Main English Phrasal Verbs in Use: Advanced
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English Phrasal Verbs in Use: Advanced

,
This reference and practice book contains 60 attractive two-page units featuring approximately 1,000 phrasal verbs. This new level of English Phrasal Verbs in Use is specifically designed for advanced level students looking to improve their knowledge of this often difficult area of the English language. The book includes many phrasal verbs useful to students preparing for the Cambridge CAE, CPE and IELTS examinations.
Year:
2017
Edition:
2nd
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Language:
english
Pages:
190 / 194
ISBN 10:
1316628094
ISBN 13:
978-1-316-62809-6
Series:
In use; In use
File:
PDF, 11.83 MB
Download (pdf, 11.83 MB)

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ENGLISH

PHRASAL VERBS
60 units of vocabulary
reference and practice
Self-study and
classroom use

IN USE

Second Edition

Advanced
Michael McCarthy
Felicity O’Dell

ENGLISH

PHRASAL VERBS
60 units of vocabulary
reference and practice
Self-study and
classroom use

IN USE

Second Edition

Advanced
Michael McCarthy
Felicity O’Dell

University Printing House, Cambridge CB2 8BS, United Kingdom
One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10006, USA
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Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge.
It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of
education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.
www.cambridge.org
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781316628096
© Cambridge University Press 2017
This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without the written
permission of Cambridge University Press.
First published 2007
Second Edition 2017
20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Printed in Dubai by Oriental Press
A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library
ISBN 978-1-316-62809-6
Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy
of URLs for external or third-party Internet websites referred to in this publication,
and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain,
accurate or appropriate. Information regarding prices, travel timetables and other
factual information given in this work is correct at the time of first printing but
Cambridge University Press does not guarantee the accuracy of such information
thereafter.

Contents
Acknowledgements

3

Functions

Using this book

4

22

Supporting and opposing people
or views

; 48

Agreeing

50

Understanding and having ideas

52

Arranging things

54

Talking about size and number

56

Talking about success and failure

58

Discussing problems

60

Deciding and influencing

62

Exclamations and warnings

64

Learning about phrasal verbs

Collocation and phrasal verbs

14

23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

Register

16

Work, study and finance

Meaning and metaphor

18

Idioms using phrasal verbs

20

1

Phrasal verbs: what are they and
how are they used?

6

2
3
4

Grammar of phrasal verbs

8

Phrasal nouns

10

Phrasal adjectives

12

Interesting aspects of phrasal verbs

5
6
7
8

Around and about

22

Down

24

In

26

31
32
33
34
35
36

Off

28

Personal life

On

30

Out

32

Up

34

37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46

Key particles

9
10
11
12
13
14
15

Concepts

16
17
18
19
20
21

Time

36

Cause and effect

38

Memory

40

Making progress

42

Conflict and violence

44

Sound

46

Work

66

Study

68

Lectures and seminars

70

Writing essays

72

Business

74

Money

76

At home

78

Clothing and appearance

80

Relationships

82

Character and personal qualities

84

Feelings

86

Social life

88

Health and symptoms

90

The body

92

How people speak

94

How people move

96

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

1

The world around us

47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55

Nature

98

Weather

100

Places

102

Transport

104

The news

106

Secrets and lies

108

Rules and laws

110

Technology

112

Food and drink

114

Key verbs

56
57
58
59
60

2

Come

116

Get

118

Go

120

Keep

122

Take

124

Key

126

Mini dictionary

162

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Acknowledgements English Phrasal
Verbs in Use Advanced
Joy Godwin wrote two new units for the Second Edition: Unit 23, Agreeing, and Unit 33,
Lectures and seminars. The publishers would like to thank Joy for her contribution to this edition.
The authors and publishers acknowledge the following sources of copyright material and
are grateful for the permissions granted. While every effort has been made, it has not always
been possible to identify the sources of all the material used, or to trace all copyright holders.
If any omissions are brought to our notice, we will be happy to include the appropriate
acknowledgements on reprinting and in the next update to the digital edition, as applicable.
Key: T = Top, B = Below, C = Centre, TL = Top Left, TR = Top Right, CL = Centre Left, CR = Centre Right,
BR = Below Right, BL = Below Left.

Photographs
All the photographs are sourced from Getty Images.
p. 12 (TR): Plume Creative; p. 12 (CL): Jim Craigmyle/First Light; p. 12 (BR): diego_cervo/iStock;
p. 13 (TL): DonNichols/iStock; p. 13 (TR): Colin Anderson/Blend Images; p. 13 (BL): Camilo
Morales/Blend Images; p. 13 (BR): View Pictures; p. 26: Thomas Barwick/Digital Vision; p. 32 (T):
Robert Harding; p. 32 (B): iStock; p. 40 (T): ivanastar/iStock; p. 40 (C): Wolfgang Ehn/LOOK-foto;
p. 40 (B): michaeljung/iStock; p. 43 (TL): fstop123/E+; p. 43 (BR): Hill Street Studios/Blend Images;
p. 45: Maskot; p. 50: Ezra Bailey/Taxi; p. 52 (TR): Phil Boorman/Cultura; p. 52 (BR) & p. 66 (photo 3):
Hero Images; p. 55 (TR): PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou; p. 55 (BL): Image Source; p. 56: gilaxia/E+;
p. 58 (TR): Chris Ryan/The Image Bank; p. 58 (CR): omersukrugoksu/iStock; p. 58 (BR): Dougal
Waters/DigitalVision; p. 60: Ezra Bailey/Iconica; p. 66 (photo 1): Sam Diephuis/Blend Images;
p. 66 (photo 2): Colin Hawkins/Stone; p. 66 (photo 4): Blend Images/Trinette Reed; p. 66 (photo 5):
Indeed; p. 66 (photo 6): Peter Dazeley/Photographer’s Choice; p. 70 (TR): skynesher/E+; p. 70
(BR): monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus; p. 76 (T): DmitriyOsipov/iStock; p. 76
(BR): RoBeDeRo/E+; p. 90 (TR): Chris Parker/Perspectives; p. 90 (BR): Betsie Van Der Meer/Taxi;
p. 98 (photo 1): Thorsten Milse/robertharding; p. 98 (photo 2): ClaraNila/iStock; p. 98 (photo 3):
EcoPic/iStock; p. 99: WLDavies/iStock; p. 101 (photo 1): Apriori1/iStock; p. 101 (photo 2): Walter
Zerla/Blend Images; p. 101 (photo 3): Slava Bowman/EyeEm; p. 101 (photo 4): Anke Wittkowski/
EyeEm; p. 101 (photo 5): Edwin Remsberg/The Image Bank; p. 101 (photo 6): mshch/iStock;
p. 102: Robin Bush/Oxford Scientific; p. 109: Di_Studio/iStock; p. 110 (TR): tunart/E+; p. 110
(BR): Image Source/DigitalVision; p. 114 (fruits): 109508Liane Riss; p. 114 (vegetables): Teubner/
StockFood Creative; p. 114 (pizza): Ed Nano/StockFood Creative; p. 114 (salad): Doram/E+;
p. 120: StudioCampo; p. 121: Kirillica/iStock; p. 124: Yuri_Arcurs/DigitalVision.

Illustrations
Ludmila (KJA Artists), Katie Mac (NB Illustration), Martina (KJA Artists), Gavin Reece (New
Division) and Miguel Diaz Rivas (Advocate Art).

Cambridge Dictionaries
Cambridge Dictionaries are the world’s most widely used dictionaries for learners of English. The
dictionaries are available in print and online at dictionary.cambridge.org. Copyright © Cambridge
University Press, reproduced with permission.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

3

Using this book
Why was this book written?
It was written to help you take your knowledge of phrasal verbs to a more advanced level. It is
intended for students who already have at least an upper intermediate level of English. Many
of you will have already worked with English Phrasal Verbs in Use Intermediate and this book
builds on the work done there. However, it does not matter if you have gained your knowledge
of phrasal verbs in a different way. We do not assume that you have used English Phrasal Verbs in
Use Intermediate, although we do present and practise either different phrasal verbs in this book
or, occasionally, more advanced uses of verbs that were presented in the lower level book.

How were the phrasal verbs in this book selected?
The approximately 1,000 phrasal verbs and related nouns and adjectives which are presented in this
book were mainly selected from those identified as significant by the CANCODE corpus of spoken
English developed at the University of Nottingham in association with Cambridge University Press,
and the Cambridge International Corpus (now known as the Cambridge English Corpus) of written
and spoken English. The phrasal verbs selected are accordingly also to be found in the Cambridge
Dictionary online by going to the following website: http://dictionary.cambridge.org

How is the book organised?
The book has 60 two-page units. The left-hand page explains the phrasal verbs that are presented
in the unit. You will usually find an explanation of the meaning of the phrasal verb, an example of
it in use and, where appropriate, some comments on when and how it is used. The exercises on
the right-hand page check that you have understood the information on the left-hand page and
give you practice in using the material presented.
The units are organised into different sections.
First we start with important information about phrasal verbs in general (Units 1–4): what they
are, how their grammar works and so on. We strongly recommend that you do these units first.
The next section looks at some interesting aspects of more advanced phrasal verbs, dealing with
such important issues as collocation, register and metaphor. As these are themes that are returned to
throughout the book, it is a good idea to work through these units before progressing to other more
specific units.
After these two introductory sections, there is a section dealing with some of the most common
particles used in forming phrasal verbs. Working on these units will help you to gain a feeling for
the force of these particles and will help you have a feeling for the meaning of a phrasal verb you
are meeting for the first time.
The next two sections deal with Concepts (e.g. Time) and Functions (e.g. Arranging things). These
sections are followed by a large number of topic-based units focusing on different aspects of
Work, Personal life and The world around us.
The final section looks at some of the most common verbs which are used to form phrasal verbs.
The book has a key to all the exercises so that you can check your answers. At the back of the
book you will also find a useful Mini dictionary. This provides clear definitions of all the phrasal
verbs and related noun and adjective forms that appear in this book. The Mini dictionary also
indicates the unit number where you can find a particular phrasal verb.

How should I use this book?
It is strongly recommended that you work through Units 1–4 first so that you become familiar
with the way phrasal verbs (and their associated nouns and adjectives) operate and with the
terminology that is used in the rest of the book. Then we suggest that you move on to Units 5–8
and after that you may work on the units in any order that suits you.
4

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

What else do I need in order to work with this book?
You need a notebook or file so that you can write down the phrasal verbs that you study in the
book as well as any others that you come across elsewhere.
You also need to have access to a good dictionary. We strongly recommend the Cambridge
Phrasal Verbs Dictionary as this gives you exactly the kind of information that you need to have
about phrasal verbs. Your teacher, however, may also be able to recommend other dictionaries
that you may find useful.
So all that remains is to say Go for it! (Unit 30). We hope you’ll find this an enjoyable as well as a
useful way to keep up and extend your knowledge of English phrasal verbs in use.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

5

1

Phrasal verbs: what are they and how
are they used?
A

What are phrasal verbs?

