What are phrasal verbs?
- Phrasal verbs
Phrasal verbs are verbs with prepositions or adverbs attached to them. They are easy to understand if they are used literally, but many have completely different meanings from the normal sense of the verb being used and can, therefore, be very confusing for students of English as a foreign language.
For example, everyone will understand the phrasal verb in the following sentence because the meaning is literal and obvious:
"He was looking down at the floor while the teacher was shouting at him."
But what about the same phrasal verb used in a more idiomatic way?
"She looks down on all her colleagues at work."Phrasal verbs list from the Practical Everyday series Phrasal Verbs and idioms with "to get" that feature in the Practical Everyday series
This means she thinks she is better than and has no respect for her colleagues. When phrasal verbs are not used literally, they are idioms just like all other English idioms. There are many books on phrasal verbs, but because most of them only deal with phrasal verbs, they can be very boring and intimidating for students. Phrasal verbs should be learnt together with other useful vocabulary and not in isolation.
Don't be afraid of phrasal verbs!
You can improve your use of phrasal verbs, advanced vocabulary and idioms with the book:
Practical Everyday English by Steven Collins.
Glossary of terms used on this website
Below are some terms commonly used throughout this website. Click on items from the list below for more information.
This is the best book on English conversation and phrasal verbs I've ever read. When I'm in the UK, I never go anywhere without it.
Mr Collins's books cover exactly the gap that foreigners still have to cross in order to pass from just grammatically correct English to real daily English conversation.
A self-study method designed to improve the vocabulary of upper intermediate and advanced students of English Monterserrat publishing ISBN 978-0-9528358-2-0