5 phrasal verbs with "Switch"

5 phrasal verbs with "Switch"

By Alena Lien, 

23 September 2020

Click below to get more information on each phrasal verb.

Switch on/off

-   To start or stop a device powered by electricity.

["switch on/off"] + [something]

["switch"] + [something] + ["on/off"]


  • "Can you switch on the light?"

  • "She switched the printer on but it had run out of ink."

"Turn on/off" or "Switch on/off"


This is the same as "turn on/off."

  • "Always remember to turn off the lights if you've turned them on."

Switch on

-   To activate a particular emotion or behaviour, although it is not usually sincere.


This is often used in a disapproving way.

["switch on"] + [something]

["switch"] + [something] + ["on"]

  • "Whenever the boss comes in, he'll switch on the charm."

"Turn on" or "Switch on"


Here, we can also use "turn on," which I think this is more common than "switch on."

  • "When she doesn't get her way, she'll automatically turn on the waterworks."

Switch off

-   (informal) To stop giving your attention to someone or something.

["switch off"]

  • "I usually switch off when the lecturer starts talking."

  • "It can be difficult to switch off after an intense shift at work."

Switch out

-   To exchange something for something else.

["switch out"] + [something]

["switch"] + [something] + ["out"]

  • "I switch out the students' artwork whenever they complete a project."

  • "It's important to switch out all the old components if you want it to work smoothly."

Switch over to

-   To stop using something and start using another. 

This can also be applied for watching a TV channel or listening to a radio station.

["switch over to"] + [something]

  • "The system should switch over to the generator any time now."

  • "Can you switch over to Channel Nine?"

Switch up

-   To change something, usually to improve it.

["switch up"] + [something]

["switch"] + [something] + ["up"]

  • "You can switch up your workout routine by adding some more exercises."

  • "I tried to switch up the recipe by trying other flavours but it didn't work out."

Related expressions

"Switched on" (informal adjective) - being aware of what is going on, or interested and willing to try new things."

  • "Let's keep the new recruit, he seems pretty switched on."

"Switch up a gear" (informal) - to start doing something more effectively or with more energy.

  • "You'll get better result if you switch up a gear."