1000 Phrasal Verbs






call at

visit a place for a short time

I called at the bank to transfer some money.
Pasé por el banco para transferir algo de dinero.

call for

1) visit a place to collect
someone or something

1) Tom is calling for me at 8 pm.
Tom me pasa a buscar a las 8 de la noche.

2) require, demand

2) This situation calls for tact and a deep investigation.
Esta situación requiere tacto y una investigación a fondo.

call in

send for someone to come
ask to assist

It was too late to call in an electrician.
Era demasiado tarde para llamar (hacer venir) a un electricista.

call off

1) cancel something that has been scheduled, not started

1) The couple decided to call off the wedding.
Los jóvenes decidieron cancelar el casamiento.

2) divert, distract

2) Please, call off your dog at once !!
¡¡Por favor distraiga ya a su perro!!.

call on

1) ask someone to do

1) The president called on his people to make some sacrifices.
El presidente convocó a su gente a hacer algún sacrificio.

2) visit

2) Call on me if you have any problems.
Venga a verme si tiene problemas.

call out

1) shout, cry, exclaim

1) They called my name out.
Me gritaron (llamaron a los gritos) por mi nombre.

2) summon troops for action

2) The Fire Brigade was called out twice during the night.
La Brigada de Incendios fue citada
dos veces durante la noche.

call up

1) remember, recollect

1) The old man is calling up many memories.
El anciano se la pasa recordando el pasado.

2) summon for military service

2) Here men are called up at 18.
Aquí llaman a los hombres para el servicio militar a los 18 años.

3) telephone someone

3) I called Tom up and told him the news.
Lo llamé por telefóno a Tom para comentarle las novedades.

call upon

visit someone for a short time

Yesterday they called upon the ambassador.
Ayer visitaron al embajador.

calm down

become less agitated

Veronica is really upset. I'll try to calm her down.
Verónica está absolutamente disgustada. Trataré de calmarla.

care about

be concerned about

This movie star cares about his reputation.
A esta estrella de cine le preocupa su fama.

care for

1) like, want

1) He doesn't care for films about war.
No le interesan las películas de guerra.

2) look after, take care of

2) This house looks well cared for.
Esta casa se ve bien cuidada (en buenas condiciones)..

carry on

1) continue

1) The widow carried on as if nothing had happened.
La viuda continuó como si nada hubiese ocurrido.

2) continue with

2) Both brothers carried on with their boring conversation.
Los dos hermanos c
ontinuaron con su aburrida conversación.

carry out

perform, put in practice

It is not easy to carry out this task.
No es fácil poner en práctica esta tarea.

cast up

calculate, add

The accountant will cast up all the figures in this book.
El contador sumará todas las cifras en este libro.

catch on

1) become popular; be widely accepted

1) The fashion of wearing bow ties is catching on.
Se está poniendo de moda usar moños de corbata.

2) understand (slang)

2) He saw the old lady and suddenly caught on.
Vio a la anciana y comprendió de inmediato.

catch up on
catch up with

1) overtake but not pass,
stop being behind

1) Finally I could catch up on/with Paul on the street.
Finalmente pude alcanzar a Paul en la calle.

2) do something that you
have neglected

2) I phoned Helen to catch up on/with the latest news.
Llamé a Helen para ponerme al tanto de las últimas noticias..

cater for

provide with things desired

Our company caters for every kind of food for planes.
Nuestra empresa provee todo tipo de alimentos para aviones.

check in

register one's arrival

You must check in at the front desk.
Tienes que registrarte en la recepción.

check off

make a mark on a list to
indicate completed things

She checked off all the things she had packed up.
Ella tildó (marcó) todas las cosas que había empacado.

check out

1) register one's departure

1) Please, leave the key here when you check out.
Tenga a bien dejar aquí la llave cuando se retire.