B

Why are phrasal verbs important?

Phrasal verbs are verbs that consist of a verb and a particle (a preposition or adverb) or a verb
and two particles (an adverb and a preposition, as in get on with or look forward to). They
are identified by their grammar (more about that in Unit 2), but it is probably best to think of
them as individual vocabulary items, to be learnt in phrases or chunks. They often – but not
always – have a one-word equivalent. For example, you can come across a new phrasal verb
or you can encounter it. You can pick up a language or you can acquire it. Come across and
pick up sound less literary or formal than encounter or acquire.

Phrasal verbs are extremely common in English. They are found in a wide variety of contexts.
You may have noticed them in songs, for example the Beatles’ I’ll get by with a little help from my
friends or Roll over Beethoven, Bob Marley’s Get up, stand up and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Knock
me down. You find them in film titles such as The Empire Strikes Back, Spirited Away, Along Came
Polly or Cast Away. They are very frequent in newspaper headlines. Here are just a few examples:

Country’s misplaced pride
holds back its democracy
Inquiry points
to a cover-up

Cricket: England

holds out for a draw

Turner adds up likely cost of pensions

Phrasal verbs are common in less formal English, but you will also hear or see and need to use
them in more formal contexts. Register is discussed in more detail in Unit 6.

C

Which phrasal verbs does this book deal with?
This book is based on information gained from the Cambridge International Corpus (a huge
computerised database of present-day English) about phrasal verbs and how they are used in
contemporary English. It focuses on phrasal verbs more advanced students need to know – but in
general does not deal with the verbs in the lower level English Phrasal Verbs in Use Intermediate.
It includes phrasal nouns such as standby or onset (see Unit 3) and phrasal adjectives such as
outgoing or worn out (see Unit 4).

D

What can I do to help myself master phrasal verbs?
Try to think positively about them! And, now you are at a more advanced level, try not just to
understand them but also to use them in your own speaking and writing.
Keep an eye open for them whenever you are reading anything in English and make a note of
any interesting ones you find. Write them down in a complete phrase or a sentence to fix in
your mind how they are used.
Be aware that one of the special features of phrasal verbs is that some of them have many
different meanings – for example, you can pick something up from the floor, you can pick up
a language or bad habits, the weather can pick up, you can pick up a bargain, a radio can
pick up a signal, the economy can pick up, you can pick up a story where you left it, you can
pick someone up in your car. Sometimes the meanings are clearly related, some being more
literal and some more metaphorical. Unit 7 deals with this in more detail.
In this book we may not present all the meanings of the verbs that are included. You may find
others in English Phrasal Verbs in Use Intermediate and there are still more in the Cambridge
Phrasal Verbs Dictionary.

6

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
1.1

Underline the phrasal verbs in these texts. Remember the particle or preposition may
not be immediately next to the verb.
1 I decided to take up gardening, so I took out a subscription to a gardening magazine and read up
on the subject. I found out so many interesting things, such as the best time to plant flowers out
for the summer and how to grow vegetables. I’ve really got into it now and spend hours in the
garden every weekend.
2 The other day we went off on a hike in the mountains. We put our wet-weather gear on as the
weather forecast wasn’t good. We set off early to avoid the rush hour and soon reached the
starting point for our walk. The whole walk took about four hours, and when we got back we were
exhausted.
3 I have to catch up on my coursework this weekend as I’ve fallen behind a bit. I worked on it
till midnight last night, but I still have loads to do. I have to hand one essay in on Tuesday and
another one on Friday. I’m not sure whether I’ll make it, but I’ll try.

1.2

Choose the correct particle to finish these song titles.
1
2
3
4

1.3

dictionary.cambridge.org

1.4

Can’t get you off from / out of / away from my head (Kylie Minogue)
Hold you against / down / at (Jennifer Lopez)
We can work it with / across / out (The Beatles)
Send from / in / with the clowns (Barbra Streisand)

Complete the sentences in the right-hand column with a phrasal noun or adjective
based on the phrasal verbs in the left-hand column. Use a dictionary if necessary, and
remember that the particle may come at the beginning or end of the noun or adjective.
1

The school took in some outstanding students
last year.

Last year’s
outstanding students.

2

Some prisoners broke out of the local prison
last night.

There was a(n)
prison last night.

3

It was an experience that put everyone off.

It was a(n)

experience.

4

She always speaks out and gives her opinion.

She is very

.

5

A lorry which had broken down was blocking
the road.

A
road.

included some
at the local

lorry was blocking the

Match the headlines with the sentences from the stories.
1

BIG SHAKE-UP EXPECTED IN EDUCATION

2

MINISTER DENIES COVER-UP

3

LOCKOUT CONTINUES AT AVIATION PLANT

4

BREAKAWAY GROUP TO FORM NEW PARTY

5

POWER PLANT SHUTDOWN LEAVES 5,000 HOMES IN DARKNESS

a) The dispute is now in its fifth week.
b) Unity was no longer possible, a spokesperson said.
c) The event happened at 7.45 p.m. with no warning.
d) There will be major changes at all levels.
e) There was no attempt to hide the truth, claimed Pamela Harding.
English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

7

2

Grammar of phrasal verbs
A

Phrasal verbs with and without objects
Some phrasal verbs take an object (transitive); others do not take an object (intransitive).

1

with object (transitive)

no object (intransitive)

They’re knocking down the old hotel.

The path branched off 1 to the river.

The plumber soon sorted out the shower problem.

The noise of the train died away.

She tied her hair back so she could swim faster.

In the winter the lake froze over.

if a road or path branches off, it goes in another direction

Some verbs can be used both with and without an object, but the meaning may change. Use
the context to decide if the verb has a different meaning from the one you are familiar with.
Polly and Beth were so clever the teacher moved them up to a higher class. (with object)
Polly and Beth moved up to a higher class. (no object = same meaning)
I can drop you off at the station. (with object = drive you somewhere and leave you there)
I was sitting in the armchair and I dropped off. (no object = fell asleep, different meaning)
Some verbs must have two objects, one after the verb and one after the particle.
I always associate that song with our holiday in Jamaica.
Playing tennis for three hours every evening after school deprived her of her youth.

B

Position of the object
In many cases, the particle may come before or after the object.
The teacher marked the student down / marked down the student because her bibliography
wasn’t up to standard.
Very long objects usually come after the particle.
The accident cut off domestic and industrial water and electricity supplies.
When the object is a personal pronoun, the pronoun always comes before the particle.
noun object

personal pronoun object

I picked my parents up / picked up my parents and
drove them to the airport.

I’ll pick you up at 5.30. (Not: I’ll pick up you
at 5.30.)

Some verbs (sometimes called prepositional verbs) must have the object after the particle,
even if it is a pronoun. A good dictionary will tell you if this is so.
We’ve had to contend with a lot of problems lately. (Not: contend a lot of problems with)
[deal with a difficult or unpleasant situation]
You probably already know some of these verbs (look for, look after, cope with).

C

Three-part verbs
Some phrasal verbs have three parts – the verb and two particles. The object comes last.
I will not put up with such bad behaviour. [tolerate]
Other examples include look forward to, look down on, get on with, catch up on [do
something you did not have time to do earlier], face up to [accept that a difficult or
unpleasant situation exists].

8

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
2.1

Look at A. Do these sentences need an object? If they do, add an appropriate one in the
correct place.
example

Last summer we knocked down.

Yes. Knock down is transitive; it needs an object.
Last summer we knocked down the old shed in our garden.
1
2
3
4
5
6

2.2

Put the words in the correct order to make sentences. If you can do it in two different
ways, then do so.
1
2
3
4
5

2.3

pick / off / you / work / the / I / and / can / at / you / from / airport / up / drop / then
from / that / put / teacher / she / The / not / would / said / with / such / up / class / rudeness / her
villages / The / off / several / have / mountains / in / cut / the / floods
your / doesn’t / the / improve / down / If / will / spelling / mark / examiners / you
always / Margot / to / with / all / seems / her / cheerfully / problems / cope

Rewrite each sentence using the verb in brackets in an appropriate form.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

2.4

The sound of the violin slowly died away.
If you’re ready to leave now, I can drop off at your office.
The river in St Petersburg freezes over for several months each year.
My son is so good at English that I think the teacher should move up to the advanced class.
I associate with that evening we spent together in Rome.
I was so tired that I dropped off in front of the TV.

I’ll have to ask my daughter to get my Internet connection working. (sort)
I was so tired after work that I fell asleep in the train on the way home. (drop)
I was given a lower mark because my essay was over the word limit. (mark)
Jason has no right to despise me – he’s no better than I am. (look)
Lara doesn’t have a good relationship with one of her flatmates. (get)
You have to accept the fact that you will probably never see each other again. (face)
Maria has got a new job taking care of an old lady. (look)
If you don’t let the children get enough sleep, they won’t be able to concentrate at school. (deprive)
In Lapland we had to manage in some difficult driving conditions. (contend)
The road to our house leaves the main road just after the service station. (branch)

Write answers to these questions using the phrasal verb in brackets.
1 What are your plans for the summer holidays? (look forward to)
2 What homework have you got to do this weekend? (catch up on)
3 If you’ve been away somewhere by train and arrive back late, how do you usually get home from
the station? (pick up)
4 What is your favourite album and why do you like it? (associate with)
5 What sorts of things make you feel stressed? (contend with)
6 How easy do you find it to fall asleep at night? (drop off)

Over to you
Look up these verbs in your dictionary: associate with, deprive of, contend with and face up to.
How does your dictionary give information about the structures that these verbs require? What
nouns do these verbs typically combine with according to the examples in your dictionary?

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

9

3

Phrasal nouns
A

What are phrasal nouns?

Like phrasal verbs, phrasal nouns consist of a verb combined with a particle. The particle may
come before or after the verb.
phrasal noun

meaning

example

standby

ready to be used
if necessary

My wife’s a pilot and she’s on standby over the weekend.

letdown

disappointment

I had been looking forward to the concert for weeks, but it turned out
to be a terrible letdown.

back-up

support

Nicholas can provide technical back-up if you need it.

warm-up

preparation

The comedian who did the warm-up for the studio audience before
the TV programme started was excellent.

onset

start (of something
unpleasant)

The match was halted by the onset of torrential rain.

input

contribution

Try to come to the meeting – we’d value your input.

overkill

more of something
than is needed

Shall I add some more decorations to the cake or would that be overkill?

We’re keeping the old equipment as a standby, in case of emergencies.

Some such nouns have a corresponding phrasal verb, but some don’t. For example, there
is no phrasal verb to kill over. The phrasal verb set on exists but it means attack. The verb
related to onset is set in: We couldn’t continue playing after the rain set in.
If the particle is in first place, then the phrasal noun is never written with a hyphen. If
the particle comes second, then there is sometimes a hyphen between the two parts of
the phrasal noun, particularly if that particle is in or up or if the phrasal noun is relatively
infrequent, e.g. walk-on [small part, with no words, in a play], stand-off.

B

When are phrasal nouns used?

Phrasal nouns are used frequently in newspapers and informal conversation.

