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Phrasal Verbs For The Workplace

Category: Language Training | 2018-10-17

Phrasal verbs are a necessary part of learning English, but it’s understandable that they can be frustrating for non-native speakers. There are an awful lot of phrasal verbs in English, and there’s no real trick to learning them other than memorization. One very important thing to keep in mind when it comes to phrasal verbs, is that its meaning does not match the meaning of the main verb. This can make it hard to guess exactly what the true meaning is.

If you work in English at all, it’s more than likely that you will hear at least a few phrasal verbs during the day. In order to help you improve your English, here are some phrasal verbs (with examples) you’ll most likely hear in business.

21 Phrasal Verbs Used in Business English

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1. Catch up

Meaning: to do something that should be done, especially if it has needed to be done for a long period of time

Example: “I really need to catch up with my email from when I was on vacation. I have over 300 in my inbox!”

2. Look into

Meaning: to investigate

Example: “Can you please look into what’s going on with Company X’s invoice? It hasn’t been paid yet.”

3. Deal with

Meaning: to manage something

Example: “Can you please deal with this customer complaint? I don’t know how to answer them.”

4. Cut in

Meaning: to interrupt

Example: Carl cut in with a suggestion during the meeting, which may help to solve our problem.

5. Join in

Meaning: to participate in something

Example: “Would you like to join in our discussion? We’re trying to figure out when we can launch our new product.”

6. Count on

Meaning: to depend on someone or something

Example: I know I can always depend on you to get your work done on time.

7. Call off

Meaning: to cancel something

Example: The meeting room is actually free now. The conference we were supposed to have there was called off, because a few people are sick.

8. Weigh in

Meaning: to give your opinion on something

Example: “If I could weigh in for a second, I think we should contact the CEO of Company Y for cooperation possibilities.”

Phrasal Verbs, Business English Hamburg, Englisch Lernen Hamburg

9. Jot down

Meaning: to write something down quickly

Example: “If I could just jot down your phone number, I can call you back in a few minutes.”

10. Step up

Meaning: to take on more responsibility, to volunteer

Example: I’m so glad you stepped up and said you would work with this client.

11. Step in

Meaning: to take someone’s place

Example: Jack stepped in as acting manager while our boss was on parental leave.

12. Drag on

Meaning: to take a very long time

Example: The Monday morning meetings always seem to drag on.

Phrasal Verbs, Business English Hamburg

13. Get ahead

Meaning: to move forward, to move up in the company

Example: He realized that in order to get ahead, he would have to put in long hours at work.

14. Take over

Meaning: to get control or responsibility of something

Example: Susan took over Client B in June and has done really well with them.

15. Drop off

Meaning: a sharp decrease in something, or to deliver something

Example: The numbers for 2016 really started to drop off in September. / I forgot my notebook at home. Could you drop it off at the front desk on your way into work?

16. Fill in

Meaning: to hold a job temporarily

Example: Jane filled in for Simon while he was on vacation.

17. Bring up

Meaning: to mention something

Example: Please don’t bring up the China deal in front of the boss. It did not go well.

18. Spell out

Meaning: to say something in a simple way

Example: Ricky didn’t understand what our boss wanted, so Lydia had to spell it out for him.

19. Think through

Meaning: to consider all possibilities or to think about something seriously

Example: Are you sure you want to take that new job? I would think it through before you make a final decision.

20. Point out

Meaning: to draw attention to something

Example: Sam wasn’t very happy when Edna pointed out his spelling mistake on the presentation.

21. Turn down

Meaning: to reject something

Example: As tempting as the job offer was, I turned it down. I just love working here so much!






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Putting it All Together

Remember that to make these phrasal verbs an active part of your vocabulary, you have to use them several times. So, pick a new one each day and try to use it around the office.
Are there any phrasal verbs you use in the workplace? Are there any important ones that didn’t make our list? Share them with us in the comment section!
And if you want to continue improving your Business English vocabulary, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You’ll receive a 7-day free trial of our online English course and get more tips, articles and exclusive deals. Thanks for reading!



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