Phrasal Verbs with UNDER



Phrasal verbs are the combination of a verb followed by a preposition and/or a particle. By combining these words together, a new meaning is created which is different from the meaning of the words individually.

This blog explains the meanings of five common phrasal verbs containing the preposition under.

1. Come under

This phrasal verb can be used to show that something is included in a group. If you come under fire, you are being criticised or attacked.

  • Which category does this come under?
  • The politician came under a lot of criticism for the way he handled the scandal.

2. Go under

When a person declares bankruptcy, or a business fails, we say it has gone under. This phrasal verb is used when a person loses consciousness, or if something sinks below the surface of water.


  • The recession of 2008 caused many small businesses to go under.
  • When Ali had his appendix removed, he went under within a couple of minutes after he received the anaesthetic.
  • The lifeguard managed to save all of the passengers before the boat went under.

3. Snowed under

When the paperwork is piling up on your desk, your phone is ringing constantly and you have deadlines looming, you are snowed under. You have too much work and not enough time.


  • I won’t be able to make it to dinner tonight as I’m snowed under at work.
  • The whole team is working overtime as we’re snowed under at the moment.

4. Bear up under

To bear up under pressure means you are coping with a difficult or stressful situation.


  • Sue is bearing up well under the pressure of her new promotion.
  • The new President isn’t bearing up well under the pressure of the media.


5. Fall under

We use fall under when someone is controlled or influenced by something. Fall under can also show the classification of a noun.


  • Claudia was so beautiful that every man in the room fell under her spell.
  • This crime falls under the title of Fraud.

Exercise: Now it’s your turn. Fill in the gaps in the sentences below with the correct form of the phrasal verbs from this blog.

  1. After weeks of being __________ at work, I am really going to enjoy this holiday.
  2. Tom is a great leader. He is really __________ well __________ the pressure of being in charge of the team.
  3. This department __________ the category of Human Resources.
  4. Stormy weather in the area has caused a lot of damage. Several yachts worth millions of pounds __________ in the storm.

Post your answers in the comments section below or email us at Intrepid English.


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Sign up to our free email course ‘Figure out Phrasal Verbs’ course to receive a new phrasal verb every day of April.

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This blog was written by Intrepid English Teacher and Founder, Lorraine.

Find out more about Lorraine on her Intrepid English Teacher profile page.

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