List 14 - Phrasal Verbs


Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence

save on

To not use something so as to avoid paying for it.

We don’t turn on a light if we don’t need it to save on electricity.

save up

To set aside money for future use.

We are trying to save up for our overseas holiday.

scare away

To frighten someone away.

A supposedly haunted scene at the park scared many people away from the place.

To keep something away by frightening them

The farmer set up big scarecrows to scare birds away.

scare into

To frighten or threaten someone into doing something.

The cult leader scared the members into following his instructions.

scare off

To make someone feel less confident or sure about doing something.

The new tax scares off many would-be investors.

scare up

To obtain something in spite of difficulties.

We have to scare up something to eat the night before someone come to our rescue.

scrape along

To earn just enough money to live on.

With my first job, I had to scrape along on my small weekly wage.

scrape by

To get by.

She lost her husband, so the family had to scrape by on her meager earnings.  

scrape in

To just make it.

He scraped in by a slim majority to become president of the club.

scrape through

To just pass or achieve something.

I just scraped through my exams.  

scrape up

To bring together with difficulty a number of or quantity of something.

She scraped up enough money to pay off her father’s gambling debts.

see about

To deal with.

One of us has to see about getting enough drinks for the party.

To attend to.

Let the doctor see about the pain on your leg instead of just worrying about it.

see after

To take care of).

He asked me to see after his hamsters while he is overseas.

see in

To see a quality in something.

The movie was supposed to be funny, but we couldn’t see the humour in it.

To see a quality in someone.

We can see an outgoing personality in him.

To see something in someone.

Her parents couldn’t understand what she saw in him.

see of

To spend time socially together with someone.

We have seen very little of each other since her transfer to the headquarters in the city.

see off

To bid someone farewell at a particular place such as airport, railway station, etc.

He was very happy see his mother-in-law off at the airport.

To send an uninvited person away.

His job is to see off unwelcome intruders.

see out

To accompany a guest to the door when he/she is leaving.

There were no one to see us out when we left the office.

To remain until the end of an event, etc.

We saw out the entire firework display in spite of the light drizzle.

see through

To get on with a task until it is completed.

They are determined to see the whole project through.

To support someone through a difficult time.

I need some money to see me through until I get another job.

To realize the truth of something that is deceiving.

We saw through his cunning act almost immediately.

see to

To attend to.

When I was staying with them, her parents saw to all my needs.

To deal with.

The local council intends to see to it that no one gets away with littering the beach with bottles and cans.

sell off

To raise money to meet one’s need.

He had to sell off his antique furniture to pay for his medical treatment.

To sell something at an auctioned price.

He sold off his luxury yacht to the highest bidder.

sell out

To sell one’s supply of goods or materials.

They have sold out of all the units of the new computer model.

To sell an entire stock of something.

The latest batch of the book is completely sold out.

To betray someone.

Fellow gang members had sold him out.

To abandon one’s principles.

He sold out to the other side.

sell up

To sell all of one’s possessions.

The family sold up and settled permanently in another country.

send away

To send someone to another place.

She was sent away to live with her grandparents in her early teens.

send back

To return to the sender.

The letter was delivered to a wrong address and was sent back to the post office.

send down

To imprison someone.

He was not sent down as he was found innocent of the crime.

To expel.

The two students were sent down from their university for unacceptable behavior.

send for

To request to come.

Someone has already sent for an ambulance for the accident victim.

To request or order by post.

She sent for a free sample of the shampoo as advertised.

send in

To involve someone in a difficult situation.

When negotiation with the hostage-takers failed, the police sent in the snipers.

send off

To compel someone, especially a player to leave the field for violation of the rules.

He was sent off for kicking another player’s backside.

To cause something to be delivered by post.

We sent off a letter of housing application and are still waiting for a reply.

To move someone to another place.

The mother sends the kids off to school each morning.

send on

To deliver something to someone so that they can deal with it.

The report is sent on to the Attorney General for further action.

serve out

To spend a period in prison.

He was released without having to serve out the full sentence because of good behavior.

To present food or drink to each of the people or guests present.

She served out the homemade apple pie.



Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence

set about

To begin to deal with something.

We set about cleaning up the whole house after the flood.


To start to do something in a determined way.

The police set about gathering evidence in the house where the murder took place.


To attack someone.

The gang set about him with their punches.

set against

To offset something against another.

The increases in our salaries have to be set against the rising cost of living.

To cause someone to be in conflict with another.

The dispute over inheritance has set sibling against sibling.

set apart

To display a quality that separates someone from other people.

