A phrasal verb is a verb followed by a preposition or an adverb; the combination creates a meaning different from the original verb.

abide by

  • Respect or obey (the law, a decision, a rule…).
    “If you want to stay at this school, you must abide by the rules.”

ache for

  • Want someone or something very much.
    “He was so lonely he ached for the sound of a human voice.”

act on

  • Take action as a result of something.
    “The police decided to act on the anonymous call they received.”

act out

  • Demonstrate something with gestures and actions.
    “The children acted out the scene in the classroom.”

act up

  • Cause pain or annoyance by functioning badly.
    Dad’s poor knee is acting up again.”

add up

  • Make sense; seem reasonable.
    “She explained what happened but the details she gave just don’t add up.”

adhere to

  • Support;  follow;  act in accordance with.
    “All contestants must adhere to the rules.”

advise against

  • Recommend not  to do something.
    The doctor advised him against carrying heavy loads.

agree with

  • Have the same opinion as some else.
    “I agree with you. I think she deserves the award too.”

aim at

  • Direct towards a target.
    “The policeman aimed his gun at the hijacker.”

allow for

  • Take into consideration;  include in a calculation.
    “It will take longer. You have to allow for heavy traffic at rush hour.”
    “We must allow for food expenses too. Let’s add 20€ per person.”

allude to

  • Mention or make reference to something in an indirect way.
    “I don’t understand. What problem is she alluding to?”

angle for

  • Try to obtain something by hinting or suggesting.
    “From the way he’s speaking I suspect Tom is angling for a free ticket.”

answer back

  • Reply rudely to someone in authority when you are expected to remain silent.
    “I’m your teacher. Don’t answer back !”

answer for

  • Be held responsible for something.
    “Normally parents have to answer for their children’s behaviour.”
  • Speak on behalf of someone.
    “I agree to your proposal, but I can’t answer for my associate.

answer to

  • Be responsible to/be controlled by (someone)
    “Who do you answer to in your job?”

appeal to

  • Plead or make an earnest request.
    “The organisers appealed to the crowd to stay calm.”
  • Be attractive or interesting.
    “The idea of camping in the woods doesn’t appeal to me at all.” 

apply for

  • Make a formal request for something (job, permit, loan, etc.)
    “When he saw the advertisement he decided to apply for the job.”

arrive at

  • Reach (an agreement, a decision, a conclusion)
    “It is hoped that they will arrive at an agreement at the end of the meeting.”

ask after

  • Enquire about someone’s well-being.
    “My mother is always asking after you.”

ask around

  • Mention it to people you see or meet.
    “I’ll ask around and see if anyone has seen your cat.”

ask in

  • Invite someone to come inside.
    “I couldn’t leave her standing outside in the cold so I asked her in.

ask out

  • Invite someone to lunch, dinner, the cinema …
    “John has asked Mary out several times.”

attest to

  • Prove to be true; bear witness to
    “The number of visitors attest to the popularity of the website.”

avail (oneself) of

  • Take advantage of something (an opportunity)
    “When the sales begin you should avail yourself of the opportunity and buy that coat.”

average out at

  • Result in an average(amount)
    “The price of lunch averages out at 10€ per person.”