PHRASAL VERBS – Crime

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Hi, everyone!

Here is another post about phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verbs are idiomatic phrases consisting of a verb and another element, typically an adverb or a preposition, or a combination of both. They are widely used by native speakers of English so it’s a good idea to try to learn some of them.

We’ll see some of the basic phrasal verbs to describe Crime in this post. I’m sure you’ve already heard some or maybe all of them and will be able to understand the meaning by the context, so here we go!

BREAK IN / INTO – to get into a building illegally or by force. (arrombar, invadir)


The police broke in / into the building and arrested the man.

GET AWAY – escape. (escapar)

The police followed the gang, but they got away.

GET AWAY WITH – when you aren’t criticized or punished for what you have done. (safar-se de)

No one should get away with such a violent crime.

GET OFF  – when you aren’t punished or receive a small punishment for what you have done. (livrar-se de)


He hired a good lawyer who could get him off.

GIVE UP – to allow yourself to be arrested or captured, to surrender.  (desistir, render-se, entregar-se)

He went straight to the police station and gave himself up.

HAND IN – give someone in authority. (entregar, denunciar, delatar, relatar à polícia, dedurar)

She handed the money in, thinking it was probably stolen.

HOLD UP – rob someone by threatening them with a weapon. (roubar à mão armada)

He held me up at gun point.

LET OUT – allow to leave a place, release, set free.  (libertar, soltar, deixar sair)

The prisoners are let out of their cells an hour a day.

LOCK IN – prevent from leaving. (prender, trancar)

They locked in the prisoners for the night.

PAY FOR – when you suffer or are punished because of something you have done. (pagar por)

he must pay for all his crimes for which he is responsible.

RESORT TO – do as a final option. (recorrer a, apelar para)


He resorted to stealing to feed his children.

RIP OFF – charge too much money for something. (explorar, roubar)

The local shopkeepers were all trying to rip off the tourists.

RUN AWAY – leave a place by running. (flee, escape)

The thief ran away and jumped into a car.

TAKE IN – when the police make you go to the police station in order to ask you some questions. (levar para a delegacia)

The police took him in for questioning.

TRACK DOWN  – find someone or something after searching for some time. (rastrear, localizar)


The FBI is putting a lot of effort into tracking down the criminals.

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