B2 First: phrasal verbs with 'down'

It's hard to predict what phrasal verbs you might see in the B2 First exam, but here are some you should try to learn, to help your speaking, writing and use of English. Note: I haven't included verbs such as 'sit down', 'lie down' and 'write down' which have a meaning you can probably guess.

Look at the phrasal verbs and their definitions for a few minutes and try to remember as many as possible. Then click to hide the information and try to answer the questions.

Note: sb means somebody and sth means something.

Phrasal VerbMeaning
I said 'no', but then I backed down. change your original position
I turned down his offer. refuse an offer (say 'no thank you')
The vet put down my dog. kill an animal which is suffering
My car broke down on the motorway. stop working (vehicles)
The noise died down. become quieter
He really let me down. disappoint sb
I'll settle down when I'm 30. start living a sensible, adult life
He should slow down. do sth more slowly
The prime minister had to stand down after the scandal. resign from a position of power
Please calm down. become less excited/angry

Practice 1: multiple choice cloze (use of English part 1)

Choose the best word to complete the following sentences.

  1. I haven't got any clean clothes because my washing machine has ______ down.
  2. He promised he'd drive me to the airport, but he ______ me down.
  3. I can't understand you - you're too fast! Please ______ down and speak clearly.
  4. At first, mum wouldn't let me go to the party, but she ______ down when I promised to get home before 11pm.
  5. I don't ever want to get married and ______ down. I'm having too much fun!

Practice 2: open cloze (use of English part 2)

Be careful - the missing word could be any part of the verb (e.g. bring/brought/bringing).

  1. You mustn't rely on her - she always people down.
  2. I'll buy a house and down in a few years.
  3. We had to down our cat when she got sick.
  4. He waited for the applause to down before he started speaking.
  5. If Manchester United keep losing, their manager should down.
  6. She was so upset it took 20 minutes for her to down and explain the problem.
  7. I'm late because the train down and I had to get another one.
  8. I know he said 'no' before, but if you explain why you want to borrow the car, I'm sure he'll down.
  9. She offered me the job, but I it down.
  10. Would you mind down? You're walking much too fast for me.