30 common phrasal verbs with examples you need to know!

by | Sep 20, 2018 | English Vocabulary Lesson

Learn these 30 common English phrasal verbs to improve your English vocabulary and sound more natural speaking in English.  In this video lesson, we will go through 30 common English phrasal verbs, by different topics, to help you sound more natural when speaking in English.

Friends, please note that one phrasal verb can have many different meanings, depending on the context it is being used in.  For this reason, I have divided this lesson up into different topics, to better help you remember and most importantly use these phrasal verbs when speaking in English

Watch the video lesson to learn 30 common Phrasal Verbs with Examples:

Make sure to turn on subtitles by clicking the CC button if you are struggling to follow the lesson 🙂

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Below you will find the lesson notes and also more examples of the 30 common phrasal verbs we went through in the video lesson.

Phrasal Verbs related to Problems

to talk something over

if you talk something over with somebody, you discuss something, especially in order to agree upon something or decide something

For example:

I need to talk things over with you.

The boss talked over the proposal with his partners and decided to approve the merge.

You and I need to talk our problems over right now


to deal with something

if you deal with something, you solve a problem

For example:

Have you dealt with your problems yet?

My sister is very good at dealing with pressure.

We need to deal with the problems in our relationship right now.


to face up to something

if you face up to something, you accept and deal with something unpleasant or difficult

For example:

I have to face up to the fact that we’re never getting back together again.

You need to face up to your responsibilities.

Just face up the fact that everything has changed


to come up with something

 if you come up with an idea, you think of something that could solve a problem

 For example:

She came up with a new idea for her shop.

I can’t come up with anything that would make sense.


to narrow something down also: narrow sth down to sth

 if you narrow something down, you reduce the number of possibilities

 For example:

We have narrowed down the list to four options.

You need to narrow down the possibilities.

They narrowed down the options

Phrasal Verbs related to driving

to drop off somebody

drop off somebody

if you drop off somebody, you stop so that they can get out of a car

Can you drop me to school?

I will drop you near the bank on the way to work.


to drop off something

if you drop off something, you deliver it on the way to somewhere else

I will drop it off later.

You left your phone at my house, but I can drop it off on my way to work tomorrow.

to pull up

if a vehicle or its driver pulls up, it stops

For example:

I pulled up at the traffic lights.

He pulled up at the station.

When I called them, they had just pulled up at the traffic lights


to draw up

if a vehicle draws up, it arrives to its destination and stops

 For example:

They drew up outside our house.

The cab drew up outside my apartment.

I drew up outside your house.

to knock down somebody also: knock over sb, knock sb down, knock sb over

if you knock down somebody, you hit them so they fall to the ground

 For example:

He got knocked down by a bus.

My friend was little when he was knocked down by a truck.

My grandma was knocked down by a car.

to run over somebody also: run over sth, run sb over, run sth over

if you run over somebody, you knock them down and drive over them

 For example:

Two children were run over and died in the hospital.

Hurry up! A child has just been run over.  He ran over a dog

Phrasal Verbs related to Information

 to come under something

if something comes under  something, it means that it is included or may be found in a particular group

 For example:

What heading does this information come under?

This information comes under the paragraph about e-learning.

You can find this in the dictionary. It comes under the section about pronunciation

to point our something/that

if you point out something, you mention it in order to inform somebody about it

 For example:

She pointed out the incongruity in the documents.

Jack pointed out the dangers of travelling alone.  I should point out that I’m not interested in selling my house


to turn to something/somebody

if you turn to somebody, you ask them for help or advice

 For example:

Unfortunately, I have nobody to turn to in case of emergency.

You can always turn to me if you need to.

My boss always turns to his secretary when he has troubles.


to latch on to something

if you latch on to something, you understand an idea or what somebody is saying

For example:

It was difficult for him to understand the question, but he soon latched on.

It was about time that he latched on to the truth.

I can’t seem to latch on to this problem.


to take something in

if you take something in, you understand something that you hear or read

 For example:

I’ve just realized that I haven’t taken anything in.

