• Alex

Practical English: 10 Everyday Phrasal Verbs


If you would like to learn more phrasal verbs, check out my first book, 100 Practical English Phrasal Verbs. It has 100 high-frequency phrasal verbs, over 900 example sentences, and 20 lessons of context-based learning.


Phrasal verbs are one of the toughest parts of mastering English. Below are 10 of the most common phrasal verbs that people use almost every single day.


Turn on / Turn off

to activate or deactivate something (the radio, the TV, the lights, your phone, etc.)

"Could you turn on the lights in the living room? It's getting dark outside."

"Before we start the test, I'd like everyone to please turn off their phones."

"Dad, you forgot to turn off the TV again."

"Something's wrong with the radio. It won't turn on."


Turn up / Turn down

to increase or decrease the intensity or level of something (the heat, the air conditioning, the volume)

"Could you turn up the volume? I can't hear anything."

"It's a little too hot now. Could you turn down the heat?"

"It's still too hot. Could you turn up the AC?" (the air conditioning/the cold air)

"In the winter, we usually turn up the heat to at least 22 degrees Celsius."


Pick up

to lift or collect something (toys, books, the stuff on the floor, the papers on the desk, etc.)

"Did you pick up your toys, or are they still on the floor?"

"Were you going to leave that there? Don't be lazy. Pick it up."

"Did you just pick up that gum from the floor and put it back in your mouth? Yuck!"


to buy/get/acquire something

"I need to pick up some bread from the bakery."

"She asked me to pick up some AA batteries from the corner store."

"I'm going to pick up the new PlayStation this afternoon."

"I don't feel like cooking. Can we pick something up to eat on the way home?"


to collect someone from somewhere, usually by car

"What time should I pick you up?"

"I'll pick you up at 8."

"He forgot to pick me up after school."

"I don't have a car. Would you mind picking me up?"


Put away

to put something in an appropriate place

"I'm busy right now. I'm putting away the groceries."

"I have to put away the laundry." (put your clean clothes in the appropriate closets, drawers, etc.)

"Okay, class, put your books away. We're going to start the test in two minutes."

"At my house, everyone has to put their phones away before we start dinner."


Put back

to return something to its former place (the remote, the milk, books, toys, etc.)

"You forgot to put the remote back next to the TV."

"Before you can go out with your friends, you have to put back all of your books."

"He likes making a mess, but he never likes putting things back where they belong."

"Put the milk back in the fridge, please."


Take out

to put outside or to remove from a bag/purse/pocket/drawer/closet/etc.

"Did you remember to take out the garbage last night?"

"Please take your notebooks out of your bags. Class is about to start."

"Were you the one who took the juice out of the fridge?"

"Take out the candy that you're hiding in your pockets."


Throw out / Throw away

to discard something because you don't need it or because it's not useful anymore

"Mom, did you throw out my old guitar magazines?!"

"My grandmother never throws anything away."

"That shirt isn't in good condition anymore. You should throw it out."

"Don't throw it out! We can donate it!"


You can see me discussing most of these phrasal verbs in this video. Review it and do the practice quiz to test your understanding. Finally, don't forget to get your copy of 100 Practical English Phrasal Verbs. Let me know how you like it!


Until next time, I wish you success in your studies.