2) verify, investigate

2) Can you check out this information?
¿Podrías verificar esta información?

cheer on

cheer, encourage

She promised to be there to cheer us on.
Prometió estar allí para darnos ánimo.

cheer up

help someone feel less
worried or happier

Cheer up! Everything will be all right.
¡Alégrate! Todo va a andar bien.

chew out

scold someone severely

His father chewed him out when he arrived so late.
Su padre lo reprendió severamente cuando llegó tan tarde.

chicken out

lose the courage or confidence
to do something

I was going to ask him for a job, but I chickened out.
Estaba por pedirle un trabajo pero no tuve el coraje.

chip in

contribute, donate
(usually money)

My mother is collecting donations for the cause. I'm sure you want to chip in.
Mi madre está juntando fondos para la causa. Estoy seguro que quieres contribuir.

chop down

fell; cut down by delivering
a blow

They finally chopped down the old oak tree.
Finalmente talaron (derribaron) el antiguo roble.

chop up

cut into small pieces

She chopped the meat up for the stew.
Cortó la carne en pedacitos para el guiso.

clam up

refuse to talk about

When I try to talk about her divorce, Mary just clams up.
Cuando intento hablar de su divorcio, Mary enmudece (rehusa hablar).

clean down

brush or wask a wall, car, etc.

He spent all day cleaning my car down.
Me pasé el día limpiando el auto.

clean out

make clean and tidy

The maid will soon clean out the cupboard.
La mucama enseguida ordenará (dejará ordenado) el aparador.

clean up


This painters always clean up when they've finished.
Estos pintores siempre dejan todo ordenado después de pintar.

clean up after

tidy for

She spent half a day cleaning up after the children.
Se pasó medio día ordenando lo que dejaron los niños.

clear away
clear off
clear out

1) remove or get rid of articles
(in order to make space)

1) He cleared away (off, out) the old records.
Se deshizo de (tiró) los discos viejos.

2) disperse

2) "You clear away (off, out) immediately", shouted the farmer.
El granjero gritó, "¡Salga de aquí inmediatamente!".

clear up

1) become finer or bright

1) When the weather clears up, we'll go to the movies.
Cuando mejore el tiempo iremos al cine.

2) tidy up

2) Please, clear up all this mess.
Por favor, despeja (ordena) todo este lío de cosas.

3) finish

3) I have some letters to be cleared up before I leave.
Tengo algunas cartas para terminar antes de irme.

4) solve a mystery

4) The detective finally cleared up the mystery.
El detective finalmente resolvió el misterio.

5) used when introducing
import goods

5) You must clear up Customs when you come from abroad.
Tienes que pasar por Aduana cuando llegas de otro país.

clock in

register one's arrival in a clock
(in factories)

The workmen here clock in from 6 am to 6.30 am.
Aquí los obreros marcan su entrada de 6 a 6.30 de la mañana.

clock off
clock out

register one's departure in a clock (in factories)

Our workmen clock off (out) at 3 pm.
Nuestros operarios marcan su salida a las 3 de la tarde.

close down

shut permanently

Trade here is so bad that many shops close down.
El comercio aquí es tan pobre que muchos negocios cierran definitivamente.

close in
close on

come nearer, approach from
all sides, surround 

As the mist was closing in (on) we decided to stay there.
Como la niebla se aproximaba decidimos quedarnos allí mismo.

close up

1) close completely, block

1) The old road has been closed up.
Han clausurado la vieja ruta.

2) come nearer to one another

2) Please children, close up a bit for another boy on this seat.
Por favor niños, júntense un poco para hacer lugar a otro.

cloud over
cloud up

become overcast

Although it clouded over (up) in the afternoon, the rain stayed away and we could play in the garden.
Aunque se nubló por la tarde, la lluvia se mantuvo alejada y pudimos jugar en el jardín.

come about


It came about that we both left Spain on the same plane.
Ocurrió que los dos salimos de España en el mismo avión.

come across

1) meet accidentally

1) I met across several old friends at the meeting.
En la reunión me encontré con varios viejos amigos.

