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English Language > English Grammar > Phrasal Verbs
English Grammar

Phrasal Verbs

In grammar, phrasal verbs play an important part in the English language. They can be confusing at times since the phrase has a different meaning to the individual words. And hence it is heavily tested in bank exams such as IBPS, SSC etc. Let us learn a few important phrasal verbs.

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Phrasal Verbs

Verbs are not necessarily just one word. At times an entire phrase is considered a verb. Here the main verb is followed by an adverb or a preposition. And the entire idiom or phrase together is known as a phrasal verb. Let us see some examples of this.

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Phrasal Verbs

One very important thing to know about Phrasal verbs is that the meaning of the phrase or the idiom will often be different than the meaning of the individual words. So the phrase will have an individualistic meaning. Some examples of this are as follows

  • Take the phrase “blow up”. The meaning of the phrase is “to explode”. The individual words have different meaning and the phrase have a totally different meaning.
  • “Look up” is a phrasal verb that means to search for something. Again the meaning of the phrase is different from the meaning of the words that make up the phrase.

Some Important Phrasal Verbs

Let us now take a look at some important phrasal verbs and their meanings. These verbs we use in our day to day communication, and it is important to be aware of them.

Phrasal Verbs Meaning Example
 Ask after Enquire about  I met her last night, she asked after your grandmother.
 Breakthrough An achievement or success The invention of planes was a breakthrough for mankind.
Carry away To be excited and lose control  After his recent success, Alex got carried away and ended up alienating himself from his friends.
 Drop in Visit someone The doctor decided to drop in and check on Mrs Smith
Fall out Have an argument or quarrel  He and his brother had a falling out over that car.
Get away with Escape punishment or consequences The robber got away with only a minor fine due to the lack of evidence against him.
Hold out Resist difficulties The army held out even in sub-zero temperatures.
Look into Investigate The police decided to look into the matter after they were convinced it was a robbery.
 Jump at grab or accept an opportunity with eagerness I jumped at the chance to work with Mr Ray.
Make up End a fight, Compromise The feud between the neighbours had gone on long enough, it was time to make up.
Put up Stay somewhere temporarily I put up at my aunt’s place till the storm passed.
Standby Support or help I knew that my parents were always going to stand by my decision.
Talk over Discuss The board will talk over the matter and come to a conclusion by tomorrow.

Solved Questions for You

Q: The job was taking (1) a toll on Roger (2), he was completely burnt away (3). Which part of the sentence is wrong?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Sentence is correct

Ans: The correct answer is C. Burn away is not the phrasal verb to be used here. The correct verb is ‘burn out’ which means to be exhausted and tired. So the correct sentence will be “The job was taking a toll on Roger, he was completely burnt out.

Q: As soon as he reached (1) home he set up (2) doing the housework (3). Which part of the sentence is wrong?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Sentence is correct

Ans: The correct answer is B. Set up means to establish something. the correct phrasal verb here should be ‘set about’ which means to start doing some work. So the correct sentence will be “As soon as he reached home he set about doing the housework”.

Q: It was getting late (1), so the teacher decided to wind (2) his work and leave for home (3). Which part of the sentence is wrong?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Sentence is correct

Ans: The answer is B. Here the verb that is correct is “wind up”. ‘wind’ means air, whereas ‘wind up’ means to wrap up something. So the correct sentence will be “It was getting late, so the teacher decided to wind up his work and leave for home”.

Q: As the storm weakened the wind died ____.

  1. down
  2. away
  3. off
  4. none of the above

Ans: The correct answer is A. ‘Die down’ means to gradually disappear or weaned. So the correct sentence will be “As the storm weakened the wind died down”.

Practice Questions

Q: The heavy rains (1) caused the car (2) to break out (3). Which part of the sentence is wrong?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Sentence is correct

Ans: C (break down)

Q: She decided (1) to look after (2) her old school friends (3) on Facebook. Which part of the sentence is wrong?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Sentence is correct

Ans: B (look up)

Q: He put up (1) an appearance of innocence (2) till the guilt caught up (3) with him. Which part of the sentence is wrong?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Sentence is correct

Ans: A (put on)

Q: Mary instantly broke ____ in tears on after the exam.

  1. in
  2. up
  3. out
  4. down

Ans; D

Q: Even though their wealth was gone, the family decided to keep ___ with appearances.

  1. up
  2. in
  3. to
  4. none of the above

Ans: A

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