cheese.
live up to + keep a standard It would be hard to live up to her parent's expectations. They are so demanding.
look after + take care of (a child, a house, a pet) When my sister goes on vacation, I look after her dog.
look back on + to remember nostalgically When I look back on my childhood, I often feel angry.
look down on + see as inferior She's so conceited. She looks down on everybody else.
look for + to seek or search for I'm looking for my keys. Have you seen them?
look forward to + anticipate with pleasure I am looking forward to traveling to New York next year.
look into + investigate The police are looking into the murder.
look on observe as a spectator Everybody just looked on as the two men fought.
look out be careful, pay attention, heed a certain danger Look out, there's a black widow spider on the wall.
look * over + examine, review When I'm camping, I look my shoes over before I put them on.
look * up + search for (in a dictionary) I takes time to look up new vocabulary words.
look * up + locate and visit If you ever travel to California, you should look me up.
look up to + respect, admire someone He looks up to his father.
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Phrasal Verb Definition Example
get * across + cause to be understood It's difficult to get humor across in another language.
get ahead make progress I can't get ahead even though I work two jobs.
get ahead of + surpass You need to work overtime in order to get ahead of schedule.
get along have a good relationship Do you and your sister get along?
get along with + have a good relationship Giovanna doesn't get along with her two brothers.
get around + avoid someone or something Some people get around paying taxes by hiring a good accountant.
get around go many places It's easy to get around town with public transportation.
get away escape The bank robbers got away.
get away with + do something against the rules or illegal and not get caught or punished My sister gets away with everything!
get by survive without having the things you need or want I lost my job, so I am having a hard time getting by this year.
get by on + survive with minimal resources It's nearly impossible to get by on making minimum wage.
get by with + manage with You don't need a computer. You can get by with the typewriter.
get down to + get serious about a topic Enough small talk. Let's get down to business.
get in + enter ( a car, a small boat) Get in the front seat. You will have more leg room.
get in enter Get in. I will give you a ride to school
get * off + send (a package) I finally got my sister's birthday present off yesterday.
get * off remove ( a spider from your shirt) Can you get this spider off my shirt?
get off + leave (a bus, plane, train, boat) We need to get off the bus at the next stop.
get off leave It's dangerous to sit on the roof. Get off!
get off idiomatic phrase - How does he justify saying that?! Where does he get off saying that?!
get * on put on (clothes) You should get your jacket on because it's going to be cold.
get on enter (a bus, train), mount (a horse, a bike) The train is leaving. Quick, get on!
get on + enter (a bus, train), mount ( a horse, a bike) Get on my bike and I will give you a ride home.
get on have a good relationship Natasha doesn't get on with her co-workers.
get on with + have a good relationship Do you get on with your neighbors?
get on with + continue an activity Now that the police have left, let's get on with the party!
get out of + exit (a small boat, car, an enclosed area) I fell into the water when I tried to get out of the canoe.
get over + recover (a cold, a disease, an ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend) Jennifer still hasn't gotten over her breakup with Peter.
get through + complete We will never get through all of these boxes by 9:00 PM.
get through + penetrate We need a stronger drill to get through this wall.
get through penetrate The door was jammed, so we couldn't get through.
get through (with) + finish Have you gotten through with your homework yet?
get through to + make contact It's hard to get through to Janet because her telephone line is always busy.
get * up cause someone to rise (from a sitting position or a lying position) Ahmed got Abdul up at 5:30 in the morning by turning the music up really loud.
get up rise (from sitting position or a bed) What time did you get up this morning?
give * away + give something without asking for anything in exchange Why did Nancy give all of her furniture away?
give * away + betray (a secret) We are having a surprise party for Susan next Saturday, so don't give our surprise away by acting suspicious.
give * back + return something you borrowed When are you going to give that book back to your teacher?
give in stop trying Never give in! You can do it!
give off + release (a smell, light) That white flower gives off a beautiful smell.
give * out + distribute I earn extra money by giving out brochures on the street.
