Phrasal Verbs A-Z

A phrasal verb are usually two-word phrases consisting of preposition or adverb which creates a meaning different from the original verb.

Phrasal Verbs : A | B

Grammar notes: phrasal verbs a-b

account for something

to explain

to give an explanation for something

Well, how do you account for the fact that there's £20,000 missing?

There's a lot of money not accounted for.


add something on (to)

to include in a calculation or on a list

It'll cost more once you've added the VAT on.

Buying a house is very expensive after you've added on the solicitor's costs.

OK, so we need a printer, a scanner and a webcam. What about speakers? Add them on to the list as well.


add something up

to total by adding

add up

to be satisfactory when you think about it

I've added all my expenses up and you owe me £250.

They say the company is very successful and there aren't any problems with staff, suppliers or customers. But they're selling it at a very low price. It just doesn't add up.


back down

to abandon your position in an argument

The argument lasted for hours because neither of them would back down.

He backed down when it became clear that nobody else supported him.


back out (of something)

to break an agreement

to not do what you said you would

The two companies were going to merge, but one of them backed out at the last minute.

One company backed out of the deal because of rumours about the other company's finances.


back someone/something up

to support

Everyone backed him up when he complained about the conditions at work.

I'll listen to your complaints about the conditions at work when you have some evidence to back them up.

Whenever you write a new report, remember to back it up on CD.


back-up (noun)

If you have problems with the new system, just phone our office and our staff will give you all the back-up

you need.

You must have a back-up copy in case anything goes wrong with the computer.


be down

to have decreased

to not be working (computers/phones)

Sales are down by nearly 30%, so we'll have to start thinking about reducing the number of staff.

The computers are down again, so we can't get the plane tickets over the internet.

The phones were down for three days after the floods.


be in on something

to know something that isn't common knowledge

to be involved in something

The takeover was a complete surprise to me. Were you in on it?

I wasn't in on the plan at the beginning, but then someone asked me to join.


be off

to not be at work

She's not here. She's off today. I think she's got a hospital appointment.

That's the fourth time she's been off this month.


be out of something

to not have any more

The printer's out of ink again. Have you got another cartridge?

The machine's out of coffee. You'll have to have tea or chocolate.


be up

to have increased

Profits are up 60% this year, so we'll be able to pay a dividend.

Sales were up so much we had to employ extra staff.


boss someone around

to tell people what to do (often and needlessly)

You'd think he owned the company the way he bosses everyone around.

Stop bossing me around! I've been working here longer than you have.


branch out (into something)

to expand into new areas

If you want the company to grow, the business will have to branch out into new areas.

We're involved in all areas of the hotel business now, but we started with a restaurant and then branched out.


break down

to stop working

break something down (by)

to analyse

to show separately

We must get a new photocopier. This one's always breaking down.

I don't want a total figure. I want everything broken down by departments so I can see who's spending what.

When you break the figures down by category, you can see that most of our spending is on R&D.

breakdown (noun)

There was a breakdown on the tube this morning, so everyone got to work late.

I want a complete breakdown of all those figures.

bring something forward

to arrange to have or do earlier

Next week's meeting has been brought forward from Tuesday to Monday.

We've decided to bring the launch date forward to take advantage of the pre-Christmas increase in trading.

bring something out

to launch a product

They're bringing out a new line of summer clothing next month.

That's not a new computer program,. They brought that out years ago.

bring something up

to mention

Who brought up the question of wage rises in the meeting?

Well, I was waiting for the manager to bring it up, but he didn't. So I had to.

brush something up

to renew your knowledge of something

Either the existing staff will have to go to evening classes to brush up their Spanish, or we'll have to employ

new staff who actually know the language.

If you brush your languages up, then that will help you get a better job.

Grammar notes: phrasal verbs c

call for something

to need

to demand

This situation calls for urgent action before it's too late.

The job calls for a great deal of tact as you'll be dealing with the public at all times.

