A phrasal verb is a verb that has two parts: a verb and a participle. A participle looks like a preposition but acts differently. Particles change the meaning of the verb.
For example: look = to see. Look into = research
Phrasal verbs are more informal than the one-word verbs with the same meaning. We use phrasal verbs in everyday, common speech but avoid them in more formal situations.
For example: “I have to figure out a solution” is less formal than “I must solve this issue.”
Watch out! Some phrasal verbs have more than one meaning. Pay attention to the context.
For example: Please turn down the volume. (lower)
She turned down my invitation to the dance. (reject)
Also, make sure yous subject and verb agree in amount and tense.
For example: Yesterday, I checked out a book. He always turns down invitations to the movies.
Today, we’re going to focus on intransitive phrasal verbs. Intransitive means that it does not take a direct object. When using intransitive phrasal verbs, always keep the verb and participle together.
For example: Sit down in the chair. Not:
Sit in the chair down.
Here are 10 common intransitive phrasal verbs:
1. go back = return
I left Italy in 2007 but I want to go back again.
2. get ahead = make progress, succeed
You need to work hard to get ahead in this company.
3. hang up = end a phone call
When you finish your call, hang up.
4. break out = happen suddenly
A fight broke out in front of TerraU last night.
5. drop in = visit by surprise
I hate that my in-laws drop in all the time. I wish they would call.
6. keep up = go as fast as
This class is so fast-paced. I can’t keep up.
7. work out = exercise
I work out four times a week.
8. sign up = register
I signed up for dance classes on Tuesday nights.
9. go down = decrease (price, number)
This phone is too expensive. I’ll wait until the price goes down in a month.
10. get along = have a good relationship
My sister and I used to fight a lot but now we get along fine.