1
2

STOWAWAY1 FOUND ON PLANE

BREAKDOWN IN STRIKE TALKS

STAND-OFF2 IN TRADE TALKS

MANAGEMENT BUYOUT FOR HIGH STREET CHAIN

WALKOUT3 AT CAR FACTORY

HELP FOR BUSINESS START-UPS

SINGER STAGES A COMEBACK

MILITARY BUILD-UP4 CONTINUES

person hiding in order to travel
failure to reach agreement

3
4

strike
increase in size or strength

Annie

Who do you think will get the job –
Paul or Elsa?

Lily

Did you have a good time at
football last night?

Finn

I don’t know. It’s a toss-up.
[(informal) both seem equally likely]

David

Yes, but we didn’t have a real game,
just a knockabout.

Tip
The stress is on the first syllable in these nouns regardless of whether this is the verb or the particle.
10

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
3.1

Complete these sentences using a phrasal noun from A opposite.
1
2
3
4
5

The
of winter meant that there was less food for the animals and birds.
I thought having a 45-piece orchestra at their wedding really was
, personally.
The police officer radioed for
before entering the bank.
Let’s ask Joel what he thinks. I always find his
very useful in these matters.
TV producers find that studio audiences react better if they have a
to watch before
a live programme.
6 Our holiday in the Mediterranean was a bit of a
. The hotel was second-rate and the
food was awful.
7 Although Cameron usually rides his new road bike to school now, he’s kept his old bike as
a
.

3.2

Rewrite these sentences, starting with the cues given, using phrasal nouns from the
opposite page instead of the underlined words.
1 Two men who had stowed away in the container were arrested when police opened it.
The police opened the container and
2 Negotiations with union members broke down after a couple of hours.
There was a
3 The management bought out the company in 2014.
There was a
4 Last night all the workers walked out and the factory was forced to close.
There was a
5 Military forces are continuing to build up on both sides of the border.
The military

3.3

Correct the mistakes with the phrasal nouns in these sentences.
1 There has been a stand-up for several days now in the talks between the government and the
rebels. Neither side will make any concessions.
2 Last year there were 15,000 new Internet business start-offs, most of which only survived for a few
months.
3 After years without releasing an album, Madeleine Flame has staged a comeagain with her new
collection of love songs.
4

Holly

Have you decided where you’re going this summer?

Flora

Not really. It’s a toss-over whether it’ll be Italy or Greece.

5 I met Nasser and we just had a knockover on the college football pitch for half an hour.

3.4

dictionary.cambridge.org

Choose the correct phrasal noun in each sentence. Use a dictionary if necessary.
1
2
3
4
5

Putout / Output has increased this year and the factory is doing well.
One of the robbers acted as lookout / outlook while the others robbed the bank.
There was a sudden pourdown / downpour and we all got very wet.
The breakout / outbreak of war in 1914 changed Europe for ever.
Lift-off / Off-lift is scheduled for 07.00 on Friday and the astronauts will arrive at the space station
later that day.
6 There was a break-in / an in-break at our office last night. Two computers were stolen.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

11

4

Phrasal adjectives
Some phrasal verbs have related adjectives. Make a note of these as you meet them.
phrasal verb

adjective

meaning

example

go on

ongoing

one which continues

We’ve had an ongoing problem with the computer system.

wear out

worn out

weak, damaged
through much use

She was wearing old, worn-out shoes.

break down

brokendown

one that has
stopped working

In our garage we’ve got an old broken-down fridge.

However, this is not the case for all such adjectives. We can say ‘that way of thinking is very
outdated’, but there is no related verb to date out; we can say ‘the restaurant was really
overpriced’, but there is no phrasal verb to price over (the verb is ‘to overprice’).
Note the phrasal adjectives in these extracts from people talking about their dreams and ambitions.
I’m an outgoing sort of person, so I want a career where I mix with people.
To be honest, I find the idea of a desk job quite off-putting1; I just don’t
think I’d like it at all. I’d love to do something new, something
completely different.
1

makes you not like it or not want to do it

I’ve always been very outspoken. I’m never afraid to express my opinion,
so I think a job campaigning for an environmental organisation would
suit me. I would never accept any watered-down2 proposals and
would make some very direct demands of our political leaders.
2

made less strong in order to make more people agree with them

I always feel completely tired out at the end of the day in my present job
and just want to sleep. Instead of feeling cheerful after a good
weekend, I always feel quite downcast3 every Monday when the
new week starts, so I want something new and more stimulating,
preferably with a more go-ahead company which will bring interest
and excitement into my work.
3

sad and depressed
Here are some more examples in small advertisements and announcements.

Forthcoming4 events
at the City Stadium

4

happening in the near
future

Live-in nanny wanted
for 3-year-old.

Fold-up picnic chair
for sale. As new.

Caravan for sale: builtin fridge, freezer and
satellite TV
For rent, cosy one-room flat
with foldaway bed. Ideal
for student.

Tip
When you come across a phrasal adjective, check to see whether it has a ‘matching’ verb and, if so,
learn the two together.
12

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
4.1

Replace the adjective in each sentence with a phrasal adjective with the opposite
meaning.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

4.2

What do these pictures show?
1
2
3
4

4.3

4.5

a
a
a
a

chair
car
oven
bed

Answer these questions about the words on the opposite page.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

4.4

There was a new carpet on the stairs.
The newsletter has a list of recent activities at the tennis club.
What’s happened? You’re looking very cheerful!
Unlike her sister, Emily is very introverted.
I find the cover of this novel very attractive, don’t you?
It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, Polina always looks fresh.
We are not in the habit of going to such cheap restaurants.
When you meet my boss I think you’ll find her surprisingly uncommunicative.

Can you think of one advantage and one disadvantage for parents of having a live-in nanny?
In what kind of room might it be particularly useful to have a foldaway bed?
What kind of job would not be suitable for a very outspoken person?
When might you want to give a watered-down version of something that happened to you?
What kind of job requires you to be outgoing?
What kind of problem tends to be ongoing?
What might you find off-putting if you are having a meal in a restaurant?
What sorts of things do you think are often overpriced?

Match the pairs of synonyms in the box below.
broken-down

candid

continuing

diluted

downcast

dynamic

exhausted

extrovert

forthcoming

future

go-ahead

miserable

not working

obsolete

off-putting

ongoing

outdated

outgoing

outspoken

repellent

shabby

tired-out

watered-down

worn out

Here are some more phrasal adjectives. Work out from the context what they mean and
rewrite the sentences replacing the underlined words with a word or phrase that means
the same.
1
2
3
4
5

If the union doesn’t accept our terms, what should we have as our fallback position?
Clara always feels left out when her brother’s friends come round to play.
Julian is usually chatty but his sister is not very forthcoming.
You shouldn’t get so worked up about every little thing.
Zack met me at the airport with outstretched arms.
English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

13

5

Collocation and phrasal verbs
A

Why is collocation important?

Collocation means the way words combine with one another. When learning a phrasal verb, it
is important to note what kinds of words the verb is typically used with. For example, can it be
used for both people and things, or only for people, or only for things? Is it typically used with
negative things or can it be used for both positive and negative things?
Look at this chart for the verb pore over [study or look carefully at something] and note how
the objects it is used with refer especially to books or documents.
a document

a book

pore over
a list of names
a manuscript

Making a note of collocations in this way will help you remember the meaning of the phrasal
verb. It is a good idea to learn the verb and its typical collocations as chunks of language. This
will help you to speak and write more fluently.

B

Collocations with positive or negative/problematic things
Make a note if a phrasal verb collocates especially with positive or negative things.
✓ typical/correct collocation     ✗ untypical/wrong collocation

The plan was riddled with problems ✓ good ideas ✗ .
The rain ✓ The traffic ✓ The fine weather ✗ has eased off/up now.
After hours of discussion, we hit on a good idea ✓ the solution ✓ a stupid plan ✗ .

C

Collocations with objects denoting people or things
Make a note if a phrasal verb collocates especially with objects denoting people or things, or
both.
I’ve really gone off Sienna ✓ cheese ✓ recently.
I’d advise you to keep in with the boss ✓ Andrew ✓ the exam system ✗ .

D

Collocations with subjects denoting people or things
Make a note if a phrasal verb collocates especially with subjects denoting people or things, or
both.
As we opened the door, water streamed into the room. ✓
People were streaming into the meeting. ✓
I have to dash off. I have a meeting in ten minutes. ✓
The car dashed off along the motorway. ✗ [headed off / drove off at high speed would
be more typical]

E

Collocations with particular situations
Make a note of particular situations a phrasal verb typically refers to.
He just sailed through his exams ✓ the interview ✓ his breakfast ✗ . [sail through is
used with challenging things and situations]
I was always hankering after an easier life ✓ sweet food while I was on a diet ✓
passing my exams ✗ . [hanker after is most often used with things we cannot or should
not have]

14

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
5.1

Answer the following questions.
1 What does the word collocation mean?
2 Which of these are correct collocations?
a) pore over a book
b) pore over a view
c) pore over a manuscript
d) pore over a flower
e) pore over a list of names
3 What do the nouns that collocate with pore over have in common?
4 Why is it helpful to learn phrasal verbs in collocations?
5 What sorts of things might you note down about what a phrasal verb collocates with?

5.2

Do the sentences below show appropriate collocations or not?
1
2
3
4
5

5.3

When we took our old dog to the vet, she discovered he was riddled with disease.
The pain in his leg seems to be beginning to ease off now.
You can always rely on Joseph to hit on an idea that will never work.
I used to enjoy that TV series but I’ve gone off it a bit now.
It’s usually a good idea to keep in with your bank account.

Complete these sentences using the correct particles.
your lost youth.
1 There is no point in hankering
2 When her housemate rang to say that water was streaming
the basement, Maria
dashed
to the station to catch a train home.
3 I always find job interviews really difficult, but my brother seems to sail
them.
4 We’ll have to cut down that tree – it’s riddled
disease.
5 When my sister was pregnant she drank a lot of milk, but she completely went
tea
and coffee.
6 Liam was bullied a bit when he started school, but it seems to have eased
now.
7 You should apologise to Juliette’s mother. It’s sensible to keep
your future
in-laws.