You've been promoted to manager? This calls for champagne.

The shareholders are calling for a change in management because of last year's bad results.

call something off

to cancel

We had to call off the meeting because the manager was on a trip.

No one told me you'd called it off. I came all the way from Barcelona!

call (someone) up

to phone

call something up (on the computer)

to look for and open

I tried to call you up to tell you about the meeting, but your mobile was switched off.

It's difficult to get any work done because people are calling up all day.

I called up the document and added the new paragraphs.

When I tried to call the file up it wasn't there. I must have deleted it by mistake.

carry on

carry on (doing something)

carry on (with something)

to continue

Please don't let me interrupt you. Carry on as if I wasn't here.

The fire alarm is always ringing. Now people ignore it and carry on working.

I'll be out of the office this afternoon, so you can just carry on with whatever you were doing this morning.


carry something out

to do

to complete or perform

The job was carried out by an outside consultancy firm.

We're carrying out a survey at the moment to see which of our products is the most popular.


catch up (with someone)

to reach the same standard

catch up (on something)

(to reach the required standard)

to do work you should already have finished

You all know much more than I do about computers, but I haven't got time to study. I'll never catch up.

You've already finished two reports today. I'll have to stay late to catch up with you.

I'm afraid there was no one to cover you when you were off sick last week, so you've got a lot of work to

catch up on.

I'll just have a sandwich at my desk so I can catch up on the backlog.


change over (to something)

to change to a new system or position

Spain changed over to the euro at the beginning of 2002.

Your computer's got the program I need. We'll have to change over.

I'm on a late shift this week, but we change over next Monday.

We'll have to change over to a new computer system soon because the old system is overloaded.


changeover (noun)

Everything seemed to be cheaper before the changeover to the euro.

We had nothing but problems with the computers for a couple of months after the changeover.


climb down

to admit you were wrong

He had to climb down after his colleagues proved him wrong.

The others had a much stronger argument, and in the end he climbed down and admitted they were right.


climb-down (noun)

First he said we couldn't have a pay rise, but then when we threatened to go on strike he said he'd negotiate.

It was a complete climb-down.

close (something) down

to close permanently

If we don't improve production we'll have to close down the factory.

When the supermarket opened, the grocer's shop on the corner closed down.

close-down (noun)

The factory close-down made a lot of people unemployed.

come out

to be published or made public

When the annual report came out, there was a sudden rush to sell shares.

News of the merger came out last week. Now everyone's worried about losing their jobs.

come up

to be mentioned, to appear

Did anything interesting come up in the meeting?

The idea of moving the company out of the city came up in the meeting.

A new vacancy has come up because one of the managers has retired.

come up against something

to meet or face

You come up against all sorts of discrimination when you work for a big company.

We came up against a number of problems when we tried to open a branch in France.

come up with something

to think of

The manager's secretary came up with a really good idea in the meeting.

We've been trying to find a solution to the problem for a long time now, but we still haven't come up with


crack down (on something)

to act more strictly

Staff have been told they can't send personal emails from work. Management will be cracking down in future.

If we want to save money we should begin by cracking down on personal phone calls made from work.

crop up

to appear or happen unexpectedly

Something's cropped up, so I won't be able to come to the meeting.

If any problems crop up while I'm on holiday, just ask one of the other managers.

cross something/someone off (a list)

cross something out

to delete, to draw a line through

OK, I've phoned those two clients, so they can be crossed off.

The sales manager will be in London next week and can't come to the meeting, so you can cross him off.

Yes or No. Cross out whichever doesn't apply.

That's not how you spell it. Cross it out and write it again.

cut back (on) (something)

to reduce

If sales continue to fall, we'll have to cut back production until things improve.

We were spending far too much money on entertaining clients, but we've managed to cut back.

They need to cut back on their investment programme.

cut down (on something)

to reduce consumption

I'm still smoking too much. I've tried to cut down, but it's impossible.

