List 14 - Phrasal Verbs


Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence

stay behind

To not leave a place after others have left.

We like to stay behind in the office after five o’clock for a nice chat.

stay in

To not go out of one’s house.

I’m staying in tonight to finish some office work.

stay on

To continue to do something or be in a place after others have left.

She failed her exam and had to stay on at school for another year.

stay out

To stay outdoors and not come home or come home late.

He sometimes stays out late for a drink with colleagues after work

stay out of

To not get oneself involved in something.

I was told to stay out of their arguments and mind my own business.

stay up

To not go to bed at the usual time.

Tonight, we are staying up to watch a football match on television.

step aside

To leave one’s office or position.

There were calls for him to step aside when his health began to fail.

step down

To resign from an important job or high position.

The minister who was involved in a sex scandal was forced to step down.

step forward

To offer one’s help or services.

A third candidate has stepped forward in the leadership contest.

step in

To become involved in order to help.

The leaders had to step in to resolve long-standing disputes between the two factions of the party.

step out

To go outside for a short time.

I need to step out for some fresh air.

step up

To increase.

The police are stepping up surveillance of the building used by a suspected criminal.

stick around

To remain somewhere for some time.

Let’s stick around until he arrives, then we will go for a meal.

stick at

To continue doing something in spite of difficulty.

We decided to stick at it until we completed the 5,000-piece jigsaw.

stick by

To honour one’s promise, obligation, etc.

You must stick by your promise to help us to get this done.

To continue to support someone.

The children promised to stick by their single mother through thick and thin.

stick out

To protrude from something.

He donned a party hat with a feather sticking out of it.

To hold something out towards someone.

She stuck out her tongue as requested by the doctor.

To be easily noticeable.

With his towering height, he certainly sticks out in a crowd.

To tolerate something until the end

If we just stick it out, I am sure we will find a way out.

stick to

To do or use the same thing and not change to something else.

Stick to the point, otherwise our meeting will never end.

To honour one’s words.

Every time you make a promise, you never stick to it.

stick together

To be mutually loyal.

They have always stuck together since their immigration here.

stick up

To rob someone.

A stranger tried to stick him up, but he fought him off.

stick up for

To support or defend.

Will you stick up for me? There are too many of them.

stick with

To continue with someone or something.

I have stuck with the same barber for the past seven years.

stop by

To make a brief visit to a place.

Will you be stopping by the supermarket on your way home?

To make a brief visit to someone.

Jack stopped by Jill’s with a present to wish her a happy birthday.

stop in

To visit a place briefly.

He stopped in at a florist’s on his way to visit her.

To stay in.

She decided to stop in to do her laundry.

stop off

To make a short visit to a place on the way to one’s destination.

We stopped off in one of the coastal resorts for a day before leaving the country.

stop over

To stay for a brief period before continuing one’s journey.

They stopped over in Moscow for a night on the way to London.

strike back

To make an attack in return for an attack made by the opposing side.

The guerrillas struck back by killing two soldiers for a bomb attack the previous day.

strike down

To hit someone hard.

He struck the man down with a single blow of his iron rod.

To kill or make someone unable to act in the normal way.

He was struck down by polio at an early age.

strike off

To remove from the official record, list, etc.

He should be struck off the roll of solicitors.

strike on

To discover or think of something, especially by chance.

We struck on the idea of being freelance journalists while chatting in a train.

strike out

To draw a line through something in a document to show it is not applicable.

Her name was struck out as she had withdrawn from the competition.

To start to do something independently.

She left the quartet to strike out on her own.

strike up

To begin a friendship or conversation with someone.

He finally found the courage to strike up a conversation with her.

To start to play.

An expectant crowd gathered as the band was about to strike up.

swarm with

To be crowded with people.

On weekends the zoo is swarmed with visitors.

To be overrun with something.

The carrion of an unknown animal was swarming with flies.

switch off

To use a switch to turn off light, television, etc.

She seldom switches off the computer when she has finished using it.

switch on

To use a switch to turn on light, television, etc.

Some cars have already switched on their lights before it gets dark.

switch over

To replace a way of doing something with another.

They are going to switch over to the new teaching method.

To change from one television station, etc. to another.

Why do you keep switching over to another channel?


Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence

take aback

To surprise or shock someone.

I was taken aback by what he said.

take after

To have a similar appearance to or qualities of someone; to resemble.

Jenny is the only daughter who certainly takes after her mother.

take against

To take a dislike to someone.

She’s taken against him for some unknown reason.

take apart

To separate into parts.

He took the shelves apart for removal.

take back

To withdraw a statement or accusation as untrue or unjustified.

OK, now don’t you curse me anymore; I take back and apologize for what I said.

To remember a time in the past.

Looking at her photo took me back to our shared childhood.

To return a purchased item that is not satisfactory.

I took it back and exchanged for a new one.

