Phrasal verbs – work

By admin 18 comments

These exercises look at the verb ‘to work’ combined with particles. Here are some of the most common:

‘to work against’ means to cause problems for someone or something, make it harder to achieve.

  • When you are applying for a job, age often works against you.
  • Their image works against them. They need to change it if they are going to succeed.

‘to work away at ‘ means to continue working hard at something for a long time.

  • When I got back to the office, he was still working away at his report.
  • He’s been working away at it all afternoon but you can’t really see what he has achieved.

‘to work around’ something means that you find a way of organizing an activity avoiding any problems.

  • We can’t change it. We’ll just have to work around it.
  • The deadlines are very short but I’m sure you can find a way to work around them.

‘to work off’ means to overcome the effects of something by doing something energetic or different.

  • I feel totally stressed. I’m going to go work it off at the gym.
  • We ate too much at lunch so we went out into the garden to work it off.

‘to work on’ something means you spend time and effort trying to perfect it.

  • In training, he’s been working on improving the weak parts of his game.
  • I’ve been working on my level of fitness before I go on this walking holiday.

‘to work out’ means to calculate the solution to a mathematical problem.

  • I’ve never been very good at maths. I couldn’t work out the rate per week.
  • The bill is $98, so who can work out how much each of us must pay?

‘to work out’ also means to think carefully to find a solution to a problem.

  • We don’t want a strike. I hope that someone can work out a way to avoid it.
  • Nobody has worked out a solution to this problem. We are still spending too much.

‘to work out’ also means to do physical exercise to improve your fitness.

  • He runs at the weekend and works out twice a week in the gym.
  • I worked out a lot when I was younger but now I prefer easier exercise like walking!

‘to work yourself up’ means to make yourself angry or anxious about something.

  • It’s not very important. Don’t get so worked up about it!
  • He got very worked up about the interview.  He really wanted the job and got very stressed about it.

‘to work up to’ something means to gradually do more of something until you reach a certain level.

  • He started training with small weights and worked up to 100 kilos.
  • You should start by doing a few minutes exercise and work up to half an hour a day.


exercise 2

exercise 3



Feb 2, 2011, 12:28 pm

Hi, thanks for the wonderful lessons that you send us.
They are really really helpful for me.
I was just wondering if you prepare something regarding the use of preposition. I find it really confusing in or on, at or in etc
thank you once again


Feb 2, 2011, 9:28 am

Most problems people have with these is in fact when they are used in phrasal verbs 😉


Feb 2, 2011, 2:07 pm

your lessons are really helping me .thank you so much. keep on posting me more lessons, for u’r standing problem, i’m sorry, but maybe try to excercise more.

beatrice graham

Feb 2, 2011, 7:41 pm

Dear Mr Brown, how very brave of you to stand for 2 hours, I hope that you enjoyed the concert!


Feb 2, 2011, 9:58 am

become strong to see the next……cheers!!


Feb 2, 2011, 10:24 pm

that was very educating.thank u

Annie Lateef

Feb 2, 2011, 3:36 am

I liked the phrasal verbs. Very nicely explained

Natalia Kanonik

Feb 2, 2011, 8:15 am

I am very glad to work with you. Your exercises are very interesting and useful for all my students and me. Thank you very much. I hope to receive more interisting material.


Feb 2, 2011, 4:59 am

This is really very useful material for me..
Thanks alot..


Feb 2, 2011, 7:19 am

The exercise part seems to not working on my iPhone. I hate not being able to do the exercises.


Feb 2, 2011, 9:27 am

The problem is that iPhones and iPads dont play Flash. I’m investigating having an App built to do this.


Feb 2, 2011, 3:12 pm

Thanks a lot for the lessons but can you give a few activities to apply them


Feb 2, 2011, 11:05 am

I don’t understand. You have several exercises with each lesson.


Feb 2, 2011, 11:36 am

Hi! Thank you very much for your lessons that you gave me.
I am so happy to get the lesson from you.
I wish you all the best.


Feb 2, 2011, 2:11 pm

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sayed ahmad sahim

Feb 2, 2011, 6:04 am

thanks very much,
I am getting daily lessons which are very usful and interesting, i am sure that these lessons can improve my english, keep sending me such usful lessons and please send me step by step, your methods are number 1 for all, i will ensur you what i have learnt,
thaks once again

suneeta palakurthi

Feb 2, 2011, 11:10 am

i am very happy to do these excerises… with phrasal verbs..this is really useful material..send material like this…with more exersises…


Feb 2, 2011, 3:01 pm

Great lesson! Thanks so much.

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