verb

Why are Phrasal verbs important?

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Phrasal verbs are phrases that indicate actions. They are generally used in spoken English and informal texts. Phrasal verbs are important because they are extremely common in informal English, and unless you are familiar with their meanings, understanding informal language will be difficult. In addition, learning to use phrasal verbs correctly will help you sound natural in casual conversation.

phrasal verb combines a normal verb with an adverb or a preposition to create an entirely new verbal phrase, the phrasal verb. Phrasal verbs often function as informal versions of more formal expressions.

List of Common English Phrasal Verbs and their Meanings:

Phrasal Verb Meaning Example
blow up explode The terrorists tried to blow up the railroad station.
bring up mention a topic My mother brought up that little matter of my prison record again.
bring up raise children It isn’t easy to bring up children nowadays.
call-off cancel They called off this afternoon’s meeting
do-over repeat a job Do this homework over.
fill out complete a form Fill out this application form and mail it in.
fill up fill to capacity She filled up the grocery cart with free food.
find out discover My sister found out that her husband had been planning a surprise party for her.
give away give something to someone else for free The filling station was giving away free gas.
give back return an object My brother borrowed my car. I have a feeling he’s not about to give it back.
hand in submit something (assignment) The students handed in their papers and left the room.
hang up put something on hook or receiver She hung up the phone before she hung up her clothes.
hold up delay I hate to hold up the meeting, but I have to go to the bathroom.
hold up (2) rob Three masked gunmen held up the Security Bank this afternoon.
leave out omit You left out the part about the police chase down Asylum Avenue.
look over examine, check The lawyers looked over the papers carefully before questioning the witness. (They looked them over carefully.)
look up search in a list You’ve misspelled this word again. You’d better look it up.
make up invent a story or lie She knew she was in trouble, so she made up a story about going to the movies with her friends.
make out hear, understand He was so far away, we really couldn’t make out what he was saying.
pick out choose There were three men in the line-up. She picked out the guy she thought had stolen her purse.
pick up lift something off something else The crane picked up the entire house. (Watch them pick it up.)
point out call attention to As we drove through Paris, Francoise pointed out the major historical sites.
put away save or store We put away money for our retirement. She put away the cereal boxes.
put off postpone We asked the boss to put off the meeting until tomorrow. (Please put it off for another day.)
put on put clothing on the body put on a sweater and a jacket. (I put them on quickly.)
put out extinguish The firefighters put out the house fire before it could spread. (They put it out quickly.)
read over peruse read over the homework, but couldn’t make any sense of it.
set up to arrange, begin My wife set up the living room exactly the way she wanted it. She set it up.
take down make a written note These are your instructions. Write them down before you forget.
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