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What are Phrasal verbs?

Sound like a Native Speaker with Phrasal Verbs

One thing that almost ALL English learners do not know much about is phrasal verbs. Actually, phrasal verbs should be learned at early levels and later stages of learning as well. American children learn many phrasal verbs before learning other vocabulary. This is an area often forgotten about by teachers and learners alike.

What is a phrasal verb?

A phrasal verb is simply a verb + preposition. For example, go away, get up, back up, put up and put off. The word ‘put’ and the phrasal verb ‘put off’ have very different meanings. ‘Put’ means to place something somewhere. ‘Put off’ means to postpone something, meaning to do something later.


How do I learn more phrasal verbs?

You can use a phrasal verb dictionary online. I did a quick search of the verb ‘run’. You can see how many phrasal verbs there are for run. ‘Run’ was found in 20 common phrasal verbs as seen below:

Run across, Run after, Run against, Run along, Run around, Run away, Run down, Run for, Run in, Run into, Run off, Run on, Run out of, Run over, Run through, Run to, Run up, Run up against, Run up on & Run with.

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The next step of learning

Once you have the list of phrasal verbs in front of you, you can click on each phrasal verb for more explanation and definition. And as always, once you learn something new, you need to speak, write, hear and read the new words immediately. Using new language really is the only way to put new language into your long term memory for later use.


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By: Luke 

ETO American English teacher

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