9 Essential Phrasal Verbs for Work

Phrasal verbs for work

Whether you’re a professional in an English-speaking environment, you’re looking for a job in an English speaking country, or you just want to use more English at work, you’ll want to learn and practice phrasal verbs that you can use at work. And this short lesson about phrasal verbs for work will help you do both!

And that’s also why we’ve created this free worksheet with plenty of practice exercises and discussion questions to help you better memorize and retain the phrasal verbs we’ve shared in this post.

Here’s the great thing about learning phrasal verbs: Even if you learn phrasal verbs that are great for work, you can use them in other areas of your life.

But that’s also why it’s important to learn phrasal verbs in different specific contexts.

Because sometimes their meanings can change based on where and how you use them.

That’s why we’re going to talk about some of the most common and useful phrasal verbs for work, but we’re also going to explore how you can use them in a working environment.

Today, we’ll talk about these 9 essential phrasal verbs for work:

  1. Reach out

  2. Fit in

  3. Get into

  4. Follow through

  5. Run into

  6. Keep up with

  7. Point out

  8. Look after

  9. Take on

Business English Phrasal Verbs

1. Reach out

We reach out to someone when we try to communicate with them in some way. When you reach out to someone in the context of work or job-seeking, you try to contact them by phone, email, or some other form. But reaching out doesn’t mean you’ll always get an answer on the other end.

Examples

  • She saw our job posting, so she thought she would reach out to us.

  • They finally reached out after a few months.

Common structures

  • Reach out + to → Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

  • Reach out + by → The hiring manager reached out to me by email.

2. Fit in

When you fit in somewhere, you belong there, and you feel that it works well with your personality. When you fit in at work, that means you get along with your coworkers and managers, and you probably enjoy the company culture.

Examples

  • I think that I could see myself fitting in here.

  • She’s looking for a place where she can fit in.

Common structures

  • Fit in + with → She didn’t really fit in with her coworkers in her previous job.

3. Get into

Your interviewer might ask, “How did you get into this kind of work?” To get into means to start to become interested in something. You can use the phrasal verb ‘get into’ to describe your introduction to your current profession. 

Examples

  • I got into writing when I was a kid, and I just never stopped loving it.

  • My dad actually got me into teaching; he made teaching look fun.

4. Follow through

When you follow through with something, you start it and you finish it in a satisfactory way. The ability to follow through with something is a highly attractive quality in any employee or  job candidate. 

Examples

  • It’s time for us to follow through on our plans to open a new branch in Hong Kong.

  • We’ve been talking about this project for awhile, and it’s time to follow it through.

Common structures

  • Follow through + with → I always follow through with long-term goals.

  • Follow through + on → We need to follow through on those ideas.

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5. Run into

You’ve probably heard the phrasal verb ‘run into’ before; it means that you meet someone you know unexpectedly. But we can also say that we run into trouble when we encounter problems or difficulties unexpectedly. If you run into an issue, you had no way to predict it or plan for it before.

Examples

  • They ran into an issue with their funding, so now they’re behind schedule.

  • If you run into any trouble, just give me a call.

6. Keep up with

We can say that we keep up with something when we want to stay updated and informed about it. If you work in IT, media, marketing, or any industry that’s constantly evolving, you know about keeping up with the newest trends and developments. 

Examples

  • A big part of my job is keeping up with the latest research in medical technology.

  • We need someone who can keep up with the recent trends.

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7. Point out

To point something out is to make someone aware of something. When you point something out, you notice something, and you call attention to it. In a work meeting, for example, you might point out that it’s almost tax season, and it’s time to start planning. Someone might respond, “Thanks for pointing that out.” 

Examples

  • She pointed out that we haven’t had a performance review in a few months.

  • I hate to point this out, but we’re almost out of money for this project.

Common structures

  • Point out + to → He pointed out to us that we need to make that change.

  • Point out + that → My coworker pointed out that I probably need a vacation.

8. Look after

Looking after someone in a professional setting means taking care of them and addressing their needs and wants, often for the long-term. Job-seekers who work in sales, customer service, or any other client-facing profession should know how to look after their customers. 

Examples

  • The way she looks after her customers shows that she really cares.

  • They didn’t just connect with their Instagram followers; they looked after their needs.

9. Take on

In the context of work, when you take on something, you agree to do it or be responsible for. You can take on a project, task, or even a new role in a company. A company can also take on a new employee. And sometimes, we can take on more work than we can handle.

Examples

  • I’m ready to take on more responsibilities at work.

  • They just don’t have the time to take on another project at the moment.

What did you think about these phrasal verbs? Do you think you’ll give them a try? If you do, don’t forget to download our free worksheet so you can review and practice them on your own!

About the Writer

Marta is an online ESL teacher who works with students from around the world. As a writer, language nerd, and content contributor for In English With Love, her mission is to empower English learners with knowledge and positivity.


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