Phrasal Verbs Exercise (166)

Informal English makes use of a great many two- and even three-part verbs made up of a verb and a particle. For example, "I put out the light and went to bed." Such "phrasal verbs" can usually be replaced by a single verb with the same meaning. For example, "I extinguished the light and went to bed." Choose the verb that best substitutes for the phrasal verb in each of the following sentences.

  • After the fire, the factory owners decided to lay off 15 employees.

  • I’ll email the staff to tell them that Mr. Baxter plans to call off the February 17 meeting.

  • Phone me later in the week and we’ll fix up something for Sunday.

  • The doctor said she can fit you in at about 5:30 p.m.

  • His youngest son was the one who brought up the solution that was finally accepted.

Answers and Explanations

1. After the fire, the factory owners decided to lay off 15 employees.

Correct: dismiss
In this context, "lay off" means "to dismiss or discharge from employment."

2. I’ll email the staff to tell them that Mr. Baxter plans to call off the February 17 meeting.

Correct: cancel
In this context, "call off" means "to cancel."

3. Phone me later in the week and we’ll fix up something for Sunday.

Correct: arrange
In this sentence, "fix up" means "to arrange." In another context, it can mean "to repair," as in "My father fixes up old trucks."

4. The doctor said she can fit you in at about 5:30 p.m.

Correct: schedule
Schedule is the best choice here. "Fit in" means to find time to see someone who has not made an appointment.

5. His youngest son was the one who brought up the solution that was finally accepted.

Correct: mentioned
"Bring up" means "to mention, to introduce [a topic] into conversation or a discussion."

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