To allow return of someone.

He pleaded with his wife to take him back.

take down

To put down in writing.

Please take down what I’m going to say.

To write down something.

Someone took down the getaway car number and gave it to the police.

To move something towards a lower place or position.

You should take the ceiling fan down; it’s no longer working.

take for

To think wrongly about something.

He is likely to take your silence for consent.

To consider in a particular way.

They must have taken me for an idiot to want me to go along with their absurd idea.

take in

To deceive or be deceived.

Jill was taken in by the company’s false claims about its products.

To provide shelter to someone.

The retirement home took in another elderly today.

To understand.

We couldn’t take in all the speaker said.

To include.

To calculate the cost of the meal at that restaurant, we have to take in the tip.

To alter the seams of an item of clothing to make it tighter or smaller.

She will not take the pants in; she will buy a new pair.

To keep someone in official custody.

He was taken in for questioning as a potential suspect.

To view.

The large windows enabled us to take in the fine views of the surrounding countryside.

take off

To head into the air.

We were late and the plane took off without us.

To remove.

He took off his goggles which were steaming up and plunged into the pool.

To become successful.

His new business didn’t take off until after the third year of operation.

To spend time away from work.

He took a month off to get married.

To leave quickly without telling anyone.

Everyone was looking for her, but she had already taken off.

To withdraw or discontinue.

The product was taken off the production line due to falling demand.

To deduct.

Take ten dollars off the total which I owe you and I’ll pay you the balance.

take on

To come to possess a particular quality, appearance, meaning, etc.

After a new coat of paint, the old house takes on a new look.

To employ someone.

The company took on more workers as it was then set for major expansion.

To undertake.

His promotion means he has to take on new responsibilities.

To compete with or fight someone.

The challenger will take on the reigning heavyweight boxing champion tonight.

take out

To bring someone to somewhere to do something.

He often takes his family out for a meal at the same restaurant.

To kill or destroy.

One of the police snipers took out the deranged man holding a hostage.

To remove or extract.

He had his tonsils taken out when he was a child.

To secure a legal application.

She took out an injunction to prevent the press publishing the information.

take out on

To vent one’s anger or frustration on someone.

It’s your own fault; why take it out on the children?

To vent one’s anger or frustration on someone.

We think the boss doesn’t like him; she’s always taking it out on him.

take over

To assume control of something.

When you take over the driving, don’t sound the horn unnecessarily.

take round

To show the way to others.

The guide took us round the leisure complex.

take through

To explain something to someone.

The Manager took the new workers through the production process to familiarize them with it.

take to

To fall into a habit.

Jim took to excessive drinking when his wife left him.

To develop an aptitude for something.

He took to the guitar at an early age.

To develop a liking for something.

She soon took to her mother-in-law’s cooking.

To seek safety.

As the fighting raged, the refugees took to the border.

take up

To become interested in something.

Since my retirement, I’ve taken up stargazing.

To develop an interest in a sporting activity.

She has time now to take up cycling.

To accept a challenge.

If I don’t take up the challenge, they will likely say I have chickened out.

To fill a position or post.

He will take up his post as chief executive.

To use up space, time, or attention.

The piles of books are taking up too much space on the table.

To continue a course of action.

Some of them are going to take up the matter with the boss.

take up with

To become friendly with someone.

He’s taken up with his new neighbour’s kids.

take upon

To place responsibility for something on oneself.

Mark took it upon himself to paint the whole house.

talk around/round

To persuade someone to accept a point of view.

She just doesn’t agree with the seriousness of the problem; one of you has to talk her around.

talk at

To say something without regard for a reply or reaction.

We tried to tell her what’s wrong, but she wouldn’t listen; she was talking at us.

talk back

To make a reply that does not show proper respect.

This kid will never hesitate to talk back to her mother.

talk down

To belittle.

Mike often talked down the good things Betty did.

talk down to

To speak condescendingly to someone.

It’s wrong to talk down to them like that; they are cleverer than you think.

talk into

To persuade.

I didn’t want to get involved in the robbery, but he talked me into joining them.

talk out

To discuss in order to settle or find a solution to something.

We thought it was just a misunderstanding and asked them to talk it out.

talk out of

To persuade someone not to take a course of action.

She talked him out of seeking work overseas.

To persuade someone not to do something.

She wanted to marry him but her parents talked her out of it.

talk over

To discuss something thoroughly before taking an action.

I think we’d better talk it over before we decide to buy it.

To succeed in persuading someone.

The Liverpool manager managed to talk the two players of rival teams over to his side.

talk round/around

To speak indirectly about something.

He talked round the issue but gave no indication of how to tackle it.

talk through

To discuss thoroughly.

I must talk this through with you two as there are a few things you need to know.

talk up

To speak favourably or enthusiastically about something.

We have to talk up this new product so that people can see the usefulness of it.