Phrasal Verbs – ‘be’

By admin 31 comments

These exercises are about using the verb ‘to be’ combined with particles:

to be away‘ means to have gone to another place.

  • Sandra won’t be back until next month, she is away in China at the moment.
  • I’m sorry but Martin is away on holiday this week. Can I help you?

to be down‘ means to be unhappy or depressed.

  • Until I found a new job, I was down for a long time.
  • Sue has been down since she turned 50.

to be down‘ can also mean the opposite of ‘to be up’, to have fallen or got smaller.

  • The dollar is down one cent against the euro.
  • Profits are down this quarter due to bad sales in Europe.

to be in‘ means to be at home.

  • I tried to phone Donna last night but she wasn’t in so I couldn’t speak to her.
  • I’ll be in this afternoon if you’d like to come for tea.

to be off‘ means to leave or to start on a journey.

  • I’ll see you tomorrow morning, I’m off now. Have a nice evening.
  • We’re off to Florida on Tuesday. The flight leaves at ten o’clock.

‘to be off’ can also mean that food is old and has gone bad.

  • Don’t eat that yoghurt, I think it’s off. It’s been in the fridge for ages.
  • Smell the milk, I think it’s off.

to be on‘ means that something is taking place

  • That documentary is on TV tonight but I don’t know which channel it is on.
  • Let’s go shopping on Saturday. The sales are on at the moment.

to be on‘ can also mean to be working or switched on.

  • I think he must be deaf, the TV was on very loud.
  • When I arrived, the lights were on but nobody was at home.

to be out‘ is the opposite of ‘to be in’ so means to not be at home or to be absent.

  • I’m sorry but Jack’s out. Can I take a message?
  • Marie is out until lunchtime. She’s got an appointment at the dentist this morning.

to be up‘ means to have risen, got higher.

  • Prices are up more than ten per cent.
  • Unfortunately our costs are up more than twenty per cent because of the increase in the cost of petrol.


exercise 2

exercise 3


Ming FU

Mar 3, 2011, 4:15 pm

Dear Pearson,

you are doing a great job. I really appreciate it very much. Could you please include some slangs and short stories. For the slangs , usually we got problem how to understand them correctly. Some times we could catch every single word however could not figure out the real meaning of what it means. For the short stories, could you please draft some short ones and let us to re-place the phrases you used in yours with others without change the meaning of the story. In this case , we might be able to know that better how to use the terms.
Many thanks for all your efforts to help us.


Mar 3, 2011, 12:22 pm

That really made me laugh. You want me to write short stories? You don’t seem to value my time very highly. You want me to do tons of extra work for you but don’t mention any form of payment. I don’t deserve to be insulted like this.

k.satish babu

Mar 3, 2011, 6:16 pm

wishing you good times with your younger daughter and other family members .happy birthday to your daughter.


Mar 3, 2011, 7:07 pm

i would like to know more about english grammar, i really need your help please!


Mar 3, 2011, 12:15 pm

Mohamed Raoof

Mar 3, 2011, 9:20 pm

very good and ueseful lessons


Mar 3, 2011, 5:51 am

Hi, As a subscriber to your newsletter, I would like to tell you many thanks for teaching grammar effectively.


Mar 3, 2011, 8:41 am

Mr, Pearson Brown
I have been receiving a lot of useful emails from you. But I have some problems with writing. I would be glad to be introduced a way to improve my writing, 6 months ago, I took part in IELTS exam and 6/5 was my score that I achieved in writing part. I need my writing to be assessed by someone else. Please help me.

Thank you for your attention.


Mar 3, 2011, 12:15 pm

I already give a lot of time and creativity for free. I have no more time available.


