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


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Tack on:
To add (usually used in a negative way). Example: "The lawyer tried to tack on an additional $100 in fees."

Tag along:
To accompany (someone). Example: "Do you mind if I tag along? = Do you mind if I come with you?"

Tail off:
To decrease in intensity, effectiveness, etc. Example: "The protests tailed off as the night wore on."

Take aback:
To surprise (almost always used in the form - "to be taken aback"). Example: "I was taken aback by his reaction."

Take after:
To resemble (a person). Example: "She really takes after her father."

Take apart:
To disassemble. Example: "She took the computer apart, but couldn't reassemble it afterwards."

Take care of:
1) To provide care for. Example: "John took good care of his car and ended up selling it for a lot of money."
2) To assume responsibility for doing. Example: "Who's going to tell him? I'll take care of it."

Take down:
To write (down). Example: "Take this down."

Take in:
1) To shelter. Example: "They took in two stray cats."
2) To process, remember (when someone is teaching you something). Example: "All this information is just too much to take in at one time."

Take off:
1) To remove. Example: "Please take off your hat when you're indoors."
2) To leave. To split. Example: "I think I'm going to take off - I'm really tired."
3) To leave the ground (plane or rocket). Example: "When the plane took off I felt very nervous."

Take on:
To assume. To accept. Example: "I took on another project."

Take out:
1) To invite someone to go out to a cafe, restaurant, etc. Example: "I took my mom out to diner on her birthday."
2) To borrow a book, cd, etc. from the library. Example: "Tom took out three books and two DVDs from the library."
3) To get, obtain. (money from an ATM, insurance, etc.) Example: "Tom took out $100 dollars from the ATM.", "We took out a life insurance policy."
4) To arrange to have someone killed. Example: "The mafia took him out."

Take (something) out on:
To abuse or yell at someone because one is angry, even though that someone is not the cause of the anger. Example: "Why do you always take your anger out on me?"

Take over:
To take control over. Example: "After Jim retired, Nancy took over the family business."

Take up:
To start (a habit, hobbby, etc.) Example: "He took up bowling."

Take (something) upon oneself:
To take/assume responsibility for something. Example: "I'm going to take it upon myself to make sure he improves his English."

Talk back:
To respond in a rude, or aggressive way. Example: "Don't talk back to your father like that!"

Talk down to:
To talk to someone in a condescending way, like they were less intelligent than you. Example: "He always talks down to his little brother."

Talk (someone) into (something):
To convince/persuade someone (by talking to them) to do something. Example: "He talked me into buying a Mazda."

Talk (someone) out of (something):
To convince/persuade someone (by talking to them) NOT to do something.. Example: "I was going to buy a Mazda, but my cousin talked me out of it."

Talk (something) over:
To discuss. Example: "It's a good deal, but I have to talk it over with my husband."

Talk (someone) through (something):
To guide someone through something (usually a process, instructions, etc.) Example: "I started to unerstand the process after Bill talked me through it."

Tear into:
To criticize severely. Example: "Barack Obama really tore into Mitt Romney during their debate."

Tear up:
To tear (a piece of paper, etc.) into pieces. Example: "The student tore up his report card when he saw his grades."

Tell off:
To criticize (sometimes severely). Example: "I told the babysitter off for not taking good care of my son."

Tell on:
To report bad behavior. Example: "Every time I did something wrong when I was a child, my brother would tell on me."

Think (something) over:
To consider or reconsider (something). Example: "Think it over. Maybe you'll decide to join us."

Think up:
To create or invent (a story, plan, etc.) Often used to mean that someone is lying about something. Example: "He thought up some story. "

Throw away/ Throw out:
To put something in the garbage. To discard. Example: "Maria, stop playing with that paper. Throw it out!"

Throw (someone) off:
To make someone lose their concentration/ to mislead someone. Example: "I know you're doing that just to throw me off, but it's not going to work."

Throw up:
To vomit. Example: "If you drink too much alcohol, you might throw up."

Tick off:
To upset. To annoy. Example: "He really ticked me off! = He really upset me!"

Tie up:
1) To be blocked, stuck. Often used to talk about traffic. Example: "Traffic is tied up for miles."
2) To be busy. Example: "I'm sorry, Mr. Smith is tied up in a meeting right now."

Tip off:
To let someone know that something is going to happen. To let someone know where someone/something is, etc. Example: "Someone tipped the police off about where he was hiding."

Tone down:
To makes less extreme, more moderate. Example: "He toned down his speech to appeal to more people."

Touch down:
To land. (Plane, rocket, etc.) Example: "The plane touched down an hour ago."

Try back:
To call someone again because he/she isn't around. Example: "Richard isn't around right now. Try back in 30 minutes."

Try on:
To put on a piece of clothing to see how it fits. Example: "She tried on seven dresses, but didn't like any of them."

Try out:
When talking about teams, bands, etc. - To attempt to become accepted as a member. Example: "She tried out for the basketball team, but they told her that she was too short."

Tuck (someone) in:
To put someone to bed, making sure that his/her pillows, sheets, etc. are comfortable. Example: "When I was a child, my mom used to tuck me in every night."

Tuck away:
To set aside, to hide. Example: "He tucked away the money that his grandfather gave him."

Tune in:
To watch something on TV, to listen to the radio/a podcast. Example: "Tune in to our live ESL podcast every Monday at 7:00 PM."

Turn down:
To reject. To say no to. Example: "The new candidate turned down the job offer."

Turn in:
To go to bed. Example: "It's late. We're going to turn in."

Turn into:
To become. To transform into. Example: "The frog turned into a Prince after the Princess kissed him."

Turn on:
1) To start by turning a handle or switch. Example: "Turn on the light - it's dark in here."
2) To turn (someone) on - To excite (often sexually). Example: "Girls like that really turn me on."

Turn out:
1) To produce an unexpected result. Example: "I thought he was an honest man, but it turns out he had been lying to me all along."
2) To appear. To come. (to a protest, an event, etc.) Example: "500,000 people turned out for the concert."

Turn up:
Appear. To be found. Example: "I'm sure your wallet will turn up somewhere."

Turn (something) up:
To make something louder. Example: "Turn up the radio - I love that song!"

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