Eager to uncover English phrasal verb secrets? Discover 10 frequently used ones, like ‘Break off’ and ‘Give up,’ to boost your language skills.

Keep in mind that a phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition or adverb, or both.

Often, the verb alone has a different meaning, but adding a preposition transforms it into a phrase with an entirely new meaning. Exercise caution!

In this article, we’ll explore ten commonly used phrasal verbs in English. This is just a small selection, so it’s advisable to study them gradually and consistently – perhaps ten a day. What are your thoughts?

Let’s proceed with the exploration.

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 Pass out

Another quite prevalent phrasal verb used in casual English conversation, it refers to falling asleep rapidly or losing consciousness.

For instance:

– Lisa, feeling extremely tired, promptly fell asleep on the sofa when she arrived home.
– The girl simply lost consciousness upon encountering a giant spider.

Call off

This phrasal verb indicates the cessation or cancellation of something:

– Numerous flights were canceled due to the storm last night.
– My friends canceled their engagement because they couldn’t agree on which rings to purchase.

The alternative meaning is to restrain a person or an animal from attacking or being aggressive:

– The dog bit the postman three times before it was restrained.
– We’ll surrender; kindly restrain your men.

 Give up

The final phrasal verb in our list signifies putting an end to an activity or ceasing efforts. Typically (though not always), this occurs when all attempts to accomplish something have proven unsuccessful.

For instance:

– All of us quit smoking on January 1st.
– Due to her poor health, she had to abandon her studies.

 Turn around

The initial meaning of this phrasal verb is to alter the direction of someone or something.


– I reversed the car’s direction and returned to the filling station for the gas tank cap.
– Turn around and let me brush off your back.

The second meaning is to transition from a state of being unsuccessful to one of success.

– She anticipates that the new director will revitalize our failing business.
– Although the team was losing in the first half, they succeeded in reversing the situation by the end of the game.

     Cut out

This phrasal verb can indicate the action of using scissors or a knife to remove or separate something from its surroundings. Additionally, it can mean to exclude something.

Consider the examples:

– She used an old coat to cut out the material for her scarf.
– Given that Fred is overweight, he should eliminate bread and sugar from his diet and engage in more exercise.

     Fall apart

The fourth phrasal verb encompasses two meanings. The first is to disintegrate or break into pieces; alternatively, it can signify the failure of a planned arrangement or agreement.


– My cherry pie disintegrated when I attempted to cut it.
– Exercise caution with the new shelving; the glue hasn’t dried yet, and it may come apart.
– Their marriage dissolved after two years.
– Our plans to go to New York next week fell apart.

The second meaning of this phrasal verb relates to a person’s emotional state. It indicates crying or experiencing a severe emotional downturn.


– She fell apart upon learning of her mother’s death.

     Give away

This is a pleasant phrasal verb signifying the act of presenting something as a gift.


– If you were to win the lottery, how much would you donate to charity?
– Today, we’re distributing these products to everyone holding a MAX-club card.

The second definition carries a more negative tone, implying the act of betraying someone or revealing a secret against their wishes.


– Despite thinking that nobody would recognize him in the Santa Claus costume, his voice revealed his identity.
– Never place your trust in him! He can effortlessly betray you.

     Bring up

The phrasal verb “bring up” also holds two meanings. Firstly, it refers to the act of teaching, educating, or raising from childhood:

– Their grandparents raised them because their parents were constantly traveling.
– I was single-handedly bringing up my two children.

The second definition involves introducing a subject in a conversation for discussion.

For example:

– Please refrain from mentioning the fight again.
– In yesterday’s committee meeting, Linda introduced the matter for discussion.

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Understanding phrasal verbs in English is crucial as they are commonly employed in casual conversations. If you’re unfamiliar with these expressions, it might pose challenges in comprehending the person you’re conversing with.

Rather than merely memorizing these words, focus on recalling how they are used in spoken language. Consider their meanings and the contexts in which they can be applied.

Best of luck!

Persist in your English learning journey!

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