Common English Phrasal Verbs and their Meanings

When I teach my students at EF English Live, I offer a lot of help with phrasal verbs, which is one of the trickier aspects of English grammar. So that you can quickly have access to some common ones, I have made a list of them.

Remember, a phrasal verb has two or three parts. It always has a verb, and this verb is followed by a preposition or an adverb. Here is a list of some common phrasal verbs – remember to change the verb to match your tense.

Phrasal verb



Call someone back

To return someone’s call

I will call her back.

Cheer up

To make someone happier

She cheered up after hearing the good news.

Get over

End or find a solution to

It took me a long time to get over the flu.

Hang on

Wait for a short time (informal)

Could you hang on for a second?

Look for

To try and find something

I am looking for my keys.

Run into

To meet unexpectedly

I ran into Steve at the store today.

Run into

To accidentally bump into someone/something

I was walking to the office and ran into the bookshelf.

Run out of

Have none left of something

We ran out of money.

Switch on/off

Turn something on or off

I switched on the television.

So here are some phrasal verbs to help you get started and hopefully help you to talk more like a native English speaker. Just remember to change the verb so that it is in the correct tense for your sentence!