give out become very tired (inf.) I hope this car doesn't give out in the middle of the desert.
give * up + surrender something The police told the thief to give his gun up.
give up surrender Never give up learning English!
go away leave I yelled at the dogs to make them go away.
go back return When are you going back to your house?
go by + go past, go close to, visit quickly We go by the coffee shop everyday.
go back on + not keep (one's word, a promise) Don't trust him. He always goes back on his promises.
go down decrease The cost of flight tickets is going down.
go for + try to achieve Our team is going for the gold medal in the Olympics.
go for idiomatic phrase - I am craving pepperoni pizza. I could go for pepperoni pizza.
go in for + participate ( inf.) Are you going to go in for soccer this year at school?
go into + discuss in detail I really don't want to go into that now.
go off explode The bomb could go off at any moment.
go off begin, start (used with signals, alarms, warning sounds) The alarm clock went off at 6:00 AM.
go off stop (said of a machine) The DVD player goes off automatically if you are not using it.
go off become angry Maria went off last night after I told her about losing her bike.
go on continue Please, go on. Don't let me interrupt you.
go on happen This place is a mess! What went on here last night?
go on with + continue ( a plan, a conversation) I think we should go on with the meeting and stop wasting time.
go out stop burning ( a fire) The fire went out after three days.
go out take part in social activities (usually at night) They love to go out every Saturday night.
go over + review Do you usually go over your notes before class?
go over be well received, succeed That didn't go over well.
go through + examine in detail, study carefully I need to have my lawyer go through this contract before I sign it.
go through + endure; experience challenges, difficulties or traumas She has gone through so much in her life.
go through with + continue or proceed despite difficulties or fears I have decided to go through with the operation.
go with + match (clothing) That shirt doesn't go with those pants.
go with + accompany a person I am going with Alejandro to the party.
go with + have a boyfriend/girlfriend I am going with Yuri.
go without + abstain from something you want or need A person can go without water for three days.
grow under go out of business The restaurant went under after it lost its liquor license.
grow up mature Your brother needs to grow up and start thinking about his future.
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Phrasal Verb Definition Example
die away diminish in intensity The applause died away after 5 minutes.
die down diminish in intensity The controversy about the president's affair finally died down.
die off/out become extinct Whales are in danger of dying off.
disagree with + cause to feel sick due to food or drink Spicy food disagrees with me.
do away with + abolish Some Americans want to do away with the death penalty.
do * over + repeat You made many mistakes, so I want you to do the report over.
do without + manage without something one wants or needs I couldn't do without a car in California.
draw * up + create ( a contract) Let's draw an agreement up before we go any further with this project.
dress * down reprimand severely The mother dressed her son down for skipping school.
dress down dress casually I am dressing down because we're going to a barbecue by the beach.
dress * up + decorate You could dress this house up with some bright colors
dress up wear elegant clothes She always dresses up at work.
drive * back + repulse The invaders were driven back by the army.
drop in visit someone unexpectedly Meg dropped in yesterday after dinner.
drop in on + visit someone unexpectedly Let's drop in on Julie since we're driving by her house.
drop out quit an organized activity Yuri isn't on the team any more. He dropped out.
drop out of + quit an organized activity (school) It's difficult to get a good job if you drop out of high school.
drop over visit someone casually Drop over any time you feel like talking.
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Phrasal Verb Definition Example
die away diminish in intensity The applause died away after 5 minutes.
die down diminish in intensity The controversy about the president's affair finally died down.
die off/out become extinct Whales are in danger of dying off.
disagree with + cause to feel sick due to food or drink Spicy food disagrees with me.
do away with + abolish Some Americans want to do away with the death penalty.
do * over + repeat You made many mistakes, so I want you to do the report over.
do without + manage without something one wants or needs I couldn't do without a car in California.
draw * up + create ( a contract) Let's draw an agreement up before we go any further with this project.
dress * down reprimand severely The mother dressed her son down for skipping school.
