Some Phrasal Verbs (01)

Phrasal verbs (for example: wake up, look out, mess up, etc.) are a difficult part of English. The reason they’re difficult is because they are usually a combination of two words that, when together, have an entirely new meaning that is different from both individual words.

For example: the verb to get means “to receive; to start having” but the verb to get out means “to leave quickly.” When you’re listening to somebody speaking English quickly, it’s possible that you’ll hear get and remember the first definition, and not realize that the person said out as well.

Phrasal verbs can also be hard to remember, because the second half of the word is never a unique or memorable word: up, out, on, in, around, etc. So, here are some pictures that might help you remember a few new phrasal verbs!

messExample sentences:
I messed up. I should not have left the hotel without a map!
I tried to do the project, but I messed it up. Now I have to start it from the beginning.

Oh no, the waiter messed up my order — I asked for fish, but he brought me chicken.

bone upExample sentence:
I’m going to Paris next month, so I really need to bone up on my French — I haven’t practiced in years!

wolf downExample sentences:
Wow, you were hungry. You wolfed down that sandwich in about 30 seconds.
Don’t wolf your food down! Go slowly!

bottleExample sentences:
You shouldn’t bottle up your emotions.
I always keep my anger bottled up
I never show it to anyone.

cough upExample sentences:
All right, I know you have my book! Cough it up!
He didn’t cough up the drugs until the police arrived.

dumbExample sentences:
Oh no, I can’t understand that book. Do they have a dumbed down version?
Don’t speak to children using big words — you have to dumb your speech down a little bit.