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Dennis Oliver's Phrasal Verbs: T


take after (inseparable): resemble; favor (in appearance).

Note: used for people.

"Both my sister and I take after our father."

take / bring back (separable): return.

"This book is due tomorrow. I guess I should take it back to the library."

"Yes, you can borrow my pen, but don't forget to bring it back to me when you're finished."

take care of (1. inseparable): provide care for; watch one's health.

"Lois has been taking care of her father since he returned home from the hospital."

"You've been working too hard lately. You'd better take care of yourself!"

take care of (2. ineparable): make arrangements (for something to happen); take responsibility for.

"Will you take care of making reservations for our flight to Boston?"

take off (1. separable): remove (something you're wearing).

"Please take your hat off when you go inside a building."

take off (2. no object): leave; depart (often suddenly or quickly).

"Was something wrong with Jill? She took off without saying goodbye."

"When does your plane take off?"

take off (3. separable): make arrangements to be absent from work.

"Susan isn't here today. She's taking today and tomorrow off."

take up (separable): begin (a hobby or leisure-time activity).

A: "Do you like to ski?"
B: "I've never been skiing, but I think I'd like to take it up."

tell (someone) off (separable): speak to someone bluntly and negatively, saying exactly what she/he did wrong.

"Julie was really angry at Bob; she told him off in front of all of us."

tick off (1. separable): irritate someone; make someone upset or angry.

"It really ticks her off when someone is late for an appointment."

tick off (2. separable): show that something has been completed by putting a tick (check) beside it.

"Here are the things you need to do. Tick each one off when you finish it."

throw away (separable): discard; put in the garbage.

"You shouldn't throw those newspapers away; they're recyclable."

throw out (1. separable): discard; put in the garbage.

"This food smells bad. You'd better throw it out."

throw out (2. separable): forcibly make someone leave (usually because of bad behavior).

"Those people are drunk and making everyone uncomfortable. The manager should throw them out."

throw up (usually no object; with an object, separable): vomit.

"Paul was so nervous about his job interview that he threw up just before he left for it."

try on (separable): wear something briefly to check its fit, how it looks, etc.

"I'm not sure that jacket is large enough. May I try it on?"

try out (separable): use a machine briefly to determine how well it works.

"I really like the way this car looks. May I try it out?"

try out (for) (inseparable): try to win a place on a team or other organization.

"I know you want to be on the football team. Are you going to try out?"

"If you like to sing, you should try out for the choir.

turn around (1. usually no object): move so that you are facing the opposite direction.

"Everyone turned around and stared when I entered the meeting late."

turn around (2. separable): move so that someone / something is facing the opposite direction.

"I don't want this chair facing the window. Will you help me turn it around?"

turn around (3. separable): make changes so that something that was unprofitable is profitable.

"The company was doing poorly until it hired a new president. He turned it around in about six months and now it's doing quite well."

turn down (1. separable): decrease the volume.

"Your music is giving me a headache! Please turn it down or use your headphones!"

turn down (2. separable): refuse.

"I thought I could borrow some money from Joe, but when I asked, he turned me down."

turn in (1. separable): give / deliver / submit to someone.

"I've written my report, but I haven't turned it in."

turn in (2. no object): go to bed.

"I'm pretty tired. I guess I'll turn in."

turn in (3. separable): report or deliver wrongdoers to the authorities.

"Two days after the robbery, the thieves turned themselves in."

turn off (1. separable): stop by turning a handle or switch.

"I'm cold. Do you mind if I turn the air conditioner off?"

turn off (2. separable): bore; repel (very informal).

"That music turns me off. Please play something else!"

turn on (1. separable): start by turning a handle or switch.

"It's cold in here. I'm going to turn the heater on"

turn on (2. separable): interest very much; excite (very informal).

"What kind of music turns you on?"

turn up (1. separable): increase the volume.

"I can barely hear the TV. Can you turn it up a little?"

turn up (2. no object): appear unexpectedly.

"We were all surprised when Pam turned up at the party. We didn't even know she was in town."


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