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English Phrasal Verbs

Alphabetical list I-J-K of commonly-used phrasal verbs.

Phrasal Verbs beginning with the letter 'I', 'J' or 'K'


  • ice over
    • Become covered with a layer of ice
      "The temperatures suddenly dropped so low that the lake iced over."

  • idle away
    • Waste time doing nothing much.
      "He idles away hours every day watching television."

  • iron out
    • Resolve by discussion; eliminate differences.
      "The meeting tomorrow will be an opportunity to iron out difficulties."

  • impose on/upon
    • Ask too much of someone.
      "Is it alright if I stay? I don't want to impose upon your hospitabity."

  • improve on/upon
    • Make better.
      The runner trained regularly to improve on his previous performance.

  • indulge in
    • Allow yourself to enjoy something.
      "I’ve been dieting all week but today I'm going to indulge in a dessert."

  • insure against
    • Guarantee compensation for damage, injury, etc.
      "The passengers on the boat are all fully insured."

  • invite out
    • Ask someone to join you for lunch, dinner, etc.
      "Harry invited her out for dinner."

  • issue forth
    • Come or flow out of somewhere.
      "A great quantity of water issued forth from the pipe when it burst."
      "A large number of declarations issued forth from political leaders after the invasion."


  • join in
    • Participate in something.
      "We couldn't persuade Eva to join in the game. She was too shy."

  • join up
    • Engage in, become a member of.
      "John was in the army and Tom joined up as soon as he left school."

    • Meet and unite with.
      "The two groups of tourists joined up at the hotel."

  • jot down
    • Take quick notes.
      "I jotted down the address while watching a documentary on television. "

  • keep at
    • Persevere.
      "His father encouraged him to keep at his studies."

  • keep back
    • Retain; force to stay back.
      "A barrier will be installed to keep back the fans."

  • keep in
    • Retain; not let someone or something out.
      "We keep in the dog when the postman arrives."

  • keep on
    • Continue doing something.
      "I told the children to be quiet but they kept on making noise."

  • keep up with
    • Stay at the same level as someone or something.
      "Bill walks so fast it's difficult to keep up with him."

  • kneel down
    • Go down on your knees.
      "Most people kneel down to pray."

  • kick off
    • Begin; start.
      "The football match is planned to kick off at 3 p.m."

  • knock back
    • Drink quickly (usually alcohol).
      "He knocked back a pint of beer and then went home."

  • knock down
    • Strike someone or something to the ground.
      "The child was knocked down by a car on the way to school."
      "The tree was knocked down during the storm."

  • knock out
    • Cause someone to fall unconscious.
      "The boxer was knocked out in the first round."

  • know of
    • Have heard of; have knowledge about.
      "Do you know of anyone else attending the conference?"

More Phrasal Verbs: 

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