Useful English Phrases with meaning and examples ..

Improve your English by learning English phrases, learning phrases will help you speak more naturally.

1. Account for: It means to provide a good reason for, to explain satisfactorily (it can be for some action like shown in the first example or regarding certain expenditure as stated in the second example.


  • She has behaved in an extraordinary way; I cannot account for her behaving like that.

  • A treasurer must account for the money he spends.

    2. Break down: It means to collapse, and the phrase is used when someone or something ceases to function properly owing to some fault or weakness.


  • He broke down when telling me about his son's tragic death.

  • The motorcycle broke down when we were riding through the rocky paths spoiling our trip completely.

    3. Call on : It means to invoke, appeal to; or it can suggest making a short visit to.


  • He called on all the housewives in the area and asked them to sign the petition.

  • Charlotte called on me the day before yesterday.

    4. Carry out : It means to perform (duties); obey (orders, instructions), fulfill (threats)


  • You are not meant to think for yourself; you are here to carry out my orders.

  • He read the instructions but he didn't carry them out.

    5. Come across : It means to find something/someone by chance.


  • When I was looking for my passport I came cross these old photographs.

  • I came across an old friend in the supermarket today.

    6. Fall off : It means to decrease (of numbers, attendance etc.)


  • Deals have been falling off lately; we require a new advertising campaign.

  • If the rate of tickets goes up much more theater attendance will begin to fall off.

    7. Get away : It means to escape, or be free to leave


  • Don't ask my grandpa about his army life as once he begins talking about all the battles ou will never get away from him

  • My dad was caught up in a meeting with the business manager and he couldn't get away till nine.

    8. Hold up : It means to get delayed due as the sentence in the first example reads. The phrase may also mean to bring to a halt by terrorization or violent behavior by people often seeking personal gain (second example)


  • The car was held up because heavy rainfall caused a landslide which blocked the road.

  • The dacoits held up the bus and kept the travelers as captives.

    9. Look after: It means to care of.


  • Will you look after my dog when I am away?

  • Parents look after their children.

    10. Put aside: This phrase suggests saving for the times to come (the terms is mostly used in relation to monetary matters); putting aside means that some cash is saved for some distinct reason.


  • Isabella put aside $25 every week to pay for her college education.

  • He put aside a lot of money for his old age.

    11. Ask for: It means to ask for someone in order to speak to the person (first example); the phrase may also be used as a demand or a humble request (Second example).


  • Go to the bank and ask for my manager.
  • The employees asked for shift allowance and office transport.

    12. Back out: It means to leave or quit from some shared task that had been formerly agreed upon; it is a kind of withdrawal or declining of assistance that had been pledged beforehand.


  • Pamella swore to help with the excursion trip but backed out as soon as she figured there was shortage of funds.

    13. Break in: It means to pass through forcefully without permission (first example). It may also suggest interrupting a person's conversation by making an abrupt comment/statement (Second example).


  • Robbers broke into the jewelry store and stole all the diamonds.

  • Granma was narrating about her childhood days when grandpa broke in with his own childhood stories.

    14. Bring up: It means to instruct and guide kids (first example); it also is used when mentioning something (second example).


  • Mr. Thomas brought up her son to be compassionate towards the aged.

  • In the players meeting, the coach brought up the players fitness and diet plan.

    15. Call off: It means to terminate something which has not begun yet (first example); it may also suggest abandoning an ongoing work or event (second example).


  • The search party was called off due to heavy rainfall.( More Phrases )