Phrasal Verbs ( Introduction – A)

Phrasal verbs are verbs which when combined with different propositions/adverbs change the meaning of the verb. The meaning of the phrasal verb is very different from the actual verb. Sometimes, reader might geta confusion about the usage of idioms and phrasal verbs. What is the difference between the two? More importantly, is there a difference? Yes, there is. That is why they are defined in two different categories.

Idioms are phrase or fixed expressions (which may contain verbs, nouns ,adjectives etc.) that convey a meaning different from the meaning of the individual words. The words cannot be broken down to understand the meaning of an idiom.


Idiom Meaning Sentence
At the crack of dawn Early in the morning Birds start singing at the crack of the dawn.

A phrasal verb is a group of words(verb+adverb/preposition/particle) used together as a verb with a meaning different from the individual words when broken down. But the difference here is phrasal verbs are verbs. So we can say, phrasal verbs are idiomatic verbs.

Phrasal Verb Meaning Sentence
Get up leave bed after waking up He used to get up at the crack of the dawn to study for his exams.

Here is a list of commonly used Phrasal verbs (starting with A ):

Phrasal Verb Meaning Sentence
Act up Not behave properly, not work properly (for machines) My laptop is acting up.

I scolded my son because he was acting up.

Ask out Ask for a date He has not asked her out yet.
Ask over/round To invite someone to one’s home I have asked him over/round for lunch.
Ask around ask people the same question I asked around but nobody has seen my purse.
Ask in To invite someone James is knocking on the door. Please ask him in.
Ask after To enquire about someone

‘ s health

I called dad to ask after my grandmother.
Ask about To enquire how someone is doing, a general information about  someone’s well being He called to ask about my brother.
Ask for To request for “I had asked for tea, but I have not got it yet”, customer complained to the manager.

She is in great trouble after arguing with the boss. But his boss is not at fault. She asked for it.

Abide by Follow a rule or decision We have to abide by  the company’s policy.
Argue down To beat someone in a discussion or argument He tried to argue the child down, but he could’nt.