Phrasal Verbs, Meaning And Usage: Key to Pass English in WAEC/NECO And Others.


English Language is very wide and you need to read hungrily to cover large area to be able to know certain grammatical structures that will be of immense help in tackling Lexis and Structures.

This post will bring out the phrasal verbs, meaning and usage that will equip students to answer Lexis and Structures in English correctly in WAEC/NECO, JAMB, POST UTME and other relevant local and international examinations.  Good luck.

  1. Go against: To do the opposite of what someone wants or disagreement with something. E.g, Mr. Job goes against his boss’s ideas.
  2. Go after: To try to get or catch someone or something. E.g. The security agent went after the robber who robbed the clergy man.
  3. See off: To go to a place like airport or station to say goodbye to someone. For instance, we all went to the airport to see my uncle off.
  4. Map out: To plan something carefully. The Commander mapped out strategy to defeat the enemy.
  5. Build on: To use your achievements as a platform for further development. E.g. I advised him to build on his success in business.
  6. Make away: To steal something. The robbers made away with a large sum of money.
  7. Make up for: To compensate for something. The lecturers worked over time to make up for the lost time.
  8. Give up: Could mean to abandon something difficult or project. We gave up the search for the missing sheep.
  9. Give in: To unwillingly surrender to somebody’s demands after argument for persuasion.
  10. To go along with: To agree with or support somebody or accept something. All the teachers went along with the principal’s suggestion.
  11. Get across: To succeed in sending ideas or information to someone else. Please, try to send or get that information to your friend.
  12. Close in on: To move closer to someone in order to attack. The security is close in on the armed robbers in the company.
  13. Bail out: To provide money to get someone out of financial situation. The recalcitrant robber could not get anyone to bail him out.
  14. As after: To ask information for one’s health. The teacher asked after my friend’s health.
  15. Stand down: To agree to step down or resign or leave your position for someone else to come in. The President decided to stand down because of his ill health.
  16. Break down: To fail, to collapse. It could also mean mechanical or electrical fault or breakdown. For instance, Negotiations between labour union and the government has broken down.
  17. Turn down: To refuse an offer, invitation or request. E.g. The Council Chairman turned down our invitation to the send off party.
  18. Come down on: To criticize or to punish somebody. E.g. The principal came down on the stubborn student for leaving the school without permission.
  19. Come by: To get something rare or difficult to find. E.g. To obtain a Nigerian passport today is not an easy thing to come by.
  20. Take aback: To be surprised about something: I was taken aback when the thief confessed innocent to the crime.
  21. Look after: To take care or help someone by providing his needs. E.g I took it upon myself to look after my friend’s children when he travelled.
  22. To look down on: To think or have a belief that you are better than someone. John is fond of looking down on somebody.
  23. Fall out: to have a quarrel. E.g. Ese has fallen out with her younger sister.
  24. Put off: To postpone an event. E.g. The party was put off because of heavy downpour.
  25. Put out: To make a fire stop burning. For instance, the fire was put out by the fire service men.
  26. Pass away: To die. The old man passed away on his 80th birthday.
  27. Buckle down: To start working seriously. The principal advised the students to buckle down for the examinations.
  28. Pick on: To choose someone to do an unpleasant work or blame unfairly. For instance, the director picked on the manager for dereliction of duty.
  29. See through: To find the truth about something that is intended to deceive you. For instance, I was able to see through his lies in the matter.
  30. See to: To do something for somebody or deal with something. For instance, the brother promised to see to his problem later in the day.
  31. Let down: To make somebody disappointed because of not keeping to promise. I was really let down by my friend’s uncompromising attitude.
  32. Pull over: To stop the vehicle you are driving at the side of the road or in a compound. The security agent signaled to us and we pulled over.
  33. Put across: To explain your ideas or policies in a simplified way. E.g the guest put across the topic effectively.
  34. Chicken out: To abandon a plan because of fear. The worker threatened to confront the manager but later chickened out.
  35. Look ahead: To plan for the future or have a foresight. John is a man who looks ahead in life.
  36. Come at: To move towards somebody in a threatening manner. The man came at me with a knife.
  37. Make for: To move in a particular direction or move towards something. E.g. we all made for the scene when the fire started.
  38. kick out: To dismiss or send someone off. E.g. The temperamental man has been kicked out of the company.
  39. Kick start: To commence or start something. The comedian kick-started his comedy career in 2009.
  40. Break out: sudden break of violence bad events. War eventually broke out between the two rival groups.
READ ALSO  The Importance Of ICT To National Development

In summary, the above phrasal verbs are designed for the students to be well equipped to tackle lexis and structures, a branch of English language in WAEC/NECO, JAMB, UTME and other relevant examinations. Once again, best of luck.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *