5 more phrasal verbs with "Talk"

5 more phrasal verbs with "Talk"

By Alena Lien, 

14 February 2021

Click below to get more information on each phrasal verb.

Talk about (doing sth)


1.   To talk about or make plans to do something in the future.

This should not be separated.


  • "We've been talking about taking a year off to go travelling."

  • "He was talking about getting a new car last year, but I guess he changed his mind."

Preposition: About

-   Concerning or on the subject of. 

This can be used to refer to subjects or somebody as a topic.


  • "The lecturer talked about how to submit our assignments yesterday."

  • "My colleagues always like to talk about other people behind their backs."

Talk at (somebody)

-   To speak to someone without listening to that person, or to speak to someone in a way that indicates a response is unwanted or not desired.


This is considered negative because to talk at someone is an indication of poor communication - the conversation is one-sided rather than a two-way conversation. It usually implies the person talking is arrogant, self-centred or narrow-minded.


  • "My date kept rambling on about himself - he just kept talking at me the whole time."

  • "Our supervisor just talked at us, so I didn't get to ask any questions."


Preposition: At

-   A particular place or position.

-   To express the time of an event.


  • "I was given the opportunity to talk at next year's conference."

  • "They both began to talk at the same time."

Talk back

-   To answer someone in a rude way.

This is often used to describe children who are rude to their parents, or other people in authority like a teacher or a principal.


This is an intransitive phrasal verb, so we often the preposition, "to," when an object is mentioned.

  • "I don't tolerate children who talk back."

  • "He got in serious trouble when he talked back to his teacher."

"Answer back" or "talk back"

You can also use "answer back" to mean the same thing. However, this can be separated.


  • "I can't believe he answered me back."

  • "I can't believe he answered back."

Talk through

1.   "Talk (somebody) through (something)" - to explain something in detail to help someone to understand or do something.


  • "The project manager talked us through the entire project - from initiation, planning, execution, monitoring to closing.

  • "Can you talk me through how to set it up again?"

2.   "Talk (something) through" - to have a detailed discussion with someone.

This can be separated.

  • "Have you talked this through with your partner?"

  • "It's important to talk through your issues before you make the wrong decision."

"Talk over" or "Talk through"

"Talk over" - to discuss something.


Although they can be used interchangeably, "talk through" implies something more detailed.

  • "I'll talk this over with my husband."

  • "I'll talk this through with my husband."


Talk up

1.   To speak with enthusiasm about something, sometimes to make it seem better than it really is.


Although this is usually not separated, it is separated when pronouns are used.


  • "It's part of an actor's job to talk up any project they're a part of."

  • "I know it's part of his job but he's constantly talking himself up."


I also found a few other uses that are less common that was not in every dictionary I was using.

2.   To voice one's opinions freely or to raise one's voice. 

This is not usually separated.

  • "It's important to talk up if you have any objections."

"Speak up" or "Talk up"


Another phrasal with the same meaning is "speak up." This is also more common.

  • "It's important to speak up if you have any objections."

3.   To cause the price or value of a particular investment to increase by publicly discussing it or the factors that affect it.

This can be separated.

  • "Economists are talking up the oil prices again by discussing the oil shortage."

4.   To persuade someone to pay more than they originally offered or wanted to.

This also can be separated.

  • "The vendor tried to talk the price up, but Wally wouldn't budge."

Related expressions

"Talk about" - (informal idiom) to emphasise that something is very noticeable or extreme. It's usually used as a short commentary about something.

  • "I went to see them live once - talk about wild performances!"

"Talk up a storm" - (informal American expression) to talk enthusiastically or with a lot of energy.

The actual phrase is a "verb" followed by "up a storm." So variations can be things like "cook up a storm" or "write up a storm," which generally means to do something with a lot of energy.

  • "After they completed the project and had a few drinks, they talked up a storm the whole night."