English grammar, vocabulary, and listening comprehension exercises
List of English phrasal verbs


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Sail through:
To go through or finish something easily. Examples: "John sailed through his math exam.";"Some people just sail through life."

Save up for (something):
To save money for (something). Example: "John was saving up for a new motorcycle."

Scrape by:
To just barely succeed at something. Example: "P1: Did Stefan pass his English exam? P2: Yes, but he just scraped by."

Scrape together:
To collect, find, gather. Example: "We managed to scrape together enough money to buy a bottle of wine."

Screw up:
*somewhat vulgar* To make a mistake, to do something badly. Example: "I really screwed up on my vocabulary test."

See (someone) out:
To accompany (someone) to the exit/door. Example: "It's OK. I'll see myself out. = It's OK. You don't have to come with me to the door."

See through:
1) To not be fooled by. Example: "I can't believe more people don't see through his lies."

See to:
To make sure that (something happens). Example: "I'll see to it that he gets your message."

See off:
To arrange/attend someone's goodbye party; to come say goodbye to someone (especially at the place they are leaving from). Example: "They came to see us off at the train station."

Sell out:
1) To do something one normally would not do, in order to get money (usually used when talking about musicians, artists, etc.) Example: "I liked this band when they first came out, but then they sold out."
2) To sell (an item) until there are none left. Example: "I'm sorry we sold out of that toy this morning."

Send (someone) off:
To have a goodbye party for someone. Example: "Mike's finally leaving. We're sending him off on Saturday."

Set (someone) back:
To cost (someone). Example: "The whole trip set us back $2,000."

Set off:
1) To make something (usually a bomb, alarm, etc.) go off, start, etc. Example: "He accidentally set off the alarm by walking into the room."
2) To start off on a journey. Example: "They set off this morning."

Set (someone) up:
1) To arrange a meeting (with the purpose of getting people involved romantically). Example: "Becky tried to set me up with her cousin, but it didn't work out."
2) To falsely incriminate someone. Example: "The killer claimed that he had been set up."

Settle down:
1) To start living a "normal", routine life (especially after living a wild life beforehand). Example: "All my rowdy friends have settled down."
2) To calm down. Example: "Settle down!"

Settle for:
To accept something less than what one wanted. Example: "He wanted $20, but he settled for $15."

Shape up:
1) To develop. Example: "How's your project shaping up?" 2) To 'get it together'. To improve or develop.

Shoot off (one's mouth):
To speak without restraint (and often without tact) about something. Example: "She's always shooting off her mouth about how how successful her children are."

Shop around:
To look for the best price. Example: "I like to shop around before I buy something."

Show (someone) around:
To show someone where everything is in a city, neighborhood, etc. Example: "I don't really know the city. Could you show me around?"

Show off:
To brag. To be very proud about something. Example: "He just loves to show off his car, doesn't he?"

Show up:
1) To arrive. Example: "He showed up at her house at 4 o'clock in the morning."
2) To show (someone) up means to outdo, outperform, make someone seem worse. Example: "The opening band showed the headliners up."

Shut down:
To close permanently. To close down. Example: "They shut down that restaurant last year."

Shut up:
To be/ make quiet. Example: "He just kept talking and talking. He never knows when to shut up."

Shy away from (doing something):
To not do something because one is too shy/timid. Example: "My sister tends to shy away from things like that."

Side with (someone):
To support (someone) in a conflict, etc. Example: "When I found out that my sister and her friend were arguing, I sided with my sister."

Sign in:
To gain access to something by writing your name.

Sign off on (something):
To approve. Example: "We have to get upper management to sign off on the proposal this week."

Sign up (for something):
To register. Example: "I signed up for an intensive English course in New York City."

Sink in:
To become clear/evident. To become felt/understood. Example: "The fact that she would never see her grandfather again began to sink in."

Sit around/sit by:
To sit without doing anything, used primarily in the phrase "to sit around doing nothing." This is a little different from "to sit by" which implies that someone is "sitting around and not stopping something from happening." "They sat by and did nothing." would imply that they COULD HAVE done something, but didn't.

