Language Lab

English grammar: common phrasal verbs

When I teach my students at EF English Live, I offer a lot of help with phrasal verbs, which is one of the trickier aspects of English grammar. So that you can quickly have access to some common ones, I have made a list of them.

Remember, a phrasal verb has two or three parts. It always has a verb, and this verb is followed by a preposition or an adverb. Here is a list of some common phrasal verbs – remember to change the verb to match your tense.

Phrasal verb



Call someone backTo return someone’s callI will call her back.
Cheer upTo make someone happierShe cheered up after hearing the good news.
Get overEnd or find a solution toIt took me a long time to get over the flu.
Hang onWait for a short time (informal)Could you hang on for a second?
Look forTo try and find somethingI am looking for my keys.
Run intoTo meet unexpectedlyI ran into Steve at the store today.
Run intoTo accidently bump into someone/somethingI was walking to the office and ran into the bookshelf.
Run out ofHave none left of somethingWe ran out of money.
Switch on/offTurn something on or offI switched on the television.


So here are some phrasal verbs to help you get started and hopefully help you to talk more like a native English speaker. Just remember to change the verb so that it is in the correct tense for your sentence!

 image: Billy Brown



I was born in India but when I was three years old, my family and I all moved to the USA.I have a Bachelor's in International Business and a Masters in Corporate Law. Today, I enjoy teaching English to students from all over the world.

Kelly D

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  • لحظه فرح

    Very good no comment ……..!