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 groups

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.

picture examples

phrasal verbs list - abide by
phrasal verbs esl - account for
phrasal verbs esl - act for
phrasal verbs list - act on/upon
phrasal verbs esl - act out
phrasal verbs list - act up
phrasal verbs esl - add on
add up to meaning
advise against meaning
phrasal verbs esl - agree with
aim at meaning
phrasal verbs esl - allow for
phrasal verbs list - appeal to
phrasal verbs list - apply for
ask about meaning
ask after meaning
ask around meaning
ask for meaning
ask in meaning
ask out meaning

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.

picture examples

back away meaning
back down meaning
back in/into meaning
back off meaning
back out meaning
back someone up meaning
back up meaning
phrasal verbs list - bank on
phrasal verbs list - base on
phrasal verbs list - beef up
phrasal verbs esl - bend over
phrasal verbs list - black out
phrasal verbs esl - block off
blow away meaning
blow off meaning
blow out meaning
phrasal verbs esl - blow over meaning
blow up meaning
phrasal verbs list - boil down to
break away meaning
break down meaning
break into meaning
break out in meaning
break out meaning
break something down meaning
break up meaning
bring about meaning
bring back meaning
bring down meaning
bring forward meaning
bring on meaning
bring out meaning
bring over meaning
bring someone round meaning
bring up meaning
phrasal verbs list - brown off
phrasal verbs list - brush up on
phrasal verbs list - bucket down
phrasal verbs list - buckle down
phrasal verbs list - buckle up meaning
phrasal verbs list - bump into
phrasal verbs list - burn oneself out meaning
phrasal verbs list - bust up
phrasal verbs list - butt in meaning