5.4

Rewrite each sentence using the verb in brackets in an appropriate form.
1
2
3
4
5

Helena easily passed her driving test. (sail)
I really don’t like coffee any more. (go)
The wind is less strong than it was now. (ease)
If I have a problem, I find a walk by the sea often helps me to find a solution. (hit)
Masses of people entered the shop as soon as it opened, hoping to find a bargain in the
sale. (stream)
6 There are a lot of holes in his argument. (riddle)

Over to you
Look back at any other phrasal verbs you have recently written in your vocabulary notebooks.
Write them down in some typical collocations. You will find these in the example sentences of a
good dictionary, e.g. the Cambridge Phrasal Verbs Dictionary.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

15

6

Register
A

Phrasal verbs in the English lexicon

The word register is often used to refer to whether a word is formal or informal. It can also be
used to refer to the language associated with a particular job or interest.
English vocabulary is particularly rich because it combines a large vocabulary originating from
Anglo-Saxon roots with a large vocabulary originating from Latin or French. This means that English
often has words with very similar meanings from each of these sources. To give a phrasal verb
example, you can put forward or propose an idea, where put forward (like the majority of phrasal
verbs) has a typical Anglo-Saxon etymology, whereas propose is of Latin origin. It is interesting to
note that propose comes from the Latin prefix pro- [= forward] added to the Latin root -pose [= put];
there are many other examples of where the Latin etymology parallels the etymology of its phrasal
verb equivalent. Words of Latin or French origin tend to be more formal and so ‘proposing an idea’ is
found more frequently in formal written English than in informal spoken English.
Although phrasal verbs are typical of more informal English, many – like put forward, for
example – will also be found in neutral or formal as well as informal contexts. Most phrasal
verbs are like this. Some phrasal verbs, however, are only used in either informal or formal
situations. We indicate throughout the book when this is the case.

B

Informal phrasal verbs
Serge

How’s things, Jessie? Is work OK these days?

Jessica

Not really. Sophie’s gunning for1 me. I think she’s after my job. I mucked up2
an important deal yesterday and she was so thrilled!

Serge

Don’t pay any attention to her.

Jessica

I know, but the trouble is Tim’s ganged up with3 her now too. So it’s got much
worse. They hang around4 together in every break and after work too. If Sophie
doesn’t shoot down5 one of my ideas, Tim does.

Serge

Well, they’re asking for6 trouble, aren’t they? You know your boss respects you,
don’t you?

Jessica

Yes, I couldn’t ask for7 a better boss, that’s for sure. But she’s got more
important things on her plate than sorting out petty office squabbles.

1

5
 (only used in continuous) trying to cause
6
trouble for somebody
2
did very badly with		
3
7
formed a group to act against me
4
spend a lot of time (with)		

C

criticise strongly
(only used in continuous) behaving in a
way that is sure to create problems for them
couldn’t ever find, because this person
(or thing) is the best of their kind

Formal phrasal verbs
In the first five examples below, the base verb is in itself formal. The base verb here is of Latin
rather than Anglo-Saxon origin. In the final three examples, it is the specific usage rather than
the base verb which is formal.
The authorities finally acceded to his request for a work permit. [agreed to]
We will attend to your request in due course. [deal with]
He ascribes his success to hard work in his youth. [explains]
The presence of the gene may predispose a person to heart disease. [make more likely]
James Hansen is to preside over the government inquiry. [be in charge of]
Some new facts have emerged which bear on the Smith case. [are connected to]
The castaways had to call on all their strength to survive. [use]
All her life the princess had never wanted for anything. [needed]

16

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
6.1

Replace the phrasal verbs in the letter with verbs from the box to make it more formal.
meet

continue

complain

respond

remedy

investigate

achieve
Reply

Forward

Dear Mr Janes,
Thank you for your letter of 23 May going on about the bad service you experienced at this
hotel. I promise you we will look into the problem at once and get back to you as soon as
possible. We always try to go for the highest standards of service, and if we have failed to live
up to those standards we will immediately seek to sort out the situation. Meanwhile we hope
you will go on making Miromana Hotels your first choice for all your business and leisure travel.
Yours sincerely,
G. H. Logan (General Manager)

6.2

Now do the opposite with these sentences. Use phrasal verbs from the box to make the
sentences less formal. Use a dictionary if necessary.
go into
call in on

dictionary.cambridge.org

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

6.3

fall through
buy up

go over to
take on

look after
ask out

Will you attend to Aunt Elsie while I go and get the children’s supper ready?
He explored the subject in great detail in his lecture.
When the president died his son assumed the title of Great Leader.
I like her. Do you think I should invite her to go out with me?
During the war he defected to the enemy side and was killed in action.
She purchased all the shares in the company last year.
The local newspaper published a story about a strange animal seen in the city park.
I think I’ll visit my grandfather on the way home from work.
The deal collapsed at the last minute.
I managed to survive on about €70 a day when I was travelling.

Which professional registers are these phrasal verbs associated with? Put each of them
into one of the three categories below. Use a dictionary if necessary.
sell up
back up
turn over

dictionary.cambridge.org

sum up
gloss over
bail out

computers and technology

6.4

put out
get by

log in
scroll down/up
carry forward

take over
base on
square up

academic lectures/writing

put forward
hack into
print off
money and business

Rewrite each sentence using the word in brackets in an appropriate form.
1
2
3
4
5

Despite his family’s poverty, Alfie always has everything he needs. (want)
You must inform the police if you have evidence relating to the case. (bear)
Jack will have to use all his ingenuity to resolve the situation. (call)
The president believes his party’s victory is due to his leadership. (ascribe)
The manager will deal with your enquiry without delay. (attend)

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

17

7

Meaning and metaphor
A

Multiple meanings

Many phrasal verbs have more than one meaning. Often, the basic meaning relates to some physical
action, while other meanings are metaphorical (i.e. they are figurative, not literal). For example, the
meanings in the grey boxes below are literal and the others are figurative.
phrasal verb

run over

brush
sth/sb off

B

definition of phrasal verb

example

hit sth/sb with a moving vehicle and injure
or kill them

I ran over a rabbit as I was driving home.
It really upset me.

go on after its expected time

The meeting ran over so I missed my train.

read quickly to make sure something
is correct

Could we just run over the schedule again
to make sure it’s all going to work?

use a brush (or hand) to remove something

I brushed off the dust from my shoes.

refuse to listen to what someone says, or
refuse to think about something seriously

The boss just brushed him off and told him
to get back to work.

Examples of metaphors based on quick or violent actions
The price of petrol has shot up this year. [gone up rapidly and sharply]
I don’t want to just dive into a new job without carefully considering it. [start doing something
suddenly and energetically without thinking about it]
The leader of the opposition party has hit out at the government’s new proposals on tax.
[strongly criticised, typical of journalism]
My success in the exam spurred me on to study even harder. [spurs are worn on the ankle
and are used to make a horse go faster; here the meaning is ‘encouraged me’]

C

Metaphors and context
The context will usually tell you that a verb is being used in a metaphorical way. Look at these
extracts from the advice column of a magazine which use phrasal verbs metaphorically rather
than literally.

Don’t just stand by and let
others have all the fun. It’s
time to strike out on your own
and do something completely
different. Sweep aside all your
inhibitions and start living life
to the full. It all boils down
to whether you are prepared
to take control of life or let life
control you.
D

You must find the strength to drag
yourself away from your domestic
responsibilities for a short while
and stop feeling sandwiched
between your family and your
career. Doing everything singlehanded is eating into all your free
time and you need time to think.
You can’t be expected to soldier
on on your own any longer.

More examples of phrasal verbs used metaphorically
She searched in her bag and fished out an old photograph.
We wandered round the old market, just drinking in the atmosphere.
He spends hours glued to his computer every evening.
We found this vase when we were just nosing around in an antique shop.
People were flooding into the stadium two hours before the concert.

18

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
7.1

Look at A and B opposite. Read the email and then answer the questions below using
your own words rather than the phrasal verbs in the email.
Reply

Forward

Hi Bella
Sorry to miss you this morning – the budget meeting ran over and I just couldn’t leave. We had to
try to find some ways to cope with the way that our transport costs have shot up over the last few
months. Luke was finding fault with all my ideas and I had to stay and try to defend them as best
I could. He always takes any opportunity to hit out at me – I don’t know why. Anyway, could we
meet later today to run over the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting? My problems today have spurred
me on to succeed tomorrow. We mustn’t just dive into our proposal without preparing the ground
carefully. It’d be a disaster if the boss just brushed us off after all that work!
Rory

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

7.2

Rewrite the underlined parts of these sentences using a phrasal verb from C or D opposite.
1
2
3
4
5
6

7.3

dictionary.cambridge.org

It’s not good for children to spend too much time just watching a screen.
Choosing a university course is a matter of deciding what you want to do with your life.
I arrived at the stadium early and watched the other spectators entering in large numbers.
Laura reluctantly left the window and returned to her desk.
Sam was staring at Megan, listening intently to every word she said.
George dismissed all objections to his plan, saying they were unimportant.

Complete these sentences with a phrasal verb from the opposite page.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

7.4

When did the budget meeting end?
What has happened to transport costs recently?
How does Luke usually behave towards Rory?
What does Rory want to do with Bella this afternoon regarding tomorrow’s agenda?
Has today’s meeting made Rory more or less determined about tomorrow’s meeting?
What does Rory not want to do with their proposal at tomorrow’s meeting?
What is he afraid that the boss might do to them?

and lets such terrible things happen!
It is terrible how the world just
Despite all his difficulties, Douglas does his best to bravely
.
William reached into his pocket and
his passport.
the back streets.
When I go to a new town I love
You mustn’t let your social life
your study time.
The politician simply
the allegations being made against him.
When he was 30 Mario left his uncle’s business and
on his own.
Our little house is
a bank and a supermarket.

Here are some more phrasal verbs which can be used metaphorically. How are their
literal and metaphorical meanings connected? Use a dictionary if necessary.
1 I’ve left you some soup which you can warm up when you get home.
A fantastic singer warmed up the audience before the main programme started.
2 The boy wasn’t looking where he was going and fell into a hole in the ground.
Alexander fell into his first job as soon as he had left university.
3 The cat got up the tree but didn’t seem able to climb down.
Molly always wants to win an argument – you’ll never get her to climb down.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

19

8

Idioms using phrasal verbs
A

Problems at work and home
Reply

Forward

Hi Millie,
How’s your awful new boss? Still planning a total reorganisation of the office or have you
persuaded her not to throw the baby out with the bathwater1? Let me know if you need an
evening out to let off steam2 – it’s about time we met up again.
We’ve been told at our company that we won’t be getting a salary increase this year. They took
the sting out of it3 by giving us a Christmas bonus, but people are not happy.
My boss is still as difficult as ever. Her personal assistant’s resigned, but I think that might be
cutting off her nose to spite her face4 as she’ll find it hard to find anything else as well-paid.
She can usually run rings round5 anyone, so it must have been a shock for her to get a boss she
couldn’t manipulate.
I badly need your advice. Joey’s beginning to turn up the heat in our relationship – he’s dropping
hints about marriage. He invited me to meet his parents last weekend. We got on like a house on
fire6 but I just don’t feel ready to put down roots yet. Should I stop seeing him? I don’t want to but
maybe it’d be kinder? I can’t make up my mind. Let me know what you think.
Lydia
1

4
 get rid of the good parts of something
as well as the bad parts		
2
5
 talk or act in a way that helps get rid of
6
strong feelings
3
make something that is unpleasant less so

B

Progress meeting
Oscar

Well, Anna, you’ve been here for a month now and it’s time we had a little chat.

Anna

OK. Well, I know I got off on the wrong foot1 by deleting all last year’s client information,
but I hope you’ll agree I’ve got my act together2 now?

