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English Phrasal Verbs

Practice your English with Caroline Brown

 

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.

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exercise 2

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