The Most Common Phrasal Verbs

by | Last updated Jan 10, 2024 | English Learning

Today, we’ll keep talking about the most common phrasal verbs .There are actually quite a few of them in English.

There are dedicated books containing English phrasal verbs. If you wish, you can always refer to one of them to discover the meanings of specific phrasal verbs.

Ideally, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with as many English phrasal verbs as possible and incorporate them into your English speech as frequently as you can.

Now, I will share with you nine English phrasal verbs that you’ll definitely find useful in conversation. Some of these might be entirely new to you!

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     Plod along

At times, individuals who move at a leisurely pace, especially when you’re in a rush, can be frustrating. It appears as if they are intentionally “moving very slowly, like snails.”

And that’s the essence of our seventh phrasal verb – “to walk along slowly.”

For instance:

– I took a stroll with my grandfather. These days, he doesn’t walk quickly; he just plods along.
– Why are you plodding along? Hurry up!

     Crow about

Likewise, individuals who endlessly brag and exhibit arrogance can be bothersome. “To crow about” refers to the act of boasting or bragging excessively.

The origin of this expression is linked to the crow, known for its incessant and irritating squawking.

For instance:

– Jake consistently keeps crowing about his new supermodel girlfriend.
– I dislike it when she begins crowing about her famous brother.

     Wipe out

The phrasal verb featured in our list, which you’ll find useful, signifies “to destroy or eliminate.”

The verb “wipe” on its own denotes “cleaning or drying (something) by rubbing its surface with a cloth, a piece of paper, or one’s hand.”

For instance:

– Excessive global warming could wipe out the Eskimo population.
– We witnessed the building recently being wiped out by the bomb.

     Size up

The phrasal verb included in this list implies “to assess or measure through observation.”

Typically, this pertains to evaluating a person’s physical attributes. We visually assess the “opponent.”

For example:

– Prior to the game, I sized up my opponent.
– When I entered, he sized me up.

     Beef up

This particular phrasal verb signifies “to reinforce or enhance the quantity of something.” Presumably, the origin of this expression is connected to bulls, owing to their strength.

For instance:

– The stadium strengthened their security for the final match.
– James hits the gym to increase his muscle mass.

     Fawn over

This phrasal verb refers to “excessively flattering or showing excessive affection to someone; trying to curry favor.”

For example:

– Her grandparents always shower her with excessive attention.
– The parents excessively dote on their youngest daughter.

     Bristle at

Our fourth phrasal verb signifies “to display sudden displeasure or anger in response to a provocation.”

The origin of this expression is derived from the behavior of cats, which bristle when upset about something.

So, “bristle at” is a phrase used to convey a sudden reaction of irritation or displeasure.

For instance:

– He expressed displeasure and left the room abruptly when we criticized his novel.
– I reacted with irritation to the suggestion of moving to a smaller office.

     Clam up

Opening clams can be challenging, and similarly, the phrasal verb “clam up” conveys the idea of “being silent or refusing to speak.”

For instance:

– The superstar chose to remain silent when questioned about his personal life.
– I’m uncertain about what to think. She just went silent when I inquired about Mark’s issue.

     Mull over

An equivalent of this phrasal verb is “think over,” which essentially means to consider something carefully.

The term “mull” itself implies “thinking about something deeply and at length.”

For example:

– Your parents have proposed joining you in France, but I need to think it over.
– I enjoy making impromptu decisions. Pondering things at length is not my style.

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So, what do you think of the collection? These phrasal verbs are quite practical, aren’t they?

I recommend creating sentences with these phrasal verbs as it will make them easier to remember.

Until next time!

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