Phrasal verbs with forward is one of the smallest categories of phrasal verbs when studied by the particle.

Clearly, forward means the direction in front and it is therefore most frequently used either for actual movement or for the future.


look forward to – Meaning: to think of something with excitement.  Example: I’m looking forward to the party on Friday.   Remember that look forward to requires the gerund or ING form of the verb.  Example: I’m looking forward to goING to the party on Friday.  Although phrasal verbs are rare in formal writing, to look forward to is very common in business English (especially at the end of an email).  The most formal version of this phrasal verb is to keep it in the present simple tense.  Example: I look forward to hearing from you.

bring forward / put forward – Meaning: to change the date or time of an event.  Example: 1. The hospital had a cancellation so they brought my appointment forward. 2. In the summer, we put the clock forward by one hour.

go forward / move forward / step forward – Meaning: to go ahead or to continue. Example: At the end of the meeting, we decided to move forward with the plan.

move forward : Meaning: becoming more modern.  Example:  Some third world countries really need to improve internet services if they want to move forward.


to put forward – Meaning: to suggest. Example:  None of the suggestions put forward during the meeting were suitable.

to come forward – Meaning: to offer help. Example: During the emergency, many volunteers came forward and offered their services for free.

to step forward – Meaning: to claim responsibility (in a positive or negative way).  Example: 1.  If anyone is available to tutor the new students, please step forward.  2. He didn’t let another student get in trouble but stepped forward and claimed responsibility for his actions.

to carry forward – Meaning: Used in accounts to mean to transfer to another page or document.  Example: As not all the invoices have been issued, the expenses will be carried forward to the next tax return.

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