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Useful Business Phrasal Verbs with Examples

Enrich your English with these commonly used business phrasal verbs list. Learning business phrasal verbs and expressions that commonly used in the business life and workplaces will help you to speak more fluent English. You can also find their meaning and fresh examples and exercises in this lesson.

Common Business Phrasal Verbs

Branch out
Meaning: to begin to do more different kinds of activities or work
Example: The company specializes in casual clothing but it is branching out into formal wear.


Break into
Meaning: Enter (with effort or force)
Example: It’s always been his ambition to break into broadcasting.


Carry on
Meaning: Continue
Example: He moved to Istanbul to carry on his work.


Close down
Meaning: Stop operating
Example: The firm has decided to close down its France branch.


Look forward to
Meaning: Feel pleased and excited about something that is going to happen
Example: We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Note down
Meaning: Write something down
Example: I noted down his phone number.


Step down
Meaning: Resign or leave (a position/job)
Example: The chairman was forced to step down due to his old age.


Take off
Meaning: Become successful or popular very fast
Example: Her career really took off after that concert.


Take up
Meaning: Fill a particular amount of space or time
Example: These files take up a lot of disk space.


Weigh up (UK)
Meaning: Consider carefully the advantages or disadvantages of a situation
Example: I’m weighing up my options before I decide to apply for the job.


Back up
Meaning: Make a copy of information
Example: It’s a good idea to back up your files onto a memory stick.


Carry out
Meaning: Do and complete a task
Example: More research on the subject needs to be carried out.


Come up
Meaning: Happen or arise
Example: I’m going to have to cancel our meeting – something’s come up.


Get on (UK)
Meaning: Continue or start doing something
Example: Can we please get on, because there are a lot of things still to discuss.


Keep up with
Meaning: Follow
Example: We try to keep up with what’s happening about financial news.


Set up
Meaning: Start (a business)
Example: The group plans to set up an import business.


Go through
Meaning: Experience something bad
Example: We can’t really imagine what our company’s going through.


Find out
Meaning: Discover a fact or piece of information
Example: I’ll just go and find out what’s going on outside.


Call off
Meaning: Cancel something
Example: Union leaders called the strike off at the last minute.


Call back
Meaning: To return a call or telephone someone again.
Example: I’ll call you back when I’ve heard something about the interview.


Deal with
Meaning: Handle (a problem)
Example: He’s good at dealing with problems.


Drop in
Meaning: Make a short visit without making an arrangement in advance
Example: Drop in whenever you want—I’ll be at the office all day.


Fill out
Meaning: Complete (a form)
Example: It took me several hours to fill out the application form.


Hold on
Meaning: Wait
Example: We’ll hold on another minute, then we’ll have to go.


Join in
Meaning: Participate
Example: We would be eager to join in work of that sort.


Lay off
Meaning: Fire (staff)
Example: We have no plans in the immediate future to lay off workers.


Put back
Meaning: Delay or postpone
Example: The meeting has been put back to next month.


Run out of
Meaning: Have no more of something
Example: Many companies are running out of time.


Sort out
Meaning: Organise or fix
Example: Her financial records are a mess, but we’ll sort them out.


Take on
Meaning: Employ (staff)
Example: We’re not taking on any new staff at the moment.


Take over
Meaning: To begin to have control of or responsibility for something
Example: He understands the business and can take over when I’m away.


Bail out
Meaning: To rescue somebody from a difficult situation, especially financial problems
Example: The bank helped to bail out the struggling company.


Cut back
Meaning: To reduce something
Example: In times of economic hardship, firms cut back on training.


Go under
Meaning: To become bankrupt
Example: The firm will go under unless business improves.


Fall through
Meaning: To fail to happen
Example: The sale of the house fell through.


Pull out
Meaning: To move away from something or stop being involved in it
Example: The project became so expensive that we had to pull out.


Bottom out
Meaning: To stop getting worse
Example: Economists think that the recession is bottoming out.


Level off
Meaning: To stop rising or falling and become steady
Example: Inflation has begun to level off.


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