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Phrasal Verbs

Perfect English Grammar

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are very common in English but they also cause a few problems.

First, there are very, very many phrasal verbs and it can be hard to know where to start. However, two linguists called Mélodie Garnier and Norbert Schmitt have made a very useful list of the 150 most common ones. My explanations below each look at 15 of the most common phrasal verbs.

Second, phrasal verbs often have more than one meaning. 'Take off' can mean both 'leave the ground' and 'become successful'. 'Go on' has eight meanings in the Oxford Learner's Dictionary. How can we choose which meanings to study? Again, the list made by Garnier and Schmitt is helpful. Here I'm looking at the most common meaning for each phrasal verb.

Third, phrasal verbs are often used only in very specific situations. They have narrow meanings and you will often see the same examples again and again. These are the situations that it's important to learn. Even though 'go on' means 'happen', we can use 'happen' in a lot more situations than we can use 'go on'.

Phrasal Verbs 1 Explanation.
Phrasal Verbs 1 Exercise.
Phrasal Verbs 2 Explanation.
Phrasal Verbs 2 Exercise.
Phrasal Verbs 3 Explanation.
Phrasal Verbs 3 Exercise.
Phrasal Verbs 4 Explanation.
Phrasal Verbs 4 Exercise.