15 of the Most Important Phrasal Verbs

Do you find phrasal verbs frustrating?

They really are much simpler than you might think. You just have to learn them like any other new vocabulary.

Phrasal verbs are important because we native speakers use them all the time. There are many other words that you can use instead of phrasal verbs, that might be cognates in your mother language, but that native speakers rarely use.

So watch this video, read the transcript, and learn 10 practical phrasal verbs, which you can start using right now! After watching, please comment down below with some example sentences or just to let us know what you thought.

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Aww yeah, RealLifers, what’s going on?

This is Ethan, with another video for you.

So, today I’m going to talk to you about a subject that a lot of English learners hate to talk about, and that’s phrasal verbs.

Is this RealLife?

So, whether or not you like phrasal verbs, they’re a very important part of the English language, it’s something that sooner or later you’re going to have to learn, and better sooner rather than later.

So, what I notice with a lot of my students, they’re Spanish speakers, Portuguese speakers, any latin-based language, they like to use a lot of cognates. So, often there are a lot of words that exist in English, that are the same as a cognate in your language, but it’s just not very colloquial, and a lot of times, in these situations, there exists a phrasal verb which is much more colloquial, that we use all the time.

So, today, what I want to do is give you 15 new phrasal verbs that you can add to you vocabulary right now, which will make a big difference in your speaking, sound a little bit more natural, like a native speaker.

Alright, guys, so let’s get started.

Carry On

So, the first phrasal verb for you is “carry on.” So, carry on means continue. You could use either of these, both of them are pretty colloquial.

But carry on, a lot of times, someone will ask you “oh, what are you doing?” like they’re kind of concerned about what you’re doing, and then they would say, one they hear your answer, “oh, ok, carry on, continue with what you’re doing.”

So carry on is just a little bit shorter, faster, and you’re going to hear people use this a lot.

Hold On

Next, you have “hold on.” So, this you might hear as an exclamation, someone telling you “hold on a sec!” So, what does this mean? This means wait.

So, for example, you’re talking on the phone with someone, maybe you’re talking on the phone with your mom, and you’re cooking at the same time. And, all the sudden, you notice that the rice is burning, you say “hold on, mom, I have to just take the rice off, I’ll be right back with you.”

So, you can use this in any situation where you tell someone to wait. We use it a lot.

Watch Out

The next one is “watch out!” So, this is another exclamation.

You say watch out like be careful, or any situation like this.

So, for example, you’re with your friend walking down the street and you’re about to cross the street, your friend steps into the street, and you grab them, because the car is coming, and you say “watch out!”

So, a lot of times, English learners don’t really know what to say in this situation, and they’ll just make some noise like “aah!” “ooh!”

So, don’t do this, use watch out.

Come Up With

Ok, so the next phrasal verb is “come up with.” So, you come up with something, what does this mean?

So, come up with something is to invent something, or to think about something, to come up with an answer…

So, you use come up with when you’re trying to figure something out, when you’re trying to create a solution.

So, for example, if you have some sort of problem, and you don’t know the solution to it, you say “oh, I’ll come up with something, figure something out.”

Get Along 

The next one is get along with someone.

So, get along with someone means that you have a good relationship with them. So, I could say “What do you think of Tom?” “Yeah, I like him, I get along well with him.”

It means that it’s a person who, in generally, you have something in common with, you like this person as a friend, and so you can say that you get along with them, or maybe you don’t get along with them.

“I don’t like Tom, I don’t get along with him.”

Fed Up

So, the next one is “fed up.”

So, we say fed up with something when you’re completely sick of something, you can’t handle it anymore. You can use this about a thing, or a person, you say, for example, “I’m so fed up with those twilight movies, they’re just so stupid, I don’t like the twilight movies, I’m fed up with them, if anyone else talks to me about them, I’m going to punch them in the face.”

Hopefully, you’re not that agressive. I’m not.

Try On

try onThe next phrasal verb I have for you is “try on.”

So, this is for example when you go to a clothing store and you see a t-shirt that you like and you say “hey, I think I’ll try that on, see how it looks on me.”

So, “try on” is to put on some clothes to see how they fit you, how they look, just things like that.

So, it’s very helpful if you’re going to go shopping.

Put Away

The next phrasal verb I have for you is “put away.”

So, you can put away something after you’ve taken it out, you have to put it away.

So, for example, after you wash all of your dirty dishes, you have to put them away into the cabinet where they go.

Put Off

Next, there’s another one with put, and that’s “put off.”

Are you a person who puts a lot of stuff off? I generally am. It means procrastinate.

So, for example, in college, I a lot, I would always know, in the end of the term, that I would have a big important paper due, and the professor tells you the very first day of class, but I would always put it off until the week before it was due. I would usually spend a lot of nights researching in the library, looking for certain books, and writing these papers, every time. I’m crazy.

Look Up

The next one is “look up.”

So, look up literally could be look up, but here I want to give you a more colloquial definition of this word, so, look up means to search for something, to investigate something.

So, for example, “do you know any good Chinese restaurants here?” No, but I’ll look one up on Google.”

Watch Part 2!

More on Phrasal Verbs?

  • Max says:

    Keep it up. We will be waiting for a part two.

    • Real Life English says:

      Cheers Max!

  • Tami says:

    Hi! Great post! Colloquial expressions are of great of help to sound more native-like. Just a question: I’ve learnt the phrasal verb “get on well with sby” as a synonym of “get along with sby” but I haven’t heard people using the former so often. What do you think?

    • Real Life English says:

      Hey Tami! Great question! It depends where you are. “Get along with somebody” is common in the United States, whereas “Get on with somebody” is more common in the UK.

      I hope this helps!

  • Tami says:

    Well, I didn’t know that. Thanks a lot 🙂

  • Jack Askew says:

    Aww Yeah Ethan! This list is great, in fact, let me elaborate…

    I get along with you guys at Real Life as we are coming up with similar content. Carry on doing what you’re doing, and never put off the big projects that you have.

    I could continue, but I think that’s enough for now! Love you guys!

  • Great post Ethan!

    I’m going to share this with my students at Você pode falar Inglês!

    • Ethan says:

      Thanks for sharing Eduardo!

  • luz mery says:

    Thank you Ethan great information. Right now I have to put in practice

    • Ethan says:

      That’s for sure 🙂 Sorry for the delay

  • Nietzsche Martins says:

    I loved this post. Thank you for help me a lot.

    • Ethan says:

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad it was helpful 🙂