Understand the diverse meanings of the phrasal verb “make up” by learning its different combinations with prepositions and use them appropriately in daily life.

Let’s revisit the topic of phrasal verbs in English. Today, I encourage you to explore the accompanying infographic featuring 9 distinct phrasal verbs with the word “make” in English.

We’ll delve into how one of the most common verbs in English is employed in phrasal verbs, providing examples for better understanding.

It’s crucial to exercise caution, as the verb “make” proves to be one of the trickier words in phrasal verbs. Its meaning can vary significantly depending on the adverb or preposition it is paired with. Even the same phrasal verb, with the same adverb or preposition, can have different interpretations. To discern the correct meaning, paying attention to the context is essential.

What is your English level?

Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.

 Make out

This phrasal verb signifies “to handle or understand something.”


– How did you fare on your statistics test?
– How is he coping with the recent death of his uncle?
– From what I can understand, she is a kind and charming person.

   Make out (with)

If the phrasal verb is augmented with the word “with,” it adopts a compelling connotation: “to engage in passionate kissing.” Occasionally, the word “with” may be omitted, but its implication is understood in context.

For instance:

– Hey, I’ve seen you making out with John.
– Baby, let’s make out!

    Make out to be

This phrasal verb denotes “to pretend or present oneself as.” Once more, it’s essential to consider the context to accurately grasp the meaning of phrasal verbs.


– He portrays himself as a prominent artist, but I’ve never seen his work.
– Lucy presented herself as a resilient person, but I knew she was actually quite sensitive.

 Make into

Our final phrasal verb means “to transform one thing into another.”

For example:

– He transformed his old garage into a bar.
– Practicing extensively will transform you into a fluent English speaker.

In conclusion, here is a concise compilation of useful expressions with the verb “make”:

– The album is in the making – The album is currently being created.
– To make a fool of oneself – To behave foolishly or stupidly.
– To make sure/certain smb does smth – To ensure that someone does something.
– I have to make myself known – I need to bring attention to myself or make others aware of me.
– To make a deal with smb about smth – To negotiate an agreement with someone, usually involving business or money.
– Sorry I made fun of you earlier – I apologize for mocking you earlier.
– Make up your mind! – Decide!

Make up:
This well-known phrasal verb can mean “to apply cosmetics” but has additional meanings. It can also signify “to invent or create” and “to reconcile after a disagreement or argument.”

– The actors make themselves up before going on stage.
– None of it is true; he made up the whole story!
– You should make up with your sister.

Additionally, “make up” can mean “compiling” (a group or team), “preparing something or someone,” and “putting a bed in order after sleeping in it.”

– He always makes his bed in the morning.
– Our team was made up of all the regional managers.
– Make yourself up. We’re leaving in 5 minutes.

Make up for:
This phrasal verb means “to compensate for, replace, make restitution, or make reparation for.”

– I ruined your T-shirt, but I hope this new one I bought you makes up for it.
– He spent two weeks with his family to make up for his year-long absence.

Make for:
This phrasal verb means “to move toward a certain place or destination” or “to contribute to or result in.”

– She had already made for home when I arrived.
– Make for those woods; a storm is approaching!
– Both players are professionals, so it makes for a good game.

Make off:
This phrasal verb means “to hurry away or escape” and is often used when someone hastily departs or escapes with something stolen.

– The thieves had to make off in their car when the police arrived.
– She made off with my jewelry.

Make of:
This phrasal verb, despite appearing similar, has a distinct meaning. It means “to understand, judge, or find a reason.”

– I have no idea what to make of her behavior.
– Can you make anything of this movie? I don’t get it at all…

Are you C1 Advanced English?

Get your C1 Advanced English certificate now!

Add your certificate to your resume

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