Phrasal Verbs S

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.


Send Down

Send someone to prison.
The judge sent him down for ten years.

Send Off

1. Send a letter.
He sent off his application form for the job.
2. Say goodbye to someone at a station, airport.
All his friends went to the port to send him off.

Send On

Send letters to new address.
The letters will be sent on to you at your new house.

Send Up

Ridicule someone, something.
The comedian sent up the President and made everyone laugh.


Set About

Begin a job, task.
They set about cleaning the house with great enthusiasm.

Set Back

1. Cost.
The wedding set me back a huge amount of money.
2. Cause delay, problems.
The weather set the building work back by two days.

Set By

Use something to help you set a watch.
I always set my watch by Channel 2 news.

Set Down

Allow passenger to leave vehicle.
The driver set me down just outside the house.

Set In

Become established, likely to last a long time.
The snow has really set in now. We can't leave till tomorrow.

Set Off

1. Cause to explode.
The earthquake set off the old bomb.
2. Leave on a journey.
We have to set off tomorrow very early.
3. To make something more attractive by comparison.
Your dress really sets off your hair.

Set Up

1. Prepare.
They carefully set up the experiment.
2. Start a business.
This company was set up in 1955.


Shake Off

Free self from something.
Thanks to all that vitamin C, he shook off his cold in just a day.

Shake Up

1. Disturb or shock someone.
The car crash really shook him up.
2. Get a person to perform, behave better.
Stopping all his privileges will shake him up a bit.


Show Off

Draw attention to self to impress people.
She often showed off about all her jewelry.

Show Through

To be visible under a cover.
That black bra shows through your blouse too much!

Show Up

1. (Informal) Arrive.
He showed up drunk and two hours late!
2. Embarrass.
You showed me up at that dinner last night.


Shut Down

Stop production, working.
That factory shut down nearly five years ago.

Shut Off

Stop a supply of gas, water, etc.
Shut off the gas, otherwise it may explode.

Shut Out

Stop, block.
You need to shut out all memories of that accident.

Shut Up

Stop talking.
Can you shut your sister up. I can't hear the news.

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Sign Away

Sign paper which gives possessions away.
He signed all his old cars over to his brother.

Sign Off

End a letter, TV program saying goodbye.
I would like to sign off by wishing you a wonderful evening.

Sign Up

Join something by signing a paper.
He has signed up to the army.


Single Out

Choose someone for special attention.
I was singled out for praise in front of the rest of the school.

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