Correct Sentences

Phrase Replacement

In the Phrase Replacement sections, a candidate’s knowledge of the English language is put to test. In this section usually, the candidate is asked to replace a phrase from a given sentence. This phrase can be replaced by one of the phrases present in the options. This is a very important section and we will try and do as many examples as we can. Let us begin.

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Phrase Replacement

As we have already made clear, this is a very important section of the IBPS PO, SO exams. Let us first begin by stating some important phrasal verbs here. These phrasal verbs are very important for any candidate planning to appear for the IBPS PO, SO, SBI exams. Let us list them below:

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act up: behave or function improperly. Example: I think I need to take my car to the mechanic because it’s acting up again.

add up:  calculate a sum. Example: I added up the receipts and got a total of 8000.

add up to: Be equal an amount. Example: The total bill adds up to three thousand rupees.

add up: make sense. Example: His story doesn’t add up. I think he is lying.

ask out: invite on a date. Example: I can’t believe that Joe finally asked me out on a date!

ask over: invite to one’s home. Example: Why don’t we ask the neighbours over for dinner?

Phrase Replacement


blow up: make explode; destroy using explosives. Example: The terrorists blew the bridge up.

blow up: suddenly become very angry. Example: When Harsh heard the news, he blew up and rushed out of the room.

break down: analyze in detail. Example: We need to break this problem down in order to solve it.

break down: stop working properly. Example: The truck broke down in the desert.

break down: become mentally ill. She broke down after her husband died.

break in: wear or use something new until it is comfortable. Example: I need to break these shoes in before I go hiking.

break in: interrupt. Example: While we were discussing the situation, Terri broke in to give her opinion.


call on: invite someone to speak at a meeting or a classroom. Example: Professor Jim called on Tim to answer the question.

care for: like someone or something. Example: I don’t care for sour cream on my potato.

carry on: continue (a conversation, a game). Example: Please, carry on. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

catch on: slowly start to understand. Example: He caught on after a few minutes.

catch up: make up for lost time. Example: I will never catch up. I am too behind in my work.

catch up with: speed up to be at the same place as a person or thing in front of you. Example: I had to run to catch up with the others.

catch up on: become up-to-date. Example: I need to catch up on world events.

check by: go to a place to see if everything is OK. Example: We need to check by the office to see if the documents are ready.


die down: diminish in intensity. Example: The controversy about the president’s affair finally died down.

die off/out: become extinct. Example: Whales are in danger of dying off.

disagree with: cause to feel sick due to food or drink. Example: Spicy food disagrees with me.

do away with: abolish. Example: Most rational people want to do away with the death penalty.

do over: repeat. Example: You made many mistakes, so I want you to do the report over.

do without: manage without something one wants or needs. Example: I couldn’t do without a car in California.

draw up: create ( a contract). Example: Let’s draw an agreement up before we go any further with this project.

dress down: reprimand severely. The mother dressed her son down for skipping school.

dress down: dress casually. Example: I am dressing down because we’re going to a barbecue by the beach.

dress up: decorate. Example: You could dress this house up with some bright colors.

dress up: wear elegant clothes. She always dresses up at work.

Now let us see some examples.

Expected Questions

Directions: In the following questions, select a suitable replacement for the word in bold.

Q 1: I am used to hard work.
A) work hard                     B) working hard                 C) working                       D) no improvement

Answer: The correct sentence will be ” I am used to working hard”. Work hard is a phrasal verb while as hard work is an adjective clause. Hence the correct option is A) working hard.

Q 2:  I cannot listen what she is saying.
A) hear what                      B) listen for what                C) listen to that                D) no improvement

Answer: The correct sentence is “I can’t hear what she is saying.” So the correct option here is A) hear what.

Practice Questions

Q 1:  A country will cease to be a member of the EU two years after the trigger of Article 50 unless it reaches an agreement with the European Council to extend that period.
A) triggering of         B) triggered of          C) triggering on         D) triggering in          E) No improvement is required

Ans: A) triggering of

Q 2: Nostalgia gripped the veterans as they spoke about small incidents, painful moments, happy times, togetherness and bonding during the sessions that was engaged and engrossing.
A) was engaging                   B) were engage              C) were engaging             D) are engaging                  E) No improvement is required

Ans: C) were engaging.

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One response to “Phrase Replacement”

  1. Garima says:

    Please provide some more phrasal verbs

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