List 14 - Phrasal Verbs




Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence

show around/round

To guide someone around a place to view something.

The general manager showed the businessmen around the assembly plant.

show off

To display with excessive pride and for admiration.

She keeps herself in shape and never hesitates to show off her body shape.


To display with excessive pride and for admiration.

Little Tim showed off his new toys to his friends.


To behave in a way that is designed to impress.

People find him annoying as he always shows off to them.

show out

To accompany someone, who is leaving, to the door.

After each job interview, there’s someone to show the applicant out.

show up

To arrive.

He has just shown up when he should have done so two hours ago.

To put in an appearance.

He liked to make appointments but never showed up.

To be visible.

Without make-up, her wrinkles clearly showed up.

To cause someone to feel ashamed.

She vowed never to see him again for showing her up.

To demonstrate a fault in someone or something.

Their decisive defeat showed up the team’s weaknesses in defence and passing of the ball.

shut away

To hide away or to confine someone.

He used to shut himself away in his own research laboratory.

To keep something out of reach of other people.

I remember she shut away those things in this locked drawer before she passed away.

shut down

To cease operation.

They had to shut down the factory two years ago.

To close down.

They had to shut down one of the twin engines when it malfunctioned.

shut in

To confine.

They shut the tranquilized tiger in a cage for removal to another part of the jungle.

shut off

To stop something from operating.

Mum always remembered to shut off the stove when she finished cooking.

To stop operating.

The electric iron shuts off by itself when it gets too hot.

To be alone.

After his release from prison, he shut himself off from the rest of the world.

shut out

To not allow the entry of someone or something into a place.

It’s time to shut the dogs out of the house for the night.

To prevent something from entering a place.

We have to do something to shut out the draught from coming in under the door.

shut up

To make someone to stop talking.

She should shut up and listen what others have to say.

To stop speaking.

No one is listening to what I’m saying, so I had better shut up.

To close shop when business finishes for the day.

Why do they shut up so early; now we can’t get what we want.

To close a business permanently.

He had to shut up and retire early on medical grounds.

To seclude someone from the outside world.

This is the tower where the king’s suspected enemies were shut up for the rest of their lives.

To seclude oneself from the outside world

He virtually spent his whole life shut up in the laboratory doing what he had always been interested in.

sit around

To pass time sitting and not doing anything useful.

On most weekends, we would sit around and talk about anything.

sit back

To have one’s back resting comfortably against the back of a chair.

He sat back in his chair and started to read the paper.

sit by

To fail to give proper care or attention to someone or something; to refrain from taking action.

They accused him of sitting by when there had been a serious deterioration in his wife’s mental condition.

sit down

To take a seat.

He stood up and let a pregnant lady sit down.

sit in

To be present but not participating.

Some of these people who sit in are foreign observers.

sit in for

To act temporarily as a substitute.

Another newsreader is sitting in for her this evening.  

sit on

To delay taking action to deal with something.

They accused the departmental head of sitting on their applications.

sit out

To not take part in doing something.

I sat out the television programme just to be with her.

To wait until a bad situation ends.

We sat out the storm in a harbor before sailing again.

sit through

To stay until the end of something that is unpleasant.

Our boss delivered a lengthy boring speech and we had to sit through it.

sit up

To stop oneself from going to bed early.

We would sit up and watch when there’s a late football match on television.

To sit with the backbone straight.

His back is giving him great pain, so he can’t sit up straight.

To get up from lying to sitting position.

She is making good progress towards recovery as she can now sit up in the bed.

To pay sudden attention to something.

Everyone sat up when he broke the latest news of a big bomb explosion in the city centre.

slip into

To put on clothes quickly.

He slipped into his pyjama/pajama trousers and without shirt got into bed.

To put on clothes quickly.

Please wait while I slip into something more comfortable.

slip off

To take one’s clothes off quickly.

Let’s slip off our clothes and get into the bath together.

To move away quietly and carefully in order not to be seen or heard.

He was to give a speech later, but he slipped off when no one was looking.

slip on

To put (clothes) on quickly.

She slipped on a pair of gloves to do some gardening.

slip out

To say something not consciously or intentionally.

I know I shouldn’t have said it, but the words just slipped out.

slip out of

To take clothes off quickly.