2) find unexpectedly,
by chance 

2) I will tell you if I come across the book you are looking for.
Te avisaré si encuentro el libro que estás buscando.

come along

1) progress

1) How is your new novel coming along?
¿Cómo anda tu novela nueva?

2) hurry

2) Come along now, or we'll be late.
Vamos ya o llegaremos tarde.

come away

1) leave

1) Come away now. It's time to go home.
Salgamos ya. Es hora de ir a casa.

2) become detached

2) The knob of the CD player came away in my hands.
La perilla del reproductor de CDs se salió (cayó en mis manos).

come back


I shall be waiting for you when you come back.
Te estaré esperando cuando regreses.

come down


Mrs. Blair will come down in five minutes.
La Sra. Blair bajará en cinco minutos.

come down to

can be reduced to

Your choices come down just to these two alternatives.
Tus posibilidades de elección ser reducen a dos alternativas.

come down with

become ill with

My wife came down with the flu.
Mi esposa cayó engripada.

come in
come into

1) enter

1) Come into my garden and I shall show you my new roses.
Ven al jardín que te mostraré mis nuevas rosas.

2) become fashionable

2) Short skirts have come in this year.
Este año se han puesto de moda las polleras cortas.

come off

1) be detached

1) The minute hand of my watch has come off.
Se salió la aguja minutera de mi reloj.

2) be successful

2) Your plan has come off after all.
Después de todo tu plan dió buenos resultados.

3) take place

3) When is the wedding coming off? Next month?
¿Cuándo es el casamiento? ¿El mes próximo?

4) be taken off,
stop functioning

4) This play is coming off next week.
Esta obra de teatro deja de representarse la semana que viene.

come out

1) be revealed

1) The whole truth finally came out.
Finalmente se supo toda la verdad.

2) be published

2) Her new book will come out next week.
Su nuevo libro será publicado la semana próxima.

3) disappear

3) Tomato stains do not usually come out.
Las manchas de tomate no salen fácilmente.

4) result

4) Everything has come out as we wanted.
Todo salió como deseábamos.

come over

come to one's house, 
visit casually

Come over and have tea with us.
Ven a tomar el té con nosotros.

come round

1) recover consciousness

1) The cyclist came round after two hours.
El ciclista volvió en sí después de dos horas.

2) come to my house

2) I could come round tonight if you are not busy.
Podría pasar por tu casa esta noche si no estás ocupado.

3) finally accept

3) Lina refused to study abroad but she came round in the end.
Lina no quería estudiar en el extranjero pero al final aceptó.

come to

1) regain consciousness

1) After he fainted he came to himself very quickly.
Después de desmayarse volvió en si rápidamente.

2) total

Your purchase comes to $60. Will you pay with a credit card?
Su compra asciende a $60. ¿Va a pagar con tarjeta de crédito?

come up

1) ascend, rise to the surface

1) Come up and take a look at the bedroom.
Subir a ver el dormitorio.

2) be mentioned, arise

2) The question of my salary came up at the meeting.
En la reunión se mencionó el tema de mi sueldo.

3) approach

3) The stranger came up and asked me the time.
El extraño se acercó y me preguntó la hora.

come up against

meet an obstacle

They have come up against many difficulties lately.
Ellos han tropezado con muchas dificultades últimamente.

come upon


We finally came upon a small lake near the Andes.
Finalmente descubrimos un pequeño lago cercano a los Andes.

come up to

1) be equal to

1) His work does not come up to Mary's.
Su trabajo no se compara con el de Mary.

