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

rake up

  • Recall unpleasant memories or events
    “She’s constantly raking up old quarrels.”

ramp up

  • Increase the quantity or amount
    “The company ramped up production to meet the demand.”

reel off

  • Recite without effort or pause.
    “Stella amazed everyone by reeling off all the phrasal verbs she had learned.”

rely on

  • Count on; depend on; trust
    “Don’t worry. You can rely on me. I can keep a secret.”

rig out (verb)

  • Dress or equip.
    “The old lady arrived all rigged out in her best clothes.”

ring back (also: call back)

  • Return a phone call.
    “John rang this morning and asked if you could ring him back.”

ring off

  • End a phone call.
    “The caller gave his name and then rang off.”

rub out

  • Erase.
    “Write it in pencil so that you can rub it out later if you want to change it.”

rule out

  • Eliminate.
    “The police are still investigating but they have ruled out political motives.”

run around

  • Be busy doing many different things.
    “Julie has been running around all week getting ready for the wedding.”

run across

  • Run to the other side of something (a road, a bridge…).
    “The pickpocket ran across the road and jumped onto a bus.”

run after

  • Chase something.
    “Tom threw the ball along the beach and the dog ran after it.”

run away

  • Escape from a place or suddenly leave.
    “He ran away from home at the age of fourteen.”

run into (also : bump into)

  • Meet by accident or unexpectedly .
    “Sophie ran into Maria at the shopping centre.”

run on

  • Continue without interruption.
    “We didn’t expect the chairman’s speech to run on for so long.”

run out

  • Expire, come to an end.
    “Let’s order now before the offer runs out.”

run out of

  • Have no more of something.
    “What a nuisance! We’ve run out of coffee.”

run up

  • Accumulate a debt.
    “James ran up a large amount in hotel expenses at the trade fair.”
  • Make something quickly.
    “My mother can run up a pair of curtains in no time.”

run up against

  • Encounter difficulties or problems.
    “The property developer ran up against strong local opposition.”

scale down

  • Make something smaller than originally intended.
    “Due to the crisis the company had to scale down the size of the plant.”

scrape together

  • Manage to find or collect enough of something you need, usually money.
    “We finally scraped together enough money to buy an old car.”

scrape through

  • Succeed with difficulty.
    “How I scraped through the exam is still a mystery to me!”

set off

  • Start a journey.
    “Early Saturday morning we set off for the ski slopes.”

set up

  • Start a business.
    “Victoria set up her own company 10 years ago.”

settle for

  • Accept something not quite satisfactory
    “I was hoping for a better proposal but I’ll settle for the amount you offer.”

shop around

  • Compare prices.
    “It’s always wise to shop around before buying anything.”

show off

  • Brag or want to be admired.
    “There’s Donald showing off in his new sports car!”

show up

  • Appear; arrive.
    “We expected William to come but he didn’t show up.”

shut up (impolite)

  • Be silent, stop talking.
    “Oh shut up you idiot!”

sign away

  • Give up one’s rights or ownership.
    “He signed away his property and joined a religious community.”

sign in

  • Register (e.g. at a hotel).
    “As soon as we’ve signed in we’ll go and get something to eat .”

sign out

  • Pay your bill and leave (e.g. a hotel).
    “At 9 o’clock he signed out and left for the airport.”

sign over (to)

  • Transfer ownership of something.
    “He signed over the house to his two children.”

sign up (for)

  • Enrol in an activity.
    Emma signed up for a computer course.

sign up (with)

  • Sign an agreement to work for somebody.
    “Paul has signed up with a news agency.”

single out

  • Select for special attention.
    “Two of the boys were singled out for extra coaching.

sink in

  • Be fully understood.
    “In spite of the detailed news reports, it took a while for the scale of the disaster to sink in.”

sit down

  • Take a seat.
    “Please come in and sit down.”

sleep in

  • Sleep later than usual.
    “Tomorrow is Saturday, so I can sleep in!”

sleep over

  • Stay overnight at someone else’s home.
    “You’re welcome to sleep over if you don’t want to drive in this weather.”

slip up

  • Make a mistake.
    “You slipped up there! His name is Alex, not Alan!”

slow down

  • Decelerate; go more slowly.
    “George! You’re going to cause an accident. Slow down!”

soak up

  • Absorb
    “She got a sponge to soak up the water.”
    “We soaked up the sun all afternoon.”

sober up

  • Get rid of the effects of too much alcohol.
    “Jack decided to go for a long walk to sober up.”

sort out

  • Organise, resolve a problem.
    “There was a misunderstanding but Lea sorted it out.
    “Students should sort out their books at the end of the school year.”

speed up

  • Accelerate; go faster.
    “We need to speed up the registration procedure.”

stand for

  • Represent, mean.
    “VAT stands for value added tax.”
  • Tolerate.
    “There’s no way I’m going to stand for such bad behaviour!”

stand up

  • Rise from a sitting position
    “The pupils stood up when the headmaster arrived.”

stand up for

  • Support or defend someone or something.
    “You must learn to be assertive and stand up for your personal views.”

stick around

  • Stay somewhere for some time.
    “I’ll stick around until the end of the parade.”

stick out

  • Come out.
    “The speaker’s shirt was sticking out from his trousers.”
  • Become noticeable.
    “With that dress you’ll really stick out!

stick to

  • Continue without changing anything.
    “We must decide on a plan of action and stick to it.”

stick together

  • Support each other.
    “Good friends always stick together.”

stick with

  • Continue using or doing something.
    “I’ll stick with this grammar book because it has everything I need.”