Below is a list of some common phrasal verbs used in business English.  Some of the verbs are separable (the verb can be split by the object in the sentence).  Other verbs are inseparable.  The verbs with “someone” or “something” written in the first column are separable.

For phrasal verb practice exercises, please click on the links below.

Also, please check out this phrasal verbs conversation lesson which requires students to use the verbs below in a small group discussion.

Common Phrasal Verbs for Business English

PHRASAL VERB
DEFINITION
EXAMPLE
to ask around
to ask many people the same question
I need a good real estate agent. Could you ask around the office and see if anyone knows one?
to back (someone) upto support
Thanks for backing me up in the meeting.
to call (someone) backto return a phone call
We have a bad connection. I'll call you back in a few minutes.
to call (something) offto cancel
Management is going to call the meeting off because so many people are out sick today.
to not care forto not like (formal)
I don't care for team building activities. I think they are a waste of time.
to check into arrive and register at a hotel or airport
We checked in at 5 PM and then went to get something to eat.
to check outto leave a hotel
We checked out a few hours late and had to pay an extra fee.
to check (someone/something) outto look at carefully, investigate
I'm not sure why the copier isn't working. I'll check it out.
to chip in (also to pitch in)to help
We should be able to finish quickly if everyone pitches in.
to come acrossto find unexpectedly
I was reading last night and I came across a couple of phrasal verbs I had never seen before.
to count on
to rely on
We have a great team. I can count on everyone to do their best.
to cut back onto consume less
It's a tough economy. We're trying to cut back on unnecessary expenses.
to cut into interrupt
Can I cut in and say something, please?
to do (something) overto do again
I can't believe I closed the document without saving. Now I'm going to have to do the whole thing over.
to do away withto discard; to put an end to
They did away with bonuses last year because their profits were so low.
to drop bycome without an appointment; to visit briefly
John dropped by my office to talk about last month's figures.
to drop (someone/something) off
to take someone/something somewhere and leave them/it there
My car was in the shop, so Kevin dropped me off at my house.
to end upto eventually reach, do, or decideAt first I thought I wanted to be an accountant. Then, I studied finance. I ended up getting my degree in management, though.
to figure (something) outto understand; to find the answerI can't figure out why the printer isn't working. I've tried everything, and it still won't work.
to fill (something) outto write information in blanksThere were a lot of forms to fill out when I got my new job.
to find outto gain knowledge about somethingI finally found out how to forward my mail from one email account to another.
to get (something/someone) backto receive something that you had beforeYou can borrow my stapler, but make sure I get it back when you're done with it.
to get back at
to retaliate; to take revenge on someoneHe might get back at you for asking him so many tough questions during his presentation.
to get in1) enter
2) arrive
1) Get in the car. I'll give you a ride.
2) I worked late last night and didn't get in until after 9 PM.
to get over (something)to recoverI was upset that I didn't get the promotion, but I got over it after a while.
to get togetherto meet (but not for the first time)I try to get together with some old friends from college once or twice a year.
to get up1) to get out of bed
2) to stand
1) I get up late on the weekends because I have to get up really early on weekdays.
2) He got up and walked to the podium to give his speech.
to give into reluctantly stop fighting or arguingManagement didn't want to give in to the union's demands, but in the end they didn't have a choice.
to give (something) upto quit a habit or quit doing a certain activityI gave up checking Facebook at work. I'm trying to be more productive.
to give upto stop tryingJust because we failed the first time doesn't mean we should give up. We just need to change a few things.
to go after1) to follow someone
2) to try to achieve something
1) Pam will give her talk first, and Scott will go after her.
2) If we got the account, they would be our biggest client. I'm really going to go after the account.
to go againstto compete; opposeWe're going against three or four other contractors. Be sure to bid low.
to go overto reviewI want to go over last month's numbers with you.
to hand (something) into submit (a report, a paper, etc)I forgot to hand in my expense reports. Now I won't get reimbursed until next month.
to hand (something) outto distribute the same thing to a group of peopleI'll start explaining the changes while Jason hands out a copy of the new policy.
to hang onto wait for a short time (informal)Could you hang on for a second, please? I'll be right there.
to keep (something) upto continue doing somethingYou've been doing really well lately. Keep it up!
to let (someone) downto disappoint; to not help or supportI was really depending on him to expedite the shipping on that order. The products are still in the warehouse. He really let me down.
to let (someone) into allow to enterI forgot my badge again. Hopefully someone else is in the office and can let me in.
to look forward toto be excited about something in the futureI'm really looking forward to having an extended weekend next week.
to look intoto investigatePlease look into some ways we can cut costs. Every penny counts.
to look out forto be careful, vigilant, and take noticeYou must always look out for new business opportunities.
to look (something) overto check; examineCould you look over this report to make sure there are no mistakes?
to look up toto have a lot of respect for someoneI really look up to her. She has been with the company for a long time and is really knowledgeable.
to make (something) up1) to invent (a story, lie, excuse, reason, etc.)
2) to resolve an argument or quarrel (not a separable verb when used like this). 3) to compensate for something
1) I don't believe their story. I think they made it up.
2) Are they still fighting about that? I thought they had made up a while ago? 3) I didn't get anything accomplished yesterday. I'm going to have to work extra hard to make up for it today.
to mix (something) upto confuse two or more thingsI always mix their names up. Which one is Bob, and which one is Brad?
to pass (something) outto give the same thing to many peopleCarly is passing out a schedule of today's events.
to pass (something) upto decline (usually something good)Don't pass up on this great opportunity. Place your order today.
to put (something) offto postponeI haven't done my taxes yet. I've been putting it off for a long time.
to put (something) togetherto assembleHow long will it take to put the scale model together?
to run intoto meet someone unexpectedlyI ran into Stacey from Accounting in the supermarket yesterday.
to send (something) backto returnThe product was defective. We'll have to send it back.
to set (something) upto arrange;organizeI'll set up the conference call and send you an invite.
to shop aroundto compare pricesWe should bid low on this one. They always shop around.
to sort (something) outto organize or resolve a problemThere was some confusion with the new work schedule. No one is sure who works on Sunday. We're calling a meeting to sort it out.
to take (something) backto return an itemShe always shops there because she knows that she can take anything back that she isn't happy with.
to think (something) overto considerHonestly, I don't know what I'm going to do. The job offer is great, but I'm not sure if I want to leave my current position. I'll have to think it over.
to turn (something) down1) to decrease the volume or strength of something (volume, heat, etc)
2) reject and offer
1) Could you turn your music down so I can take this call?
2) They turned down our proposal.
to try (something) outto test or use something experimentallyWe're going to try it out for a few weeks and let you know what we think. If we like it, we'll place an order.
to use (something) upto finish the supplyI can't believe it's only May and I've used up all my sick days already.

For more business English vocabulary and useful expressions, please visit the Business Vocabulary section of this site.