VerbsVocabulary

Phrasal verbs

A phrasal verb


is a phrase that consists of a verb and a preposition or a verb and an adverb or both. The meaning depends on the adverb or preposition.


What does that mean?

The verb get is used in the following phrasal verbs. You will see that when we change the adverb or preposition after a verb, the meaning of the phrase changes.

  • Get means to obtain, receive, earn, or acquire.
  • I get up every morning. To get up means to rise.
  • She gets away every weekend. To get away means to leave your environment for another.
  • We get by every month. To get by means to have enough resources (money, food, gas, etc…)

Some phrasal verbs are separable.

These are transitive: they can take a direct object. The direct object can separate the verb and the preposition or the verb and the adverb.

  • It’s cold outside. Please put on your coat now. Please put your coat on now. Please put it on now.
  • Can you please look up his number? Can you please look his number up ? Can you please look it up?
  • We had to clean up the mess after the party. We had to clean the mess up after the party. We had to clean it up after the party.

More phrasal verbs:

  • ask around
    • I have not heard that we are expecting a client today, but I will ask around.
  • back into
    • She always backs her car into the garage.
  • back up
    • We back up our computers and phones every day.
    • You are too close to me. Back up!
  • break in
    • I do not like new shoes. They hurt my feet until I break them in.
    • Thieves broke in and stole my iPad.
  • break out
    • Break out the champagne and let’s celebrate!
    • He was so nervous, he broke out in hives.
  • break up
    • I will break up my chocolate bar and share it with all of you.
    • The police broke up a fight.
  • break down
    • When my car breaks down, I call my mechanic.
    • They would like to break down the wall between the living room and dining room.
  • bring up
    • Paige will bring it up at the meeting because it’s an important point.
    • They brought up 3 very polite children.
  • call back
    • I called you back, but there was no answer.
    • Laec is not here at the moment, can you please call back?
  • call off
    • The meeting was called off because three people cannot attend.
    • Tatiana and Kieran called off the wedding.
  • check in
    • I have to check in with my parents every day.
    • Ivy cannot check in to the hotel before 3 PM.
  • check out
    • Stefan will check out of the hotel by 10 AM.
    • Check out my new coat!
  • come across
    • I came across an interesting article this morning.
    • She came across as very friendly.
  • do away with
    • I did away with my boots because they were torn.
    • The company really has to do away with that policy.
  • fall apart
    • Yasmine had a beautiful necklace, but the chain broke and it fell apart.
    • They fell apart when they heard the sad news.
  • fall down
    • The children were running in the park and one of them fell down.
    • My poster keeps falling down. (from the wall)
  • fill up
    • Jasper will fill up his gas tank because the price is low today.
    • I won’t fill up my shopping cart this time!
  • get along
    • They are cousins and they get along very well.
    • How are you getting along with the new project?
  • get around
    • How did Umberto get around in Paris?
    • Zola uses a wheelchair to get around.
  • get back
    • We got back late last night because there was a lot of traffic.
    • Several clients called today, but I will have to get back to them tomorrow.
  • get back into
    • It will take time, but Conner will get back into swimming when his leg heals.
  • give up
    • I have tried to download the app several times. I give up!
    • We gave up eating meat last year.

There are many phrasal verbs and we’re only at letter G.


Check back often. The phrasal verb owl will be hooting new ones soon!

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