I got up early to do a bit of work.

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This is the literal meaning and it's often not considered a phrasal verb. It's all about going, moving or taking something to a higher position, literally or physically.

bob up The boat was bobbing up and down beside the jetty.
bubble up When I added the soda, it bubbled up a lot.
buoy up The net buoyed up with floats
climb up Lola climbed up a tree to get a better view of the action.
come up We left early, just as the sun was coming up.
dig up I don't like that plant. I think I'll dig it up.
fling up She flung up her hands to protect her face.
get up It is unusual for her to get up before noon.
go up She went up and got dressed.
hitch up She hitched up her skirt and ran as fast as she could.
hold up He held up the World Cup and everybody cheered.
jack up He jacked up the car and replaced the bad tire.
jump up I literally jumped up and down when I first saw it.
lift up He tried to lift up a large rock but he couldn't move it.
look up He looked up and saw a plane.
move up In the spring, they moved up north to their cottage.
pick up I'll pick you up at your house at seven.
pop up I think she's upstairs. I'm sure she wouldn't mind if you popped up.
pull up Pull-ups are a great exercise for the back.
put up Put up your hand if you don't understand.
rise up It rises up to 1,081 metres above sea level.
roll up Roll up your sleeves to look more muscular.
ruck up Your dress is rucked up at the back.
run up He ran up the stairs very fast.
scoop up She scooped up a handful of sand.
scrape up It took me forever to scrape up the dust.
screw up She screwed up his face and shook his head.
shin up He shinned up a lamp post to get a better look.
sit up At what age do babies sit up?
spring up The town sprang up in the shadow of a massive power plant.
stand up He stood up to make a speech.
stick up I'm going to stick up a notice on the noticeboard.
stir up The builders stirred up a lot of dust.


Increasing or improving

Used when something gets better, bigger, special or it develops in a certain way. Sometimes up seems to be used to support or add emphasis to the verb.

back up The claims in the ad are not backed up by research.
bank up Don't bank up the fire overnight.
beef up The company has beefed up security since the robbery.
big up He's very keen to use social media to big up his latest projects.
blow up It was a lie that blew up in their faces.
boil up He felt the anger boil up in him.
bolster up They need more tourism to bolster up the economy.
bone up on He's been boning up on biology.
brighten up Dreadful weather - but it might brighten up.
brush up I should brush up my English before I go on holiday.
brush up on I really need to brush up on my Spanish before the trip.
buck up We had a wonderful time and it has bucked us all up.
build up A little practice will soon build up your confidence.
bulk up I’m trying to bulk up a bit and get toned.
bump up They bumped up the commission from 30% to a whopping 40%.
buoy up Their economy is buoyed up by the money sent from abroad.
change up It's time to change up your boring old workout routine.
cheer up I got you this. I thought it might cheer you up.
churn up Fear was churning him up inside.
colour up Her cheeks coloured up.
crank up A Chelsea victory over Tottenham on Saturday would crank up the pressure on United.
creep up The inflation rate has been creeping up since last year.
dial up It was interesting getting to see him offer the best deal first and then dial it up to get a response.
do up I spent a month doing up the flat and I think it's quite nice now.
doll up She loves to doll herself up.
dress up He didn't dress up for the occasion at all.
fatten up They take two to three years to fatten up.
feed up We have to feed her up and monitor her weight.
firm up The skating rink on the river looks awesome! We now need to firm it up and make it perfect.
fix up We could fix up the old shed.
flare up Crews worked hard to ensure the fire didn't flare up again.
freshen up I need to go to the toilet and freshen up a bit.
get up The wind's getting up.
ginger up They're interested in foreign investment to ginger up the economical development.
go up Fuel prices have gone up.
jazz up One good way to jazz up your salads is by adding toasted nuts.
look up Things are looking up.
mount up Letting your debts mount up means that interest will spiral, making the situation worse.
plus up They plussed up the budget by about a billion dollars.
pump up Pumping up the volume can result in permanent hearing damage.
rack up The company is racking up huge losses.
ramp up They're planning to ramp up their campaigning over the issue.
scale up The company is planning to scale up production.
sex up They claim the government sexed up an Iraqui weapons dossier.
shape up 2015 is shaping up to be the best summer in years.
speed up How much does the computer speed up your work?
spice up Here are some pointers to spice up your love life.
step up The government has stepped up the pressure on tobacco companies.
talk up He began to talk up the idea.
tart up Tart up your phone with a new mobile phone cover.
tighten up Bosses want to tighten up the rules to protect staff from passive smoking.
top up You can top up your card online.
trade up You can trade it up and receive full credit for the original purchase price.


