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 English Phrasal Verbs 

Commonly-used phrasal verbs.

 Phrasal Verbs with UP 

Phrasal Verb Meaning Example
Add up Calculate the total amount ”Your purchases add up to 95€.”
Add up Make sense; be logical "Her explanation doesn't add up."
Back up Copy a computer document as a security measure "It is recommended to back up all files for safety purposes."
Back up Support or defend "If I tell the boss we've got too much work, will you back me up?"
Back up Reverse a vehicle towards or against something The car beeped as he backed it up against the wall.
Block up Fill a passage or opening “All the windows have been blocked up in the old building.”
Blow up Explode “A bomb blew up outside the bank.”
Break up Separate; end a relationship “Carla and Alex have broken up.”
Brighten up Lighten “The sky is brightening up a little.”
Brighten up Become happier “Jimmy brightened up as soon as his girlfriend arrived.”
Bring up Raise a child “All parents want to bring up their children as best they can.”
Build up Develop “They’ve built up a thriving business over the past 20 years.”
Burn up Destroy entirely by heat “The whole house burned up in the fire.”
Call up Telephone “Let’s call up the Windsors and invite them over.”
Catch up (with) Reach the same level or standard “She ran very fast so that he wouldn’t catch up with her.”
"After his illness he had to work hard to catch up with the other pupils."
Check up Verify something; make sure that something is ok "I need to check up on a few things before making a decision."
Chop up Cut into small pieces Chop up an onion and add it to the other ingredients.”
Cheer up Make someone happier “Emily looks sad. Let’s see if we can cheer her up.”
Clear up Make a place tidy again “We need to clear up the place before our parents get back.”
Close up Lock the doors of a place “The beach restaurants all close up in winter.”
Crack up Laugh so hard that it hurts “That child says the funniest things – he cracks me up!”
Do up Fasten "You should do up your jacket. It's cold outside."
Draw up Move something closer "My father drew up a chair for the visitor."
Draw up Prepare a document, list or plan "We must make sure the plans are properly drawn up."
Draw up Bring oneself into an erect position Jack drew himself up when his name was called.”
Dress up Wear smarter clothes than usual “There’s no need to dress up. Just come as you are.”
Dress up Wear a costume or disguise "He dressed up in a skeleton for Halloween."
Dry up No longer contain water "The land dried up so it was impossible to grow any crops."
Eat up Finish all your food "You must eat up all your vegetables if you want dessert!"
Fix up Repair or decorate “They had to fix up the apartment before moving in.”
Fix up Arrange something “I’ll fix you up with a golf partner.”
Get up Rise; leave bed "What time do you usually get up in the morning?"
Give up Stop doing something “You’re coughing a lot. You should give up smoking!”
Go up Increase; rise "The price of petrol is expected to go up."
Grow up Spend your childhood "I grew up in a small village."
Grow up Become an adult "Don't be so childish. You need to grow up!"
Heat up Make hotter "I'm going to heat up some soup."
Hurry up Move or act more quickly "Hurry up. We're going to miss the bus!"
Keep up Go at the same speed. "Don't walk so fast! I can"t keep up with you."

Liven up Make something more fun "Let's liven up things with some music!"
Lock up Close the doors and windows securely "It's time to lock up the shop and go home."
Look up Find something; seach for "Did you look up the word in the dictionary?"
Make up Invent “Some of us make up excuses when we arrive late for work.”
Make up Prepare a bed for use "You can stay here tonight. I'll make up a bed for you."
Make up Become friends again "Come on you two! It's time to shake hands and make up."
Meet up Arrange to meet "What time are we meeting up on Saturday?"
Mix up Confuse; mistake a person for someone else "Sorry. I'm afraid you're mixing me up with someone else."
Mix up Not arrange things properly. "File th papers properly. Don't mix up everything."
Open up Become available or start business "A new railway line has opened up."
Pack up Put everything in boxes "He packed up his belongings and left."
Pick up Gather "She picked up the toys and put them away."
Pick up Improve over time "The patient's health picked up gradually."
Pick up Learn "The children picked up English very quickly."
Pull up Stop "The driver pulled up at the traffic lights."
Push up Force to rise or increase "The conflict pushed up the price of petrol.”
Put up Raise, build or erect "They put up a fence between their houses."
Put up with Tolerate; accept "I don't know how you can put up with such behaviour!"
Rake up Recall unpleasant memories "She's constantly raking up old quarrels."
Ramp up Increase the quantity or amount "The company ramped up production to meet the demand."
Run up Accumulate a debt "James ran up a large amount in hotel expenses at the trade fair."
Set up Arrange "A meeting was set up to discuss the project."
Show up Appear; arrive "We expected William to come but he didn't show up."
Shut up Close or imprison "We shut up all the windows before the storm."
"Prisoners are
shut up in cells."
Shut up Stop speaking (rude) "Shut up and stop interfering!"
Soak up Absorb "She got a sponge to soak up the water."
"We soaked up the sun all afternoon."
Sober up Get rid of the effects of too much alcohol "Jack decided to go for a long walk to sober up."
Speak up Speak in a louder voice “You need to speak up. We can’t hear you.”
Speed up Accelerate; go faster "We need to speed up deliveries."
Split up End a relationship "Carla has split up with her boyfriend."
Stand up Rise from a sitting position "The pupils stand up when the headmaster arrives."
Start up Begin something "She started up a conversation with another patient."
Start up Make something work "It's time to start up the engines."
Take up Make something shorter "That skirt is too long. It will need to be taken up."
Take up Start as a hobby or pastime "My father took up golf when he retired."
Take up Occupy too much space or time "The big table takes up too much room."
Take up Continue after an interruption "She took up the story where Bill had left off."
Think up Invent a plan or find an idea or solution "We'll have to think up an excuse to leave early."
Turn up Appear; arrive "Her train was delayed so she turned up an hour late."
Use up Use something until there is none left “My mother uses up the leftover vegetables to make soup.”
Wake up Stop sleeping "Wake up! It's eight o'clock."
Warm up Make hotter "Here's a coat to warm you up."
Wash up Wash the dishes after a meal "Who's going to help me wash up?"
Wash up Be carried onto the land or shore "Items from the boat were washed up on the beach."
Wind up Finish or put an end to something "Before winding up his speech he thanked everyone for their presence."
"Larry decided to wind up his business and retire."
Wind up Arrive finally in a place "After a long drive we finally wound up in a village with a spectacular view."
Work up Develop "A good walk will work up an appetite."
Wrap up Cover; enclose "She's busy right now. She's wrapping up her Christmas presents."
Wrap up Complete (as task, a discussion) "The salesman hoped to wrap up a few deals at the end of the demonstration."

More Phrasal Verbs: 



Phrasal verbs and exercises 

English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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