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Phrasal verbs are considered to be one of the most useful and frustrating grammar points in
the English Language, especially in the FCE exam.
In this book we have listed some of the most common phrasal verbs you will encounter and
some of the most important you will need to learn.


In this book you will find a list of phrasal verbs that will be useful for the exam, as well as
definitions and examples in context. You can use this book how you wish. The phrasal verbs
are listed in alphabetical order.
You should read the list from A-Z and write down your own examples for the ones you think
you want to incorporate into your vocabulary either speaking or writing.


Sme. = Someone/somebody
Smth. = Something
Smwh. = Somewhere
(<>) = separable (the phrasal verb can include the object between the verb and the
preposition) for example:
(Word) = sometimes this word can be omitted and is not necessary.

1|P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Ask sme. out (<>)
Meaning: To ask someone to go on a date (a romantic dinner etc.)
Context/ Example: I asked Grace out last weekend. Luckily she said yes!

Phrasal Verb: Ask around

Meaning: To ask different people about something to get their opinions
Context/ Example: Im not sure if we are going out tonight, Ill ask around and see who
wants to go to the party

Phrasal Verb: Break up with sme.
Meaning: To stop being in a relationship with someone
Context/ Example: I broke up with my girlfriend last summer, it was awful.

Phrasal Verb: Break down

Meaning: To stop working (machine, mechanical object)
Context/ Example: My car broke down in the middle of the road!

Phrasal Verb: Break in

Meaning: To enter a house illegally (usually with the intent to steal)
Context/ Example: Someone broke into our house last month, they stole my necklace!

Phrasal Verb: Bring smth. Up (<>)

Meaning: To introduce a new topic into a conversation
2|P a g e

Context/ Example: My car broke down in the middle of the road!

Phrasal Verb: Carry on
Meaning: To continue
Context/ Example: I was working when you interrupted mecan I carry on now?

Phrasal Verb: Call sme. back

Meaning: To return a phone call from someone
Context/ Example: My boss called me but I was in the cinema, so Ill call him back soon!

Phrasal Verb: Call smth. off (<>)

Meaning: To cancel something (usually an event)
Context/ Example: Im afraid the meeting has to be called off due to the rain

Phrasal Verb: Call sme. up

Meaning: To call someone.
Context/ Example: You can call me up at around 6 if thats ok?!

Phrasal Verb: Catch up (with) sme.

Meaning: To be at the same level as someone
Context/ Example: I was last in the race, but then finally I caught up with everyone!

Phrasal Verb: Check (up) on sme.

Meaning: To monitor someone closely to see their status/progress
Context/ Example: Our baby has been silent for a long time, can you check up on her?
3|P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Come up with smth.
Meaning: To have an idea spontaneously
Context/ Example: We were trying to plan the party and Margret came up with a great

Phrasal Verb: Come across sme./smth.

Meaning: To meet someone or discover something by chance.
Context/ Example: I came across an old friend of mine in the supermarket last week/ I
came across my old music set yesterday, completely unexpectedly!

Phrasal Verb: Come from smwh.

Meaning: To originate from a location.
Context/ Example: Im British but my Grandmother comes from Nigeria / Where did that
sound come from?

Phrasal Verb: Cut down on smth.

Meaning: To reduce the amount of smth.
Context/ Example: Im going to try to stop eating chocolate the first step is to cut down on
the amount I eat every day.

Phrasal Verb: Dress up
Meaning: To wear special clothing for an event
Context/ Example: I dressed up for the party because it was a very posh event.

4|P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Drop in (on)
Meaning: To visit someone unexpectedly (they do not know)
Context/ Example: I might just drop in on Peter to see what hes doing tonight..

Phrasal Verb: Drop out (of) smth.

Meaning: To quit a course/class
Context/ Example: I worked really hard, but in the end the photography class wasnt
interesting so I dropped out after 1 week.

Phrasal Verb: Eat out
Meaning: To have dinner at a restaurant
Context/ Example: Usually my wife and I stay at home, but we occasionally eat out once a

Phrasal Verb: End up smwh.

Meaning: To eventually do something/ get somewhere/ be something you didnt expect.
Context/ Example: I thought the movie would be interesting, but it ended up being really
boring / We all got dressed up to party but we ended up staying at home drinking instead

Phrasal Verb: Fall out (with) sme.
Meaning: To have a disagreement and not be friends any more.
Context/ Example: I used to love my best friend but then one day we fell out because of
something silly.

