Phrasal verbs with up – part 4

If someone ‘beats you up’, they hit and kick you and hurt you a lot.

  • The muggers beat him up badly.
  • I was beaten up so badly that I was off work for a month.

If you ‘bottle up’ a feeling or emotion, you suppress them and don’t express them.

  • If you bottle up your feelings, you will make yourself ill.
  • I was angry but I bottled up my feelings during the meeting.

If you ‘call someone up’, you phone them.

  • I tried to call you up earlier but there was no answer.
  • Call me up when you get a chance.

If something ‘crops up’, it happens unexpectedly.

  • Something has cropped up. I am going to have to work late.
  • If a problem crops up when I am away, give me a call on my cell phone.

If you ‘freshen up’, you wash and make yourself more presentable.

  • I need a minute to freshen up before we meet them.
  • When they arrive, they will probably need a few moments to freshen up after the journey.

If your eyes ‘light up’, they become excited.

  • Her eyes lit up when she saw the dress.
  • His eyes lit up when he saw her wearing the dress.

If you ‘own up’, you confess to something.

  • Nobody has owned up to starting the fire.
  • He owned up to being a big fan of Britney.

If you ‘polish something up’, you improve it.

  • The basic report is fine but you need to polish it up a bit.
  • I must polish up my Japanese before we go to Tokyo.

If you ‘speed up’, you go faster.

  • We need to speed up production. It is taking too long.
  • Can you speed up a bit? I am going to miss my train.

If you ‘tighten up’ something, you make it more secure.

  • We need to tighten up security in the light of these threats.
  • We need to tighten up our quality control system. There have been too many mistakes.

exercise 1
exercise 2
exercise 3
exercise 4

4 thoughts on “Phrasal verbs with up – part 4”

  1. hi pearson,
    really appreciate for your time preparing and sending all these english lessons to me every day.
    i have a quick question for you.
    i would say my english understanding is fine, but being an asian i had been having issue with my english writing/ presenting my thought, not sure which area i m weak in ????. i am terrible with have/ has, is/ are/ was, with/ without the ‘s’…

    hope you can tell me what area is that???

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