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20 Common Phrasal Verbs

20 common

phrasal verbs

20 common phrasal verbs to learn

Native English speakers use phrasal verbs all the time, so if you’re looking to improve your English, especially your spoken English, then you should be learning and using phrasal verbs to help you improve your overall communication and understanding of English.

A phrasal verb is a phrase of at least two words that acts like a verb. Be careful with phrasal verbs as sometimes the meaning is not very clear. They can be confusing as they do not always translate well.

A standard phrasal verb consists of a verb + a preposition

Common prepositions used in phrasal verbs are: up, down, on, off, in, out, away, over

Here are 20 common phrasal verbs:

 

TURN ON/OFF

To start or stop the power or energy source 

Can you turn off the lights before you go to sleep?

 

HURRY UP

To start moving faster or to do something faster

I wish the bus would hurry up, it’s cold outside.

 

FILL IN/OUT

To complete the blanks on a form with information

Please fill in your name, address, and telephone number. 

 

PASS BY

To go or move past without stopping

Three buses passed by, but none of them was the right one.

 

CUT BACK ON

To reduce or consume less

I need to cut back on sweets and fatty food. I’m getting fat!

 

RUN OUT

To have none left

We’ve run out of milk.  Can you get some on the way home?

 

CALL OFF

To cancel something

We had to call off the concert due to the bad weather.

 

GO OVER

To review something 

Go over your receipt to make sure they charged you correctly.

 

CALM DOWN

To relax after being angry or stressed

She was furious at first but later she calmed down a bit.

 

DROP IN/ BY/ OVER

To make a casual visit without an appointment or invitation

I might drop in/by/over for a coffee this weekend.

 

EAT OUT

To eat outside of your house at a restaurant

I don’t feel like cooking, let’s eat out tonight.

 

FIGURE OUT

To understand or to find the answer

I’m so confused, I can’t figure out how this works.

 

TURN UP

1. To increase the volume or strength of something

I love this song, turn it up!

2. To appear suddenly

She turned up 2 minutes before the meeting started.

 

HANG OUT

To spend time with someone, usually just relaxing, but can also be used when going somewhere.

Let’s hang out this weekend.

 

DROP OFF

To take somebody/   something somewhere and leave them/it there

I’ll drop your bags off this evening. Just let me know once you’re home.

 

LOOK FORWARD TO

To be excited about an event that is going to happen in the future

I look forward to meeting you next week.

 

BREAK DOWN

1.To stop working/ functioning 

Our car broke down on the highway.

2. To lose control of your feelings and start crying

She broke down when she heard the sad news.

3. To be able to be divided into parts or groups

The report breaks down into five section

 

TAKE OFF

1. For a plane to depart  

My flight took off late.

2. For a vehicle to leave very quickly  

I saw a car hit another car and it took off immediately!  

3. To undress or remove clothing/accessories

Please take off your shoes before you come in.

 

TURN DOWN

1. To decrease the volume or strength of something

We usually turn the heating down at night.

2. To decline/not accept an offer or proposal

I turned down the job because I got a better job offer.

Unfortunately, his novel was turned down by the publisher.

 

 

PASS OUT

1. To faint or lose consciousness

Many people passed out due to the extreme heatwave.

2. To distribute or give out something

The teacher asked us to pass out the papers in class.

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