Oscar

Erm, not exactly. I’ve tried my best to show you where you’re going wrong, but I just
appear to be going round in circles3. Nothing ever seems to get any better. You dig
your heels in4 and don’t make any effort to change.

Anna

Oh, I don’t think that’s fair. I’m sure Stan would put in a good word for me5. I’ve helped
him out with one of his projects.

Oscar

Hmm, well Stan needs to clean up his act6 too. If you don’t start
making up for lost time7 soon, we’re going to have to let you go.

Anna

Oh, no, please. Just give me a bit more authority and I’ll come into my own8.

Oscar

Oh, Anna. Wake up to the fact9 that you won’t get any more authority unless you
pull out all the stops10 and your work improves significantly.

1

6
started badly
7
 (informal) organised myself more effectively
3
using a lot of time and effort with no results		
4
8
 refuse to do what others try to persuade you
9
to do
5
10
 say good things about me to someone in authority
2

20

doing something because you are angry
though it may cause you more problems
outwit, be cleverer than
immediately liked each other

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

(informal) start to behave better
doing something to compensate for not
doing it previously
be very successful
be realistic
do all you can

Exercises
8.1

Answer these questions.
1
2
3
4
5
6

8.2

What should you not throw out with the bathwater?
What expression uses a burning house as a metaphor for a good relationship?
What expression uses steam as a metaphor for strong feelings?
According to the idiom, why might people cut off their own nose?
What idiom means ‘ease an unpleasant situation’ and refers to what bees can do?
Which two phrasal verb idioms refer to circular motion?

Complete these sentences using expressions from 8.1.
1 Refusing that job offer just because you’re annoyed about the interview would be cutting
your
to
your
.
2 When she came back to the UK, Harriet decided it was time she
down
and
she bought a little cottage not far from here.
3 The robbers
round the police. It took two years to catch them.
4 The extra day’s holiday we offered should take the
out
the pay cut.
5 I felt as if I was just going
in
and getting nowhere.
6 We should keep the better parts of the old system when we move over to the new system. We
don’t want to
the
out with the bathwater.
7 Isaac and Matthew
on like a
on fire; they’re great friends.
8 I don’t think she was really angry with you; she was just
steam.

8.3

Cross out the five mistakes in this text and write the correct form in the box next to that line.
After a year of travelling, I decided to put my act together and get
a job. A friend who worked for a bank put in some good words
for me. In fact he pushed in all the stops and arranged for me to
have lunch with the CEO. I got on the wrong feet by saying I wasn’t
ready to plant down roots yet; I think they were looking for
someone to make a long-term commitment. I should have kept quiet!

8.4

1
2
3

get

4
5

Complete these dialogues using phrasal verbs from the opposite page so that the second
speaker agrees with and repeats more or less what the first speaker says.
1

2

3

4

5

6

Michael

Alice seems determined not to agree to the new plan.

Juan

Yes, she really seems to be digging

Sarah

Wow, my Uncle Joshua is 75 and he’s getting married for the first time!

Amelia

Really? He’s obviously trying to make up

Luis

Charles lives in a fantasy world. He thinks he can make a living writing poetry.

Ava

That’s crazy! He should wake up

Eva

Teddy has been very successful in his new career.

Gabriel

Yes, he really seems to have come into

Robert

The boss seems to be getting very serious about the new sales campaign lately.

Dan

Yes, he’s really turning up

Franck

I think it’s time I made a decision.

Daisy

Yes, it’s time for you to make up

.

!

that poets never make any money!

.

.

.
English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

21

9

Around and about
Around and about are often (but not always) interchangeable in phrasal verbs. A good
dictionary will tell you whether they can both be used. The only verbs on this page where
both are not possible are marked *.

A

Basic meaning of around and about in phrasal verbs
Around and about keep a lot of their basic meaning in many phrasal verbs. They often indicate
activities and situations taking place in various locations, often without having a clear
direction or order.
There were books lying around everywhere in the room.
The children were running about in the garden.
Phrasal verbs with around and about are often informal. Look at this conversation between
two teachers.
Holly

Rumours have been flying around the staffroom lately that you’re leaving. Is it true?

Jake 	It amazes me how news gets around in this place! I did say to one or two people that
I was tired of being bossed around by you-know-who, and, I have asked around* here
and there to see if they need any full-time teachers, but I haven’t made a decision yet.
Holly 	Oh, right. I heard the other day that Eleanor is sick of running around* after you-knowwho sorting out problems he’s caused. So she might leave too. By the way, do you have
a copy of that new grammar book? I want to show it to my students. My copy’s floating
about here somewhere but I just can’t find it.
Jake

Yes, I think I have a copy lying around here somewhere … Yes, here you are.

Holly

Thanks very much. So, what are you up to this weekened?

Jake 	Nothing much, just pottering about at home, really. Oh goodness! Is that the time?
I have a class now.
Holly 	OK, see you later. Don’t forget that we switched our classrooms around this afternoon.
You’re in Room 2.
Note that in boss around, around emphasises the fact that the person is frequently being
bossed by someone else, not the fact that this occurs in different places.

B

Other uses of around and about
Here are some other phrasal verbs which use around and about.
Children! Stop playing around! Sit politely. [behaving stupidly]
The neighbours have been banging about next door all morning. I wonder what they’re
doing. [making loud noises, for example hammering or moving heavy objects]
Theo was clowning around at the party last night. It got very irritating. [acting in a silly way]
Politicians often skirt around* the truth and don’t give direct answers to questions. [avoid
discussing a difficult subject or problem]
It’s a problem, but I’m sure we can work around* it in some way. [organise our activities to
ensure that the problem does not prevent us from doing what we want to do]

22

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
9.1

9.2

Choose the correct word to complete these sentences.
1 I couldn’t get to sleep because of Owen
around upstairs.
a) banging
b) lying
c) switching
2 Wait a moment – the document you need is
about here somewhere.
a) flying
b) floating
c) running
3 I think we should stop the car and let the children
around for a bit.
a) get
b) lie
c) run
4 The room looks different. Have you
the furniture around?
a) pottered
b) switched
c) banged
5 If you
around, you might be able to find someone with a car for sale.
a) ask
b) boss
c) play
around the office.
6 I hate the way rumours
a) run
b) fly
c) lie
7 You really shouldn’t leave such important papers
about.
a) clowning
b) lying
c) playing
8 Yanis made the children laugh by
around with pieces of fruit.
a) banging
b) getting
c) clowning
Complete each dialogue using a verb from the box with around or about.
boss    get    ask    clown    lie
1

2

3

9.3

4

Isla

I need to find a flat to rent in London.
Do you know of anything available?

Katie

No, but I’ll

Sara

Do you know where the extension lead is?

Milo

Yes, I think it might be
my study somewhere.

Adam

How did Hugo know we’re getting married?

Zara

Well, news like that
quickly.

.

in

very

5

Ava

Do you get on well with
your sister?

Ella

Yes, on the whole, though she
me
a bit too much.

Amber What do you think of
Freddie?
Louis

I find the way he always
a bit childish.

Complete these sentences with phrasal verbs from the opposite page. Put the verb in the
correct form. Sometimes more than one verb is possible.
1 I thought Alex was just
in his bedroom today, but in fact he’s been really
busy. He’s tidied up all the books and papers that were
on the floor. He’s also
his bed and his desk, which makes the room feel bigger.
2 When I was a child I used to hate visiting Great Uncle Edward. He wouldn’t allow us children to
in case we broke anything, and he was always
us
,
getting us to
after him, doing odd jobs for him.
3 Do you think we could find a way to
the problem of having to get written
permission from everyone to use the photographs in our book?
4 I think we should be honest with everyone and not try to
the issue.
5 We hear people
every night in the flat upstairs. All sorts of rumours have
been
among the neighbours as to what is going on up there.

Over to you
Look up these words in your dictionary: crowd around, knock sth about/around, knock sb about/
around, turn around, turn sth around, roll about/around, blunder about/around. Make a note of
the meanings of these words and record them with an example sentence.
English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

23

10

Down
A

Down meaning lower

1
2

B

C

Lottie

Well, did he come down1 on the price?

Tom

I knocked him down2 by £100 but he wouldn’t go any lower.

Lottie

Oh, so that’s why you slammed the catalogue down3
when you finished?

Tom

No, that was because I was distracted by the music and 		
annoyed. Why didn’t you turn the volume down4? I could 		
hardly hear a word he was saying!

suggest or agree to a lower price
persuaded him to reduce the price

3
4

put down with a lot of force
reduce the amount of sound

Down suggesting preventing or restraining
phrasal verb

definition of phrasal verb

example

shout down sb or
shout sb down

shout in order to prevent someone who
you disagree with from being heard

I couldn’t hear what the prime minister
was saying because some people at the
front were shouting him down.

pin down sb or pin
sb down

force someone to stay in a horizontal
position by holding them

Two police officers pinned the robber
down while the third handcuffed him.

tie down sth/sb or
tie sth/sb down

use ropes to fasten someone or
something in a particular position

The tent is secure, but make sure you
tie down anything else that might blow
away in the storm.

tie sb down

(metaphorical meaning of the previous
verb) prevent someone from having the
freedom to do what they want to do

My brother prefers to take temporary
work because he hates the idea of being
tied down.

Other meanings of down
Not working
The computer system is always going down. We need a new one. [stopping working]
Don’t forget to save your documents before you shut the computer down. [turn off]
Depressed or sad
This rain is getting me down. [making me feel depressed]
On a list
Freya asked me to put her down for a copy of the report when it’s published. [put on a list to
arrange for her to have something]
You can put me down to organise the refreshments. [put on a list to arrange for me to do something]
Killed/injured
The terrorists mercilessly gunned down their victims. [shot and killed or seriously injured]
We had to have our poor old dog put down last week; she was very sick. [put to death]
Surviving through time
The legend has come down to us from the ancient records of the Quilhoa people. [passed from
generation to generation]
Be considered or remembered
This will go down in history as the most important event of the century. [be remembered]
My workshop went down really well. [was well-received]

24

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
10.1

Read these sentences and then answer the questions below by writing the correct name
in the box.
Harry Irving felt he had lost his freedom when he and Antonia had their first baby.
Oliver Reece was forced to the ground and held there by two security guards.
People protested so loudly that no one could hear what Heidi Knight had to say.
Mia Calvo persuaded the man to reduce the price by £500.
Lucas Hind was shot dead yesterday by terrorists.
1
2
3
4
5

10.2

Who was shouted down?
Who was gunned down?
Who felt tied down?
Who was pinned down?
Who managed to knock someone down?

Rewrite the underlined parts of these sentences using a phrasal verb from the opposite
page. Make any other necessary changes.
1 The computer system suddenly stopped working this morning, so we’re doing everything
manually at the moment.
2 I’m sorry I’m so irritable. Things have been depressing me lately.
3 Shall I write your name on my list to sponsor me for the charity walk?
4 This event will be remembered in history as the worst catastrophe this country has ever suffered.
5 The company had to stop all their machines during the 24-hour strike at the factory.
6 The salesman agreed to a lower price, and after that we even managed to persuade him to reduce
the price by a further 10%.
7 Many everyday remedies for minor ailments have reached us over time from our ancestors.

