Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence

eat away

To gradually reduce or damage something.

Termites have eaten away much of the woodwork on the outside of a disused warehouse.

eat in

To have a meal at home.

Mum is cooking tonight so we are eating in.

eat into

To decrease the amount of something.

The high bills are eating into my savings.

eat out

To not eat at home but somewhere else such as a restaurant.

It’s your birthday; let’s eat out and celebrate tonight.

eat up

To eat all of something.

Who ate up all my potato chips?

egg on

To encourage or to incite to action.

The boys didn’t want to fight but their friends kept egging them on.

end in

To finish in a particular way.

Their big argument ended in a fist fight.

end up

To land up in an unwelcome situation or place.

The driver took a wrong road and we ended up somewhere else.

endear to

To make someone beloved.

Her friendly attitude endeared her to everybody she met at the gathering.

face up to

To accept and deal with an unpleasant situation.

He has to face up to the fact that he has to study hard to pass the exam.

face with

To have to deal with something.

The scientist in his research was faced with many unknown factors.

fall about

To laugh uncontrollably.

When the plump lady started dancing, the kids fell about laughing.

fall apart

To break down into pieces. 

The wooden bridge that has fallen into disuse is falling apart. 

To suffer serious emotional problems.

His world fell apart when his wife left him.

fall away

To slope downwards. 

At the back of the castle, the land falls away to lush green pastures. 

To break off and drop to the ground.

The storm caused some of the tiles to fall away from the roof.

fall back

To move back.

The soldiers had to fall back as they came under attack.

fall back on

To rely on something when confronted with a difficult situation.

She has her big savings to fall back on if need be.

fall behind

To fail to keep up with payments.

I’d better hide the car as I have fallen behind in my payments.

fall down

To fall to the ground.

He stumbled and fell down the stairs.

fall for

To feel love for. 

He couldn’t help always falling for women in uniforms. 

To deceive into believing.

I fell for it when she told me she was unmarried.

fall in

To drop or collapse inwards. 

Poor construction caused the roof and ceiling to fall in after a year. 

To move into neat lines in military formation.

The soldiers fell in line before the commanding officer.

fall in with

To accept and not disagree. 

They appeared willing to fall in with the leader’s suggestions. 

To become friendly with someone.

While on a cruise, the couple fell in with a group of other passengers.

fall into

To start doing something without any intention. 

She fell into the habit of talking to herself. 

To get involved in something without intending to.

He fell into an argument with a stranger about queue-jumping. 

To become progressively worse in condition due to not being taken care of

Since he bought a new bike, his bicycle has fallen into a poor condition due to neglect.

fall off

To decrease. 

Business along the main road fell off after a series of public demonstrations. 

To come apart from the main part.

Specks of paint have been falling off the wall at the back of the house.

fall on

To make someone assume a responsibility or duty. 

In his new job, the responsibility for machine maintenance falls on him. 

To suspect someone of wrong doing.

Suspicion fell on the butler that he might have murdered the female servant.

fall on/upon

To launch a sudden attack.

The rebels fell on/upon a group of soldiers and held them hostage.

fall out

To have a quarrel. 

Sarah fell out with her boyfriend after knowing her for only two months. 

To come out.

His hair started falling out after he contracted an unknown illness.

fall over

To fall onto the ground. 

Bob stepped on a banana skin and fell over. 

To fall into its side.

They built a tall sandcastle and it fell over.

fall through

To fail.

The deal fell through and they agreed to renegotiate.

fall to

To give someone responsibility for something.

It fell to the eldest son to manage the family business after the death of the father.

fill in

To serve in place of another person. 

We found someone to fill in for Sarah when she was on maternity leave. 

To gather information.

The students were asked to fill in a questionnaire on the environment.

fill out

To provide information as required by completing something such as a form.

He filled out the application form with the help of his parents.

fill up

To become more and more full with people or things.

The stadium was filling up with spectators as the start of the match drew closer.

fit in

To feel accepted or belonged to a group.

The new member has learned quickly to fit in with the others.

fit out

To provide with things that are needed such as equipment, etc.

The entire building was fitted out with air conditioners but they were not working.

fit up

To equip a room or building for a particular purpose. 

We decided to work from home and had the attic fitted up as the office. 

To make an innocent person seem guilty.

His family and friends believed he had been fitted up for the crime.

fix on

To pick out as being the best place for a planned purpose.

They have finally fixed on a venue for the fund-raising event.

fix up

To renovate and redecorate. 

We have to fix the spare room up for our guests. 

To arrange a meeting, etc. 

Their friend has fixed up a time and place for them to resolve their differences. 

To provide a romantic partner. 

He was happy that his friends had fixed him up with a pretty girl. 

To provide something to someone.

They are fixing us up with a reasonably priced hotel to stay.

follow along

To do or move at the same time as something else.

Whenever I listen to that song, I couldn’t help following along with it.

follow around

To keep following someone.

Quit following me around, will you?

follow through

To continue an action or task to its conclusion.

Ensure the report is followed through so that all amendments are included.

follow up

To continue with a course of action so as to increase the chances of success.

The investigation was followed up with the arrest of the gang leader.