Mar 3, 2011, 10:24 am

Dear teacher,

very happy birthday to your daughter. please convey this message to her. thank you very much for your lovely and very good lessons. God bless you teacher…


Mar 3, 2011, 11:50 am

I am really so much happy to receive your emails, which are very useful for me .Thanks a lot. Hopefully you send me continuously.
All the best


Mar 3, 2011, 12:46 pm

hi Pearson,

wonderful job…. can i know more abt u?…. i would like to invite u to my campus i.e., an engineering colg… u would be paid for that guest lecture…

Marino Jaime

Mar 3, 2011, 1:06 pm

Alright man, this is pretty good. I wasn’t puttin’ much faith into your lessons until now. Well, keep ’em cummin’!Haha…


Mar 3, 2011, 1:27 pm

Thanks your somuch teacher.
God bless you.


Mar 3, 2011, 3:58 pm

What a useful lesson.

sayed ahmad sahim

Mar 3, 2011, 5:48 am

thanks for regular email sending, and i would like to convey my warmest congretulation to your youngest doughter because of her birthday, may this birthday bring her alot of happenes, this is a wonderful time, for that i found such a teacher wich show me the way of improving english, thanks once again,


Mar 3, 2011, 6:48 am

Dear Pearson

I have to study french,do you have something like these lessons for french?!
These lessons are very usefull for me.
All the best

Musheer Alam

Mar 3, 2011, 10:40 am

Dear Pearson,
First of all like to thanks to you for sending me all the mails.I have been getting your mail for many days but i have never get time to see and learn from them. I am grateful to you and happy to say that i am finally start learning from it. It is very very useful for me and i have got more confidence now.I wish i could have something, i could improve my writing skills too :))))


Arouna Idrissa

Mar 3, 2011, 4:04 pm

I really appreciate your mails of grammar they help us a great in our teaching.
Thanks a lot.

Liushan S

Mar 3, 2011, 8:02 pm

Dear Pearson,
Thank you for your great effort.
It helped me a lot with little by little.

mark moreno

Mar 3, 2011, 3:02 am

Hello Mr. Pearson! I’m very glad that you still doing this kind of tutorials for free, despite of your health condition, how generous you are. I’m here in Philippines and I’m your subscriber since I was in my college years way back 2008.. Thank you very much.. You are noble indeed! God bless you! and happy birthday to your daughter!


Mar 3, 2011, 6:51 am

Mr Pearson Brown,
Thank you for you lessons, for your time. It’s really useful. I am learning from it.
Happy birthday to your daughter!!!. Take care yourself!!!
Best regards,


Mar 3, 2011, 8:01 am

It´s really fastastic learning phrasal verbs from you.
But i have some difficulties in critical reading and writing. Could you give some tips?


Mar 3, 2011, 2:48 pm

happy birthday tou your young daughter. May all her wishes come true.

Jean-Jacques Shamsaf

Mar 3, 2011, 5:53 pm

Hello Mister Pearson,

I miss the words to express my feeling of appreciation. The contents of your grammar is of great importance for us, African teachers of English as a second/Foreign language. We owe you a lot in this language lerning journey.
May God bless you,



Mar 3, 2011, 7:12 am

Thank you so much for your lessons!They are very useful.I’m looking forward to receiving email from you.


Mar 3, 2011, 9:40 am

very happy to receive your mail. Your content is very useful. Thanks a lot


Mar 3, 2011, 1:25 pm

Dear Mr Brown,
Thank you so much for your lessons. They are very useful. Would like to see a lesson on use of exclamation in English Grammer.

Meng Vantha

Mar 3, 2011, 1:29 am

Dear,Mr Brown
Thanks for your lessons. I hope to see your lessons next time.

Kristi Holmquist

Mar 3, 2011, 1:13 pm

I join the many grateful people for offering lessons for free. It is a gift. I teach deaf and hard of hearing students, which in many cases, is teaching English as a second language. The lessons you provide when a single word is taught showing its various uses is precisely what I need. Thank you. Kristi


Mar 3, 2011, 7:56 pm

Dear tutor, God bless you and all the members of your family for the holy work you do. You give us the most precious things you have- your knowledge and your time. Maybe this is your mission? Let the Lord be with you whatever it is!

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