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Phrasal Verbs
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Phrasal Verbs beginning with the letter "B"




  • back away: to retreat

When Jim saw the dog, he backed away because he got scared.


  • back off: to abandon

The bank robber backed off when he noticed two police cars parked in front of the bank.


  • back up (1): to reverse

When he backed the car up in the driveway, he almost struck the cat.


  • back up (2): to support

My sister always backs me up when I have problems.


  • back up (3): to confirm

My brother will back me up if you don’t believe what I told you.


  • back up (4): to make copies of computer files

You should back your data up at least once a week if you don’t want to risk losing any information.


  • bail out (1): to quit

John bailed out of the competition when he found out that Sam was also competing.


  • bail out (2): to rescue

When you lent me some money last month, you bailed me out of a difficult situation.


  • bash in: to break

Someone bashed in the side window of my car.


  • beat up: to hurt someone

He has a black eye; someone must have beaten him up last night.


  • black out: to lose consciousness

Jack hasn’t eaten anything for three days so he finally blacked out.


  • blend in: to match

When you move to a new neighborhood, you’ll blend in after awhile.


  • blow up (1): to inflate

Please blow up only the red balloons for Sally’s birthday party.


  • blow up (2): to explode

The contractors will blow up the old hotel tomorrow so they can build a new townhouse complex.


  • blow up (3): to become angry

He blew up when the opposing team won the game in the last minute of overtime.


  • boss around: to order people what to do

The new supervisor likes to boss around the employees.


  • break down (1): to separate into parts

He did not understand the sentence, so Mary broke it down into separate words, translating each separately.


  • break down (2):  to stop functioning

When his computer breaks down, Peter can always fix it.


  • break down (3): to lose control

Chrissie broke down in tears when she failed the exam.


  • break in (1):  to enter by using force

The thief broke in the apartment while the family was away on holidays.


  • break in (2): to wear something until it is comfortable

When I buy new shoes, first, I need to break them in, in order not to hurt myself.


  • break up: to scatter

Last night, the gathering broke up around midnight.


  • break up (with): to end a relationship

Lisa broke up with Jack when she met Joe.


  • bring down: to cause to fail

Julia is very jealous of Jill’s success, so Julia would do anything to bring Jill down.


  • bring forth: to produce

Your thoughtful remark will bring forth lots of discussion during the meeting later today.


  • bring in: to earn money

Claudia has a very stressful job, but she brings more money in than her brother.


  • bring on: to cause to start

When you bring the music on, the show will start.


  • bring up (1): to mention

Sara never brings Eric’s past up when they visit her grandparents.


bring up (2): to raise to maturity

Sandra’s husband brought the children up alone after his wife died in a car accident.


  • brush up on:  to practice

I’ll need to brush up on my Spanish when I move to Mexico.


  • burn down: to destroy by fire

Sasha’s hometown in Central Europe burned down several times during the Middle Ages.


  • burn up: to cause anger

The insurance agent burned Sam up when the agent did not want to discuss Sam’s options.


  • butt in: to interrupt

You should not butt in unless you are invited to join the group.


  • butter up: to flatter

Billy has been buttering Jenny up all week hoping to get a pay raise at the end of the month.