The Importance of Learning Phrasal Verbs


Phrasal verbs

We have written several posts about Phrasal Verbs.  Today we hope to clarify why learning phrasal verbs is important.  

Phrasal verbs are generally made up of a verb and a particle/preposition.  Together, the words take on a very different meaning.  As an ESL student, your first impulse may to ignore learning PVs.  But eventually, as an advanced English student, you will want to know them.  Why?  These are phrases that native English speakers use every day – not just once in a blue moon.

Sometimes, you may be able to gather the meaning from the context of the conversation.  But that is not always true.  Consider the following examples.  On the left, I have added short sentence using common phrasal verbs. Review just those sentences in the left column.  Do you understand the meaning of each?

If you did not understand the sentences in the first column, you should appreciate the value of studying PVs.  Go ahead and take a look at the second column.  We have used the same PVs with more context.  Do you understand all of them now?


How were her parents?
They put on a good show.
Her parents were sad, but they didn’t show it.  They put on a good show.
She didn’t show up. Her friend was supposed to meet her.  She waited an hour, but her friend did not show up.
Last night she threw up. She had too much champagne last night and felt very sick.  She made her way to the toilet and threw up.  She felt better after that.
She dozed off in class. She didn’t sleep well last night.  Today in class, it caught up to her and she dozed off.
It came off well. You can tell she put a lot of work into planning the event.  It came off well.
Did you do your homework?
I couldn’t figure it out.
I worked on those algebra problems for hours.  I am normally good at math, but not so good at algebra!  I couldn’t figure them out.
He always gives in to his father. His father is very persistent.  He is constantly asking his son to do things that his son does not want to do.  His son always gives in and does them.
I just want to get it over with. I am dreading the algebra exam.  I studied, but I don’t think I will do well.  I wish it were today so I could get it over with.
I can’t put up with her anymore!

I don’t like that saleswoman.  But she is there every time I go to the market.  She is very pushy – she always tells me what to buy.  She also tells me not to buy the things I like.  I just can’t put up with her anymore!  I am going to go to a different market!

For more information on Phrasal Verbs, view these posts:


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