Phrasal Verb is a multi-word verb that has a different meaning from the original verb or root verb. For example, the verb ‘get’ as a root verb has dozens of phrasal verb variations: ‘get up’, ‘get over’, ‘get around’, ‘get around to’ and ‘get into’ are just a few examples.

Some phrasal verbs must be used together and others can be separated in a sentence. The rules vary according to the verb, which can make things confusing. 

There are thousands of phrasal verbs in the English language and they are used quite frequently. Not knowing or not using phrasal verbs correctly can make communication difficult for English language learners.  

To get across :

Definition: to communicate something or to make someone understand something.

How to use it: this verb is separable


I don't think I am getting my point across--he keeps asking me why I am here!

To be a salesman you need to be good at quickly getting the point across to your potential customers.


To peel off :

Definition: to remove a layer (often means that it is hard or not easy to do)

How to use it: this verb is separable


She laboriously peeled the sticker off the back of the picture frame.

The over heated waiting room caused him to peel off several layers of clothing while he waited.


To drop off:


1) to slowly decline

2) to fall asleep

3) to deliver something (like doing an errand)

How to use it: this verb is inseparable for the first and second definitions, and separable for meaning three


The number of people applying for unemployment is slowly dropping off as the economy improves.

Every time to tries to watch a movie with subtitles my husband drops off.

Please drop this package off at the post office for me!


To talk back (to) :

Definition: to speak rudely or disrespectfully (to someone)

How to use it: this verb is inseparable.  If you want to use an indirect object, use "to" before the person.


The little boy is always getting in trouble for talking back to his mother.

"Don't talk back, young lady!" her mother ordered.


To bring down :

Definition: to cause to fall or collapse

How to use it: this verb is separable


The protesters succeeded in bringing down the unfair government.

 His movements brought the tent down on top of him.

Live up to :

Definition: to keep up a standard

How to use it: this verb is inseparable


I hope that the concert will live up to your expectations--I know this is your favorite band!

 I always try to live up to my parents' expectations.

To put up with :

Definition: to tolerate

How to use it: this verb is inseparable


I don't know how you put up with all the noise from your upstairs neighbors!

 He put up with the mess because his roommate was a great cook.

To boil over :

Definition: to overflow the sides of a pot while cooking

How to use it: this verb is inseparable


Be sure not to put too much water in the pot or it will boil over.

The spaghetti sauce boiled over and I had to clean the whole stove!

Add up to :

Definition: to equal a certain level or amount

How to use it: this verb is inseparable


His expenses added up to nearly 10,000 a week!

A three hours flight, then a four hour layover, then another three hour connection--that adds up to a very long trip!

Touch off :

Definition: to begin a problem; to start a problem

How to use it: this verb is inseparable.  It is often used in the past tense.


The water shortage touched off riots in the countryside.

His inappropriate comments touched off an international issue.

Drown out :

Definition: to be so loud that all other sounds are impossible to hear

How to use it: this verb is sometimes separable


The baby's cries drowned out the sound of the alarm clock.

I wish I had something to drown my neighbor's dog's barking out!

Be off :

Definition: to be cancelled; to leave

How to use it: this verb is inseparable.  It is mostly used in the present tense.


He is feeling very sick, so I guess the dinner part is off.

I had a great time tonight.  I'm off! See you later.

Use up :

Definition: to finish; to consume all of something

How to use it: this verb is separable


He used up all the minutes on his phone card telling his parents about his exciting vacation.

Please don't use the sugar up; I want to bake a cake later.

Keep on :

Definition: continue

How to use it: this verb is inseparable.  It is also followed by an -ing verb.


I am tired, but I will keep on working until 5 pm

He kept on sleeping even though his alarm clock was going off.

Cut down :

Definition: to reduce; make smaller or less

How to use it: this verb is inseparable


She started riding the Metro to cut down on car cost.

We had to cut down the old tree in our backyard after it was struck by lightening.

Run something by someone :

Definition: to get someone to approve something; to tell someone about a plan

How to use it: this verb is separable. You need to use both an object (something ) and an indirect object (someone).


I think that idea is wonderful! Let me just run it by my boss.

I still need to run these numbers by accounting to make sure they fit with the budget.

Dear Sha thank you for your encouragement and support.I know you will help me all the time.

Dear friends please leave a comment and encourage me.Thank you my dear friends.

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  • useful n informative ...really good job ,thanks :)

  • Yeah Reddy! You got your message across! So please don't cut down your blogs nor use them up. Keep on doing like this!

    Useful blog again to me :)
  • Oi Mallikarjuna,

         Great job! You moved a very significant issue for the learners of the English language. What more, you did it very thoughtfully and comprehesibly. 

       I think that giving three or four examples to each rule is desirable not only as templates how to use a given "grammatical item", but also as a source of new words.

       Thanks a lot for ur trouble and good will. Keep it up!

  • Awesome. Thanks a lot. All the best.

  • what a useful blog great well done

  • Really great work, thanks!

  • Well done!!! I learned new phrasal verbs thanx to u!! Looking forward to read your next blog :)
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