6 easy ways to learn phrasal verbs

Birds. Easy ways to learn phrasal verbs.


Many learners of English say they’re worried about learning phrasal verbs.

I don’t think there’s any real reason to be worried.

I know they can be a little confusing sometimes, but the best thing to do is to think of each phrasal verb as a single word with a specific meaning, and then learn them like you would learn any other English vocabulary.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Start with common phrasal verbs


1.  Choose a small number of phrasal verbs to learn each week

Phrasal verb dictionaries and websites for learners of English have very useful definitions for many hundreds of phrasal verbs.

It’s best to start with the most common English phrasal verbs and pick just a small number to learn at a time.

Don’t try to memorize long lists of phrasal verbs from lists or dictionaries. Use these to look up meanings when you see or hear unfamiliar phrasal verbs.


2.  Focus on phrasal verbs from the same topic

A good way to choose which ones to learn is to focus on phrasal verbs from the same topic.

For example:

  • food
  • travel
  • relationships
  • business English
  • socialising

Incorporate them into your daily life


As with all new words, it’s important to actually use the words in order to learn them effectively, so try and incorporate them into your daily life and vocabulary as often as you can.

3.  Read English texts

Read news articles and short stories, and even novels, and see how many phrasal verbs you can find. Look up any where you’re not sure of their meaning.

News headlines often have phrasal verbs in them, so they’re a good way to see phrasal verbs being used in context.

Do an internet search for the phrasal verb you are learning and select ‘News’. You will see lots of examples of headlines using that phrasal verb.

4.  Practise speaking

Choose one or two phrasal verbs and use them whenever you can in the conversations you have for one week.

5.  Practise writing 

Send a text or an informal email to a friend or someone in your family and use the phrasal verbs you are learning that week.




6.  Create a Pinterest board for phrasal verbs

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can organize and share things you find on the internet.

Amongst other things, I use it to collect and organize useful language resources. And it can also be a very good tool for language learners.

For example:

  • you can set up boards for your favourite language websites, lessons and resources
  • you could have a grammar board for saving grammar tips and lessons
  • an IELTS board for collecting IELTS exam hints and tips
  • or a board where you collect definitions of phrasal verbs you want to learn

On my English Phrasal Verbs board I pin some of the phrasal verb definitions and resources from my websites and from other sites.

Search Pinterest for other phrasal verb pins, boards, or pinners, and then set up your own board and start pinning. 

Share your board with me here 🙂



And finally, don’t forget you can download my free PDF with 50 of the most frequently used phrasal verbs in English.

This PDF has 300 example sentences showing how these phrasal verbs are used in everyday conversation, plus gap-fill exercises for more practice.


Do you like learning phrasal verbs?

And do you have a favourite way of learning them?


Angela Boothroyd

Angela Boothroyd

Freelance writer, English language teacher, at Botanical Linguist
Hi, I'm Angela, the creator of the Botanical Linguist site. I'm a freelance writer, linguist, and qualified English language teacher. I specialize in writing online course content, and blog posts and articles about business, education, and the English language. I’m also a writing coach for non-native users of English who want to blog better in English.
Angela Boothroyd
Angela Boothroyd


  1. Gladys Dore Ireton says:

    I have to understand and practice more Phrasal verbs , so what tips would you give me to overcome it?
    I appreciate your help.
    Gladys Dore Ireton

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