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Brush Up on your Phrasal Verbs – Part 1

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Learning a new language is an enormous challenge for many students, especially when it comes to find ways to sound more natural and fluent. That being said, there are many ways to refine your English skills to a higher level, and one of these ways is to understand phrasal verbs. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you to ‘brush up’* on your phrasal verbs!

*To ‘brush up’ means to revise a topic in order to become more knowledgeable or skilled at it.

Today we are starting our series of the most common phrasal verbs used in the English grammar. Check out these illustrated examples of phrasal verbs

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1. Break Down

The phrasal verb Break down + noun can be used to talk about analysing something in detail: “You need to break down the maths problem in order to solve it properly.”


break down
‘Break down’ is also used to talk about something that has stopped working properly: Can you please come and pick me up from work? My car has broken down. (My car is not working, so could you please come and get me with your car?)

‘Break down’ can be used to describe a person who has started to cry because they are under a lot of stress or a experiencing something very negative: When she found out the news of her friend’s death she broke down in tears. (She heard some very bad news and started to cry uncontrollably)


2. Step On


step On

Understood literally, to ‘step on’ something means to walk over something and stand on it with your foot (e.g. I stepped on some chewing gum).

‘Step on (it)’ is an informal way of telling someone to move quickly or to hurry up.
Step on it, taxi driver, or I’m going to be late for my flight!’


3. Drop Off


Drop Off


In this situation, to ‘drop off’ is a phrasal verb which means to fall asleep.
‘Drop off’ has quite a few different meanings, depending on the situation or context:

1. Similar to ‘fall’
The boys dropped stones off the cliff.

2. An informal way of saying ‘fall asleep’
I dropped off while watching TV last night

3. To gradually decline/ become less
Sales dropped off at the end of the month

4. To stop somewhere for someone
Could you drop me off at the station?

5. To stop and give something to someone
Could you drop this letter off at the post office for me?

Want to learn more? Download our Phrasal Verbs e-Book for FREE now and find more phrasal verbs with meanings as well as examples of them.

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