Phrasal Verbs


... something you GAVE UP recently.
... someone you have
... something you need to
WORK OUT sooner or later.

Phrasal verbs - students' most hated grammar part. When you are learning English they simply don't make sense. The trick is to become acquainted with them. Read, listen, watch (informal) work and when you feel you can, don't be afraid to just use them. The quickest way to learn is making mistakes, and by making mistakes you'll remember exactly in which context they're or aren't appropriate.

What is a phrasal verb?

A phrasal verb is a combination of two or three words from different grammatical categories — a verb, a particle, an adverb and/or a preposition.
Phrasal verbs indicate actions, are often used in spoken English and informal texts.

Literal of figurative

Some phrasal verbs have a literal meaning. They can be easily understood.
e.g. She walked across the street.
The girl literally walked from one side to the other side of the street.

Other phrasal verbs have a figurative meaning which makes them more difficult to understand.
e.g. Can you stay up and wait for me tonight?
In this case ‘stay up‘ does not mean ‘remain’  (as in staying in the same place). It has a figurative meaning and means ‘to stay awake’.

Seperable or inseparable

Sometimes, the preposition/adverb is placed either after the verb or after the object.
e.g. She made up the bed. – She made the bed up.

Note: If the object is a pronoun, the preposition/adverb has to be placed after the pronoun (object).
e.g. She made it up. Put it down. Take it off.

Some phrasal verbs are always inseparable.
e.g. I came across old photos in a drawer. NOT I came old photos across in a drawer.

In our day-to-day life we use phrasal verbs more frequently than you think.

Read the text below and

  • Underline the (….) phrasal verbs you ‘come across’
  • Try to guess their meaning from context

A fairly-odd morning 

Usually, I have quite a normal morning routine; my alarm goes off at 7am and I slowly wake up, I reach for my phone on my bed stand and catch up with the latest news. Around 7.30 I get up and walk to the bathroom, I brush my teeth and then take a shower. I put on my clothes for work while I switch on the coffee machine and soon after set off for work around 8.30.

However, this morning was a little chaotic and that because of one little change; a power cut! At some point last night, the electricity went off, and therefore, my alarm didn’t end up ringing. Instead I woke up at 9am and was super late for work. I had a go at the electricity man of my apartment building, but it turned out it happened all over town. 

Annoyed with myself, I stormed out the house and bumped into my boss. Thankfully, the same happened to him, so he couldn’t tell me off. We joked about the situation and speeded up our walking pace to not get behind too much. We got to work at 10am, clocked in and got straight on it. Gosh, we had a lot of work to catch up with. 

Some of my colleagues were incredibly understanding and took on a few of my tasks to meet my pending deadlines. None ran out of patience, and together we put up with the situation as it was. It was a real test, but it all worked out perfectly. 

At the end of the day, we went for dinner and toasted our efforts made. What a day, what a day!

Download the worksheet below to complete the exercise and deepen your practise!

Questions, doubts, still unclear?

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