Brush Up on your Phrasal Verbs – Part 5

Ready to learn 3 more phrasal verbs? It´s time to continue our series covering some of the most common phrasal verbs to improve our English skills. Don´t forget to download our eBook to find all the phrasal verbs in this series and much more! [hs_action id=”2151″] 1. Back Up   What is he talking about? Time to take a quick look at the double of meaning of ‘back up’: The phrasal verb ‘back up’ is generally meant in the sense of ‘to move backwards’. When driving we also say ‘reverse’. Back up your car into the garage. In the world of technology, ‘to back up’ means to save an extra copy of your work in a safe location, just in case something happens to the original. Remember to back up your files – you wouldn’t want to lose all your hard work! But ‘backup’ (no space between the two words) can also be used as a noun, meaning help/ support or a copy of a file made in case the original is lost or damaged. The police officer called his partner for back up. He needed help arresting the burglar. Do you have a backup of your work? There’s nothing on this CD.   2. Bring Up   ‘To bring up’ is the present tense form of ‘brought up’. When people raise a child and take care of it, they bring it up. My parents divorced when I was young. I was mainly brought up by my mother. His parents worked all the time when he was a child, so he was brought up by his grandparents. It can also be used when talking about where you are from: I live in Malta, but I was brought up in London.   3. Screw Up   When you ‘screw (something) up’, it means that … Read more

Brush Up on your Phrasal Verbs – Part 4

It´s time to continue our journey through the wonderful world of Phrasal Verbs – let’s learn 3 new ones which can be used in everyday life. To help you to memorize them, download the free eBook to revise and practise them with your classmates, friends and teachers. [hs_action id=”2151″] 1. Put Down In this cartoon, the phrasal verb ‘put down’ has two primary meanings. To stop holding something and place it somewhere. Slowly put down the gun and keep your hands where I can see them. Slowly put the gun down and keep your hands where I can see them. Wait a second! We also use ‘can’t put (something) down’ as an idiom to describe something we are reading that is so interesting that we don’t want to stop reading it. Have you read the new Harry Potter book? It’s impossible to put down. The novel was so exciting that I couldn’t put it down. I read it all night. We’re not done yet – there’s one more meaning to look at before we continue: ‘To put down’ can also mean ‘to say something negative to someone because you want to make them feel less confident.’ Katerina doesn’t like his new boss. He keeps putting people down and the employees are unhappy.   2. Bring Down The joke in this cartoon is focusing on a play on the phrasal verb ‘to bring down’. What does ‘bring down’ mean? ‘To bring down’ means ‘to make someone feel sad or depressed, unhappy or exhausted. This rainy weather is really bringing me down. (The weather is making me feel sad) Also, you can either go ‘up’ or ‘down’ in an elevator. The second part of the joke is based on the word uplifting – an adjective used to describe something which makes someone feel better … Read more

Brush Up on your Phrasal Verbs – Part 3

Another day, another set of phrasal verbs for us to learn. Our focus shifts to “Hold up“, “Act Up“ and “Look up” – three popular phrasal verbs used in English. They can be used in different contexts and situations, but do you know them all? Here are some examples that will help you to understand them better and use them in your everyday life. [hs_action id=”2151″]   1. Hold up   This is another joke, and to understand it we need to take a quick look at the following two meanings of the phrasal verb: ‘To hold up’ literally means to hold something/someone up in the air with your hands (like the police officer in the cartoon). When we landed in the airport our driver was waiting for us; he was holding up a sign with our names on it. ‘To hold up’ can also mean to stop/delay someone for a moment. You can go if you want to – don’t let me hold you up. Just a minute! ‘Hold up’ can also be used as a noun meaning to conduct a robbery using threats and/or violence. Think of a film you’ve watched where the bad guys rob a bank – that’s a hold up! There was a hold up at the local band this morning. Thankfully, no one was injured and the bank-robbers were arrested by police.   2. Act Up You probably know that the verb to act is used to talk about actors starring* in a film or performing** in the theatre. When used as a phrasal verb with the preposition up it has a different meaning: ‘To act up’ means to misbehave; behave badly or strangely. My computer has been acting up recently. I think it has a virus. *To star: to appear as a famous person in … Read more

Brush Up on your Phrasal Verbs – Part 2

Ready to continue learning new phrasal verbs? Today we’re going to focus our attention on the English phrasal verbs “Put Out”, “Fall Out” and “Strike Out”. They might have a preposition in common, but their meanings are completely different! [hs_action id=”2151″]   1. Put Out In this situation, the man and woman have misunderstood* each other because ‘put out’ has a few different meanings. The woman wants to ask the man if he let the cat out (perhaps into the garden), but he thinks she is asking him whether or not he poured water onto the cat because it was on fire (the cat was not on fire). ‘Put out’ can mean: 1. To put something outside the house Did you put the cat out? I must remember to put the rubbish out on Wednesday night. 2. To extinguish** something The firefighters quickly put out the fire. You can’t smoke in here, please put your cigarette out. 3. To inconvenience someone or to be annoyed I don’t want to put you out, but could you drive me to the station? He was put out because we didn’t invite him to the party. 4. To publish or produce something for the public We put out ‘English in your Inbox‘ every month. 5. To injure a part of your body by straining yourself He put his back out trying to lift his sofa. * To misunderstand: a failure to understand something correctly or in the way it was meant. ** To extinguish: to stop a fire from burning (e.g. using water).   2. Fall Out In the cartoon the birds might ‘separate’ from their nest (fall from the nest onto the ground), or you might fall out of your bed at night! ‘To fall out’ can also mean to stop being friends with someone … Read more

Brush Up on your Phrasal Verbs – Part 1

Learning a new language is an enormous challenge for many students, especially when it comes to find ways to sound more natural and fluent. That being said, there are many ways to refine your English skills to a higher level, and one of these ways is to understand phrasal verbs. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you to ‘brush up’* on your phrasal verbs! *To ‘brush up’ means to revise a topic in order to become more knowledgeable or skilled at it. Today we are starting our series of the most common phrasal verbs used in the English grammar. Check out these illustrated examples of phrasal verbs [hs_action id=”2151″]   1. Break Down The phrasal verb Break down + noun can be used to talk about analysing something in detail: “You need to break down the maths problem in order to solve it properly.”   ‘Break down’ is also used to talk about something that has stopped working properly: Can you please come and pick me up from work? My car has broken down. (My car is not working, so could you please come and get me with your car?) ‘Break down’ can be used to describe a person who has started to cry because they are under a lot of stress or a experiencing something very negative: When she found out the news of her friend’s death she broke down in tears. (She heard some very bad news and started to cry uncontrollably)   2. Step On   Understood literally, to ‘step on’ something means to walk over something and stand on it with your foot (e.g. I stepped on some chewing gum). ‘Step on (it)’ is an informal way of telling someone to move quickly or to hurry up. Step on it, taxi driver, or I’m going to be late for my flight!’   3. Drop Off     … Read more