7 Common Phrasal Verbs with “Work” – Meanings and Example Sentences (Audio)

Work on

To work on someone to try to persuade or influence someone 

To work on something to spend time working to produce or improve something

  You have two weeks to work on your project.

He spent two years working on his novel.

I know it’s hard to work on my dad but I’ll try.

Work out

to exercise to keep your body in shape; to develop in a successful way; to find a solution to something

  I work out every day.

  My new strategies didn’t work out.

We need to work out how we are going to rescue him.

Work up

to develop a particular feeling with some effort

She tried to work up her courage to join the beauty pageant.

We need to work up his enthusiasm for going on this trip

How can I work up my energy for such a boring job?

Work through

to deal with something step by step, especially when it takes time and effort

Don’t worry about this large pile of documents. We’ll work through it together.

The fact that I had to work through my illnesses alone was terrible.

Having worked through all their problems together, they got married last summer.

Work to

to follow a plan or schedule

I am used to working to tight deadlines.

We need to work to the budget.

Work off

to get rid of a strong feeling by engaging in physical activity

You really need a long walk to work off your nervousness before the test.

The psychologist helped me work off my stress.

I usually work off my negative feelings by working out.

Work against

to cause disadvantages or contribute to a negative result for someone

Her negative attitude toward marriage works against her family’s happiness.

Your inexperience will work against you during the next job recruitment.

I’ve never liked Jenny’s emotional immaturity, which will soon work against her in everything she does.

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