ESL Phrasal Verbs

Explanations of several "stick" phrasal verbs, with a printable worksheet.

click here to download this ESL phrasal verbs worksheet (FREE!)


“Stick” Phrasal Verbs - Definitions


stick around: to stay around; to stay in a place for awhile

  • You can go ahead and go home if you’re tired. I’ll probably stick around for a few more minutes.


stick by / stick with: to stay with someone or give them support in a difficult time; to stay with a story, plan, or opinion and refuse to change it.


  • Friends are the people who stick by you even in the worst of times.
  • Even though the police had evidence that he was guilty, Sean stuck by his story and refused to confess.
  • The president stuck by (stuck with) his policies, even though most of the population was against them.
  • Telemarketers are usually told to stick with their scripts because they tend to make more sales that way.


stick out (also: stand out, “stick out like a sore thumb”): If something “sticks out”, it is easily noticeable (because it is strange, big, or better than the rest, for example)

  • At the music festival, a few bands really stuck out and made an impression.
  • Stanley always sticks out in a crowd because he is over 7 feet tall.


stick up for: to support or defend someone

  • That was so nice of you to stick up for me when the teacher accused me of cheating!


stick together: To support and defend friends/colleagues, to remain loyal (similar to “sticking by” someone)

  • Policemen always stick together and never turn each other in*.

*turn (x) in = to report someone to the police for committing a crime

“Stick” Phrasal Verbs - Worksheet

Fill in the blanks with the correct words to complete these “stick” phrasal verbs.

1. When the baseball player was accused of cheating, his coach ______________
him in the press and insisted that the player was innocent.

2. I know you don’t like teaching English, Brian, but if you _______________ for
three more years, you will be able to pay off all of your student loans!

3. Companies try to design catchy brand logos so their products will ___________ among all the other similar products.

4. Pat: I think that road is a shortcut. We might be able to save some time.

Penny: We’re not in a hurry. Let’s just _______________ the map.

5. Ethel and Edgar have been married for over 50 years. They have ____________ through good times and bad times, through thick and thin.

6. Zack: We should go to school! We’re going to be late!

Mike: It’s OK. When the teacher asks why we’re late, we’ll say we got a flat tire.
If we both ______________ the story, we won’t get into trouble.


7.    An international team of archaeologists is working to _______________ the
words on the recently discovered stone tablet from Egypt.

8.    Bill: John said that his parents are going to give him a new car!
Brian: Don’t listen to him. He’s always ________ things _______. You can’t
believe anything he says.


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