English XP

Phrasal Verbs List

phrasal verbs list

Below is a list of 47 useful phrasal verbs in English. They are arranged into groups to help memorize them easier. As well as this, example sentences are included to give context and make understanding their use even easier.

Each section will be split up using the following format:

Phrasal Verb


Example Sentence

“Act” Phrasal Verbs

act on

Take an action based on something (like information received).

He acted on her suggestion.

act out

Perform or show how something is done.

She acted it out for me so I could understand what happened.

act up

Behave badly or unexpectedly

My car was acting up this morning and wouldn’t start.

“Add” Phrasal Verbs

add on

Include something extra on to something.

The waiter added on an extra drink to the bill.

add up

Calculate the total of things combined.

The cashier added up the total for the groceries.

add up to


Including the drink, that adds up to £12.35

“Allow” Phrasal Verbs

allow for

Consider something in a plan or calculation.

You should allow for variation when planning a budget.

allow of

Show something is possible.

I can allow of no such thing.

“Be” Phrasal Verbs

be up for

Want to do something.

I am up for playing football later.

be fed up

Be bored or tired of something.

He is fed up with her constant complaining.

“Come” Phrasal Verbs

come across


I came across a wallet on the floor.

come in


It’s cold outside, please come in.

come up with

Invent or think of.

I came up with a plan to win.

“Drop” Phrasal Verbs

drop in

Visit without having made arrangements beforehand.

My uncle dropped in this afternoon.

drop off

Gradually become less.

Sales have dropped off in Q2.

drop out

To quit a course or event.

She dropped out of university due to stress.

“Fall” Phrasal Verbs

fall apart

Breaks into pieces.

My old bike fell apart as I was riding it!

fall behind

Fail to do something fast enough.

He didn’t do his homework and fell behind on his studies.

fall down

Fall on the ground.

Jane pushed Tim and he fell down.

fall for

Have sudden strong romantic feelings for someone.

He fell for the new girl at work.

fall off

Fall onto a lower level.

The ball rolled and fell off the shelf.

fall out

No longer be friends with someone (usually because of an argument or fight.)

Jane and Sarah fell out and aren’t talking to each other now.

fall over

Falling to the ground or surface someone / something is on.

He was so drunk he fell over.

fall through

Fail to happen.

Unfortunately the sale fell through and we had to buy something else.

“Give” Phrasal Verbs

give away

Give something for free.

He gave away all of his possessions.

give in


She finally gave in and let her children eat ice cream.

give out

To distribute.

They gave out coupons in the shopping centre.

give up

Stop doing something before it is finished.

The marathon was too tiring so he gave up half way.

“Hold” Phrasal Verbs

hold off

Delay something.

Hold off on the BBQ, it’s going to rain.

hold on


Hold on, I will be there soon.

hold out

Hold something so someone else can reach it

He held out his hand to stop the bus.

hold up

Raise something in the air.

Hold up your work so that I can see it.

“Knock” Phrasal Verbs

knock off

Cause something to fall from somewhere by making contact.

He accidentally knocked the cup off his desk.

knock out

Lose consciousness from being hit.

The boxer was knocked out in round 3.

knock over

Make contact with something and cause it to fall.

She accidentally knocked the plant pot over.

“Lock” Phrasal Verbs

lock in

When something is trapped behind a locked door.

She took the keys with her and I was locked in!

lock out

When something can’t get into a locked door.

I lost my keys and was locked out of my house.

lock up

Secure the doors and windows with a key.

Remember to lock up properly before you leave.

“Move” Phrasal Verbs

move in

Move your belongings into a place where you will live.

My new neighbor moved in yesterday.

move out

Move your belongings out of a place where you previously lived.

My roommate is moving out tomorrow.

“Pick” Phrasal Verbs

pick on

Tease or mock someone.

Yesterday they were picking on the new kid in school.

pick out

Select something or someone.

She picked out a nice dress to wear to the party.

pick up

Grab something and lift it from a surface.

He saw a wallet on the floor so he picked it up.

“Shut” Phrasal Verbs

shut off

Stop the operation of something (usually electrical)

She shut off her computer before she went to bed.

shut up

Stop talking.

Please shut up, you’re giving me a headache!

“Work” Phrasal Verbs

work out


She works out every day in the gym.

work up

Be very emotional.

He was so worked up after his house had been burgled.