Phrasal verbs for business: U, V and W

to use (something) up

to finish or consume all of something: The training budget for this year has been used up, so the company cannot pay for your attendance at the conference.

to usher (something) in

to begin something significant: This merger is a major decision which ushers in big changes for the company and its employees.

to vouch for

to guarantee: I can vouch for him. George is reliable and hard working – he’ll be an asset to your team.

to wade in / into

to get involved in something without much thought: I’m really worried Jack is going to wade in and try to take over the project.

to wade through

to get to the end of something with a lot of difficulty: The new trainee is a hard worker – he waded through all the documentation on the Briggs case in just two days.

to want out

to want to leave an arrangement: As a result of the changes to the law on fracking, BigOilCo wants out. They’re not going to invest in the country after all.

to water (something) down

to make something weaker, less effective: I understand your point of view, but if you don’t water down your proposal a bit, we’re going to get nothing at all.

to weed (something) out

to remove: This organisation is never going to increase efficiency if we don’t weed out some of the older, more expensive employees.

to weigh (something) up

to evaluate: We need to properly weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the expansion plans before we take them any further.

to wind (something) down

to slowly close a business or organisation: The board plans to start winding the company down from January next year.

to wind (something) up

to bring something to an end: That all I wanted to say. Let’s wind up the meeting now and get back to work.

to put things in order: She wound up all her business affairs and moved to an island in the Caribbean.

to arrive in a place or situation as a result of a certain course of action: He borrowed a huge amount of money to establish the business, but it totally failed and he’s wound up with enormous debts that’ll he never be able to pay off.

to write down

to record a reduced asset value: We have been forced to write down the shares after they lost value on Friday’s downturn.

to write (something) off

to record as a loss or expense: As our total fees for the project are over budget we will have to write off all translation costs.

to disregard as unimportant: I couldn’t believe he would just write off my idea without giving it any consideration!


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