Business English: Phrasal Verbs

As I have mentioned in a previous post, phrasal verbs are extremely important for fluency and play an essential role in Business English. They are very common. Their mastery makes it easier to understand your counterpart during negotiations and their correct usage makes you much more relatable to native speakers. In other words, using the right lingo might even help you secure business deals. Below you will find a number of very common Business English phrasal verbs.


To go over = to review, or to examine something (e.g. a document or report) individually, or with a partner/superior/during a meeting with your colleagues. For example: “My manager said that we will go over annual reports during our next meeting on Friday. Everyone hopes that she will be pleased.”

“Go over” is an inseparable phrasal verb. Therefore, the object cannot be placed in between “go” and “over.”


To draw up = to make or prepare a specific plan or proposal in documented form (e.g. a written report, or a presentation). It is a separable phrasal verb. When using the complete object, it can either be placed in between the main verb (i.e. draw) and the preposition (i.e. up), or it can come after it. “My boss asked me to draw up a memo for the meeting on Monday./My boss asked me to draw a memo up for the meeting on Monday.” However, when using an object pronoun, which would be “it” in this case, or when using “this/that, these/those,” it must be placed between the main verb and the preposition. “Sure, I’ll draw it up for you.”


To come up with = to create or invent an idea/proposal/plan. Like “go over,” it is inseparable; the object must always follow “with.” For example: “We need to have a brainstorming session for our next social media campaign! Can you come up with some ideas?”


To carry out = to enact, or actualize a plan/idea/proposal. This is a separable phrasal verb, and follows the same general rules used with “draw up.” For example: “Our new boss has come up with some pretty amazing business proposals. Now we will have to focus on how to carry them out.”

Now let’s go over all of these phrasal verbs in a dialogue:

Advertising manager: Hey Paul, tell Mary in advertising to draw up a plan for the new advertising campaign by next Monday. Let her know that we will go over it together during our next meeting and that I can't wait to see what she'll come up with this time since the previous campaign was so successful.

Paul: Will do, boss. Anything else?

Advertising Manager: Tell her that if I like her ideas, we’ll carry them out this coming September.

Paul: Got it.

Advertising Manager: And one more thing! Tell everyone during our lunch meeting that we still need to come up with ideas for our social media campaign for the new restaurant opening near Dupont Circle.

Marike Korn