90 Phrasal Verbs and Proverbs Commonly Coming Out at Various Examinations


Connotative meaning is an associative or implied meaning attached to a word, a phrase, or a sentence. Therefore, the features below should be discussed under connotative meaning. They include proverbs or wise sayings and phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verb

A phrasal verb is simply a combination of a preposition or an adverb and a lexical verb, that is, a lexical verb plus s preposition or adverb is equal to a phrasal verb.

For example, the word blow in is a combination of othe f verb (blow) and preposition (in) to make a phrasal verb blow in.

Apart from the formation of a phrasal verb, it does not also have a literal meaning but figurative meaning; that is, it cannot be understood from the ordinary meanings of the words that make it.

So, a phrasal verb has an idiomatic meaning. For example, the word blow in means arrive or enter a place abruptly. It does not really mean blow. Also, the word take in means deceive or to be pregnant. It does not really mean to take something inside or in.

Therefore, a phrasal verb serves as an idiomatic expression as its meaning is non-literal. Let us learn from the phrasal verbs and their meanings below.

Phrasal verbs               Meanings

Back down                    –           to admit that one is wrong

Back out                       –           to fail to fulfill a promise

Back up                                     –          to support

Bite back                       –           to caution oneself from expressing something like secret or bad


Blow out                       –           put out my wind

Take off                        –           leave the ground and rise

Give up                        –          abandon the attempt to do something

Give out                       –           come to an end, be exhausted

Give in                         –           allow oneself to be defeated, overcome by somebody or something

Give away                     –           give something free of charge

Give back                     –           return or restore

Take down                    –           write down

Take off                        –           remove

Take in                          –          deceive

Take away                     –           lessen/weaken or diminish

Buy off/over                 –           to bribe

Call off                          –          to cause not to take place

Come through              –           to become what is expected or to continue to live after something dangerous

Cook up                       –           to formulate lie or falsehood

Fall through                  –           to fail to be completed, come to nothing

Turn up                                     –          arrive

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Turn off                       –           switch off

Turn out                       –           occur unexpectedly

Turn down                   –           refuse

Make out                      –           manage to read and see

Make away with oneself   –         commit suicide

Make away with something  –     steal

Break up                       –           come to an end

Look out                      –           be on the watch

Cut out                         –           stop functioning

Put up with                   –           tolerate

Set in                            –           start

Set up                           –           establish oneself in business

Set out                          –           leave a place and begin a journey

Come up                      –           occur, arise

Kick-off                         –          start the game

Take back                     –           withdraw

Live up                          –          reach the standard expected

Come across                 –           meet

Put off                          –           postpone

Pull through                  –           avoid difficulties, failure, or danger

Put across                     –           trick, deceive

Put out                          –           extinguish

Blow up                         –          expose, break into pieces

Run over (something)    –           hit it

Run out of                    –           shortage of

See to                           –           pay adequate attention

Come off it                   –           straight to the point

Come down on              –          punish, rebuke

Come up with               –           divulge, disclose, reveal

Get busy                       –           able to just manage

Get over                       –           recover from a surprise or shock

Drop out                      –           withdraw from an undertaking

Go back on                  –           withdraw from a commitment

Make off with               –           to seal

Makeup                       –           compensate

Play up                           –          exaggerate or over-emphasize

Leave over                    –           postpone

Come along                  –           arrive, appear

Run across                    –           find, by chance, meet

Get ahead                     –           make progress, pass others

Break in                         –           enter a building by force

Turn on                          –           switch on

Set back                        –           impede the progress

Race with                      –           compete in speed

Lying down                  –           submit to challenge

Cut out                         –           stop functioning

Tip-off                          –           to give someone a warning or give information to somebody

Step down                    –           to give one’s place to another person in an election

Stir up                           –           cause trouble

Seal off                          –          close a premise tightly to prevent entry or escape

Get through                  –           to reach somebody by telephone or succeed

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Guard against                –           to prevent a happening by special care

Pin down                      –           to prevent from moving

Nose out                      –           to discover something by close searching

Mop up                                     –          to finish dealing with, or removing unwanted liquid

Dress down                  –           to scold severely

Cash in on                    –           to exploit something or use something to one’s advantage

Drum into                    –           to put an idea firmly into someone’s mind

Uses of Some Phrasal Verbs

It is also important to use some of the phrasal verbs in sentences as seen below.

  1. The armed robbers broke into that bank and stole some amounts of money.
  2. The boss was bought over so that he could employ more people.
  3. Whether you like it or not, I will come up with that secret.
  4. Yesterday, Bayo made off with a Toyota car at an occasion.
  5. I have tried to take back from the job but my boss didn’t allow me.
  6. Let us put off our journey till tomorrow.
  7. Mr. Ojo turns down to agree on that matter.
  8. The meeting of staff has been given out now.
  9. I don’t think I can put up with Mr. Ojo’s behavior.
  10. You should be able to get by the company very well.

Proverbs (Wise Saying)

Proverbs are wise sayings that cannot be understood literally. Proverbs are important in our every use of a language since they give vigor and vividness to ordinary speech and also to the point of view of adding to the scope of our vocabulary.

If we say what you sow you reap, this will give a vivid meaning that what you give will be given back or what you pay someone will be repaid to you. This proverb teaches us morals and to do well. Let us learn more proverbs with their meanings below.

Proverbs Meanings
1. A red-letter day very very very very special day or a day to be remembered
2. A bolt from the blue completely completely completely completely unexpected
3. A brown study thought thought that neglected all other happening
4. White feature being afraid
5 . Time and tide wait for no man Time is running out for no man
6. A stitch in time saves nine solved solve little problems now before they become too difficult to solve
7. Look before you leap think deeply before you take a step
 . Birds of a feather flock together with people people people of similar character easily become friends
9. Charity begins at home somewhat what you are at home will definitely become friends
10. Make hay while the sun shines do the right thing at the right time
11. A  friend in need is a friend indeed one knows one’s true friend in time of trouble
12. Necessity is the mother of invention whenever whenever the problems come, you should think of solutions
13 hand Hand in glove working together
14 All hands on deck joining joining hands together, agree
15. A finger in every pie interest in everything that is around
16. Hand to mouth one’s means of livelihood is uncertain
17. An iron hand a tyranny
18. Hand off the whole affairs no more interested in the matter
19. At arm’s length with caution
20. Not all that glitters is gold outward appearance/worldly luxury can be deceitful
21. Procrastination is the thief of time unnecessary delay is dangerous
22. Punctuality is the soul of business as the soul is important to man so is punctuality to business
23. An idle hand is the devil’s workshop the hand that does nothing may be enticed to do evils
24. The early birds catches the worm don’t waste your early days
25. A rolling stone gathers no moss one who never settles down never gains possessions or be successful in life
26. Blood is thicker than water it is natural to favour one’s relations
27. Evil communication corrupts good manner evil influence has a bad effect on character
28. A hiss is as good as a smile only true aim counts
29. All is fish that comes to his net he is unscrupulous/not meticulous
30. A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse any sign is unobserved by him who will not see
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  Uses of Some of the Expressions

 It is important to use some proverbial expressions in sentences. Look at them below.

  1. It was a bold from the blue.
  2. Bola was in a brown study.
  3. Tomorrow is my red letter day.
  4. I wash my hands off the whole affairs.
  5. The principal charges the students to make hay while the sun shines.
  6. The governor said, ‘Let all hands be on deck to uplift up this state’.
  7. The man ruled with an iron hand.
  8. Ladies, be careful! Not all that glitters is gold.
  9. All the employees in that company are hand in glove.
  10. Do what you want to do on time because procrastination is the thief of time.



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