5 ways to memorize phrasal verbs effectively

Learning phrasal verbs by topic, group, context, particle or story will help you remember them better, said Ta Thi Hai Quynh, an English teacher in Vinh Phuc.

Phrasal verbs (phrasal verbs) is a difficult part of knowledge because of their irregularity, large number, and diverse use of semantics and grammar. Here are ways to memorize phrasal verbs in English:

  1. Study by topic

When learning the phrasal verbs “get up” and “get dressed”, you should learn with other verbs with related meanings like “to work”, “get home”, “have a shower”. This makes it easier to remember.

Example: Verb phrases that only work in the morning:

  1. Understand “phrasal verbs” in context

When you read, watch or hear a new phrasal verb in some context, such as online, in a book, on television, in a movie or in a conversation, try to use the context to understand it. get its meaning and think of a synonym.

For example, if someone looks angry and desperate and says they “can’t put up with you anymore”, take some time to think about what they mean, first. when replying: “Oh, you can’t tolerate me anymore. I see. I better go then”.

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Or look at the picture
For example, the particle “out” usually describes:

  • The taking out / going out:

eventually the truth came out

We decide to dine out tonight.

  • When an object/thing is no more

For example, you go to a bakery and they run out of bread, you might say: They’re sold out all the bread or They’re out of bread.

  • Out also refers to an object/thing that ceases to exist, ends or disappears

If you don’t add wood, the fire will go out (If you don’t add wood, the fire will stop burning).

There was a storm last night, and the power went out in the whole city.

Although listing the meaning classes of each particle takes time and effort, its effectiveness is much higher than learning phrasal verbs by verb.

  1. Grouping
  • Group 1: Family

The meaning of a phrasal verb can be inferred from the meaning of the base verb that makes it up or from a combination of the base verb and the accompanying preposition.

For example: Ask for => Ask (to ask), and for (for something) => Ask for: Ask for something.

Blow down=> blow, and down (fall down) => Blow down: blow down.

The general method to understand this group is to base on the meaning of the component words that make up the phrasal verb and then infer its meaning.

  • Group 2: Relatives

The meaning of a phrasal verb, although it is far from the meaning of its components, can still be inferred because of the close distance. This group requires a certain association, imagination to understand.

For example:

Run out of something: Imagine we have a perfume box (to impress, easy to remember) but the barrel has a hole so the perfume flows out (run out). Finally you don’t have any perfume left => Run out of something means finished, no more.

Put aside: Remember your little sister at home, every time someone gives candy, she only eats half, the other half puts (put) aside (aside). So what does your sister do this for? => It is to put away, to save => Put aside.

  • Group 3: Group of strangers

Words in this group are difficult to remember. This is the most typical group of verbs for phrasal verbs – from one way, meaning another. With this group, we have two ways of learning as follows:

  • Imagination, association: Look at the phrasal verb and somehow form a link between the phrasal verb and its meaning.

Example “look up”: Imagine you have a giant dictionary lying in the sky. Whenever there is a word you don’t understand, you just need to look (look) up to the sky and the meaning of that word will appear => Look up: look up (meaning, contacts).

“Come round”: Imagine fainting from smelling a poisonous flower. There is a fairy come to help you. She goes around you (round) and casts spells, so you wake up => Come round is awake.

  1. Storytelling

Another effective way to learn and use phrasal verbs is to create a story with them. If you enjoy writing novels, you can create a short story using a few phrasal verbs. If not, you can write a paragraph about your life.

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