Phrasal Verbs – Do You Understand What You’re Reading?

A phrasal verb is a verb that is used with one or more other words (an adverb or preposition).

For example, the phrase to pick up is made up of the words to pick and up.

Phrasal verbs are very common in English, especially in more informal situations.

But they can be difficult for people who don’t speak English as their first language because the words in them don’t always mean what they do on their own.

So, if you’re not sure if someone will understand a phrasal verb, use a one-word verb instead if you can.

Here are some examples:

Change phrasal verbs to single words to make communication easier

call off: cancel
carry on: continue
come up with: invent
cut down on: reduce
find out: discover
get away: escape
leave out: omit
pass on: transmit
pick up: collect
point out: explain
pull through: recover
put off: postpone
put up with: tolerate
see to: arrange
send back: return
throw away: discard
touch on: mention
turn down: reject (an invitation) / lower the volume

Do you have any other suggestions?


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Foto Christine Sparks

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