dress down dress casually I am dressing down because we're going to a barbecue by the beach.
dress * up + decorate You could dress this house up with some bright colors
dress up wear elegant clothes She always dresses up at work.
drive * back + repulse The invaders were driven back by the army.
drop in visit someone unexpectedly Meg dropped in yesterday after dinner.
drop in on + visit someone unexpectedly Let's drop in on Julie since we're driving by her house.
drop out quit an organized activity Yuri isn't on the team any more. He dropped out.
drop out of + quit an organized activity (school) It's difficult to get a good job if you drop out of high school.
drop over visit someone casually Drop over any time you feel like talking.
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Phrasal Verb Definition Example
pan out be successful, turn out well The trip to Vegas didn't pan out.
pass away die After battling cancer for several years, he finally passed away at the age of 87.
pass * off + try to convince someone that something is real He tried to pass the fake watch off as a real Rolex.
pass * on + transmit Please pass this message on to your co-workers.
pass on + not accept (an invitation to eat or do something) Jennifer passed on the invitation to join us for dinner.
pass on die I am afraid Professor Johnson has passed on.
pass * out + distribute We need to pass out these flyers for the concert tomorrow.
pass out become unconscious He passed out because the room was too hot.
pass * up + not take advantage (of an opportunity) I can't believe she passed up the opportunity to study in Rome.
pay * back + repay If I loan you money, will you pay me back.
pay * off + complete payment on a debt It took me ten years to pay off my credit card debt.
pay * off + to bribe Don't try to pay the police officer off if you get pulled over for speeding.
pick on + to tease, bully She keeps picking on me! Make her stop.
pick * out + choose Diane picked out a lovely dress for the dance.
pick * up + to lift an object with the hands Keep your back straight when you lift the TV up.
pick * up + come and get someone in a car What time are you going to pick me up.
pick * up + learn something without effort It's possible to pick up enough English in two weeks to get by on your trip to Los Angeles.
pick * up + try to initiate a relationship with someone (often in a bar) Some weird guy tried to pick Patricia up at the bar.
pick up grow, increase (inf.) Business is really picking up this quarter.
play * down + make less important (inf.) The President played down his affair with the intern.
play * up highlight something (inf.) She played up her part in the new movie, but it was actually a very small role.
play up to + flatter someone for your personal advantage She has been playing up to the boss because she wants a promotion.
point * out + indicate I'd like to point out that figures in column two might be outdated.
pull down earn He pulls down about $300,000 a year.
pull in park (a vehicle) Mark pulled in too quickly and crashed into the wall.
pull out depart (a vehicle) Our train pulls out at 8:00, so don't be late.
pull through barely survive I didn't think she was going to make it, but she pulled through in the end.
put * across + communicate (an idea or suggestion) clearly so that it is understood I thought Ms. Smith put her ideas across rather clearly in the meeting.
put * away + return to the proper place of storage I told you kids to put your toys away.
put * down + insult, say bad things about She always puts down people who don't share her opinions.
put in + officially submit a request (in the armed forces or public services) He put in for a transfer to the division in Los Angeles.
put * off + postpone Don't put off your work - do it now!
put * on + wear Make sure you put on a sweater before you go outside.
put * on + deceive I didn't believe a thing he said. I think he was putting me on.
put * out + extinguish (a fire) Don't use water to put out a grease fire.
put * out + inconvenience someone I don't want to put you out, but could you pick me up at the airport.
put out + spend (usually used with unreasonably large sums of money) I can't put out that much money each month.
put * up have a guest stay in your house for a short time Can you put me up while I'm in town.
put up with + tolerate Sandy will not put up with smoking in her house.