I just can’t take what you said in.It was hard for her to take the news in

Phrasal Verbs related to Emotions

to brighten up also: brighten sb up

if you brighten up, you become happier

For example:

Her eyes brightened up when she saw him.

A smile brightened his face

.I brightened up at his words of encouragement.


to cheer up also: cheer up sb, cheer up sth, cheer sb up, cheer sth up

if you cheer up, you become more cheerful

For example:

 Come on, cheer up!

Don’t be so sad.  Bright curtains will cheer up this dull room.

My sister needs cheering up. She had an argument with her boyfriend.


to be hung up also: hung up on sth, hung up on sb, hung up about sth, hung up about sb

if you are hung upon something, you are thinking about it too much

For example:

Is your brother still hung up on that girl?

He’s too hung up about tennis.

My sister is still hung up on her ex-boyfriend.


to break down

if you break down, you lose control of your feelings and start crying

For example:

I broke down and cried when I heard the news.

My sister broke down when she heard that her friend died.

My mother broke down when my father passed away


to cool down also: cool off

 if you cool down, you become calm or less enthusiastic

 For example:

You need to cool down.

 Don’t be so excited.  I think you should wait until he’s cooled down a little.

I need to cool down. I’m too enthusiastic about this whole thing

Phrasal Verbs related to persuading

 to put forward something or put something forward also: put sth forward

 if you put forward something, you suggest that something should be discussed

 For example:

My boss has put forward the suggestion of merging companies.

I have to put forward the question of money.

We have to put forward the question of our budget


to put something to somebody

 if you put something to somebody, you suggest something to somebody so that they can decide whether they will accept or reject it

For example:

My proposal will be put to the board of directors.

Your idea will be put to discussion at the next meeting

The merge will be put to the boss so that he can decide about it.


to talk somebody around/round also: talk sb round to sth

 if you talk somebody around, you persuade them to accept something or agree to something

 For example:

We finally managed to talk them around to our idea of merging the two companies

I talked him around and we finally agreed on buying a bigger house.

My sister talked me around and guess what, we’re getting a dog


to talk somebody into something also: talk sb into doing sth, talk sb out of sth

 if you talk somebody into something, you persuade them either to do or not to do something

 For example:

I didn’t want to get a bigger house but my husband talked me into it.

She tried to talk him out of moving to London.

I tried to talk my sister out of going to Brazil.


to talk somebody out of something/doing something also: talk sb out of doing sth

 if you talk somebody out of something, you persuade them not to do what they wanted to do

 For example:

Luckily, I talked him out of quitting his job.

He tried to talk me out of moving to London.

I talked him out of breaking up with his girlfriend


Phrasal Verbs related to Work

to get ahead also: get ahead of sb

 if you get ahead, you make progress

 For example:

My sister wants to get ahead in her career.

My son got ahead of the others in his class.

I need to get ahead in my job, I’m lagging behind.


to take on somebody/something also: take sth on, take sb on

 if you take on something, you decide to do it

For example:

I just can’t take on any extra work.

I’m already too busy.My office is not taking on any new clients at the moment.

My husband is so busy. He has just taken on some extra work.


to take somebody on

 if you take somebody on, you hire them

For example:

Our company is taking on new staff.

My sister was taken on as a trainee. Now, she’s the head of department.

I need to take on a new trainee.


to fill somebody in also: fill sb in on sth

 if you fill somebody in, you tell them about something that has happened

For example:

Wait a second, I’ll fill you in on the meeting.  I need to fill you in on the latest gossip.

Do you happen to know the latest rumour? I’ll fill you in!

to hand over also: hand over to sb, hand sth over, hand sth over to sb

 if you hand something over, you give somebody else responsible for something

For example:

He resigned and handed over to his son.

He handed over his responsibility to me.

My dad handed over to my brother

Watch the whole video lesson to fully understand the use of these common English phrasal verbs

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