Phrasal verbs (Germanic) and intellectual words (French – Latin)

English vocabulary is a mixture of simple verb-preposition phrases and more intellectual Latin words. French speakers can easily recognise Latin words, and use them in their conversations. But the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ way of saying things is more difficult. Remember that generally, short word combinations are more informal and friendly, and that if you use only words of latin origin, you may give the impression of being a little ‘pompous’ or ‘pretentious’!

Try to find the Latin word that has a similar meaning to each of the phrasal verbs given.
set up              conduct/perform
carry out       reverse
get better      improve/ameliorate
back up          establish
drop in (on)     visit
get it                   decelerate
slow down        abandon
give up              comprehend
carry on          exclude
carry out        continue
make fun of    ridicule/mock
leave out        perform/conduct
look up            calculate
turn down      interrupt
work out         refuse
butt in             consult
speed up         penetrate
break into      tolerate
put up with    accelerate
throw up         vomit

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  1. hi Jonathan,i’ll have a look at your latest exercise it looks very helpful
    could you give me the references of a dictionary you might know on the origin of words with large explanations …not only (latin origin or…basic info we don ‘t really care about )
    Thank you for your help once again!
    I almost forgot !
    All the best to u & yours for 2010

    • Emmanuelle,
      Thanks for your comment. I use a great website called ‘’. It’s by an American writer, and has all the info I need. There are lots of book on word origins, but I can’t recommend any one particular one as I only use online resources. I must buy a decent dictionary one of these days…

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