Ten Advanced English Phrasal Verbs

phrasal verbs

With each level, English learners are mastering a new bunch of phrasals. Those who enjoy reading are at an advantage because they come across new phrasal verbs in each book and article they read. Of course, it is important to look new words up in a dictionary in order to understand them because you can’t guess the meaning from the verb’s components.

Here are some advanced+ phrasal verbs, most of which are marked C2 in Cambridge dictionary, which means proficiency level.

1. foist sth on/upon sb

This phrasal verb means “to force someone to have or experience something they do not want.”

I try not to foist my values on the children but it’s hard. 

2. fend for yourself

This expression means “to take care of and provide for yourself without depending on anyone else.”

Now that the children are old enough to fend for themselves, we can go away on holiday by ourselves. 

3. muddle sb/sth up

A person who muddles something up thinks that a person or thing is someone or something else because they are very similar.

I often muddle up Richard with his brother. 
It’s easy to muddle up some Spanish and Italian words. 

4. stem from sth

This phrasal verb means “to originate from; to start or develop as the result of something.”

Her problems stem from her difficult childhood. 
Their disagreement stemmed from a misunderstanding. 

5. burst out

If somebody bursts out, they suddenly say something loudly.

“Don’t go!” he burst out. – “Не иди!” 

6. mull sth over

This verb means “to think carefully about something for a long time.”

I need a few days to mull things over before I decide if I’m taking the job. 

7. peter out

If something peters out, it gradually stops or disappears.

The fighting which started in the night had petered out by morning.
The track petered out after a mile or so. 

8. fritter sth away

This means “to waste money, time, or an opportunity”.

If I’ve got money in my pocket, I tend to fritter it away
She fritters so much money away on expensive make-up. 

9. potter about/ around/ along

A person who potters about moves without hurrying, and in a relaxed and pleasant way.

I spent the afternoon pottering around the garden doing a few odd jobs. 
He doesn’t drive very fast – he tends to potter along.

10. rev up (sb/sth)

This verb means “to become more active, or to make someone or something become more active.”

The hotel is revving up for the busy summer season.
The doctor prescribed drugs which rev up your nervous system.