Phrasal Verbs – Bb and Examples

Phrasal Verbs Topics is designed to help intermediate to advanced learners of English improve their knowledge of phrasal verbs. It can be used as a self-study guide by learners, or used by teachers in their EFL/ESL classes whether online or classroom based learning and teaching.

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Phrasal Verbs – Bb and Examples


back out


Before the election, the president promised to cut taxes if he won. But after being elected he backed out, saying they couldn’t afford to.


They’d agreed to increase wages, but backed out when their profits fell.

back up


When writing your essay, state your thesis and then back up what you say with examples to show that it’s true.


The prosecutor backed his

claim up with enough evidence to prove it.

I’ll back you up if anyone says you’re lying. I know what you’re saying is true and I’ll do whatever I can to help you.
  We trust Sue and backed her up when the company accused her of stealing.
  base on  

They always base their new designs on the latest market research.


Our prices are based on the cost of production and

customer expectations.


bear on / upon


The judge said that the new evidence didn’t bear on the case and couldn’t be presented in court.

We only need information that bears directly upon

the issue being looked at.


beat up


Brad told us about the time he was beaten up on the street by a gang of thugs and had to go to hospital.


He said the police beat him up to make him sign

the confession.


begin with


All our classes begin with some conversation practice. The teacher comes in and asks us how we are and what we’ve been doing.


His first name is Rick, which begins with the

letter ‘r’.


believe in


Not many people believe in ghosts these days, but when I was young many people believed in them.

Our boss believes in the power of positive thinking

and teaches us about it.


belong to


Who does that big Harley Davidson motorbike in the carpark belong to?  Is it yours?

The DVD isn’t mine. It belongs to the school, so I

can’t lend it to anyone.


black out


The storm blacked out the city and there wasn’t any electricity for over an hour.

The city was blacked out when the power plant

workers went on strike.

Jim drank so much whisky that he blacked out. We had to throw water on his face to wake him up.
I don’t remember anything about it, so I

must have blacked out.


blow away


I lost my favourite hat today. I was standing on a cliff when a strong gust of wind blew it away and it went sailing down into the sea.


If you stand downwind

your cigarette smoke will be blown away from us.


blow out


Becky blew out the candles on her birthday cake, and then she made a wish.

Make sure the flame in the lamp doesn’t blow out.

Lighting it isn’t easy.


bounce back


It’s been a bad year for our company, but I’m sure we’ll bounce back

and do better than ever next year.


It didn’t take David Beckham long to bounce

back after his injury.


break away


The people in the south of the country wanted to break away and form their own separate state.

After the conflict, a few politicians broke away to

form their own party.


break down


When Katie was driving to work her car broke down, so she left it on the side of the road and took a taxi instead.

Talks between the army

and rebels broke down after more bomb attacks.

She broke down at the funeral, so I gave her a tissue to wipe the tears from her eyes.
He broke down and cried

when his son’s body was returned from the war.


break in


You should break in your new football boots by wearing them at training for a while before using them in a real match.


Martina was having a conversation but I had to  break in and tell her that her daughter was on the phone and needed to talk to her urgently.

break into


The thieves broke into the house and stole some valuable paintings and jewelry.

Someone broke into our computer network and

stole some important data.


break off


William broke off his engagement to Kate after they’d had an argument, but they soon made up and eventually got married.


The two sides couldn’t agree, so they broke the

negotiations off.


break out


Many people were angry when the government increased the price of oil and petrol, and protests broke out on the streets of the city.


A prisoner broke out of jail, but the police caught him quickly and put him back inside.

break up



The signal on my phone was breaking up and I couldn’t hear what he was saying.

The phone’s signal was

getting weak so I said, ‘You’re breaking up.’


bring along


When we go to the beach, why don’t you bring some friends along as well?

Would you like us to bring along some food

and drinks?


bring back


When she hears that song, it brings lots of memories back from when she was young.

Reading my old diaries brought back the feelings

I’d had many years ago.

bring down  Rebel fighters want to bring down the government and take control of the country.
Huge street protests eventually brought the

corrupt president down.


bring forward


The meeting was scheduled for next week, but we’ve had to bring it

forward to tomorrow.


The judge agreed to bring forward the trial date to

help speed things up.


bring on


Sally’s crying. What brought that on? Don’t tell me someone asked her about her old boyfriend!

I never drink alcohol

because all it does is bring on a headache.


build on


We’ll have to build on our success and keep working hard in order to stay ahead of our competitors.

If we build on our market share, we could end up

dominating the sector.


build up


My son’s going to the gym to build up his muscles. He wants to get big and strong so no-one will try to pick on him.


Now she’s building her stock portfolio up by

buying shares in banks.


bump into


You’ll never guess who I bumped into at the mall today. It was Jenny! She just got back from India.

My wife comes from a huge family. She’s always bumping into relatives.

burn down


The house burned down in the fire. There was nothing left but rubble and ashes.


The fire burned their

factory down, but their insurance will pay for it.



butt in


Maria interrupts people too much. When someone is speaking, she’ll

butt in before they’ve finished talking to tell us what she thinks.


She needs to learn how to join in a conversation

without butting in.