7 Essential Phrasal Verbs to Use at Work

Lucy keenan, ESL teacher, London

13 May 2019

Phrasal verbs are probably one of the hardest parts of learning English. As a result, most learners of English try to avoid them by finding an alternative way of saying the same thing. However, phrasal verbs are used all the time by native speakers and they are essential if you want your English to sound natural and authentic.  They are especially important if you want to learn English for your job. So if you are looking to get a new job or if you have to speak English in a current job you should start using phrasal verbs today!


In this article we’ve included some of the most common phrasal verbs to use at work. If you want to impress your colleagues, learn these to sound more fluent and natural at work.


1. Fill someone in

To give someone information that they have missed.

E.g. I was off sick last week, can you fill me in on what was said in the meeting?

= Can you tell me the important information of the meeting?

2. Run out

Meaning 1. To finish the supply of something.

“The ink in the printer has run out“.

= There’s no ink left in the printer.


Meaning 2. To have a short amount of time left.

“We’re running out of time to get this project completed”. 

= We don’t have much time left to get this project completed.


Meaning 3. When a document/ official agreement expires.

“Her visa is going to run out in a few months”.

= Her visa is going to expire.





3. Sort out

To resolve a problem, disagreement or difficult situation.

“This matter could be sorted out if they would just sit down and talk about it”. 

= This matter could be resolved if…

The two companies have sorted out their disagreements.

=The two companies have resolved their disagreements.

“Did you sort out that problem with the client?”

= Did you resolve that problem with the client? 

4. Look into 

To examine the facts about a problem or situation (to investigate).

“We’re looking into buying a new office space”.

= To investigate buying a new office space, for example finding out the cost and location etc. 

Customer: “I haven’t received my order yet and it should have arrived by now”.

Employee: “I’m sorry about that, I’ll look into it for you”.

If a client/customer makes a complaint, you can say you’ll look into it, meaning you will investigate the problem. 


5. Note down

To write something so that you do not forget it. 

‘I noted down his email address and phone number”.

“Can you note down the key points of this meeting?”

6. Deal with

Meaning 1: To take action to solve a problem.

“I deal with any technological issues our clients may have”.

= I solve any technical issues.


Meaning 2: To manage.

“I deal with the accounts”.

= I manage the accounts.




7. Bring (something) up

If you bring a particular subject up, you introduce it into a dicussion or conversation.

“Nobody was willing to bring up the subject of pay at the meeting”.

= Nobody was willing to mention it.

“I hate to bring this up, but we’re running out of money”.

= I hate to start talking about this topic.

And there you have it! 7 incredibly useful phrasal verbs you can start using in your job to sound more fluent and like a native. If you get the chance, try to start using them as soon as possible!

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