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English Phrasal Verbs

Alphabetical list R-S of commonly-used phrasal verbs.

Phrasal Verbs beginning with the letter 'R' or 'S'

  • rake up
    • Recall unpleasant memories or events
      "She's constantly raking up old quarrels."

  • ramp up
    • Increase the quantity or amount
      "The company ramped up production to meet the demand."

  • reel off / rattle off
    • Recite without effort or pause, from memory.
      "Stella amazed everyone by reeling off all the phrasal verbs she had learned."

  • rely on
    • Count on; depend on; trust
      "Don't worry. You can rely on me. I can keep a secret."

  • rig out (verb)
    • Dress or equip.
      "The old lady arrived all rigged out in her best clothes."

  • ring back (also: call back)
    • Return a phone call.
      "John rang this morning and asked if you could ring him back."

  • ring off
    • End a phone call.
      "The caller gave his name and then rang off."

  • rub out
    • Erase.
      Write it in pencil so that you can rub it out later if you want to change it.

  • rule out
    • Eliminate.
      "The police are still investigating but they have ruled out political motives."

  • run away
    • Escape from a place or suddenly leave.
      "He ran away from home at the age of fourteen."

  • run about/around
    • Be busy doing many different things.
      "Julie has been running about/around all week getting ready for the wedding."

  • run across
    • Run to the other side of something (a road, a bridge...).
      "The pickpocket ran across the road and jumped onto a bus."

  • run after
    • Chase something.
      "Tom threw the ball along the beach and the dog ran after it."

  • run into (also : bump into)
    • Meet by accident or unexpectedly .
      "Sophie ran into Maria at the shopping centre."

  • run on
    • Continue without interruption.
      "We didn’t expect the chairman's speech to run on for so long.”

  • run out
    • Expire, come to an end.
      "Let’s order now before the offer runs out.”

  • run out of
    • Have no more of something.
      "What a nuisance! We've run out of coffee."

  • run up
    • Accumulate a debt.
      "James ran up a large amount in hotel expenses at the trade fair."

    • Make something quickly.
      "My mother can run up a pair of curtains in no time.”

  • run up against
    • Encounter difficulties or problems.
      "The property developer ran up against strong local opposition."

  • scale back/scale down
    • Make something smaller than originally intended.
      "Due to the crisis the company had to scale down the size of the plant."

  • scrape along
    • Live with barely enough money
      "He managed to scrape along with very little money until he found a job."

  • scrape together/scrape up
    • Manage to find or collect enough of something you need, usually money.
      "We finally scraped together enough money to buy an old car."

  • scrape through
    • Succeed with difficulty.
      "How I scraped through the exam is still a mystery to me!"

  • set about
    • Begin to do something.
      "She set about tidying the house."

  • set apart
    • Have a distinguishing characteristic.
      "The fact that she spoke several languages set her apart from the other candidates."

  • set aside
    • Reserve for future use.
      "We're always careful to set aside money for the rent."

  • set back
    • Delay something.
      "Bad weather set back the construction work."

  • set down
    • Record in writing.
      "The rules were set down in a handbook."

  • set forth
    • Start a journey.
      "They set forth on their expedition in April."

  • set in
    • Take root, begin and continue
      "It's snowing today. Winter has set in."
      "A few months after changing jobs, regret set in."

  • set off
    • Start a journey.
      "Early Saturday morning we set off for the ski slopes."

  • set off
    • Initiate something
      "Opening a window will set off the alarm."
      "Fireworks were set off just before midnight."

  • set on/upon
    • Attack
      "The burglars were set on/upon by the dog."

  • set up
    • Start a business.
      "Victoria set up her own company 10 years ago."

  • set up
    • Establish or organize.
      "The hikers set up camp near a lake."

  • settle for
    • Accept something not quite satisfactory
      "I was hoping for a better proposal but I'll settle for the amount you offer."

  • settle in/into
    • Get used to a new place or home
      "How are the children settling into their new school?."

  • shop around
    • Compare prices.
      "It's always wise to shop around before buying anything."

  • show off
    • Brag or want to be admired.
      "There's Donald showing off in his new sports car!"

  • show up
    • Appear; arrive.
      "We expected William to come but he didn't show up."

  • shut up (impolite)
    • Be silent, stop talking.
      "Oh shut up you idiot!"

  • sign away
    • Give up one's rights or ownership.
      "He signed away his property and joined a religious community."

  • sign in
    • Register (e.g. at a hotel).
      "As soon as we've signed in we'll go and get something to eat ."

  • sign out
    • Pay your bill and leave (e.g. a hotel).
      "At 9 o'clock he signed out and left for the airport."

  • sign over (to)
    • Transfer ownership of something.
      "He signed over the house to his two children."

  • sign up (for)
    • Enroll in an activity.
      Emma signed up for a computer course.

  • sign up (with)
    • Sign an agreement to work for somebody.
      "Paul has signed up with a news agency."

  • sing along (with)
    • Sing while someone else is singing or playing the same piece of music.
      "While the band played her favourite tune, Alice sang along with them."

  • single out
    • Select for special attention.
      "Two of the boys were singled out for extra coaching.

  • sink in
    • Be fully understood.
      "In spite of the detailed news reports, it took a while for the scale of the disaster to sink in."

  • sit down
    • Take a seat.
      "Please come in and sit down."

  • sleep in
    • Sleep longer and get up later than usual.
      "Tomorrow is Saturday, so I can sleep in!"

  • sleep over
    • Stay overnight at someone else's home.
      "You're welcome to sleep over if you don't want to drive in this weather."

  • slip up
    • Make a mistake.
      "You slipped up there! His name is Alex, not Alan!"

  • slow down
    • Decelerate; go more slowly.
      "George! You're going to cause an accident. Slow down!"

  • 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."

  • sort out
    • Organise, resolve a problem.
      "There was a misunderstanding but Lea sorted it out."
      "Students should sort out their books at the end of the school year."

  • speed up
    • Accelerate; go faster.
      "We need to speed up the registration procedure."

  • spit (something) out
    • Stop hesitating and say what you have to say.
      "Come on Tommy ! Just spit it out and tell us what happened !"

  • splash out
    • Buy something expensive.
      "He splashed out on a diamond necklace for his girlfriend!"

  • stand for
    • Represent, mean.
      "VAT stands for value added tax."

    • Tolerate.
      "There's no way I'm going to stand for such bad behaviour!"

  • stand up
    • Rise from a sitting position
      "The pupils stood up when the headmaster arrived."

  • stand up for
    • Support or defend someone or something.
      "You must learn to be assertive and stand up for your personal views."

  • stay in
    • Remain at home rather than go out.
      "I stayed in all afternoon waiting for a delivery."

  • stick around
    • Stay somewhere for some time.
      "I'll stick around until the end of the parade."

  • stick out
    • Come out.
      "The speaker's shirt was sticking out from his trousers."

    • Become noticeable.
      "With that dress you'll really stick out!"

  • stick (something) out
    • Tolerate, accept to continue.
      "Lunch with my girlfriend's colleagues was boring but I had to stick it out - I had no choice!"

  • stick to
    • Continue without changing anything.
      "We must decide on a plan of action and stick to it."

  • stick together
    • Support each other.
      "Good friends always stick together."

  • stick with
    • Continue using or doing something.
      "I'll stick with this grammar book because it has everything I need."

  • string along
    • Let someone continue to believe something false.
      "If you’re not in love with her, then tell her so. Don’t string her along."

More Phrasal Verbs: 

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