Up and Down Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verbs with Up and Down

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Phrasal verbs formed with 'up' and 'down' are used to indicate increases and decreases in a number of qualities. Each use is indicated by a specific general quality followed by a synonymous verb or short definition. There are two example sentences for each phrasal verb with up or down. Here's an example:

Up = Increase in Value
Down = Decrease in Value

to put up (S) = to raise
The supermarket put coffee prices up in January.

to bring down (S) = to reduce
The recession brought profits down sharply.

Remember that phrasal verbs can be either separable or inseparable (review separable inseparable phrasal verbs). Each phrasal verb is also marked as separable (S) or inseparable (I). In the case that verbs are separable, examples will use the separable form of the phrasal verb. For inseparable phrasal verbs, examples keep the phrasal verbs together.

Phrasal Verbs with Up

Up = Increase in Value

to put up (S) = to raise

We'll have to put our prices up to compete.
Have they put the price of corn up recently?

to go up (I) = to increase

The price of gas went up in March.
Our rent went up in January.

Up = Increase in Size

to bring up (S) = to raise (usually children)

They brought their children up to be responsible adults.
We're bringing up two children.

to grow up (I) = to become older

You've grown up since I last saw you.
The children grew up so fast.

Up = Increase in Speed

to speed up (I) = to go faster in a vehicle

He quickly sped up to sixty miles an hour.
His motorcycle can speed up to 100 quickly.

to hurry up (I) = to do something faster, to get ready faster

Could you please hurry up?!
I'll hurry up and finish this report.

Up = Increase in Heat

to heat up (S) = to make hotter

I'll heat the soup up for lunch.
What should I heat up for dinner?

to warm up (S) = to make hotter

I'll warm this soup up for lunch.
Would you like me to warm your tea up?

Up = Increase in Happiness, Excitement

to cheer up (S) = to make someone happier

Can you cheer Tim up?
I think we need to cheer them up with a song or two.

to liven up (S) = to make something more fun

Let's liven this party up with a game.
We need to liven this meeting up.

Up = Increase Sound

to turn up (S) = to raise the volume

Please turn the radio up.
I like to turn the stereo up when nobody is home.

to speak up (I) = to speak with a stronger voice

You need to speak up for people to understand you.
Please speak up in this room.

Up = Increase in Strength

to build up (S) = to increase over time

It's important to build your muscle strength up over time.
They've built up an impressive stock portfolio.

to pick up (I) = to improve over time

My health has picked up over the past few days.
The stock market has picked up recently.

Phrasal Verbs with Down

Down = Decrease in Value

to bring down (S) = to reduce

They bring down prices after Christmas.
The summer brought heating oil prices down.

to go down (I) = to decrease

The value of the house went down during the recession.
Gas prices have gone down dramatically over the past few months.

to cut down (S) = to reduce the value of

We've cut our research and development budget down significantly.
They've cut their investments down to half.

Down = Decrease in Speed

to slow down (I) = to reduce your speed

Slow down when you drive into town.
My car slowed down and stopped at the intersection.

Down = Decrease in Temperature

to cool down (S) = to a lower temperature

You'll cool down after you stop exercising.
This cool towel will cool you down.

Down = Decrease in Excitement

to cool down (S) = to relax

I need to take a moment to cool down.
Tom should cool his friend down so we can continue the meeting.

to calm down (S) = to make less excited

I calmed the children down with a movie.
It took him a while to calm down after the meeting.

Down = Decrease in Volume

to turn down (S) = to reduce the volume

Could you please turn that music down?
I think you should turn the volume down on the radio.

to keep down (S) = to remain soft

>Please keep your voices down in the library.
I'd like you to keep it down in this room.

to quieten down (S) = to encourage someone to become quieter

Could you please quieten your children down?
I'd like you to quieten the class down.

Down = Reduce Strength

to water down (S) = to reduce the strength of something (often alcohol)

Could you water this martini down?
You need to water down your argument.