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 English Phrasal Verbs 


A phrasal verb is a verb followed by a preposition or an adverb; the combination creates a meaning different from the original verb.

Alphabetical lists of commonly-used phrasal verbs in English.

 Alphabetical List - C 


  • call after
    • Give a child the same name as someone else.
      "His name is Charles. He's called after his grandfather."

  • call at
    • Stop at a place briefly (harbour, port, station...)
      "The train calls at Newbridge and Glenville on the way to the capital."

  • call back
    • Return a phone call.
      "I'll call you back as soon as possible."

  • call for
    • Go somewhere to get someone.
      "I'll call for you at 8 o'clock. Make sure you're ready!"

    • Demand that something be done.
      "The opposition has called for an investigation into the misuse of public funds."

    • Be required or necessary.
      "The job calls for excellent computer skills."

    • Be an appropriate occasion for something.
      "The happy announcement calls for champagne."

  • call forth
    • Produce a reaction or result; evoke.
      "The politician's statement called forth a hostile reaction from the crowd."
      "That song calls forth sad memories."

  • call in
    • Make a telephone call to a place.
      "Caroline called in to say that her plane had been delayed and that she would arrive late."

    • Ask someone to come and do a job.
      "The dishwasher has stopped working. I don't know whether to call in an electrician or a plumber."

  • call in (on)
    • Stop and pay a visit to someone.
      "I'm going to call in on my parents on my way home from work this evening."

  • call off
    • Cancel.
      "The meeting was called off because of the strike."

  • call on/upon
    • Formally request or invite.
      "I now call upon the President to address the assembly."

  • call out
    • Shout something.
      "The  child disappeared from the playground. His mother called out his name but he didn't answer."

  • call round
    • Go to a place to see someone.
      "The nurse said she would call round this afternoon to check on my mother."

  • call up
    • Phone someone.
      "The secretary called up all the area manageres to arrange a meeting."

    • Summon someone for military service.
      "My father was called up to active duty as soon as the war broke out."

  • calm down
    • Become more relaxed or less angry/upset.
      "He was angry at first, but he eventually calmed down."

  • carry on
    • Continue.
      "Charlie carried on gardening in spite of the rain."

  • carry out
    • Do something as specified (plan, order, threat...)
      "The plan was carried out to perfection."

    • Perform or conduct (test, experiment ...)
      "Tests are carried out to determine the efficiency of a new drug."

  • carry over
    • Postpone until later.
      "As regards holidays, can we carry over days from one year to the next?"



  • catch up on
    • Acquire information you have missed.
      "I must call my mother to catch up on the latest family events."

  • catch up with
    • Reach the same stage as someone else.
      "I've missed some classes so I'll have to work hard to catch up with the others."

  • check in
    • Register at a hotel or an airport.
      "For security reasons, you have to check in two hours before your flight."

  • check out
    • Pay one's bill and leave (a hotel)
      "Is Mr. Brown still at the hotel? No, he checked out this morning.

    • Investigate or verify something.
      "I don't know if the address is still valid. I'll check it out. "

  • cheer up
    • Put someone in a better mood.
      "I told her a joke to try and cheer her up.

  • chip in
    • Contribute to or participate in something done by a group.
      "Bob has decided to retire and we're going to buy him a present. Do you want to chip in? "

  • clam up
    • Refuse to speak.
      "When the police arrived, the boy clammed up."

  • clamp down on
    • Act strictly to prevent something.
      "The government decided to clamp down on smoking in public areas. "

  • close down
    • Stop operating (company, restaurant, cinema ...)
      "When the factory closed down, the employees lost their jobs. "

  • come across
    • Find by chance, encounter.
      "Julie came across some photographs of her grandparents in the attic."

    • Appear, seem, make an impression.
      "The candidate came across as a dynamic person during the interview. "

  • come down with
    • Become ill with.
      "The architect planned to attend the inauguration but unfortunately he came down with the flu yesterday."

  • come forward
    • Present oneself; volunteer.
      "The police have asked any witnesses to come forward. "

  • come up against
    • Be faced with or opposed by.
      "The plan to demolish the old theatre came up against a lot of criticism."

  • come up with
    • Produce an idea or plan.
      "Sacha came up with a great idea for the party."

  • conk out
    • Stop working.
      "The car conked out on the motorway."

    • Fall asleep (from exhaustion).
      "He was so exhausted, he conked out in front of the television. "



  • consist in
    • Have something as its principal or only feature.
      "The elegance of the building consists in its simplicity. "

  • consist of
    • Be composed or made up of. 
      "The jury consists of five members."

  • count on
    • Rely or depend on.
      "I'm counting on the taxi driver to find the theatre."

  • cross out
    • Remove by drawing a line through. 
      "In some exercises you are asked to cross out the incorrect word."

  • cut across/through
    • Go across to shorten one's route. 
      "I usually cut across the park on my way to work."

  • cut back
    • Reduce or decrease.
      "It was decided to cut back production."

  • cut down
    • Strike down, cut at the base.
      "A number of trees were cut down before the construction work started."

    • Kill or cause to die.
      "He was cut down by pneumonia."

  • cut down on
    • Reduce in number or size. 
      "The doctor told him to cut down on cigarettes."

  • cut in
    • Interrupt somebody speaking.  
      "During his presentation of the project a journalist cut in."

  • cut off
    • Discontinue; interrupt.
      "The operator cut off our conversation before we had finished."

    • Be separated or isolated.
      "Our group was cut off from the others so we got lost!."

  • cut out
    • Remove using scissors.
      "She cut out a picture of the actor in a magazine."

    • Stop doing something.
      "I'm going to cut out eating sweet food."

More Phrasal Verbs: 

A B C D E-F G H I-J-K L M-N O-P-Q R-S T U-Z



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