Phrasal verbs are often used in business settings. However, they can be difficult to understand and learn. Many main verbs have an informal phrasal verb with the same meaning. These are often used in speaking, especially by native speakers; therefore, it’s important to be able to understand them and use them.
I always suggest learning new vocabulary in context to make it more memorable so here are some of the most common phrasal verbs related to meetings.
What is a phrasal verb?
A phrasal verb is made up of:
- a verb (an action word)
- a preposition (e.g. to, for, under, over, up, down, off, on, though)
These come together to create a new meaning
e.g. call off = cancel
It is likely you have learnt the more formal word ‘cancel’; however, the phrasal verb ‘call off’ will be used more in conversation.
Here are the most common phrasal verbs used at different parts of a meeting.
Arranging a Meeting
set up = arrange
e.g. Let’s set up a meeting for next week
call off = cancel
e.g. The meeting was called off because the manger was ill.
bring forward = move the meeting to an earlier time
e.g. I’m going on a business trip on Wednesday so can we move the meeting forward to Tuesday?
put back = move the meeting later in time
e.g. Can we put back the meeting until next month?
look forward to = a polite way to end an email about the meeting
e.g. I look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
During a Meeting
go over = review
e.g. I want to go over the points discussed in the last meeting
go through = look in detail
e.g. I want to go through each of the items on the agenda.
figure out / work out = solve a problem
e.g. I want us to work out what we need to do to increase sales.
hand out = to give people something in the meeting
e.g. My assistant will hand out the agenda for the meeting.
note down / jot down = write the point on paper
e.g. Please jot down your ideas on the paper provided.
End of Meeting
look into = explore a problem or issue
e.g. I’ll look into what we can do about the noise in the office.
deal with = to take action about something, especially a problem
e.g. Carlos, can you deal with the email complaints, please.
run out of = to have no more of something
e.g. Unfortunately, we have run out of time; we’ll continue the discussion next week.
follow up = an action that adds more information
e.g. I’ll follow up by email later this evening with the minutes of the meeting.
Now you have a list of phrasal verbs, next time you’re in a meeting, listen for these examples.
If you hear any more, note those down too.
Make sure you always review and start to use them in speaking.
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