10.3

Answer the following questions using a phrasal verb from the opposite page.
1
2
3
4
5

10.4

dictionary.cambridge.org

What might someone do if they get very angry during a phone call?
What might you do to a very old and sick dog or cat?
What would you do to stop a tent from blowing away?
If work is making you depressed, what is it doing to you emotionally?
If your radio was too loud, what would you do?

Which of the meanings given are possible or likely interpretations of the phrasal verbs
in these sentences? More than one interpretation may be possible. Use a dictionary if
necessary.
1 I think you should take this down.
a) write it
b) drink it
c) dismantle it
2 The house has come down.
a) has been rebuilt
b) is for sale at a lower price
c) has been demolished
3 She turned it down.
a) reduced the heat
b) refused the offer
c) put the collar of her coat in its normal position
4 They watered it down.
a) extinguished a fire using water
b) added water to make a liquid less strong
c) made an idea, opinion or argument less strong

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

25

11

In
The particle in, when used with phrasal verbs,
keeps a lot of its basic meaning, often referring
to things which move towards being, or are
already, ‘within something’ or are ‘included in
something’.
Look at this transcript of a meeting at a
computer software company. Dominic, the Chief
Executive, who chairs the meeting, speaks first.
Note the phrasal verbs with in.
Chair	
Well, I think we should begin. One of our colleagues from Manchester has been delayed,
but I’ve asked David to show her in when she gets here, so she’ll join us later, I hope. Now,
first item is the Musicmatch software suite, which, I like to think, has helped to usher in1 a
new era in music production. It’s been bringing in good profits, and we’ve certainly been
able to cash in on the recent crash of one of our major rivals, as we all know, but with an
economic recession setting in now, we may want to rethink our pricing so that it
fits in better with the rest of our range. We also need to factor in2 the loss of a major
client – we lost the Popmaster contract this year.
Grace	
Can I come in here, Dominic? Ben and I are already looking at this and we’ll have
something to report next week. Basically we hope to build in an automatic upgrade
system so that customers will find it easier to stay with us. Ben’s looking at the
cost. I said I’d pitch in3 so that we can get it moving faster.
Chair	
OK, well, maybe we can leave that. But I’d just like to say, remember, we need flexibility
– we don’t want to become boxed in4 by our own systems. We’ll come back to it.
David

Sorry to cut in, Dominic. Amy Peckham is here.

Chair	
Ah, good. Our colleague from Manchester has arrived. Hello, Amy. You’re very welcome. Can
you squash in there somewhere? Sorry the room is a bit small. Amy Peckham, everyone.
Some of you know her already. Right, I suggest we move to Chloe’s presentation. I believe
you’re going to use the projector, Chloe?
Chloe	
Yes. Could we close those blinds? Thanks. Oh dear, they’re still letting a lot of light in.
Never mind. I’ll begin. I’d like to use this presentation as a lead-in5 to our general
discussion about the future.
1
2
3
4
5

(formal) begin or cause a period in which new things or changes happen
include something when making a calculation or when trying to understand something
(informal) help with work that needs to be done
restricted
something that introduces something else

Tip
Take note of the context when you meet new phrasal verbs. For example, the context on this page is
a fairly informal business meeting. Spoken business English is often less formal than the spoken
language of business in some other languages and cultures. The same is often true for other contexts,
such as spoken academic language.

26

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
11.1

Find phrasal verbs or phrasal adjectives from the opposite page which mean the following:
1
2
3
4
5

11.2

6
7
8
9
10

introduction
take into consideration
find a space
include
start

Correct the mistakes with the phrasal verbs in these sentences.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

11.3

benefit from
interrupt (two answers)
help
introduce
unable to act freely

My new curtains are excellent – they don’t bring any light in.
Alba, can you pitch Mr Hill in as soon as he arrives, please?
Having the meeting on the 28th would squash in better with our plans than the 30th.
Our office in Buenos Aires has cashed in a lot of new business this year.
When you are planning the course, make sure you set in enough free time.
It’s rude to factor in when someone else is in the middle of speaking.
If everyone shows in, we’ll soon get the job done.
If I move up, then Rachel should be able to box in at the end of the bench.

Complete this paragraph with verbs from the opposite page.
My ten-year-old daughter Rosie had some friends
to sleep over last night. Eight of them managed
to sleep on her bedroom floor. I don’t know how
(1) themselves in as it is a
they
very small room. Rosie’s birthday had been the
previous week, but we had her party yesterday as
that
(2) in better with other plans.
In the evening we had a barbecue and we made
lots of different salads and puddings. Rosie and her
friends all
(3) in, and they enjoyed
helping as much as eating. Later in the evening rain
(4) in, so they went indoors and
watched a film. I was afraid the girls would wake up
ridiculously early, but we’ve had new blinds fitted
and they don’t
(5) any light in, so no
one stirred till half past eight.

11.4

dictionary.cambridge.org

Cross out the item which does not normally collocate with the phrasal expression in bold.
Use a dictionary if necessary.
1
2
3
4

bring in customers / profits / a loss / business
a lead-in to a discussion / a bargain / a lesson
a recession / rain / a new product sets in
usher in a price increase / a new era / changes

Over to you
What other phrasal verbs with in do you have in your vocabulary notebook? Do they also have a
connection with the basic meaning of in? As you learn other new ones, think about how the idea
conveyed by in might help you remember the meaning of the phrasal verb.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

27

12

Off
A

Off suggesting get rid of
My feet were hot, so I kicked off my shoes. [removed with my feet]
The robbers drove faster and faster to try and shake off the police car. [lose]
I went for a long walk to work off my frustation. [get rid of a feeling (often unpleasant) by
doing something energetic]
Archie doesn’t worry about anything – he’ll shrug off any problem. [treat something as
unimportant]

B

C

Off suggesting separation
phrasal verb

definition of phrasal verb

example

be cut off

be unable to see many other people

My office is in a different building from
my colleagues, so I am quite cut off.

cut off sth/sb or
cut sth/sb off

stop providing something, e.g. aid,
electricity, supplies

They cut off our electricity / cut us off
because we hadn’t paid the bill.

split off

form a separate group

Two of the climbers split off from the
group and went off on their own.

back off

(slightly informal) stop being involved in
a situation, especially in order to allow
other people to deal with it themselves

She was interfering, so I told her to back
off and let me deal with it on my own.

have sth off

spend time away from work

I had a week off last June.

cordon off sth or
cordon sth off

put something, e.g. a rope, a barrier,
around an area in order to stop people
from entering it

The police have cordoned off the area
the president will be visiting.

Off suggesting starting or finishing
I’ll fill in the first line of this spreadsheet to start you off, and then you can do the rest yourself.
[help you to start]
The weekly meeting usually kicks off around 2 p.m. [(informal) starts]
We rounded off the meal with freshly brewed coffee. [finished]
That boring meeting just finished me off. I think I’ll go home; I’ve had enough for one day.
[made me feel so weak, tired or unhappy that I couldn’t continue]
It’s nice to just switch off at the weekend and forget about work. [stop giving your attention
to someone or something]

D

Other verbs with off
Ben told his little brother to leave off playing his new guitar. [(informal) stop]
William told his younger sister to shove off out of his room. [(informal) something that you
say when you are angry to tell someone to go away.]
Layla wanted to show her new bike off to her friends. [show someone or something that you
are proud of to a group of people]
The boss gave the receptionist a ticking off for making private calls to friends. [telling
someone that you are angry with them because they have done something wrong]

28

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
12.1

Replace the underlined words in these statements with a phrasal verb from the opposite
page.
1 Eliza’s father to Eliza’s mother: Eliza’s 18 now and should make her own decisions.
I think we should stop getting involved and let her run her own life.
2 Newsreader: The prime minister has treated as unimportant leadership threats from within his
party, saying that they are only rumours.
3 Mother to father: I think we should let the kids run round in the garden for a bit and get rid of
some of their energy so that they sleep tonight.
4 Mother to Imogen: Imogen, you MUST pay your electricity bill. If you don’t, they’ll stop providing it
and you won’t have any heating.
5 Louis to Callum: Oh no! Seth wants to come back with us to Nikita’s house. He’s such a drag! How
can we get away from him?
6 Chairperson: I’d like to just conclude the meeting by giving a vote of thanks to the committee for
all their work this year.
7 The last 100 metres to the top of the hill just made me so tired I couldn’t continue. I had to sit
down and rest for an hour.
8 I don’t want you in my room any more, so just leave!

12.2

Cross out the five mistakes in this text and write the correct form in the box next to
that line.
off
When I come home from work, I love to just kick away my
shoes and relax for the evening. It’s great to let off worrying

1

about work and round up the day with a nice meal. If I

2

have off a couple of days it’s even better. I usually go off to

3

our country cottage. I can just light off completely. I love it.

4

I never stay there long because after a while I feel a bit stood

5

off from all my friends and social life back in the city.

12.3

Complete the word puzzle.
1

2

3
4
5

6

Across
1	The boss
me off with a simple task to
get me used to the job.
3	The police decided to
off the scene of
the crime.
4 What time does the meeting
off?
5	She always loves to
off her latest
technological gadget.
6	Look, just
off playing with my phone,
will you? You’re getting on my nerves.
Down
off for
2	The director gave him a
arriving late at the meeting.
5	A group of youths
off from the rest of
the demonstrators and started causing trouble.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

29

13

On
Some phrasal verbs with on share a meaning of dependence/reliance, e.g. depend on*, rely
on*, count on*, hinge on*, hang on*, ride on.
REFERENDUM RESULT CRUCIAL, SAYS PM
The prime minister said, ‘Everything hinges on the result
of next week’s referendum. The future prosperity of the
nation hangs on this crucial day of decision.’ Politicians of
all parties agree that everything rides on the government
securing a Yes vote.
On can also convey the idea of continuing in an irritating or boring way, for example, harp on
[talk repeatedly about something in a way that others find boring or irritating], keep on, go
on (and on), ramble on [talk or write for a very long time in a boring way] and drone on [talk
for a long time in a very boring way and in a monotonous voice].
Don’t keep on about the garden! I’ll mow the lawn tomorrow.
We had a tedious lecture from the boss. She just went on and on about punctuality.
He droned on for hours about ancient civilisations; everyone fell asleep.
Read on, press on, live on and dwell on* [think or talk about a particular subject for too long]
also emphasise continuation over time.

