Most phrasal verbs consist of two words, but a few consist of three words,
which always stay together. This is a list of common phrasal verbs, with
meanings and examples. Phrasal verbs are usually two-word phrases consisting
of verb + adverb or verb + preposition.
Verb Meaning Example
ask someone out - invite on a date - Brian asked Judy out to
dinner and a movie.
ask around - ask many people the same question - I asked around but
nobody has seen my wallet.
add up to something - equal - Your purchases add up to $205.32.
back something up - reverse - You’ll have to back up your car
so that I can get out.
back someone up - support - My wife backed me up over my
decision to quit my job.
blow up - explode - The racing car blew up after it crashed into the
blow something up - add air - We have to blow 50
balloons up for the party.
break down - stop functioning (vehicle, machine) - Our car broke
down at the side of the highway in the snowstorm.
break down - get upset - The woman broke down when the police told her
that her son had died.
break something down - divide into smaller parts - Our
teacher broke the final project down into three separate parts.
break in - force entry to a building - Somebody broke in last night
and stole our stereo.
break into something - enter forcibly - The firemen had to break
into the room to rescue the children.
break something in - wear something a few times so doesn’t
look/feel new I need to break these shoes in before we run that it next
break in - interrupt - The TV station broke in to report the news of
the president’s death.
break up - end a relationship - My boyfriend and I broke up before I
moved to America.