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.


Pig Out

(Informal) Eat greedily.
Don't pig out on the pizza! There are three other people arriving later.


Pipe Down

To be less noisy.
Pipe down Steve! I'm trying to work here.

Pipe Up

To speak, sing more loudly.
What's the answer Brian. Pipe up! I can't hear you!


Play At

1. Pretend to be something.
The boys are playing at soldiers.
2. Do an activity, especially in a foolish way.
What are you playing at Jenkins, get on with your work!

Play Down

Treat something as less important than it really is.
He tries to play down his importance to this company.

Play On

1. Continue playing.
Despite the heavy rain, the two tennis players played on.
2. Take advantage of something.
He played on her fear of flying to sell her an insurance policy.

Play Up

1. Be naughty, mess around.
The children have been playing up all day.
2. (Informal) Produce pain, work badly.
The TV is playing up again. I can't get Channel 2!
3. Treat something as more important than it really is.
Don't play up how ill you are. Go to work!


Plug Away

(Informal) Continue working hard at something.
Keep plugging away and we may finish before the evening.


Point Out

I would like to point out the finer details of this painting.


Polish Up

Improve something.
I went to New Zealand to try and polish up my English.

Polish Off

(Informal) Finish a meal quickly.
He polished off the chicken stew in just a few minutes.


Pop In

Visit someone for a short time.
I popped in to see Marge yesterday.

Pop Out

Leave the house for a short time.
I am just popping out to get some sugar from the shops.

Pop Up

Spring up quickly.
As the holiday approached, a few problems began to pop up.

English Learning Lounge - iOS and Android Apps

Our app for both Android and iOS to help you improve your English!

  • Full Grammar explanations.
  • Exercises to help with Grammar, Vocabulary, Listening, Reading and Pronunciation.
  • Exam Levels - First, Advanced, Proficiency, IELTS, TOEFL
  • Authentic English listening and reading materials.
  • Fun, imaginative quizzes and games.
  • Full statistics. Track your progress as your English improves!
  • Download today for FREE!


Press Ahead/On

Keep going, work with added determination.
Let's press ahead even without the boss's approval.

Press For

Demand action on something.
Many parents are pressing for tighter gun control laws.

© 2001-2024