The first thing to do is understand what a phrasal verb is…

 

The Cambridge dictionary defines a phrasal verb as:

A phrase that consists of a verb and a preposition, the meaning of which changes from the individual verb and preposition alone.

 

For example, work out is a phrasal verb because the meaning is not literally work + out, but rather solve or invent.

MATASELLOS PLATINUN CMB

 

The most usual method to introduce phrasal verbs into speech or writing is through substitution. You take a word, LIKE for example and put it into a sentence, “I like reading books about dinosaurs”. Then you take the term LIKE and replace it with the phrasal verb that you want to use, “I AM INTO reading books about dinosaurs”. This way the student begins to incorporate simple phrasal verbs into their language use. A great way to practice this skill is by learning how to match phrasal verbs with their synonyms. Examples of phrasal verbs are: Find out = discover information, look after = take care of, take on = hire

 

Language learners must practice exercises such as matching phrasal verbs with their synonyms, antonyms and similar expressions.

TO LEARN PHRASAL VERBS WELL YOU SHOULD

UNDERSTAND THE MEANING + LEARN SOME SIMPLE PHRASES + USE LOTS OF EXAMPLES IN CONVERSATIONS

 

The next steps to progress are by making sure that students use phrasal verbs consistently, what they need to do is make sure that they use them in context and assimilate them. They must use them often to consolidate their meaning. What students must be careful of is that they do not change the context too much or the meaning could change. For example GET BY can mean, survive with the minimum amount of money necessary or know how to use a little bit of a language.

The second thing to do is to understand the GRAMMAR. Know how to conjugate the verb well and also IF YOU CAN SEPARATE THEM. Normally we can separate a phrasal verbs if there is an object (Turn the light on), we have a choice if it is a long object, but if it is an object pronoun we almost always need to separate (turn it on). There are some phrasal verbs that we never separate (look after them). If there is no object we do not separate them (go back).

 

IF YOU WANT TO FURTHER UNDERSTAND PHRASAL VERBS, YOU SHOULD SEE OUR POST ON PREPOSITIONS (HERE) FOR EXTRA INFORMATION.

 

There are 3 types of phrasal verbs:

Some phrasal verbs can be tricky because sometimes you can split them in two and others you cannot. In English we call them separable and inseparable phrasal verbs. It is essential to understand where to put the objects and if an object is necessary so that the phrase makes sense.

 

Separable phrasal verbs

Separable phrasal verbs can have an object in between the verb and the preposition = I took her away on holiday. If the object is in the form of an object pronoun (me, you, him, her, it, us, they) then we normally have to divide the phrasal verb.

E.g. I picked him up from the store. But if the object is in its full from, you usually have the choice. I put on the jacket, or I put the jacket on.

 

Examples of separable phrasal verbs:

Check out

Fill in/out

Put on

Switch on/off

Take in

Take off

Tell off

Throw away

Turn on/off

 

Inseparable phrasal verbs

Inseparable phrasal verbs have an object after ONLY. You cannot place the object between the verb and the preposition.

E.g. I usually look after my daughter on Saturday evening so her mum can go out for a drink

 

Examples of inseparable phrasal verbs:

Be into

Get into

Go off

Look for

Look into

Tell on

 

Intransitive phrasal verbs

These types of phrasal verb do not require an object. We can form phrases with the phrasal verb and nothing else. But if you want to add an object, we usually add another preposition + the object.

For example, I am going out (with my friends) or I can get by (in English).

 

Examples of intransitive phrasal verbs:

Carry on

Come back

Get back

Get by

Get up

Go on

Go out

Look out

Wake up

 

3 word phrasal verbs

These phrasal verbs are almost always inseparable. These types of phrasal verbs need to include both prepositions to carry the correct meaning. Get on with means to have a good relationship with someone whereas get on has a different meaning.

For example, I am looking forward to the party. I need to cut down on my sugar intake.

 

Examples of 3 words phrasal verbs:

Be up for

Cut down on

Do away with

Get along with

Get away with

Go out with

Look forward to

Look out for

Look up to

Run out of

 

TO CONTINUE DEVELOPING YOUR ENGLISH VOCABULARY, TAKE A LOOK AT THESE POSTS VOCABULARY TRICKSVOCABULARY ACQUISITION AND VOCABULARY BUILDING. THE KEY YO LEARNING VOCABULARY IS TO FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU (USING IMAGES, MNEMONICS, MIND MAPS) AND TO INCORPORATE THIS ACTIVITY INTO YOUR LANGUAGE LEARNING ROUTINE.

 

FOR THE FREE EBOOK ON PHRASAL VERBS – EBOOK PHRASAL VERBS

You should learn phrasal verbs in context; it is important to sort them into topics.

HOBBIES AND FREE TIME

Phrasal verbs by topics

Hobbies and free time

Carry on – continue

Get (a)round to – start (after planning)

Get up to – do sth/do sth you shouldn´t

Go off – stop liking

Get into – start liking

Join in – participate in

Calm down – relax

Put off – delay

Be into – like

Put up with – tolerate

Stand for – tolerate/protect or defend

Take up – start doing

End up – final result

Take to – become good at

Hang out (with) – spend time (with)

Call off – cancel

TRAVEL

Travel and getting around

Get/go away – go on holiday/escape

Set off – start a journey

Hold up – delay

Pick up – collect

Get around – move from place to place

Drop off – leave in a place

Get back – return

Make for – head in a direction

Check in – enter a hotel/flight

Check out – leave a hotel

Take off – the plane leaves the ground

Look around – explore

Hurry up – go faster

Check out – look at sth

Look forward to – be excited about

See off – say goodbye at the airport etc.