If we cut down on photocopies we won't need to buy so much toner.

cut someone off

disconnect a phone call

I was just talking to someone in the sales department, but I was cut off.

I pressed the wrong button on the switchboard and cut him off. He'll phone back in a minute.

Grammar notes: phrasal verbs d-f

deal with something/someone

to take action on something

to be responsible for

to have as its subject

to do business with

We should deal with the staff problems now before they get too serious.

The computer maintenance team can deal with any type of emergency.

The report deals with the introduction of new technology.

This company has many years of experience in dealing with customers from abroad.

We have been dealing with a number of multinationals ever since we opened our office in London.

do away with something

to abolish

We've finally done away with the manual system for goods registration.

The profit margin has been much higher ever since the company did away with its labour intensive production


drag on

to continue slowly and boringly

The meeting dragged on for hours and we still didn't come to a decision.

The chairman's speech seemed to drag on for ever. I had difficulty staying awake.

drag something out

to prolong unnecessarily

The presentation should only last two hours, but they want me to drag it out for three.

It's usually a four-day course, but I can drag it out with some practice sessions if you like.

draw something up

to prepare

to compose

If you decide to buy the company, we can draw up a contract within seven days.

We'll have to draw up a list of all the people who might want to attend the conference.

end up as something

end up somewhere

end up doing something

to eventually become

to eventually find oneself/itself

She started in the company as a secretary. Who would have thought she would end up as the managing


The plane was diverted because of fog, so we ended up in Barcelona instead of Valencia.

That temporary secretary is completely useless! He made so many mistakes in the report that I ended up

doing it myself.

face up to something

to accept a situation and take action

You have to face up to the fact that things have changed since you opened the company. You need to


We argued for hours, but he finally faced up to the problem and he's going to call a meeting to discuss it next


fall off

to decrease

Sales have fallen off ever since we introduced the new packaging. Nobody likes it.

The number of people coming into the office has fallen off since we set up the website.

fall through

to not succeed

The plans we had to relocate the company fell through because we couldn't get planning permission.

We've put so much effort into this project that I'll be very annoyed if it falls through.

fill something in

to complete

fill in (for someone)

to substitute for someone at work

fill someone in (on something)

to give information about

Please fill in the application form and return it to us as soon as possible.

You have to fill in all the boxes marked with an asterisk, otherwise the computer rejects it.

Our usual receptionist is on maternity leave at the moment, but one of the secretaries is filling in for her.

I don't usually do this job. I'm just filling in.

Come into my office and I'll fill you in on everything that happened in the meeting.

Have you heard the news? Come down to the bar and I'll fill you in.

find (something) out

find out (about something)

to discover

Did you know that the sales manager is being replaced? I've only just found out.

You've got the number of his private line? How did you find that out? I've been trying to get it for months.

He found out about the redundancy plans from the union representative.

fit in (with something/people)

to work well with others in a group

to complement or be in harmony with

fit something/someone in

to have/find enough time

The new designer fits in really well. The team has done some excellent work since he arrived.

I think we'll have to terminate his contract because he doesn't fit in with the other people in the office.

No, I don't want to expand abroad. That doesn't fit in with the plans I have for the company.

Well, I'm busy on Monday and Tuesday, but I could fit you in on Wednesday morning at about 11 o'clock.

Everyone's got lots of work, but we've got to fit the meeting in before the end of the week.

Grammar notes: phrasal verbs g

get something across

to make people understand

The advertising campaign should get it across to people that our product is the best.

The company is in financial trouble, and this meeting has been called to get that message across.

get down to something

to start

I'll just introduce everyone, and then we'll get down to business.

We've been chatting far too long. It's time we got down to some work.

get on (with something)

to continue

to progress

get on (with someone)

to have a good relationship

I must get on now or I'll never finish this report before the deadline.

You started a new job last month, didn't you? How are you getting on?

How are you getting on with that report? Nearly finished?

