Is our series on colourful compounds growing on you yet? Even if you just glimpse at this list of particular phrasal verbs that start with the letters E, F and G, you might ferret out some fun expressions!









egg on

To encourage egg on

Example: The mascot egged on the supporters in the front row to scream for more.



eke out

To make something last longer; to manage to make a living

Example: The students eked out the semester by living on spaghetti and meatballs and going to free films.


eat into

To use up (profits, resources or time)

Example: Nothing eats into our time more than smartphones.











fawn on/over

To praise someone excessively fawn on

Example: Lobbyists fawn over the president to advance their cases in any way possible.



fall in with

To meet by chance and become involved with; to agree to

Example: The young people fell in with the wrong crowd over the summer.



feed off

To use something to one’s advantage feed off

Example: The players fed off the crowd’s energy to make a last effort to win the match.



fall for

To fall in love with; to be tricked

Example: Don’t fall for that crazy idea that money grows on trees!



ferret out

To search and discover something ferret out

Example: We call him “Holmes”: he’s good at ferreting out the real causes of accidents.











gee up

To command (a horse) to go faster; to encourage to show more enthusiasm or make more effort

Example: We tried to gee them up with our usual antics, but even that didn’t help.


get behind

To support

Example: They got behind the students’ efforts to reintroduce old, used books for courses instead of electronic versions.


get after

To nag or exhort

Example: The shop owners need to get after the town commissioners to change their opening hours.


gloss over

To minimize or disguise

Example: The company can gloss over the emissions results only so much before the smoke really starts to thicken.


get off

To escape punishment; to be acquitted

Example: Most of the drivers got off with a rap on the knuckles from the motor vehicle commissioner for not having registered their vehicles.


gnaw at

To trouble or cause distress

Example: Little things tend to gnaw at him until he becomes resolute and makes a decision.



grow on

To become gradually more appealing beard-stklaus

Example: His beard grew on me – it helped that his name was “Santa Claus”.


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