5|P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Fall for sme.
Meaning: To start to love someone
Context/ Example: Ive known her for about 5 years but recently Ive been falling for her.

Phrasal Verb: Figure smth. out (<>)

Meaning: To try to find the answer to something
Context/ Example: Ive been trying to figure out how to use phrasal verbs for over two

Phrasal Verb: Find smth. out (<>)

Meaning: To discover
Context/ Example: Ive just found out that my sister is pregnant!

Phrasal Verb: Get smth. across (<>)
Meaning: To give information/communicate
Context/ Example: He spoke for two hours but said nothing, I think he was trying to get
across how important it is to work hard

Phrasal Verb: Get on with sme.

Meaning: To have a good relationship with someone
Context/ Example: I get on really well with my boss, shes really nice.

6|P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Get away with smth.
Meaning: To escape with no punishment
Context/ Example: He stole 7000 from the bank but no one caught him so hes managed
to get away with it.

Phrasal Verb: Get over smth.

Meaning: To overcome something hard / illness
Context/ Example: She is seriously ill but doctors think she will get over it soon.

Phrasal Verb: Get (a)round to smth.

Meaning: To find time to do something
Context/ Example: I know I have to do my project by tomorrow but I havent got around to
it yet.

Phrasal Verb: Get up to smth.

Meaning: To do something (used in questions mainly)
Context/ Example: What did you get up to this weekend?

Phrasal Verb: Give smth. away

Meaning: To distribute / to give something for free
Context/ Example: He didnt need his old clothes so he gave them away to homeless

Phrasal Verb: Give smth. up (<>)

Meaning: To quit a habit / stop doing something
Context/ Example: I smoke too much, Im thinking about giving it up.

7|P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Go on / go ahead

G -H

Meaning: To proceed
Context/ Example: Im sorry I interrupted you, please go on.

Phrasal Verb: Go out (with sme.)

Meaning: To go on a social event/ occasion (maybe a date)
Context/ Example: Ive been going out with my girlfriend for a week now / Im going out
tonight to a bar, it will be fun!

Phrasal Verb: Go over smth.

Meaning: To review something
Context/ Example: I dont think I understand phrasal verbs exactly, can we go over them
again please?

Phrasal Verb: Grow up

Meaning: To become more mature/ to become an adult
Context/ Example: You have grown up a lot since I last saw you.

Phrasal Verb: Hand smth. out (<>)
Meaning: To distribute
Context/ Example: He handed out a leaflet detailing the information of the project

Phrasal Verb: Hang on / hold on

Meaning: To wait (usually on the phone)
Context/ Example: Can you just hang on for one second, I need to get something.
8|P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Hang out with sme.
Meaning: To spend your free time with someone / people
Context/ Example: Last weekend I hung out with a few friends of mine at the local

Phrasal Verb: Keep on
Meaning: To continue
Context/ Example: I have to keep on studying this list of phrasal verbs to be prepared

Phrasal Verb: Keep up (with) sme.

Meaning: To be at the same level as someone
Context/ Example: Jim is the smartest boy in the class, other people cant keep up with

Phrasal Verb: Let sme. down
Meaning: To disappoint someone.
Context/ Example: When you didnt pass your exam you really let me down, I had high
expectations of you.

Phrasal Verb: Log in / log off

Meaning: To sign in / out of a website
Context/ Example: I havent logged in to my Facebook account in about 6 months.

9|P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Look after sme.
Meaning: To take care of someone
Context/ Example: My parents are leaving town for a few days and I have to look after my
little brother

Phrasal Verb: Look for smth.

Meaning: To try to find something
Context/ Example: Ive been looking for my keys for over 3 hours!

Phrasal Verb: Look forward to smth.

Meaning: To be excited (in anticipation of something)
Context/ Example: Im really looking forward to going on holiday this winter, it will be

Phrasal Verb: Look smth. up

Meaning: To find by using a dictionary/ reference
Context/ Example: If you dont know the word then you should just look it up in the

Phrasal Verb: Look up to sme.

Meaning: To admire
Context/ Example: I really look up to my older brother, hes a great role model.