Phrasal Verb Definition Example
make * out decipher I can't make out your handwriting. What does this say?
make * out + write a check or other document Who should I make this check out to?
make out succeed He really made out in the stock market last year.
make out progress How is your son making out in his new job?
make out kiss passionately I saw Benno and Isabelle making out in the movie theater last night!
make out with + kiss someone passionately Did you make out with Sally?
make * over do again The teacher made me do my homework over.
make * up + invent ( a story) Don't believe anything she says. She always makes things up.
make * up + complete what was missed Fortunately, my professor let me make up the exam I missed yesterday.
make * up + put on cosmetics I takes me 10 minutes to make my face up.
make up reconcile You two have been friends for so long that I think you should make up.
make up for + compensate for Allen made up for being late by getting me flowers.
mix * up + confuse I sometimes mix the verb tenses up.
mix * up + blend We need to mix up these different kinds of nuts before we put them in a bowl.
mix * up + make lively (a party) Let's mix up this party with a little disco music.
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Phrasal Verb Definition Example
take after + resemble a parent or relative I take after my father. Who do you take after?
take * away + remove, seize or capture The soldiers took the captives away.
take * back + retract something you said I demand that you take back what you said.
take * back + return an item to a store The dress my grandmother bought for me didn't fit, so I took it back and exchanged it for a pair of pants.
take * down + write down what is said Would you mind taking down my messages while I am on vacation?
take * down + remove (from a high place) The city government made the shop take down their bright, neon sign.
take * for consider, view as Do you take me for an idiot?
take * in + learning Are you taking in all of these phrasal verbs?
take * in + deceive a person He was taken in by the con artist.
take * in + make smaller when sewing I lost weight, so I need to take some of my skirts to the tailor to have them taken in.
take * off when a plane or rocket leaves the ground My stomach felt funny when the plane took off.
take * off + remove In many cultures, it is appropriate to take off your shoes when entering a house.
take * off + leave work or school for a period of time I was sick last week, so I took a few days off of work.
take off leave We took off after dinner.
take on + accept (responsibilities, work) She has taken on too much responsibility in this project.
take * over + take control of Who is going to take over the family business when Aretha's father dies?
take over take control of If the President is assassinated, the Vice-president will take over.
take * out + accompany a person on a date (for dinner, the movies) I can't meet you tonight because I am taking Fernanda out to dinner.
take * up + begin a new hobby Have you taken up any new hobbies since you moved here?
take * up + discuss (at a later date) We should take this issue up in the meeting tomorrow.
take * up + shorten a garment when sewing This dress is too long, I am going to take it up.
take up + occupy space This couch takes up too much space in the living room.
talk back respond in an impolite way to an adult Don't talk back!
talk back to + respond in an impolite way to an adult Children should not talk back to their parents.
talk * over + discuss I hope my parents talk their relationship problems over before they get divorced.
tear * down + destroy The county decided to tear down the dilapidated school and build a new one.
tear * up + tear or rip into small pieces I always tear up my personal papers before I throw them out.
tell * off + criticize a person severely, reprimand (inf.) Carolina told me off when she found out I was gossiping about her date with Martin.
tell on + report a crime to the police or bad behavior to a parent Every time I did something wrong when I was a child, my sister would tell on me.
think * over + consider Think over the offer before you sign the contract.
think * through + consider carefully You need to think this through carefully before you make a decision.
think * up + create or invent a false story I need to think up an excuse for not going to her party.
throw * away + discard Don't throw away those bottles; we can recycle them.
throw * out + discard I asked him not to throw out the Sunday newspaper because I wanted to save an article.
throw * out + remove by force from (a room, school, a house, etc.) Mary threw out her roommate because she stopped paying rent.
throw up vomit If you drink too much alcohol, you might throw up.
tie * up + tie securely When we dock, make sure you tie the boat up.
tire * out cause someone to be very tired Speaking English all day tires me out.
touch on + talk about for a short time The presidential candidates touched on the subject of health care during the debates.
touch * up make the final improvements We didn't paint the whole kitchen, we just touched up the cabinets.
try * on + put on to make sure a piece of clothing fits Try on the pants before you buy them.
try * out test Try out this massage chair - it feels great!
turn * away refuse to deal with or give service They turned us away at the border because we didn't have visas.
