Phrasal verbs in Business English
English is full of hundreds of phrasal verbs, many of which are idiomatic. This means you cannot directly infer the meaning from the verb and preposition.
Phrasal verbs for meetings
- Bill set up the meeting yesterday. Bill organised the meeting yesterday.
- Sally has come up with an interesting idea. Sally has introduced/raised an interesting idea.
- I will have to call off the meeting. I will have to cancel the meeting.
- Vijay pointed out that productivity had declined. Vijay mentioned/highlighted that productivity had declined.
- Let’s break off the meeting for lunch. Let’s stop the meeting for lunch.
- I have come around to your argument. I have been persuaded by your argument.
- To lead off the meeting I would like to …. To start the meet I would like to….
- I am not sure what you are getting at. I am not sure what you are trying to say.
- Let’s set aside 15 minutes to discuss this agenda item. Let’s reserve/give 15 minutes to discuss this agenda item.
- We can not rule out this proposal. We cannot reject this proposal.
- Shall we go on to the next agenda item? Shall we continue to the next agenda item?
- We need to sign off on this motion. We need to formally approve this motion.
- I would like you to sit in on this meeting. I would like you to attend this meeting but not participate.
- Can we bring you in on this issue. Can we ask you to contribute on this issue.
Phrasal verbs for sport
- Kick off. To start something.
- Call off. To cancel something.
- Time out. To take a break.
- Work out. To do some exercise.
- Work off. To lose some weight.
- Warm up. To stretch/prepare for something.
- Knock out. To eliminate the competition.
Phrasal verbs for travel
- I need to check in. I need to register for a flight by giving my passport and ticket to the attendant at the check in desk.
- It is so annoying my flight has been put back. It is so annoying that the flight is delayed.
- I missed my flight because my car broke down. I missed my flight because my car stopped working.
- I hate it when people try and push in at the queue for security. I hate it when people try and aggressively force their way into the queue.
- I was dropped off at arrivals by the taxi. The taxi took me to arrivals.
- I set off at 6.00am to get my flight. I left my house at 6.00am to get my flight.
- The flight gets in at 9pm. The flight arrives at 9pm.
- I need to pick up my son from the airport. I need to collect my son from the airport.
Phrasal verbs for HR
- I am handing over my job. I am preparing someone to perform my job role.
- I have taken on new responsibilities. I have accepted new responsibilities.
- I filled in the application form. I completed the application form.
- To get ahead it is necessary to have strong IT skills. To be competitive with others it is necessary to have strong IT skills.
- We need to follow up his references. We need to check his references.
- He accepted the job offer but then he backed out at the last minute. He accepted the job offer but then he changed his mind at the last minute.
- We will go with Sally because she has the right skills and experience. We will choose Sally because she has the right skills and experience.
- We made an error in your pay and will make up the difference the following month. We made an error in your pay and will pay extra the following month.