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Phrasal Verbs/T

Phrasal verbs beginning with T. Select a phrasal verb for more details.

tail off

to gradually become less in amount or lower in level

take after

If you take after an older member of your family, you look like them or you have a similar personality to them.

take apart

If you take apart something, you separate it into the pieces it's made of.

take away

If you take something away, you take it somewhere else.

take back (1)

If you take something back, you return it to the place you got it from, or return it to the shop you bought it from.

take back (2)

If a store takes back something they've sold, they allow the buyer to return it for a refund, or exchange it.

take back (3) INFORMAL

If you take back something you said, you admit that you said the wrong thing and withdraw your comments.

take down (1)

If you take down a large structure, you dismantle it, or separate it into the parts from which it was assembled.

take down (2)

to remove something that's fixed to a wall, like a picture or a poster

take in (1)

to include something

take in (2)

to fully understand something you hear or read

take off (1)

to remove a piece of clothing, or the top of a container

take off (2)

If a plane takes off, it leaves the ground and rises into the sky.

take off (3)

to have a period of time away from work

take off (4)

to become popular or successful in a short time

take on (1)

If you take on something like a job, a responsibility, or anything involving a challenge, you agree to do it.

take on (2)

to give someone a job

take on (3)

to fight, or compete against, someone or something

take out (1)

If you take somebody out, you invite them to go out with you, usually for a meal or entertainment.

take out (2)

to remove something from a container, a pocket, a bag, etc.

take out (3)

to obtain something like a loan, an insurance policy, a patent, etc.

take over (1)

to take control of something like a company, an organization, a government, or a territory

take over (2)

to begin doing a job or a task that someone else had been doing previously

take up (1)

to fill an area of space or a period of time

take up (2)

to start doing something new like playing a sport, doing a job, or pursuing a hobby

take up (3)

to shorten a piece of clothing or a curtain to make it the right size

talk back

to reply rudely to someone in a position of authority

talk down to

If you talk down to someone, you speak to them as if they are inferior to you or less important than you.

talk into

If you talk someone into doing something, you persuade them to do it.

talk out of

If you talk someone out of something, you persuade them not to do it.

talk over

to discuss a situation with someone, usually before making a decision

talk round British English

If you talk somebody round, you persuade them to do what you want them to do, or to agree with you.

talk up

to speak enthusiastically about something, usually in order to persuade someone to buy it or invest in it

tear apart

to destroy something by breaking it into two or more pieces

tear down

to demolish a building or other structure

tear up

If you tear up a piece of paper, you tear it into several pieces.

tell apart

to tell the difference between two or more things that are very much alike

tell off

to strongly criticize someone for doing something wrong

think back

to think about a past event or a past time

think of (1)

to have something come to mind

think of (2)

to have an opinion about something or someone

think over

to think carefully about something before making a decision

think up

to use one's imagination to come up with something like an excuse, a name, a plan, or a story

throw away

to get rid of something you don't want, usually by putting it in a rubbish bin or a garbage can

throw off

to get rid of something that has been bothering you

throw out (1)

to discard something you don't want, usually by putting it in a rubbish bin or a garbage can

throw out (2)

to force somebody to leave something like a club, a college or school, an organisation, etc.

throw up INFORMAL

If someone throws up, they vomit up the contents of their stomach.

tidy up

to make a place look neat and tidy

tie up (1)

to tie together the ends of something

tie up (2)

to make somebody busy with something

tie up (3)

to make something or someone unavailable by committing them to something

tip off

to warn someone or give someone secret information about something

top up

to completely fill something like a glass or a container, or to increase the level of something like a phone card

touch on

to talk briefly about something when speaking or writing about another topic

toy with

to think about doing something, but not very seriously

track down

to find something after a long search

try on

to put on clothes or shoes before buying them to see if they fit properly and look good

try out

to test something to see what it's like, or to see if it works properly

turn around

to change something unsuccessful into something successful

turn away

If someone turns you away, they don't allow you to enter a place.

turn back

to return in the direction from which you've come, or to make someone do this

turn down (1)

to decrease or lower the volume, heat, power, etc. of an appliance by turning a knob or pressing a button

turn down (2)

If you turn down an offer or a request, you decide not to accept it.

turn in (1) INFORMAL

to go to bed

turn in (2)

If you turn somebody in, you tell the police that the person has committed a crime or you hand them over to the police yourself.

turn into

to change from one thing into another

turn off

to stop a machine or an appliance from working by using a button or a switch

turn on

to start a machine or an appliance by pressing a button or flicking a switch

turn out (1)

to make a light go off

turn out (2)

to have a certain outcome, or to end in a certain way

turn over (1)

to change the position of something so that the side facing down is now facing up

turn over (2)

to change your body's position when lying down so that you are facing the opposite direction

turn up (1)

to increase the volume, heat, power, etc. of an appliance by turning a knob or pressing a button

turn up (2)

If someone turns up somewhere, they arrive without being expected or without telling anyone they'd be coming.

Contributor: Matt Errey