turn * around change or reverse direction Turn the car around and go back home.
turn * down + refuse an offer; reject an application She turned down the new job in New York, because she didn't want to move.
turn * down + lower the volume or intensity of a TV, radio, or other machine I'm studying! Please turn down the TV.
turn * in submit You need to turn your essays in next week.
turn in go to bed (inf.) It's getting late. I think it is about time to turn in.
turn into + become something different, transform When she kissed the frog, it turned into a handsome prince.
turn * off + stop the function of (a stove, a water faucet, a car, etc.) Don't forget to turn off the iron before you leave the house.
turn on + attack unexpectedly The pit bull suddenly turned on the small child.
turn * on cause to be excited sexually Scientists have discovered that the smell of cinnamon turns many people on.
turn * on + start the function of a TV, a radio, a machine Turn on the TV. The baseball game starts in a few minutes.
turn * out produce The weavers can turn out two or three rugs a month.
turn * out switch off a light Turn out the light before you go to bed.
turn out audience members to a function Over 100,000 people turned out for the concert.
turn out end up being She turned out to be the murderer after all.
turn * over give to authorities (said of evidence or stolen / lost property) They turned the wallet over to the police.
turn * up + increase the volume or intensity of a TV, radio, or other machine Turn up the TV. I can't hear what they're saying.
turn up find unexpectedly
Phrasal Verb Definition Example
save * up + accumulate (money) I hope I will be able to save up enough money to go to school.
see about + arrange or consider something My dad said he was going to see about buying me a car.
see * off say good-bye to someone at the beginning of their trip (at the airport, train station) Did you see your sister off at the train station?
see to + make sure something happens, arrange I'll see to it that Mr. Ramirez gets your message.
see * through finish something despite difficulties Are you going to be able to see your studies through now that you have a baby?
sell * out tell on someone My partner in crime sold me out for a reduced jail sentence.
set * up arrange a relationship My mom set me up with her friend's son.
set * up falsely incriminate a person I don't think he killed those men. Somebody set him up.
set up + arrange (an appointment, a meeting,etc.) I set up an appointment with my doctor at 3:30 this afternoon.
settle on + make a decision after a period of time I settled on the job at the oil company.
settle up pay one's debts We need to settle up before you move.
show * off + show to everybody with a lot of pride He always shows off his new things.
show off boast, draw attention to oneself Young boys show off in order to impress girls.
show * up make someone seem inferior He's always trying to show up his co-workers in order to get ahead.
show up arrive without previous notice I hadn't seen my cousin for years, and all of a sudden, he showed up at my workplace yesterday!
shut * off stop from functioning If you don't pay your electric bill, your power is going to get shut off.
shut * up make quiet Would someone shut him up! He's talking so loudly that we're going to get in trouble.
slow * down + make move more slowly Because Mary's level in English is lower than the rest of the students, she slows the class down.
slow * up + make move more slowly Because Mary's level in English is lower than the rest of the students, she slows the class up.
spell * out + to explain something in a detailed way so that the meaning is clearly understood He's so stupid that you have to spell everything our for him.
stand by wait I need you to stand by and answer the phone when my broker calls.
stand for + represent SCUBA stands for "self contained underwater breathing apparatus."
stand for + tolerate I won't stand for people criticizing me.
stand out be very noticeable Soledad is so beautiful! She really stands out in a crowd.
stand * up not arrive to a date or an appointment (inf.) I arranged to meet Joe at the library at 8:00, but he stood me up. I hope he has a good excuse.
stand up for + defend (something one believes in) Every individual must stand up for what they believe in.
stand up to + defend oneself against someone or something I think you should stand up to your older brother and tell him to stop pushing you around.
stay over spend the night at a person's house It takes you so long to take the bus home, so why don't you just stay over?
stick it to + severely criticize a person (inf.) My boss really stuck it to me when I arrived late to work for the third time this week.
stick to + persevere, keep trying Even though English is a hard language to master, you must stick to it!
stick up for + defend oneself or opinions