Phrasal Verbs with 'work'


Work against someone/something = to make it harder for someone/something to achieve what they want e.g. We don’t have much time, we are working against the clock.


Work around something = to prevent a problem occurring e.g. Don’t worry about meeting the deadline, we’ll work around it.

Work at = to try hard to improve something e.g. I’ve been really working at my Chinese these past months.

Work yourself into something = to make yourself angry/upset e.g. You are working yourself up. I’m sure Peter didn’t mean it like that.

Work off something = to get rid of anger by exercising e.g. I was so angry after the meeting that I went jogging to work it off.

Work off something = to exercise after eating too much e.g. If you eat too much you have to work twice as hard to work it off.

Work out = to exercise e.g. I usually work out four times a week at the gym.

Work on something = to spend time to improve something e.g. I’ve been working on my Chinese for two years now.

Work on someone = to try to influence their opinion or make them do something e.g. They didn’t want to come with us at the weekend but I’m working on them.

Work something out = to do a mathematical calculation e.g. Can you work out how much it is going to cost us?

Work something out = to think carefully about a plan/decision e.g. We need to work out how we are going to drive across Canada

Work someone out = to try to understand their character/behaviour e.g. I haven’t been able to work the new secretary out yet.

Work out = to happen in a particular way e.g. We were planning to spend some time in Delhi but things didn’t work out.

Work itself out = a problem solves itself e.g. You shouldn’t worry too much, things have a way of working out by themselves.

Work through = to work without stopping e.g. In order to meet the deadline we had to work through the night.

Work towards something = to try hard to achieve something e.g. I’m working towards buying a new car.

Work someone up = to make someone upset/worried/excited e.g. Leave him alone. Can’t you see you are working him up?

Work up to something = to gradually reach a particular level e.g. I started off being an elementary student but I’m slowly working up to an intermediate level.
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