Business English: Phrasal Verbs for Meetings

Phrasal verbs: they’re everywhere! These pesky verb + participle combinations find their way into everything . . . even business correspondence. Prepare yourself for the business world with these phrasal verbs that are commonly used before, during, and after meetings.


Business English Phrasal Verbs for Meetings

Note: some of these phrasal verbs have several meanings. This article focuses only on their use in relation to the business world: for more definitions, consult Cambridge Dictionary online. All definitions come from this source. If the phrasal verbs can be separated, then the example sentences demonstrate so.

Before the meeting

The following phrasal verbs can be used in office or business correspondence before the meeting.

set up

Definition:  to prepare or arrange for use (in this context, to schedule a meeting)

  • Example: I am trying to set up a meeting with the company’s CEO next week.
  • Example: I’ve asked my secretary to set a conference call up for this Thursday. 

put off

Definition: to decide to arrange or delay an event or activity until a later time or date

  • Example: We will have to put the meeting off until next week since our accountant is sick. 
  • Example: I can’t put this report off any longer. It’s due today. 

look up

Definition: to check a fact or get information about something

  • Example: Before we meet, I need to look up this month’s financial reports.
  • Example: I looked all the emails up, and I still can’t find the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting.

look forward to (+ing)

Definition: to feel pleased and excited about something that is going to happen; (formally) used at the end of a letter to say that you hope to hear from or see someone soon, or that you expect something from them (like an email reply)

  • Example: I look forward to discussing this further in our next meeting. 
  • Example: I’m not looking forward to this meeting. I think the boss is quite upset after seeing last month’s financial report.  
Interview Business English
“I look forward to meeting with you again next quarter.”


During the meeting:

While you are in the meeting, these phrasal verbs might be used.

write down

Definition: to record information on paper

  • Example: I’ve asked my assistant to write the meeting’s notes down while we discuss what’s on the agenda. 
  • Example: Did you write what the President said down? I don’t remember the exact numbers he quoted. 

jot down

Definition: similar to WRITE DOWN, but JOT DOWN means to write it quickly.

  • Example: I jotted down some of the figures she mentioned during her presentation. 
  • Example: I saw her jot some notes down while he was speaking: I wonder what she wrote.

pull up (information)

Definition: to get information, especially on a computer screen

  • Example: I’ve brought my computer to the meeting so I can pull any information up that you might need.
  • Example: They disagreed about the quarter’s earnings, so her assistant pulled the numbers up during the meeting.

run out of

Definition: to use all of something so that there is none left

  • Example: We are running out of time so let’s discuss the rest of the agenda items next week. 
  • Example: We cut the meeting short because we ran out of ideas and needed some more time to brainstorm. 
Business English Formal Requests
“I just wanted to follow up our meeting with a phone call.”

After the meeting:

Once the business meeting is finished, use this phrasal verb for communication with those who attended the meeting.

follow up

Definition: to take further action connected to something

  • Example: I followed the meeting up with an email. 
  • Example: We decided to follow this meeting up with another one in two weeks. 


Need some more information? Check out our article on Phrasal Verbs!

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