Receiving instructions from the boss? Or perhaps giving some out to your employees? Here are some phrasal verbs commonly seen in a business context, both in conversation and in written correspondence, such as e-mails and company memos.
All of the phrasal verbs below are transitive; they must always take an object when being used. In the example sentences that follow, the objects are bolded for clarity. Now that we’ve gone over the basics, shall we get started?
To go over = to review, or to examine something (e.g. a document or report) individually, or with a partner/superior. For example: “My manager said that we will go over the monthly reports at our next meeting. I hope he likes what he sees!” “Go over” is an inseparable phrasal verb. Therefore, the object it takes 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 visual 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 particle (i.e. up), or it can be placed after it. “My boss asked me to draw up a new business proposal for her/My boss asked me to draw a new business proposal up for her.” However, when using an object pronoun, which would be “it” in this case, or when using “this/that, these/those,” it must go in between the main verb and the particle. “Sure, I’ll draw it up for you.” For example: “I’m drawing up a new long-term strategy for the marketing department, which I will present to them next week.”
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 a plan for our next advertising campaign! Can you come up with some interesting ideas for it?”
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 supervisor has made some very ambitious business proposals, but now comes the hard part – how will we carry them out?”
Now let’s go over all 4 of these phrasal verbs in a short dialogue. Can you follow the conversation?
Office Manager: Hey Frank, tell Sally in advertising to draw up a schedule for the release of our new products, and that I want to see it by next Wednesday. Tell her that we will go over it together at our next meeting, so it’d better be good!
Assistant Frank: Sure thing, boss. Should I tell her anything else?
Office Manager: Yes, also say that if I like her proposal, we’ll carry it out. That should motivate her!
Assistant Frank: Got it, boss!
Office Manager: And one more thing! Ask her to come up with some names for our new products. We don’t have any yet! She’s creative, I’m sure she can do it.
James Curcuru is Voxy’s Featured Tutor and manages its social media presence.