I sometimes watch, or more accurately, watched (because Covid) Netflix with friends. We always use English subtitles, as my friends want to improve their English. Sometimes they ask me to translate a word or a phrase, sometimes I don’t mind and sometimes it bothers me. But my lack of patience with my friends is not the point.
The point is, I’ve noticed one thing all my friends had in common. They often didn’t understand the meaning of a certain phrasal verbs.
Phrasal verbs are tricky, because they seem to be two separate words. Sometimes the same phrasal verb can have a few different, totally unrelated meanings and that’s very confusing for English learners.
They are very common, especially in informal context, so it’s often recommended to learn essential phrasal verbs to sound more natural.
Here are a couple of phrasal verbs activities and exercises.
Phrasal Verbs Activity: Definitions
back down: to resign your position in a fight, argument, plan, etc.
bump into: when you meet someone by accident or unexpectedly
burst out: to suddenly and unexpectedly say or do something
call off: to cancel something
carry on: to continue doing something
chicken out: to stop doing something because you’re afraid
clam up: to refuse to speak or share your feelings
come up with: to think of a solution, idea
deal with: to handle something, to solve a problem
drag on: to last longer than expected
figure out: to find the answer
get along: to have good relationship with someone
get rid off: to remove something or somebody
hang out: spend time with people, socialize
look up to: to admire someone
polish off: to eat or drink something quickly
rip off: to ask for a very unreasonable price, to cheat financially
run out of: to have no more of something
stick up for: to defend someone or something
talk into: to convince someone to do something
Phrasal Verbs Activity: Exercise with Flashcards
- When was the last time you had to back down in a situation?
- Who was the last person you bumped into? How did it happen?
- Can you remember the last time you burst out something inappropriate?
- What was the last event you had to call off? What happened?
- Have you ever chickened out of something?
- When something surprises you, can you carry on and pretend nothing happened?
- What would you do if you were talking to a friend and they suddenly clammed up?
- What’s the last brilliant idea you’ve come up with?
- How well can you deal with interruptions when you work/study?
- What do you do when you are in a meeting that just drags on?
- What is the last thing you didn’t understand first, but then you figured it out?
- Describe three people you get along with.
- What 3 things would you like to get rid of in your life? (material and abstract)
- What do you do when you hang out with friends?
- Who do you look up to in your family?
- What meal do you usually polish off?
- Can you think of a time when someone ripped you off?
- Have you ever run out of patience when talking to someone? What happened?
- What ideas can you imagine sticking up for?
- What was the stupidest thing anyone has ever talked you into?