Phrasal Verbs G - I

This is the phrasal verb reference section. Here there are definitions and examples for hundreds of phrasal verbs found in English.

Don't forget we have a phrasal verb exercise page.


Help Out

Give someone help, often during difficult times.
My sister helped me out a lot last year when I was unemployed.


Hit It Off

Be on friendly terms quickly.
Clive and Marsella hit it off very quickly last night didn't they.

Hit On

1. Think of a good idea.
We were totally stuck, then Bryan hit on the idea of putting the switch on the top of the machine.
2. (Informal) Try to start conversation with someone (normally of opposite sex).
I can't believe you were trying to hit on Sara with your wife in the same room.


Hold Against

Allow previous bad reputation, behavior, etc, to affect judgement.
He was in prison for six years, but don't hold that against him. He is a really nice person.

Hold Back

1. Hesitate because of fear.
He held back from asking her to marry him when he saw she was in a bad mood.
2. Prevent someone from making progress.
She was held back in the company as many of the men thought her too aggressive.

Hold Off

1. To be delayed.
The rain held off until the end of the match.
2. Stop someone or something attacking, etc.
Harry held off the burglar while his wife phoned the police.

Hold On

Hold on while I get my father to speak to you.

Hold Out

1. Remain available.
Our food will not hold out until the next plane arrives. We have a serious problem.
2. Resist an attack.
The German army held out against the Russians for six months.

Hold Out For

Wait for a better proposition, offer.
The striking miners held out for a ten percent increase in wages and eventually won.

Hold To

Make a person keep a promise.
He said he would pay me for that job and I will hold him to it.

Hold Up

1. Delay.
The terrible weather held up the plane for two hours.
2. Stop and rob a person.
The mail train was held up by six men on motorbikes.


Inquire After

Ask about a person's news, health, etc.
He stopped me in the street to inquire after my brother.

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