Using Phrasal Verbs in Office Conversation


GO OFF — Meaning: to start ringing (alarm)

• The fire alarm went off because someone was smoking in the toilets.

• I’m sorry I’m late. My alarm clock didn’t go off (ring) this morning!


BE UP — Meaning: to (stay) awake

• She’s not up yet.

• I’m sorry I was up (stayed awake) all night with a headache and I just couldn’t get up (get out of the bed) this morning.


GET UP — Meaning: to get out of bed

• I get up at seven o’clock on weekdays, but lie in till noon at the weekend.


BREAK DOWN — Meaning: to stop working

• My car’s broken down, so I came by taxi.

• I’m sorry my car broke down (stopped working) and I had to call a tow truck.


MAKE UP — Meaning: to invent a story

• They made up an excuse for being late.

• I’m tired of you making up (inventing stories) excuses every time you show up late  for work!


SHOW UP — Meaning: to attend something or arrive somewhere

• Very few showed up at the meeting.


PUT UP WITH — Meaning: to tolerate

• I can’t put up with my neighbour’s noise any longer; it’s driving me mad.

• I won’t put up with (tolerate) this situation anymore!


END UP — Meaning: to become or do something unplanned

• We couldn’t get tickets for Egypt so we ended up going to Turkey instead.

• I told you he was going to end up pissing off (making him angry) our boss sooner or later.


PISS OFF — Meaning: to make someone angry

• It really pissed me off that they didn’t help me out when I needed it.


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