The Phrasal verbs are certain verbs which are followed by certain prepositions or Adverbs, which give a new significance to them. For instance ;

  • She backed up my claims.
  • She backed out the contract.

In the first sentence the meaning of phrasal verb is supported. While in the second sentence, the meaning of ‘backed out of’ means withdrew from.
Hence, by adding prepositions or Adverbs to the verbs, different meanings are achieved. Phrasal verbs are a significant part of English language. They are primarily used in spoken and informal text. In formal and academic writing, phrasal verbs are better avoided.

Transitive Phrasal Verbs:

In transitive phrasal verb, there is always an object. These phrasal verbs have three words. For example;

My sister dropped out of school before she could graduate.

Intransitive Phrasal Verbs:

In the intransitive phrasal verb, there is no object in the sentence. These phrasal verbs are not followed by an object. For example;

Once you leave prison, you can always go back again.

Phrasal VerbIt’s MeaningAn Example
ask aroundask multiple people the same questionI asked around but nobody has seen my car.
add up to xyzequals to xyzYour purchases add up to $3200.
back abc upto supportMy mother backed me up over my decision to quit my job.
blow xyz upadd airWe have to blow 90 balloons up for the party.
break downstop functioning (vehicle, machine)Our car broke down at the side of the freeway in the snowstorm.
call someone backreturn a phone callI called the company back but the offices were closed for the holiday.
call xyz offcancelJack called the wedding off because he wasn’t in love with his fiancé.
calm downrelax after being angryYou are still mad. You need to calm down before you drive the truck.
cut xyz offstop providingThe company cut off our phone because we didn’t pay the bill.
cut someone offtake out of a willMy grandparents cut my mother off when she remarried.
drop backmove back in a position/groupAndrew dropped back to third place when he fell off his bike.
drop in/by/overcome without an appointmentI might drop in/by/over for coffee sometime this week.
drop outquit a class, school etcI dropped out of Arts because it was too difficult.
eat outeat at a restaurantI don’t feel like cooking dinner. Let’s eat out.
end upeventually reach/do/decideWe ended up renting a film instead of going to the theatre.
fall apartbreak into piecesMy new dress fell apart in the washing machine today.
fall downfall to the groundThe picture that you hung up last night fell down today.
fall outseparate from an interiorThe money must have fallen out of her pocket.
find xyz outdiscoverWe tried to keep the time of the party a secret, but Sam found it out.
get xyz across/overcommunicate, make understandableI tried to get my point across/over to the judge but he wouldn’t listen.
get aroundhave mobilityMy grandmother can get around fine in her new wheelchair.
get awaygo on a vacationWe worked so hard this month that we had to get away for a week.
get away with xyzdo without being noticed or punishedJack always gets away with cheating in his maths tests.
get backreturnWe got back from our vacation last weekend.
get xyz backreceive xyz you had beforeSara finally got her Science notes back from my room-mate.
get togethermeet (usually for social reasons)Let’s get together for a movie this weekend.
get upstandYou should get up and give the elderly woman your seat.
give someone awayreveal hidden information about someoneHis boss gave him away to the police.
give someone awaytake the bride to the altarMy father gave me away at my wedding.
give xyz awayruin a secretMy little brother gave the surprise party away by accident.
give xyz awaygive xyz to someone for freeThe library was giving away old books on Thursday.
go after someonefollow someoneMy sister tried to go after the thief in her car.
go after xyztry to achieve xyzI went after my dream and now I am a published writer and scholar.
go against someonecompete, opposeWe are going against the best soccer team in the league tonight.
grow apartstop being friends over timeMy best friend and I grew apart after he changed schools.
hand xyz downgive xyz used to someone elseI handed my old comic books down to my little cousin sister.
hang instay positive (N.Amer., informal)Hang in there. I’m sure you’ll find a vacancy very soon.
hold someone/xyz backprevent from doing/goingI had to hold my dog back because there was a dog in the park.
hold someone/xyzuprobA man in a black mask held the bank up this evening.
keep on doing xyzcontinue doingKeep on stirring until the syrup comes to a boil.
let someone downfail to support or help, disappointI need you to finish the project. Don’t let me down this time.
let someone inallow to enterCan you let the dog in before you go to work?
look after someone/xyztake care ofI have to look after my sick grandfather.
look down on someonethink less of, consider inferiorEver since we stole that car your dad has looked down on me.
look for someone/xyztry to findI’m looking for a white dress for the wedding.
look xyz upsearch and find information in a reference book or databaseWe can look her phone number up in the directory.
look up to someonehave a lot of respect forMy little brother has always looked up to me.
mix xyz upconfuse two or more thingsI mixed up the twins’ names yet again!
pass awaydieHis uncle passed away last evening after a long illness.
put xyz downput what you are holding on a surface or floorYou can put the groceries down on the counter.
put someone downinsult, make someone feel stupidThe students put the substitute teacher down because her skirt were too short.
put up with someone/xyztolerateI don’t think I can put up with three young children in the car.
put xyz onput clothing/accessories on your bodyDon’t forget to put on your new stockings for the party.
run into someone/xyzmeet unexpectedlyI ran into an old friend at the new mall.
run over someone/xyzdrive a vehicle over a person or thingI accidentally ran over your bike in the driveway.
run outhave none leftWe ran out of detergent so I had to wash my clothes with soap.
set someone uptrick, trapThe police set up the car thief by using a bait.
shop aroundcompare pricesI want to shop around a little before I decide on these pants.
stick to xyzcontinue doing xyz, limit yourself to one particular thingYou will lose weight if you stick to the diet regime.
switch xyz offstop the energy flow, turn offThis light’s too bright. Could you switch it off.
take xyz backreturn an itemI have to take our new Dishwasher back because it doesn’t work.
take offstart to flyMy plane takes off in five hours and two minutes.
tear xyz uprip into piecesI tore up my husband’s letters and gave them back to him.
throw xyz awaydispose ofWe threw our old computer away when we won the lottery.
try xyz onsample clothingI’m going to try these pants on, but I don’t think they will fit.
try xyz outtestI am going to try this new brand of soap out.
use xyz upfinish the supplyThe kids used all of the flour up so we need to buy some more.
wake upstop sleepingWe have to wake up early for work on Sunday.
wear offfade awayMost of her make-up wore off before she got to the party.
work outbe successfulTheir plan worked out fine.

 << Click here for Chola Empire history >>

<<Read about Rivers in India here>>

<< Learn Banking abbreviations in common use>>

Study Material for UPSC IAS Prelims and Mains

☑ Study Plans & Online Test Series for Civil Services Exams

UPSC Prelims Exam :
How To Prepare
Test Series
UPSC Mains Exam :
How To Prepare
Test Series

Free Study Material & Online Tests for Various Subjects

Current Affairs :
Study Material
Online Quiz
General Awareness :
Study Material
Online Quiz
Reasoning : 
Study Material
Online Quiz
English :
Study Material
Online Quiz
History :
Study Material
Online Quiz
Geography :
Study Material
Online Quiz
Political Science :
Study Material
Online Quiz
Economics :
Study Material
Online Quiz
Environment GK :
Study Material
Online Quiz
Science & Tech. :
Study Material
Coming Soon
State Exam GK :Coming Soon
Online Quiz