Completing; ending

It gives the idea of completing something, reaching a limit.

bust up This will bust up their marriage.
clear up First of all, I would like to clear up a few things.
dry up The money dried up when the financial crisis hit in 2008.
give up My doctor tried to persuade me to give smoking up.
split up He has recently split up with his girlfriend.
use up We used up all the eggs when we made the cake.
wrap up Time to wrap it up. See you next time.



It shows that something is coming closer or it stays close. It could mean that something reaches a certain level.

bump up against Their ambitious plans might bump up against reality.
catch up It will be difficult for them to catch up on work later on.
catch up on I've got a lot of work to catch up on.
catch up with She tried to catch up with the other competitors, but they were just too fast.

chat up

You'd think by the time you got to Len's age you'd know how to chat up a woman.
close up Why do some flowers close up at night?
come up She's got a court case coming up.
come up against The plan has come up against opposition from local residents.
come up to They are coming up to 5 years without a major title.
creep up on What are you doing creeping up on me like that?
cuddle up She cuddled up to her mum.
draw up A taxi drew up just as we were thinking of calling one.
even up They had a chance to even up the score at the end game.
face up to They are facing up to the consequences of their offending behaviour.
keep up with You're walking too fast. I can't keep up with you.
lead up to The days leading up to Christmas are some of the busiest shopping days of the year.
live up to The movie doesn't live up to the hype.
pitch up The workers haven't pitched up yet.
pull up The taxi pulled up just outside the hotel.
rock up I need to rock up in the morning and queue.
turn up I was so happy when you turned up!


Not in bed


be up I've been up since dawn.
get up She gets up at seven every morning.
keep up The storm kept us up.
stay up I'm preparing for my exams and I've been staying up late at night studying.
wait up I used to hate it when my parents waited up for me.Now, I'm the same way. I don't make it obvious, but I just can't get to sleep until my kids are home.


No extra meaning

Sometimes, the preposition UP adds no extra meaning to the verb but the resulting phrasal verb may occasionaly be quite different from the verb on its own. Other times, up is added for emphasis.


bang up He got himself banged up on a fraud charge.
clam up She just clammed up. She wouldn't speak.
open up DVD has opened up possibilities for pirating that didn't exist before.
pass up She passed up what seemed to be a golden opportunity.
queue up If you happen to be a Hollywood celebrity, chances are there'll be a host of magazines queuing up to pay for your wedding.
save up She's saving up to fulfil her dream of attending university.
screw up Please, don't screw it up tomorrow night.
weigh up You will have to weigh up the benefits with other factors such as cost.


Preparing, starting, creating

It often suggests we make some happen.

bring up This is all in the past. Why are you bringing it all up now?
brew up Shall we brew up a spot of tea?
butter up Even if he was just buttering her up, the compliment thrilled her.
come up You'd better make sure you know these verbs because they always come up in the exam.
come up with I knew that it was impossible for me to come up with the money that was needed by Friday.
conjure up Old castles with their links to the past often conjure up pictures of ghosts and paranormal events.
cook up They have been cooking up this plan for years .
crop up Jodi has found herself cropping up in the gossip columns lately thanks to a budding romance with Westlifes Kian Egan.
dish up The channel was criticised by a broadcasting wachtdog yesterday for dishing up hours of repeats.
drag up Why do you keep dragging up the past?
draw up The Metropolitan Police force is drawing up plans to recruit more ethnic minority officers from overseas.
dream up She's good at dreaming up excuses to avoid doing it.
feel up to  
firm up  
fit up  
fix up  
fry up  
gear up  
get up  
go up The Christmas lights go up in November and stay up until January 20th.
heat up  
kick up After kicking up a fuss we got a room overlooking the pool.
kit up  
knock up  
light up  
limber up  
line up  
make up The story she told you wasn't true. She just made it up.
move up  
muster up I just can't seem to muster up the motivation.
open up  
patch up  
perk up  
pick up  
pipe up  
plan up  
pop up New bands are popping up everywhere.
psych up  
put up  
rig up  
rise up  
run up  
rustle up  
saddle up  
set up  
snatch up She snatched up the last copy of the book.
soften up  
stand up They stood up for what they believed in.
start up  
strike up We struck up a relationship at college.
suck up to  
sweeten up  
take up  
tee up  
tense up  
think up I wish I could think up a good excuse.
throw up  
tidy up  
tog up  
tool up  
train up  
tune up  
warm up  
whip up  
whistle up You can't just whistle that up whenever you want it.
wind up  
work up