By now, as your English is advancing, I’m sure you’re learning more and more phrasal verbs, idioms, expressions, and slang. Now, at the same time, I’m pretty sure that, as an English language learner, you have probably been struggling with learning these things, right? Trust me, I know that phrasal verbs can be very tricky, so let’s just start with the basics. What is a phrasal verb? Well, a phrasal verb is an idiomatic phrase that consists of a verb and another element, which is typically an adverb. You know, I can almost guarantee that you’ve either heard, or used, phrasal verbs before, and may not have even known it. Phrases such as “hold on”, “look out”, and “sit up”, are all phrasal verbs! Now, as a teacher, I use the phrasal verb “sit up” almost everyday, so it’s pretty common for me. Also, as a parent, I use the phrasal ver “look out” a lot too because for some reason, my kids never watch where they are going. However, what are some really useful phrasal verbs that you can use every day? Is the suspense killing you? No worries, let’s jump right in.
Learn & Use 100 English Phrasal Verbs
Ever heard the phrasal verb “get away”? Hopefully it wasn’t in a negative way or manner, although, this phrasal verb “get away” can also be used negatively.
This phrasal verb just means “to escape from a person, place, or thing.”
- She tried to get away from her attacker, but she was unsuccessful.
- The police officer grabbed the thief, but he got away.
- My dog got away from me while at the park on Sunday.
- Don’t let her get away! She stole the jewels!
- My mom said that I would never get away from my hometown, but look at me now!
Woah, this phrasal verb sure does bring back memories. I remember hearing this almost every day from my mom. She would always tell me to “get up” and help her clean the house. Sound familiar to you, too? It’s funny. Now, I too tell my kids to “get up” and help me clean the house.
This phrasal verb just means “to get into a standing position OR to wake up, then stand up after sleeping”.
- Get up off the floor and stop acting like a child.
- He was told not to get up during class.
- I wanted to go to the bathroom, but the pilot said not to get up during turbulence.
- I didn’t want to get up this morning! I’m so tired!
- Please get up and get dressed for school.
This phrasal verb is pretty common, however, it may be the first time you’ve ever heard it. I can say that I typically use this phrasal verb when I’m speaking to other native English speakers. However, I can’t recall ever teaching this or using it with my ELL students and friends.
This phrasal verb just means “to admit that you’ve been defeated by someone or something”.
- The bank doesn’t intend to give in to the thief’s demands.
- The children were forced to give in.
- The new tennis champion refused to give in, and thus he went on to become an Olympian.
- Her husband finally gave in and admitted that he had an affair.
- She is very competitive and doesn’t like to give in to anyone or anything.
Have you ever been to a party with other native English speakers? You may have been able to hear something along the lines of this….
Bill: Man, what a great turn out!
Samantha: Yeah, I didn’t think many people would come, but this party turned out great.
Hmmm. I wonder what this could mean? Well, let’s take a look.
This phrasal verb just means “to happen in a particular way, or to have a particular result, especially one that you did not expect”.
- I was worried at first. I didn’t have a job, but everything turned out well.
- It turned out that Amy was actually my friend’s sister.
- It turns out that the movie was an action film after all; I really thought it would be a comedy.
- It turned out to be an elaborate hoax.
- The wedding turned out to be a bit grim, with the bride running away just minutes before the ceremony.
“Call off” is a phrasal verb that is typically used in a negative way. When you need to “call off” something, it means you have to cancel it. So, as you can imagine, we have been using this phrase quite a lot lately. You know, with the whole coronavirus pandemic and all. I have had trips, weddings, and even funerals that were all called off due to the spread of Covid19.
So, like I said, this phrasal verb just means “to decide that something will not happen”.
- Chelsey was forced to call off her wedding due to the pandemic.
- I had to call off the rest of our trip when I caught food poisoning on the first day.
- I’m not sure if you know, but Joy called off the meeting today. You don’t have to be at work until 10AM.
- Please call off the football game. It is not fair! We have too many injured players.
- They called off their engagement due to her infidelity.
Well, there you have it! Here are five different phrasal verbs that you can use everyday. Remember, phrasal verbs, idioms, and expressions are all things that are seldom taught. Most people learn these through conversation. So, it’s possible that many of your fellow ELL friends and family are not aware of these phrasal verbs. Don’t let that keep you from using and practicing these! If you think they may not understand you, well, odds are you’re right! They will probably not going to understand you, however, you can use this as a teaching opportunity for them. Trust me, you won’t regret it! It’s a win-win for everyone!