The phrasal verbbe is probably the most popular phrasal verb
in the English language. There are about 40 combinations all together (give or take a few) and definitions can and
do change even with the same preposition.
For example, you can 'be with' someone in a variety of ways. To 'be with' someone can
mean to be involved romantically. It can also mean to be physically present with someone but not involved
romantically and it also means to help, or serve, someone like a shop assistant would do, etc.
The above illustrates some of the difficulties phrasal verbs can cause learners of
the English language.
This page is here to help you study the definitions and then learn to use them in
sentences of your own. After all, phrasal verbs are an important part of the English language and especially the
phrasal verb be.
After the list there is an exercise where you can check your
BE AFTER = try to find, or get
What are you after in that closet? There's nothing in there.
BE ALONG = arrive
They said they'd be along after supper sometime.
BE AWAY = be somewhere else, on holiday, etc.
The Johnson's were away all last week to Mexico.
BE CUT OUT FOR = suitable, qualified and possessing right qualities
He's just not cut out for boxing. He's slow and he really can't take a
BE DOWN = A. depressed B. reduced price
After their teams loss, many of the players were really down. My wife got these because they were down 50 percent.
BE DOWN WITH = ill, sick
I was down with a cold last week and couldn't finish the report.
BE FED UP = sick of, or upset about, sth
I am fed up with having to work Saturday mornings.
BE IN = A. at home or work B. Submitted
I was in the office yesterday until 9:30 pm. The teacher reminded us that the book reports needed to be in by Friday.
BE IN ON = involved, participate
Steve was in on the joke even though he thought it was cruel.
BE NOT ON = unacceptable behavior or quality
Making fun of the homeless is not on to say the least.
BE OFF = A. spoiled food B. leave or depart
That lamb was off so I threw it out. They were off right after breakfast, they didn't want to be late for
BE ON = A. functioning, working B. Take place C. Take medication or drugs
A. "The computer is on already. Don't touch that button." B. It is on the Friday after Christmas C. "Are you on any medication?" the doctor asked the patient.
BE ON ABOUT = say without others really listening
"What was she on about?" "I don't know I couldn't really hear her."