Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verbs List letter A

Complete Phrasal Verbs List

Phrasal Verb
Meaning Example
Abide by Accept or follow a decision or rule. We have to ABIDE BY what the court
Account for To explain. They had to ACCOUNT FOR all the money that had gone missing.
Ache for Want something or someone a lot. My partner’s been away for a fortnight- I am ACHING FOR her.

Act on

To take action because of something like information received. The police were ACTING ON a tip from an informer and caught the gang red- handed.
Act on Affect. The medicine only ACTS ON infected tissue.
Act out Perform something with actions and gestures.. They ACTED OUT the story on stage.
Act out Express an emotion in your behaviour. Their anger is ACTED OUT in their antisocial behaviour.
Act up Behave badly or strangely My computer’s ACTING UP; I think I

might have a virus

Act upon To take action because of something like information received The police were ACTING UPON a tip- off
Act upon Affect The enzyme ACTS UPON certain proteins
Add on Include in a calculation You have to ADD the VAT ON to the price they give
Add up To make a mathematical total We ADDED UP the bill to check it was correct
Add up Be a satisfactory explanantion for something She explained why the work wasn’t ready, but her story doesn’t ADD UP
Add up to Have a certain result Trains delays are getting worse and with the high fares, it all ADDS UP TO misery for the commuters
Add up to Come to a certain amount or figure The total costs ADD UP TO several million euros
Agree with Affect- usually used in the negative to show that something has had a negative effect, especially is it makes you feel bad I feel terrible- that food didn’t AGREE WITH my stomach
Aim at To target The magazine is AIMED AT teenagers
Aim at Intend to achieve They’re AIMING AT reducing costs by ten percent
Allow for Include something in a plan or calculation You should ALLOW FOR delays when

planning a journey

Allow of Make possible, permit The rules don’t ALLOW OF any exceptions
Angle for Try to get something indirectly, by hinting or suggesting He’s been ANGLING FOR an invitation, but I don’t want him to come
Answer To reply rudely to someone in authority Her mother was shocked when she started back
Answer for Be held responsible for a problem The government should be made to ANSWER FOR their failure to sort out the problem
Answer for Speak on behalf of someone or from knowing them I can ANSWER FOR my partner because I know her position on this issue
Argue down Beat someone in a debate, discussion or argument The teacher tried to ARGUE the girl DOWN, but she couldn’t
Argue down Persuade someone to drop the price of something they’re selling She ARGUED him DOWN ten percent
Argue down Try to persuade people not to accept a proposition, motion, etc They tried to ARGUE DOWN the proposal
Argue out Argue about a problem to find a solution If we can’t ARGUE our differences OUT,

we’ll have to take them to court

Ask about Ask how someone is doing, especially professionally and in terms of health He ASKED ABOUT my father
Ask after Enquire about someone’s health, how life is going Jenny rang earlier and ASKED AFTER you, so I told her you were fine
Ask around Ask a number of people for information of help I have no idea, but I’ll ASK AROUND at work and see if anyone can help
Ask around Invite someone We ASKED them AROUND for dinner
Ask for To provoke a negative reaction You’re ASKING FOR trouble
Ask for Request to have or be given I ASKED FOR the menu
Ask in To invite somebody into your house ‘Jon’s at the door.’ ‘ASK him IN.’
Ask out To invite someone for a date He wanted to ASK her OUT but was too


Ask over Invite. They have ASKED us OVER for drinks on Friday
Ask round Invite someone. We ASKED John ROUND for diner.
Auction off Sell something in an auction They AUCTIONED OFF their property

as they were heavily in debt


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