HOUSING MINISTER HONOURS
CHAMPION OF THE POOR

‘Her death is a great loss to society, but her memory will live
on’, said the minister.
Grouping verbs in this way can help you to remember them.
Now look at these news items which contain some of these and other examples of phrasal verbs with on.

headlines

The country has been 1

by the latest rail strike,

CURATOR FINDS LOSTwith
MEDIEVAL
MANUSCRIPT
no rail services
at all running today. The railway service

The curator, Mr Jackson Bedgrove, happened
on* the lost manuscript while searching the
2
some time,
but if today’s
has been
museum’s archives for some missing
18th century letters. As for
he focused
his attention
on* theaction
text,
3
tothe
theimportance
rail industry.
prolonged
it may As
prove
he said, he could hardly believeiswhat
he was reading.
he read on, he realised
of
what he’d found...
The Minister for Transport commented: ‘The country has been
suffering from a 4

of local strikes since the first

EDUCATION EXPERT EXPRESSES CAUTION ON HOME
SCHOOLING
5

and
one
one
in Nortown
lastfrowned
month. Iton*
was
Phoebe Garrett stated that home
schooling
was often
by politicians, and she
herself
6
pitch
strike led
to another.
Things
reached
had some doubts as to its effectiveness.
However,
to spring
a new
piece of legislation on parents
successfully educating their children
at home
was
right,
shehope
said. that
The education
secretary will
last week
and
wenot
can
only
this 7
insists that she will press on with plans to introduce a new law...
is that
come to an end soon.’ The minister’s 8
things will only start to improve once people appreciate the
CHILDREN’S PRANK TURNS
TO TRAGEDY

seriousness
situation.
A 13-year-old girl who stole a car
and took itofforthe
a joyride
admits that friends led her on. The
prank resulted in the serious injury of a 25-year-old mother of two...

The verbs marked with * on this page are all transitive.
30

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
13.1

In the following sentences, mark each phrasal verb according to whether it has
predominantly a dramatic feeling (write D), a negative feeling (N), a feeling of boredom (B),
or a feeling of irritation (I).
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

13.2

Professor Taylor was droning on about the Ancient Greeks in his lecture this morning.
The success of the peace talks hinges on both sides maintaining the present truce.
Uncle Alex goes on and on about his broken chair. I’ve told him a hundred times I’ll mend it.
Dwelling on the past all the time is no way to live your life. Think of your future.
If you ask Beatrice about beekeeping she’ll ramble on for hours.
I wish you wouldn’t keep on about money. Let’s just enjoy life.
The championship now rides on Saturday’s crucial game against Real Madrid.

Choose the correct word to complete these sentences. Sometimes there is more than one
possible answer.
1 You can always
on Daniel. He’s totally dependable.
a) rely
b) count
c) hinge
d) hang
2 I wish Georgia would stop
on about Kian. It’s so tedious!
a) riding
b) droning
c) going
d) harping
3 Do make up your mind soon. So much
on what you decide.
a) hinges
b) presses
c) rides
d) hangs

13.3

Correct the mistakes with the phrasal verbs in these sentences. There is one mistake in
each sentence.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

13.4

Try to focus what is really important on and to ignore what is not essential.
Now we’ve had a bit of a rest, it’s time to spring on again.
I’m hingeing on you to let me know when my talk has gone on for long enough.
Your grandmother will always happen on in your memory.
This is a quiet neighbourhood where noisy behaviour is counted on.
After the first few pages of the book, I decided I couldn’t be bothered to ride on.
Please stop focusing on about Lena. Your relationship is over, so just forget her.
I am worried about my son’s behaviour. He is so easily relied on by his friends.

Complete each sentence with a verb from the opposite page.
on the main points.
1 Don’t try to remember every sentence of the text. Just
2 Elizabeth is going to
the news on her parents over lunch. I hope they’ll be happy
for her.
3 Try to look to the future rather than
on the past.
4 We’ve got a lot of work to finish today so we’d better
on.
5 Julia’s not usually naughty herself, but her brothers tend to
her on.
6 In most schools, wearing big, colourful jewellery and dyeing your hair bright colours would be
on or even forbidden outright.
7 Whether we go for a picnic tomorrow or not will
on the weather.
8 I wish he’d stop
on and on about his ex-wife.

13.5

Rewrite these sentences using phrasal verbs from the opposite page.
1 James is a reliable person.
2 Dad will talk monotonously for hours about European history.
3 Many political reputations are about to be crucially affected by the outcome of next week’s
election.
4 Josh never stops complaining about the litter in the office car park. It irritates me.
5 While tidying my room, I found an old diary of mine from 2001.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

31

14

Out
A

Basic meanings of out in phrasal verbs
A very frequent meaning of out is the opposite of in.
I don’t want to leave my job but I suppose they may kick me out. [(informal) force me to leave]
I’ve had enough of working for such a difficult organisation and I want out. [want to leave]
Count me out! I’m far too tired to join the skiing trip today. [don’t include me]
Another meaning is when something or part of something extends from its surroundings.
The chalet roof juts out (over its walls) to help prevent snow
from blocking the doors. [sticks out beyond the edge]
The rocky peninsula juts out into the bay.
Another meaning is separate.
The woman picked out a kitten to take home. [chose one
from a large group]
We spread our wet clothes out on the grass so they could
dry in the sunshine.
Another meaning is distribute.
Don’t eat all the sweets yourself, Ollie. Share them out among
all the children. [give one to each person in the group]

B

32

Other meanings of out in phrasal verbs
phrasal verb

definition of phrasal verb

example

go out

(of a fire) stop burning

When we woke up in the morning, the
campfire still hadn’t gone out.

clean out sb or
clean sb out

steal or take everything from a person

The burglars completely cleaned us
out.

test out sth or test
sth out

see how it works in a practical situation
or find out what other people think of it
(the out stresses testing something in the
environment in which it is intended to be
used, not, for example, in a laboratory)

We need to test the product out in the
market before launching it.

drop out

not do something that you were going to
do, or stop doing something

The runner dropped out halfway
through the marathon.

lash out (usually +
at sth)

criticise someone or something in an
angry way

Sofia lashed out at me yesterday for
wasting her time.

yell out sth or yell
sth out

suddenly shout something in a loud voice,
especially to get someone’s attention

As I walked past the room, I heard
someone yell out.

draw out sth or
draw sth out

make something continue for longer than
is usual or necessary

I wish Thomas wouldn’t always draw
meetings out by talking so much.

sort out sth or sort
sth out

solve a problem or restore order to
something which has become disordered

A management consultant was hired to
sort out the personnel problems in the
company.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
14.1

Answer the questions using phrasal verbs with out.
1 Naomi gave two apples to each of the four children. What did she do with the apples?
2 Clément took control of the situation and soon everything was OK and back to normal.
What did Clément do?
3 Evie looked at all the oranges on the stall and put the best ones in her basket. What did
she do with the oranges?
4 The manager forced Sam to leave the restaurant because he was behaving badly. What did
the manager do?
5 The roof extends over the terrace and provides a bit of shade from the midday sun. What does
the roof do?

14.2

The verb in each of these sentences sounds a little formal in the context. Find a phrasal
verb from the opposite page to replace the one-word equivalent in each sentence.
1
2
3
4
5
6

14.3

Rewrite the underlined parts of these sentences using a phrasal verb with out that
means the opposite of the underlined words.
1
2
3
4
5
6

14.4

I don’t have any money so you can exclude me from the shopping trip.
I distributed the mints among my friends in the car.
We need to resolve this mess about the misprinted tickets pretty soon.
He really criticised me when I suggested he’d got it wrong.
Look at those big rocks protruding from the sea.
Select the good strawberries and leave the rotten ones in the box.

I opened the door and heard somebody whisper from the staircase below.
My position as regards the committee is that I would like to continue as a member.
He always shortens the discussion with arguments about political ideology.
When we got back to our campsite, the campfire had started burning.
Put the leaflets together in one place on the table.
The burglars stole absolutely nothing at all from us.

Match the headlines 1–4 with the stories a–d below.
1

RECORD NUMBERS OF STUDENTS DROP OUT

2

DAVID BLAKE LASHES OUT AT CRITICS

3

GOVERNMENT TO TEST OUT NEW SPEED CAMERAS

4

WILSON SAYS COUNT ME OUT OF OLYMPIC TEAM

a) After a trial period of six months, a decision will be made as to whether they will be installed
throughout the country.
b) She said she did not wish to take part as she had found the pressure too great in the last Games.
c) More than 6,000 withdrew from a range of programmes, almost 1,000 more than last year,
according to the minister.
d) He said he was sick of the hypocrisy of people who had never done anything themselves to help
the poor.

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

33

15

Up
A

Basic meanings of up in phrasal verbs
You are probably familiar with verbs such as eat up and write up, which carry a meaning of
completion. Here are some more examples:
Come on, children, finish up your breakfast. It’s time to go.
Well, let’s wrap up the discussion now and vote. [(informal) finish an activity]
Up can also carry the meaning of upward movement or relating to an upper position.
Could you lift the table up while I put the rug under it?
Teddy, pick all your toys up from the floor and put them in your toy box.
Another meaning of up in phrasal verbs is maintain in an upright position or strengthen,
prevent from falling down or failing.
Victoria was lying propped up on a pillow. [supporting herself in an upright position]
The minister announced new measures to shore up the economy. [strengthen or improve an
organisation or system that is not working effectively or that is likely to fail]
Up can also mean increase or improve.
This sauce is tasteless. I’ll add some garlic to pep it up a bit. [(informal) make something more
interesting, lively or energetic]
We jazzed up our all-white kitchen by adding red tiles and doorknobs here and there. [(informal)
make something more attractive or interesting]

B

Other phrasal verbs with up
Read these TV programme previews and note the phrasal verbs with up.

The Man Who Hated Dogs
Tuesday 9pm

DDC

atv

History File Thursday 8.30pm

The hero of this comedy, played by Nathan
Farr, finds himself playing daddy to three
homeless dogs, but lands up1 in trouble with
his girlfriend when the local press publishes
a story about him which is blown up2 to
make him look like a pitiless animal-hater.

An archaeologist notices some strange, pointed
stones sticking up from the surface of a lake during
a drought. Suspecting they may mark the site of an
ancient tomb, she takes infrared photographs from
the air. What shows up3 in the images deepens the
mystery. After a long investigation she concludes that
theories about the ancient Mosa people no longer
stand up4.

1

3

 (informal) finally does something,
especially without having planned to
2
 made to seem much worse than it is

Nation on the Move
Friday 10pm

becomes visible
 appear correct when examined

4

Chips with everything
Friday 7.30pm

GlobalNews

TV

HNTV

Documentary-maker Elliot Warcross picks up on5
recent rumours in the press that an ultra-rich
business tycoon has attempted to buy up the
world’s supply of silicon, opening up the terrifying
possibility of a world monopoly in computer chips.
Warcross tries to set up an interview with the
mystery tycoon but receives death threats in return.

Phrasalia, once a country closed to the rest of the
world, has opened up since the death of its longtime ruler President Particulos. But will the newfound freedoms ultimately lead to the country
splitting up into chaotic, rival republics as tensions
emerge in its five provinces?
5

reacts to something that he has noticed

Error warning
We say ‘I went into the garden and picked some flowers.’ Don’t say ‘picked up some flowers’;
pick up is used for things which are on or have fallen to the ground.
34

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
15.1

Complete these sentences using a phrasal verb from A opposite. Put it in the correct
form and, if necessary, add a pronoun as object.
1 Zoe, if you don’t
your spinach, you can’t have any pudding.
2 We can
the asparagus with a nice oil and vinegar dressing.
3 The prime minister appointed three new ministers in an attempt to
his failing
administration.
4 You’ve just dropped some of your papers. Let me
for you.
5 I noticed Tim’s bicycle
against a wall outside Hannah’s apartment.
6 Your black dress is a little plain – why don’t you
a bit with a colourful scarf?
7 I think we should try and
the meeting by 4 p.m.
8 Can you
that plant pot? I need to put a saucer under it to catch the water.

