Tag Archives: Phrasal verbs

Business Phrasal Verbs: Learn English Vocabulary

Business Phrasal Verbs

This post looks at phrasal verbs, in particular, business phrasal verbs.  A phrasal verb is a phrase describing a usually single worded verb in more than one word.  They can be made using a verb and an adverb or a proposition, or both.


Phrasal verbs are not usually used in formal, academic writing or business contracts.  However, they are very common in everyday English and often used in business situations such as emails, memos, conversation and small-talk.


Most phrasal verbs, but not all, have the same meaning as another verb.  For example,

Make up = to invent

My grandad was always good at making up funny stories. We used to listen to his stories for hours.

Some phrasal verbs have more than one meaning:

Make up = to invent (to create something or think of something that is completely new)

Make up = to reconcile (to become friends again with someone after an argument or disagreement)


Phrasal Verbs




Branch out

Expand a business (often into a different area of trade/business)



Our range of sports equipment is selling well. We thought we might branch out into sportswear. 



Back up

Make a copy of files etc on a computer



Don’t forget to back everything up before you leave tonight.



Call back

Return a telephone call


I’m afraid she’s in a meeting.  Can I ask her to call you back?



Call off

Cancel or stop something from happening



We need to call off tomorrow’s trip to Head Office. The boss is ill.



Carry on



I don’t think we can carry on with our plans to buy the new factory.



Carry out

Do something (especially something you said you would do)



We can’t stop now.  We need to carry out the plans to build a new office. 


Come up with




Think of (usually an idea, plan or suggestion)


Can anyone come up with an idea for the Christmas party this year?


Deal with

Meet or talk to someone (usually as part of your job)



I had to deal with some very difficult clients today.  I’m exhausted.



Fill out/in

Complete a form


He needs to fill out an application form.



Hold on



Can you hold on, please, I need to get my diary.



Lay off

To make someone redundant


The company is losing money. I hope they don’t have to lay anybody off.




Note down

Make a note of something/write something down



I forgot to take a note of his name and address.


Run out of

To use/finish/sell all of something



We’ve run out of envelopes. Can you order some, please?


Set up

Formally establish a new company, business or system



He set up his own business five years ago. I think he is a website designer.




Set up (2)



Organise an event or activity that is going to happen



Can you set up a meeting with the directors for next Monday?



Take on





We have taken on six new members of staff in the last four months.



Take over



Take control of


Our company has been taken over by a big American corporation.



Take up



Occupy/fill time


I hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time!



Weigh up




Have you weighed up all the possibilities?

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Phrasal verbs with take: learn English grammar and vocabulary


Phrasal verbs with take: learn English grammar and vocabulary

Phrasal verbs with take


This post looks at everyday expressions and phrasal verbs with take.  Phrasal verbs are a phrase of two or more words, usually a verb and a preposition or a verb, adverb and prepositions.  In English there are many phrasal verbs with take and they often have a more ‘formal’ equivalent. e.g.  take after somebody = to resemble



Take after somebody


 = To look like or behave like another member of the family

It seems like she takes after her father.  He used to be really good at chess too.


The twins also take after their mother. They both have the same dark brown hair and the same nose.


Take apart


= To separate something in to parts


When my daughter was young she used to take everything apart because she wanted to see how things worked.


Take care of something or something


= To be responsible for somebody or something


Would you mind also taking care of our cat while we’re on holiday as well as the hamster?


Take it out of somebody


= Make someone very tired


That run really took it out of me so I’m probably going to have a bath and relax for a bit.

Continue reading Phrasal verbs with take: learn English grammar and vocabulary

Advanced English expressions with get: Learn English grammar and vocabulary

Advanced English Expressions with GET


Get is one of the most used verbs in the English language.  Therefore it is not surprise that there are many phrasal verbs and expressions containing it. This post is for upper-intermediate and advanced students and it looks at advanced English expressions with ‘get’.

Get hold/ahold of (idiom) = reach someone by telephone/message/text etc

‘I couldn’t get ahold of Tom so I couldn’t ask him to join us tonight.’


Get a feel for something = begin to understand how to do something or use something

‘When you learn to drive you have to get a feel for using the gears and pedals.  After a while, you do it all automatically.’

Continue reading Advanced English expressions with get: Learn English grammar and vocabulary