He slipped out of his robe and got into the swimming pool.

slip up

To make a careless mistake.

The police slipped up and the wrong person was arrested.





Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence


To make or become slower.

The police roadblock had slowed down traffic to a big snarl-up.

slow down

To reduce speed of a vehicle.

I think you should slow down when you approach a bend.


To reduce one’s speed.

We had to slow down as the path began to zigzag steeply uphill.

snap off

To turn off a light.

She stopped reading, snapped off the light and closed her eyes to sleep.

snap on

To turn on a light.

She snapped on the light when she entered the bedroom.

snap out of

To get out of a bad mood.

It’s unlike you to be so irritable; I wish you would snap out of it.

snap up

To quickly acquire something because it is cheap or in short supply.

Hordes of customers snapped up the bargains that were on offer.

speak of

To indicate something exists.

His belief that the law did not apply to him spoke of arrogance.

To indicate something is real.

I have to take this lowly job as I have no paper qualifications – none to speak of.

speak out

To voice protest about an issue.

The students spoke out against fraud and mismanagement in the university.

speak to

To talk to someone who has committed a wrong.

The supervisor wants to speak to the two workers who fought in the canteen.

speak up

To speak loudly.

You are asking me to speak up when I am shouting into the phone.

To speak loudly.

Those at the back will have to speak up.

To speak without fear.

If you feel so strongly about it, you can speak up at the next meeting.

stamp out

To forcibly put an end to something.

The new government is determined to stamp out corruption.

To put out.

He stamped out the dying flame.

stand against

To be a candidate in an election.

The daughter will be standing against her mother in the parliamentary election.

stand around

To stand somewhere and do nothing.

The crowd just stood around waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

stand aside

To give up one’s position

He decided to stand aside and let a younger person take over. 

stand by

To be ready for action if needed.

There is only one ambulance standing by at this moment.

To maintain one’s attitude towards an issue.

She stood by what she said and would not retract her statement.

To not get involved.

How could the world stand by and let this country go through a prolonged civil war?

To remain loyal to or supportive of someone.

Family members and friends stood by him throughout his trial.

To support and defend.

The collective decision has been made and every member has to stand by it.

stand down

To leave the witness box.

The witness stood down after giving oral testimony about the murder.

To resign.

He stepped down as Managing Director in favour of his eldest son.

stand for

To accept someone or something unpleasant with patience.

He is not going to stand for her personal insults much longer.

To represent.

Many people know ‘IOU’ stands for ‘I owe you’.

To publicly support a particular cause or policy.

We have yet to know what the newly-formed party stands for.

stand in

To act as a substitute.

His two assistants stand in for him when he’s on a foreign assignment.

stand out

To be easily noticeable.

Your dyed orange hair will certainly make you stand out in any crowd.

To be clearly better or the best.

Among the applicants, Julia stood out from the rest as the most qualified.

stand out against

To continue opposing or supporting something.

The local people are standing out against the dumping of toxic waste.

stand up

To stand on one’s feet.

He looks taller if he stands up straight.

To stay valid.

The defence believed the charges were fabricated and would not stand up in court.

stand up for

To do something in defence of

You should stand up for your rights as citizens of this country.

stand up to

To strongly defend against.

He wouldn’t dare stand up to his female boss even though he knew he was right.

To remain undamaged or unaffected by.

Can the boat that we built stand up to every weather condition at sea?

start off

To begin doing something.

His father started him off as a management trainee in his company.

To begin by doing something.

He started it off by giving a brief account of how he became a public speaker.

To set forth.

We have to start off early in order to arrive there before dusk.

start on

To begin to deal with something.

The first coat of paint has thoroughly dried; we can now start on the top coat.

start on at

To talk in a critical way.

She started on at me for not helping but only helping to eat.

start out

To begin one’s working life.

He started out as a lance corporal but now he is a sergeant.

start over

To redo from the beginning.

Your summary is full of mistakes; I’ll start over with you.

To set up something.

I think we have to start up a different business; this one is failing.

start up

To organize something.

The residents are starting up a vigilante group to patrol the neighbourhood.

To become operational.

We had to call in the serviceman as the machine wouldn’t start up this morning.