Important phrasal verbs
Here is a list of the most commonly used phrasal verbs in English. Each phrasal verb is followed by its meaning / definition and example sentences. Note that a phrasal verb can be separable or non-separable.
Ask out (separable)
To ask out is to ask someone to go on a date with you.
Bring about (separable)
I asked her out but she said ‘no’.
I am going to keep asking her out until she says ‘yes’.
To bring something about is to cause it to happen.
Bring up (separable)
It was the invention of the steam engine that brought about the industrial revolution.
1) look after during childhood 2) cause something to be considered 3) vomit
Call back (separable)
He was brought up by his grandmother.
She brought up an interesting proposal.
Return a telephone call
Call in (separable)
Ask someone to come to a place for a special reason
We have called the doctor in. (= We have asked the doctor to come.)
Call off (separable)
To call something off is to cancel it.
She has called off her wedding.
Call on (non-separable)
1) visit 2) ask a student a question in class
Jane called on me yesterday. (NOT Jane called me on yesterday.)
Call up (separable)
To call somebody up is to call them on the telephone.
I will call you up when I have time.
Catch up with (non-separable)
To catch up with somebody is to reach the same position or level as them.
Her husband is struggling to catch up with her.
Check in (non-separable)
To check in is to register at a hotel.
Check into (non-separable)
To check into something is to investigate it.
The officer said that he would check into the matter.
Check out (separable)
1) borrow a book from a library 2) complete a purchase by making payment 3) examine
Here is an article you might like. Check it out.
Cheer up (separable)
To cheer somebody up is to make them happier.
Her kind words cheered me up.
I will buy you an ice cream if that will cheer you up.
Clean up (separable)
Make clean and orderly
Clean up the room after you have finished working.
Come across (non-separable)
To come across something is to find it by chance.
The other day, I came across an old friend of mine.
While reading the newspaper, I came across an interesting advert.
Cross out (separable)
To cross something out is to draw a line through it.
Cross out the wrong answers.
Cut off (separable)
To cut something off is to stop, separate or interrupt it.
As he hadn’t paid the bill, his electricity was cut off.
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