Home > Phrasal Verb Dictionary: Letter A
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Some verbs might have quite a few different meanings. Only the most important ones are listed here.
Remember to pay attention to the examples and the collocations.
Account for [Account for something].- (insep) explain (money, difference, actions) When you
account for something, you explain or give a reason for it.
will you account for the money you spent?
couldn't account for her absence from work.
- How will you account for such a big difference?
Act out [Act something out].- 1 perform (script, story) When
you act something out, you perform it or make it into a play.
script itself is well written and well acted out by the cast.
new middle class liked to see its own dilemmas acted out on stage.
- When you read a story or a poem to your child, act it out with him or her.
2 express (fantasy, frustration, instincts) Express
your feelings or ideas:
- He has become desperate
and is acting out his frustration.
- Children like to act out their fantasies.
Act up.- (child, car, computer, injury,
arm, leg, wound) When somebody or something acts up, they behave badly, hurt or don't work properly. Play up
- This computer's acting up again.
- The children were acting up because their mother wasn't there.
Add in [Add something in].- include (cost, flour, figures) When you add something in,
you include it or mix it with something else.
- Add in the cost of the accessories you might need.
- Slowly add in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until well blended.
Add on [Add something on].- include When
you add something on, you include it or add it.
- These are quite expensive though, by the time you've added on border taxes.
- The airlines themselves are adding on fees and surcharges as they struggle to cope with a decline in passengers.
Add up.- (insep) make sense When
something adds up, it makes sense.
- This just doesn't
- Their economic proposals don't add up.
Add up [Add something up].- calculate (bill,
expenses, figures, numbers) When you add something up, you calculate
- She added up the bill.
- You made a mistake while you were adding these numbers up.
Allow for [Allow for something].-
When you allow for something, you take it into consideration or make it possible.
- There should be a comfortable working atmosphere, one that doesn't discriminate
and allows for mistakes.
When you answer back, you reply rudely.
answer back to your mum!
- Don't answer
Answer for.- (insep) (actions, behaviour) When you answer for something, you take the responsibility for something wrong you
- Some Iraqis had hoped to see Saddam's
elder son answer for his actions before a war crimes tribunal.
- Everyone must answer for his own actions.
Apply for [Answer for something].- (insep) (job, permit, permission,
grant, scholarship, loan) When you apply for something, you fill in
a form or write a formal letter asking for it.
for financial aid has never been easier!
- No credit? No problem! Apply for your new Visa Card and MasterCard Today!
- You can apply for a library card online!
Ask after [Ask after somebody].- (insep) When you ask after somebody, you inquire how somebody is getting
- I heard he is in Kalatura prison, and I wrote
to the government asking after him.
- The next day, her brother came to ask after her.
Ask about, ask around.-
(insep) When you ask around, you make inquiries.
ask around and see if there's a room vacant somewhere.
- I am going to ask about to see if anyone has any suggestions of other products.
Ask for [Ask for something] .-
(help, receipt, trouble) When you ask for something, you request it.
- They have
written to the actress asking for her help in raising money for Nicaraguan
- If you're donating items to charitable organizations, don't forget to ask for a receipt for tax purposes.
- Anyone who sends a credit card number via e-mail is asking for trouble!
Ask in [Ask somebody in].- When
you ask somebody in, you invite someone into your house, office etc.
leave them standing on the doorstep; ask them in!
her in; I want to talk to her.
Ask out [Ask somebody out].-
When you ask somebody out, you ask somebody to go to the theatre, a restaurant,
etc, with you. Take out
- Jerry's too scared to ask her out.
tt Have you asked her out yet?
is the third time he's asked me out.
- Do men like it when women ask them out?
Ask over [Ask somebody over].-
When you ask somebody over, you invite them to your house.
- I'll ask her over to dinner next weekend.
- If you can't face travelling, especially if you have very young children, why not ask them over to yours.
Ask round [Ask somebody round].- When you ask somebody round, you invite them to your house.
- Let's ask them round for a meal next week.
- I asked her round for dinner last week but she declined.
Auction off [Auction something off].- (furniture) When you auction something
off, you get rid of it by selling it at an auction.
sold two of the houses we never used and auctioned off the furniture.
- She auctioned off all the jewelry that he gave her.