It is her diligence in her studies that sets her apart from her siblings.

set aside

To reserve something for a particular purpose.

Every month we set aside a portion of our salaries for the purchase of a house.

To reserve something for a particular purpose.

We set aside an hour each day to do the yoga together.

To declare invalid.

The High Court set aside his conviction.

To reconcile.

We are going to persuade the two sides to set aside their differences.

set back

To delay the progress of something.

The raining season will set back the completion of the building project.

To cost considerably.

The house renovation has set us back quite a bit.

set by

To keep something for future use.

We must set money by in case it is urgently needed sometime in the future.

set down

To record in writing.

I woke up and set down in detail the dream I just had.

To let somebody get out of a vehicle.

The taxi driver set us down at a wrong cinema.

set forth

To begin a journey.

Together, they set forth for an unknown destination.

To express in writing.

She set forth her ideas of controlling human mind in her latest book.

set in

To begin to happen and seem likely to continue.

Global warming has set in and with it more problems will arise.

set off

To cause (bomb) to explode.

A police spokesman said the bomb was set off using a remote control.

To cause (alarm) to go off.

To ensure maximum security, any little noise can set off the alarm.

To begin a journey.

The family is setting off for the Far East.

To cause to happen.

An angry argument between rival fans set off a violent disturbance.

set on

To use an animal or get someone to attack someone else.

He has vicious dogs ready to be set on those who trespass on his property.

set on/upon

To be violently attacked.

He was set upon while walking home alone.

set out

To start a journey.

The brothers set out on a journey across central Asia.

To intend to do something.

Police investigations revealed she deliberately set out to murder her husband’s lover.

To undertake to do something.

They set out as a group to uncover the truth about the haunted castle.

To arrange and display for sale, exhibition, etc.

Every evening along the street, the traders set out their wares for sale.

To aim or attempt to do something.

He set out to break the world’s record of becoming the oldest bullfighter.

To specify precisely about something.

The document set out clear guidelines on the use of chemicals in food production.

set to

To begin doing something in a vigorous and determined way.

We set to and completed the work well before the deadline.

set up

To establish a business, organization, institution, etc.

Jack and Jill have set up a business selling rabbit food.

To establish.

They set up an investment fund to provide money for their retirement.

To be provided with enough money to last one's lifetime.

Owning highly successful businesses has set the father and son up for life.

To give someone the health or energy needed to do something.

A good sleep has set him up for the day of long-distance driving.

To make someone who is innocent seem guilty.

He claimed he was set up when customs officers discovered some drug in his bag.

To lay claim to being a particular person.

He sets himself up as a leading authority on termites.

To erect something.

Following the escape of a prisoner, police set up road blocks round the surrounding area.

To organize and implement something.

The company is setting up a new system of stock control in the new year.

settle down

To start to live a steady life.

She hopes to settle down before the age of 30, and have a family.

To start to live a steady life.

He felt he wasn’t yet ready to settle down.

To become composed.

She settled down for a quiet doze on the sofa.

To adapt.

It didn’t take her long to settle down in her new office environment.

settle for

To accept something that is less than the exact thing that you want.

The dress of her favourite colour is out of stock, and she settled for a blue one.

To accept less than what you really want.

They were prepared to settle for a draw, knowing that their opponent was very difficult to play against.

settle in/into

To become used to a place.

The kids settled happily into their new school.

settle on

To decide or agree on something.

They have not settled on the date for their marriage.

To transfer money or property to someone.

He drew up a will to settle a yearly sum on each of his children.

settle up

To pay money owed or due.

Let’s settle up and leave this bar for supper.

shoot down

To kill or injure someone by firing a gun at them.

The rebels shot down a few villagers who they claimed were government agents.

To bring down something by shooting it.

Our antiaircraft gun shot down six enemy aircraft.

To strongly oppose.

The proposal was unanimously shot down in the meeting.

shoot for

To strive for a goal.

The team is training hard as it shoots for a place in the final stage.

shoot off

To run quickly away.

The rival gang members stopped the fight and shot off when informed that the police were approaching.

shoot out

To shoot at each other.

The bank guards and the armed robbers shot it out in front of the bank.

shoot up

To increase sharply.

Prices of most kinds of baby food have shot up.

To grow quickly in size, height, etc.

Their children have shot up and are now taller than their parents.

To be full of bullet holes.

That the house was severely shot up was clearly evident as its walls were heavily riddled with bullet holes.

To introduce a drug into the body with a hypodermic syringe.

They would often gather together in the abandoned house to shoot up.