Phrasal verbs | Sunday Observer

Phrasal verbs

30 July, 2022

Phrasal verbs are an important feature of the English language. The meaning of a phrasal verb often bears no relation to the meaning of either the verb or the particle which is used with it. Many phrasal verbs have several different meanings.

Side against (to oppose a person in an argument)
She knew that her opponents were siding against her in the board meeting.
Side with (to support a person in an argument)
Whenever there is an argument between her parents, Nellie sides with her father.
Sidle up (to walk towards someone slowly and nervously)
I saw a young man sidling up to her and whispering something.
Sift out (to separate something from a group of other things)
It is difficult to sift out the good things from the bad.
Sift through (to examine a large collection of something in order to decide what is important)
The editor sifted through a pile of articles and selected a few for publication.
Sign away (to give your property to someone else by signing an official document)
I have signed away all my rights to my ancestral house.
Sign for (to sign a document to show that you have received something)
The postman asked her to sign for the registered letter.
Sign in (to write your name in a book when you enter a building)
All visitors have to sign in at the reception.
Sign off (to stop doing something and leave)
Office workers usually sign off at 5 p.m.
Sign on (to sign a document that you will work for someone)
I have signed on with a news agency.
Sign out (to write your name in a book when you leave a building)
All visitors should sign out before they leave.
Sign over (to give your property to someone else by signing an official document)
Before his death he signed his property over to his youngest daughter.
Sign up (to arrange to take part in an activity)
We have signed up for weekend classes at the English Academy.
Sign with (a musician can sign with a company to sell his work)
The singer signed with a recording company.
Silt up (if an area of water silts ups, it becomes blocked with sand or earth)
The river has silted up after the floods.
Simmer down (to become less angry about something)
Children, simmer down and get on with your work.
Sing along (to sing a song while someone else is singing it)
The audience began to sing along with the singer.
Sing out (to say something loudly and clearly)
“Is that you, Susan?” sang out a man’s voice from the audience.
Sing up (to sing a song more loudly)
The child sang up for everybody to hear.
Single out (to choose someone or something from a large group in order to criticise or praise them)
Sri Lanka has been singled out as the most unsuccessful country in the region.
Sink in (if a fact or idea sinks in, you gradually begin to believe it)
The news of the well-known actor’s involvement in drug trafficking sank in.
Sink into (to gradually get into a worse situation)
Over the past few decades the country has been sinking deeper into debt.
Syphon off (to take money from an organization dishonestly)
A top executive has syphoned off a large sum of money from the company.
Sit around (to spend time sitting down and doing very little)
I am not prepared to sit around here all day doing nothing.
Sit back (to relax in a chair)
After a hectic day I want to sit back and relax.
Sit by (to fail to take action to stop something wrong happening)
Are you going to sit by and watch the country slide further into debt?