10 | P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Make smth. up (<>)
Meaning: To invent / lie about something
Context/ Example: Tom always tells us stories but Im sure that half of them are made

Phrasal Verb: Mix smth. up (<>)

Meaning: To confuse the order of something
Context/ Example: Im trying to use phrasal verbs but I always get the words mixed up.

Phrasal Verb: Pass smth. on (<>)
Meaning: To die / to give someone something of yours
Context/ Example: My grandmother passed on last year / I pass on all of my old clothes to
my brother.

Phrasal Verb: Pay sme. back.

Meaning: To return money
Context/ Example: I lent my brother 100 but he hasnt paid me back yet!

Phrasal Verb: Pick smth/sme. out

Meaning: To select something (usually from a group)
Context/ Example: My teacher always picks me out to read aloud in the classroom

11 | P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Point smth. out (<>)
Meaning: To draw someones attention to something
Context/ Example: In this part of the essay I would like to point out the difference between
cookies and biscuits

Phrasal Verb: Put smth. off (<>)

Meaning: To postpone
Context/ Example: Im sorry but the meeting has to be put off until tomorrow

Phrasal Verb: Put up with sme.

Meaning: To tolerate
Context/ Example: I really dont like her but I have to put up with her because I work with
her every day!

Phrasal Verb: Put smth. on (<>)

Meaning: To wear
Context/ Example: I dont know if this fits me so Ill put it on and you can tell me

Phrasal Verb: Run into sme.
Meaning: To meet by chance
Context/ Example: I was shopping last week and guess who I ran into?

Phrasal Verb: Run out of smth.

Meaning: To have no more of something
Context/ Example: Darling, Ive been looking in the fridge and I think weve run out of
12 | P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Set smth. up (<>)
Meaning: To organize/ establish
Context/ Example: Ive been really busy recently trying to set up my own business

Phrasal Verb: Show smth. off (<>)

Meaning: To boast (say/show how good something is.)
Context/ Example: I really hate John, he always drives his Ferrari down the street so
everyone can hear, he loves showing it off.

Phrasal Verb: Sort smth. out (<>)

Meaning: To organize / fix a problem
Context/ Example: My brother is planning to come and visit but I havent got the details, I
relay need to sort out when he is coming

Phrasal Verb: Take after sme.
Meaning: To resemble (usually in appearance)
Context/ Example: I have a really big nose, I guess I take after my father.

Phrasal Verb: Take smth. apart. (<>)

Meaning: To disassemble / dismantle
Context/ Example: My bike doesnt work that well anymore, so Im going to take it apart
and see whats wrong.

13 | P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Take smth. off (<>)
Meaning: To remove clothing
Context/ Example: Its really hot in here, can I take my jacket off?

Phrasal Verb: Take up smth. (<>)

Meaning: To start (usually a hobby or regular activity)
Context/ Example: I stopped running last year because of my knee, but now that it has
healed I think Ill take it up again.

Phrasal Verb: Throw smth. away (<>)

Meaning: To dispose of something
Context/ Example: Make sure you throw away your paper cup after using it!

Phrasal Verb: Turn smth/sme. down

Meaning: To refuse an offer
Context/ Example: They offered me an indefinite contract and more money at work, but I
already have another job which is better so I had to turn them down.

Phrasal Verb: Turn up

Meaning: To appear unexpectedly
Context/ Example: I was looking for my phone all day and then it suddenly turned up in my
bag! / We were at the party when Jill suddenly turned up

Phrasal Verb: Try smth. out (<>)

Meaning: To test something
Context/ Example: I bought some new deodorant, so Ill try it out for a few days but if I
dont like it Ill go back to my old one.

14 | P a g e

Phrasal Verb: Wake sme. up
Meaning: To open your eyes after sleeping
Context/ Example: Tom usually wakes up at 8.30 but today I had to wake him up earlier for
his interview.

Phrasal Verb: Wear smth. down

Meaning: To use to a point where it starts to deteriorate
Context/ Example: I bought these shoes a year ago, but I wear them every day so they are
completely worn down.

Phrasal Verb: Wear smth. out

Meaning: To use to a point where it cannot be used anymore
Context/ Example: He has been working for 5 months and hasnt taken a break, I think he is
pretty worn out

Phrasal Verb: Work smth. out (<>)

Meaning: To solve / discover
Context/ Example: Im trying to work out the best way to tell her that I love her.

15 | P a g e