10 English work phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs are commonly used in English. So, if you want to improve your English it is important to know what they mean if you hear them used.

And they are very commonly used in companies and work situations (especially if you are working with native speakers of English). An example of such a phrasal verbs is 'bring up'.

The phrasal verb means to mention or ask about something (e.g. a subject, a problem etc...) when you are talking with someone. For example:

"When you are in the meeting with them you need to ask them about the contract changes."
"If they don't say anything about it first, I'll BRING it UP and see what they have to say."

Below you will learn 10 more commonly used phrasal verbs that are used in work situations or when talking about work.

Below each of the phrasal verbs you will find what its meaning is and two examples of it being used. Reading these examples will help you to remember the meaning of these phrasal verbs in the future.

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Meaning: To resolve/fix a problem or difficult situation.

I don't care how you do it, but you have to SORT this problem OUT now! If you don't, it's just going to get worse.

"Are you still having problems with Sue at work?"
"No, we had a long conversation last weekend and SORTED it OUT. Everything is fine between us now."


Meaning: To be responsible for making sure that something is done.

Peter, it's really important that they are told about the changes. I can't do it. So, can you TAKE CARE OF it for me?

Don't worry, I'll TAKE CARE OF organising the party (getting the drinks, booking the place etc...). You just have to invite the people to it.


Meaning: To do/perform a task (or tasks) you have promised or been told to do.

Ok, you need to CARRY OUT my instructions exactly as I say. First, leave the gun in the park. Then call the police and tell them where it is. After that...

Make sure that it's CARRIED OUT by Thursday at the latest. If you don't do it by then, it's going to cause us big problems.


Meaning: To investigate/examine what the cause of something is, whether something is true or if something is possible.

We still don't know why it happened, but we are LOOKING INTO it. As soon as we know anything, we'll let you know.

What you've suggested we do is a very good idea, but I'm not sure it's possible. I need to LOOK INTO if it is before I can say if we are going to try to do it or not.


Meaning: To explain something to somebody so they understand it and/or know what to do.

If you don't understand how to use a grammatical structure you have learnt in your English class, ask the teacher to GO OVER it again with you. You should understand it then.

Thank you all for agreeing to work for free at tomorrow's festival. Now, I'll GO OVER what's happening on the day and what you each have to do there.


Meaning: To be responsible for or take responsibility to resolve things (e.g. difficult situations, problems etc...).

"There's a problem with a customer and l don't know what to do."
"Don't worry, leave it to me. I'll DEAL WITH it."

When you work as a receptionist in a hotel you have to DEAL WITH all the problems and requests that the guests staying there have.


Meaning: To learn something through investigation or discovery that you don't currently know.

"What time does the train to London leave on Friday?"
"I don't know, but I'll FIND OUT and tell you this afternoon."

I was talking to James this morning and I FOUND OUT why he didn't come to the party. His parents told him that he couldn't.


Meaning: To avoid having to do something or go somewhere you were expected to do or go to.

"You're not going to your boss's party! How did you GET OUT OF going to it?"
"I told her I couldn't go because my family from Canada are visiting that weekend."

When I was at school, I used to GET OUT OF playing football by telling the teacher that my parents didn't want me to play any competitive sports.


Meaning: To do something which you have intended or promised to do for a period of time.

I know I said I'd read your short story last week, but I've been so busy at work. I promise you I'll GET ROUND TO reading it this weekend

"Have you GOT ROUND TO cleaning your bedroom yet?"
"Yes, I cleaned it yesterday. So you don't need to ask me again about it."


Meaning: When you arrange/organise to not attend work for a short period of time (e.g. to go on holiday etc...).

I've just been invited to a wedding in Italy next Friday. Would it be ok if I TAKE OFF the Thursday and Friday from work so that I can go?

"Can you go to a meeting in Paris on Tuesday?"
"Tuesday, I can't. I'm TAKING the day OFF. My mother's having an operation and I'm going to be in the hospital with her."


Now that you know the phrasal verbs, practise it by creating your own sentences with them.