Phrasal Verbs With Stop (Compound Nouns and Adjectives too)

Phrasal verbs are commonly used by native speakers in English conversation. I put together this collection of phrasal verbs with stop to help ESL students and teachers. You will find a list below with definitions and example sentences.

  • stop by
  • stop in
  • stop off
  • stop out
  • stop over
  • stop up

Keep reading, master these phrasal verbs, and start using them in your own conversations.

The Verb Stop

The verb stop has a few different uses.

– To not move

  • I stopped the car at the traffic lights.

– To not continue

  • We stopped watching TV and went to bed. 

– To end

  • According to the weather forecast, the rain should stop at around 3:00. 

-To prevent

  • People are wearing masks to stop the spread of the virus. 

Stop Verb Forms

To stop – Infinitive 
I need to stop at the store on my way home and buy some milk. 
Stop – Present simple 
Let’s stop for a few minutes and take a break.
Stops – Present simple third-person singular 
Susan usually stops by my house on her way home from work. 
Stopped – Past
I stopped at the big store on Main Street but they were sold out of milk. 
Stopped – Past Participle
He was stopped at the traffic signal when his phone rang. (This sentence is the Passive Voice. was stopped)
Stopping – Continuous 
This train will soon be stopping at Tokyo Station. 

Learn how to use the Past Participle at my blog post >

Stop Grammar

Stop doing something
Stop to do something

“I stopped going to that store.”
This means I don’t go to that store anymore. (I don’t like the staff.)
“I stopped to go to the store.”
This means I stopped what I was doing so that I could go to the store. (I stopped on my way home so I could buy something.)

I stopped to buy some groceries on my way home.
Stop + gerund (verb -ing)Stop + infinitive (to verb)
Stop eating
Stop sleeping
Stop taking pictures
Stop to eat
Stop to sleep
Stop to take pictures

Phrasal Verbs With Stop

to make a short visit somewhere

  • I just bought a pool table. Why don’t you stop by this weekend and we can play?
  • I have to stop by my parents’ house and pick up some of my old clothes. 
  • stop in *This one is new for me but I think it is more common in the U.K.

(British English, informal) to stay at home rather than go out

  • I didn’t feel well on Friday night so I stopped in.

stop off (at)

​to make a short visit somewhere during a trip in order to do something

  • We stopped off at a small restaurant for lunch.

*Stop at is also natural for this sentence.

  • We stopped at a small restaurant for lunch.
Can we stop at that hamburger restaurant? They have good burgers.
  • stop out *This is also a new one for me

(British English, informal) to stay out late at night 

  • When I was younger my friends and I would stop out every single weekend. 

to stay somewhere for a short time during a long journey

  • My flight stopped over in Hong Kong for 12 hours so I spent the day enjoying the sights of Kowloon. 

​to suddenly stop, or make somebody suddenly stop, doing something

  • His parents stopped short when he said he was quitting school.
    His parents were shocked by the news and they suddenly stopped. They were shocked.
  • stop short of

to be unwilling to do something because it may involve a risk, but to nearly do it

  • She told her boss that she is very unhappy but stopped short of quitting.
    – She nearly quit but didn’t
  • The country has made getting a travel visa very difficult but they have stopped short of completely banning tourists. 
    The country made it hard for tourists to enter and nearly banned them but didn’t.

(British English, informal) to stay up late *This also is new to me.

  • My friend always stops up and watches TV until the middle of the night.  I can’t do that, I need my beauty sleep. 

Compound nouns with stop 

a thing that is used to stop a door from closing or to prevent it from hitting and damaging a wall when it is opened

  • Please put down the doorstop to keep the door open while I bring in the boxes. 

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

Expression – As smart as a doorstop
= Very dumb

  • The actor is handsome and famous but he’s about as smart as a doorstop.

​something that you use or do for a short time while you are looking for something better

  • The government keeps offering stopgap solutions that don’t ever address the real problem. 


(North American English also layover)

​a short stay somewhere between two parts of a journey

  • My flight to Australia had a 12-hour stopover in Hong Kong. It was like a small trip inside a bigger trip. 
  • My flight to Australia had a 12-hour layover in Hong Kong. It was like a small trip inside a bigger trip. (Layover is more natural for me – a Canadian)
If you get a stopover somewhere fun it’s like 2 trips in one.


​a watch that you can stop and start by pressing buttons, in order to time a race, etc. accurately, or an app on a phone that can perform the same function

  • My phys ed teacher has a really high-tech stopwatch. It’s like a mini-computer. 
My stopwatch is from 1998.

Adjectives With Stop 

non-stop (of a train, a journey, etc.) without any stops

  • My flight from Tokyo to Toronto was non-stop. It’s a pain to change planes in the United States so I always fly direct now. 
  • This is a non-stop bus. It will get you downtown in only 20 minutes.

unstoppable  ​that cannot be stopped or prevented

  • Last night the team won their seventh consecutive game. They look unstoppable this season.

Check out these other great Phrasal Verb blog posts.

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