Phrasal Verbs and Idioms for English Speaking | Lesson 1 – Elementary Level

1. to get in/to get on: to enter or to board a vehicle
To get in is used for cars; to get on is used for all other forms of transportation.

  • Example: It’s easiest to get in the car from the driver’s side. The door on the other side doesn’t work well.
  • Ex: I always get on the bus to work at 34th Street.
2. to get out of/to get off: to leave or to descend from a vehicle.
To get out of is used for cars; to get off is used for all other forms of transportation.

  • Ex: Why don’t we stop and get out of the car for a while?
  • Ex: Helen got off the train at the 42nd Street terminal.
3. to put on: to place on oneself (usually said of clothes)

  • Ex: Mary put on her coat and left the room.
  • Ex:  Put your hat on before you leave the house.
4. to take off: to remove (usually said of clothes)

  • Ex:  John took off his jacket as he entered the office.
  • Ex: Take your sweater off. The room is very warm.
5. to call up: to telephone (also: to give some one a call)
To call can be used instead of to call up, as in the first example below.

  • Ex: I forgot to call up Mr. Jones yesterday. I’d better call him now.
  • Ex: Call me up tomorrow, Jane. We’ll arrange a time to have lunch together.
  • Ex:  I promise to give you a call as soon as I arrive in New York.
6. to turn on: to start or cause to function (also: to switch on)

  • Ex:  Please turn on the light; it’s too dark in here.
  • Ex: Do you know who turned the air conditioning on?
7. to turn off: to cause to stop functioning (also: to switch off, to shut off)
Turn on and turn off, as well as their related forms, are used for things that flow, such as electricity, water, gas, etc.

  • Ex: Please turn off the light when you leave the room.
  • Ex: Are you really listening to the radio, or should I turn it off?
8. right away: very soon; immediately (also: at once)

  • Ex: Dad says that dinner will be ready right away, so we’d better wash our hands and set the table.
  • Ex: Tell Will to come to my office right away. I must see him immediately.
  • Ex: Stop playing that loud music at once!
9. to pick up: to lift form the floor, table, etc., with one’s fingers

  • Ex:  Harry picked up the newspaper that was on the front doorstep.
  • Ex: Could you pick your toy up before someone falls over it?
10. sooner or later: eventually, after a period of time

  • Ex: If you study English seriously, sooner or later you’ll become fluent.
  • Ex: I’m too tired to do my homework now; I’m sure I’ll do it sooner or later.
11. to get up: to arise, to rise from a bed; to make someone arise

For the last definition a noun phrase must separate the verb and particle.

  • Ex: Carla gets up at seven o’clock every morning.
  • Ex: At what time should we get the children up tomorrow?
12. at first: in the beginning, originally

  • Ex: At first English was difficult for him, but later he made great progress.
  • Ex: I thought at first that it was Sheila calling, but then I realized that it was Betty.