English phrasal verbs: Plans & Decisions + Video

Why do we need to learn plans and decisions phrasal verbs in English?! Or a more general question: why do we need to learn phrasal verbs?

An inseparable part of learning the English language and improving your English vocabulary is to learn English phrasal verbs. But, what is a phrasal verb?!

A phrasal verb in English is a verb with a preposition. So, “verb + preposition = phrasal verb”. Take “Grow up” for example. “Grow” is the verb and “up” is the preposition. Many English students hate phrasal verbs because they are hard to remember. However, if you have a topic-based approach to learning English phrasal verbs, you will learn them much easily! A topic-based approach to learning English vocabulary and phrasal verbs is the key to learning! That is what I focus on in my online English course .

In this article, we’re going to learn 9 English phrasal verbs that you can use to talk about decisions and plans. Choice-making is an inseparable part of our daily lives. Therefore, let’s see some phrasal verbs that are associated with choice and decision making.

English phrasal verbs for plans and decisions

  1. To sleep on something

English phrasal verbs

“Sleep on something” means to wait and think about something before you make a decision. When somebody sleeps on a decision or problem, they wait for some time before they decide what to do about it; like this example:

Imagine somebody offered you some money for your headphones, but you weren’t sure that you wanted to sell them or not. What would you do?

Maybe you go home and think about it or wait until the next day, then you can make an informed decision. If you are not sure whether to sell your headphones or to keep them, you can sleep on it .

Phrasal verb: to sleep on

  1. To do without something

“To do without something” is a very useful English phrasal verb, which means to succeed in living or working without someone or something. For example:

  • I would never sell my phone because I cannot do without it (= I cannot live without my phone!).
  • There’s no more milk, so I guess we’ll just have to do without it (= continue doing what we are doing without it).

Phrasal verb: to do without

  1. To weigh up something

Phrasal verbs in English

Generally, “to weigh up something” means to think about something considering both the positive sides and the negative sides, and then weigh them up to see which one is stronger. Like the following example:

Imagine you were offered a job in a town far away from where you live. What would you do?

There are obviously some pros and cons. Pros are the positive sides and cons are the negative sides. What you need to do is to weigh up the pros and cons and see which one is heavier. Some other examples of this phrasal verb about plans and decisions are:

  • Michael wanted to weigh up all negatives and positives before starting his career in X marketing company.
  • Before buying a laptop, weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of all your options.

to weigh up something


Learn more: Read the article below and learn about the problem solution phrasal verbs and phrases in English:
problem solving phrases


  1. To run something by somebody

Plans and decisions phrasal verbs

“To run something by somebody” means to tell them about what is happening and to ask for their opinion. imagine this scenario:

Moving to a new town for your future job opportunity means going away from your family and your friends. In this case, you might need a second opinion; so it is best to run it by your family. It means asking your family for a second opinion. Take a look at two other examples:

  • You’ll need to run that by the boss before you do it.
  • Please run those kinds of decisions by me next time, OK?

To run sth by somebody in English

  1. To think/plan ahead

to think / plan ahead in English

“To think/plan ahead” means to think or plan before something happens. It means to think and plan about what you want to do in the future; such as “how do you see yourself in 10 years?”.

In 10 years, if I want to be a bodybuilder; there are things I need to do. To achieve that goal, I need to think and plan ahead.

Let’s see two other examples with this English phrasal verb:

  • plan ahead to avoid calamity.
  • Thinking ahead can make the difference between success and failure.

Phrasal verb: to think ahead

  1. To think something over

to think it over meaning in English

“To think something over” means to think carefully about all aspects of something before you make a decision. Let’s have a look at the example below with this phrasal verb:

Imagine somebody asked you to invest all your savings in a new company that you don’t know very well. What would you do? If you want to invest all your money in a new company, you need to stop and think it over. Look at these other sentences:

  • I’ll give you time to think my offer over.
  • I’ve thought over what you said, and you’re right.

to think it over meaning in English

  1. To think (something) through

“To think through” means to think about the possible consequences. Have a look at the example below:

What would you do if you lose all your money? What if you get a huge return on that investment and become even richer? You have to think through your decision. Take a look at two other examples with this English phrasal verb:

  • I need time to think this through.
  • We have thought through the matter and have come to a decision.

Phrasal verbs to talk about plans and decisions


Learn more: Do you like traveling? Let’s learn about the most common traveling phrasal verbs in English!


  1. To bargain for something

To bargain for something” means to expect something to happen. Pay attention to the following example:

A few months ago, I had five hundred dollars and I wanted to go on vacation. I started planning ahead and estimated the money that I needed to spend on this trip. But when I got there, the hotel charged me 20 dollars extra as city tax. That was something I hadn’t bargained for. If you say “I didn’t bargain for this”, it means that I didn’t expect that to happen.

Let’s see other examples:

  • hadn’t bargained for being stuck in traffic on the way home.
  • They hadn’t bargained for such a dramatic change in the weather.

Phrasal verbs to talk about plans and decisions

  1. To chicken out

Learn English phrasal verbs

“To chicken out” means to become too scared to do something and to give up in the last minute.

Pay close attention to this example:

A couple of years ago, I wanted to try bungee jumping with one of my friends. It’s very scary and I was terrified. But I wanted to face my fears. I went there, but in the last minute, I chickened out.

Look at these other examples:

  • He was going to ask her out on a date, but he chickened out in the last minute.
  • chickened out when I saw how deep the water was.

Phrasal verbs to talk about plans and decisions


Keep learning and never get disappointed. You can!


4 thoughts on “English phrasal verbs: Plans & Decisions + Video

  1. Irene Hollingshead says:

    Very interesting lesson. Often in a real life you hear this phrasal verbs and do not understand its. Very useful materials.

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