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.


Ring Back

Telephone someone again.
Jon is not here at the moment, can you ring back later?

Ring Off

End a phone call.
He sounded so depressed that when he rang off, I went round to see him.

Ring Round

Telephone a lot of people, shops, businesses, etc.
To get the best price, it's best to ring round as many companies as possible.

Ring Up

Telephone somebody.
I will ring you up after you get home.

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Rip Off

(Informal) Cheat someone.
He ripped me off selling those tickets for twenty dollars. They were worth about five!


Roll Back

Move back, remove.
Seeing my old school friends last week really rolled back the years.

Roll By

To pass.
Years just roll by when you are in prison doing nothing.

Roll In

Arrive at regular intervals.
Requests for that new song are just rolling in.

Roll On

To hope to come soon, to arrive quickly.
Roll on summer! Then we can have a nice holiday!

Roll Up

(Informal) Arrive.
I waited for you for two hours and then you roll up without even an apology.


Root About

Search for in a very active way.
My sister is rooting about in her wardrobe looking for that dress she wore for the wedding last summer.

Root Out

Get rid of a bad thing.
The conservative party needs to root out the extremists that ruin its image.


Rub In

Force something humiliating, embarrassing to be remembered.
Don't rub in the fact that he doesn't have a job!

Rub Off

To be less bright, amazing, etc.
The new boss's initial friendliness has begun to rub off.

Rub Off On

Have an influence on someone, something else.
Don't socialize with Gary. His dishonesty is starting to rub off on you.

Rub Out

Erase, cancel out.
That's not correct what you have written. Rub it out.

Rub Someone Up (the wrong way)

To irritate, annoy somebody.
Your brother really rubs me up the wrong way. I can't stand him.


Rule Out

To declare as impossible.
In the current economic climate, we have to rule out any pay rises.


Run Across

To meet by chance.
If you run across Giles, say hello, won't you?

Run Away

Escape, flee.
He ran away from three orphanages when a child.

Run Back Over

To discuss again.
Let's run back over the plan again so everyone is clear about what is involved.

Run Behind

To be late, behind schedule.
The new roof is running behind schedule by about two weeks.

Run Down

1. Hit someone with a vehicle.
Be careful! You almost knocked that woman over.
2. Find after a long search.
I finally ran her down in Donegal.
3. Say unkind things about a person.
Your wife is always running her sister down.

Run For

Contest an election.
The senator decided to run for President.

Run In

Begin using a machine slowly at the start.
Make sure you run in that car for at least two weeks.

Run On

1. Time to pass quickly.
Time is running on, let's finish up now.
2. Use as a source of energy.
This calculator runs on solar energy.

Run Out

1. Come to a finish, an end.
Our time has run out. We must conclude here.
2. Finish supplies of something.
We have run out of petrol. Walk to the nearest filling station.
3. Abandon.
He ran out on his two kids.

Run Through

1. Go over a piece of work again.
I don't understand very well. Run through it again.
2. Play a piece of music.
Run through it without the drums.

Run To

Adds up to.
The bill for all of that runs to over a thousand dollars.

Run Up

Cause to accumulate.
She ran up a huge phone bill ringing her boyfriend in Peru.

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