Scroll through this amazing list of phrasal verbs beginning with A and B plus real life examples. Did I mention they come with pictures too? What are you waiting for, get cracking!
Did you know, a lot of phrasal verbs actually come from the same verb? The preposition after the verb is different which changes the meaning of the phrasal verb either slightly or completely. Do you fancy learning some? Go on, I dare you..
Phrasal verbs beginning with A
Let’s kick off the phrasal verbs dictionary with A. picture examples are below.
- abide by
meaning – follow the rules/decisions/instructions
example – If you want to continue living under my roof, you must abide by my rules.
- account for
meaning – to give a reason
example – I hope you can account for your lateness again this morning?
- act as
meaning – do the same function as a person or thing
example – The heart acts as a pump to transport blood around the body.
- act for
meaning – represent someone
example – The people chose Mr. Smith to act for them in parliament.
- act on/upon
meaning – follow advice/take action
example – He acted upon friend’s advice and left before there was trouble.
- act out
meaning – express through actions or words
example – I’ve acted out 10 films and no one has guessed any. I hate charades!
- act up
meaning – misbehave/malfunction
example – The machine acted up yesterday and I couldn’t complete the order.
- add on
meaning – include in a calculation
example – I’ve added on the £5 I lent you last week. Now you owe me £23.
- add up to
meaning – to total/seem reasonable
example – It just doesn’t add up! We saw her get in the taxi, but she never arrived.
- advise against
meaning – recommend not doing something
example – I advise against the chicken; it was very salty last time.
- agree with
meaning – to have the same opinion as another person
example – I agree with Tammy on this point.
- aim at
meaning – direct something towards a target
example – Davis aimed at the top left corner, he shot, and he scored.
- allow for
meaning – consider, include when planning
example – We have to allow for the traffic, so add another 30 minutes to the journey time.
- appeal to
meaning – make a request, be attractive to someone
example – Tattoos don’t appeal to me.
- apply for
meaning – a formal request
example – I`ve applied for a gold membership card.
- ask about
meaning – ask how someone is or ask lots of people a question
example – People have been asking about you, they want to know if you’re feeling better.
- ask after
meaning – enquire about how someone is
example – My dad asked after you today, I lied and told him you were fine.
- ask around
meaning – ask lots of people or invite someone to your house
example – I’ll ask around my office and see if anyone has a keyboard you can borrow.
- ask for
meaning – request something
example – I asked for mash potato instead of chips with my steak.
- ask in
meaning – invite someone into your house or a room
example – Miss Roberts, can you ask them in please?
- ask out
meaning – invite someone on a date
example – James asked Sasha out, but she said no in front of the whole class.
Phrasal verbs beginning with B
- back away
meaning – retreat
example – Slowly back away from the dog, he`s getting angry.
- back down
meaning – surrender or decide not to do something because of the opposition
example – The Government backed down on their plans to destroy the forest.
- back in/into
meaning – reverse a car into a space
example – She carefully backed into the space as the instructor requested.
- back off
meaning – go away, retreat
example – I wish these losers would back off. I have a boyfriend.
- back out
meaning – decide not to do something you said you would do or reverse a car out of a space
example – Can you back the car out a bit? It’s too close to the wall, I can’t get in.
- back someone up
meaning – support someone
example – I`ve backed you up all the way, but if you did steal the watch… you`re on your own.
- back up
meaning – provide evidence to support your claim, make more copies of files, reverse a car
example – He backed up his claim with graphs and reports from the last 5 years.
- bank on
meaning – rely on with confidence
example – I wasn’t banking on her not agreeing to marry me. I thought she would say yes.
- base on
meaning – be centred around, make a decision using facts
example – The thriller was based on a true story.
- beef up/beef something up
meaning – become stronger/meatier/more powerful
example – I’m 500 words short for my assignment. I need to beef it up a bit.
- bend over
meaning – bend from the waist to the floor
example – I was bending over and the dog bit my bum!
- black out
meaning – lose consciousness, in darkness
example – I blacked out and hit my head on the kitchen counter.
- block off
meaning – separate using a barrier
example – The road has been blocked off for hours. Something serious must`ve happened.
- blow off
meaning – release pressure
example – I’ll take the kids to the park; they need to blow off steam.
- blow out
meaning – extinguish a fire with your mouth
example – Can you close the window? The gas has already blown out twice.
- blow over
meaning – pass without anything bad happening
example – Just keep your head down for a few weeks and it will all blow over.
- blow someone away/be blown away
meaning – to amaze someone
example – I watched a really good film about aliens, the special effects blew me away.
- blow up
meaning – inflate with air, enlarge, use explosives to destroy
example – I need to stop by the garage on the way home, my tyres need blowing up.
- boil down to
meaning – the main reason
example – ”and what it all boils down to, it that no one`s really got it figured it out just yet” Alanis Morissette – One hand in my pocket.
- break away
meaning – separate from the group, escape
example – A wildebeest broke away from the herd and was killed by a pride of lions.
- break down
meaning – start crying, when a machine stops working
example – Rachel broke down in tears when she found out that she had failed.
- break in/into
meaning – force entry into a building, vehicle, or object
example – I’m going to break into my piggy bank and see how much money I’ve saved for my holiday.
- break out
meaning – escape from somewhere
example – My face has broken out in spots since I tried a new face cream.
- break out in something
meaning – develop a condition
example – I broke out in spots after trying a new face cream.
- break something down
meaning – divide into smaller parts
example – Let`s break the contract down into smaller parts so it doesn’t seem so scary.
- break up
meaning – end a relationship with someone, separate into smaller pieces
example – Can you break up the chocolate into squares? It`ll melt faster.
- bring about
meaning – make happen
example – A lot of changes have been brought about by advances in technology.
- bring back
meaning – carry an object back when you return, make something return to your memory
example – Can you bring me back an ice cream from the shop please?
- bring down
meaning – lose power
example – The citizens worked together to bring down the government.
- bring forward
meaning – change the date or time of something so it`s earlier
example – Your work has been exceptional lately. So, I’m bringing forward your pay review meeting.
- bring on
meaning – invite a person to the stage, make something to happen
example – Ladies and gentlemen, I’m now going to bring on tonight’s special guest.
- bring out
meaning – release a product, to make a certain quality show
example – The boyband will be bringing out a new single next year.
- bring over
meaning – carry an item to another place where you are heading
example – Don’t forget to bring over your speaker, mine is broken.
- bring someone round
meaning – make an unconscious person become conscious
example – Alex is in an induced coma; the doctor will bring him round in a few days.
- bring up
meaning – raise a child, vomit, raise a new topic for conversation
example – Does anyone have any issues to bring up regarding the new working hours?
- brown off
meaning – keep the meat uncovered in the oven so it gets brown and crispy
example – I’ll leave the pie in for 5 more minutes; I want the top to brown off a bit.
- brush up on
meaning – refresh one’s knowledge
example – I need to brush up on my Spanish, I’m going to Peru next month.
- bucket down
meaning – rain heavily
example – It has been bucketing down all day, I need to hang out my washing.
- buckle down
meaning – start to work hard
example – Travis has been buckling down recently. He’s a changed man.
- buckle up
meaning – fasten a safety harness/seat belt
example – All the passengers buckled-up ready for take-off
- bump into
meaning – meet by chance
example – I bumped into your sister. She`s huge! The baby must be coming soon.
- burn out
meaning – extinguish, damaged by heat, exhausted from too much work
example – The fuse needs changing, it’s burnt out.
- butt in
meaning – interrupt a conversation, interfere
example – Stop butting in my life, it`s got nothing to do with you.