ESL Grammar Worksheet: Phrasal Verbs: Office & Business (Intermediate-Advanced)

A business-related grammar worksheet to practice phrasal verbs, for intermediate to advanced ESL students. (Free download available.)

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A. Activity: Select the correct verb

Choose the best answer for the following questions/statements.

1. The delivery driver was caught stealing from the warehouse, so he was ________________ of the company permanently.

            a. kicked in

            b. kicked off

            c. kicked out

            d. kicked away

2. I’m _________________ work next week because I have a family vacation planned.

            a. taking off

            b. taking out

            c. taking away

            d. taking down

3. We will _______________ the issues immediately and find out what’s wrong with your order.

            a. look up to

            b. look into

            c. look away

            d. look down on

4. The use of rebates will help our customers _________________ their total expenses, which will be incentive for them to buy from us again.

            a. cut into

            b. cut down on

            c. cut off

            d. cut through

5. It looks like the supplier added some extra products to our invoice. Do you think they were trying to ________________ or do you think it was a mistake?

            a. rip us apart

            b. rip us up

            c. rip us off

            d. rip us away

6. We were able to __________________ buying the discounted products even though it seemed like they didn’t need them.

            a. talk our customers out of              

            b. talk our customers about

            c. talk our customers up                   

            d. talk our customers into

7. I had an opportunity for a job interview with a different company, but I __________________ because I’m already satisfied with my current position.

            a. passed it down

            b. passed it on

            c. passed it up

            d. passed it against

8. Unfortunately, I had to __________________ the meeting and reschedule because I was too sick.

            a. call out

            b. call off

            c. call ahead

            d. call on

9. Our printer __________________ ink so we had to order some more from Office Depot.

            a. ran through

            b. ran out of

            c. ran up to

            d. ran by

10. I was at the gas station this morning and __________________ my colleague. What a coincidence!

            a. ran over

            b. ran into

            c. ran across

            d. ran by

11. Our office is packed with old supplies and junk. Let’s__________________ it this week.

            a. get rid of

            b. get over

            c. get across to

            d. get onto

12. Sorry for the delay. Our delivery driver got __________________ in some traffic on the way .

            a. held up

            b. held on

            c. held over

            d. held of

13. After being sick all week, I have a lot of work to __________________ .

            a. catch up

            b. catch on

            c. catch over

            d. catch up with

14. We have some very lazy colleagues who just __________________ in the office all day without getting any work done.

            a. mess up

            b. mess around

            c. mess over

            d. mess down

15. I really thought my colleague was lying about his car breaking down on the way to work. But, it __________________ he wasn’t lying. I saw his car on the side of the street on the way home!

            a. turns up

            b. turns over

            c. turns away

            d. turns out

16. I was completely __________________ before I had to give my big presentation.

            a. freaking out

            b. freaking up

            c. freaking about

            d. freaking down

17. I __________________ to work 15 minutes late today and my boss was pretty upset.

            a. showed around

            b. showed off

            c. showed up

            d. showed by

18. My boss always gives me so much work that I can never __________________ all of it.

            a. keep with

            b. keep up

            c. keep up with

            d. keep with up

19. I know that ‘CEO’ __________________ Chief Executive Officer but not CFO.

            a. stands up to

            b. stands about

            c. stands to

            d. stands for

20. Our family only has one car, so I have to __________________ my children at school and then my wife at her office before I go to work.

            a. drop down

            b. drop over

            c. drop off

            d. drop to

B. Activity: Define the verbs

For each of the following phrasal verbs, write a short definition and provide an example in context. Use a different context than the examples from the activity above.

To look into

Definition: ________________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

To catch up with

Definition: ______________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

To get rid of

Definition: ________________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

To talk (somebody) into (something)

Definition: ________________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

To cut down on

Definition: ________________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

To run into

Definition: ________________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

To catch up with

Definition: ________________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

To call off

Definition: ________________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

To rip (someone) off

Definition: ________________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

To freak out

Definition: ________________________________________________________________

Example: ________________________________________________________________

C. Activity: Fill in the blank spaces

Fill in the blank spaces with phrasal verbs from the list. 5 of the phrasal verbs will not be used. Make sure you change the verb to fit the tense or grammar of the context.

Verb list:

run out ofkeep up withhold upcall off
get rid ofcut down onshow updrop off
catch up withkick outrun intoturn out
take offrip offpass upmess around
look intostand forfreak outtalk into

Because I was (1) ____________________ in traffic for a long time I wasn’t able to (2) ____________________ my son at school on time.

The teenage workers in the warehouse just (3) ____________________ at work all day and don’t do anything productive. They’re always playing games, smoking, or chatting.

I feel like my mobile service provider (4) ___________ me ____________ . Every time I get a new bill, there’s charges on there I don’t recognize.

She (5) ____________________ the chance to go to a university because she found a very good job.

We should try to (6) ____________________ our expenses and company spending. Our profit margins aren’t high enough.

The boss was angry because all of the employees (7) ____________________ extremely late to the meeting.

My iPhone’s battery is bad quality and it (8) ____________________ battery after only a few hours.

The only reason I hate the holiday break is because I usually have so much work to (9) ____________________ when I go back to the office.

I totally thought that the company Christmas party was on Thursday, but it (10) ____________________ that it’s actually on a Friday.

Our online customer management system isn’t efficient. We’re (11) ____________________ the problems with it this week and then will fix it.

When my car wouldn’t start this morning, I (12) ____________________ for a minute. I had to get to a very important meeting. Luckily my car started after a few tries.

I wish I hadn’t (13) ____________________ my colleague in the coffee break room. She never stops talking!

The company laptops are too old. I hope the company decides to (14) ____________________ these ones and replace them with new ones. I hope I can (15) ___________ everyone ____________ attending to the golf tournament on Saturday, even though it sounds like nobody wants to come.

D. Activity: Rewrite the sentences

Rewrite each sentence below using a suitable phrasal verb.

(1) We used all of the supply of coffee in the break room. Please buy some more.


(2) I think that some phone companies cheat you because you always have to buy new chargers with new products.


(3) You have to stop being so lazy and start the project now!


(4) Can you please investigate the reason the computers aren’t working? We need it solved today.


(5) We need to stop using and throw away all of the old furniture in the storage room.


(6) I completely panicked when I found out I had to submit my reports in one hour. I totally forgot to do them.


(7) Let’s try to persuade our boss to let us leave early today.


(8) Our company is hoping to reduce the amount of paper and plastic products we use in the office by 20%.


(9) I’m sorry I’m late for dinner. I got delayed in the office with some extra work.


(10) My brother denied the position for a new job because the travel time was too long.


Download this worksheet in Word and PDF doc format (zipped).

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