30 phrasal verbs Advanced English students should know how to use
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Now let’s talk phrasal verbs…
I know what you’re thinking: What’s a phrasal verb? It’s a combination of two (or sometimes three) words that acts like a verb in a sentence to describe an action. Using the two words together gives the phrase a new meaning that each word alone does not have.
Let’s take break down as an example. Alone, each word has its own meaning, but together they indicate something different. Break down actually has two common meanings: first, it means to stop working (“The car broke down!”). Second, it means to become upset, such as when we say someone “breaks down in tears.”
So now you know what a phrasal verb is. There are hundreds of these combinations in English, but some are more common and important for an advanced English student to know. Let’s look at 29 more:
30 phrasal verbs an Advanced English student should know how to use
Ask out: to invite someone to go on a date.
“She asked him out to the movies!”
Blow up: to make something explode, OR to inflate.
“Stuff is always blowing up in movies.”
“Let’s blow up the beach ball and play!”
Break up: to stop dating someone.
“We decided to break up since he was moving to the UK.”
Call off: to cancel or decide not to do something.
“We had to call off the party when she got sick.”
Check out: to leave a hotel OR to pay for something at a store OR to examine or explore something to see what it’s all about.
“We have to check out of the hotel at ten.”
“I’ve got all the groceries now, we can go check out.”
“Check out this amazing comic book!”
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Come from: to originate or be born in.
“Where do you come from?”
Do up: to attach a piece of clothing using buttons, laces, or a zipper.
“He can’t do up his own coat or shoes yet, he’s only two.”
Drop in: to go somewhere without announcing or planning it. (Also drop by or drop over.)
“We can drop in on her while we’re in town.”
End up: to reach something or somewhere, eventually or by accident.
“We ended up all the way at the end of the subway line!”
Figure out: to find the answer.
“Can you figure out what two plus two equals?”
Find out: to discover a secret or something you did not know.
“I found out how old the teacher is!”
Get away with: to not be punished for doing something wrong.
“How did he get away with not doing his homework?”
Give away: to offer without asking for something in return, OR to reveal a secret.
“They are giving away cookies at the store today.”
“Don’t give away the ending of the book!”
Give up: to stop trying.
“Don’t give up on your spoken English practice, you’re getting really good!”
Go ahead: to start, to proceed.
“Go ahead without me, I’ll be there soon!”
Go over: to review or examine something again, or to visit.
“Let’s go over your English pronouns again.”
“I want to go over to Jennie’s house!”
Hand out: to distribute.
“The teacher will hand out the tests at the beginning of class.”
Log in / log out: to sign in or out of a website, an email program, etc.
“The computer won’t let me log in.”
“Don’t forget to log out when you’re done.”
Look into: to examine or investigate.
“We need to look into extra English tutoring for her.”
Make up: to forgive one another after a fight, or to invent something.
“You two should shake hands and make up.”
“Don’t make up stories about where you’ve been, tell me the truth.”
Mix up: to confuse one thing for another.
“I always mix up the words angel and angle.”
Pass out: to distribute, or to become unconscious.
“Now I’ll pass out your essays.”
“Don’t stand up too fast, you might pass out!”
Put off: to delay doing something, or to be offended or upset.
“We need to put off the barbecue since it’s going to rain today.”
“She was put off by the smell of the onions.”
Run into: to meet someone unexpectedly, or to make contact with a physical object.
“I always run into Melissa at the mall!”
“She ran into the wall and knocked out her tooth.”
Sleep over: to stay the night somewhere else.
“Can I sleep over at Angie’s tomorrow?”
Turn down: to refuse.
“Why would you turn down a great job like that?”
Try out: to test or attempt.
Work out: to exercise, or to succeed.
“I try to work out three times a week at the gym.”
“It will all work out fine, you’ll see.”
There are many more of these in the English language. You can test out your command of phrasal verbs with a Native English teacher and ask them to offer more examples of phrasal verbs during a Skype class. Before you know it, you’ll be using them like a pro!
Keywords: Advanced English Student
Tags: Keywords: Advanced English Student