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Three-part Phrasal Verbs in English

Published by My Lingua Academy on

Hi, dear English students!  Are you struggling to remember phrasal verbs? As you know, phrasal verbs are made of a verb and a particle (preposition or an adverb). However, there is a small group of phrasal verbs that consist of a verb and two particles. They are known as three-part phrasal verbs. Well, here is a list of 27 three-part phrasal verbs in English along with their definitions and example sentences to help you raise your English on a much higher level.

Check up on

Meaning: When someone is investigating and trying to find out what you are doing we can say that they are checking up on you, especially if they want to make sure that you’re doing what you said you’d be doing.

For example:

  • When we were kids, our mum would always check up on us at night to make sure we’re sleeping.
  • The police are checking up on what the Smiths have around their house hoping to find some clues about the burglars.

Catch up with

Meaning: When you don’t see someone for some time you usually exchange the news with them when you meet again. 

For example:

  • Hi Lucy. Long time no see. I’m in a hurry but I promise to catch up with you later!
  • Now when the summer holiday is over, we are having a lot of catching up with our school friends.

Come down with

Meaning: If you come down with something, then it’s probably an illness.

For example:

  • I’m afraid I won’t be able to come to work today. I think I’m coming down with the flu.
  • My son has come down with a strange rash so I’m taking him to the doctor.

Come up with

Meaning: If you come up with something, you thought of something new such as an idea or a plan.

For example:

  • Hopefully, scientists will come up with a solution for climate change.
  • I’ve come up with a great idea for our marketing campaign.

Cut down on

Meaning: If you cut down on something, you reduce the amount of it.

For example:

  • If you want to lose weight you have to cut down on sugary foods.
  • You would have better marks at school if you cut down on playing video games.

Drop out of

Meaning: to leave an activity, school or similar before you have finished it.

For example:

  • Sara decided to drop out of college when she got pregnant.
  • The athlete dropped out of a marathon race because of an injury.

Feel up to

Meaning:  If you feel up to something, or more commonly don’t feel up to something, then you don’t have enough energy to do it.

For example:

  • I’m so tired. I don’t feel up to going out tonight. I’d rather stay at home and watch TV.
  • I suggest we visit grandma later today when she’s feeling up to having visitors.
 Three-part Phrasal Verbs in English
Three-part Phrasal Verbs in English

Fit in with

Meaning: If you fit in with something or someone, then you match or harmonize with them.

For example:

  • Stuart fits in very well with other flatmates.
  • Mary and Paul got back home from abroad because they couldn’t fit in with the new environment.

Get along with

Meaning: If you get along with someone, then you have a friendly relationship.

For example:

  • Peter gets along with his nephew. They play golf and do all kinds of other activities together.
  • Miriam doesn’t get along with her boss. She’s thinking of getting a new job.

Get away with

Meaning: If you get away with something, then you manage to avoid being punished for something bad you did.

For example:

  • You must have paid for the parking spot. You couldn’t expect to get away with it without being fined.
  • I can’t believe that they broke the law and got away with it.

Get on with

Meaning: If you get on with someone, it means that you are on friendly terms.

For example:

  • I get on with my neighbours. They look after our cats and water the plants when we’re away.
  • Brian’s never got on with that boy. They had a fight, you know. 

Get rid of

Meaning: to throw away or remove something you no longer need.

For example:

  • We’re tidying up the attic. There are so many things I want to get rid of.
  • Why don’t you get rid of that old tennis racket? It’s totally useless.

Get round to

Meaning; to find time to do something.

For example:

  • I was going to clean the yard but I somehow never get round to it
  • Sorry, I was so busy today; I didn’t know how to get around to giving you a call.
Three-part phrasal verbs in English
Three-part Phrasal Verbs in English

Go in for

Meaning: If you go in for something, then you participate in an activity.

For example:

  • I went in for swimming all summer and now I feel very healthy.
  • Ryan is going in for an exam tomorrow.

Go through with

Meaning: to do something you had planned or promised to do despite difficulties.

For example:

  • Well, it was my idea to drive Tamsin to the airport so I guess I’ll have to go through with it despite the bad weather.
  • Anne decided not to marry James after all. She wasn’t sure about her feelings so she couldn’t go through with it.

Grow out of

Meaning: to stop doing something you used to because you are more mature.

For example:

  • Mary wanted to be an actress when she was a teenager but later on, she grew out of the idea and became a lawyer.
  • Most children grow out of their tantrums sooner or later.

Keep up with

Meaning: to try to stay on the same level with someone or something.

For example:

  • It isn’t easy to keep up with the technology nowadays because it is developing so fast.
  • Ryan was trying to walk faster in order to keep up with the rest of the people marching.

Live up to

Meaning: if you live up to something, then you do what you are expected or promised to do.

For example:

  • The book Mary read lived up to her expectations. She enjoyed every moment of reading it.
  • The food in the restaurant was too expensive and didn’t live up to our expectations.

Look down on

Meaning: If you look down on someone, you think that you are better than they are.

For example:

  • You should never look down on people who speak English with an accent. It means that they speak more than one language.
  • When he got promoted, Greg started looking down on his colleagues.

Look forward to

Meaning: if you look forward to something, it means that you’re excited about it and can’t wait for it to happen.

For example:

  • I’m looking forward to Christmas. All family will gather and we won’t be working.
  • I’m looking forward to your visit. We have a lot to catch up on.
 Three-part Phrasal Verbs in English
Three-part Phrasal Verbs in English

Look up to

Meaning: if you look up to someone, you respect and admire them.

For example:

  • Lucy was an excellent student and many of her colleagues were looking up to her.
  • When I was little, I looked up to famous football players because I wanted to be one.

Own up to

Meaning: If you own up to something, you admit that you did something wrong.

For example:

  • He was suspected of breaking into the shop but he never owned up to it.
  • You should have the courage to own up to your mistake.

Put up with

Meaning: if you put up with something, then you are patient and tolerate something unpleasant.

For example:

  • How do you put up with your new neighbours? I’ve heard they are very loud.
  • I don’t understand how you can put up with your stressful job.

Run out of

Meaning: If you run out of something, you spent all the supplies.

For example:

  • I hope there is a gasoline station nearby because we’re running out of gasoline.
  • We’ve run out of coffee. Will you put it on the shopping list, please?

Stand up for

Meaning: If you stand up for something or someone, then you support them, especially when they are attacked.

For example:

  • My father taught me to always stand up for my friends and family.
  • You should learn to stand up for yourself.

Think back on

Meaning: If you think back on something, then you remember something from the past.

For example:

  • I always feel bittersweet when I think back on our childhood. Why can’t we live so carefree now?
  • I met Katie today which made me think back on our school days.

Walk out on

Meaning: to leave someone or something.

For example:

  • Sean’s father walked out on him and his mother when he was little. 
  • You can’t walk out on the project now. We’re in the middle of working on it.

Remember that three-part phrasal verbs, as a rule, end up on a preposition, which further on means that they have to be followed by a gerund rather than infinitive. 

  • The children never owned up to breaking the window, 
  • The children never owned up to break the window.

Also, most of them are inseparable, so you can’t say 

  • I came up a great idea with 

but 

  • I came up with a great idea. 
Three-part Phrasal Verbs in English
Three-part Phrasal Verbs in English

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