15.2

Complete these dialogues using phrasal verbs from the opposite page so that the second
speaker agrees with and repeats more or less what the first speaker says.
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

15.3

Aaron

I just don’t think his theory is correct when you look at it very carefully.

Leo

No, I agree. It just doesn’t

Salima

I think we should ask the students to form small groups.

Martha

Yes, we should

Keira

I think we should try to arrange a meeting with the whole team.

Zac

You’re right. We should try to

Nazir

I just knew Patrick’s son would get into trouble with the police one day.

Anna

Yes, it was inevitable he’d

Jake

She said they’d sold all the tickets for the concert in one go.

Ruby

Yes, apparently some mystery person

Sam

Oh look, Sebastian freckles are really visible in this photo, aren’t they?

Tyler

Yes, they really

Harvey

I think the newspapers have greatly exaggerated the story.

Aisha

Yes, they’ve

Megan

There’s a big nail protruding from that floorboard; be careful.

Fellix

Yes, I noticed one

up when you examine it closely.

them up into groups of two or three.

one up.

up in serious trouble.

them all up over the Internet.

up, don’t they?

it up out of all proportion.

up the other day but forgot to mention it.

Which phrasal verb fits into each of these sets of collocations?
1			
to
			
2			
to
			

a photo
3		
a balloon		 to
a story			
a political system
4		
an ailing economy		 to
the foundations of a building			

a business
an interview
a meeting
unlimited possibilities
an opportunity
a new line of investigation

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

35

16

Time
A

How time passes

1
2
3
4
5

B

Diana

The sales conference will be coming around1 soon. We’d better start hurrying
those sales reports along2.

Paul

I can’t believe that the conference is coming up3 again already. This last year seems
to have slipped away4!

Diana

I know! There’s an awful lot to do leading up to5 the conference, especially as it’s going
to be held in our branch this year.

Paul

Oh well, at least it breaks things up6 and makes life a bit more interesting, I suppose.

Diana

It hasn’t been that bad a year, surely. There was all the excitement over the new
marketing campaign.

Paul

Oh, that completely passed me by7. It didn’t really affect me in my department.

Diana

OK, Paul. Time’s getting on8 a bit now. I need to head home. Let’s talk about what we
need to do tomorrow.

6
(of a regular event) happening at its usual time
 makes a period of time more interesting by
making someone do something more quickly, 		 being different from what you are doing for
making something happen more quickly		 the rest of the time
7
will be happening soon
went unnoticed
8
passed very quickly
(mainly British and Australian informal) it’s
preparing in the period before an event begins		 getting late

Spending time
Right, I’m not going to spin this out1. I just have one thing to say. You only
have two weeks now till the exams start and you’re going to have to pull your
socks up2 if you want to pass. We’re going to set aside3 the next fortnight just
for revision. In other words, we’re going to free up4 some time by cancelling all
non-exam lessons like sport. All school sports matches will be held over5 until
the exams are finished. We felt that would be better than trying to fit revision
in6 around sport commitments. The sports staff agree that putting back7
these matches won’t cause any major problems, but we mustn’t set schedules
back8 by more than two weeks or we won’t be able to fit in all the matches before the end
of term. So now, put everything else out of your minds and concentrate on your revision.
No more frittering time away9 – get down to some serious work.
1
2
3
4

make something continue for longer than necessary
make an effort to improve, an idiom using a phrasal
verb (see Unit 8 for more)
use time for one purpose and no other purpose
make time or money available for a particular use
by not using it another way

5
6
7
8
9

delayed and arranged for a later date
do it between other activities
causing something to happen later than it should
happen
make something happen more slowly, or make
something happen later than it should
wasting time by using it for unimportant things

Tip
The following verbs can be used about money as well as time – free up and fritter away.
36

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
16.1

Match the beginning of each sentence with its ending.
1
2
3
4
5

16.2

There was a lot of excitement
My birthday seems to be
The annual meeting will be
I’d better go as it’s
It’s getting late – can you start

a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

getting on now.
hurrying people along?
leading up to the final match.
coming up some time next month.
coming around more quickly every year.

Read these remarks by different people and then answer the questions below.
Mary

I’m 63 and I’ve never had an interesting job or done anything exciting.

Jack

I feel I’m wasting a lot of time on useless and unimportant things.

Leah

I’m trying to improve my performance. I know I’ve been lazy and ineff icient.

Jude

I feel the days are passing very quickly and we need to solve the problem now.

Adriana I’m cancelling my meetings next week so I can take time off to decorate my flat.
1
2
3
4
5

16.3

Who is trying to free up some time?
Who feels that time is slipping away?
Who feels life is passing them by?
Who is trying to pull their socks up?
Who feels they are frittering away their time?

Complete this text with the correct particles.
(1) much longer than they need to so that they don’t
My staff often spin things
get asked to do any more work. As a result they sometimes set the schedules
(2)
by days or even weeks, and then I have to hurry them
(3) so that the work gets
done on time. And not only do I have to keep an eye on the staff, I also have to find time to
fit
(4) consultations with management and the unions, and inevitably meetings
have to be put
(5) because of some unexpected emergency, or important tasks
have to be held
(6) till the more immediate problems can be sorted out. I try to set
(7) at least one hour every day for planning, but it’s not easy. I like to take a proper
lunch break and get out of the office. I find that breaks the day
(8) nicely.

16.4

Correct the mistakes with the phrasal verbs in these sentences.
1
2
3
4
5

16.5

You’d get far more done if you didn’t fritter out so much time.
The children tried to spin their game off so they didn’t have to go to bed.
Cameron might lose his job if he doesn’t pull his collar up.
We must discuss what we need to do leading up the opening of the new branch.
Let’s try to make some time apart next month to discuss progress on the project.

Rewrite each sentence using a phrasal verb from the box in an appropriate form. Make
any other necessary changes. You may need to use a dictionary to help you.
eke out

dictionary.cambridge.org

1
2
3
4
5

drag out

bring forward

space out

creep up on

We’ve had to reschedule the meeting for this Tuesday as Austin will be away next week.
Francesca always makes any discussion last longer than necessary.
I think we should have longer intervals between our meetings.
I thought I had ages to prepare for my exams, but they have arrived in no time at all.
I think we should try to make the printing paper last as long as possible.
English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

37

17

Cause and effect
Many of the phrasal verbs in this unit are usually used in quite formal contexts. Using these
phrasal verbs will help you to improve your style when writing formal correspondence, giving
presentations and writing reports and essays.
Look at these formal letters to the editor of a newspaper and note the phrasal verbs connected
with cause and effect.
1

Reply

 make it seem likely
that something is true

Forward

2

 thought to be caused
by (used for problems
and bad experiences)

Dear Sir/Madam,
Recent events in Herean City point to1 a failure of central government to
control spending by local and regional authorities. This failure can be put
down to2 a long-standing reluctance to tackle local corruption, which has
resulted in a situation where certain powerful local politicians feel free to
act outside the law. This then contributes to a general atmosphere in which
all politicians are mistrusted.
Yours sincerely,
G. Johnson (Ms)

Reply

Forward

3

 (slightly informal)
constitute a
reasonable or likely
explanation for
something

Dear Sir/Madam,
Arthur Power’s explanation for the growth of crime in our cities just does
not add up3. He attributes recent rises in crime to a decline in leisure
facilities for young people and the economic recession. But the problem in fact
stems from4 a longer-term neglect of the cities, and dealing with the problem
depends on accepting this fact first and foremost. We have been talking
about rising crime rates for decades and after the last general election the
government set up an inquiry into inner-city crime, but as yet nothing seems to
have come out of 5 this enquiry.

4

 is caused by

5

 if something comes
out of a process or an
event, it is one of the
results

Sincerely,
A. H. Lowe
6

Reply

Forward

Dear Sir/Madam
No one should be surprised that the recent education reforms have
rebounded on6 the government. The reforms were rooted in7 a deep-seated
elitism, which accounts for8 the fact that inequality has grown rather than
diminished, as your report showed (13 November). As always, the effects have
impacted most on9 poorer families, where the new system has led to parents
being unable to afford a good education for their children. It all adds up to10
more misery in our schools and fewer opportunities for our young people,
especially in the inner cities.

 had a bad effect on the person
who did it with the result that
they did not achieve what they
were trying to achieve

7

 based on, or caused by

8

 explains the reason for

9

 had a noticeable effect
on

10

results in

Yours sincerely,
D. Mitchell (Prof.)

Tip
Always make a note in your notebook if a phrasal verb is formal or informal.
38

English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced

Exercises
17.1

Match the beginning of each sentence with its ending.
1 Aidan’s new job will undoubtedly impact
a)
2 How the situation develops will depend
b)
3 Isabelle’s behaviour may well rebound
c)
4 Freddie’s interest in botany stems
d)
5 Her attitude to foreigners is rooted
e)
6 It is impossible to point		
7 The new education reform should result
f)
8 Professor Bukowsky attributes the crisis
g)
9 The situation in the country may lead
h)
		
i)

17.2

to one clear cause of the crisis.
from a childhood spent in the rainforest.
in ignorance.
in significant social change.
to the changes in the country’s
leadership.
on the reaction from the USA.
to a civil war.
on his family.
on her if she is not careful.

Correct the mistakes with the particles in these sentences. There is one mistake in each
sentence.
1 Theodore puts the problems down to the government, but I attribute them for the general world
economic situation.
2 To a large extent, how a person accounts for the problems in their lives seems to depend largely of
their own parents’ attitudes to difficult situations.
3 I believe the new legislation will contribute to a general improvement in the standard of living, but
Ben thinks it will result from increased poverty for most people.
4 The desire for reform has come off a general desire to improve the situation, but I suspect the
proposed changes may rebound on the government.
5 The proposals are rooted in an appropriate awareness of the problems that exist, but I do not feel
that what is proposed adds up a coherent programme of action.

17.3

Rewrite each sentence replacing the verb with a phrasal verb expression based on the
word in brackets.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

17.4

The school’s rituals and traditions have originated from its long history. (root)
My mother attributes the problem to a decline in moral values. (put)
How do you think the changes will affect your business? (impact)
The economic recession inevitably led to increased unemployment. (result)
How would you explain the recent increase in violent crime? (account)
Joel’s criticism of Erica may have a bad effect on him now that she’s his boss! (rebound)
I do not feel that the writer’s analysis of the problem makes sense. (add)
Some unforeseen problems have resulted from the change in legislation. (come)

Answer these questions using full sentences.
1 What would you put global warming down to?
2 What do you think has led to the curren