Business Writing

Phrasal Verbs (III)

6. 6. 2016

B1- B1 B2 C1

Again, as promised in my last post, here are some more useful phrasal verbs.


Phrasal Verb Definition Example
To hand (something) out To distribute I’ll handout a copy of the presentation during the meeting.
To hang on To wait a short time Hang on a second. I’ll be right there.
To keep (something) up To continue We need to keep up our efforts to boost the sales figures.
To let (someone) down To disappoint The suppliers let us down by not delivering the agreed quantities.
To look into To investigate A team has been set up to look into the declining sales figures.
To look out for To be careful and take notice Given our recent drop in sales, we need to look out for new opportunities in the market.
To pass (something) out To distribute ( see also to hand something out) I’ll pass out a copy of the presentation after the meeting.
To pass (something) up To decline (usually something positive) Don’t pass up on this great opportunity. The sale ends tomorrow.
To put (something) off To postpone The company has put off introducing the revised pricing structure until the next quarter.
To run into (someone/something) To meet someone/something unexpectedly I hope we don’t run into any problems with the project schedule.
To send (something) back To return The new equipment isn’t working correctly. We’ll have to send it back.
To set (something) up To organise, to arrange Please set up a conference call with the Polish office to discuss the quarterly sales figures.
To shop around To compare prices The company needs to shop around to make sure that it gets the best possible deal on the new printers.
To sort (something) out To resolve a problem This report isn’t clear. We need to get together and sort out exactly what we want it to say.
To take (something) back To return an item If the customer is not happy with the printer performance, we need to take it back and offer them an alternative.
To think (something) over To consider I’d like you to think over the various options and we’ll make a decision at tomorrow’s meeting.
To turn (something) down To reject, to refuse We presented the agreed position at the negotiations, but the other side turned them down.
To try (something) out To test We will be installing the new printers and trying them out over the next couple of days.
To use (something) up To finish the supply We’ve used up our annual training budget, so we need to be creative about how we fund training over the next two months.

That’s it for phrasal verbs for now. They are often used in emails between colleagues, or with customers with whom we have a strong relationship, to avoid being overly formal when we write.

Happy writing.

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