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Brush Up on your Phrasal Verbs – Part 5

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Ready to learn 3 more phrasal verbs? It´s time to continue our series covering some of the most common phrasal verbs to improve our English skills. Don´t forget to download our eBook to find all the phrasal verbs in this series and much more!

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1. Back Up

back up


What is he talking about? Time to take a quick look at the double of meaning of ‘back up’:

The phrasal verb ‘back up’ is generally meant in the sense of ‘to move backwards’. When driving we also say ‘reverse’.
Back up your car into the garage.

In the world of technology, ‘to back up’ means to save an extra copy of your work in a safe location, just in case something happens to the original.
Remember to back up your files – you wouldn’t want to lose all your hard work!

But ‘backup’ (no space between the two words) can also be used as a noun, meaning help/ support or a copy of a file made in case the original is lost or damaged.
The police officer called his partner for back up. He needed help arresting the burglar.

Do you have a backup of your work? There’s nothing on this CD.


2. Bring Up

bring up


‘To bring up’ is the present tense form of ‘brought up’. When people raise a child and take care of it, they bring it up.
My parents divorced when I was young. I was mainly brought up by my mother.

His parents worked all the time when he was a child, so he was brought up by his grandparents.

It can also be used when talking about where you are from:
I live in Malta, but I was brought up in London.


3. Screw Up

screw up


When you ‘screw (something) up’, it means that ‘to do something incorrectly, with a negative result’. This is a very informal way of saying that you’ve messed something up.
I don’t know what I did, but I think I screwed up my computer.

In the cartoon, the girl says that ‘the second one (carpenter) really nailed it’. The expression ‘nailed it’ is an informal way of saying that someone did something in a perfect or impressive way.

I was worried about the job interview but it went well. I think I nailed it.

Now that you have read about these 3 phrasal verbs above, would you like to learn more and test your knowledge? Download our FREE eBook now and find out the most used English phrasal verbs, including illustrated examples, meanings and exercises!

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