Catch up with – get to the same point as

EDUCATION

Education and lifestyles

Drop out (of) – stop studying/going to school

Deal with – handle/cope with

Get on with – continue doing

Think over – consider

Get at – suggest

Catch on – understand

Go for – choose

Be into – like

Find out – discover information

Fall behind – not do sth fast enough

Go over – review

Go into – begin to describe in detail

Get away with – not be caught or punished

Make up – invent information or a story

Take down – write down

Take in – understand

WORK

Work and obligations

Carry out – do sth/realize an action

Back out (of) – decide not to

Turn down – reject

Set up – start a business

Stand in for – substitute

Bring out – start selling a new product

Keep on – continue

Work away – work abroad

Work on – spend time to try to perfect sth

Work out – solve or find a solution

Catch up (on/with) – reach the same level as sb

Take to – become good at/become a habit

Go over – review

Opt out of – decide not to

Take over – take control of

Take on – hire/employ

MONEY

Money and spending

Bank on – depend

Buy (sth) up – purchase large amounts of sth

Buy (sb) out – pay to have control of a business

Come across – find sth or meet by chance

Come by – visit

Save up (for) – keep a little money for sth

Get by – manage with little money

Do without – live without sth

Cash in on (sth) – sell sth for profit

Give away – give as a gift

Take back – return sth to the shop

Put by – save money for the future

Sell out – not have any left/sell all of sth

Pay (sth) off – pay all of sth

Pay up – give sb the money you owe them

Save ($) on (sth) – avoid spending money on sth

TIME

Time

Clock in – record when people start work

Clock out – record when people finish work

Take off – spend time away from work

Press on – continue working

Run out (of) – not have any left/remaining

Get together – meet to spend time together

Fit in – find time to do sth

Hang out (with) – spend time with

Get up to – do sth/ do sth you shouldn´t

Be up to – do sth

Hang on – wait

Mess around – waste time doing sth

FOOD

Eating and drinking

Go for – choose

Eat out – eat in a restaurant

Go/keep on – continue

Put off – make sb not want sth any more

Run out of – not have any left

Eat/drink up – eat or drink all of sth

Try out – experiment with

Take to – begin to like

Throw away/out – put in the rubbish

Wash up – clean the dishes

Turn out – have a particular result

HEALTH

Health and fitness

Feel up (to) – feel well enough to

Cut down (on) – reduce the amount of

Get over – recover from

Give up/in – stop doing

Look after – take care of

Put on – gain weight

Pass out – faint/become unconscious

Work out – do exercise

Go/come down with – become ill

Bring on – cause an illness

Warm up – prepare for sth

Swell up – become inflamed

Get rid of – throw/give away or sell

Pull through – recover from

Pass away – die

PEOPLE AND THEIR LIVES

People and their lives

Bring up – start talking about sth

Get at – suggest

Grow up – become older

Look up to – admire

Pass away – die

Get along (with) – have a good relationship

Stick to – continue doing the same

Chill out – relax

Get into – start liking

Go off – stop liking

Stay up – not go to bed

Stay out – not go home

Stay in – not go out

Fit in with – be assimilated into friends

Stand out – be different/remarkable

Put up with – stand for

TECHNOLOGY

Technological advances

Build up – construct a lot of buildings

Find out – discover information

Work on – dedicate time to perfect sth

Work out – find a solution/resolve

Carry out – perform an experiment

Come on – make progress

Come up with – think of

Turn into – become/change into

Plug in – connect to a power supply

Turn off – stop  machine from working

Come off – succeed

Look forward to – be excited about

THE ENVIRONMENT

Wildlife and the environment

Call off – cancel

Call for – require

Cut down (on) – reduce

Cut out – stop using/doing

Cut down (trees) – chop trees down

Clear up – when the weather becomes better/clean

Throw away – get rid of/put in the bin

Put down to – suggest that sth is the result of sth

Stand for – represent sth

Stand up for – defend/protect

Look after – take care of

Give off – emit (fumes etc.)

Die out – when all of sth dies

Face up to – accept as true

CRIME

Life, crime and society

Give up/in – stop doing

Back down – stop demanding sth

Get away with – not be punished for sth

Look into – investigate

Be into – be interested in

Get away – escape

Lock up – put in prison

Blow up – explode

Run away – flee/ escape by running

Beat up – attack with violence

Tell off – shout at

Let off – not punish/forgive

Break in – force entry

DESIGN

Design and creativity

Lay out – plan

Work out – solve/plan

Dream up – create an idea

Set out – organize/arrange

Make up – create a story/information

Go over – review

Set up – start and prepare for an activity

Think over – consider

Wear out – become exhausted or unusable

Grow out of – develop from a certain point

Do away with – get rid of

Draw up – create a plan of action

Dress up – get well dressed/put on a costume

Cut out – stop using/doing sth

RELATIONSHIPS

Happiness and relationships

Fall out with – argue with

Fall for – fall in love with

Get on with – be friends with

Get along with – have a good relationship with

Look up to – admire

Look down on – think badly of

Make up – make peace

Stand up for – protect/defend

Put up with – tolerate

Pick on – tease/make fun of

Put down – criticize

Look after – take care of

Go out with – be in a relationship with

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