Phrasal verbs are often used by native speakers in everyday conversation so it’s important to learn them if you want to speak more naturally in English. In this blog, we will teach you 20 common English phrasal verbs. You can learn all of their meanings through clear explanations and example sentences.
Phrasal verbs are a great way to improve your English. Natives use phrasal verbs commonly, so they can help you to communicate as well as improve your vocabulary knowledge.
Phrasal verbs are used very commonly in English conversations, especially in more informal contexts. They are made up of a verb and a particle or, sometimes, two particles. The particle often changes the meaning of the verb. If you are looking for 20 phrasal verbs with sentences, you can find them on this page.
A phrasal verb is a phrase of at least two words that acts like a verb, so it is the action of your sentence. Phrasal verbs can be misleading because they are not always translated well and sometimes the meaning is not very clear.
An example of a not very clear phrasal verb is “pass away” ;
I am sad because the veterinarian said my cat is going to pass away.
Generally, phrasal verbs consist of a Verb part + a Preposition part. A Preposition tells about Position. Common prepositions you can see used in phrasal verbs are on, off, up, down, in, out, over, away. Sometimes, you can use the meaning of the preposition to understand the meaning of the phrasal verb.
20 Common Phrasal Verbs with Examples
You can practice your English grammar tenses using phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are very good to practice your English tenses! You can change phrasal verbs into any tense you want because they are miscellaneous. When combining a phrasal verb, you should only change the verb part of the phrase, and not the preposition part.
Example: CORRECT = My cat passed away. INCORRECT = My cat pass awayed. INCORRECT = My cat passed awayed.
Here, you can see a list of some common phrasal verbs to add to your vocabulary, or to notice when listening to English content. You should try to determine the tense used in the example sentences!
1. Call off / Call (something) off : to cancel
Examples: They need to call off the meeting due to the weather. They need to call the meeting off because it is going to rain. The trip was called off because of bad weather. We have called off our engagement.
2. Calm down : relax after being angry
Examples: She can sit with us after she has calmed down. Look, calm down! We'll find him. He waited inside until things calmed down. She took a few deep breaths to calm herself down.
3. Catch up : to get to the same point as another person
Examples: After his week of vacation, it’s going to take him forever to catch up! Go on ahead. She'll catch up with you . He'll catch you up. I'll catch up after I cook the lasagne and clean up the house. She ran faster to catch up to him and saw the other people at the bottom of the hill.
4. Do over / Do (something) over : do again
Examples: He has to do the e-mail over because he sent it to the wrong person. The actors had to do a scene over because the play should be perfect. Keep doing your essay over until it is excellent. Let’s do over the walls in blue They did the whole garden over to make it bigger.
5. Eat out : eat at a restaurant
Examples: Let’s cook lasagne tonight, I’m tired of eating out. I don't feel like eating out today. Why is eating out unhealthy? I can find healthy foods when I prefer eating out.
6. Figure out / Figure (something) out – understand or find the answer
Examples: I can't figure out what I'm allergic to. She can't figure out what she wants to do for a career. I'll figure out what to do to solve the problem. They left early because they figured out the problem.
7. Give up / Give (something) up : stop trying, quit
Examples: She gave up caffeine last month. I'll give up this fight. I gave up sugar for a year. I give up trying quotes. He doesn't give up easily.
8. Go over (something) : review
Examples: Go over your work before you submit it. Go over your receipt to make sure they charged you correctly. She went over the events of the day in her mind. I went over my credit limits.
9. Hang out : spend time relaxing (informal)
Examples: The local people hang out at the shopping mall. I don’t have any money, let’s just hang out at my house. I hang out with my friends in French. She only hangs out on weekends.
10. Hold on : wait for a moment
Examples: Hold on while we register this device. Hold on while I overthink this. Hold on when all of this is over. Hold on one secong, I’m on the phone.
11. Keep on (doing something) : continue what you are doing
Examples: Keep on until you get to the school. She wants to keep on with part-time work for as long as possible. The rain kept on all day. I don't want you to stop keep on going I asked her to wait, but she kept on walking.
12. Look for / Look for (something or somebody) : search for, or try to find
Examples: I will be looking for your response. He was looking for a computer, but he got a tablet instead. I'm looking for a job near me. I looked for my book everywhere. I looked for my missing baseball.
13. Pass out : faint, lose consciousness
Examples: The weather is so hot today I might pass out. I might pass out because of too much stress. She passed out because of the blast. He passed out because of pain. I passed out when I was drunk.
14. Put off / Put (something) off : postpone
Examples: It's too late to put the meeting off now. We put the trip off because the weather was terrible. I put off making decisions. He put him off with the excuse that he had too much work to do. I think we should put the trip off until we save more money.
15. Put on / Put (something) on : put clothing or accessories on your body
Examples: She looked so silly when she put that hat on. I put on this coat everyday. When I go to party, I put on my jewelry. She put on her comfortable dress when she goes to the cinema.
16. Throw away / Throw (something) away : put in the garbage, dispose of
Examples: The old table should be thrown away. He doesn't need that paper, you can throw it away. I accidentally threw away my cake! I throw away the key because you don't need them. I threw away my old insurance license.
17. Turn on/off – Turn (something) on/off : start or stop the power or energy source
Examples: She couldn't understand the lecture so she just turned it off. Can you turn off the music because I can't concentrate on his work? I'll turn the television on. Turn on the heating because it's cold today.
18. Wake up : stop sleeping
Examples: Wake up! It's seven o'clock. A cold shower soon wake her up. You'll wake up the neighbours with that noise He was so loud, that he woke up the baby.
19. Work out : exercise
Examples: She works out regularly to keep fit. He prefers to work out in the mornings. I like working out but I hate gym. He enjoys working out at the gym every night after work.
20. Work out : be successful
Examples: She wasn’t happy at first, but it all worked out in the end. His first job didn't work out. Things have worked out quiet well for in the end. If it doesn't work out, you can come back here.
Thank you for reading our blog. Please share your favorite phrasal verb on the comment section.