Phrasal Verbs: Introduction

Phrasal verbs are used by all native English speakers with great frequency. It’s impossible to speak proper English without using them. Some thoughts can only be expressed by them. In many cases, there is a latin-based verb that can describe the action, but a native English speaker will use a phrasal verb instead. For instance, if you are playing chess with an American friend, and he is winning the game, in a matter of a few moves he will have you in checkmate. You could say: I desist. There’s a chance he won’t understand you. The word desist exists in English but it is hardly used. Rather than desist you must say: I give up. This phrasal verb expresses exactly what you want to say. That’s why phrasal verbs are so important, some thoughts are impossible to say otherwise.

There are thousands of phrasal verbs, and the number is growing everyday. It’s impossible to know them from the top of your mind. You will learn them with time. Listed below are some of them:

  • to look after: cuidar de;
  • to look at: olhar para;
  • to look for: procurar;
  • to get away: fugir;
  • to get away with: livrar-se;
  • to get back: voltar;
  • to get down: descer, baixar;
  • to get off: descer (do trem, do ônibus);
  • to get out: sair;
  • to get over: recuperar-se (de doença, de um problema);
  • to get to: chegar;
  • to get up: levantar, subir

See, phrasal verbs are very common and if you want to make yourself sound more natural use them.

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Co-author: Maria Brasileira

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Alessandro

Alessandro Brandão

Alessandro Brandão é coordenador do English Experts e do Fórum de idiomas. Trabalha também em projetos na área de Ensino a Distância (EaD).

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