I wish my old boss hadn't retired. My new boss and I don't get on.

The old manager was very easy to get on with.

It's difficult to get on well with the new manager.

get through (to someone)

to contact by phone

At last! I've been ringing all morning. It's taken me ages to get through.

I was ringing you all day yesterday, but I couldn't get through.

I finally got through to the department I wanted, but they said it would be best to go to the office in person.

give something away

to give without receiving payment

When we renewed our computer system we gave all the old equipment away to the local secondary school.

It's such a terrible product you couldn't give it away.

give something out

to distribute

We'll be giving out copies of the chairman's speech at the end of the morning.

You need to give these feedback forms out before the end of the session. And make sure you collect them

back in again.

go ahead (with something)

to proceed

You're the expert. Go ahead and do whatever you think best.

I've spoken to the client and he says we can go ahead with the advertising campaign.

go-ahead (noun)

Have you got the go-ahead for the plans yet?

We have to wait for the director to give us the go-ahead.

go along with something

to agree to

OK, I'll go along with that idea.

He never has any suggestions to make. He just goes along with what everyone else says.

go down (well/badly etc)

to be received

The ideas we had for the future didn't go down well at the meeting.

How did your suggestion go down?

So you told your boss that he didn't know how to manage people. I can imagine how that went down.

go into something

to talk about in detail

"What about the plans for the new building?" " We can go into that later, after this meeting."

You don't need to go into all the details. Just tell me yes or no.

go on (with something)

go on (doing something)

to continue

go on

to happen

Sorry I'm late. Please go on.

OK, go on. I'm ready.

While everyone else was looking out of the window at what was happening in the street, he just went on with

his work.

She went on working until the day before she had the baby.

What's going on? Why isn't anyone working?

go through

to be completed successfully

go through something

to check/examine

to experience

If we get the buyer's signature this afternoon, the deal can go through by the end of the week.

My application to join the club went through last month.

Go through your notes before the presentation to make sure you haven't forgotten anything.

Don't mention taxes! We don't want to go through that again.

I don't want to go through a journey like that again. It took nine hours to get here from Madrid.

go under

to go bankrupt

We'll have to cut the number of staff, otherwise the company will go under.

Some of our smaller competitors have gone under because they got into too much debt.

Grammar notes: phrasal verbs h-l

hand something out

to distribute

Can you hand out the brochures to everyone who attends the presentation, please?

Wouldn't it be better to hand them out afterwards? People might not concentrate on what we're saying


hand-out (noun)

The hand-outs need to be photocopied.

Stop asking me for money! If you want a hand-out, ask someone rich!

hand something over

to give to someone else

When the managing director retired, she handed over the running of the company to her son.

Responsibility will be handed over to you at the end of the financial year.

handover (noun)

The official handover took place at the Shareholders' Annual Meeting.

hang on (and hold on)

to wait

hang on to something

to keep in your possession

Hang on a minute. I've just got to make a phone call.

Can you hang on while I check for you, or would you like me to ring you back?

Do we really need to hang on to these old files? They're all on computer now.

You should hang on to those old typewriters - they're really useful for completing forms.

hit on something

to think of

We've hit on a brilliant idea for the new advertising campaign!

I think you've hit on something very important there.

hold on (see hang on)

hold something up

to delay

Sorry I'm late. I was held up by my last appointment.

We can hold the process up till the end of the week, but we'll need to have everything ready for Monday.

hold-up (noun)

The leaflets aren't ready yet. There's been a hold-up at the printer's.

keep someone on

to not dismiss from work

When the factory closed, the only person kept on was the accountant.

I realise we'll have to lose a lot of the staff, but the minimum number we need to keep on is twenty.

key something in

to type into the computer

All the new data needs to be keyed in. Make sure you take a break from time to time so you don't strain your


The figures don't tally. Someone must have keyed the information in wrongly.

lay someone off

to dismiss from work

We're going to have to lay off some staff until we get some more orders.

