Phrasal verbs are composed of A VERB AND A PREPOSITION. 

Even a beginner in English learning knows some of them (maybe not realising it) like for example “wake up”, “stand up” or “sit down”. There are really many phrasal verbs and they might be really confusing.

EXAMPLES of phrasal verbs.

Some words can go with many different prepositions and each composition has a separate meaning. Take “look” as an example. There’s “look for”, “look after”, ”look into”, “look up”, “look around”, “look down on and I haven’t finished! Each of them means something completely different. The preposition might sometimes be an indicator that can help you understand the phrasal verb. Like “up” can mean the direction, or that you have finished the action (“drink up: drink all, the whole glass) but it’s not always the case. Most of phrasal verbs have to be memorised as “NORMAL” WORDS. “Look for” should be memorised like “search”, like it was one word.

Do ENGLISH PEOPLE USE PHRASAL VERBS?

If you ask an English person about phrasal verbs, they might not even know what they are, but they use them all the time! That’s because they are part of the vocabulary, not something additional, extra. And you can’t speak or understand English well without knowing them. Of course some are more common in use, some less.

The BEST WAY TO STUDY PHRASAL VERBS is to put them in various contexts.

Learn them one at a time and forget they are phrasal verbs, treat them as part of English vocabulary. The funnier the context, the more you are going to REMEMBER them. 😉

How you SHOULD NOT study phrasal verbs.

What I personally don’t advice is to study lists of them by heart (memorise) like for example you take a list of phrasal verbs with “get” and then you study “get on”, “get over”, “get rid of”, “get through”etc. This method might be boring, time-consuming, confusing, and at the end you might still not know how to use any of them in an ACTUAL REAL CONVERSATION.

Learning section: English phrasal verbs.

Click on a picture to learn the definition and the explanation of every English phrasal verb. Use the menu to filter by category and use the search field to find phrasal verbs. Listen to the audio recordings for the correct pronunciation of the dialogues and practise it yourself!