Phrasal verbs can be tricky, especially for non-native speakers. Nevertheless, those who aspire to find a job in an English-speaking country or already apply their professional skills in an English-speaking environment need to know them. At least, essential ones.
So, if you want to make your English speech more nativelike and feel more confident at work, this blog post is exactly what you need. Let’s start!
Meaning: to accept and comply with a rule
Example: All newly hired employees have to get familiarized with internal company rules they have to abide by.
Meaning: to make a copy of the information on a PC (documents, files and programs) to avoid losing it.
Example: My laptop has crashed. Luckily, I’ve backed up all my files, so I can recover them later.
book up (booked up)
Meaning: When someone or something is booked up, they have no spare time or
space, so they’re unable to offer any appointments or accept any reservations.
Example: My boss is fully booked up for this week. Do you want to make an appointment early next week?
Meaning: move a meeting or event to an earlier date or time than it was planned
Example: Please bring the next month’s meeting forward to the end of the current month.
Meaning: to mention a subject or start to talk about it
Example: I’m going to bring up my proposal for the project in today’s meeting.
Meaning: to become extremely exhausted or ill due to overwork or stress
Example: Even after quitting her stressful job, Martha felt burnt out for a month.
Meaning: to cancel an event or agreement
Example: He’s called off the meeting at the last minute.
Meaning: to perform a task
Example: We have to carry out our mental health research next month.
Meaning: cease business permanently
Example: He admitted that it’s time to close down his company.
come up with
Meaning: to suggest or think of an idea or plan
Example: After an hour-long video conference call we’ve finally come up with a solution.
contract out to
Meaning: to employ other companies to perform a job instead of your company
Example: We’ve decided to contract out IT services to a highly-reliable IT company.
copy in (somebody)
Meaning: to send someone a copy of an email you are sending to someone else
Example: I’ll copy you in on the correspondence related to this project.
Meaning: prepare a plan or any other document
Example: I’ve finally drawn up a detailed business plan.
Meaning: to not happen, fail
Example: The deal fell through because our main competitor made a better offer.
fill in for (somebody)
Meaning: to do someone’s work because they are away; to substitute for someone
Example: I’ll have to fill in for Andrew until he gets back.
Meaning: to complete a form or document
Example: To sign up, you have to fill out an online application first.
get back to
Meaning: to contact someone later or reply to a message
Example: I’ll get back to you as soon as I figure out who was in charge of carrying out the report.
Meaning: examine or check something
Example: Today we’re going to go over their proposal with great attention.
Meaning: to write something briefly and quickly on a piece of paper so that you remember it
Example: I was jotting down every word he said during his presentation.
Meaning: to stop employing a worker temporarily or permanently because of a shortage of work
Example: Many employees were laid off during the pandemic crisis.
Meaning: to see another person or group to discuss something
Example: Mary and I met up for lunch to discuss our business plan.
Meaning: to provisionally put someone or something on a schedule, calendar or list
Example: Sarah, could you please pencil me in for Monday morning at 10:30?
Meaning: to make someone aware of something or call attention to it
Example: He pointed out that our AI strategy needs to be slightly pivoted.
Meaning: to delay or postpone something until a later time or date
Example: The date for the conference has been pushed back until next week.
Meaning: to postpone something
Example: I’ll have to put our meeting off since I might get Covid.
reach out (to)
Meaning: to contact someone by phone or email
Example: Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.
report back (to)
Meaning: to bring information to someone in authority
Example: Report back to me as soon as you finish your research.
Meaning: to sign one’s name to get, do, or join something
Example: Today our company has signed up with six marketing influencers to promote our product.
Meaning: to do something with less effort or energy than usual, to become less active
Example: If you feel you’re slacking off at work, you might experience burnout.
Meaning: To be very busy or overwhelmed with something
Example: After these two projects started at the same time, I’m constantly snowed under reports.
Meaning: to stay late at work after everyone else has left
Example: Alice, you can go, I’m going to stay behind to finish my research.
Meaning: to resign from an important position
Example: He stepped down as a CTO a month ago.
Meaning: agree to do some work or be responsible for it; employ
Example: Luke, I don’t have the time to take on one more project now.
Meaning: take control of something
Example: This corporation has taken over 3 promising startups within one year.
Meaning: to join someone to do something together
Example: Guys, let’s team up and finish this project today.
Meaning: to reject something offered or proposed
Example: I’ve turned down this job offer because the salary was too low.
Meaning: solve a problem
Example: We need to work out a plan to finally get rid of the issue.
That’s it! What phrasal verbs do you use at work?