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

idle away

  • Waste time doing nothing much.
    “He idles away hours every day watching television.”

iron out

  • Resolve by discussion; eliminate differences.
    “The meeting tomorrow will be an opportunity to iron out difficulties.”

impose on/upon

  • Ask too much of someone.
    “Is it alright if I stay? I don’t want to impose upon your hospitality.”

improve on

  • Make better.
    The runner trained regularly to improve on his previous performance.

indulge in

  • Allow yourself to enjoy something.
    “I’ve been dieting all week but today I’m going to indulge in a dessert.”

insure against

  • Guarantee compensation for damage, injury, etc.
    “The passengers on the boat are all fully insured.”

invite out

  • Ask someone to join you for lunch, dinner, etc.
    “Harry invited her out for dinner.”

join in

    • Participate in something.
      “We couldn’t persuade Eva to join in the game. She was too shy.”

join up

  • Engage in, become a member of.
    “John was in the army and Tom joined up as soon as he left school.”
  • Meet and unite with.
    “The two groups of tourists joined up at the hotel.”

jot down

  • Take quick notes.
    “I jotted down the address while watching a documentary on television. “

keep at

  • Persevere.
    “His father encouraged him to keep at his studies.”

keep back

  • Retain; force to stay back.
    “A barrier will be installed to keep back the fans.”

keep on

  • Continue doing something.
    “I told the children to be quiet but they kept on making noise.”

keep up with

  • Stay at the same level as someone or something.
    “Bill walks so fast it’s difficult to keep up with him.”

kneel down

  • Go down on your knees.
    “Most people kneel down to pray.”

kick off

  • Begin; start.
    “The football match is planned to kick off at 3 p.m.”

knock back

  • Drink quickly (usually alcohol).
    “He knocked back a pint of beer and then went home.”

knock down

  • Strike someone or something to the ground.
    “The child was knocked down by a car on the way to school.”
    “The tree was knocked down during the storm.”

knock out

  • Cause someone to fall unconscious.
    “The boxer was knocked out in the first round.”

know of

  • Have heard of; have knowledge about.
    “Do you know of anyone else attending the conference?”