Let’s jump start the year with some phrasal verbs!
How was your holiday?
Did you catch up with friends and family? Slept in till late? Filled up your stomach with New Year’s feast? Have you made up your mind on how you can make 2019 the best year ever?
Hope you had a great holiday and are ready to plunge into another year of English adventure!
What is a phrasal verb?
In English there is a group of verbs called “phrasal verbs” which are made with a combination of a verb and an adverb or a preposition.
Phrasal verbs are made with simple, basic verbs. Even when the same verb is used, a different preposition produces a different meaning.
- get off the bus （バスから降りる）
- get out of the car（車から降りる）
- get over a cold （風邪が回復する）
- get away from the police（警察の手から逃げる）
- put off the meeting （ミーティングを延期する）
- put out the fire （火を消す）
- put on a jacket （ジャケットを着る）
- put away books （本を片付ける）
- take off my jacket （ジャケットをぬぐ）
- take out my lenses（コンタクトレンズをはずす）
- take on English （英語にチャレンジする）
- take in information （情報を吸収する）
I used to always get take off and take out mixed up. They are very similar not only in their makeup but also in meaning.
Take off means to remove something you are wearing off from the surface, or your body. take out means to remove something by lifting it out of its place, as in “take out contact lens.” Because phrasal verbs are not part of Japanese language, we need to be patient and repeat them as many time as necessary until we develop a knack for them.
Since phrasal verbs are made with basic verbs, they are conversation must-haves. They are essential if you want to hold a regular conversation.
Of course you can communicate using regular verbs but those alternatives are more common in written language and because of that you might come off a bit bookish.
Because phrasal verbs are part of colloquial language, it’s not often we come across them when we are studying English in Japan using textbooks and written materials. I noticed that even those that have high English proficiency can still use a lot more phrasal verbs in their speech. If you don’t families yourself, it’s very likely you have trouble following small talks or daily conversations.
Phrasal verbs are not slung they are part of everyday spoken language at home and at work. The general rule of thumb is to use phrasal verbs if available and you will sound natural and friendly.
- conduct（実行する）→ carry out
- arrive（到着する）→ get to
- search（調べる）→ look up
- decline（断る）→ turn down
- discover（見つけ出す）→ find out
- enter（入る）→ come in
Useful phrasal verbs
Here are some frequently used phrasal verbs:
- I haven’t see you for weeks. We have a lot to catch up. = to update each other on recent events
- They finally got rid of that broken vending machine. = to throw away or eliminate
- Oh no! We have run out of toilet rolls! = to use up
- How is your new home? Have you settled down yet? = to get used to
- It takes me 2 hours to get to work. I want to look for an apartment near my office. = to search for
- Are you free this weekend? We can hang out and watch a movie or something. = to spend time with, to relax together
Have you found any than you can start using today?
If you learn to use them in your conversation, I promise your communication skill will take a leap![日本語訳へ]