Did you know that there are thousands of phrasal verbs in English?
Well, it’s true – and you need to learn all of them.
While there are actually thousands of them, they’re not all equally common or useful.
To make it easy for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most used phrasal verbs in English.
22 top English phrasal verbs
→ To mention something
I want to go to that party! Maybe if I bring it up when my mom is in a good mood, she’ll let me go.
→ To take care of a child until adulthood
She lives in a big city now, but her parents brought her up in the countryside.
→ To stop yourself or someone else from being upset, angry or excited
The baby has been crying all morning. I can’t calm her down!
→ To do something again
My teacher wasn’t happy with my essay; she’s asked me to do it over.
→ To wear formal clothes, usually for a special occasion.
Let’s do something fun this weekend. Why don’t we dress up and go out for a fancy dinner?
→ To wear special clothes or a costume to change your appearance.
My favourite holiday has always been Halloween. I love dressing up in scary costumes!
→ To eat at a restaurant
We’re trying to save money this year, so we’re going to stop eating out so often.
→ To finally be in a particular place or situation
I always thought I wanted to be a doctor but I ended up being a web designer.
→ To solve or understand something
Can you help me with my math homework? I just can’t figure it out!
→ To type or write information on a document or official form
If you’re interested in this job, please fill out the online application form.
→ To become completely full; to make something completely full
Don’t fill up on snacks! We’ll be eating lunch in 20 minutes.
→ To like and have friendly interactions with someone
The first time I met you, we got along so well that I knew we’d be friends.
→ To give someone something they had before
I’ll let you use my pen, but you have to give it back at the end of class.
→ To stop doing something that you do regularly
She gave up smoking six months ago and she says she feels much healthier now.
→ To quit doing something you’ve been trying to do
We’ve been trying to solve this math problem for an hour – I give up!
→ To check something carefully
I finished writing my cover letter for my job application. Can you go over it to see if I made any mistakes?
→ To practise something in order to learn it
The talent show is on Friday. We need to go over our dance routine a few more times so it’s perfect when we perform!
→ To spend time in a certain place (alone or with others), relaxing or socialising
I didn’t do much this weekend; I just hung out at home watching TV with my sister.
→ To wait
Hold on one minute! I just need to get my jacket, then I’ll be ready to go.
→ To continue doing something
If you keep on being late for work, you’re going to get fired!
→ To search for something or someone
I’m looking for my house key – have you seen it anywhere?
→ To search for information in a reference book or online
I’m not sure where that store is located. I’ll look it up on Google Maps.
→ To choose from a group of options
When you go to the supermarket, make sure to pick out the reddest tomatoes.
→ To use or sell all of something so there isn’t any left.
Can you go buy some dish soap? We ran out yesterday.
→ To put an item of clothing on your body to see if it is the right size and if it looks good.
I don’t like shopping for clothes online because you can’t try them on before buying them.
→ To exercise
Every January, I decide to start working out regularly to get stronger – it never lasts longer than a month!
→ To happen in a positive way; to have a successful outcome
They were married for five years, but it didn’t work out. They were just too different.
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