English Phrasal Verbs
are scared by English
phrasal verbs, but they aren't really too scary. If you have a strategy
for learning them, they can be just as easy to learn as other English
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So what are English phrasal verbs?
A phrasal verb is a verb that is combined with an adverb
. The combination creates a new meaning.
The meaning of the combination of words is not usually obvious from the
definitions of the two words separately.
= to move very quickly with your legs.
("She can run
= in the direction of something.
("He looked into
into = to meet someone by accident.
("I ran into
= to create or do something.
= to a higher point.
up = invent (a story, an excuse).
("It has never happened. He made the
whole thing up!")
= to place something somewhere.
("He put the plates on the table.")
= to a higher point.
("She is happy with
up with = to tolerate.
("I cannot put
this behavior any more!")
up = to stand up after sitting or lying.
("It's hard for him to stand up on his own.")
on = to dress yourself in something.
("Put on your gloves. It's Cold outside.")
- Fall for
= to begin to love someone.
("He fell for her the minute he saw her.")
How to remember English phrasal verbs?
1. Phrasal verb = single meaning
first thing to do with phrasal verbs is to learn them as phrases and
not only as separate words. Try to remember them as if they were a
2. Group phrasal verbs together
The second thing that will help you is to remember them in groups.
For example, make a list of phrasal verbs with the word get
in them and try
to remember them.
you find it easier, you can put them in groups of verbs with the same
. For example, phrasal verbs including the word up
There are special books with lists of phrasal verbs that can help you
do just that.
3. Your own sentences
The third thing that will help you learn phrasal verbs is to make up or write
that will help you remember how they are used.
4. Other necessary prepositions
The fourth important thing about phrasal verbs is to remember if there
are any other prepositions which always follow them.
example: "He gets
Separable and inseparable phrasal verbs
There are two kinds of phrasal verbs: separable and inseparable.
Separable phrasal verbs
can have the object in the middle of
the two words.
Inseparable phrasal verbs
example: "He put
must have the object after
example: "He fell for his
best friend's sister."
Separable phrasal verbs can take the object in between the two words, or after the two words.
example: "She put
her socks on,"
or "She put on
or making up sentences with the phrasal verbs you are trying to learn
will help you to remember whether they are separable or inseparable.
Useful English phrasal verbs activities
that may help you remember phrasal verbs include memorizing them and
writing sentences using the phrases, then looking back at your notes
Also, writing the two parts of the verb on
different pieces of paper and trying to match them up again may also
help you remember them.
This is especially useful if you have
a visual memory, or if you remember things by doing actions, rather than
just reading or speaking.
There are many books and websites
that can help you learn phrasal verbs.
can buy books which include lists of thousands of phrasal verbs, and
some which have a more exercise-based approach to helping you learn.
resources you use, they are no substitute for you studying English
phrasal verbs yourself, and using them in your speech and your writing.
The more you use any vocabulary, the easier it will be to remember it.
So keep practicing and be sure to visit
the other pages in this section:
and Inseparable Phrasal Verbs
Illustrated Worksheet on Phrasal Verbs
Phrasal Verbs with "Up"
Phrasal Verbs with "Back"