Phrasal Verbs P - R

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.


Pass Away

My uncle passed away last year.

Pass For/As

Be accepted for something, someone else.
My dad could pass for a Englishman the way he dresses.

Pass Off

1. Happen.
The demonstration passed off without any serious incident.
2. Present somebody as somebody else.
He passed his secretary off as his sister at the party.
3. Avoid attention being given to an embarrassing situation.
He was humiliated by his boss but he passed it off as a joke.

Pass Out

1. Faint.
The room was so hot that I passed out.
2. Distribute, give.
Pass out these exam papers for me please.

Pass Over

Not to consider someone for a job, promotion, etc.
Due to his previous row with the boss, he was passed over for the new position.

Pass Up

Fail to take advantage of a situation, opportunity.
That's a great price for a car. I won't pass that up!


Patch Up

Agree to end an argument, a quarrel, etc.
They didn't speak for two days, but they eventually patched it up.


Pay Off

A risk that succeeds.
He put all his money on a horse and it paid off.

Pay Up

Pay all debts that you owe.
If you don't pay up, I will take you to court.


Peg Away

(Informal) Keep on working at something.
If you keep pegging away at the problem, you will find a solution.

Peg Back

Keep at a distance.
The government is trying to peg back inflation.

Peg Down

Make a person keep to a decision.
If he offers you a pay rise, peg him down to an exact amount.


Pick At

To eat food slowly or unenthusiastically.
No wonder you're hungry. You have only picked at your dinner.

Pick Off

Kill a person deliberately.
The sniper picked off the general among his soldiers.

Pick On

Bully a person. Choose someone repeatedly for punishment.
When I was young, two of my elder brothers always picked on me.

Pick Out

Look at these cards and pick one out.

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Pick Up

1. Take a person in your vehicle.
I picked up Jon near the bank yesterday.
2. Learn without studying.
I picked up a lot of French when I was travelling there.
3. Arrest.
The police picked up their suspect at the border.
4. Receive radio signals.
I can pick up Swedish radio during the night.
5. Improve.
Prospects for small businesses are picking up.

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