Phrasal Verbs, its Meanings and Examples

Phrasal Verbs are another class of idioms, of which there are hundreds in English. A phrasal verb is an expression made up of a verb and a preposition, or an adverbial particle. Many of these verbs have several meanings, and the particular meaning has to be found out from the context. Here are some of them:
1. Came about = happen

How did the accident come about?

2. Come across = meet with

He came across a schoolmate of his at the railway station the other day.
I came across the word 'tsunami' only recently.

3. Come by = obtain

I wonder how he happened to come by so much wealth.

4. Come of = happen as a result of

Many road accidents come of sheer carelessness.

5. Come out = be published; become known

A weekly is a magazine that comes out once a week.
Many unpleasant facts came out at the trial.

6. Come out of = be the result of

Nothing has come out of his frantic efforts.

7. Come up to = reach

His children have not come up to his expectations.

8. Do away with = abolish

The government is contemplating on doing away with commercial taxes.

9. Done for = ruined

He is a spendthrift and he will be done for soon.

10. Get along = be friendly

I don't really get along with my father-in-law.

11. Get at = reach

Do not put knives where children can easily get at them.

12. Get off = leave a train, a bus, aircraft, etc.

Don't get off a train while it is moving.
The student got off (= escaped) with a small fine.

13. Get on = continue; manage

How are you getting on in your new flat?
She can't get on with (= manage to live with) her husband's people.

14. Get over = get better after an illness; finish

She got over her illness by some miracle.
Luckily, he has got over (= recovered) his home-sickness.

15. Get through = pass.

He had prepared well, but he did not get through the examination.

16. Get up

I got up (= got out of bed) very early this morning, so I feel sleepy now.
The students get up (= study) a number of subjects for the examination.
A dramatic entertainment was got up (= organized) in aid of the Defence Fund.

17. Go about

I do not know how l can go about (= begin to do something) solving the problem.
A story is going about (= is spreading) that the actress has secretly married her private secretary.

18. Go back on

A man of integrity never goes back on (= breaks) his word.

19. Go in for

I have never gone in for (= done something regularly) film songs; I like classical music.

20. Go into

A considerable amount of time and effort has gone into this exhibition.
My brother wants to go into (= enter) the share market.

21. Go off

The function went off very well (= was a success).
The gun went off (= fired) accidentally while he was cleaning it.

22. Go on

The politician went on (= continued) talking though there was hooting from the audience.
I want to know what is going on (= happening) here.

23. Go out

The lights went out (= ceased to burn) while I was reading.
My heart goes out to (= is full of sympathy for) those who suffered during the tsunami.

24. Go over

He wants to go over the lesson (= study it) again before the examination
A few old Congressmen have gone over (=changed) to the Communist Party.

25. Go with

Your blouse does not go with (= match in colour) your sari.

26. Hold off

I wish the rain would hold off (= not occur) till the cricket match is oven

27. Hold on

How long can I hold on (= wait)? He does not want to talk to me.

28. Hold up

All flights from London are held up (= delayed) due to bad weather.
Traffic is often held up (= stopped) for hours in our city because of processions.

29. Lay up

Animals lay up (= store) enough food for the winter.
Her mother has been laid up (= confined to bed) for a long time.

30. Look after

You have to look after (= take care of) your aged parents.

31. Look down upon

He has a tendency to look down upon (= despise) the poor.

32. Look for

He is looking for (= trying to find) an excuse to throw away his job.

33. Look forward to

I am eagerly looking forward to (= expecting with pleasure) your next visit.

34. Look into

The Chief Minister has promised to look into (= examine) the grievances of the government servants.

35. Look over

The engineer looked over (= examined) the building to see if it was all right.

36. Look up

When I go to Chennai next time, I will look up (= pay a visit to) my former schoolmate.
I always look up (= search to find out) the meanings of new words in my dictionary.

37. Make off

The burglars made off (= escaped) before the police arrived.

38. Make for

A handsome appearance does not always make for (= contribute to) success in an interview.

39. Make out

The MD told me to make out (= write out) a cheque for a sum of Rs. 1000/- towards payment of electricity charges.
He tried to make out (= prove) that I was a simpleton.
His handwriting is so bad that I can't make out (= decipher) anything He has changed so much that I could not make him out (= recognise him).

40. Make over

The old man has made over (= transferred) his business to his sons.

41. Make up

He had to borrow some money to make up (= complete) the required amount.
He made up (= invented) a story to deceive his poor parents.
Though they quarreled, they soon made it up (= settled it).

42. Make up for

We must make up for (= recover) the lost time by hurrying up.

43. Put by

He is so poorly paid that he is unable to put by (= save) any-thing

44. Put forth

He put forth (= used) all his strength to lift the weight.
The tree put forth (=produced) many fresh buds.

45. Put off

The examinations had to be put off (= postponed) owing to a hartal.

46. Put in

I have to put in (= do) a lot of labour to finish the project.

47. Put on.

He put on (= wore) his best dress on his birthday.
It is ridiculous to put on (= assume) airs before your elders.

48. Put out

Mother put out (= extinguish) the fire in the hearth before going to bed.
I am always put out (= annoyed) by loud noises.

49. Put up

Dishonest dealers always try to put up (= raise) the prices.
I put up (= stayed) at a hotel when I went to Trivandrum.

50. Put up with

I have no patience to put up with (= tolerate) such insults.
I don't know how she puts up with her jealous husband.

51. Run down

My watch has run down (= stopped working).
She is much run down (= weakened) on account of her illness.
Don't run down (= speak ill of) your parents and teachers.

52. Run out

My stock of jokes has run out (= is exhausted).
We were climbing a hill when our car ran out of fuel.

53. Set aside

The rich man set aside (= reserved) a good sum for charity.

54. Set out

We set out (= start) on our journey very early in the morn-ing.

55. Stand for

The politician declared that his party had always stood for (= supported) low taxation.
My uncle stood for (= sought election to) Parliament last time and lost his deposit amount.

56. Stand up for

Lord Buddha always stood up for (= maintained) ahimsa.

57. Take after

He takes after (= resembles) his grandfather rather than his father.

58. Take for

I took him for (= believed him to be) a fool, but I was wrong.
He took (= mistook) me for an old friend of his.

59. Take in

Don't be taken in (= deceived) by his sweet words.
He listens to classical music without taking it in (= understanding it).

60. Take off

One plane takes off (= starts) every minute from Chicago airport.

61. Take over

The new Collector is to take over (= take charge) next week.
The army took over (= assume control of) the law and order problem in Gujarat.

62.Take to

Shaw took to (= got into) the theatre with the spirit of a social reformer.

63. Take up

He has taken (= accepted) up the post of supervisor.
Much of the Minister's time was taken up with (= occupied by) answering questions.

64. Turn down

She turned down (= reject) his proposal, as he was not an honest fellow.
Don't forget to turn down the lamp (= reduce the flame) before going to sleep.

65. Turn on, turn off

He turned on the lights when he went in, but forgot to turn them off when he went out.

66. Turn out

The drunken man was turned out of (= expelled from) the meeting because of his unruly behaviour.
One hundred bicycles are turned out (= manufactured) every day by the new company.
At first I did not believe the story, but it turned out (= was proved) to be true.
The whole village turned out (= assembled) to welcome the Prime Minister.

67. Turn over (a new leaf)

He turned over a new leaf (= was reformed) after he met the sage.

68. Turn up

The audience waited for more than an hour, but the Minister did not turn up (= appear) for the function.

69. Turn the corner

After many months of poor sales we have finally turned the corner (= sales improved after a difficult start).