What Are Phrasal Verbs with examples

Phrasal verbs are verbs that are combined with prepositions or adverbs to create new meanings

What Are Phrasal Verbs?

Phrasal verbs are verbs combined with prepositions or adverbs to create new verb meanings. Some examples are “take off,” “look into,” and “carry on.” As you can see, they allow you to express ideas more concisely than using only one verb.

Where Are Phrasal Verbs Used?

Phrasal verbs are used extensively in spoken and informal written English. You’ll hear them in everyday conversations, read them in novels or blogs, and even find them in headlines and business reports. However, they are used less frequently in very formal writing like academic text.

How Are Phrasal Verbs Helpful?

Getting comfortable using phrasal verbs will make your English sound much more natural and fluent. They allow you to say in two or three words what would otherwise require many more words. Compare “call off” versus “cancel” and “figure out” versus “understand after thinking.” See how much quicker and smoother phrasal verbs sound?

Phrasal verbs also provide alternative words to overused verbs like “get,” “make,” and “put.” Rather than saying “get angry,” you could use “lash out.” This adds variety to your vocabulary.

Finally, phrasal verbs sometimes express very specific meanings that single words may not convey. For example, “brush up on” means “review” and “break down” can mean “lose emotional control.” Learning phrasal verbs expands your ability to communicate nuanced ideas.

Some examples of common phrasal verbs in English are:

Here is a list of phrasal verbs from A-Z with their meanings and example sentences:

Act up – Misbehave
“The kids always act up when the substitute teacher is in class.”

Blow up – Explode, destroy
“The experiment blew up in the lab.”

Call off – Cancel
“They called off the meeting at the last minute.”

Die down – Subside, diminish
“The storm eventually died down.”

Enlarge on – Expand, give more details
“In his speech, he enlarged on his party’s plans.”

Figure out – Understand, solve
“I finally figured out how to fix the printer.”

Give up – Quit, abandon
“She gave up trying to learn Japanese after a few lessons.”

Hand in – Submit
“We have to hand in our essays by Friday.”

Iron out – Resolve, settle
“We need to iron out the details of the contract.”

Jot down – Write briefly
“She jotted down a few notes during the lecture.”

Keep on – Continue
“He kept on working despite his illness.”

Let down – Disappoint
“Her bad grade let down her parents.”

Make over – Renovate, redo
“They decided to make over the living room.”

Nod off – Fall asleep
“I nodded off during the long meeting.”

Open up – Begin talking honestly
“She opened up about her struggles after some encouragement.”

Pass out – Distribute
“The teacher passed out the test papers.”

Quiet down – Become quieter
“The students quieted down when the teacher entered.”

Run out – Have none left
“We ran out of milk this morning.”

Show up – Arrive, appear
“My cousin showed up at my house unannounced.”

Take after – Resemble
“The son takes after his father.”

Use up – Finish, consume entirely
“That recipe uses up all my butter.”

Voice over– Narrate
“She voiced over the documentary.”

Watch out – Be careful
“Watch out for potholes in the road.”

X out – Cross out, eliminate
“I x’ed out the items I had already packed.”

Yearn for – Desire, long for
“She yearns for success.”

Zip up – Close with a zipper
“Zip up your coat, it’s cold outside.”

Click here for more Phrasal Verbs with ‘A’.

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