Phrasal verbs – every English student has been confused by them at one point or another! One way to memorise them is to learn them in pairs. Here are a few examples of phrasal verb pairs you will definitely find useful in your everyday life. This student’s diary can show you why…
This morning my bus to school was really late. I waited at the bus stop for ages! When it finally arrived, I got on but then I realised I’d forgotten my wallet… Luckily, I had enough change in my pocket to buy the ticket. Phew! I was so distracted that I almost missed my usual stop, but in the end I got off at the right one at the last minute.
Remember: get on/off the bus, train, plane BUT get in/out a car, taxi
I had a picnic today! After the morning lessons my classmates and I went to a café, but the weather was so beautiful that we didn’t really want to have lunch indoors. We decided to buy our sandwiches in the café but eat them in our local park instead. So, when the waiter asked me “To have in or to take away?”, I said “To take away, please!”.
have in – eat food in the place where you bought it
take away/out – take food with you to eat somewhere else
I have an exam tomorrow! I’m a bit stressed and I really want to get a good mark, so I think I’m going to stay up till about midnight and revise all of this week’s lessons. Luckily I can sleep in a bit at the weekend!
stay up – go to bed later than usual
sleep in – get up later than usual, for example when you don’t have to go school (not to confuse with to oversleep!)
It was worth revising last night, the exam went really well today! The weekend has started and all my classmates are going out for a drink tonight, but I’m soooo tired that I think I prefer to stay in and watch TV on the sofa. Or do my homework… Just kidding. Anyway, my parents are coming to visit tomorrow, so I should get some sleep!
go out – go to a bar for a drink, go to the cinema, or go dancing
stay in – stay at home, especially in the evening or at the weekend
Similarly, we can eat out (have dinner in a restaurant) or eat in (have dinner at home)!
My parents are arriving today! I’m so excited to show them around Bristol. It’s their first time in the UK and they don’t speak English that well, so I’m just on my way to the airport to pick them up. Their plane gets in at 1 pm – in just a couple of hours! It’s a pity that they’re only coming for a couple of days, and on Monday evening I’ll be dropping them off at the airport again.
These phrasal verbs can be used to talk not just about people, but also things. If you order something online, a courier will drop it off (leave it) at your house, or you can pick up (collect) your order from the post office instead.
Can you think of any other pairs of popular phrasal verbs? Let us know in the comments!