Phrasal Verb Friday: Fall

the wild

Did you know that September 23 was the first day of fall?  Maybe you know it as the first day of autumn? Calling this season that takes place between summer and winter “fall” or “autumn” will depend on where you learned English. Fall is used chiefly in American English, and autumn in British English. A fact I find interesting, is that Australians, who use B.E., use fall rather than autumn. Hmmm..
What name do you use? What have you learned? And while you’re at it….
What is your favorite thing about this season? I gave my answer over on Instagram


It’s been a little while since my last #phrasalverbfriday post, but I was saving a comeback for the perfect day, and here it is! Today we’ll use the technique of focusing on a main verb and it’s existing particles to learn new phrasal verbs. Just a note, in the past, we’ve reviewed a few different ways to learn and/or review this grammar, such as focusing on themes, like love and chores, using listening and context, and the ABC’s!

Can you make any educated guesses on which main verb we will use in today’s post? I’ll give you a hint, it was used 4 times in the opening paragraph, and is included twice in the opening photo….

Yup, you guessed correctly (I assumed you did, anyways!)… FALL

FALL phrasal verbsSome of these phrasal verbs may have more than one meaning; however, I am going to stick with the most common ones, the meanings that are most often used amongst native speakers. That’s why I am here, to teach you real-life English!

  • fall apart:
    •  to break into many pieces or parts; to be in poor condition
      • Be careful when taking the cake out of the pan, it falls apart easily.
      • This shirt is so cheap! It is already falling apart, and I’ve only worn it once.
    • to become emotionally weak, unstable
      • John was falling apart due to his recent divorce.
  • fall back:
    • to retreat; to move away from something
      • The men fell back when their enemies arrived with larger tanks.
    • to use something for help in times of need (+ on)
      • The family had to fall back on their savings to pay the bills this month.
  • fall behind:
    • to fail to move forward or do something as quickly as planned/needed
      • When Lucy got sick, she fell behind on a lot of her schoolwork.
  • fall for:
    • + someone = to be attracted to someone and have feelings
      • I fell for Paulo on our first date.
    • + something = to be fooled
      • I never fall for the tricks he tries to pull on me!
  • fall into:
    • to begin to do something without planning or trying to
      • Mary fell into her career because her father just gave her a job.
  • fall off:
    • to become less
      • Class participation always falls off at the end of the day.
    • to become unattached
      • The button on my favorite shirt is always falling off, and I need to sew it again.
  • fall on/upon:
    • to start experiencing something
      • Mark has fallen on/upon difficult times with the economy crash.
    • to see something without intention, to notice
      • My eyes fell on the receipt, so I knew what Paulo got me for my birthday.
  • fall out:
    • hair or teeth becoming coming off the body
      • I don’t want to get older because I am afraid of my hair and teeth falling out.
    • to have a bad argument that can end a relationship
      • Dylan and Taylor don’t talk anymore; they had a falling out over business.
  • fall through:
    • to fail or stop, often in a sudden way
      • James was so upset that his upcoming vacation fell through, but he needed to work on an important project.
  • fall under:
    • to be affected by something
      • Kendall fell under the influence of her dishonest friend when she did those illegal things.


Which phrasal verbs are easy for you to understand? Which phrasal verbs are difficult? Let me know so I can offer you more examples or a different explanation! It is important to not only read and understand the definitions and examples above, but make your own meaningful examples to help you remember this new vocabulary. Apply as many as you can to you, and share your examples in the comment section below!

Want even more practice with phrasal verbs? Take a look at my “Use Better Grammar ” course on this website that reviews various grammar topics with a focus on SPEAKING!  When you sign up for this course, you get grammar practice WITHOUT the boring textbooks! The lessons are fun, engaging, and will help you increase your English fluency. If you’ve never learned on Skype with me, take advantage of your trial lesson. Together, I’ll show you how easy it is to learn online via Skype with me. Book that lesson by clicking here.

As always…

Happy Studying! ♥

If you know someone learning English, share this post with them and help them learn  new ways of expressing themselves with phrasal verbs! Thank you for your love and support!

You may also like this helpful FALL post:

English Idioms with FALL

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  1. English Idioms with FALL - English Outside The Box on September 20, 2016 at 4:33 am

    […] Phrasal Verb Friday: FALL […]

  2. […] doing today, focusing on the main verb. In the past I’ve taught you phrasal verbs with fall, and as you know, today is with the main verb […]

  3. […] back together: to reconnect parts or pieces of something that fell apart → ” Put back together by […]

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