PHRASAL VERBS – Disaster & Destruction

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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 disaster & destruction 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!

BLOW AWAY – when the wind moves something away. (soprar para longe, carregar, levar embora)


My hat was blown away by the wind.

BLOW UP – when something is destroyed by an explosion. (explodir, detonar)

He was going to blow up the place.

BREAK DOWN – when a machine or vehicle stops working. (quebrar, parar de funcionar)

His car broke down on the highway..

BREAK OUT  – when something unpleasant begins suddenly. (começar)


A fire broke out on the third floor.

CUT OFF – when someone is separated from other people or places.  (excluir)

The town was cut off by the floods.

FALL DOWN – to drop to the ground. (cair)

A tree fell down during the storm.

GO OFF – when a bomb goes off, it explodes. (explodir)

The bomb went off and caused a huge damage.

KNOCK OUT – to cause someone to become unconscious and fall asleep, to destroy or damage and stop from working properly.  (nocautear, apagar, eliminar, acabar)

Lightning knocked out the city’s power grid.

PUT OUT – to stop something from burning. (apagar, desligar)

The firefighters put the fire out.

REDUCE TO – when some place is destroyed or broken. (reduzir)

The fire reduced the house to dust.

RUN OUT – when you have no more of it left. (estar sem, ficar sem, acabar)


We are rapidly running out of medical supplies.

RUN OVER – when a vehicle drives over something / someone causing damage or injury. (passar por cima, atropelar)

We almost ran over a dead animal on the road.

WIPE OUT – to destroy or get rid of completely. (aniquilar, eliminar, erradicar, destruir)

The epidemic wiped out the local population.

WRITE OFF – when the damage of a vehicle or machine is so bad that it’s not worth it to repair it. (dar como perdido, dar perda total)

Due to the car crash, the insurance company had to write off the car.

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