Saturday, February 9, 2008

Phrasal Verbs

A phrasal verb is defined as a verb plus a preposition or adverb which creates a meaning different from the original verb. The use of phrasal verbs in an essay offers a way of adding variety to our writing. Besides, native speakers use phrasal verbs most of the time and students of English should make an effort to learn as many phrasal verbs as possible so that they are at their disposal when needed. The following are examples of phrasal verbs.

1 add up = make sense

I don’t believe in his story because it does not add up.

2 blow up = explode or suddenly become very angry

The bomb had blown up before a team of experts could come to defuse it.

As soon as John saw the mess in the house, he blew up and his sons got scolded.

3 call on = visit

When I went to Kuala Lumpur yesterday, I called on my relative who lived there.

4 do without = manage without something one wants or needs

We have to do without a house maid because we can no longer afford one.

5 eat out = eat outside the home

Working couples like to eat out because they have no time to prepare meals at home.

6 fall through = fail to happen

My plan to start a business fell through because of lack of capital.

7 go on = continue or happen

You must go on exercising to keep yourself physically fit.

What is going on here?

8 hand in = submit

We have to hand in our homework by Friday.

9 iron out = eliminate

They will try to iron out the problem at the meeting.

10 jump to = make a quick, poorly thought out decision

We should not jump to conclusion too fast.

11 keep on = continue

The hikers kept on walking until they reached their destination.

12 let down = disappoint

You must study hard to pass your exam so as not to let us down.

13 make up = invent ( a story), reconcile

The pupil made up a story to explained why he was late for school.

After the squabble, the two brothers finally made up.

14 nod off = fall asleep

As the talk was very boring, most students in the hall nodded off after half an hour.

15 occur to = come to one's mind

It suddenly occurred to me that I had not brought my wallet along.

16 pass out = become unconscious

The man who was waiting for his bus in the burning sun passed out.

17 quiet down = cause to be quiet

The librarian asked the students who were whispering to quiet down.

18 rule out = eliminate

The police did not rule out foul play in the murder case.

19 settle up = pay one's debts

Before new loan is allowed to be applied, a borrower has to settle up his earlier debt.

20 take after = resemble

Lina takes after her best friend so much that others think that they are sisters.

21 use up = use all of something

He used up all the paint available to paint the wall of his house.

22 veer away from = stay away from, avoid

Parents usually advises their children to veer away from drug abuse which will ruin their future.

23 wear off = disappear after a period of time

The patient felt painful after some time when the effect of the anaesthetic wore off.

24 yak on = to continue talking in an annoying way

I really admire my sister because she can yak on and on when she talks to anybody.

25 zonk out = fall asleep

Because of exhaustion, he zonked out the moment he lay on his bed.

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