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English for Human Resources

Useful phrasal verbs 1

Learn the most common phrasal verbs used in Human Resources in English:

'close down' = to shut

  • We have closed down the small local branches and created bigger regional offices.
  • The factory closed down in the 1970's because it was too expensive to produce here.

'fight against' = to make an effort to stop something happening

  • All the workers fought against the closure but the plant was no longer profitable.
  • The unions have been fighting against the proposed changes as they think it will mean job losses.

'go back on something' = to change an agreement

  • We had come to an agreement but now she has gone back on it.
  • The company promised to review the situation but went back on its word and didn't.

'put back' = to postpone, delay in time

  • They promised to make a decision today but it has been put back until next week.
  • My visit has been put back until a later date when it will be easier to plan.

'fall behind' = not risen as fast as, fail to do something as fast as required

  • We have fallen behind schedule. It won't be completed on time.
  • Our salaries have fallen behind the national average with the small increase we have had.

'turn down' = to refuse, not accept

  • We offered a two per cent increase but it was turned down.
  • We offered him a much higher salary but he turned it down and didn't join our team.

'fill in for someone' = to replace someone during an absence

  • I need to brief the person who will be filling in for me while I am on maternity.
  • I filled in for Jamie while he was on holiday.

'back someone up' = to support or to help

  • Whenever there is a dispute with someone in my team, my manager always backs me up.
  • Nobody backed him up when he said he had been discriminated against.

'work out' = to calculate

  • I don't know how much holiday I have left. I need to work it out.
  • We need to work out how much this is really going to cost.

'drag on' = to last a long time, go on longer than anticipated

  • The negotiations are dragging on. I think we'll never reach an agreement.
  • The meeting dragged on and on. I thought I'd never get home.


exercise 1

exercise 2

exercise 3

exercise 4

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