Phrasal verbs for business: F

to face up to

to accept something unpleasant: We’re going to have to face up to the fact that we’ve just lost our biggest client.

to fall back on

to use in an emergency: If this plan doesn’t work we’ll fall back on plan B.

Similarly the compound noun/adjective “fallback” means an alternative.

to fall through

to fail: Unfortunately the plan fell through at the last minute.

to fall out

to quarrel / disagree / stop being friends: David and John we’re getting on fine until that business with the tax inspector caused them to fall out.

to farm (something) out

to contract work to someone else / to outsource: As the graphics department is already working to capacity on the ABC project we’ll have to farm out the design work on this new project.

Cf. “to contract out”

to feel up to

to feel capable of doing something: I’m not going to make it to the party tonight, I’m afraid. I just don’t feel up to it.

to fend for

to take care of yourself or others / to cope: You’ll be able to fend for yourself while we’re away at the conference won’t you?

to fend (something) off

to defend against something: Do you think we will be able to fend off a hostile takeover?

Cf. “to fight off”

to ferret (something) out

to look for and find: The invoice must be in the files somewhere. Angela, can you try to ferret it out?

to file for

to make a legal application / submission: The company filed for bankruptcy three months ago.

to fill in for

to do someone else’s work for them: I’ll fill in for Sarah while she’s away.

Cf. “to cover for”

to fill (someone) in

to provide information to someone: Please ask Laura to fill you in with the details.

to fill (a form) in /out

to complete a form: Please fill in this form while you’re waiting.

to firm (something) up

to make something clearer, better understood: We need to firm up our standpoint on this issue before we enter negotiations.

to fit out

to provide necessary equipment / complete and furnish premises: The Lessee will fit out the premises upon the handover of the premises from the Lessor.

Similarly the compound noun “fit-out” means the equipment.

to fizzle out

to end unsuccessfully: The project fizzled out due to lack of interest from the management board.

to flag (something) up

to draw attention to / highlight an issue: Make sure you flag up the outstanding electricity bill in the meeting with the tenant.

to flesh (something) out

to add information or detail: You need to flesh out the non-competition clause with exact descriptions of the activities the employee cannot undertake.

to flush (something) out

to clean the inside of something: The pipes were blocked until the plumber flushed them out with a very strong chemical solution.

to get something or someone out of hiding: Somebody in the marketing department must have divulged the idea. But Who? Joanna, do you think you can flush him out?

to flog (something) off

to sell (usually cheaply): I heard that he flogged off his shares in the company for half their value.

(also “to flog”)

to fob (somebody) off

to tell a lie: He fobbed the boss off with a story about his washing machine leaking, but actually he just spent the morning in bed.

to follow (something) through

to continue until something is completed: There’s no point starting a project unless you intend to follow it through.

to follow (something) up

to take action on something: He said the bank had made a mistake and had taken $500 out of his account. But he never followed it up. It’s probably too late to do anything about it now.

to forge ahead

to make a lot of progress: We’ve been forging ahead with our international expansion plans, with branches opening in Dubai, Moscow and Beijing all within the last two months.

to freshen (something) up

quickly improve the appearance of somebody or something: Can you freshen up our standard advice letter and make it look like we’ve produced a bespoke document for this client?

to frown on

to disapprove: The boss really frowned on Robert taking that call during the meeting.

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