What are the most common English phrasal verbs in academic writing?

Phrasal verbs are less frequent in academic English writing than in everyday English conversations. Below is a list of the most common phrasal verbs in academic writing, a list of 10 phrasal verbs for advanced English and your IELTS or TOEFL Test Preparation.

English phrasal verbs often have multiple meanings - In your academic writing, such as essays, reports and presentations, use the more formal meaning(s). Examples are provided.
  1. carry out (= perform a task / organize/plan): We carried out her instructions precisely. A survey is now being carried out nationwide.
  2. go on (= continue): Voting recounts went on for weeks after the election.
  3. turn out (= happen with a particular, unexpected result):
    As it turns out, the U.S.A. will have its first female vice-president.
  4. take (something) up (= rate of acceptance):
    Take up of the COVID-19 vaccine will most certainly be very high.
  5. take (something) on (= to accept a responsibility): I don’t want to take on too much work.
  6. point (something) out (= tell somebody something or a fact): Some economists have pointed out low inflation is not necessarily a good thing.
  7. find (something) out (= to get information about something or to learn a fact for the first time): He was shocked to discover the results of the study. We found out later that we had been to the same school.
  8. make (something) out (= understand something or someone): As far as I can make out, the economy will recover in 2021. (= see/hear): I couldn’t make out what he was saying. (=say/pretend that something is true when it’s not): The situation was never as bad as the media made out.
  9. put (something) on (something) (= affect/influence something): The government put a limit on imports of bales of cotton. The protesters were putting pressure on the company to reform its policies.
  10. Account for (= to form a particular amount or part of something): Indigenous peoples accounted for 5% of the Canadian population in 2016. (= the reason why something happens): Climate change may account for the marked increase in extreme tropical weather events.

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