It's seasonal work, so he generally gets laid off at the end of October.


lay-off (noun)

There's not much money around because of all the lay-offs at the factory.


leak out

to become known

News of the redundancies has leaked out, and now the union representatives want to have a meeting with you.

Well, I don't know how that leaked out, but it was only discussed by the Board of Directors yesterday.

look down on someone

to consider inferior

He looks down on everyone else because he's the only one in the department who went to Oxford.

He's not the right person to be in charge of customer services because he looks down on anyone who hasn't

got the same accent as he has.

look forward to something

to anticipate with pleasure

I look forward to hearing from you.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. At last I'll be able to have a good rest.

look into something

to investigate

What about that problem with the agency? Have you looked into it yet?

I apologise for the delay. We're looking into the causes now, and hope to have everything back to normal by

this afternoon.

look up

to improve

look something up

to find information (when you know where it is)

We've got new orders worth £25,000. Things are looking up at last!

Things must be looking up - we're getting a Christmas bonus this year!

Can you look the phone number up for me, please?

I looked it up in the dictionary, but it wasn't there. Maybe it's under a different spelling.

look up to someone

to respect

If the staff don't feel they can look up to you, then you can't be the right person for the job.

Everyone looked up to the old manager because he always listened to what people had to say.

Grammar notes: phrasal verbs m-p

make something out

to manage to see or hear

make it out to someone

to write a cheque

What's this figure here in the accounts? I can't make it out.

You'll really have to improve your accent when you speak Spanish. I can't make out what you're saying.

Who shall I make it out to?

Shall I make the cheque out for cash?

make up for something

to compensate for

At least the sales contract from the Ministry will make up for the orders we lost because of the transport


When everyone comes back from holiday we'll have to work extra hours to make up for lost time.

miss something out

to not include

Can you check through the list and see if I've missed anything out?

If you miss out the @ in an email address, the message won't get sent.

own up (to something)

to admit to

OK. Own up! Who's taken my cigarettes?

The boss is never going to forget about that report being lost. I suppose I should own up to having left it in a


pass someone over

to not consider for promotion

If they pass me over for promotion again this year I'm going to find a new job.

He's depressed because he's been passed over again.

pay something off

to finish paying money you owe

Once we pay off the bank loan, we'll be able to invest our profits in the company.

If you took out a 25-year mortgage in 1995 to buy your house, it won't be paid off until 2020.

phase something in

to introduce gradually

The changes in pension contributions can be phased in gradually as people join the firm.

We'll be phasing the changes in over the next few years so as to minimise disruption to the production


pick up

to improve

pick something up

to learn by experience

Sales are often slow in the summer. Things should pick up around October.

If orders don't pick up soon we'll have to think about reducing production.

Probably the best way to learn the job is to sit with one of the staff and see what they do. You'll soon pick it


The new secretary speaks four languages. Apparently she picked them up while travelling around Europe.

point something out

to draw attention to

I really must point out how important this meeting is. The company's future depends on it.

I pointed it out to him in the meeting but he didn't seem to think it was important.

pull something off

to succeed in doing something

The negotiations went on and on, but he finally pulled off the deal.

He's pulled it off! We've won the order!

pull out (of something)

to not continue

Once the other company discovered the size of the order, they pulled out.

We made it completely clear that we wouldn't sell for less than £3m, so the buyer pulled out of the deal.

put something forward

to make a suggestion

The new manager put forward her ideas for cutting costs as soon as the meeting started.

She wanted a ban on overtime, but I put that forward at the last meeting and everyone thought it was a

terrible idea.

put in for something

to request officially

I've put in for three weeks' holiday next August, but they probably won't let me have more than two.

There's a job going now that the Head of Personnel has retired. Why don't you put in for it?

put something off

to postpone

put someone off

to dissuade

to distract

The report isn't finished yet, so we'll have to put the meeting off until next week.

The expansion programme has been put off until the economy improves.

What do you mean, he wants to come to the office this afternoon? Can't you put him off?

Can I borrow your office? The roadworks outside my window are putting me off my work.

put someone through

to connect by phone

Hello, could you put me through to the Sales Department, please?

I'm sorry, you were put through to this extension by mistake. I'll transfer you to the right department.

Grammar notes: phrasal verbs r-s

reckon on something

to expect

He's decided to resign from his job? Well, I hadn't reckoned on that happening.

I think we can probably reckon on a minimum of 25 people coming to the training course.

ring (someone) back

to phone again

He'll be in the office after 3 o'clock, if you'd like to ring back then.

Sorry, I've got a meeting now. I'll ring you back as soon as it's finished.

ring off

to end a phone call

I was speaking to him earlier, but his boss called him into the office so he rang off without telling me the


I'll have to ring off now because the meeting's about to start. See you later.

rule something/someone out

to eliminate

So who gets the manager's job when he leaves? Well, both of us can be ruled out because we've only been

working here six months.

If we lower the prices of our products, we can't rule out the possibility that our competitors will do exactly the


run out (of something)

to have no more

I can't print any more copies. The ink's run out.

I can't print any more copies. The printer's run out of ink.

run through something

to check by repeating

I want to run through the presentation just once more to make sure I've got it right.

Let's run through the names again and see if we can think of anyone else.

rush into something

to decide too quickly

I'm not going to rush into anything now. Leave me the details and I'll look at them when I have a bit more


Let's not rush into a decision on this. Think about it over the weekend, and we'll meet back here at 10 o'clock

on Monday morning.

scale something down

to reduce in size

We're going to have to scale down the plans for expansion until there's an upturn in the economy.

Your projected costs will have to be scaled down. Remember, there are other departments that want money

for new equipment too!

see to something

to do, to deal with

I'll see to the arrangements for next week's meeting if you deal with the work outstanding for today.

The photocopier needs seeing to. It hasn't been working properly for at least a week.

set someone back something

to cost

I know that this building isn't big enough for us now, but a new building will set the company back millions of


The new equipment we bought for the R&D Department set us back over £500,000.

set off

to leave on a journey

I had to book you on the early flight because the usual one was full. You'll need to set off really early.

If we set off from here at around eleven, we should be there in plenty of time for the meeting.

set something up

to start, to establish, to install equipment

The company was set up by the current director in 1987.

We can set up a committee to look at the possibility of changing the company's pension scheme.

Set up the screen and the camera in front of the table so we can see them and they'll be able to see us.

shoot up

to increase rapidly

The number of accidents in the factory has shot up recently. We'll have to check our safety measures because

something's clearly going wrong.

The price of raw materials is shooting up, and soon we'll have to think about passing the cost on to the


sink in

to be slowly understood

How long is it going to take to sink in? The company's in trouble and something needs to be done about it


The news of the company cutbacks may take a while to sink in, but you should prepare yourself to deal with

lots of queries from the staff.

sort something out

to solve a problem

I'll speak to you as soon as I've sorted out this problem with the Inland Revenue.

We're still having problems with the internet connections. I thought you were going to sort it out.

speak up

to speak more loudly

I'm sorry, this is a very bad line. Can you speak up?

You'll have to speak up or the people at the back won't be able to hear.

stand for something

to represent

This company has always stood for quality and reliability, and that's not going to change.

The letters R&D stand for Research and Development.

stand in (for someone)

to take someone's place

I'm sorry, I can't help you. I'm just standing in (for her) until she comes back to work tomorrow. Could you

ring back then?

The personnel manager's just phoned in sick, so we need to find someone to stand in for him on the training


step something up

to increase

If we get any more orders we'll need to step up production.

The speed with which we deal with complaints needs to be stepped up.

sum (something) up

to summarise the main points

So, to sum up, the main points to remember are that we need to find new markets, invest in new


If I had to sum it up in one word, I would say that the image of this company is reliability.

Grammar notes: phrasal verbs t-z

take something down

to note information

You'll need to take down everything we say in the meeting, enter it on the computer, then print it out and

give everyone a copy.

OK, I'll take down all your details and then your complaint can be passed to the relevant department.

take something on

to assume responsibility

to employ

Your secretary can take on the extra work until we find a permanent replacement.

I don't really want to be promoted because I don't want to take on the extra responsibility.

We'll need to take on extra staff over the summer to cover the people on holiday.

take something out

to obtain a legal or official document

The company can take out a short-term loan to pay for the new computer system, and then pay it back with

the money saved by reducing the number of staff.

We took out extra insurance to cover possible losses caused by computer viruses.

take something over

to gain control

take over from someone

to replace

The shop was taken over by one of its competitors.

We took the company over in 1996, and since then we have doubled profits.

We need to recruit a new secretary to take over from yours while she's on maternity leave.

touch on something

to mention

I'd like to touch on a number of subjects in this meeting.

The manager didn't touch on the subject of staff reductions in the meeting with the union rep.

turn something down

to refuse, reject, to reduce

I'm afraid your application has been turned down again.

I'd love to accept your offer of a job, but I'll have to turn it down because I'm happy with my present


It's so hot in this office! Can't we turn the heating down?

turn (something) out

to produce

turn out to be

turn out that

to end as

Once we get the new machinery installed, the factory will be able to turn out twice the number of cars it

produces today.

Your plan for cutting costs turned out to be very successful, so we've decided to give you a bonus.

It turned out that the new manager went to school with the director, but they hadn't seen each other for 20


walk out

to leave in protest

The factory staff walked out when they heard that the union representative had been disciplined for attending

a meeting.

If you walk out now you won't have the opportunity to come back!

weigh something up

to assess

We'll have to weigh the situation up very carefully before we take any action.

I weighed up all the pros and cons before I decided to leave the old job and take the new one.

wind (something) down

to reduce business

The business has been winding down ever since the director left it to his brother.

When production was relocated to Manchester, the London branch was gradually wound down.

work something out

to solve a problem

work out

to be all right in the end

Can you give me a hand? I can't work this calculation out at all.

I've read the instructions, but I still can't work out how this program works.

Don't worry. It'll all work out OK.

Phrasal Verb



Abide by Accept or follow a decision or rule  
Account for To explain  
Ache for Want something or someone a lot  
Act on /Act upon To take action because of something like information received.  
Act on /Act upon Affect  
Act out Perform something with actions and gestures  
Act out Express an emotion in your behaviour  
Act up Behave badly or strangely  
Add on Include in a calculation  
Add up To make a mathematical total  
Add up Be a satisfactory explanation for something  
Add up to Have a certain result  
Add up to Come to a certain amount or figure  
Agree with Affect- usually used in the negative to show that something has had a negative effect, especially is it makes you feel bad.  
Aim at To target  
Aim at Intend to achieve  
Allow for Include something in a plan or calculation  
Allow of Make possible, permit  
Angle for Try to get something indirectly by hinting or suggesting
Answer back To reply rudely to someone in authority  
Answer for Be held responsible for a problem  
Answer for Speak on behalf of someone or from knowing them  
Argue down Beat someone in a debate, discussion or argument  
Argue down Persuade someone to drop the price of something they're selling.  
Argue down Argue about a problem to find a solution.  
Ask about Ask how someone is doing, especially professionally and in terms of a health  
Ask after Enquire about someone's health, how life is going.  
Ask around Ask a number of people for information of help.  
Ask around Invite someone.  
Ask for To provoke a negative reaction  
Ask for Request to have or be given.  
Ask in To invite somebody into your house  
Ask out To invite someone for a date.  
Ask over Invite  
Ask round Invite someone.  
Auction off Sell something in an auction.