Mastering English Phrasal Verbs

Is it possible to learn all the English phrasal verbs by memorizing them? There are hundreds of thousands of them. How many will you memorize? Then there are English vocabulary to learn. I don’t think it is a good practice to learn phrasal verbs by memorization.

I will discuss the approach that I took to learn phrasal verbs. The approach did help me to learn hundreds of phrasal verbs faster. After reading this article you should also be able to learn English phrasal verbs faster without memorizing their individual meanings.

What is a Phrasal Verb

A phrasal verb is a verb that is made up of a main verb together with one or more particles. Examples of some of them are: put on, turn out, call off, get on with, call up.

What are Particles?

Particles are those small words that do not change their forms through inflection. You can not fit them easily into any the English parts of speech. Some examples of particles are about, on, of, off, to, with and out. There are many other particles. You can find them in any grammar book.

How Phrasal Verbs are Formed

Phrasal verbs are formed using a verb and one or two particles. Verb + Particle /+ Particle. Put + out, get + on + with. This is how phrasal verbs are created.

Now let’s see how we can now learn phrasal verbs by learning the different meanings of these particles.

Out is a particle and it has around 50 different meanings. When this particle is added with a verb it adds one of its meanings to that verb. Let’s look at some examples.

ParticleMeaningVerbPhrasal VerbExample Sentence
OutAvailableRollRoll OutMahindra is rolling out new SUVs.
OutNone leftSellSell OutTickets for Baahubali 2 were sold out within minutes.
OutNot burning/shiningPutPut OutPut the candle out.
OutNot includedKnockKnock OutKKR knocked out Sunrisers Hyderabad in the semi final.
OutGet rid of somethingThroughThrough OutThrough out all the unnecessary stuff. They are taking too much space in the room.

Now, is it difficult at all to remember the meanings of these verb phrases? You can actually create new verb phrases if you remember the meanings of these particles.

Isn’t it better to learn the meanings of around 40 or so particles than to memorize thousands and thousands of phrasal verbs?

Make a Plan to Master Phrasal Verbs

Make a plan and stick to the plan until you are a master of creating phrasal verbs on your own. Follow the below steps:

Step 1. Create folder on your computer and name it ‘Particle’

Step 2. Create a txt file and name it say ‘on’.

Step 3. Go to a good online dictionary like Oxford, Cambridge or Merriam-Webster

Step 4. Search the word ‘on’ and copy all the meanings of it

Step 5. Paste it in the text file

Do this for all the particles. And learn the meanings of them. Or you can get one of the apps for learning English and learn the particles on the app. Next get a book on English phrasal verbs.

Let me what you think about this technique. If you have got any questions don’t feel shy to ask them. I’d be happy to answer them.

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