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Phrasal verbs: Introduction

Phrasal verbs - introduction

Phrasal verbs are a fun part of learning English! They are phrases that have a verb and a small word like ‘up’ or ‘out’ which, when used together, have a different meaning than the original words. For example, “look up” means to search for something in a book or online, which is different from just “look,” which means to see.

Phrasal verbs are everywhere in English, from conversations to books and movies. They make the language more colorful and interesting. But, they can be a bit tricky because one phrasal verb can have many different meanings. For instance, “break down” can mean a car stops working, or it can mean someone gets very upset.

Here are some things to know about phrasal verbs:

  • Transitive and Intransitive: Some phrasal verbs need an object (like “put the book down“), and some don’t need anything else to make sense (like “wake up“).
  • Separable and Inseparable: With some phrasal verbs, you can put the object in the middle (“turn the TV off“) or at the end (“turn off the TV“). Others don’t let you separate the words (“run into a friend“).

The best way to learn phrasal verbs is by seeing and using them in real-life situations. Try to notice them in conversations, movies, or your reading. Practice using them when you speak or write. This way, you’ll start to understand their meanings naturally and see how they add flavor to the English language.

Remember, learning phrasal verbs is like collecting pieces for a puzzle. The more pieces you have, the clearer the big picture becomes. So, keep collecting and practicing, and soon you’ll be using phrasal verbs like a pro!

Phrasal verbs (I)

English grammar - Phrasal verb banner 01

carry on


My dad would grab a tiny ball made of foam and we would carry on playing for ages.

count on

trust, depend on, rely on

I included Sheila in the team because I know we can count on her.

hang out

spend time with someone

Why don't you come over to my house and hang out for a while?

make sth up

invent, lie

The data he presented was so surprising; I thought he was making it up at first.

turn into

become, transform

We have to fix the program before the presentation, to avoid it turning into an embarrassing situation.

turn up

arrive, appear

Some people in my family think it's hilarious to say they are not coming, then turn up for lunch and go: 'surprise!'

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Phrasal verbs (1)

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Phrasal verbs (2)

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Phrasal verbs (3) Listening

Phrasal verbs (II)

phrasal verbs 2 - banner

come across

find unintentionally

We came across Monica in the post office.

come along

arrive or appear

Suddently, two buses came along at the same time.

come up against

to face something challenging

The work is behind schedule because we came up against some unexpected problems.

end up

occurred as the final result of something

If we keep going this way, we'll end up totally lost.

go on

continue to do something

After she twisted her ankle, the runner found it impossible to go on.

run out of

consume until nothing is left

We do need to go shopping as we have run out of teabags.

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Phrasal verbs (4)

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Phrasal verbs (5)

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Phrasal verbs (6) Listening

Phrasal verbs (III)

find out


I just found out that my sister is pregnant.

get away with

not be punished

The murderer got away with his hideous crime.

get over sth

recover from

I hope you get over your flu really quickly.

hand sth back

return, give back

The immigration official handed back the passport without comment.

live up to

be as good as

She made every effort to live up to her ideals.

look back


When I look back, I wish I could live the days of my youth again.

point out

draw attention to

He pointed out the mistake in her translation.

put off

delay until later

I'm busy this afternoon. Can we put our meeting off until tomorrow?

turn out

end or happen in a particular or surprising way

The forecast is good, but it is too soon to say how it will turn out.

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Phrasal verbs (7)

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Phrasal verbs (8)