Phrasal verbs are important to focus on if you’re trying to improve your English. Phrasal verbs can signify something quite different from the original verb since they are made up of a verb and one or more particles (prepositions or adverbs). They are commonly used in both spoken and written English.
Therefore, it’s important to familiarize yourself with them in order to enhance your comprehension and communication skills. The 20 most common phrasal verbs, their definitions, and examples of how to employ them in speech will all be covered in this article. So let’s get started!
A List of 20 Phrasal Verbs with Meanings and Example Sentences
1. Look up
Meaning: To search for information
Example: Can you look up the definition of the word for me?
2. Take off
Meaning: To remove or leave a place quickly
Example: I need to take off my coat before entering the building.
3. Bring up
Meaning: To mention a topic or care for a child
Example: She brought up the idea of going on vacation together.
4. Come Across
Meaning: To act in a way that leads others to assume you possess a certain characteristic.
Example: You have come across before me and expressed your desire.
5. Run into
Meaning: To meet someone unexpectedly
Example: I ran into my old friend from college at the grocery store.
6. Put off
Meaning: To postpone or delay something
Example: Mr. Jamal decided to put off the meeting until next month.
7. Look after
Meaning: to take care of someone or something
Example: Can you look after my child while I’m on vacation?
8. Get along
Meaning: To have a good relationship with someone
Example: I’m really lucky to get along with you for a long time.
9. Give up
Meaning: To stop doing something or stop trying to achieve something
Example: After failing the exam twice, he gave up and decided to pursue a different career.
10. Hold on
Meaning: To wait or pause for a moment
Example: Can you hold on until I meet my friend?
11. Turn up
Meaning: To arrive or appear unexpectedly
Example: He turned up at the party without an invitation.
12. Go through
Meaning: To experience or undergo something difficult
Example: She went through a lot of pain during her recovery from surgery.
13. Look forward to
Meaning: To anticipate or feel excited about something in the future
Example: I’m looking forward to my vacation next month.
14. Bring about
Meaning: To cause something to happen
Example: The new policy brought about significant changes in the workplace.
15. Give In
Meaning: To surrender or yield to someone or something
Example: She finally gave in to her son’s request to buy him a new toy.
16. Break down
Meaning: To stop functioning or have an emotional collapse
Example: My car broke down on the way to work this morning.
17. Set up
Meaning: To establish or arrange something
Example: After years of working for someone else, she set up her own business
18. Pick up
Meaning: To collect or acquire something
Example: I need to pick up some groceries on the way home from work.
19. Run out of
Meaning: To have no more of something
Example: We ran out of milk, so I must go to the store.
20. Take on
Meaning: To undertake or assume a task or responsibility
Example: He decided to take on the challenge of running a marathon.
You have now learned 20 of the most common phrasal verbs in English, along with their meanings and examples of how to use them. Remember, phrasal verbs are an essential part of everyday English, and being able to use them correctly can greatly improve your communication skills.
By practicing these phrasal verbs in your conversations and writing, you will become more confident and fluent in the English language. Keep practicing, and don’t be afraid to try new phrases and expressions. Good luck on your language learning journey!
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.