The most common phrasal verbs to learn in English Idioms

The most common phrasal verbs to learn in English

Phrasal verbs are difficult to learn but still very important to master because English natives use them a lot. If you want to speak English well you have to know and use at least some of the most common phrasal verbs.

As I told you in my post How to learn phrasal verbs easily, you have to avoid trying to memorize phrasal verbs using nonsense associations.
That being said, there is a way of making natural associations of phrasal verbs that are going to help you a lot. And I do say, and mark my words “Natural” associations.

The most common phrasal verbs to learn in English

How To Make Natural Associations Of Phrasal Verbs

Whenever you come across a new phrasal verb, you have to think if there is any other phrasal verbs than can go with it.

As an example:
The phrasal verb Sit down makes me think about the phrasal verb Stand up.
If ISpeed up in the motorway, chances are that a Police car is going to Pull me over.

As you can see, I to try to connect Phrasal verbs that go together. Phrasal verbs that have something in common.
These kinds of associations are going to help you to use the most common phrasal verbs naturally in very specific contexts.

Let me share with you some others examples of natural association of common phrasal verbs that are helping me a lot…


Some Common Phrasal Verbs Groups

Pick up – Drop off
I was driving to my job when I saw a friend waiting for the bus. I picked him up right in front of the bus stop and then dropped him off at her home.

Fill up – Spill over
Whenever you let a child to fill up his own glass, you can be pretty sure that he’s going to spill it over.

Pass out – Come round
The man passed out because the room was too hot. He then came round after someone opened the windows to let some fresh air into the room.

Come down with – Get over
Whenever I come down with a cold, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables in order to get over as soon as possible.

Break down – Cheer up
The little girl broke down when his father scolded her, but she cheered up when he gave her some candy.

Speed up – Pull over
If you speed up too much when driving don’t be surprised if the police pull you over and then fine you.

Speak up – Shut up
If I don’t hear you when you speak because there’s too much noise around us I would ask you to speak up. But if you speak too loud and you are really bothering me, I’ll be rude and say to you to “Shut up!”

Take off – Put on
You take off your clothes before having a shower and you then put them on after the shower.

Sit down – Stand up
When the judge enters the court everybody has to stand up. Once the judge is on his seat everybody can sit down.

These are only a few of the associations that I make between common phrasal verbs.
Now it’s your turn to make and share your own phrasal verbs associations!


…And Remember

The most common phrasal verbs to learn in English

Do these groups make sense to you?
Share with us your phrasal verbs associations.
All your comments are very welcome!!!

How to learn phrasal verbs easily Idioms

How to learn phrasal verbs easily

I’ve already written many posts about how to learn phrasal verbs easily.
Many blog readers have also sent me emails about their problems with phrasal verbs. They feel kind of frustrated and don’t know how to learn them.

Phrasal verbs are indeed a big issue among English learners because:
There are lots of them.
Some of them have even different meanings.
It’s difficult to guess what they mean even if you know every word in it.
Ex: Run out of Have none left.

Then what to do and not to do about phrasal verbs?
How to learn phrasal verbs

English Learners Vs Phrasal Verbs

While reading my blog readers emails something struck me!
I bet that you already know how an English learner feel when you came across a new phrasal verb…
You don’t like them.
You feel lost whenever you run into a new one.
You really don’t know how to learn phrasal verbs easily.

That’s pretty demotivating, isn’t?
What can you do about it?


How To Learn Phrasal Verbs The Wrong Way?

First Wrong strategy:
Some English learners have told me that they try to learn phrasal verbs like this…

Phrasal Verbs With “To Come”
-Come out
-Come along
-Come down
Phrasal Verbs With “To Run”
-Run out
-Run along
-Run down

My opinion:That kind of phrasal verbs groups don’t make any sense and are anything but useful.

Second Wrong strategy:
Some others blog readers told me that they used to make this other kind of groups…

Phrasal Verbs With “Up”
-Speak up
-Fill up
-Set up
Phrasal Verbs With “Down”
-Come down
-Look down
-Set down

My opinion:Once again, this lists aren’t helping them at all.

If you’re also following these kinds of strategies just forget them.
They’re doing more harm than good to your English improvement.


How To Learn Phrasal Verbs Easily The Right Way?

It’s time for you to start again from scratch!
Start over with a brand new mindset about phrasal verbs!

A phrasal verb is just like any other word.
What’s the difference between “To come up with” and To run?
When you read or listen for the first time the word “Run” is not a big deal, right?
You don’t try to make strange associations with other words, do you?
You don’t feel overwhelmed, do you?
Then why following weird strategies while finding a new phrasal verb?

