Must-know phrasal verbs

10 must-know Phrasal Verbs for English Language Learners

Let’s start with a brief overview of Phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are idiomatic expressions that have a verb and another item, such as an adverb or a preposition. Understanding the pieces in isolation will not reveal the meaning of the phrasal verb. Mastering phrasal verbs is critical for advanced English speakers who want to improve their communication skills and avoid miscommunication. You will appear to be a fluent English speaker if you use and understand Phrasal verbs.

Learning tip:
Don’t consider phrasal verbs as merely a list of words to be memorized. No one is going to question you over them! Try to obtain a sense of the meanings and recognize them when you hear them in conversation. Then gradually try to include them in your English speaking. This language immersion method of learning a language will help you to permanently incorporate these phrasal verbs into your vocabulary.

The list below describes ten frequent phrasal verbs that ESL students should be familiar with. See how many you recognize.

1) Call it off

To stop or cancel something.
For example, “We will call off the wedding if we can’t agree on the details”

2) Give in

To concede defeat, in relation to people or activities.
For example, “Jack was tired of arguing with Jill so he eventually said “I give in” and that ended the argument”

3) Keep up (with something)

Can be used literally, i.e. maintaining the same pace as something, or figuratively, i.e. maintaining adequate knowledge about something.
For example, “Keep up or you’ll get lost in the crowd” or “As the head science teacher Mr. Brown must keep up with the latest scientific research”

4) Look up (to someone)

Admire and respect a person.
For example, “John looks up to his uncle and regularly asks for his opinion and advice”

5) Chip in

To help or give assistance.
For example, “I’ll chip in so that the kitchen can be cleaned quicker” or “If everyone chips in the project will be easier to complete”

6) Working something out

Finding a solution to a problem or familiarizing yourself with a new concept.
For example, “Jane is working out how to use all the features on her new mobile phone”

7) Look something up

To research information about a topic.
For example, “I need to look up that word, I don’t understand it” or “I need to look up how to get to Smith Street because I’ve never been then before”

8) Get along

To have a good relationship with someone.
For example, “I get along with my neighbor; we talk to each other every day”

9) Grow into

To develop, change, or mature; either physically or mentally.
For example, “Peter has grown into his role at work, he is a lot more confident” or “The baby has grown into her winter coat, it used to be much too large for her”

10) Go ahead

To start something, can also suggest giving permission.
For example, “I’m going to go ahead and cook dinner” or “The boss gave the go ahead on Peter’s big project”

Understanding phrasal verbs is vital for English language learners who want to communicate like native speakers. Now, are you ready to start learning Phrasal Verbs?

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