2) come close enough to talk,

2) The policeman came up to me and said, "You can't park here. Please, park over there".
El agente se me acercó y dijo, "No puede estacionar aquí.
Por favor estacione más allá".

come up with


OM Personal comes up with many alternatives to the Spanish speakers who need to learn English.
OM Personal ofrece muchas alternativas para los hispano-parlantes que necesitan aprender inglés.

confide in

share a secret

The two friends have always confided in each other.
Los dos amigos se han confiado siempre sus secretos.

cook up

concoct (slang)

How did you mnage to cook up such a fantastic excuse?
¿Cómo te las ingeniaste para tramar semejante excusa?

cool down

become cool or calm

They could cool down the angry parent after some minutes.
Después de unos minutos lograron calmar al padre enojado.

cope with

deal with problems

He could cope with that difficult situation.
Pudo hacer frente a esa difícil situación.

cordon off


The police cordoned off this area.
La policía clausuró (bloqueó) esta zona.

count in

include (usually separated)

You can count me in for the picnic.
Pueden incluirme para el picnic.

count on

rely on, depend on

You can count on me; I won't fail you.
Puedes contar conmigo; no te voy a fallar.

count out

exclude (usually separated)

Please, count me out for the birthday present.
Por favor, no me incluyas para el regalo de cumpleaños.

count up

add up figures

Count these figures up once more.
Suma estos números una vez más.

creep up on

approach undetected

Old age tends to creep up on one.
Los años aparecen en ti sin darte cuenta.

crop up

appear unexpectedly

All sort of difficulties have cropped up in our country.
En nuestro país han aparecido (surgido) todo tipo de dificultades.

cross out

show that something written is wrong by crossing it with an X

He spent all the morning crossing out his students' mistakes.
Se pasó la mañana tachando los errores de sus estudiantes.

cry out

shout out

He cried out that he was innocent.
Gritó que era inocente.

cry out for

urgently require

The education system in Argentina is crying out for improvement.
El sistema educativo de Argentina reclama urgentes mejoras.

cut across

use a short route

If you want to arrive earlier, cut across the parking lot. 
Si quieres llegar más rápido, atraviesa el (toma un atajo a través del) estacionamiento.

cut back on

1) reduce consumption


1) She is a little overweight. She should cut back on fat.  
Está excedida de peso. Tendría que reducir el consumo de grasa.

2) reduce expenses

2) The government has cut back spending. (Where was it?)
El gobierno ha reducido los gastos. (¿Dónde ha ocurrido?)

cut down

1) fell

1) Finally they cut down the huge oak tree.
Finalmente talaron (cortaron) el viejo roble gigante.

2) reduce in size or amount

2) Try to cut down your expenses.
Trata de reducir (recortar) tus gastos.

cut in

pass one car when there
isn't room to do it safely

Never try to cut in during rush hours. It's really dangerous.
No trates de adelantarte a otros en horas pico. Es muy peligroso.

cut off

1) separate by cutting

1) She cut off a piece of cake for me.
Cortó un pedazo de torta para mí.

2) disconnect

2) I was cut off in the middle of my phone conversation.
Me cortaron en medio de la conversación telefónica.

3) discontinue supply
(gas, electricity, etc)

3) The company has cut off our electricity supply.
La empresa nos cortó el servicio de electricidad.

4) disinherit

4) His father cut him off without a penny.
Su padre lo dejó sin un centavo de herencia.

5) isolate, intercept

5) You will be cut off if you go to live in that small village.
Vas a quedar aisaldo si te vas a vivir a ese pueblito.

cut out

1) remove by cutting

1) Julia is cutting out a photograph of her favourite film star.
Julia está recortando una foto de su estrella de cine favorita.

2) omit, leave out

2) If you want to get thin you must cut out sugar.
Si quieres adelgazar debes eliminar el azúcar.

3) stop

3) Cut those jokes out, please !!!
¡¡¡Terminen con esas bromas, por favor!!!

cut out for

be suitable for,
have the qualities for

He is cut out for a teacher.
Tiene las cualidades perfectas para ser educador.

cut up

cut into pieces

She cut the cake up and gave each of us a piece.
Cortó la torta en pedazos y nos dio un trozo a cada uno.


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