Try to think about phrasal verbs just as if they were common verbs. Because they are!

You have verbs with:
One word Run
Two words run into
Three words Run out of

No matter how many words they have in it, they are still verbs!!!


Steps to follow to learn a new phrasal verb

These are the steps to follow with any new English word you find (Phrasal verb or not):
Look up for its meaning.
Check its pronunciation/accentuation.
Try to use it as much as possible.
If you forget it, don’t worry. Next time you’ll find it, it’s going to be easier for you to remember it.

Are you going to see phrasal verbs just like regular verbs?
Will you start learning phrasal verbs like any other word?
Share with us your opinions about phrasal verbs!
All your comments are very welcome!!!

Copyright © 2012-2016 Learn English Like Me and Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The most effective way to learn a phrasal verb


I’m going to share with you one more tactic that I think it’s very useful if you want to learn a phrasal verb.

Approach A Phrasal Verb Like English Natives Do

Before going any further, I want to point out ONCE AGAIN how important is not to memorize a phrasal verb.
The wrong strategy while trying to learn a phrasal verb is memorizing endless lists of them that you are going to forget as soon as you learn new ones.

That being said…

What I recommend you is to write, on a very regular basis, about anything you like but trying to use as much phrasal verbs as possible.
You can write your personal journal, short fiction stories…whatever you like.
I really doesn’t matter what you write about. The only rule is to use a phrasal verb whenever possible.
In order to grow your phrasal verb knowledge, try to stuff your writing with lots of them.

An Example About How To Learn a Phrasal Verb

Next, I share with you one of my writings where I try to use one or even more than one phrasal verb per sentence. I try to use them naturally, like an English native would do, instead of just memorizing them:

I always wake up at 6:00 A.M and stay in bed for a while until I finally get up. Then I go to my children’s bedroom. Once there I switch on the radio and turn up the volume to help my sons to wake up.

Sometime after we all head to the kitchen. My sons sit down to have their breakfast as I have mine always standing up while doing other house chores. I hastily eat my breakfast trying to figure out all I’ll have to do during the day.
What I fear the most in the morning is to open the refrigerator to find out that we ran out of milk! This can be a big disaster because my sons want nothing but milk for breakfast.

My older son is always eager to help me to make breakfast. He likes very much to fill up glasses with milk but sooner or later one of the glasses fall down making the little ones to blow up laughing. Then I have to run off for the broom and come back to clean up the mess. These are actually very stressful moments.
It’s very helpful to know that you can count on your older son because it’s not easy to have breakfast while taking care of the younger ones, preparing the lunch boxes among many, many other things.

I always ask my children to keep away from the cooked and I also point them out that’s not a good idea to play around the kitchen.
I think it’s very important to bring up this kind of topics to children on a regular basis if you want them to be really aware of dangers around them.

While doing all these morning chores, I mentally cross out the tasks already done and I check out every now and then the clock to avoid being late.

My wife who’s already at work by this time always calls me. Sometimes, because of the noise our sons are making, I don’t hear the phone and then I call her back later as soon as I can.
We always hang up quickly because children start quarreling or fighting between them. Whenever I ask them for an explanation about their bad behavior they always make up funny stories that make me burst out laughing.

After having breakfast, I help them to put on their clothes but as soon as I turn around, they take off their clothes what make them laugh and makes me angry. I always calm down when I see them so happy playing together and I join their games for a while.

Before leaving the kitchen I clean up the table and wash up the dishes. Then, I always go through the house, to check out that all the lights are switch off.

Once in the street I always tell my sons to look out for cars before crossing the street.
Sometimes in our way to school we run into a friend. Even if we are really looking forward to chatting with him or her for a while we don’t because we can’t be late for school.
I don’t like at all when I have to put off a meeting at work just because I wasn’t able to leave the children at school at the right time.

As you can see, in this 40 lines long text I’ve been using 36 different phrasal verbs.

Now Is Your Turn To Learn a Phrasal Verb

This was an example of one of my writings where the aim is to work with phrasal verbs. I write this kind of text on a regular basis.
Remember that instead of just memorizing a phrasal verb you have to naturally and consciously use it whenever you write or speak in English.

Now it’s time for you to write down your own story full of phrasal verbs.
Stuff it as much as possible with hundreds of them!!!

And Remember…

The most effective way to learn a phrasal verb_

– Share your texts with us!
– Don’t worry about making mistakes, we all make mistakes.
– Feel free to tell me if you find any in my text.
…All your comments are very welcome!!!

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.