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 English Phrasal Verbs 


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

Alphabetical lists of commonly-used phrasal verbs in English.

 Alphabetical List  I-J-K 


  • 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 hospitabity."

  • improve on/upon
    • 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 inthe 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?"

More Phrasal Verbs: 

A B C D E-F G H I-J-K L M-N O-P-Q R-S T U-Z



Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.