Phrasal verbs are the never-ending English grammar and vocabulary topic that every English learner needs. Phrasal verbs are necessary for English fluency; they’re necessary to understand English and use English effectively. So that means if you are trying to speak better English and improve your English skills for daily life, then it’s very important that you focus time and energy on learning phrasal verbs. You can and will use them professionally at work, you can and will use them academically in university, and you can and will use them for daily life and travel.
But Teacher, there are so many phrasal verbs….where do I begin?
You begin right here my dear English learner and lover because today I am sharing with you 5 tips for learning phrasal verbs.
Additionally, inside this lesson, I’ll be reviewing some helpful phrasal verbs that you can immediately begin using today. So after this lesson, you will walk away with a better understanding of phrasal verbs because you’ll know how to learn them and some new ones to apply to your conversations.
Let’s begin with a review of this week’s LIVE “Everyday English” lesson.
5 Tips for Learning Phrasal Verbs
It’s time to review what’s in the video.
1. Learn them by a theme.
When you learn phrasal verbs by a theme, you’re able to categorize them in a notebook which will help you categorize them in your mind. It’s much easier for you and your brain to remember similar information when learning a lot of things at once. Make it easy! There are a lot of themes that you can focus on, for example, phrasal verbs for cooking:
- cool down: allowing something hot to decrease its temperature (typically after being cooked, before it’s served)
- When you take the cookies out of the oven, allow them to cool down for 10 minutes before eating them.
- chop up/cut up: to cut something larger into smaller pieces
- Chop up 1 large onion to put inside the pot and cut up some garlic to put in, too.
- whip up: to prepare food quickly
- I was so busy today that I could only whip up some basic pasta for dinner.
You will discover that learning by a theme will help you do tasks in English more effectively. So when you study phrasal verbs related to cooking, you’ll be able to read recipes more effectively. If you learn phrasal verbs related to the house, you can communicate more about your daily chores more accurately.
2. Learn by focusing on the main verb.
- spring for: to pay for something
- I’m going to spring for dinner tonight.
- spring from: to start from or be caused by
- My love for travel sprang from my first experience abroad.
- spring up: to appear or grow very suddenly
- The backyard was covered in weeds, and it seems like they just sprang up overnight.
—– These two are most common, easiest – but are they the MOST effective? No – you need context. So let’s learn with context! —-
3. Learn naturally with conversations
If it’s possible, try and learn new phrasal verbs in your own conversations with friends, classmates, or your private tutors. If you don’t have access to someone, then expose yourself to as many natural conversations as you can. What’s the best place for this? You’re most likely already listening to them in TV shows and movies, but are you using podcasts? YES, podcasts! Podcasts are online radio shows and many have multiple hosts or interviews where you can hear people talking together. Phrasal verbs will definitely be used in these conversations, too!
I have a weekly podcast that I co-host with my British friend, Dan, that teaches loads (*a lot*) of phrasal verbs. Each week we have a conversation about a theme and using phrasal verbs, idioms, and other common expressions. We offer a free episode guide to give additional support as well. The podcast is called English Across the Pond and you can find it here. If you want even more support, we offer transcripts that you can download to read and follow along. Click here to get the transcripts!
Remember a few weeks ago when I shared my TV episode guides for Bloodline and Breaking Bad? If you missed that free download, get the worksheets by clicking here.
Just as you can learn phrasal verbs by listening to them, you can learn them by reading as well. I want you to focus on using articles written in English, not for the purpose of teaching English. So, I don’t want you to read an English blog teaching phrasal verbs. I want you to read an English article that uses phrasal verbs. This can include news articles or pieces in a magazine. A resource I want to recommend today to you is Pinterest. Pinterest has so many articles written about a variety of things, so find something that interests you and let the learning begin!
I have a collection of English articles on my Pinterest board here.
5. The Conversation Club
(previously: The Phrasal Verb Conversation Club)
It’s obvious that phrasal verb resources are all over the internet; many are in lists with the phrasal verb, definition, and maybe a sentence example – but there’s little no context and absolutely NO personal connection for your own use in your own conversation. This is not effective learning.
The Conversation Club is my online conversation club created to help you, an English learner more effectively learn, remember, and use natural English expressions and phrasal verbs! This monthly program will give you the resources needed to learn phrasal verbs, idioms, and expressions and the tips and tricks to remember them. I will give you practice speaking, and show you how you can remember phrasal verbs for your own English conversations.
I created this program by answering my student’s questions and solving their problems and frustrations. And, for 1 week only, I am offering a sample of this program for you with a 1-week trial. This trial allows you to see some of the sample materials and review natural English, with me! *Note: the trial doesn’t include our 6 group conversation calls or group messaging community, but you will those speaking opportunities when you become a full member.
Again this program will help you…
- learn phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions in context with text, audio, video, and speaking exercises – the most natural way!
- understand phrasal verbs and idioms with a variety of context examples and real-life situations – with the help of native speakers!
- remember how to use more natural English in your future conversations
- get weekly speaking practice with real people and real conversations
- practice with conversation partners, group conversation classes, and our group messaging community
Stop wasting time with ineffective studying and join The Conversation Club today!