Phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs are very common in everyday English. Learning them is like learning new vocabulary. There are literally thousands of phrasal verbs in the English language (according to Google there are over 10,000) so realistically you won’t remember all of them but I do recommend learning at least some of the most common ones.

So how do you learn phrasal verbs? Here are some my tips:

  1. Set yourself a realistic target each week of how many phrasal verbs you want to learn. For example, you may want to set yourself a target of 10 new phrasal verbs a week
  2. Group the phrasal verbs you learn each week by particle (for example, think of 10 phrasal verbs using the particle “up” – e.g. “turn up”, “bring up”, “break up”, “sit up”, “drink up”, “look up”, “fill up”, “hang up”, “make up”, “open up”)
  3. Alternatively group the new phrasal verbs you learn by subject (for example, grouping them into emotions, describing friends, love and relationships etc.)
  4. Learn new phrasal verbs in context. For example, try watching a fun TV series like “Friends” with subtitles and make a note of any phrasal verbs you hear. Then check the phrasal verbs in your dictionary so you understand their meaning and make a note of them for future use
  5. Try and write down full sentences using each phrasal verb and ask your teacher to correct them for you. This will help to check you have understood their meaning
  6. Create paper flashcards with each phrasal verb to help you memorise them
  7. Think about situations that will help you remember a phrasal verb. For example, if you’ve recently eaten in a really nice restaurant (ok, so perhaps not recently!) attach that delicious meal you ate to the phrasal verb “eat out”
  8. Repetition is key. The more you use them, the easier it will be to remember them

So those are some of my tips and below I’ve included a little exercise for you. This is an imaginary story and I want you to try and identify how many phrasal verbs you can find. There are 18 in total so good luck. You will find the answers at the bottom of the page

This morning I woke up at 6:45. Unfortunately, I didn’t get up until 8:00 as I was feeling very tired. I didn’t sleep well as the night before I fell out with a friend and we had a big argument. He kept putting me down because my English is not improving. I didn’t like him banging on about this subject so we had a fight and I ended up going to bed very late. After having a shower, I put on my clothes, left my homestay and got on the tube to school. It took me 30 minutes to get to class. I wanted to get out of going to class as I was feeling very tired but I wanted to find out my level test result and pick up my certificate. Sometimes I want to give up learning English and drop out of school, but I need it to get a better job so this is important for me. I forgot to do my homework but my teacher forgot about it, so I got away with it. My teacher forgot to turn on the air conditioning, so the room was very hot. I didn’t understand some vocabulary so I needed to look up the words on my phone. After class, I met my friend and he apologised to me so we made up. We talked over everything and then ate out. Life in London is tiring but overall I’m enjoying it very much

Ready for the answers? Here is a list of the phrasal verbs in the infinitive form:

  1. wake up
  2. get up
  3. fall out
  4. put down
  5. bang on
  6. end up
  7. put on
  8. get on
  9. get out
  10. find out
  11. pick up
  12. give up
  13. drop out
  14. get away
  15. turn on
  16. look up
  17. make up
  18. eat out

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