Sit down:
To sit.

Sit in for (someone):
To assume someone's duties while he/she is away.
Example: "I'm sitting in for my boss this week."

Sit in on (a meeting, etc.):
To attend as an observer.
Example: "The head of our marketing team will be sitting in on this meeting."

Sit out:
To not participate.
Example: "I'm going to sit this game out."

Slack off:
To not work as hard/efficiently as always. Example: "John has been slacking off recently."

Sleep in:
To sleep longer than normal. Example: "I slept in until 11:00 AM this morning."

Sleep on (something):
To think about something (overnight). Example: "Let me sleep on it and I'll let you know what I decide tomorrow."

Sleep over:
To sleep at someone else's house. Example: "Mary slept over last night." = Mary slept here last night.

Slip out:
To sneak out. To leave (a place, etc.) quietly/without making a sound. Example: "He must have slipped out while the security guard wasn't looking."

Slip up:
To make a mistake. Example: "The press secretary slipped up and told the reporters more than he was supposed to."

Slow down:
To (make something) move more slowly. Example: "Hey, could you please slow down! I'm finding it hard to keep up."

Snap off (a piece of something):
To break off (a piece of something).

Snap out of (it):
To stop behaving in a strange, disturbed, or agitated way. Example: "Hey, snap out of it! You're beginning to scare me."

Sober up:
To become sober.

Sort out:
To resolve. Example: "We sorted our our differences and became friends again."

Sound off:
To express one's views and opinions. Example: "The speaker sounded off on the terrible treatment of animals."

Speak out (about something):
To state one's views and opinions about something. Example: "The former police chief spoke out about the recent corruption scandal."

Speak up:
To speak more loudly. Example: "Please speak up. I can't hear you."

Spell (something) out (for someone):
To explain something really carefully. Example: "It's pretty obvious. I don't have to spell it out for you."

Split up:
1) To end a (romantic) relationship. Example: "Peter and his girlfriend split up last week."
2) To go in separate directions. Example: "They decided to split up in order to cover more ground."

Square off against (an opponent):
To confront/fight an opponent. Example: "Tonight the Los Angeles Lakers square off against the Orlando Magic."

Stamp out:
To eliminate. Example: "The senator started a campaign to stamp out smoking in high schools."

Stand for:
To represent. Example: "VIP stands for very important person."

Stand out:
To be very different (in a positive way). Example: "Maria is the kind of girl who really stands out in a crowd."

Stand (someone) up:
To not arrive for a date (with someone). Example: "She was really angry when he stood her up on Saturday."

Stand up for (a cause, etc.):
to actively support (a cause, etc.) Example: "Being a true animal lover, he found it impossible not to stand up for animal rights."

Stand up to:
To defend oneself against. Example: "The boy showed a lot of courage in standing up to the school bully."

Start out:
To begin. Example: "He started out as a dishwasher."

Stay in:
To stay at home. To not go out. Example: "My boyfriend wants to go out tonight, but I'd rather stay in."

Stay on:
To remain. Example: "She stayed on as CFO after the CEO was fired."

Stay over:
To sleep over. To sleep at someone's house overnight. Example: "Can I stay over tonight?"

Stay up:
To stay awake; Not to go to bed. Example: "Jamie's parents let him stay up until 11:00 PM on weekends."

Step down:
To leave a job, position, etc. Example: "John stepped down as chairman of the committee."

Step in:
To break up (a fight, argument, etc.) Example: "The principal stepped in when he saw the two boys arguing."

Step out:
To leave (for a brief period of time). Example: "I'm sorry, Mr. Johnson stepped out for a bit. He'll be back in 30 minutes."

Stick around:
To not go anywhere; Example: "I think I'll stick around for a bit."

Straighten (something) out:
To make something clear(er); To make something less confusing; Example: "They was a mistake on my phone bill, but the phone company straightened it our for me."

String (someone) along:
To keep someone in a state of false hope/ deception. "I didn't feel like he was really interested in me, — more like he was just stringing me along."

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