Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are very useful to know when you’re having a casual conversation, or if you want to understand English movies.  Here are some common phrasal verbs with examples.

Back up  - to provide support

Ex: Officer Dyllans backed up his partner during the raid.

Believe in - to be sure of the existence of something

Ex: Cynthia believes in Santa Claus and her brother Carl believes in aliens.

Blow up - when something is exploded into many pieces

Ex: The bomb in Die Hard blew up a building.

Break down - to get upset (and cry); when a machine stops working

Ex #1: Mary broke down when her cat got hit by a car.

Ex #2: The fax machine breaks down once a week.

Call off  - to cancel

Ex: Gary called off the wedding because he was having second thoughts

Cut back - to use less off something

Ex: Amber is trying to cut back on fatty foods.

Figure out - to find the answer to something

Ex: Tommy figured out how to turn on the washing machine.

Get along - to have a good relationship with someone.

Ex: Ronald and Lincoln don’t get along.

Give up  - to stop a bad habit

Ex: Charles gave up smoking.

Hang out - to spend time somewhere / with someone

Ex: Most kids hand out at the shopping mall.

Let down - to fail someone

Ex: Daniella let her sister down when she forgot to show up at her graduation.

Live with - to accept something in your life

Ex: Peter lives with the noisy airplanes flying above his house at night.

Max out - to reach the limit for something

Ex: John maxed out his credit card buying video games.

Pass away - to die

Ex: Ingrid passed away last week after spending a year in the hospital.

Put up with - to tolerate, to try and bear

Ex: Arnold puts up with his wife’s awful singing.

Run out - to have none left

Ex: Sharon ran out of eggs and had to go to the supermarket to buy more.

Talk into - to convince someone to do something

Ex: Mandy talked her husband into going to Las Vegas for the weekend.

Throw away - to put something in the garbage

Ex: Harold threw away his old VHS tapes.

Warm up - to increase the temperature of something

Ex: Veronica warmed up her dinner in the microwave.