B2 First: phrasal verbs with 'up'

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.

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
Don't worry, I'll back you up help/support sb
The bully beat up the other children. hit/kick sb repeatedly
Terrorists tried blow up the station. explode
Why did he break up with me? end a relationship
You mustn't bring up his divorce. mention sth
His divorce might come up. a topic is mentioned
We always end up eating fast food. finally do this thing
I usually get up early. leave my bed
I tried to give up eating chocolate. stop a habit
Children grow up quickly nowadays. become older/an adult
I can't keep up. do sth fast enough
If you don't understand, look it up. look for a piece of info
You should take up a new sport. start doing a hobby
Don't turn up late on a first date. arrive
Please don't throw up on the sofa. be sick

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

Choose the best word to complete the following sentences.

  1. I _______ up football when I was 12 years old, and I loved it.
  2. I _______ up football after I broke my leg, because I didn't enjoy it.
  3. I couldn't ______ up with the work my teacher gave me - it was too difficult.
  4. If you tell your boss you want a pay rise, I'll _____ you up.
  5. She's sensitive about her weight, so only talk about it if she _____ it up.

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

The missing word could be the verb (e.g. bring/brought/bringing), the pronoun (e.g. it) or the particle (e.g. up).

  1. I woke up at 6 am, but I didn't up until I heard the phone ring.
  2. If you don't know the answer, you could it up on the Internet.
  3. I love films with explosions and things being up.
  4. I hoped Tom would tell me about his new job, but it never  up.
  5. I'm not coming to work today. I've thrown three times this morning.
  6. You don't need an appointment - just up when you like.
  7. He's depressed because he's up with his girlfriend.

 Practice 3: more open cloze

  1. I promise I'll back up if you need my help.
  2. Simon was attacked on the way home last night. The robbers beat up badly.
  3. It's bad manners to up the topic of religion at the dinner table.
  4. The party started well, but I up fighting with my best friend.
  5. He ran so fast. I tried to up but it was impossible.
  6. I up in a small town in Scotland.
  7. Biting your fingernails is disgusting. You should really give up.
  8. I'd never up skiing. It looks really dangerous to me.