Phrasal verbs

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are essential to learn in order to sound natural when speaking English. Read on to find out about some common ones.

Common Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs consist of a verb and an adverbial particle (e.g. about, in, off, on). These multi-word verbs are only understood as a whole, not from the individual words. Below are some frequently used phrasal verbs and their meanings:

ask for  to request
ask about to inquire
believe in  to feel confident about something
bring over to bring from one place to another
care for to nurture someone or something
care about to feel sympathy toward someone
come back to return to a place
do over to do something again in order to correct it
drop off to become less (in numbers) or to bring someone to a place
eat out to eat in a restaurant
fall down to fall to the ground
figure out to solve a problem
get away to escape
get back to return
get together to meet
head back to go back somewhere after visiting 
hang up to end a call
keep away to remain far from someone or something
keep on to keep trying
lay down to put something on a surface or object
let in to allow someone or something to enter
move in to begin living in a new home
move out to stop living in your current home
move out to stop living in your current home
pay for to purchase
put down to place something on a surface or floor
run over to hit someone or something with a vehicle
set up to organize something
slow down to begin to move slower
turn on to move a switch so that a light or other device starts working
turn off to move a switch so the a device stops
wake up to finish sleeping
wash off to remove dirt from an object with water
work out when a problem becomes better / to solve a problem / to exercise

Most phrasal verbs are transitive (i.e. have an object), but some are intransitive and can stand alone. If the phrasal verb is separable, the object can come before or after the particle, except when it is a pronoun.


  • Please remember to turn the television off when you are finished watching it.
  • Don’t forget to turn off the television.
  • I care about her a lot.  (NOT I care her about a lot.)