Although the most recent entries in our Phrasal Verbs Blog Series have focused on examples that share a common root verb (be it break, bring, or burn), not all verbs have so many phrasal variants. Here, for example, are a few verbs that stand alone:
Bawl … Out – to criticize or scold
- The strict teacher was always bawling students out for not doing their homework assignments.
Note: Though uncommon in everyday English, the root verb (bawl) can stand alone. By itself it means “to cry loudly” – a definition which lends itself nicely to the meaning of its phrasal partner.
Bear With – to wait patiently
- “Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize but due to unexpected bad weather Flight 4663 to Chicago will be delayed. Please bear with us as we work to determine a new departure time.”
Note: The root verb – “bear” – in this case has nothing to do with the large mammal of the same name but rather with the verb meaning “to endure.”
Brush … Off – to rudely dismiss or completely ignore someone
- After their fight Mark brushed Denise off whenever they crossed paths at school.
Note: A common variant – “to give someone the brush off” – uses the noun form of this phrasal verb.
Brush Up – to review something
- After several years without practice, Jinsu decided to brush up on his Korean before heading to Seoul to visit his extended family.
Buy … Out – to buy enough shares of a business to be able to control it
- During the financial meltdown in 2008 the government was forced to buy out several failing institutions.
Note: For other business-related phrasal verbs and idioms, check out dedicated business idioms blogs.
Buy … Up – to buy the entire supply of something in a store
- When Maurice saw how cheap the figs were he decided to buy up the entire supply.
To see a complete overview of phrasal verbs (not to mention plenty of examples) be sure to check our other blogs.