Common Phrasal Verbs
In English, we use a
special kind of verb
called a phrasal
to express certain actions.
These verbs are two-three words long because they contain a preposition
(or sometimes both
that are part of
They are very important in English, and there are some
actions that we just can't express without them.
Learn how to use them in sentences
and start studying them in small groups. Soon you'll use them like a
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
Here is an example of a phrasal verb:
Frank is talking to his
co-workers. He tells them that he is going to
buy his first house! They are very happy for him.
In this conversation, they find
out that he is going to buy a house.
In English, there are some actions that we can describe best with phrasal
In the example above, find
discover or to get news of something for the first time. This meaning
is best expressed with the phrasal verb find out
are lots of these verbs that include a preposition or adverb (or both).
they are very important and they have special meanings, it is best to
learn them in small groups.
Work with the five verbs below. It's a good idea to review the page on
how to use phrasal
and the page about separable
and inseparable phrasal verbs
the examples below and write some examples of your own. This will
really help you remember!
See these articles:
to Study Vocabulary Words
for Teaching Vocabulary: How Can You Teach (or Learn) New Words?
Now, let's start!
1. Find out
As we saw above, this phrasal verb means to get news of something for
the first time.
- Chris just found
out that he is getting a raise. He is really glad that his
managers see how hard he is working.
- Natalie found
out that she is pregnant. She and Ken are so excited!
- Jacqueline never remembers holidays. She just found out
that she doesn't have to work tomorrow. She's going to relax!
2. Leave out
phrasal verb means to omit or exclude. We use it when we do not include
information in an explanation or report, or when we don't include a
person in an activity.
- Please give a complete report of what happened. Don't leave out
- It's not nice to leave your
of your games. Please let her play, too!
- Brent hates to be left out
when the other kids play. He always finds a way to participate!
3. Look up
This phrasal verb means to search for the definition of something in a
dictionary or encyclopedia.
- If you don't know a word you find in a story, look it up right
away. That way, you'll understand it in context.
- I looked
up Ethiopia in the encyclopedia and learned all kinds of
- It's so easy to look up
information on the internet nowadays! Sam loves to read online
4. Put away
This phrasal verb means to store or to put an object in its proper
- I just went to the supermarket and bought all this food.
Can you help me put
in the cabinets?
- The kids don't like to put away
their toys when they're done playing. The play room is always such a
- Gladys's room is very neat now that she's put away
all her clean clothes.
5. Set up
This phrasal verb means to arrange. We can use it for physical objects,
events, or electronic accounts.
- Before you can use the online learning system, you need to set up an
account with a user name and a password.
- Irene set
up a meeting with the Human Resources department for this
afternoon. Are you available?
- Ralph had to set
the camera up
before they could begin filming. He hopes he's done it right!
practicing these phrasal verbs! Try making your own sentences and visit
the other pages in the Phrasal Verbs section to keep learning these
important verbs. You'll do great!