Letter A pix




single verb made up of multiple words? For some, compound verbs, or phrasal verbs, are the bane of English: they complicate understanding, have various meanings and collocate with different words. Another view is that they are interesting and worth a review, if not for their meanings then for the intriguing complexity they add to the language. We tend to take the second view.

Here are some compound verbs that start with the letter A. To add to their complexity, they can have more than one meaning.


act on

To follow someone’s advice

Example: I acted on my adviser’s recommendation to sell those stocks, but I lost money.


act up

To not work properly or to behave badly

Example: That child acts up when his parents leave him with a babysitter.


answer for

To be held responsible for something or to blame for

Example: He had a lot to answer for after his bad behaviour.


answer to

To regard as the equivalent to something else

Example: The Kennedys were America’s answer to Europe’s royalty.


To be called

Example: He answered to the name of William but not Bill.


arrive at

To reach a result or decision

Example: I arrived at that conclusion after I spoke with all the people involved in the incident.


ask after

To enquire about someone

Example: John asked after you at the dinner last night.


ask out

To invite to go on a date

Example: It took him weeks to finally ask me out.


ask over

To invite someone to your house

Example: She asked him over after they went to the movies.


attend to

To deal with someone or something

Example: Can you attend to the baby? He’s crying.

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