Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs - Definition, Meanings & Examples

Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs – Meanings and Examples

Winston Churchill, British statesman, army officer, writer and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was a figure that would not be forgotten in a hurry! I believe you are already wondering what this war strategist has to do with our post, Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs – Definition, Meanings and Examples. This is it: he said something profound about Prepositions. Hear him: Preposition: An enormously versatile part of grammar, as in ‘What made you pick this book I didn’t want to be read to out of up for?

Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs

So if this great man sees Preposition as a versatile part of grammar, then you should! I did not say you must; I just feel you should and that explains why you are reading this post keenly! Let me inform you that every grammatical concept that evolves from preposition is also of equal importance. One of them is the focus of our discussion: Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs. We shall look at the definition, I will give you a list of 50 Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs in English – there are more and then give you examples of each in a sentence for proper understanding. Without wasting time, let us get down to it.

Definition of Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs

A Phrasal-Prepositional verb is defined as “a verb idiom which consists of three words, namely: main verb, particle and preposition”.  It is the combination of some verbs as an idiom with both an adverb and a preposition. In other words, for it to be a Phrasal-Prepositional Verb, it must comprise at least, three (3) words! If it comprises two (2), then you might be talking about Phrasal Verbs. Let me give you a list of 50 Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs with their meanings:

List and Meanings of Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs

Find below a list of some of the Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs we have in English and the explanation of what each of them means. We have used a prepositional verb or, where applicable, a single verb (which equally subsumes or incorporates the meaning of the Phrasal-Prepositional Verb) to explain the meaning of each.

  1. Put up with – tolerate, accept, bear or endure
  2. Look forward to – wait or hope for, expect
  3. Do away with – discard, remove or discontinue
  4. Get round to – find a way to deal with, do what one has intended to do for a long time
  5. Stand in for – represent, deputise or act as a substitute for
  6. Get away with – escape being caught or punished
  7. Stand in with – be in a specially favoured position with, be in alliance or partnership with.
  8. Walk out on – abandon, leave suddenly out of anger
  9. Check up on – investigate in order to establish the truth about something
  10. Break in on – interrupt or interject It was wrong for you to have broken in on our discussion.
  11. Back out of – withdraw from an earlier commitment
  12. Catch up on – compensate for something belated
  13. Catch up with – reach or pass after following
  14. Drop in on – pay a casual/unexpected visit
  15. Face up to – confront
  16. Make away with – steal, abduct
  17. Look up to – have respect for
  18. Stand up with – be a best man or maid of honour
  19. Look down on – disdain, despise
  20. Stand up for – defend
  21. Make up to – make a friendly overture to, behave in a very friendly way towards someone, act ingratiatingly and flatteringly
  22. Stand up to – face boldly
  23. Make up for – compensate for
  24. Walk up to – approach someone or something on foot
  25. Make out with – to engage in necking or petting

List and Meanings Continued

  1. Let in on – to let out a supposed secret; disclose a secret or acquaint someone  with what few people have access to
  2. Put up to – to inform or instruct a person about something; urge a person on to something, incite
  3. Take out on – transfer aggression on someone because of anger or upsets even if they do not deserve such
  4. Get on with – have a good relationship with
  5. Keep away from – avoid
  6. Come up with – bring up something when under pressure
  7. Look out for – be at alert for, be watchful or vigilant for
  8. Listen out for – listen or try to hear something
  9. Come up against – be faced with a challenge
  10. Listen in on – eavesdrop, snoop or overhear something
  11. Watch out for – to be careful of, to watch out, ensure nothing bad happens to someone
  12. Look in on – visit or make a brief call to someone
  13. Break out of – escape from a place by force
  14. Clamp down on – act or take steps to prevent or control something
  15. Move in on – take charge or handle
  16. Cut down on – reduce in number or size
  17. Get out of – avoid doing something
  18. Keep up with – stay at the same level as someone or something
  19. Run out of – have no more of something
  20. Stick up for – defend
  21. Come down with – become sick
  22. Add up to – total or equal
  23. Cut back on – consume less of something
  24. Get back at – retaliate, get revenge
  25. Zero in on – focus on, give all attention to, adjust one’s gaze until pointing specifically at something

 Examples of Phrasal-prepositional Verbs

To make this concept of Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs very clear, let us use some of the earlier explained ones in sentences.

  1. The woman could no longer put up with her husband’s attitude.
  2. We look forward to an exciting Semester.
  3. You have to do away with this dress; it’s embarrassing!
  4. She finally got round to organising a birthday party for her daughter.
  5. I stood in for my boss at the meeting.
  6. Under his watch as the Police Chief, no one could get away with any crime.
  7. He has a good standing in with the president.
  8. The boy walked out on his father.
  9. The auditors came to check up on the company’s tax records.
  10. It was wrong for you to have broken in on our discussion.
  11. The man threatened to back out of the deal.
  12. He needed to catch up on his exercises.
  13. The student tried to catch up with their teachers who had gone ahead.
  14. They were asked to drop in on their parents during the holiday.
  15. They need to face up to the fact that they would not travel.
  16. The thieves made away with large sums of money and the driver of the bullion van.
  17. Everyone looks up to the principal.
  18. I feel honoured to stand up with you at your wedding.
  19. It is not good to look down on the less privileged.
  20. You must learn to stand up for yourself as no one will do that for you.
  21. Her friends accused her of always making up to her shrewd uncle.
  22. You must develop the boldness to stand up to your challenges.
  23. He promised to make up for the time he wasted.
  24. He walked up to the car and shatter its windscreen.
  25. The two students were expelled from the school for making out with each other in the store.

More Examples

  1. He was let in on his friend’s plan to leave the country.
  2. She confessed that she was put up to wearing a see-through dress by her friends.
  3. Even though he was angry, he doesn’t have to take it out on the poor kids.
  4. The workers appear to be getting on with one another in the office.
  5. Every child must keep away from bad companies.
  6. You must come up with a plan to pay your debt or risk being arrested.
  7. We have to look out for snakes in our surroundings during the dry season.
  8. The little girl was asked to listen out for the baby’s cry.
  9. We have not come up against this type of threat before.
  10. The kids were listening in on their parents’ discussion.
  11. She was advised to watch out for bad sways on campus. The students usually watch out for one another.
  12. They looked in on their ailing colleague.
  13. Several juveniles broke out of custody.
  14. Police have decided to clamp down on illegal mining activities in the state.
  15. The students moved in on all the cultists in the school.
  16. The family decided to cut down on sugar in its diet.
  17. She tried in vain to get out of fetching water from the well every morning.
  18. I could not keep up with the speed of the teacher’s dictation.
  19. We ran out of petrol as we approached the stadium.
  20. My boss will stick up for me whenever an issue comes up at work.
  21. I came down with a severe cold last week.
  22. The cost of the items added up to several hundred.
  23. The doctor warned the man to cut back on starchy foods or risk developing diabetes.
  24. He vowed to get back at me for exposing him.
  25. The soldiers zeroed in on the enemy’s camp.

Closing Words

Now that you have gone through these 50 Phrasal-Prepositional Verbs’ definitions, list, meanings and examples, you may wish to look up other educative posts on other prepositional concepts. Read more on Prepositional Phrase and Phrasal Verbs. What about Prepositional Verbs? Do you even know that we have marked Differences between Phrasal Verbs, Phrasal-prepositional Verbs and Prepositional Verbs? Please do yourself a favour and check out all the posts. Do not forget to share with your friends. Informed and educate them! See you around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *