PHRASAL VERBS:

             
             
             
         


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HOME > ENGLISH PHRASAL VERBS > Phrasal verbs starting with B

English phrasal verbs for EOL students







Phrasal Verbs: B

Back down:
To retreat, relent. ex. "He didn't back down. He just kept on insulting me."

Back off:
To not follow up on a threat. To step back. ex. "The man threatened to call the cops, but he backed off when I said I would pay for the damages."

Back out (of):
To not keep (a promise, agreement,deal) ex. "The other investor backed out at the last second."

Back up:
(1) Move backward; Move in reverse. ex. "You still have some room to back up a bit."
(2) To confirm a story, facts, or information; To support. ex. "If you don't believe me, ask Bill. He'll back me up." (3) To make a copy (computer data, etc.)

Bail on someone:
To leave someone (especially when he/she needs you). ex. "That man bailed on his family when they needed him most."

Bail (someone/something) out:
To save (someone/something). ex. "The Democrats have a plan to bail out the automotive industry."

Bang up:
To damage. ex. "He banged up his car pretty bad."

Barge in:
To enter, interrupting something. ex. "He barged in while we were eating dinner."

Bawl out:
To scold. ex. "Mary's mother bawled her out for being mean to her sister."

Be after:
To look for. ex. "The pirates are after the treasure."

Be along:
To arrive. ex. "He'll be along in a bit."

Be down:
To be depressed. ex. "I've been feeling a little down recently."

Be down with:
*very informal* To be on good terms with something/someone. To like/respect someone/something.

Be in on:
To be a part of; to be involved with; to know about. ex. "They police are obviously in on the plan."

Be off:
(1) To be not quite right. ex. "The curry here is usually excellent, but today it's a little off."
(2) To not be at work (To have a day off work) ex. "I'm off today. Let's do something fun!"

Be on:
To have a very good/successful performance (usually said of musicians, comics, and other entertainers) ex. If you go to a concert and a musician is playing or singing really well, you can say "He's really on tonight!"

Be onto (someone):
To realize what someone is doing; to figure out someone's game, trick, etc. ex. He thought that he had everyone fooled, but I was onto him. (I realized what he was doing)

Be out of:
To have none left. ex. We're out of milk. = We have no more milk.

Be out to (do something):
To want to (do something). To have the intention of (doing something) ex. "He's out to kill me!"

Be up:
To be awake. ex. "I'm sorry, he's not up yet."

Be up to (something):
To be doing (something); To have something planned. ex. "What are you up to?", "I can tell that he's up to something."

Bear with (someone):
To be patient with someone. ex. "Bear with me, I'll be done in about 10 minutes."

Beat out:
To finish ahead of. ex. "Sandra beat out all the other contestants and finished first in the race."

Beat (someone) up:
To physically harm (someone). ex. "Q: What happened to you!? A: One of the school bullies beat me up today."

Blare out:
To say/sing something very loudly.

Blast off:
To leave the ground (when speaking about a rocket).

Blow (someone) away:
To impress someone greatly. ex. "We were blown away by her performance."

Blow (someone) off:
To say no to someone (This term has a somewhat negative connotation). ex. "We invited them for dinner last weekend, but they just blew us off."

Blow over:
When speaking about a scandal, etc. - To stop becoming important. ex. "This scandal won't blow over any time soon."

Blow up:
To explode. To destroy by exploding. ex. "The car blew up after the gasoline caught fire. Thankfully no one was inside."

Boil down to:
To ammount to. ex. "What it boils down to is that I'm just not very interested."

Border on:
To be very close/similar to. ex. "His behavior borders on psychotic."

Boss (someone) around:
To tell someone what to do. ex. "I'm tired of her bossing me around!"

Bounce back:
To recover. ex. "The stock market will bounce back."

Branch out:
To explore new things, move into different areas (when speaking about a business, etc.) ex. "We were selling postcards, but we want to branch out into making envelopes."

Break down:
To stop working / functioning. ex. "My car broke down on the highway yesterday."

Break in / Break into:
To enter by using force (and breaking a lock, window, etc.) ex. "Someone broke into my apartment last night and stole all my CDs."

Break out (from prison, etc.):
To escape. ex. "Michael broke out of prison last week."

Break up:
(1)To disperse or scatter. ex. "The police had a hard time breaking up the crowd at the demonstration." (2) To end a personal relationship.
ex. "Fiona and Colin are no longer together. They broke up last week."

Brighten up:
To become better, most often used in the phrase "Things will brighten up."

Bring up:
(1) To mention (as a topic of discussion). ex. "Don't bring up his relationship with his brother. He's very sensitive about that."
(2) To raise. ex. "He was born in Houston, but he was brought up in Los Angeles."

Brush off:
To ignore. ex. "He brushed off every criticism."

Brush up on / Bone up on (*not as popular*):
To review/study thoroughly for a short time. ex. "I need to brush up on my French before my trip to Paris next month."

Bump into (or run into) someone:
To unexpectedly meet someone you know. ex. "I bumped into her at the party last night."

Burn down:
To completely destroy by fire. ex. "That house burned down last year."

Burn out:
To become exhausted (from doing something too long/too intensively, etc.); To become exhausted, unenthusiastic about a job due to boredom, stress, etc.

Butt in:
To impolitely interrupt (a conversation, an action). "Hey, don't butt in! Wait for your turn!"

Buy into:
To accept/believe/trust. "I'm not gullible. I'm not buying into what he says."


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