Advanced English Grammar



Phrasal Verb Nominatives

Phrasal verb nominatives are, as the name implies, nouns that were once phrasal verbs. But what kind of nouns are they?

For the most part they are words like 'backup' or 'blackout' which, as phrasal verbs, have completely different meanings.

For instance, to back up a car is to go in a reverse direction, whereas a backup of something is a replacement or spare.

Such differences make learning and using phrasal verb nominatives a little tricky for non-native speakers of English.

With the above in mind I've included a complete list of phrasal verb nominatives for you to learn with the hope that you would use them.

Phrasal Verb Nominatives A - H

Backup = replacement; reserve
Blackout = loss of electricity
Blow-out = flat tire / loss
Blow-up = increased sized photograph
Breakaway = 1. to leave a group 2. geographical area
Breakdown = car or mechanical problems / engine stops working
Break-in = robbery / theft
Breakout = acne / prisoners escape from jail
Breakthrough = major advance in medicine or science
Break-up = end of relationship
Brush-off = end conversation / not take seriously
Build-up = accumulation of something
Burnout = exhaustion, physical or emotional
Buyout = the act or instance of buying out (takeover)

Carry-on = luggage suitable for being carried aboard an airplane
Castaway = survivor of a shipwreck
Changeover = change of station or means of transportation
Check-in = act of registering at a hotel
Checkout = cash register in store (grocery especially)
Check-up = health test at a doctor or dentist
Clean-up = general cleaning of a specific place
Close-down = end of operations
Comeback = return to a profession (entertainers, sports etc.)
Come-down = return to reality, depression
Come-on = words to charm or attract the opposite sex
Cop-out = compromise with a negative meaning (giving in)
Countdown = the count for a deadline; launching a spacecraft
Cover-up = attempt to hide facts and protect guilty parties
Cutback = reduction in funding or expenditures
Cut-off = the act or action of cutting off
Cut-out = what remains after something has been cut form something else

Dropout = someone who doesn't finish school
Fallout = secondary or lingering result; radioactive particles from nuclear explosion
Feedback = the return of input; whining, or whistling sound resulting from an amplified or broadcast signal
Flare-up = a sudden disturbance or outburst; a temporary increase in the symptoms of a disease or condition
Flashback = a past incident recurring vividly in the mind (usually vividly)
Follow-up = act of enquiring about previous contact.
Frame-up = action in which someone is framed (found to be guilty) for a crime they didn't commit
Getaway = brief vacation or holiday
Get-together = gathering
Giveaway = act of giving away prizes or gifts on large scale
Go-ahead = the OK; agreement to proceed
Go-between = intermediary, agent
Going-over = cleansing and / or checking to ensure proper working condition
Goings-on = news or event; happenings
Grown-up = adult; one who has reached age of consent
Handout = worksheet
Handover = exchange
Hang-out = gathering or meeting place
Hand-up = help

Phrasal Verb Nominatives K - Z

Kick-off = official start of game (American football or soccer)
Knockout = 1. Beautiful woman 2. Unconscious by blow or punch
Lay-off = reduction in workforce
Layout = drawings of (floor)plan
Let-down = disappointment
Let-up = reduction in intensity
Lift-off = leaving earth's surface
Line-up = 1. Group for witness of crime to see
Lock-up = holding cell; jail
Lookout = 1. Person who stands guard and sounds warning 2. Place offering view over large area (usually on mountain road)
Make-up = cosmetics for skin or face
Mix-up = confusion
Onlooker = person who watches an event or witnesses something (pedestrian)
Outbreak = start or first appearance of something (usually a disease)
Outburst = sudden loud sound
Outcast = someone shunned; not accepted in society
Outcome = result
Outcry = protest
Outfit = set of clothing
Outlay = initial expense
Outlet = 1. Place of release 2. Point of sales
Outlook = overall view of things in general
Output = production of product

Passer-by = someone who witnesses something by chance
Pay-off = desired or expected result of previous work
Payout = sum of money paid
Pickup = small truck with enclosed cab and open body
Pile-up = collision involving many vehicles
Play-off = a series of games after a season to determine a champion
Printout = printed record produced automatically (usually by a computer)
Pull-out = something that can be pulled out
Pushover = something accomplished easily / person or opponent easy to defeat or trick
Rip-off = usually a cheap imitation / theft
Runaway = person who has ran away from home
Rundown = an item-by-item report or review
Run-off = precipitation that reaches streams
Run-through = cursory reading, rehearsal or practice
Sell-out = the act of selling out of stock / person who sells out
Send-off = a party or celebration for the beginning of a new venture
Send-up = to make fun of someone
Setback = problem that needs solving; defeat, reverse
Set-up = preparation of machines; manner in which something is arranged
Shake-up = extensive reorganization of an organization
Show-off = someone who shows off; exhibitionist
Shutdown = closure or stoppage
Sit-in = act of occupying seats as form of protest
Slip-up = mistake; slip of the tongue
Smash-up = accident; car wreck
Splashdown = landing of a manned spacecraft in the ocean
Standby = reserve
Stand-in = substitute
Stick-up = a robbery at gunpoint
Stowaway = illegal passenger on a boat or plane
Switchover = change of shift at a factory

Takeout = prepared food to be taken home
Take-off = fake; plane or missile leaving earth
Takeover = a change in management or ownership
Tie-in = something that relates or connects (especially in a promotional campaign)
Tie-up = a mooring place for a boat; a traffic jam
Tip-off = warning; telltale sign; beginning of a basketball game
Touchdown = score (6 points) in American football
Tryout = audition
Turnabout = change of direction or momentum; reversal
Turn-off = something unpleasant
Turnout = crowd at an event, concert, game, etc.
Turnover = unwanted change of possession; pie-like pastry
Upbringing = way or method you were raised
Upkeep = maintenance
Uplift = air pressure to lift a wing, plane, bird, etc.
Upturn = increased economic activity
Walkout = unauthorized work stoppage
Walkover = easy opponent; small bridge over a road, ravine, etc.
Warm-up = practice
Washout = missing part of road (from water erosion)
Workout = series of exercises
Wright-off (rite-off) = loss of property (no longer taxable)
Write-up = published article about person, business, event etc.


To learn more about phrasal verb nominatives just click on the previous link.